Syretha Brooks ’08 is a horticulturist and garden designer based in Midcoast Maine. She manages a team of horticulturists, coordinates and participates in all areas of garden maintenance for clients, and designs both perennial and annual plantings for residences along Maine’s Midcoast region. She has previously worked as a staff horticulturist at both New York City’s Wave Hill Gardens and Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine.
Syretha first discovered her love of working with plants as a teenager, and her time at Smith College was instrumental in deepening that passion through both academic classes and working with John Berryhill, then Smith College Arborist, and in the green houses with Rob Nicholson, then Smith College Botanic Garden Conservatory Manager. While she majored in art with a concentration in printmaking, plants were never far from her mind, with most of her artwork featuring flora, and her senior thesis was a take on reimagining the art of scientific illustration. Upon graduation from Smith, she leapt into horticulture as a career, first doing a full-season internship at Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum, then continuing into first private and then public horticulture. Syretha takes great pride in making landscapes both beautiful places for people, and sustainable places for the local ecosystem and climate, native pollinators, insects, and birds.
She is privileged to give back to Smith and the Botanic Garden of Smith College by serving as chair of the Alum Engagement Committee for the Friends Leadership Council.