The Custodians of Platbos
Melissa Saayman is a qualified horticulturist, and along with Francois, has been a fellow custodian of the Reserve since 2005. She writes extensively about Platbos and is the producer of the African Tree Essences – vibrational remedies made from the flowers of the Platbos Forest trees which are sold throughout the world. Melissa synthesizes her intuitive understanding of the ecology of the forest with her horticultural training and personal observations of the forest and the creatures that reside there. Perceiving and interacting with the intelligences of nature and the forest trees underpins all of her work at the forest. The Platbos Accommodation falls under Melissa’s management and she is hugely appreciative of the support of her staff: Cornea Smit (Platbos Admin) and Dolla Saluti (Head of House-Keeping).
Francois Krige started his work with trees in the 1980’s in the forests of Germany, and then worked as an arborist in England. Since 1991 he has owned and run Krige Tree Services in Cape Town, looking after indigenous trees at Kirstenbosh Gardens and the exotics at Arderne Gardens amongst others. It is at Platbos where his life with trees became truly wonderful. Learning about forest ecology, protecting the forest from fire, and learning how to restore degraded forest through alien clearing and tree planting is his passion. The Platbos Nursery is his home, amongst over 80 000 saplings.