The Harmony Garden of Pasadena

Ryan Mccoy
4 min readFeb 19, 2020


On a Friday afternoon that could be considered to be one of the nicest days of the year so far, similar to one coming out of hibernation from a long winter, as the garage opens, she walks out with hand shovels and buckets and with a noticeable smile on her face, she sets for work in her garden.

“Usually you can’t get much done during the winter months cause nothing is growing,” garden enthusiast Jodi Burton said. “With spring just around the corner, I thought I’d come out here and see if anything needed to be cut or re soiled.”

For Jodi, her garden is a sanctuary, a place where she can go to feel at peace and do something that has been apart of her family growing up. Jodi grew up in Glendale, CA where she first learned about her passion of gardening from her mother and now lives in Pasadena, CA where she is close to her parents. Her home in Pasadena also has special meaning to her as it was originally her grandmother’s.

Jodi digging up soil to place a new plant (Ryan Mccoy)

“She lived here her whole life and my parents didn’t want to sell the place after she had passed away so I decided that I would move in.”

When you drive by the property it really stands out just based on from the garden that swamps the front yard and how well the place its taken care of. For Pasadena, owning a home in the city really has done wonders for those on the housing market due to the fact that Pasadena has become a hot commodity for families looking for homes in the area as according to Census Reporter, the average home value in Pasadena is $840,000.

“I wouldn’t believe you if you told me my house is worth nearly $800,000 dollars,” Jodi said jokingly, “but I can understand why people would want to move here. There’s a lot here to do especially in downtown and there are some great schools that I bet families with kids would be interested in.”

Even though it would seem that Jodi couldn’t be happier about her situation, it wasn’t always easy. Growing up, Jodi’s relationship with her parents had it difficulties as at a young age, she moved out and got married and moved to San Diego which her parents didn’t agree with and it and it ruined her marriage.

“I was young and I didn’t make the best decisions early on” she said, “but I wouldn’t be the person that I am today if I didn’t learn any lessons from it and I’m just glad I still have my parents in my life.”

For Jodi, family is everything and even after her divorce she made it a priority to reshape the relationship that she had with her parents and regain their trust. Jodi’s marital status based on data in Pasadena is in the minority as in the city, 55% of residents are single, but out of that percentage, those who have been married and divorced that are women which fits Jodi criteria the percentage is 9.8%.

Once she moved to Pasadena, Jodi wanted to do something she wasn’t able to do after she had gotten married which was getting a college degree.

“I was always busy with work and other things that I just never had any time to even think about going back to college and finishing, she said. “After moving, I knew this was the time I wanted to finish and get a job in a field I wanted to be in.”

Jodi originally attended the College of Desert in La Quinta, CA where she was working in getting a degree in child development but did not finish her degree. She would then attend Pasadena City College and with the assistance of programs such as CalFresh and FAFSA where she was able to focus solely on her schooling, she was able to complete her degree.

“I just couldn’t take the pressure from work, school, and my parents anymore,” Jodi noted. “With the assistance of programs that helped me pay off my tuition and fees, I wasn’t stressed out about anything and could stay focused on getting my degree and its something i’m proud of.”

For residents in Pasadena, Jodi’s education level fits in with the majority as according to Census Reporter, 27.8% of residents have a college degree.

For Jodi, Pasadena gave her a second chance in life where she was able to mend her relationship with her parents, get the degree she’s always wanted, and continue her hobby of working in her grandmother’s garden where she hopes to spend as much time as she can working and perfecting her garden in her honor.



Ryan Mccoy

Aspiring journalist and sports fan attending California State University Northridge