Now almost 20 years old, the Asian gardens sprang up spontaneously in the early '80s on scuzzy vacant lots in East Dallas at a time when the federal government was dumping tens of thousands of bewildered Southeast Asian refugees into Dallas slums. The gardens were a place of refuge and peace for people who had seen too much war and chaos. Now the refugees are no longer bewildered; most have moved north into the suburbs and are very upwardly mobile. But they still come back and maintain the gardens as a kind of informal shrine to their arrival in a tough new world. Visitors are always welcome, and hours are informal, mainly from early morning to late afternoon. A little piece of a far-away world.