Our first working Wednesday of the new year, first priority was of course to sort the sprinklers out so we won’t have any more dead “bodies” in the nursery due to lack of water in this heat wave we have at the moment.

Hugs and greetings on arrival, Speelman was so happy to see us and tell us about the happenings in the reserve while we were away. Sounds like there have been a lot of visitors which is good. The last remaining bakkie at his disposal has radiator problems so the transport situation is quite a problem. Two staff members will retire soon and not be replaced including Pottaman the tractor driver. Not quite what we like to hear.

After offloading the usual trailer full of plants we scrubbed and hosed down the furniture in the braai area, let it dry and then Ellie gave the table a new coat of varnish. Looking good but we need to get some clear varnish for the benches. Then off to the arboretum to put the hosepipe by the young trees to give them some much needed water. Last week Rob and Cathy watered all the newly planted trees on the picnic sites and the arboretum as well and it looks like they are doing quite well.

We also walked part of the Nymph trail to check whether the P. schizopetalum were flowering, unfortunately we have missed it as they had already finished, even the seed was gone already. The trail needs a walk with the brush cutter, hopefully a volunteer will step forward

Neil popped in at teatime and organized with WFW to cut down the remaining dead blue gums by next week and also helped Rob to devour Ellie’s peanut chocolates and biscuits. Good chinwag was held by all and then the broken and misaligned sprinklers got fixed, we couldn’t test them straight away because Ben came and collected plants he bought at the Open Day but when we did of course we got a good soaking in the process.

Weeds are thriving, especially in the pots and bags in the shade house so lots of work to be done there, Rob and I made a start whilst Cathy and Ellie gathered and potted up some more Ericas,

All through the day we interacted with visitors because there was no staff to help them. This gave us useful insight into what people are looking for and what we should be concentrating on.