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Don and Nancy McIntyre To Be Honored With McKenney Family Arlington Garden Award During ‘Autumn in the Garden Celebration’

Published on Sep 24, 2021

Arlington Garden in Pasadena will honor former Pasadena City Manager Don McIntyre and his wife, Nancy, with the inaugural McKenney Family Arlington Garden Award during a gala Sunday marking the garden’s 16th anniversary.

Called Autumn in the Garden, the celebration includes live music entertainment by Los Angeles-based composer and singer/songwriter Mia Doi Todd and the nine-piece band Katalyst. There will also be light bites by Sqirl, the esteemed Los Angeles eatery founded by Jessica Koslow, chef, cookbook author, and James Beard Award nominee.

Wenzlau Vineyard in Santa Barbara will be the wine sponsor for Autumn in the Garden, with vineyard owners and operators Bill and Cindy Wenzlau on hand Sunday to pour their Estate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines, made on their 12-acre organically farmed vineyard in the Santa Rita Hills.

The McIntyres will be honored for their years of service and support of the garden, according to an Arlington Garden statement.

Arlington Garden founders Betty and Charles McKenney and designer Mayita Dinos were inspired by Jan Smithen’s book “Sun-Drenched Gardens: Mediterranean Style” when they started the Garden in 2005. They wanted to create a water-wise garden that thrives in Southern California’s Mediterranean climate, and to show how beautiful and practical a well-planned, climate-appropriate and community-built garden can be.

As it is now, Arlington Garden is not only friendly to people and pets but also serves as a refuge for Pasadena’s native fauna. Birds, bees and butterflies are particularly abundant and can be seen throughout the year.

“We are proud that instead of a freeway, we built a garden,” said Michelle Matthews, garden executive director. “Fifteen years ago, we were the early adopters of regenerative gardening and we are an excellent example of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers watershed concept of landscape design. We are a landmark of healthy habitat and living soil, grown from a denuded empty lot that sat dormant for almost 45 years.”

In 2019, Arlington Garden, a nonprofit organization, was selected by state Sen. Anthony Portantino, D-Pasadena, as Senate District 25’s Nonprofit of the Year.

The garden is also well known for its sweet orange marmalade, made from Washington navel oranges grown in the garden and canned locally by E. Waldo Ward. The marmalade is sold at area retailers including Armstrong Garden Center, Jones Coffee and Vroman’s Bookstore.

To purchase tickets to Autumn in the Garden and for more information on becoming a sponsor for the event, visit

You may also call (626) 578-5434 or visit

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