Holly H. Shimizu is a nationally recognized horticulturist, consultant, and educator.   With a rich background in all aspects of public gardens, extensive experience leading garden tours and workshops, and a proven commitment to plant conservation and sustainability, she has been making plants and gardens more accessible and exciting to both professionals and amateurs for over four decades.

Holly Shimizu in garden cropped


  • Lead of Environmental Committee for Glen Echo, Maryland to head efforts for healthy lawn and landscape care, sustainable garden efforts, and coordination of environmental programs.
  • Executive Director of the United States Botanic Garden, 2000 through 2014. Under Holly’s direction, the Botanic Garden, located adjacent to the U.S. Capitol on the National Mall, renovated the Conservatory, completed the National Garden, established a new partnership in the Sustainable Sites Initiative, created significant new plant collections and innovative exhibits, developed great staff and volunteers, expanded interpretative education programs, and much more.
  • Managing Director of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Virginia, 1996 to 2000
  • Assistant Executive Director of the U.S. Botanic Garden
  • Public Programs Manager, U.S. Botanic Garden
  • First Curator of the National Herb Garden at the U.S. National Arboretum, 1980 through 1988
  • Manager Potomac Garden Center, Potomac, Maryland
  • Gardener, Hillier Arboretum in England
  • Gardener, Arboretum Kalmthout in Belgium
  • Gardener, Royal Horticultural Society Garden, Wisley, UK


  • Founding partner of Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES)
  • Consultant to the White House Gardens and Camp David Plant Projects with Mrs. Laura Bush
  • Judge, Philadelphia Flower Show
  • International Flower Show Judge
  • Extensive Exhibit and Garden partnerships for over 30 years


  • Host of Victory Garden (television show on PBS) for ten years
  • Creator and presenter of numerous workshops, lectures and educational talks, for professional and amateur gardeners.
  • More information.


  • Temple University, Ambler Campus, Associate Degree in Horticulture and Landscape Design, 1974
  • Pennsylvania State University, BS in Horticulture, 1976
  • University of Maryland, MS in Horticulture, 1984
  • Washington College, Chestertown, Maryland, honorary degree of Doctor of Science, 2009


  • 2020 Scott Garden and Horticultural Medal and Award from Swarthmore College
  • Honorary Life Member Award from the American Public Gardens Association
  • Thomas Roland Medal for exceptional skill in horticulture from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society
  • Professional Award for an Outstanding Public Garden Director from the American Horticultural Society
  • Honorary Member of the Garden Club of America
  • Leadership Award, Architect of the Capitol
  • Herb Society of America Award for Outstanding Achievement in Horticulture
  • Distinguished Lecturer Award, American Horticulture Society
  • Pennsylvania State University, Outstanding Alumna
  • Hornsby Honorary Society
  • Temple University, Distinguished Alumnae
  • Germantown Academy, Distinguished Achievement Award
  • Pi Alpha Xi, Horticulture Honor Society



Numerous articles and videos on a variety of horticultural topics in national and local publications.  More information.


Together with her husband, Osamu, a garden designer who she met while working in Europe, Holly designed and maintains award-winning gardens at their home near the Potomac River in Glen Echo, MD, and around their 1730 house in Lewes, Delaware.