“The whole question of landscape development—streets, parks, private places—is a matter of design. In order to create a successful whole it is necessary to think, not so much of the individual plant, as of its place in the whole scheme. I think that the work of a landscape architect is interesting because he is dealing largely with living things that grow and change from year to year.”
November 12, 1934
Rose Greely’s childhood interest in wildlife led her to study agriculture at the University of Maryland. She also dabbled in metal works and interior decorating, but discovered a true love for architecture and landscape architecture at the Smith College, where she met Gertrude Sawyer and other women designers.
After completing her education, Greely found many different jobs: she wrote articles for House Beautiful while working as a draftsman in the office of Fletcher Steele. When she moved to DC she was employed by architect Horace Peaslee. Greely became the first licensed female architect in DC and established her own practice.
Greely was known for her residential design and city gardens which took on an Arts and Crafts style with nuances of Spanish and Colonial Revivals. Her experiences as a child and her education influenced Greely’s designs to establish harmony between the interior and exterior of the home, blurring the threshold that divides landscape from architecture. She had over 500 commissions as an architect and landscape architect, which reveals the success of the practice she had built for herself.
“I never have the same request twice. It is fun to do jobs that give you a problem right from the beginning”
–Interview with Rose Greely” Christian Science Monitor, June 1954