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Ronda M. Brands, Designer and Horticulturist
Ronda M. Brands is a freelance garden designer and horticulturist, designing both public parks and private gardens in the New York City area and beyond. Partnering with Lynden B. Miller since 2008, current and ongoing public projects include the Bayard Cutting Arboretum Garden Walk; the British Garden at Hanover Square; the Entry Garden at Hudson River Park; reinvigoration of the Heather Garden at Fort Tryon Park; consultation and design for the Museum of Modern Art, Columbia University, Princeton University, and Stony Brook University; and the gardens at the US Supreme Court.
In addition to her work as a designer, Ms. Brands has edited several books on public parks and horticulture for Norton Publishing, including Lynden B. Miller’s award-winning Parks, Plants, and People: Beautifying the Urban Landscape and Alexander Garvin’s Public Parks: The Key to Livable Communities. She is also an adjunct lecturer at Columbia University, teaching a class on advanced planting design.
Ms. Brands received her horticulture diploma from The New York Botanical Garden’s School of Professional Horticulture, with additional training in landscape design from Harvard University’s Landscape Institute. Her gardening experience was augmented with work as a student gardener at NYBG and as a gardening intern at Central Park’s Conservatory Garden. Ms. Brands is a member of the Metro Hort Group (New York), the New York Horticultural Society, and the American Horticultural Society and serves on the Advisory Council for the New York Botanical Garden’s School of Professional Horticulture. Garden design awards include selection of her team’s designs for both the spring and summer student gardens for 2008 at The New York Botanical Garden and best shade garden award from Fenway Community Gardens in 2004.
Prior to her work in garden design, Ms. Brands worked for nearly two decades in arts administration for nonprofit organizations, including the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and the New England Conservatory of Music. In addition to her diploma in horticulture, she holds a master’s in English from St. Bonaventure University and a bachelor’s in English from Wells College.