Born in Philadelphia to a large and prominent family, Paul received his A.B. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1899 and went on to Harvard to study horticulture and agriculture at the Bussey Institution. After graduating in 1901, he briefly served as a teaching assistant to Arthur Shurcliff and Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., before returning to Philadelphia in 1902 to serve as landscape gardener to Fairmount Park, and to open his own landscape architecture firm.
Paul was amongst the earliest professional landscape architects in the Philadelphia area, antedating Jacques Gréber and Thomas Sears by more than a decade. His firm designed a number of extensive suburban estate gardens primarily located in Philadelphia’s Main Line, often in collaboration with leading local architects, including Horace Trumbauer. Projects outside Philadelphia include landscapes at High Gate mansion in West Virginia, Montpelier in Virginia, and the Hershey mansion and the planned community at Hershey, Pennsylvania. Within a short period of time, Paul had established himself as an authority on horticulture and landscape architecture, frequently contributing to publications such as Horticulture, House and Garden, and The Garden Magazine. After his death in 1915, associates Arthur F. Paul and Stephen Ford carried the firm forward as Paul & Ford, which operated as Dreher, Churchman, Paul and Ford between 1919 and 1922.