Butterfly Effect Nursery owner Irene Bailey said her and her husband Owen had made the “tough decision” to sell the nursery.
Butterfly Effect Nursery owner Irene Bailey said her and her husband Owen had made the “tough decision” to sell the nursery.

Owners set to bid farewell to Airlie plant mecca

FOR years, The Butterfly Effect nursery has been a mecca for all things plants, drawing people off Shute Harbour Rd with local creations and poetic signs.

Now, owners Irene and Owen Bailey hope someone else will take up the role of the "garden fairy" after they made the tough decision to sell the business.

Mrs Bailey started working in the nursery 29 years ago as a volunteer.

She made the move south several years later but one day received a call from the owners saying they were selling the business and asking her if she could come and help tend to the plants.

Several years went by, and after struggling to sell, the owners approached Mrs Bailey to buy it herself.

The offer turned out to be one she couldn't turn down and the nursery was transformed in 2015 into the horticultural haven it is known as today.

The Butterfly Effect nursery is for sale.
The Butterfly Effect nursery is for sale. Laura Thomas

During their time there, Mr and Mrs Bailey expanded the nursery to include a showroom that houses the work of several local artists.

However, the pair said it was time to hand their pride and joy on to someone else who could help "take it to the next level".

"It's been really enjoyable but you just come to a point in your life and think it's time to change and move on," she said.

"I'd like to work with the new owners at some level, maybe I can help them out.

"It's kind of exciting because I think different energies create so many different things."

The nursery was originally designed to house a cafe, something Mrs Bailey hoped the new owners would explore.

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She also hoped they would foster the homeliness of the nursery today where she said often customers just came in to be among nature.

"I hope they grow the nursery (and) they don't just think of it as a development," she said.

"I hope they think of it as hub for the community in a healthy way."

Mr and Mrs Bailey plan to stay in the region and hoped to continue to work in the nursery alongside whoever takes the mantle.

"It's been a privilege to be a part of its history for almost half my life and see everything evolve around it," Mrs Bailey said.

"I love the plant side of things, that's my passion.

"The plants and discovering and sharing my knowledge with people."

Mrs Bailey also said the "garden fairies" who paint the rhyming signs on the side of the building would also be staying around.