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Van Stadens 2014.01.29

At long last some respite from the drought and high temperatures that we have experienced the last few weeks. It rained throughout the night and it was still raining when we were on our way to the reserve. Fortunately as soon as we arrived it stopped and we could work in relatively cool and overcast conditions.

Rob and Ellie busied themselves arranging the shade house and carting plants from there to the general nursery area:



while I sorted out the leak in the irrigation system by cutting the broken piece off and gluing a stopper on:


I also took the opportunity to get Jackson to dig around the unnecessary sprinkler so I could remove that one to prevent future mowing accidents.

The nursery is starting to fill up nicely:


After that it was full steam ahead with replacing the roofing sheets on the greenhouse, working conditions were so much better. Ellie got Samantha into gear to pot up more plants in the greenhouse and then levelled the soil at the back so we could put the paving slabs down to create a place where we can keep potting soil. The access hatch is not quite finished yet at home. Rob escaped and went to attack some more aliens.

When all that was done and lunch was had the remainder of our desk tops got sanded and the first coat of varnish put on. It looks way too good for a working room but it was such a pity to see that beautiful wood so messed up.

Ellie was determined to do some more gardening in Jenny’s circle while I checked up on various things riding the bicycle and then we ended off with a leisurely walk through the arboretum and a good look at the entrance circle where the Pelargoniums are just amazing. We were pleased to see that Pottaman has delivered the first scoops of soil for the western arm so progress there too.

Van Stadens 22.01.2014

Intended meeting was delayed as usual, Goodman not available and we had to wait for Tony.

In the meantime repaired the sprinkler riser which had been damaged by the mower, the staff had dug a hole to expose the pipe and I thought that just screwing in a stopper would do the trick. Unfortunately it turned out that the 50mm pipe is cracked and we need to shorten it and glue on a stopper. Job for next week. Turned out later Tony was the culprit.

Pottaman was back and asked him to deliver more potting soil by the potting shed and greenhouse and he also delivered an extra scoop at the back of the greenhouse to make a more convenient spot to keep the soil.

I put a batten along the side of the green house to keep the shade cloth in place before taking the first roofing sheet off.

Cathy and Keith arrived and started weeding in Jenny’s circle.

We then had the meeting with Tony and Ellie raised our point and hopefully it is the start of closer co-operation and more involvement from them. Rob is very happy he can go ahead and clear ‘Rob’s Roost where he wants to put a seat.

Installed the first roofing sheet, of course nothing without complications, the new sheets are longer and narrower, and after that 3 more sheets. Removal of the first sheet was a bit tricky due to the many nails, after that is plain sailing. Six more to go but it will only be enough for half the front roof. It makes a huge difference in light and also temperature and we think we should keep some of the old ones on and see how it goes.

Did some more sanding on the desk and Ellie gave first coat of varnish on the one section.

Fixed one of the stopcocks in the shade house where pipe had been pushed in too far and put plumbers tape on.

Checked why the water tanks do not drain equally, there is no blockage so it remains a mystery. Perhaps a flow issue with the fast outtake of the pump?

We kept the sprinkler going all day in the arboretum, using the bicycle regularly to go and move it on a particularly hot day with temp close to 40 degrees much to the delight of the birds.

Rob did a whole lot of potting in the greenhouse while Ellie weeded and sorted out the main nursery.