March 2025


Open Gardens Victoria Student Design Competition winnerto create ‘living pantry’ themed garden at MelbourneInternational Flower and Garden Show

Landscape designer and graduating student of the London College of Garden Design
(Melbourne), Sarah McLauchlan, is the successful recipient of the 2024 Open Gardens Victoria
Student Design Competition. The grant provides up to $10,000 to design and install a garden
at the OGV stand at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, 20-24 March 2024.
“I am absolutely thrilled that my design has been selected as the winning entry. This year’s theme,
The Living Pantry, appealed immensely. The world of edible gardens holds such a special place in
my heart. In fact, I have been crafting an urban edible oasis at my own home for the past seven
years,” says Sarah McLauchlan.

Open Gardens Victoria is a not-for-profit organisation that opens private gardens for the
community to enjoy and actively promotes the benefits of gardens and gardening. Now in its
second year, OGV’s design competition is open to Victorian-based horticultural and garden design
students. It supports the development of the next generation of garden professionals, providing
them with key exposure to the horticulture industry and plant lovers at the Melbourne International
Flower and Garden Show, the southern hemisphere’s largest horticulture event.
“The Living Pantry theme is designed to appeal to all, but especially those beginning the journey
towards self-sufficiency. We were looking for entries that encouraged productive gardening and
sound sustainability practices, even in small spaces,” says Dr Karen White, OGV’s Head of

“Sarah’s entry stood out with its strong focus on the theme. Her installation integrates clever design
with attractive, compact, and efficient productive garden spaces, incorporating significant use of
recycled materials and water-wise practices, as well as considering sustenance and habitat for
native fauna. We can’t wait to see how the garden looks once installed!”

Called Nature’s Pantry, Sarah’s winning garden design draws on a childhood spent growing up on
a farm in the south-east Riverina region of NSW, surrounded by an expansive garden, a bountiful
veggie patch, and a flourishing home orchard. The garden’s built elements focus on sustainability,
extensively utilising reclaimed materials such as timber, plywood boards, pallets, reo mesh, and
salvaged pots, all sourced in Sarah’s previous life running a commercial demolition business.

“Nature’s Pantry is conceived as a welcoming haven for visitors to enjoy a feast of nature’s
offerings,” says Sarah. “From pollinator-friendly plants and native grasses to habitats for small
creatures and birds, the space is adorned with perennial edibles, fruit trees, herbs, veggies, and
bush foods. Adding to the charm, there’s a cosy tea garden, inviting visitors to pause and savour
the experience of brewing amidst the flourishing abundance.”

Visit stand B53/B54 at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. You’ll see Sarah
McLauchlan’s winning garden design, Nature’s Pantry, and meet our Open Gardens Victoria
volunteers, who can tell you more about what is coming up for OGV this year.

‘Nature’s Pantry’ will be created on the lands of the Wurundjeri people. Open Gardens Victoria
wish to acknowledge the Traditional custodians and we pay respect to their Elders, past,
present and emerging.


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