Surely you’ve noticed the beautiful phoenix that’s risen from the abandoned Caltrans lot along the Pasadena Avenue in Southwest Pasadena? Arlington Garden opened to the public in 2005, after surveys showed the desire for “passive development” on this state-owned, city-leased three-acre property (until the early 1960s, the site of the swell Durand mansion). Dawn-to-dusk foot traffic is encouraged, as are school groups—but come on, the nice signs say “demonstration gardens” (i.e., respeck!). Yes, the amphitheater looks inviting, but it’s not a fricking climbing wall. Sorry for the Mrs. Crabapple, but this oasis comes by way of all-volunteer hours and dang, these people have slaved. The California and Mediterranean sections feature native plants; other heat-lovers include olive allée, raised herb beds, spring irises, an orange grove and a cactus garden. Bright California poppies usually in bloom in March.
295 Arlington Dr., Pasadena, arlingtongardeninpasadena.org