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Van Stadens 2014.05.28

Weedeated fynbos path and more in arboretum, porcupine has munched all Babania bulbs. Ellie cleared all ericas around Dell with help from Goodman, big improvement. After tea Ellie continued with the help of Rob, digging out Dietes was hard work. I reconnected Misting House waterpipe with the main water supply, nobody knows where the water can be switched off so I did it under pressure. Of course I got soaked. I tried the timer and although the valve makes a clicking sound it does not open so must be taken apart next time. Went to help with the Dietes till lunchtime. Cathy did lots of potting in the greenhouse. After lunch watered succulents in greenhouse, filled in hole by Misting House and did some more Dietes removal before going to the arboretum to plant a whole lot of Dietes in the Gem. On the way out put the picnic table by the Xhosa huts in a new position and dug the poles in then weeded for half an hour on the east bank of the entrance circle. Finally tidied up in the nursery and gave one of the working for water a lift to town. Most of the fynbos in front of conference centre burnt, most likely cause a stompie from a car as fire started along N2.

Van Stadens 2014.05.14

It seems it always rains on a Wednesday, fortunately most of it fell during the night and it started clearing on the way in. Rob was already there, pottering away in the greenhouse planting some seedlings he has grown at home and we offloaded some of the plants we had brought. The shade house is getting too small so we started moving things to the general nursery area.

A little while later Cathy and Keith arrived as well also bringing plants and they got roped into organizing the nursery. Ellie has made it her mission to group the various species together and it it really looking good already. We covered a bad section with new plastic ground cover to give us more space, dug in the edges and put plants down. We dug the tree stump up in the corner of the shade house as well and also put more plastic down so now the entire area can be and is used.

Meanwhile we got a visit from the nursery man from Settler’s Park, they want to revive the small nursery there and he came for some advice. He was most impressed and very knowledgeable so we will keep close contact.


Cathy and Keith left early because Keith had to go to work and Rob and Ellie carried on moving plants while I went and planted our last Cycad on the Aloe Koppie, did some public relations to some visitors with fancy cameras, potted up some more Haworthias and moved plants out of the greenhouse.

In the afternoon Rob went out into the Reserve to find a suitable spot for his new camera trap to capture wildlife pitures and we planted another tree on the main picnic area, inspected the arboretum (looking good but needs work), collected and planted some restios and planted a few more things in the circle.

On the way out we stopped at the entrance circle and were approached by one of the locals living across the road and were told how much the local community admires us for doing all the work for free. I’d rather have that they come and help us (yeah right) but still, nice to know we are appreciated. What we call the ‘East Bank’ is settling down nicely and most of the plants we have put in are doing very well.


The succulent section


The Pelargonium section


A flowering Euphorbia and a Pelargonium pulverulentum with variable leaves.


Near the entrance circle the Kniphofias are a sight to behold.

Finally, even though it was already past 4:30 Patrick was still hard at work cutting down the Keurbooms along the Fynbos Ramble, he is really making a big impact and I hope Goodman will keep him at the Reserve for a while longer.