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Nature's Pantry.


Designed and installed by Sarah McLauchlan Gardens, and made possible with funding provided by the Open Gardens Victoria


Nature's Pantry aspires to be an all-encompassing edible oasis providing sustenance, solace and sanctuary for all living creatures.  The plantingdesign has an ornamental productive focus, with structural evergreen foliage to ensure it is beautiful all year round. It features ideas for the home gardener to make the most of small spaces including an array of edible plants, ideas for recycling and reusing materials, strategies to boost biodiversity and habitat in gardens to promote healthy ecosystems.

Sarah McLauchlan Gardens designs gardens tailored to our client's preferences, emphasising the beauty of plants and encouraging people to embrace and cherish their outdoor spaces. We work in Melbourne, the Mid North Coast and beyond.

Read more about Nature's Pantry and Open Gardens Victoria here

Nature's Pantry Gallery

All photos courtesy of Josephine Ball


Nature's Pantry, designed and built by Sarah McLauchlan with funding provided by Open Gardens Victoria and support from some amazing sponsors.


Launched in 2015, OGV is a not-for-profit organisation that opens private gardens for the community to enjoy. OGV have generously provided a grant of up to $10,000 to design and build the garden at MIFGS 2024. Read more about OGV and Nature's Pantry here


Great Spaces will assemble the hardscape components of Nature's Pantry in the week onsite at Carlton Gardens in the week prior to the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, 20-24 March 2024.

Read more here

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As a major sponsor Warners Nurseries are very kindly providing most of the plants and some of the trees that will be used to plant out Nature's Pantry. Read more about this outstanding wholesale nursery here

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Specialising in espalier plants, all of the espalier fruit trees and some of the potted fruit trees have been provided from the stunning range of stock at Merrywood Plants. Find out more about Merrywood here

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Producers and suppliers of advanced environmentally sustainable, containerised landscape trees, Speciality Trees have provided a number of edible and native trees for Nature's Pantry. Read more here

The custom raised corten steel planters have been supplied and installed by the talented people at Shapescaper. Learn more here

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The very generous people at Mr Fox In A Box have provided the raised wicking bed featuring WaterUps technology, vertical garden pots 'Fox Pods', and in ground composting 'Com-pot'. Learn more about their products here

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The bird bath featured in Nature's Pantry was designed by Sorrento based landscape designer Fiona Brockhoff. These birdbaths are spun from copper and aged naturally in the sea air to achieve a verdigris finish unique to each dish. Read more here

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All of the sculptural pieces on display in Nature's Pantry have been provided by Lee Adams and Barry McLoughlan of Wired For Living. Learn more about their work here 

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Cal is the maker of the beautifully hand crafted habitat box featured in Nature's Pantry, made from naturally hollowed timber offcuts. Andrée, a garden designer, donated her time to assist with planting out. Read more about AC Trees and Gardens here

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About Nature's Pantry.

How does the garden embody 'The Living Pantry'


“Nature’s Pantry” epitomizes the concept of ‘The Living Pantry’, viewing itself as an all-encompassing edible oasis for every creature, be it people, pollinators, or native fauna. Its mission transcends being a mere garden; it’s a sanctuary nurturing urban ecosystems.


This garden generously offers sustenance and habitat for diverse creatures, harmonizing with people’s need for food and solace. By doing so, it enhances urban biodiversity, introducing a captivating blend of novel and familiar edible plants, inspiring excitement among all to cultivate at home.


“Nature’s Pantry” artfully merges the familiar with the new, and the exotic with the native and indigenous, uniting the entire ecosystem within its thriving embrace. It’s a living testament to coexistence and harmony in our shared natural world.


What is the aim of your garden design?


The aim of my productive edible garden “Nature’s Pantry” extends beyond sustenance. Edible gardens serve as vital hubs for biodiversity, embracing native plants that harmonize with local ecosystems. Sustainable gardens minimize environmental impact through responsible practices and materials. They become sanctuaries for native flora and fauna, nurturing a delicate balance. Using eco-friendly materials and incorporating perennial plants ensures longevity and eco-consciousness.


Small space gardening and container cultivation break urban constraints, offering physical and mental benefits. Gardening fosters well-being, connecting individuals with nature and reducing stress. Exploring interesting and useful plants within these spaces not only adds charm but also introduces herbs, medicinals, and unusual edibles to enrich lives and palates. Edible gardens embody a holistic approach to life, nourishing body and soul.

How does your design meet the brief?


"Nature's Pantry" masterfully aligns with the design competition brief by ingeniously weaving together various innovative elements within a sustainable edible garden, ensuring accessibility for all. Tailored for small-space urbanites, renters, and those with expansive yards, it epitomizes versatility. The garden spotlights an array of sustainable plants and materials, inspiring eco-conscious choices. It promotes composting and efficient water use through wicking systems and soil enhancement.

Remarkably, it excels in budget-friendliness without compromising its eco-ethos. Its design intricacies and plant selections foster thriving ecosystems and biodiverse habitats, establishing a benchmark for holistic and sustainable garden concepts.



What other features does the design contain?


"Nature's Pantry" stands as a sustainable and highly productive garden, championing eco-consciousness and innovation. Reclaimed materials like timber pallets and salvaged pots foster resourcefulness, while salvaged timber and a relocatable pallet racking pergola exemplify versatility. The mobile wicking planting bed, wicking pots, and integrated compost system optimize water and nutrient usage.

This garden ingeniously utilizes vertical space, offering structures for plant growth and biodiversity support. A diverse array of exotic and native edible plants, coupled with perennials and small space fruit trees, guarantees year-round yields. Materials like mulch, gravel and habitat logs nurture ecosystems, along with native bee and bug hotels and habitat boxes


A profusion of native plants ensures a thriving habitat for local wildlife and pollinators, while the tea garden adds an aromatic twist. Abundant, easy-to-grow edible plants enrich the experience, making "Nature's Pantry" an eco-friendly and educational oasis.


Experience in undertaking garden design and construction?


My journey in garden design and construction has been a culmination of both formal education and a lifelong passion. Completing the rigorous Garden Design Program at London College of Garden Design Melbourne has honed my skills, emphasizing the intricacies of design, construction and planting. I now design gardens for clients in Melbourne and the Mid North Coast as part of my work with Sarah McLauchlan Gardens


My roots in gardening run deep, having grown up on a farm, instilling a profound love for horticulture, especially in edibles and biodiversity. At my Melbourne home, I have personally conceived and executed an array of sustainable features, from raised wicking beds to a thriving food forest and an urban orchard with small-space fruit trees. Integrating chickens with a composting system, and nurturing bees in a long Langstroth hive, I’ve strived to create a healthy ecosystem, translating my passion into a thriving reality.


Plant List

Wondering what was in Nature's Pantry and if you can grow it at home? Details coming soon!


Designing Gardens with Passion and Purpose

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