Holly H. Shimizu is a nationally recognized horticulturist, consultant, and educator living in Maryland. 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.


Figgy and Fiona Search for a Home is now available on Amazon! (hard cover coming soon). Written and illustrated by Holly Shimizu.

The story of Figgy and Fiona searching for a home takes you through the risks and rewards of being a frog. After leaving their home, they try to find a safe haven, but the threats are many. Along their journey, they come upon a variety of creatures who will eat them, a barren neighborhood, a bull dozer, and a person spraying his garden to kill insects. Finally, they find a safe haven in the garden of a woman who loves frogs.

The Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College has awarded Holly Shimizu with this year’s Scott Medal and Award, given annually to an individual who, in the opinion of the Selection Committee, has made an outstanding national contribution to the science and the art of gardening. Watch the virtual presentation of the Award and a gardening conversation with Holly from October 29.


Join me for a virtual tour of my garden In Lewes, Delaware. First we move through the front garden which has a design inspired by the Early American Dooryard Garden. Plants in this garden are included for their herbal use, pollinator attraction, as well as native plants, and fragrant plants. The design is intended to fit appropriately with the house which was built in 1730. Then (starting around 5:10) we look at some of the fountains, growing lotus in containers, a hardy pomegranate shrub, and a tree that may be a weed. In the final segment (starting at 9:50) we focus on the Courtyard garden, created as a garden of gorgeous foliage and as an enclosed, serene space.


Current Projects (Winter 2020-2021):

Currently Holly is working as a Horticultural Consultant at the Arlington National Cemetery.


Holly wrote and illustrated a book for children about frogs and their habitats, now available on Amazon: Figgy and Fiona Search for a Home. 


Holly is now on The Board of Trustees of The American Botanical Council, publishers of the magazine Herbalgram, based in Austin Texas.


Holly serves as Secretary and Head of the Awards Program of the American Horticultural Society (AHS). The AHS connects people to gardening, raises awareness of earth-friendly gardening practices, introduces children to plants, brings together leaders to address important national issues, and showcases the art and science of horticulture. Please visit their website for more information.


Holly is leading the Environmental Committee for Glen Echo, Maryland to head efforts for healthy lawn and landscape care, sustainable garden efforts, and coordination of environmental programs. She recently designed and implemented a pollinator and wildlife habitat garden in Glen Echo. She writes a monthly column for “The Echo“, a local publication.


Upcoming garden travel programs: Treasures of Japan, June 11-20, 2021 and Gardens of Bavaria, September 3-11, 2021. See garden tours page for info.