London gardening accounts, activists and creators you should know


here’s a host of London-based horticultural designers sharing their experiences, tips and thoughts online.

Here are the gardening experts and activists you should know about right now.

Guerrilla gardener Ellen Miles (@OctaviaChill) reclaims neglected green spaces

/ Instagram/@OctaviaChill

On TikTok and Instagram, green activist Ellen Miles’ guerrilla gardening tips exploded during the pandemic, as she reclaimed neglected green spaces with plants, flowers and seed bombs.

She started, demystifying the art of guerrilla gardening for beginners and giving tips on how to identify potential spots and “dream green” for your community.

It’s easy to dismiss gardening as unpolitical, but it’s far from it. Highlighting the dark side of gardening and holding institutions to account with the intention of bringing about positive change, @decolonisethegarden, founded by Sui Searle (@thetemperategardener) has become a tour de force in solving issues of race, d equality and colonialism in horticulture.

Errol Reuben Fernandes is head of horticulture at the Horniman Museum in south London

/ Handout

Garden designer and head of horticulture at the Horniman Museum, Errol Reuben Fernandes is pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved in a London garden as the climate warms.

Follow James Hitchmough’s planting of meadows, new dry gardens and the planting of near-natural miyawaki trees.

Founded by Tayshan Hayden-Smith – pictured above with fellow director Danny Clarke – when the community turned to gardening and nature in the aftermath of Grenfell, Grow2know is a grassroots group on a mission to reclaim the green spaces and use them as a catalyst for positive change in the community.

Sixto Juan Cavala of @QueerBotany seeks to unearth a new way of looking at the plants around us

/ Handout

Taking a two-way look at botany and gardening from a queer perspective, @queerbotany asks, “How can botany be queer and how can homosexuality be botanical?”

From plants that are inherently ‘queer’, having both male and female flowers, to interpreting marginalized perspectives through plants and green spaces, the project started by Sixto-Juan Zavala seeks to unearth a new way to look at and think about the plants that surround us. we.

Head gardener at Clapham’s Eden Nature Garden, Benny Hawksbee is in his own words a “conscientious gardener” whose feed mainly includes beautiful images of the lesser-known wildlife found while he gardens and the occasional nature commentary following. of climate change.

Among the wildlife in its highlights are amusing but slightly depressing examples of a plant butcher where someone was satisfied with the trigger with a saw and pruning shears.

Ula Maria’s feed is the ultimate in inspiration for small gardens

/ Rebecca Kennington

Sharing content from her garden design creations and insights from other gardens, landscape architect Ula Maria’s stream is the ultimate in small garden inspiration. Check out its highlights for planting combinations and tips for making the most of small spaces.

If trees are your thing, look no further than Paul Wood’s account. Author of London Tree Walks. This is a photo documentary about some of London’s rarest street trees alongside some of its most ubiquitous. If you want to learn more about London’s 900,000 street trees, there’s no better place to start!

Urban forager Izzy takes us on a tour of London’s edible plants

/ Andy traces

Professional urban forager Izzy shares her findings on London’s edible flora and fungi. From alien crumpets (black morels) to three-horned leeks (a type of wild garlic), you can dine right on your doorstep. She regularly offers foraging walks.

Three gardeners at Chelsea Physic Garden, London’s oldest botanic garden, are bringing it into the 21st century with TikTok videos and Instagram reels. Get a behind-the-scenes look at their greenhouse restoration, enjoy plant transformations, ASMR watering, and gardening tips and tricks.

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