A snapshot biography of Beatrix Farrand

Beatrix Farrand

When Beatrix Farrand decided to pursue landscape architecture as a career in the late 1800s, there were no formal schools for teaching the necessary skills and women could not take part in public projects. But she was determined, worked hard, and her family was one of means. They introduced Beatrix to mentors who taught her many lessons including the importance of being “respectful of nature’s order, [that] humans should not dominate a landscape with their own ideas and personalities.”  Or as Beatrix would say, “this first lesson is to learn to adapt one’s self to Nature’s key, as she is a lady intolerant of discords, and so our exotic efforts are quickly subdued by her, she will disintegrate unless a continuous battle is waged.” Such became her guiding principle for design.

Beatrix opened her own firm and achieved prominence quickly, becoming the only female founder of the American Society of Landscape Architects. She went on to design myriad projects for universities and private residences, including the White House.


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  • PEARSON, CARMEN. “Introducing the Life and Work of Beatrix Farrand, Landscape Gardener and Writer (1872–1959).” Legacy, vol. 25, no. 1, 2008, pp. 128–141. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/25679635. Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.