In 1999, husband-wife team David and Megan Cripps purchased Crittenden Nursery. This transaction seems ordinary enough; however, it was anything but. For, this purchase was teeming with the spirit of innovation and evolution. Specifically, the Cripps introduced new staff, new products, ongoing professional development and top-of-the-line customer service, all of which have been recognised and lauded with a Leader Business Award for the City of Boroondara. The result? Well, the result was something truly extraordinary, something that inner-city residents could only dream of. The newly named Town & Country Balwyn remained every ounce a nursery, but it extended well beyond the mere selling of pots and plants. In fact, for the past two decades, Town & Country has been providing locals with exceptional service, knowledge and advice.

The team of highly skilled, qualified horticulturists is passionate about plants – sourcing only premium-quality specimens selected from reputable growers – and is available to assist you with all of your gardening needs. Answering questions, identifying botanicals and diagnosing personal garden issues are but a few of the services available from the pool of expert green thumbs. The offerings, themselves, include fruit, vegetables, herbs, flowers, natives, shrubs, succulents and both indoor and outdoor plants. Furthermore, a visit to the nursery is just the beginning of the overall Town & Country Balwyn experience. The eclectic homewares/gift store and the high-calibre café provide the perfect complements to a genuinely wholesome afternoon of retail and dining therapy.

A visit to the lovingly decorated store will find it stocked with a wide range of beautiful gifts and objects with which to decorate your home. Think cushions, throws, candles, diffusers, hand and body products, books, one-off furniture pieces, artificial plants, decorative pots, scarves, baby products, children’s toys, kitchen accessories and many, many more. A wide range of favourite and popular brands is included in the shop’s stock, as well, and new products arrive regularly. Recently, Circa Home’s Kitchen Alchemy range has landed. It is specifically formulated with the uplifting fragrance of wild mint, white tea and bergamot and aids in keeping your kitchen smelling cleansed and refreshed, allowing you to get on with the job of being a culinary superstar. $1 from every Kitchen Alchemy product sold will be donated to Oz Harvest to help provide nourishing meals to Australians in need. Remember, if you see something you cannot live without, do not hesitate, as all stock is limited and will not be available indefinitely. In other words, avoid that lingering hangover of regret. It is simply not worth it.

Finally, for a spot of refreshment or a proper re-fuelling before and/or after your gardening and homewares needs are tended to, immerse yourself in an interior that combines rustic country life with the modern and fresh urban lifestyle. The menu is simple and concise and delivers the quality that Melburnians have come to expect. Breakfast includes a poké bowl of prawns, red cabbage, edamame beans, diced cucumber, brown rice, pickled carrot, sweet corn, black sesame, avocado half, pineapple salsa and yuzu dressing. This is the standout; however, the ham hock croquettes with bacon, cauliflower purée, apple cider hollandaise and poached eggs will give your tastebuds a reason to return, as well. For lunch, try the pan-seared Atlantic salmon served with chargrilled zucchini, snow pea tendrils, peas, beetroot purée and lemon vinaigrette. Of course, the beef burger constructed with Gruyère cheese, bacon, pickled cucumber, lettuce, tomato, red onion and aioli in a milk bun is not to be overlooked. In a nutshell, the café menu gives customers an insight into what home means to the Town & Country Balwyn family. It is not to be missed. Experience all that Town & Country has to offer at 24 Whitehorse Road, Balwyn.

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