Ivy building

John Little of The Grass Roof Company

Roots and All Podcast Episode 29 – Garden Design for Every Species with John Little of the Grass Roof Company

This week I’m speaking to John Little. John founded the Grass Roof Company in 1998 and for the past 20 years, he’s been designing and implementing gardens in public spaces that work for people, for plants and for wildlife.

Often working in urban locations, he installs wildlife habitats and planting in some unusual places including on roofs and structures such as cycle shelters. He also includes many edible plants in his schemes in order to create beautiful and useful spaces that engage the community.

Maintenance and management is a key focus, and is vital to the success and longevity of his projects. We also talk about the need to revise traditional maintenance practices in order to reduce costs, save time and preserve wildlife.

About John Little

“John’s life with green roofs started when he self built his own home in Essex. The green roof on John’s new house consisted of the standard green roof structure, onto which he literally dumped soil from the foundations. That was 17 years ago and the roof is still growing strong. A few years ago a colony of Bee Orchids appeared from nowhere!!

He has since designed and built small green roofs buildings throughout South Essex and London over the last 20 years. often combining the living roofs with habitat walls made designed to support solitary bees.

John’s company the Grass Roof Company does landscape contracting and green roof construction in Essex and London. John also part owns Green Roof Shelters, a company that produces modular design bike, bin and freight container green roofs..”

What We Cover:

How John creates gardens that mimic brownfield sites

Green roofs

The Clapton Park Estate project

Including edible plants in a community garden

John’s favourite trees and herbaceous plants for wildlife


John’s Design Practice – The Grass Roof Company

Green Roof Shelters – the sister company to The Grass Roof Company, specialising in buildings and structures incorporating green roofs of all types

Online Guide to building Green Roofs – co-authored by John Little & Dusty Gedge

John on Twitter @grassroofco

Share this Podcast!

Related Podcasts