Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A Little Slice of Heaven

I stumbled upon the Arlington Gardens a few years ago by accident. I was running errands in my car when out of nowhere I caught a burst of color. I pulled my car over to explore the site. Since 1961, the 3 acre lot was vacant. The site was slated to be been a staging area for the construction of the 710 Freeway. Over time the land became overrun with weeds, dirt, trash and dead trees. On that day what I found was an Artistic Eden!

For the last three years I eagerly await for spring to arrive at the gardens. Once I see a hint of color I might visit three times a week. After church on Sunday Mike and I pick up lunch and have a little picnic. I am here to tell you...SPRING has arrived at the Arlington Gardens! On my morning walk I went to the gardens. I was expecting a little splash of spring colors but what I saw overwhelmed my senses with color and beauty. God is the most magnificent artist! I flittered about the garden like a butterfly go from one flower to the next. I couldn't drink in enough of the lovely scents and colors.

I highly recommend you visit the Arlington Gardens if you live in the Pasadena area. It's easy to find. It's on Arlington between Orange Grove and Pasadena Ave. Their website is filled with great information about water wise gardening,  history of the gardens, botanical information...their website:   www.arlingtongardeninpasadena.org

Below is information taken directly from their home page.

Arlington Garden is open every day of the year for visiting at no charge. Individuals, families, students, artists, photographers visit Arlington Garden daily for education and enjoyment. The Garden’s layout and moveable furniture invite people to come in and stay rather than be quickly ushered in and out.

Arlington Garden is a demonstration of successfulwaterwise gardening in Pasadena’s Mediterranean climate. Pasadena needs plant life that does well in our wet winters, hot, dry summers, and temperate falls and springs, to demonstrate how beautiful and effective a garden in harmony with our climate can be. Arlington Garden is home to 350 trees and thousands of Mediterranean climate plants that do well with low to moderate watering, and features California natives, cactus and succulents, South African and Australian natives, irrigated by low flow devices that use less than half the water demanded by traditional parks.Arlington Garden is a place to find serenity in an urban setting. Arlington Garden has brought the serenity of nature to the City. A classical seven circuit labyrinth, a raised urbanite poppy set in the middle of the meadow, paths winding through trees and plants, and benches set throughout the Garden allow one to stroll or sit and experience some peace and quiet.

Arlington Garden is a sustainable land use. Arlington Garden contains walls, paths, an amphitheater,and sculpture, all made from over 20 tons of reclaimed concrete.  At least 20 growing trees in the Garden have come from seed, and our annual wildflower display is entirely from seeds produced from last year’s wildflowers. Our orange grove produces hundreds of pounds of oranges, which are made into marmalade that supports the Garden’s care and maintenance. In 2009, Arlington Garden used 17% of the water used at Singer Park, a neighborhood park of the same size just two blocks away. More recently, in July, 2011, Arlington Garden used less water per acre than every other park in Pasadena save one, Washington Park, and the usage was nearly identical.

Happy Painting and Gardening!


  1. How lovely, to have a beautiful garden so sit and paint in so near to where you live. I have a vision of you sitting there painting your lovely pictures .

  2. Great photo of you painting in the garden. You are most fortunate!

  3. I love how you capture the light and color! Especially the white of the building! Just beautiful Brenda. Your front yard has turned out so wonderful by the way. Thanks for sharing the process. Just in time for Spring.

    1. Karla, Yesterday we went to the Arlington Garden after church. When we got home I sketched my front yard...made me happy!

  4. Would you ever be willing to allow me to use the photo of you amidst the flowers as a subject reference for a painting?

    1. Ginny, I appreciate you asking first...most don't. My answer is yes, you may use the photo of me. In return I'd love to see it. Happy Sketching!

  5. Thanks Brenda...I promise to share.
    Right now I am just back from a 4 day Zentangle retreat on the barrier reef on the east coast of FL.
    I am now full of designs and happy artful thoughts. We spent a great deal of time talking about the "mindfulness" of art.