Favorite Gardens In and Around Pasadena to Grab a Breath of Fresh Air

Pasadena and its nearby surroundings are home to many serene spaces, offering a (much-needed!) dose of fresh air.
Arlington Gardens, Pasadena

Arlington Gardens

Serenity can be found by anyone—for free—at this three-acre botanical garden. Designed by landscape artist Mayita Dinos, Arlington Gardens was originally a weed-filled lot owned by Caltrans before Betty and Charles “Kicker” McKenney proposed a solution for the blighted property next door to their home. Working with Caltrans, the City of Pasadena, and Pasadena Water and Power, the McKenneys brought to life their vision of a public, water-wise garden celebrating Southern California’s Mediterranean climate. The garden is open to the public 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  275 Arlington Dr., Pasadena, arlingtongardenpasadena.com

Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden

The Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden showcases a variety of flora and fauna to discover. In addition to its vast gardens that span nearly 130 acres, the property is also home to a historical site that includes Native American, Rancho Period, and late 19th century treasures, and is also host to a variety of events and concerts, including the Sierra Summer POPS music series featuring conductor and musician Michael Feinstein (Editor’s Note: The 2020 season of POPS has been postponed to 2021). There are also ample classes in a variety of subjects with something for everyone of all ages, from gardening and horticulture workshops to oil painting and illustration—even goat yoga and forest bathing (which we assure isn’t as risqué as it sounds). 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, arboretum.org

Descanso Gardens

Descanso Gardens

An urban retreat of year-round natural beauty, Descanso Gardens is internationally renowned for its botanical collections and spectacular seasonal horticultural displays that span 150 acres. The garden also serves as the site for the historic Boddy House, built as the home of Descanso founder E. Manchester Boddy in the late 1930s. Little (and big) explorers can climb aboard Descanso’s Enchanted Railroad, a 1/8th-scale replica of a diesel train. 1418 Descanso Dr., La Cañada Flintridgedescansogardens.org

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

Equally renowned for its library and art collections, no trip to The Huntington would be complete without taking the time to wander through its expansive grounds, boasting 16 stunning themed gardens spread across 120 acres. The experienced (or aspiring) horticulturist can partake in The Huntington’s educational programming and events including botanical talks and lectures, gardening workshops and demonstrations, and plant sales. There’s also a series of kid and family-friendly programming such as weekend festivals and week-long day camps.  1151 Oxford Rd., San Marinohuntington.org

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