The Lay of the Land

Apr 2, 2017

We spent an hour driving up into the hills and down along the flats of South Pasadena to snap pictures of houses, which you can see in our piece, the “47th Annual South Pasadena Garden Tour.”

This is a self-drive tour on April 30. When guests conclude the tour they are invited to stop at South Pasadena’s Community Garden. We’ve written about the garden several times since its inception a couple of years ago, yet had never visited, so we decided to drop in—initially driving right by what appeared to be an empty, fenced lot.

We chatted with an older gentleman who informed us that most of the plots were in the throws of winter growth, and wow, some plants were overgrown to the point of becoming mega-monsters. To the contrary, this man had just lugged home his last bounty of winter tomatoes (he’s been making a lot of tomato sauce) and had stripped his plot down to the bare dirt, readying it for spring planting. He said his tomatoes were the only thing he’d succeeded in growing—and that was with two months during which he was away and the fruit thrived unbeknownst to him and inexplicably. Because of his otherwise poor results, he’s forgoing the planting of seeds and will try his hand with seedlings. His plot neighbor Kelly expressed the same intention.



Kelly’s friends have asked her why she works a plot at the community garden when she has her own backyard, to which she replies it’s the people, it’s the community. The older gentleman agreed. He said he doesn’t have a lot in common with many of the other gardeners, but they talk about children, parenting, and of course gardening. Ages range, careers are diverse, and everyone is very nice, he said. Kelly concurred. “Nice” may be considered a bland word and banal, yet in these tumultuous times in which we live, “nice” can be attractive—a gentle stream, a welcoming shore, and a safe haven. A nice person or a nice experience may not possess the lure of adventure and excitement, risk and daring, but it connotes a person of good nature and an experience that’s pleasing, which can be more than satisfying during an otherwise fraught era.























South Pasadena Community Garden, 1028 Magnolia St., South Pasadena 91030.

Find the garden on Facebook.






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