Tower Hill Botanic Garden is pleased to announce Mark Richardson has been hired as the director of horticulture for the nonprofit organization located in Boylston.

Richardson arrives from the New England Wild Flower Society where he worked as horticulture director since 2012. He led all aspects of the Society’s Horticulture and Horticulture Research and Development Departments, including the 45-acre native plant botanical garden, Garden in the Woods in Framingham, and Nasami Farm Native Plant Nursery in Whately.

Richardson succeeds Joann Vieira, who led Tower Hill's horticulture staff for nearly 30 years until she stepped away in March.

At Tower Hill, Richardson will oversee the organization’s living collection, which includes 17 gardens, indoor conservatories, growing areas, and surrounding woodlands. Richardson joins a team of directors led by CEO Grace Elton and will collaborate with each of Tower Hill’s departments in an effort to inspire visitors to strengthen their commitment to the natural world by using horticulture to improve lives and enrich communities.

“We’re very excited to have Mark on board,” Elton said. “His extensive experience in the field of horticulture is going to be an enormous benefit to Tower Hill’s staff, volunteers, and members. In this period of unprecedented growth at the garden, Mark’s expertise will help guide the organization’s horticulture operations into its next chapter of building gardens, focusing on plant collections, and increasing seasonal displays.”

Richardson has previously worked in the education department at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Md., and in the education department at Longwood Gardens, in Kennett Square, Penn. He received his bachelor’s degree in Urban Horticulture and Turfgrass Management from the University of Rhode Island and his master’s degree in Public Horticulture through the University of Delaware’s Longwood Graduate Program.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the Tower Hill community, which I’ve long admired,” said Richardson. “We have an excellent horticulture staff and exceptional plant collection. I couldn’t be more excited to help the organization reach its ambitious goals.”

Tower Hill Botanic Garden is overseen by the Worcester County Horticultural Society. The garden opened in 1986 and overlooks the Wachusett Reservoir with views of Wachusett Mountain. Tower Hill, which encompasses 171 acres, is open to the public in all four seasons, is 10 minutes from downtown Worcester and is less than an hour drive from Boston.