Moosey News : August 2005

Dear Subscriber,

Hello again from the Moosey garden, still snoozing gently through the southern hemisphere winter of 2005. The August newsletter is a prelude to spring, when the first beautiful camellias and daffodils will start flowering. I hope you enjoy this month's links and ideas.

This month's features :

  1. Nelson in Winter
  2. Mulch
  3. Rose Archways
  4. Botanical Gardens

Regulars :

  1. Plant of the Month : Jester Flax
  2. Animal of the Month : Smoocher the Ginger Cat
  3. Garden Quote : Time and Space
  4. Garden Gallery : Rose Compassion in Winter
  5. Forum Focus : Your Garden Journals
  6. Gardening Advice : Growth
  7. Searching for Moosey
  8. Coming up this Month : An Avenue of Roses

This month's features

1. Nelson in Winter

Who thinks that New Zealand in winter isn't colourful? On a recent trip to Nelson I went on a Red Hot Poker Quest, enjoying the quaint, colourful, rural ambience of crisp, sunny Nelson days.

2. Mulch

It's been a mulch festival. Much mulch has been lovingly laid, in careful layers, and there has been much mulch moaning - the Moosey Mulching Mission Statement insists that gardens are weed-free before the application of mulch. Enough said!

3. Rose Archways

Thirteen rose arches are being built, installed in the Hazelnut Orchard, and will soon be planted with fragrant climbing roses. It is one of the biggest and most romantic developments the Moosey Garden has ever experienced. I promise there will be blow-by-blow photographs!

4. Botanical Gardens

I've been following Christchurch's Botanic gardens through the seasons. I last visited in autumn and, as I write, the first camellias are starting and it's almost daffodil and bluebell time - roll on botanical spring!


5. Plant of the Month : Jester Flax

The plant of the month for August has to warm up the winter Moosey garden, and give longed-for colour. I've chosen a New Zealand native flax - the coloured hybrid called Jester. The shape is particularly lovely - a neat little fountain of warm pink and warm green stripes - and so far Jester has stayed small.

6. Animal of the Month : Smoocher the Ginger Cat

The animal of the month has to be the dear little ginger cat called Smoocher. He sadly lost his battle with lymphoma and leukaemia in the third week of July, leaving behind some great memories. Smoocher also leaves a tasty legacy for the other cats - the Moosey pantry is now regularly stocked with gourmet cat food, and the Moosey fridge offers fresh red meat at least four times a week.

7. Garden Quote : Time and Space

Hmm... this month's quote was about mulching, though it probably applies to every single gardening thing I (and other gardeners) do: "Why does it take me so long to cover so little ground?"

8. Garden Gallery : Rose Compassion in Winter

Just days before the mid-winter solstice, the climbing rose Compassion by the house was flowering brilliantly, and proudly photographed.

9. Forum Focus : Your Garden Journals

Three very different gardens are growing in three different parts of the world - and are being recorded dutifully for us in the forum. After visiting these gardens, you may be inspired to take lots of time lapse photographs and start up your own gardening journal (if you haven't got one already). They're heaps of fun and something nice to do on non-gardening days.

10. Gardening Advice : Growth

This month's advice might seem rather obvious - let your plants grow, and enjoy their growth! Gardens never stay the same - like real families there is always change afoot. Just when you think a planting scheme has achieved that perfect balance - look out!

11. Searching for Moosey

'Searching for Moosey' looks at some of the search terms people have typed to end up at the site. From the search engines this month :

Why do roosters crow in the morning?
Argh! I miss the Moosey rooster (who has left us for leafier, higher roosts).
What to wear in family portrait?
Ha! We didn't exactly dress up for our family portraits...
Plants for growing around septic tanks
Well, well, well - what a coincidence! Tour the Septic Tank Garden at Mooseys and you'll find all the answers...

12. Coming up this Month : An Avenue of Roses

The rose avenue should swing into full scale production in August. There will be much digging and dreaming, and progress reports in the garden journal.

Also, the London Mooseys have promised me another Chelsea Flower Show garden article or two. About time, I'd say! They're taking almost as long to deliver as I am to mulch the Willow Tree Garden.

Bye for now. Enjoy your garden, and your garden animals, wherever you are in the world.