Next Stop Earth, 76 Constable St, Newtown, Wellington
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This little green shop is around the corner from my house and I visit regularly to buy flowers, especially during winter. Next Stop Earth is run by Jeannie (wish I had remembered to take a photo of her behind her workbench, secateurs in hand) and is located on the edge of Newtown.
It's always light and airy and smells like freesias and lavender soap. It's really the nicest place to be, Wednesday to Saturday.
Along one wall, there are metal buckets containing flowers and other greenery. You can choose a bunch of something (there's plenty of daphne, right now) or ask Jeannie to make up a mixture of various stems. She's never too busy to help and always makes a beautiful bouquet.
Next Stop Earth is filled with botanical-themed gifts: notebooks, ceramics, cards, jewellery, soap and handcream: lovely things to wrap and give. Or buy for yourself, as the case may be.
There are also children's things with a gardeny theme, like seeds and watering cans, windmills and gnomes. And don't forget the pink flamingoes for the flowerbed.
I visited on a grey and rainy morning last week, and Jeannie was busy making up bouquets for local cafes and regular customers. But she kindly answered a few questions for me:
How and when did you start NSE? I've been here now for 16 years, in this same building. I was inspired to start the shop when I couldn't find any gardening tools for my small niece, so I stocked those products as well as about 5 buckets of fresh flowers. It's just grown from there.
I noticed you don't have a website where people can order bouquets. How do people let you know what they would like? Regular customers just come by and choose their flowers, or they ring and I make up something I know they'll like. We have a facebook page and people often contact me through that.
What's the busiest time of year for you? It would have to be Christmas- I have regular customers who like to do their gift shopping here and escape the central city in December.
Do you sometimes dream about making up bunches of flowers? No, but sometimes the smell of eucalyptus on my hands wakes me up in the night!
Thank you Jeannie, and see you again soon.