Raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, Lambert was exposed to garden design at a young age through the work of his father, landscape architect Joe Lambert, Sr. He majored in art and urban planning at Columbia University before joining his father’s firm Lambert’s Gardens. In 1935, he opened a branch of the practice as the Lambert Landscape Company in Dallas, Texas, where, that same year, the Shreveport firm had successfully introduced azaleas into the garden of Texas oilman Walter Lechner. The design/build firm which would be the first of its kind in Dallas, became well known for the design of classical estates and gardens. Numerous talented designers worked for the firm as it grew, including Carl Johnson, Clarence Roy, Richard Myrick, and Gene Schrickel. The ideas of these designers, as well as changing views of landscape, helped the firm bridge the traditions of classical landscape architecture with those of Modernism. Important projects included the Texas Governor’s Mansion in Austin, the Beverly Hilton Hotel, Tres Vidas Golf Club in Acapulco, and the Hibiscus Fountain as a memorial to Southern Heroes of War in Dallas’ Lee Park.
Lambert actively worked to promote gardening in the Dallas area, and in 1941 organized the first city-wide garden show. He also became known for developing a mossy-green paint color which was manufactured for widespread sale under the name Lambert Green. Upon retirement he and his wife purchased the Villa Chericati in Italy where his work can be seen in the gardens of the 25-acre estate.