Born in Oregon, Lord attended grade school at Oregon public schools and in Buenos Aires, where her father held a diplomatic post. Influenced by her mother’s interest in gardens, she decided to pursue landscape architecture as a profession. Lord entered the Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture in Groton, Massachusetts in 1926. While on a European study tour sponsored by the Lowthorpe and Cambridge schools, Lord met Edith Schryver, another Lowthorpe graduate. The two formed a partnership in Salem, Oregon, where they practiced from 1929 until their retirement in 1970. Focusing on private residential garden design, their work was formal, with clearly delineated outdoor rooms. Lord concentrated on planting design, while Schryver was primarily responsible for design and construction drawings. In addition to their own residence, Gaiety Hollow, the two also did work at the Deepwood Estate in Salem (1935), Reed College in Portland (1939), the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, and various Salem parks. From 1952 to 1968 Lord designed the grounds of the historic Minthorn House in Newberg, Oregon, the boyhood home of President Herbert Hoover.
In addition to serving on the Salem Parks Board (1937-1946) and the Salem Parks Advisory Committee, Lord was a member of the state's Capitol Planning Commission (1949-1963), chairperson of the Willamette Valley Division of the State Federation of Garden Clubs, chairperson of Salem's Tree Committee, board member and president of the Salem Art Association, and member of the Salem Garden Club. Lord and Schryver wrote articles on design for the Portland Oregonian, contributed to the local radio show “Home Garden House,” and taught for a short time at Oregon State Agricultural College. Lord passed away in Salem at the age of 88.