By Arielle Dollinger
From the road, Huntington’s Main Street Nursery looks to be just as its name suggests – a nursery, florist and gift store – but there is whimsy behind its quotidian façade. On its grounds, behind the florist and store, are a café, a small animal farm and a butterfly zoo.
Her chestnut-colored hair up in a messy bun and her rectangular-framed glasses on her head, Retail Operations Manager Amy LoMele lists the grounds’ attributes. She has kind eyes that exactly match her hair and wears a pale blue button-down over a white tank top and jeans.
“There’s a lot going on here,” she says.
The world that she has created, and continually cultivates, is a world of near-fantasy rooted in reality – a world that revolves around nature and flowers, but involves so much more.
“It’s easy to make everything beautiful,” LoMele said while walking the grounds last week. “But it’s a little harder to get that feeling.”
LoMele has gathered the items that decorate the space over time.
“I’m always trying to take things and make other things out of it,” she said.
The “tiling” in the General Store Café is not actually made of tiles. The wall has been painted to look like a tiled surface. A taupe-colored vintage refrigerator she found is home to bottles of soda, and a matching antique oven holds tiny jars of jam.
“I think it’s a place with a lot of surprises,” LoMele said.
On the walk away from the café and further into the grounds, there is a path through a tunnel of trees. The greenery opens to reveal a sand-filled enclosure containing a red barn, labeled by a wooden sign with painted green lettering.
The sign reads “Old McKeanly Farm” – LoMele sings to the tune of “Old MacDonald” during conversation about it – and is the residence of goats, award-winning chickens with beautiful coloring, and miniature horses.
A dark brown miniature horse with a light mane and piercing blue eyes is called Silver; Thunder is his reddish-brown-and-white cohabitant.
A ways to the right of the farm, diagonally, is the Butterfly Zoo. For a few more weeks, and no admission cost, the enclosure will continue to host butterflies and those who wish to admire them.
With the arrival of autumn, the Butterfly Zoo turns into a “Boo Zoo.” When fall turns to winter, the “Boo Zoo” becomes a gingerbread house, complete with falling “snow” and in the middle of a small forest of Christmas trees.
Past a metal gate, not far away from the enclosure, is the “fairy garden,” with fairy-sized houses, tiny table and chairs of yellow wire and a tiny mailbox.
But the magic is not contained here; at Main Street Nursery, there is magic everywhere.
Main Street Nursery
475 West Main St., Huntington