Perry Hunt Wheeler (1913-1989), a Georgia native, began his higher education at Emory University, going on to graduate from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1937. Immediately afterward Wheeler enrolled in Harvard University from which he earned a graduate degree in Landscape Architecture in 1938. After graduation, Wheeler collaborated on garden projects in Atlanta, Georgia with fellow landscape architect Helen Hawkins Clarke. During World War II, Wheeler moved to Washington, D.C. to serve under the Office of Civilian Defense and the Office of Strategic Services Camouflage Division. Following the war, Wheeler worked at Garden House a Georgetown shop where he advised homeowners on tasteful garden design, accessories, and furnishings. By 1948 Wheeler had established a landscape architecture practice in Washington, D.C. His practice grew via word of mouth through Washington's social circles and through a shared office with landscape architect Rose Ishbel Greely, and later with architect Gertrude Sawyer.
In 1947, he formed a 'bachelor household' in Georgetown with James Snitzler. Later, at the invitation of Rachel Lambert "Bunny" Mellon, he and Snitzler created a second home outside of Washington called "Spring Hill" on property owned by Mellon. Shortly after Snitzler's death in 1968, Wheeler moved permanently to Middleburg, Virginia and continued to travel, lecture, and consult with clients. Wheeler semi-retired in 1981 to 'Budfield,' a property in Rectortown, Virginia where he passed away in 1989, leaving his estate to his partner, James M. Stengle.
Wheeler is best known for his work on private gardens in Washington's Georgetown neighborhood. He frequently employed the use of intricate brickwork, low-maintenance planting, and simple water features in creating his charming and functional designs. His most noteworthy commissions outside the private realm include collaboration with Bunny Mellon on the White House Rose Garden, designing a Garden Club of America-commissioned gazebo and its surroundings for the U.S. National Arboretum, and plantings for the National Cathedral and President John F. Kennedy's gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery.