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Unpaved Paradise: Caltrans Lot Turned Into Gorgeous Garden in Pasadena

A wildflower-lined path in Arlington Garden (Photo by Betty McKenney via Garden Design)
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It took a village, and a lot of vision, but this three-acre Pasadena garden on the site of a portion of the long-gone Durand Mansion is living testament to what can be done with a lot gone to weed at the hands of Caltrans.

As spotlighted by Garden Design, the beautiful urban oasis known as Arlington Garden is adjacent to the townhouse of Betty and Charles "Kicker" McKenney, who first suggested the lot be turned into a garden in 2003. It took the McKenneys, the City of Pasadena, and Pasadena Water & Power working together "to create Pasadena’s only dedicated public garden on property leased by the City from Caltrans."

The garden was planted with native varieties, a citrus grove, and hundreds of other new plants to create a "Mediterranean idyll" right in the heart of Pasadena.

Because it is so drought-tolerant, Arlington Garden has been profiled in recent months by Chance of Rain and the L.A. Times' The Dry Garden series.