Dorothy Phillips Benson graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1936. That same year, she and her father began operation of the Arlington Gardens Nursery off Arlington Street. They donated plantings and landscaping for many parts of the university campus. In 1946 she donated the Benson garden around the Planetarium in memory of her just deceased husband, John. Ms. Benson not only made donations, but actually planted and worked in the garden. The garden contains many varieties of crabapples, plum, maples and evergreens; an area of drought tolerant plants, known as xeriscape, was added in 1986.