To be fair, I should have warned Country Gardens Magazine’s photographers about moss. To our readers as well, moss be warned. Having touched on the side-effects of moss in an earlier post, I now think it’s of the utmost importance to spell it out — moss gardens will seduce you. Once seduced, the side-effects are too individualized to generalize. I can only share with you my observations during a recent photo shoot at The Moss Farm.
With 2 days of photoshoots scheduled, Country Gardens Magazine’s Marty Baldwin and
his assistant Bekah Garrison arrived with a clear understanding of the tasks at hand. What they didn’t count on were the side-effects moss would have on them.
Side-effects are difficult to predict. Each person must deal with their own inner feelings at their own rate and pace. Plus, the ability to resist temptation is subjective. You know your own weaknesses. Just know, moss melts muscle. Even the strongest are unable to temper their inner quiet.
First time visitors to a moss garden will need to work out their own inner moss manners.
Owners of Moss and Stone Gardens,David Spain and Ken Gergle, have long learned how to work with moss in a professional manner, keeping moss seduction under control. To an extent anyway. Both David and Ken will share with you that this is neither easy nor completely controllable. They do the best they can.
Like most people seeing a moss garden for the first time, Marty and Bekah, trod lightly on the moss. They didn’t need too, of course, but moss will do that to you.
Marty — strong, silent, stoic — was the first to step in. I could feel his energy heighten to a red alert resisting the temptation to roll on the moss like a little puppy. It appeared Marty was resisting temptation and I wanted to know how. I didn’t ask though, it would be too personal of a question. Later I realized he didn’t resist. He merely acted like he did. When I reviewed the photos he was supposed to take for the feature, I realized he photographed beyond the photo order. I called him on it. “So Marty, what are these shots. Are you scouting this garden? Quickly he replies, “No,” but then with a sly smile, he says, “Well yes, maybe.” Even an incredible professional, photographing beauty everyday, was seduced.
I had a weak moment during the photo shoot, as well. Even though I knew the powers of this seducer. During one of the photo set-ups, I needed to lie on the moss to better view the angle of the shot. As I lowered my body towards the ground, the seducer’s energy pulled me in. Once on the ground, lying on my right side, I could feel the moist moss and it’s ancient wisdom, the moss was healing my hardened heart. Fighting the puppy effect, I did what I needed to do to finish and moved on.
Watching Bekah, on the other hand, was a different matter. Bekah had youth on her side, adding to the puppy equation. Although Bekah didn’t roll on the moss like a playful puppy (or at least I didn’t see her), she was extremely weak in the understanding, or perhaps not caring, about the side-effects of moss. The first thing she did was take off her flip flops to feel the moss on her bare feet.
Personally, I was a little worried for her since the outcome was too uncertain. When walking on the moss, she chatted more, laughed more, and twirled. I thought this would be the worse of it. But about an hour into the shoot, I passed out apples. Apparently, Bekah was famished. She took the apple and started to moan and groan with outward pleasure and, if you can believe this, she started to dance. Her chatter turned into a lyrical song, as she danced and ate, with shameless abandonment.
Bekah’s side-effects were so bad, withdrawals were predicted, so David and Ken boxed some moss for Bekah to take home with her.
After the photo shoot, we headed to NoFo’s in Raleigh for a little lunch. Everything tasted better, the conversation was engaging and entertaining. Time stopped. Even though Marty and Bekah had a plane to catch and I had kids to pick up, we lingered at the table a little longer, each with individual reflections of our magical moss experiences, and a bond only moss can make.