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McGain’s Anglesea is more than just a nursery.

It was a pleasant day for a visit to a local nursery and McGain’s was just around a corner. We were of course visiting the coastal town of Anglesea, just 30 mins or so from Geelong, on Victoria’s surf coast which includes the famous Great Ocean Road.

This nursery is actually located in a rather small industrial estate that without it would be a somewhat desolate place. It’s like finding an oasis in a desert. The first thing you notice is that these people like plants, as there are plenty of therm and they look healthy. Surprise surprise, there is also a food store, but we will visit that on the way out. First it’s off to the cafe, as it is lunchtime.

We got a seat in their verandah area, not directly inside the cafe. This is such a homely area, with sprawling grape vines, stephanotis and hanging baskets of geraniums. Its the sort of place that you could use as a ‘local’ if you lived around here, with a big bench, great if you come here on your own. Not long after ordering, our meals came out, which included really delicious salads in the side. They included nasturtium flowers, which we ate with smiles on our face cause it just seems weird eating a flower. The food included chicken and corn pie, chunky sausage rolls, spinach and fetta borek, and a special of the day poached eggs with corn fritters. All in all we left the cafe feeling most satisfied.

The nursery is centred by a large pond. It is actually a very smart self cleaning pond. You see there are actually two ponds, with the upper pond running down into the lower pond. The upper pond is full of a lovely red stemmed milfoil. This plant acts as a a natural purifier, accepting the pumped up dirty water from the fish pond below. The fish water fertilises the plants, and cleaner water flows off the rock back down below. A great idea for a low maintenance pond.

Strewn around the nursery are big chairs made of wood that looks like it may have washed up on shore. It gives the place a real beachy feel, typical of the region. There was also a very impressive espaliered apple along with plenty of fruit trees vegetables and herbs. There are also interesting seed packet, weaved baskets and other such unique goods you won’t find at the big box stores.

Heading back towards the exit, it was time to visit the food store. Here you will find everything from organic fruit and vegetables to wine, cheese, jams, biscuits, meats and preserves, all in the one store. From our experience, these were the best quality fruit and vegetables in Angelsea and it showed that they source stock from the Melbourne markets three times a week. This must be a massive effort for a small business, but well worth it when you see the quality.

The nursery is run by Peter McGain and his wife Pam runs the food store. The McGain’s ran The Albert Park Nursery from 1975 for many years. They set up the nursery at Anglesea in 2000, the food store in 2005 and the cafe in 2012.

What I like about a little nursery like this is that there is something around every corner. It has had 15 years to build up a feeling, a soul. The staff are passionate and the location in this industrial estate actually works. Your not just going to the shops, you are going on a journey, a destination, that is McGain’s

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