Longwood Gardens veteran named DBG director of horticulture


Ray Sander, president of Delaware Botanic Gardens (DBG) announced this week that the DBG Board of Directors has appointed Brian W. Trader, Ph.D., as the new DBG deputy executive director and director of horticulture, effective Aug. 1.

“As we evolve from building a garden to operating a public garden, we knew that we needed to expand our talented team. With the addition of Brian Trader, we have a distinguished, professional horticultural leader to help guide DBG’s long-term growth,” Sander said.

Trader has worked over the last nine years at Longwood Gardens, which DBG representatives called “the recognized gold standard of public gardens.”

“Dr. Trader has demonstrated that rare combination of intellectual expertise, management leadership and practical horticulture experience,” they said. “As director of domestic and international studies at Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, Pa., Brian has been a teacher and mentor to hundreds of future horticultural leaders. Brian has lectured extensively, and has authored and co-authored dozens of journal articles.

“Brian Trader is the right person to take this new role as deputy executive director and director of horticulture,” Sander concluded. “His addition to our team is happening at the right time as DBG opens to the public in September 2019.”

Trader holds a doctorate. in horticulture, master’s degree in life sciences and bachelor’s degree horticulture, all from Virginia Tech. He was chair of the Membership Advisory Council of the National Association of Landscape Professionals and is currently a board member of the American Society for Horticultural Science.

Trader said, “As a Delmarva native, I couldn’t be more excited to join a passionate team in the opening of new gardens for our coastal communities. The opportunity to enrich the lives of Delmarva residents and guests through our inspiring and educational gardens is a dream.

“I would be remiss if I did not tip my hat to the many volunteers, from board members to garden stewards and hospitality docents who have brought this new and fast-growing public garden to life,” he added.

DBG Executive Director Sheryl Swed said, “This is a great opportunity for DBG and for Brian. We are fortunate to have a Longwood Gardens veteran join our executive team. Brian has all the experience and tools to help us to move this legacy garden forward.

“Creating a public garden from a former soybean field and inaccessible woodlands takes the dedication and commitment of a team. This project is a success because of all of us, not just any one of us. Our volunteers, friends, donors, staff and business partners are making it happen. Brian will help to keep us on course and open a new chapter of creative leadership.”

DBG Vice President and Volunteer Coordinator Carol McCloud noted, “Our volunteers are eager to learn more about our native horticulture and gardening. Brian’s credentials, professional experience and dedication to education will enhance all of our volunteers’ experience at DBG.”

The 37-acre DBG will open the garden gates to the public in September 2019. The “crown jewel” in the gardens is the 2-acre Piet Oudolf Meadow Garden, designed by the internationally renowned Dutch designer.

The mission of the DBG is to create an inspirational, educational and sustainable public garden in Delaware for the benefit and enjoyment of all. The Delaware Botanic Gardens will celebrate the coastal plain with a sustainable garden designed to delight and educate visitors and inspire them to preserve Delmarva’s native landscape.

For further information on the Delaware Botanic Gardens, including membership, giving and volunteering, go to www.delawaregardens.org.