Like many good ideas, Into the Wild was born out of frustration. Tired of zigzagging all over town with a plant under her arm, trying to find the perfect pot to go with it, Marita McCausland decided to make things simple. The result is neither a nursery nor a homewares store, but both.
McCausland grew up in the Dandenongs and is passionate about helping people bring a little bit of nature into their homes. “It’s about really beautifying spaces and bringing life into homes,” she says.
Every plant in the store is hand-selected, then carefully paired with the perfect pot, with mix-and-match options available. This isn’t the place to go if you’re looking for the rare and collectable.
“For me it’s about beautiful, strong, hardy plants that people can feel comfortable they’re not going to kill,” says McCausland. “I reckon about 90 per cent of people who walk through the door say, ‘Oh I love plants, but I kill them’. Well, you don’t have to be a horticulturalist to keep them alive – I promise you that.”
After two years operating as an online business, the store’s popularity grew to the point that it finally seemed time to put down some roots. McCausland found a small shopfront in Hampton, and says from there everything clicked into place.
McCausland is extremely hands-on, personally selecting every plant and drawing on her background as a professional photographer to capture them at their best. True to form, McCausland and her husband did the entire fit-out themselves, turning “a shell of bright blue lino floors” into a beautiful oasis of greenery. Serendipitously, the space’s former life as a laundromat meant that it was already fitted with troughs and a shed, perfect for watering and storing plants. “It was just meant to be,” McCausland says.
Into The Wild is a store for everyone from green thumbs to beginners, with plants ranging from small to huge, from the basic to the weird and wonderful. If you’re worried about your past history as a verified plant-killer, McCausland will sort you out. “You just need to mostly ignore them,” she says, adding that the biggest problem is over-watering. “People just kill them with love.”
Into the Wild
251 Hampton Street, Hampton
0450 927 913
Tue to Fri 9.30am–5.30pm