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All in a day’s work

Time to get back up to date, quite a few things have happened in the past three weeks.

We said goodbye to the three interns who left last Tuesday, it was touching that they phoned Ellie to thank Fovs for everything we have done and we hope that they will find work after the promised jobs at the municipality did not materialize.

Just to summarize, we still have good rains, sometimes a bit too much of a good thing but the water birds certainly enjoy the full dams.

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The log was placed there by Rob who seems to know what a bird likes.

The shade house remodelling continues, we are lowering the water pipes to take the load off the shade cloth using old electrical wire abandoned on top of the mountain.

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Still waiting for the soil, both potting soil and levelling soil so we fetched some ourselves with the trailer to keep us going.

The paths and beds in the arboretum got rather overgrown, even with the brush cutter it was quite a job to make it user friendly again. There are still plenty of opportunities to pretty it up further but alas there is only so much we can do.

We are making very good progress filling up the empty spaces left by the plant sale, lots of propagation, potting and bagging going on. We much appreciate the contributions by various people of seedlings, plants and cuttings such as these Bulbines from Dee and Strelizia regina from Mark. Ellie has collected lots of cones from Leucadendrons producing more than 1000 seeds, lots of potential plants!

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Conditions for hacking are rather trying, it either rains or is unbearably hot. Still Rob, Cathy and Keith persevere in a very difficult patch near the Van Stadens bridge. In a way it was quite amusing when they were seen by the surveillance camera and the police came to talk them out of jumping!

We have put some of the funds generated by the sale to good use by extending the irrigation in the greenhouse, buying a step ladder, petrol and oil, pots and bags and various odds and ends to keep us going.

Flora and fauna is doing very well at the moment as is shown by this watersnake having a snooze in the braai area and this very floriferous Pelargonium cucullatum in the entrance circle.

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On inspection of our water pipe we found that our new neighbour has ringbarked the blue gums along the stream. Very encouraging to see.

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With all this work going on we do not forget the botanical side of our mission, it was great to get a visit by Tony Dold after we reported the location of the Pelargonium elegans in the reserve. He was of the opinion though that we needed our heads checked for working in 36 degree heat Smile

To finish off, we are approaching 250 members on our Facebook page so obviously there is plenty of interest out there but there is very little interaction with them, how can we change that?

Back to normal

After the hectic weeks of preparing for the Open Day it was a nice change to be more or less back to our usual activities and keep ploughing our lonely furrow..

Granted, there was still plenty of cleaning up to do, get the Fovs room back in shape, put tables back, get chairs and folding table back to the Conference centre, move plants back from the platform to the nursery etc.

We already brought another 80 seedlings from home to replace what has been sold and found a place for them in the shade house. The shade house is still fairly full since we cannot use the annex until the soil is levelled which should happen soon. We also need to provide some extra shade for the Clivia seedlings, all in good time.

Never a better time to rearrange things as when stocks are low so we got stuck into the greenhouse, turfed out everything that wasn’t growing and move all trays ready to be potted out to the potting table. Now all depends on Sisanie to bring us soil which he promised to do by next Wednesday. We have also run out of pots so we need to get those as well.

It was a hot day and the hacking crew arrived at tea time rather exhausted but after a lengthy rest got chain ganged into helping to move the Proteas back. When that was done I decided it all could do with a good soak to the sprinklers were on for quite a while.

We needed to plant the Chinese lanterns we were given just before the sale and decided that the best place would be the pebble area as it is quite dry there so off we went after lunch with nine trees in total and in 33 degree heat managed to dig suitable holes and plant them.

The rest of the afternoon was still spent weeding in the shade house and sorting out the misting house and to really round it off on the way out to annihilate a patch of Bryophyllums which was growing right in front of the manager’s house!

Open Day

What can one say, what a brilliant Open Day. There was such a good vibe on the day with all the activities and we were overwhelmed by all the support, compliments and, of course, contributions.

Friday we still had to do a fair amount of preparation, not least the gathering and tying of the cut flowers.

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Looks like hard work. Last year we had too few bunches so we made more but it turned out still not enough. We even had some in the greenhouse as backup and they were soon gone as well.

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We were worried about the trail run as conditions were quite slippery underfoot, luckily everybody took it as part of the challenge and, also thanks to the excellent organisation of Sheena and co, everyone enjoyed it.

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Then it was time to open the nursery for the plant sale. As usual some people jumped the gun but we stuck to our 9 am opening time. There was a steady stream of customers all through the morning but thanks to all the expert helpers everything went off very smoothly.

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A new feature was the food and cooldrink stall ably manned by Tinus and crew. With some music and chairs set out this definitely added to the vibe and hopefully can be repeated.P1030131At ten it was the turn of the cyclist and the family ride. With still some big puddles on some of the tracks we thought it would be even more of a challenge than the runners but Paul was fantastic and made those puddles part of the fun for the youngsters and, judging by some of the tall stories afterwards, to great effect.

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Perhaps the best part of the day was afterwards just chilling for a while with our dedicated group of friends and reflecting on a splendid day and a job well done.

Thanks to all of you!