Early life and education
Greely was born in Washington, D.C.. She was the daughter of Adolphus Greely and his wife, Henrietta H.C. Nesmith.
Greely studied fine art at a number of different organizations, including Maryland Agricultural College, the Art Institute of Chicago, where she studied interior design, and metal work while in Washington. In Florence, Italy, she studied silver repoussé and metal enameling before deciding to study landscape architecture. She returned to the United States to attend Smith College, studying under Henry Frost and graduating around 1920.
Career in Architecture
After graduation, she worked for Fletcher Steele, and served on the staff of House Beautiful for one year. She then moved back to Washington where she worked in landscape architecture for Horace Peaslee. In 1925 she began her own architectural firm. Independently, she worked on many local private homes, military landscapes, schools, real estate developments, government housing, outdoor theaters, playgrounds, gardens, roads, country estates, and more. She worked throughout the United States including New England and in Mexico. She was the only woman to work on the advisory board for the Colonial Williamsburg restoration project.