Everything from bunches of flowers to seedlings, cookies and preserves jostles for space each day on Rosalie Trolove’s trolley outside her home on Upper Wainui Rd.
And judging by online comments on Raglan Notice Board, locals are loving it. “Always beautifully presented floral arrangements,” posted one local recently, adding the baking was delicious.
It all began about four years ago when Rosalie retired from nurse aiding, a move which gave the now 73 year old more time to garden and bake. And she has to keep the goodies out of the cake tin, Rosalie laughs, or she and hubby John would eat everything themselves.
So they get packaged up along with bunches of fresh-picked flowers wrapped in magazine pages, and sold for a song from their quarter-acre property at the fork of Wainui and Upper Wainui Rds heading south towards the bays.
In the beginning Rosalie just bunched the flowers in buckets at the gate, leaving out an ice cream container for the cash.
While that simple arrangement worked “brilliantly”, Rosalie says, this year she’s been able to go a bit more upmarket – trading through both summer and winter for the first time – after John built a flower cart on wheels reminiscent of that out of the famous musical ‘My Fair Lady’.
But Rosalie – unlike Eliza Doolittle – doesn’t man the stall herself so there’s instead an honesty box along with a note giving internet banking details.
Best of all the new flower cart can be wheeled down the driveway and put under cover if need be, says Rosalie, out of the wind and rain for customers’ easy year-round access.
Rosalie reckons she’s gotten to know just about everybody – especially the new young families – in the Upper Wainui Rd area since starting the venture. It helps that she’s just opposite the school bus-stop, where parents come to meet their children.
She picks her flowers daily, bakes weekly, offers home-made preserves and fruit like feijoas in season, and bags of pine cones in winter.
Only twice in four years has Rosalie been “short-changed”.
But she’s unfazed … this trolley may have wheels but it ain’t going nowhere.