Our kids have been on first name basis with “Charlie” and “Betty” ever since spending an afternoon pulling weeds and lining pathways with Arroyo stones. Now, each time we stop by Pasadena’s secret garden, also known as Arlington Garden, the boys are always eager for new project assignments and/or just thrilled to be running along the oak-shaded pathways, playing hide and seek in the California poppies and the orange grove or enjoying an after-preschool picnic on pint-size (and adult) furniture throughout the garden. Most recently, they found nirvana in the likes of a new and exciting pile of sand.
Arlington Garden is a simply wonderful and natural way to enjoy Pasadena’s beauty with kids. It’s hard to believe that this California-friendly Mediterranean garden, rich with more than 800 plants and trees, was once an empty lot. Thanks especially to Charlie and Betty McKenney (aka the Constant Gardeners, who founded and oversee the garden), designer Mayita Dinos, native-plant expert Thomas Juhasz and hardscape master Marco Barrantes, as well as the City of Pasadena, Pasadena Beautiful Foundation, Pasadena Public Works, Pasadena Water & Power and many volunteers for their dedication to something so special for the whole family. Stop by and enjoy the ever-changing work-in-progress. You always discover something new, and if your kids are lucky, Charlie might even put them to work!
Arlington Dr. between Pasadena Avenue and Orange Grove
Admission free, open sunrise-sunset