The System Garden was founded with the grand aspiration of being one of the most expansive and diverse System Gardens in the world.

Located within the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus, the System Garden was first established in 1856 and was designed by the University of Melbourne’s first Professor of Natural History, Frederick McCoy in concert with architect Edward La Trobe Bateman. The garden was a special place of scientific and historical aspirations of University in a golden time of scientific discovery and enquiry. Plants were planted according to an evolutionary system of classification, and the Garden was used for teaching.

A Living Laboratory

Today, the System Garden continues to be a unique learning environment that contributes to the campus aspiration that is a true 'living Laboratory.'

It also serves as a social space for students, and a place that features strongly in the memory of alumni as a secret and calm environment. It is the second largest open space on the Parkville campus and is a treasured, secluded and diversified green space.

The System Garden adds unique value to the campus through its botanic diversity and mature vegetation. The diversity of this space is unlike any other in the campus and akin to the Royal Botanic Gardens.

The 10-Year Masterplan

In July 2017, the University commenced a 10-year master plan of the System Garden with Glas Landscape Architects. This master plan will safeguard and enhance the garden into the future.

The garden is not sufficiently protected and is at risk from further piecemeal built incursions. This master plan will provide clear direction and future for the System Garden and develop a strategy to communicate its value to the University community. The Master Plan is working to sensitively incorporate the Western Edge Biosciences (WEBS) development into the System Garden.