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Arlington Garden Celebrates 17th Anniversary on Sunday

Published on Thursday, September 22, 2022 | 5:56 am

Arlington Garden, the sole free public garden in Pasadena, is celebrating its 17th anniversary with live music, food and wine on Sunday, Sept. 25. The Mediterranean climate garden is located at 275 Arlington Drive in West Pasadena.

The anniversary celebration is also Arlington Garden’s once-a-year fundraiser. 

“I hope that people take the time to come out and join us for our celebration,” Michelle Matthews, Executive Director of Arlington Garden said. “Because we are a free garden, this is one of the ways that we are able to make much needed earned revenue for the care and maintenance of the garden.” 

The annual family-friendly fundraising event will feature musical performances by Photay & Carlos Niño & Diego Gaeta, Barbarelle, and Frosty curated by Floating and dublab, according to the Arlington Garden. The food will come from local dumpling artisans Dina’s Dumplings and wine from Wenzlau Vineyard.

The event on Sunday, called the ‘Autumn in the Garden,’ will also honor Pasadena City Councilmember Steve Madison, businessman and philanthropist Bob Bozzani, and Arlington garden’s designer, Mayita Dinos. 

Awards will be presented to the honorees at a special VIP reception at 4 p.m., before the Autumn in the Garden event. 

Matthews said Councilmember Steve Madison was involved in the founding of the garden and worked closely with Betty and Charles McKinney to help secure the land from Caltrans back in 2005, the year the garden was founded. 

“Inspired by Jan Smithen’s book Sun-Drenched Gardens: The Mediterranean Style, Betty and Charles worked with designer Mayita Dinos to create a garden celebrating Southern California’s unique climate. The garden has since evolved to become a regenerative habitat garden, demonstrating how a landscape can be beautiful while increasing resilience to climate change,” according to the Arlington Garden. 

General admission tickets, at $75, includes a night of outdoor music and sound experiences plus dumplings from Dina’s Dumpling. A limited number of music-only tickets, which do not include food, are available. Drinks will be available for purchase.

VIP tickets, at $150, include attendance at the VIP reception, complimentary refreshments at the reception, a delectable meal, wine from Wenzlau Vineyards, and complimentary valet parking. Only a limited number of tickets are available for the VIP reception, so act fast to reserve your spot.

To reserve, visit

For those planning to visit the garden on ordinary days, they can see a new gate sign designed by James Naish, and a new monument sign on the corner of Pasadena Ave. and Arlington Drive. 

“We have a lot of new educational signage in the garden, and we’ve been making some improvements by planting native planters. But you’ll largely find that we have a very nice mature selection of native and climate appropriate plants,” Matthews said. 

“So if you’re looking to grow native and draw tolerant plants, Arlington is a great place to come to learn about what those plants look like after you bring them home and grow them in the ground.”

For more information, visit

In the words of Betty and Charles, the garden was to be “a permanent part of Pasadena’s landscape, a natural public garden in an urban setting, made for the entire community.”

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