Grace Chapman Elton

Director of Horticulture

Grace Chapman Elton has a strong public gardens background with experience at premier gardens in the United States and United Kingdom.  During her tenure here, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden was named USA Today’s “#4 Best Public Garden in North America” and a “Top 10 North American Garden.”

Grace has a Master of Science in public horticulture with a certificate in museum studies from the Longwood Graduate Program, University of Delaware. Her Bachelor of Science degree is in agricultural interdisciplinary studies with a public gardens management specialization from University of Florida. As a recipient of the Martin McLaren Horticulture Scholar award presented by the Garden Club of America, Elton studied botanic garden education, practical horticulture, and landscape design in England at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Royal Horticulture Society Rosemoor, The Eden Project and the Chelsea Physic Garden; and in Scotland at the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh. Before moving to Richmond, Grace was an Adjunct Professor and Landscape Arboretum Supervisor at the Ambler Arboretum of Temple University.

She has served as lead horticulturist in award-winning group efforts at the 2006 Chelsea Flower Show and the 2009, 2010, and 2011 Philadelphia International Flower Shows.

Grace was honored as a “Top 40 Under 40” for Style Weekly Magazine in 2013.  She serves on the board of directors for the Central Virginia Nursery Landscape Association, the board of directors of the American Public Gardens Association, and the visiting committee at Longwood Gardens.  Grace writes a regular gardening column for Richmond Magazine’s R-Home. Her interests include traveling, gardening, beekeeping, quilting, brewing beer, and writing a craft and gardening blog.

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