Sylvia Duax

sylvia duax garden review board head shot
Title: Garden Review Board Member
Education: Tennessee Technological University
Location: Alexandria, VA
Expertise: U.S. native plants and native plant communities, wildlife and pollinator gardening, sustainable garden management, small space, urban and container gardening, garden display and design 

Sylvia Duax has 15+ years’ experience in public garden installation and management, which includes both informal public interaction and scheduled outreach programs. Her knowledge of Southeastern and mid-Atlantic plant species is extensive, and she has a deep interest in native plant communities, ecosystems, and ethnobotany. Sylvia believes in lifelong learning and has a strong commitment to helping diverse audiences develop, maintain and enhance the gardens that they love.


  • Garden Club of American/Royal Horticultural Society,  Interchange Fellow
  • Southeastern U.S. and Mid-Atlantic regional gardening expert 
  • Member of American Public Gardens Association and Perennial Plant Association 


As a small child, Sylvia began digging in the dirt with her father in east Tennessee where she was “chief worm hunter.” Upon graduating with a B.S. in Agriculture, with a concentration in Horticulture, she began working as a horticulturist at the Lurie Garden in Millennium Park, a prairie style garden set in an urban public park and later Chicago Botanic Garden, working with tropical and desert plant collections housed within display greenhouses. 

Wanting to enrich her knowledge and experience, she applied for and was awarded the Garden Clubs of America/ Royal Horticultural Society’s Interchange fellowship to work and study at some of the most iconic and highly regarded public gardens in the UK. After returning to the U.S., she began managing the 25-acre estate headquarters of the American Horticultural Society, where her work focused on sustainable garden management, utilizing native plantings as well as low-maintenance and water-wise garden design.

Currently, she designs and maintains garden spaces in the mid-Atlantic region focusing on wildlife gardens, native plant communities, and small-space and urban gardening challenges. She considers herself very fortunate to have followed her passion and made it into a rewarding career where she continues to get to dig in the dirt. 


Pursuing her lifelong love of gardening, Sylvia Duax earned her Bachelor's of Science in Agriculture with a concentration in Horticulture from Tennessee Technological University. She was awarded the Garden Clubs of America/ Royal Horticultural Society’s Interchange fellowship to work and study at: the Royal Horticultural Society, Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew, Edinburgh and Wales locations), the Eden Project, University of Sheffield, Tresco Abbey Gardens, and the Chelsea Flower Show.

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