The Head Gardener
Head Gardener and Friends
I am proud to be the Head Gardener (actually, the only gardener) at Moosey's Country Garden. My real name is Mary, but my adult children rechristened me 'Moosey'. I ignored them for months, but now I'm afraid the name has dug itself in, like a tenacious garden weed...
An Older Lady Gardener
I'm just over sixty, retired, and call myself (coyly) 'an older lady gardener'. I'm passionate and obsessive - if not working in the garden I'm either writing about it or thinking about it. I have three adult children. Daughter of Moosey has worked in faraway exotic places, but for now she's back in town. The younger Moosey Son (also a musician) lives here while his house is being rebuilt. Older Son of Moosey is my London webmaster, making up for forgotten birthdays and long forgotten teenage angst by designing this website. It was my Mothers Day present for the year 2000.
A Musical Gardener!
I'm a musician, too - I sing and play classical piano, mainly Brahms and Bach. I've also made a bit of money playing easy-listening jazz. I used to teach senior Mathematics and Music. Reading, hiking in the mountains, and listening to sport, particularly cricket matches, are favourite leisure activities. And, of course, rambling on and on - and on and on - in this website!
Meet the Cats and the Dogs
Currently there are seven cats and three dogs in the Moosey Animal Family. Taj-dog was the first Moosey dog - an Alsatian Labrador cross. He thought he was a sheepdog, though usually had to be shut in the car whenever the sheep were on the move. Then new dog Rusty (a red Border Collie) took over. Rusty has always been kind to the cats, and great fun in the garden. Winnie the black and white Border Collie arrived in time for Christmas, 2014, and Escher, a big brown smoochy German Pointer x Chocolate Labrador, is staying with us at the moment.
Dogs Swimming with Tennis Balls
The cats provide quality cat-company in the garden, too. Dearly departed cats like Jerome, Stumpy and Mugsy are always popping up in older photographs. Tiger is the current senior feline, and Fluff-Fluff (you guessed it - he's fluffy!) is a supreme gardening cat. Three young siblings (Percy, Histeria, and Lilli-Puss), socialised feral cats, have enjoyed a wonderful life being cared for properly in the country. I found little Minimus as a kitten, wild in the woodshed - her home base is Pond Cottage, my pretty garden shed-with-a-bed. Kaya, a black beauty cat, is currently living upstairs. And the youngest two house cats are sisters Buster the Black and Tiddles the Tabby. Tiddles is a polydactyl cat.
Of course cats have come and gone - some into the garden underneath a memorial tree, while some have sadly disappeared. Two of my most beautiful cats, Smoocher and Beige-Puss, were taken after short, shining lives. One, Big Fat Sifter, went AWOL in the prime of his life. He'd stay inside just long enough to check out food possibilities, and was the champion killer of hay barn rodents and rabbits in the back paddock. Is he still out there, sifting around?
Gardener At Work
It's hard to write about one's personality. I'm not even sure how to start. I know that I'm a compulsive rescuer, and have effected some very impressive ones - ask my ex-students! Or ask the cats! (well, better to ask the birds, actually). Or ask last year's excess lettuce seedlings (over two hundred of them), all neatly pricked out in cat food pottles. Discarding simply wasn't an option...
I'm happiest talking about the garden. I love roses, perennials and sweeping lawns. I love foliage plants, particularly New Zealand natives. I don't like 'garden rooms' or controlled vistas - they may photograph well for the glossy gardening magazines, but they bring out the rebel in me. I try to be organic - for the sake of my ladybirds, bees and spiders.
Always Dreaming, Digging...
I'm always dreaming, digging, planting, making big plans and bigger mistakes! Who says I can't have two ponds, if I've got the space? A rose avenue through the middle of the orchard? A cottage by the pond? Shouldn't be a problem. I hope you'll enjoy reading about my experiences of gardening in New Zealand.