New Year Garden Honours

In New Zealand we have our very own indigenous New Year Honours List. Rugby players, pop singers and scientists all get awards - there are never any gardeners. In lieu of ever being able to style myself Dame Moosey, I've decided at least to have my own Garden Honours List.

Any sane gardener knows that his/her plants are pleasant daily companions - extremely good listeners who never talk back and interrupt, loyal and deserving of recognition. Serious gardens also have serious input from animals and other humans. Finally those who have strived to make the Moosey Garden the humble paradise that it is can be given the recognition they deserve.

 Pittosporums are the perfect screening plant - banish your ugly spots from sight with this shrub!
Pittosporum - Member of the Order of Merit

Members of the (Moosey) Order of Merit (MOM)

Three recipients will celebrate the 2006 New Year with this award. They are all garden plants who have given tireless (and often waterless) service to the beautification of the Moosey Garden. They have turned out exactly like their pictures, have scoffed at bugs and diseases, and have never ever sulked.


Firstly, my Pittosporums. You legends! Not only do you provide beautiful foliage, with cute, subtle variegations, but you also do it when I forget to water you! You even do it underneath the Australian gum trees - amazing! You're happy for the distinction between 'small tree' and 'shrub' to be as blurred as the head gardener's eyesight without her spectacles.

 Beautiful - thank you for being such an easy-care plant.
Daylily - Member of the Order of Merit


My summer flowering daylilies also receive this award. You lovelies! Not only do you provide lovely flowers throughout my garden, but also you never fail to impress the odd Moosey visitor (I don't mean to imply that real life visitors to the Moosey garden are odd in character - there just aren't that many of them). Everyone wants a piece of you! You are generous, and uncomplaining.

On Behalf of the Roses...

Finally, the striped rose Claude Monet joins the Moosey Order of Merit. This is a recent rose, named for the painter of that famous bridge and those famous irises. Claude understands that he is accepting this award on behalf of all bargain bin bare-rooted roses, costing at the most five dollars, who have been abandoned, neglected at the supermarket - definitely not at the garden nursery - for weeks. A triumph for the universal, everyman's, everywoman's sale price rose...

 A worthy recipient, beating many of the more established Moosey roses.
Striped Rose - Member of the Order of Merit

Companions of the (Moosey) Order of Merit (COM)

Oops. There are quite a lot of these awards. OK, all you cats - Mugsy, Tiger, Jerome and Stumpy. And Fred the pet lamb, bleating in the front paddock. And Fluff-Fluff and Beige Puss, the two new Christmas kittens. And Smoocher the ginger cat, and Taj-Dog, both awarded the Companion of the Moosey Order of Merit posthumously. You all richly deserve this award. Please don't ever tell me you just 'do it for the food'....

 Stephen the wise and Rusty the red border collie dog.
Distinguished Companions of the Order of Merit

Distinguished Companions

Finally we come to the Distinguished Companion of the (Moosey) Order of Merit (DCOM). This award is the equivalent of a knighthood, and is given for the highest possible service to the Moosey Garden.

Two recipients gain this, the top award of the 2006 Honours List. Both have high profiles in the garden and have given hours (years?) of tireless service. Apart from leaving stinky deposits on the house lawns and tactically ignoring weekly suggestions for a second, larger Moosey pond, that is.

Pictured here in summer sunshine by the Moosey pond (first, only, solitary, too small), shyly celebrating their achievements are:

Stephen, the mower of the Moosey lawns, fixer of pumps and fences, constructor of pergolas, and welder of rose archways.

Rusty the red border collie.

Arise, Sir Rusty!