Jean Walton was born in San Jose, California, in 1910 and raised by her mother in Berkeley after the death of her father. She earned a bachelor’s degree in applied arts from the California School of Arts and Crafts in 1934. In 1940, she began working for Dorothy Thorpe, a glass and dinnerware designer based in Los Angeles. During World War II, Walton received special training to work at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation in Los Angeles, where she worked as a drafting engineer until 1945. After the war, she took a secretarial position in the office of landscape architects Florence Yoch and Lucille Council. In 1948, Walton began working towards her B.L.A. at the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1950. She began working for Lawrence Halprin part-time in 1949, transitioning to full-time employment upon her graduation. As Halprin’s first employee, Walton initially performed many duties but soon became the firm’s true plant expert. She contributed to almost all the firm’s projects until the mid-1960s. In 1967, Walton was sent to Washington, D.C., to receive the Landscape Award from the American Association of Nurserymen for the design of Oakbrook Shopping Center in Oak Brook, Illinois, a project in which she played an important part, and one that she considered among the most gratifying. Having long demurred promotion, she became a principal at the firm in the late 1960s. In 1969, Walton’s involvement in the firm’s work lessened. She consulted on projects from 1970 to 1971 and played a pivotal role in the planting plans for Skyline Park in Denver (constructed from 1972 to 1975). Walton was involved at least initially in the planting concept for Freeway Park in Seattle (the first phase opening in 1976). Never having married and without children, she retired in 1975 and passed away in 1994.