Taina is a horticulturist, environmental biologist, garden designer and researcher at the Fifth Dimension - Green Roofs in Urban Areas research group of the University of Helsinki. Her research concentrates particularly on the environmental
change and policy with regard to green roofs in urban areas. She lectures at various educational institutions on green roofs, gardening and design, and frequently writes articles in gardening magazines on matters relating to horticulture, gardening, landscaping
and the environment.
She was a member of the Executive Committee of the Urban Diversity research project (2010-2013), coordinated by the University of Tampere and also worked as an expert for the "Deck and Roof Gardens and Green Roofs Committee" on
the renewal of the RT 85-10709, the national building code on the subject matter.
Taina obtained her first professional qualifications in the field, the British Higher National Diploma (HND) in Horticulture in Northern Ireland. For over fourteen years
she has worked for leading British garden designers (Carol Klein, Andy Sturgeon, Thomas Hoblyn, Paul Stone, Nigel Dunnett, Catherine MacDonald, Mark Gregory), mainly as Planting Designer on several award-winning designs at the world-renowned Chelsea Flower
She is the "mother" and plant and landscape designer of the Greenest of the Green award-winning block of flats project in Helsinki, which combines green walls and roof gardens with research of both the plants and environmental aspects as well
as the impact of the greenery on the community living in the building, i.e. sociological and communal factors.
Taina is constantly busy designing roof gardens, gardens and greeneries in urban settings, many of them in notable locations (National Housing
Fair in Vantaa, Finland, and the afore-mentioned "Greenest of the Green" block of flats project, comprising research green roofs, biodiversity kitchen garden, berry forest garden and a deck garden and many others). At the Barbican Center Roof Garden
in London, she worked together with prof. Nigel Dunnett.
Her previous positions of trust include the Deputy Chairperson of the Association of Green Environment (VYL, 4 years) and the Chairperson of the Garden Builders' Association (Puutarhanrakentajat
ry). Between 2012-2015 she was the Chairperson of Finnish Horticulturists’ Association.
She joined the Scandinavian Green Roof Association (SRGA) as a Member of the Executive Board in the beginning of 2015.
She offers a variety of gardening-related
services with dedicated professionalism, which has earned her some appropriate feedback:
"Thank you Taina - my go-to person for show garden planting - a true ecological artist with plants." Nigel Dunnett, Professor of Planting Design and
Vegetation Technology, and Director of The Green Roof Centre, University of Sheffield. BBC & RHS Show Garden, Hampton Court, London"
"Very skilled horticulturalist. Pleasant to work with and an extremely good eye for plant combinations". Anne
Hamilton, Landscape Designer Fox Gardens
"Taina is a passionate expert in gardening and landscaping. She has strong visions to improve the branch in overall but can implement small pieces of garden heavens here and now as well! Trusted colleague,
business partner and friend." Eeva Ek, CEO, Terassi Media Oy
"Taina Suonio on perehtynyt kasvillisuuden hyödyntämiseen kaupunkisuunnittelussa ja -rakentamisessa. Alallaan hän on johtavia konsultteja Suomessa ja luotettava
yhteistyökumppani." Jussi Hietalahti, CEO, J10 Architects Ltd
"Suonio and I worked together at the Chelsea Flower Show on several show gardens. Suonio was a major asset when it came to the planting of the gardens. She is extremely
hard working, reliable, and very dedicated to the 'perfect finish'. Suonio is always great fun to be around and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend her." David Dodd, Owner & Managing Director, The Ourdoor Room Ltd
"Taina worked with
me to help with the planting of my show garden at the Chelsea Flower Show 2012. She was an incredibly dedicated and hard working... also showed the most fantastic sense of artistry when working with plants, combined with a very practical attitude." Nigel
Dunnett, Professor of planting design, University of Sheffield