Who says a humble home grown garden with cherished cats, a dodgy dog, puffy-chested poultry and a garrulous gardener can't compete in the global lifestyle market? Even without a TV show, Moosey Living is quietly making its mark!
Head Gardener with Lilli the Cat
It all started when I watched a Martha Stewart TV programme and she put one of her cats on the kitchen bench. Instant identification - the Moosey cats do that all the time, without the cameras to egg them on.
Head Gardener with her Cat B-Puss
Then I watched Martha hire and fire apprentices for her company. Hmm - a powerful woman with a great casual hairstyle - could the Moosey hair ever look like that? perhaps I could buy in some hair product...
Hmm... Blue Shirt
Then came my definitive moment - Martha wore a blue floaty shirt! That did it - we were connected! Two simple souls, both wearing blue gardening shirts, doing simple things well. Martha Living - and Moosey Living!
As I weeded the Dog-Path Garden I found even more similarities. Martha Stewart is an attractive older woman. She has a stroppy daughter. She loves animals, and one of her homes has a collection of mounted fish trophies. Oops. I only have one home, and I collect ornamental cats and retro wall ducks. Same difference!
And I've seen her entertain in one of her very own gardens. I think I do that sometimes.
Moosey Living - yes, there is a certain ring to it. The Moosey lifestyle, driven by the Chief Executive and her beloved Non-Gardening Partner, shared by six cats, a dog, five free-ranging hens, and a dedicated band of amused relatives. Why not try to market it, Martha style?
We've already got the brand name. What's next - a logo? A slogan? Merchandise - how about Moosey Garden Calendars? Coasters, postcards, tea towels, fridge magnets? I've already got a personalised number plate for my car - does that count? Then there's the serious stuff - mission statements, goalposts - scaffolding? Eek! I need to try out some business plan phrases - on the dog, perhaps? He's a good listener. Here goes.
Meet the Chief Executive
Here at Moosey Living we like the Head Gardener (CEO) to reach outside the boundary fences of her garden and grab new challenges. This doesn't mean pinching the neighbour's Canna lilies. She is encouraged to be rounded and to channel her excess energy in new, exciting directions. This doesn't mean digging random new gardens. Nor do we encourage physical roundness, from eating too many fresh country-baked muffins.
Writing My journal in the Shrubbery
Self reflection is a vital part of Moosey life, and will involve the Head Gardener keeping a journal.
The General Manager
Moosey Living's search for a General Manager is in its first season. Set tasks require not only guts and initiative but stamina and personal drive. This doesn't just mean driving the lawnmower, or tractor, or driving the Head Gardener to visit nurseries and Open Gardens.
The General Manager has to be a horticulturist and a psychic - knowing in advance that the roses would need spraying, for example. He also needs to be a meteorologist, a repairman, and be able to install irrigation systems and construct sturdy pergolas.
The Moosey Living Mission Statement
Here at Moosey Living we encapsulate the strengths of traditional family companionship. Our executives must be kind to animals and absolutely potty about gardening. They must fulfil their artistic potential by embracing music - hopefully JS Bach. They must value athleticism and good physical health, and be interested in mathematics and reading science fiction books.
The Head Gardener in her Choir
Executives are encouraged to join small community choirs - that's me, fourth row from the front, tenth from the right, by the way. They should also participate in triathlons and fun-runs, and practice the piano regularly.
And beneath all this tireless activity beats the steady heart of Moosey Living - the Moosey Garden.