a water-wise,
mediterranean garden
"My garden is my most
beautiful masterpiece"
―Claude Monet
"To plant a garden is
to believe in tomorrow"
―Audrey Hepburn
"She took down a jar
from one of the
shelves as she passed;
it was labelled
'Orange Marmalade',
but to her great
it was empty."
—Alice's Adventures
in Wonderland

What is Arlington Garden?

Arlington Garden is a three acre garden on Caltrans-owned land. It is leased to the City of Pasadena and entrusted by the city to Arlington Garden in Pasadena, a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation. This garden is not only friendly to people and pets, but also exists as a refuge for Pasadena’s native fauna. Birds, bees and butterflies are particularly abundant and can be seen throughout the year.

Arlington Garden has been developed by a collaboration between Arlington Garden in Pasadena, City of Pasadena, Pasadena Department of Public Works, and Pasadena Water & Power, with help from Pasadena Beautiful Foundation and the Mediterranean Garden Society. Continued support comes from garden clubs, local businesses, nurseries, neighbors and friends.

Our History

Founders, Betty and Charles McKenney, and designer, Mayita Dinos, were inspired by Jan Smithen’s book Sun-Drenched Gardens: The Mediterranean Style, and in the summer of 2005, the first of many plantings began. Their goal was to create a public, water-wise garden that celebrates Southern California’s Mediterranean climate. The garden demonstrates how beautiful and practical a well-planned, water-conserving and climate-appropriate garden can be.

“Clipped hedges and evergreens in simple shapes are another tradition. Paving for walks and patios is always permeable to let what rain comes down soak in.”
—from remarks by Jan Smithen, author

Explore, Enjoy

Pasadena has only one dedicated public garden, Arlington Garden. We are open to everyone seven days a week during daylight hours. The garden is free to the public through the generous support of our partners and people like you.

To keep the garden at its best for everyone, we ask that you remember:

• Amateur photography is allowed and free. However, if you wish to shoot professionally in the garden (weddings, groups, portraits, lighting setups) you must pay a nominal fee and obtain a permit. The process is quick, and will allow you to shoot without interruption from garden management.

• Pets are welcome, but please clean up after your pets and keep them on a leash at all times.

• It is tempting to pick flowers and pods and fruit, but please refrain.

Thank you for visiting, and thank you for helping care for this growing public space!


Garden Guidelines

The Garden is a peaceful place. It’s also a safe place for the creatures that make this their home. These guidelines respect the habitats of all creatures and plants and ensure the beauty and tranquility you enjoy.

  • Help preserve the Garden’s serene atmosphere and maintain its unique and beautiful collections and native habitats.
    Please refrain from climbing on trees and shrubs, picking fruits and vegetables, walking in garden beds and collecting plants, insects, or plant labels.
  • All visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
    Support animals are permitted on garden grounds. No pets, please.
    Enjoy your picnic in the picnic area, located in the southwest corner of the parking lot. Please keep food out of the Garden and trails.
  • Arlington Gardens is a tobacco-free environment. Smoking and tobacco use (including smokeless cigarettes), is not allowed indoors or outdoors within the Garden.
  • Active sports and games – including bicycling, rollerblading, skateboarding, use of scooters, Frisbees, ball playing, and kites are not permitted.
  • Kindly refrain from playing in or on fountains, ponds, and sculptures.
  • Use garden benches or chairs for resting. Laying blankets on the grass is only permitted at garden performances.
  • Please, no radios or musical instruments.
  • You are welcome to take personal photography of the Garden flora and fauna. Family photos, including engagement, and graduation photos require a photo permit. Please make arrangements with the Guest Services Staff. You can find more information regarding our photography policy on this website under ‘Photography and Filming at the Garden’.


There are many ways to be involved with Arlington Garden.

  • One of the best is to visit, bring friends and family, spread the word.
  • Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook.
  • Become an Adult Volunteer! Every Tuesday (holidays excluded) we gather to weed, plant, prune, sweep and clean. You will be a welcome addition to our family of volunteers. Please contact us for more details.
  • You may have heard of our famous Arlington Garden Marmalade. Look for it around town and try a jar!
  • And, of course, your monetary contribution is not only welcome, it is essential to maintaining and growing the garden, and to our mission of providing free, year-round access. We also welcome grants and bequests. Please contact us for more information if you are willing to consider that form of support.


Please consider supporting Arlington Garden with a contribution. Your tax-deductible gift will allow us to grow and will help secure this valuable community resource for generations to come.

If you would like to speak to someone about larger donations, bequests and trusts, please contact us: 

(626) 578-5434

Arlington Garden in Pasadena is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.


The best way to stay up-to-date with Arlington Garden news, and to be eligible for special offers and events, is to join our mailing list and follow us on Facebook. We will never abuse your information and the frequency of mailers will be limited on average to once a month. Become part of the Arlington Garden family!


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