Pasadena Garden Tour

by Posted On

This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit some exquisite gardens in Pasadena.

The Garden Conservancy  has “Open Days” all over the country;  where members with lovely gardens open them to the public to raise money for their group.  Their goal is to save and restore lovely gardens that are endangered all over the United States.

I grew up in Pasadena;  and most of the gardens were in the area I love the most.  The Arroyo Seco area.  It is a riverbed.  Once the Los Angeles River wound through it.  During the Depression, tragically, a concrete channel was built; and almost all of the beautiful native plants died.

About 15 years ago Brown-Ferris Inc. restored one large section; rerouting the water and planting.  It is amazing how it has come back.

Some of the gardens on this tour look over this arroyo.




This infinity pool overlooks the arroyo seco looking westward;  and the beautiful bridge which was restored as a landmark.  Teddy Roosevelt stood on it when he was President and declared ” this riverbed should be a Park!”  And it is.

This is a weeping mulberry bush trimmed to show the top and can you see the opening?  It is a “hut”

beautiful pond and planting on the way up to a garden overlooking the arroyo

the view from the top of  the hill seeing eastward over the arroyo to the San Gabriel Mountains

I have to find this doorbell!!!

and unusual “loggia” in front of a garage door

an inviting outside fireplace

tiny geraniums, violets and moss planted between the stones on a terrace

A beautiful day in my favorite neighborhood seeing beautiful gardens and learning creative and wonderful ideas!

7 thoughts on “Pasadena Garden Tour

  1. Marilyn Cataldie


    Lovely post….thank you. I think the loggia forward of the garage is an ingenious use of space! If you find that doorbell PLEASE let me know…I would love to have one also! It’s fabulous!

    Wishing you a Happy Mother’s Day!

    Baton Rouge, La.

    1. penelopebi

      I may have to have it made! If so; I will post on my blog and have more than one made! I am in love…….(as you can see from my little insignia) with California quail! We have a covey of more than 36!

      Thank you!!

  2. velvet and linen

    Pasadena is one of the most important architectural cities in California, in my opinion. The homes were built at just the right time.
    This looks like a wonderful tour. This must be your week to spend in stunning gardens!


    1. penelopebi

      Thank you my beloved Brooke! Aren’t we so blessed to live in Southern California when Spring is so obviously Spring; however, we don’t have to deal with so many other factors! Winter has few frosts…winter is when our vines lose their leaves………we don’t have to cover things with hay so they survive until the spring!
      I was truly blessed to grow up in Pasadena. Brooke; you are so correct! Many of the best architects west of the Mississippi were in Pasadena in the early and middle parts of the twentieth century. Greene and Greene brothers (the Gamble House being a museum and example); Reginald Johnson, Wallace Neff, Paul Williams, Roland Coate, Sylvanus Marston, Mr.Maybury, Myron Hunt; Mr. van Pelt. I believe that because so many wealthy mid-western families moved to Pasadena for their health; (escaping the weather and hoping for cure for tuberculosis); Pasadena was a hotbed of artists……(tile by Ernest Batchelder; paintings by American impressionists; and the Mannheim studios;to name a few) Pasadena was a magnet for creative and talented artists of many forms. I am so grateful to be able to grow up there…..surrounded by those trees and houses; and not even knowing their significance…..It just felt wonderful.

      I was lucky (and it was luck only) to have my first houseI owned myself be actually one of my favorite architects: Roland Coate’s very own house he built for himself. A cottage near the Arroyo……on California Terrace. I was 21!! It is still there….and an example of incredible architecture on a tiny lot. One block from the Arroyo Seco……(.another book??? We could write one!!!)

      Pasadena is truly a treasure trove of architecture…..beautiful neighborhoods……and especially old and magnificent trees! Old trees are important!

      I hope I gave a hint of that in my post!

  3. Trish

    Hi Penelope. Welcome to blogland…from the other side of the fence! Appreciate the garden tour. Nice row of trees under planted with iceberg roses and rosemary. Has a pleached look to it. Very pretty. Merci! Trish

    1. penelopebi

      thank you so much! I adore your blog and your taste! I am a bit shakey in blogland…….thank you for your support!

      I adore your blog….and Brooke has been more than supportive…….It certainly does bring like minds together in a way that has never existed before!

      I love that!!

  4. Danzey

    Loved your Arlington Gardens post and tour .

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