Susanna Grant

Susanna Grant is a planting designer who specialises in plants for shady spaces. She runs Linda, a dappled courtyard space in London’s Hackney that sells shade-loving plants for sills, balconies, courtyards and gardens. She has also written the Bloom Gardener's Guide - Shade - Work with the light, grow the right plants, bring dark corners to life. Portrait by Aloha Bonser Shaw.

Describe the nature around you at this moment?

I’m sitting in my very small courtyard garden in east London admiring a lovely pale pink epimedium (as you do) and listening to the bees which is making me very happy. A very loud, squawky gang of parakeets have just done a fly-by.

How would you describe your nature connection?

It’s something I feel very lucky to have. It’s hard sometimes living in a big city but I find seeing the weeds pushing through the cracks make me just as happy as walking through somewhere expansive like Hackney marshes. It’s definitely something that I look for no matter how urban the environment – I can be quite myopic when it comes to weeds!

Where do you feel most at ease?

Probably sitting in my back garden and zoning out, as the noise of the city and insects merge.

How can gardens heal ourselves and our communities?

I think enabling everyone access to outside space and encouraging more communal planting areas is really important to wellbeing. People can feel very isolated in cities and being part of something and caring for something can really help with that. I was thinking recently about how brilliant it would be if all future street trees were fruit trees and more public planting was edible and all the collective activities that could ensue from that.

This next photo is an image of a bench with edible planting by Dan Pearson.

Is there anything you’re curious about right now?

Why more public planting isn’t edible.

What’s your top tip?

Plant with others in mind, even if that’s just pollinators, and no matter how small a space something will grow there.

What kind of ancestor do you want to be?

Someone who added more green, rather than taking it away

What inspires you every day?


What are you reading, watching or listening to?

I’m reading Rag and Bone by Lisa Wollett and watching My Brilliant Friend. I’m listening to birdsong and sirens.

What question would you like to ask a future guest of #TheNatureKind?

Why isn’t more public planting edible?

Could you suggest someone else or other organisations you admire that we could approach for #TheNatureKind series?

Definitely – Sui Searle (@thetemperategardener / @decolonisethegarden) or Young propagators Society (@youngpropagatorssociety)

You can find out more on Susanna's website and Instagram.

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