Born in Toledo, Ohio, Berdan attended Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, and the École des Beaux-Arts in Fontainebleau, France. She trained as an interior designer, and worked at the Arden Studio in New York City before turning her attention to horticulture. Berdan built a career designing small gardens and pocket parks in and around Greenwich Village in Manhattan, including the St. John’s in the Village Episcopal Church garden in 1974, the Jane Street Garden during the late 1970s, and the Sheridan Square Viewing Garden on a triangular traffic island (a former parking lot) in 1982. During this period, Berdan became a dedicated advocate of community gardens- which she elevated with formal design. When the Women’s House of Detention in Greenwich Village was demolished in 1974, Berdan joined local efforts to reclaim the lot as a neighborhood park. The campaign was successful and the lot was transferred to the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, to be maintained by a committee of local residents. Berdan designed the garden in 1975, and remained involved in its stewardship for many years following. Berdan also completed a number of private commissions, including the spring garden at the home of horticulturalist Patricia Mason, one of the largest private gardens in Greenwich Village, and was a founding member of the Manhattan chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society. She died at the age of 91 at her home in Greenwich Village.