A Potter’s Garden: Where Food, Family and Flowers Flourish

About The Garden Diaries

Step into the lush world of Australian gardens with ‘The Garden Diaries,’ our showcase series that unveils the vibrant stories thriving within backyards.

From productive vegetable patches to bush sanctuaries, each story celebrates the unique journey of passionate gardeners and their flourishing green spaces.

Come along as we dig deep into the roots of their inspiration, uncovering the heartfelt stories, cherished memories and insightful tips that have blossomed from their gardens.

Tune in to ‘The Garden Diaries’ on Instagram, Facebook or our newsletter each month for enchanting stories to inspire your gardening journey.

A Chef’s Love Story with Pottery and Plants

Elliot, a passionate chef, and Lisa, his creative partner, have cultivated more than just a garden in their home in Maleny. Their story is one of love—for each other, their family and the land they call home.

Their journey began in 2019 when they discovered a charming old house with a big yard and an adjoining rainforest. The house offered Elliot the space for his pottery studio, while the granny flat sparked an idea—a cosy retreat for travellers.

Their garden reflects their shared love for fresh, quality food. With a hand-built pizza oven, beehive and variety of fruit trees and vegetables, they offer guests a taste of homegrown, homemade goodness.

For Elliot, gardening is a tribute to his father, who taught him the ropes at a young age. Now, with Oliver, their 3-year-old son, Elliot is passing on this legacy. Lisa’s love for flowers stems from her childhood, watching her mother and grandmother tend to their gardens. Flowers not only beautify their space but also provide fresh bouquets for their home.

Their story is a testament to the transformative power of gardening. It’s more than just a hobby; it’s a way of life—a source of joy, nourishment and connection. As Elliot and Lisa have discovered, a garden is not just about what you grow; it’s about what grows within you. Explore their story below!

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself & your work?

My name is Elliot, and I live in Maleny with my wife, Lisa, and our 3-year-old son, Oliver. We bought our home in 2019. We fell in love with the charm of the old house, the big yard, and the adjoining rainforest behind the property. It also had two things that were very important to us: space for me to set up my pottery studio and a granny flat, which we saw enormous potential to turn into an Airbnb.

I work as a chef and own a home-based business, Ground to Kitchen, selling my handmade ceramics of functional tableware and practical homeware pieces. Lisa is a part-time waitress, the manager of our Airbnb, the Potter’s Wife Bed and Breakfast, and a part-time stay-at-home mum.

2. Tell us about your garden

We love our garden and enjoy spending time as a family outdoors. It was important to us to have a space for entertaining and enjoying good food, a garden to grow fruit and vegetables, and plenty of space for flowers and natives for our beehive.

We have a hand-built pizza oven in our entertaining area, which is also available to our BNB guests. We like to invite our guests to pick some fresh herbs straight from the garden to add to their delicious wood-fired pizzas.

3. Can you share the story of how your love for gardening began and what inspired you to start your own garden?

For me, it’s a combination of two things. From when I was very young, I used to spend many hours helping my dad out in his garden, and although sometimes it felt like a chore, I think the garden was where we really bonded the most, and I loved learning all I did from him. This is something I really want to carry on with Oliver. Secondly, being a chef and seeing the importance of fresh, good-quality food has inspired me to grow as much as I can myself so I can cook at home with fresh flavours straight from the garden.

For Lisa, she grew up watching her mum and nanna’s passion for their vegetable gardens and flower gardens. She loved picking the pretty flowers and went on to do floristry after leaving school. Her passion for flowers has stayed strong, and she loves filling our garden with flowers not only for the bees but for fresh-cut bouquets for the home.

4. What do you grow?

We are slowly growing our fruit tree orchard which currently consists of citrus, bananas, paw paw, peaches, pears, Macadamia nuts, avocados, Davidson plumbs, figs, black sapote, olives and a ice-cream bean tree (ingaedulis).

We also have a herb garden which boarders our entertainment area and pizza oven for ease of picking when cooking and to add to our cocktails.

We have a separate garden where we plant seasonal veggies, including corn, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beans, and zucchini.

Lastly, we have what we call our bee garden, which is right in the heart of our backyard and is where the beehive sits. Surrounding the beehive are flowers which include natives, salvias, lavender, daisies, sunflowers, black-eyed Sans and echinaceas.

5. What are your favourite plants in your garden and why?

I love the black-eyed Susan flowers, which I originally grew from seed, and now they are popping up all over our garden. Lisa’s favourite is lavender, which is one of her favourite flowers. It is great as a cut flower and is easy to dry for dried flower arrangements.

6. What challenges did you face when establishing your garden, and how did you overcome them?

The biggest challenge we faced was an extremely uneven foundation and finding random things, such as tyres that previous owners had buried and grown grass over as their way to level the ground. We bought in a bobcat machine to help rip up the tyres and other items and re-level to give us a bare surface to start from scratch.

7. Can you share any favourite gardening books, resources, or influencers that have inspired you along the way?

We both admire and draw inspiration from Susann Probst and Yannic Schon from Krautkopf. They are German visual storytellers who focus on their gardens, food, lifestyles, and interiors. We have also always loved Matt and Lentil Purbrick, the authors of Grown & Gathered, who are all about seasonal living and eating in togetherness with nature.

8. Have you faced any unexpected surprises or humorous moments in your gardening adventures?

We constantly come across random items that previous owners left behind and wash up after hefty rainfalls, from old kids’ toys to bricks to metal stacks and so much more! I think it’s one of those “you have to laugh, or you may cry” situations.

9. How has gardening positively impacted your life, both physically and mentally?

The garden is our happy place. We go outside to find peace and stillness, as well as to be social and share a cuppa or wine together. It’s a space to give our little Oliver time outdoors rather than being inside as much as possible. It also keeps us fit as we are always starting new projects and keeping ourselves busy.

10. What are some of your favourite seasonal gardening activities, and how do you keep your garden thriving throughout the year?

We always plant vegetables in seasons and like to do a mixture of annual planting as well as perennial so we can have things in bloom all year round. We like to use the food we grow to make jams, pesto and chutneys etc to store and use throughout the year. We also enjoy harvesting our honey which we jar to enjoy ourselves as well as share with our BNB guests and sell in the Ground to Kitchen store.

11. What are your future plans or dreams for your garden? Any upcoming projects or changes?

We recently purchased a greenhouse which we have just assembled so I’m really keen to do more seed harvesting and growing things from seed seasonally. We also plan on purchasing a couple more bee hives to grow our bee family and to produce more honey.

12. How does your garden reflect your personal style, and how can others infuse their unique personality into their gardening space?

Our garden is bright and colourful and has separate areas to sit and be still and other areas to be social and cook and eat. It’s a real mix of all the things we love.

13. Lastly, what words of encouragement or motivation would you share with someone hesitant to explore the world of gardening?

For us the garden provides us with so much more than just an outdoor space. It gives us year-round food, a play space and learning environment for our child, an entertaining social space, a place to relax and unwind and a hobby we can do as a family that we enjoy doing together.

I think the important thing is not to overwhelm yourself with a huge project and workload. To section the yard up and tackle one section and project at a time. Also, remember that gardening is fun!

Gifts to Grow

Embedded and inspired by nature, Sow ’n Sow believe in purposeful gifting that doesn’t cost the planet.

From a small seed of an idea, Sow ’n Sow was dreamt up by founder Michelle Brady combining her love of gardening and flair for design in 2010.


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