Friday, October 31, 2008

Arlington Garden to be wish tree home

Arlington Garden in Pasadena will be the new home for the 21 crape myrtle trees that have formed an integral component of the Yoko Ono Wish Trees for Pasadena art installation that has been on display at One Colorado since August 2, 2008. Visitors have been writing their wishes on pieces of paper and hanging them on the tree branches at a furious pace since August. To date, trees are covered in more than 80,000 individually written wishes by the general public.

Wishes will be "harvested" by a team of volunteers organized by the Armory Center for the Arts, the collaborator with One Colorado on this art project, Sunday, November 9 from 3:00 to 5:00 P.M.

They will then be sent to Yoko Ono, to be joined with others from around the world. Later, they will be placed in specially constructed capsules in the area surrounding Yoko Ono’s Imagine Peace Tower on Videy Island, off the coast of ReykjavÌk, Iceland.

Dedicated to the memory of John Lennon, the tower, a column of light emanating from a stone base with a radius of about 10 meters, is lit for two months each year starting on October 9, John Lennon’s birthday, and ending on December 9, the anniversary of his death.

The 21 crape myrtle trees themselves will then be relocated to Arlington Garden and planted there permanently. A formal dedication and ceremony to welcome the trees to their new home will be held on Saturday, November 15 from 10:00 to 12 noon at Arlington Garden.

"It is our hope that these trees, which have served such a useful purpose as part of this wonderful art installation, can now rest and build new life in this public garden," states Betty McKenney, co-founder of Arlington Garden with her husband Charles. "We will be dedicating these trees to Yoko Ono, and to the spirit that she has ignited in people all over the world."

The area that the trees will occupy is intended to become a contemplative place, an environment where people can commune with nature and meditate surrounded by beauty. Since opening on August 2, Wish Trees for Pasadena itself has evolved into a multifaceted snapshot into people's hearts, with wishes demonstrating an astounding range of expression. From the whimsical to the sublime, the personal to the global, they tell the story of aspirations, deepest hopes and sometimes humorous observations about the world around us.

Arlington Garden is a demonstration Mediterranean climate garden located at 275 Arlington Drive in Pasadena. Sitting on three acres, Arlington Garden has evolved from an exceptional collaboration among Betty and Charles McKenney, the City of Pasadena, Pasadena Water & Power and numerous individual supporters.

In just three-and-a-half years, the Garden has become home to 2,300 trees and Mediterranean climate plants and uncounted California Poppies and other wildflowers each spring. It has become a popular place to learn about Mediterranean climate gardening and to enjoy a bit of serenity in an ever-urbanized community.

For further information on how to volunteer or to attend the Sunday, November 9 harvesting of the wishes, please call the Armory at 626.792.5101 ext. 116. For further information on the dedication ceremony at Arlington Garden, please call District 6 field representative Takako Suzuki at (626)744-4739 or Betty and Charles McKenney at (626) 441-4478.

For general information please call 626.792.5101 ext. 116 or visit

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