Random Harvest Newsletter Archive

Random Harvest Newsletter - August 2011

Posted On: Monday, August 1, 2011

Dear Indigenous Enthusiast,

I don't know why but this winter has felt long and cold and I can't wait for summer.  If you think about it, as my mom said, May was actually warmer than usual so we have only had 2 months of cold but I must say, in spite of this, I am ready for spring.
Thank goodness the plants are beginning to show signs of growing and there are delicate new leaves appearing on some of them in particular the indigenous willow (Salix mucronata subs hirsutus).   I am sure in a week or two the nursery won't be recognisable with the new growth and flowers - can't wait.


In celebration of Women's Day each lady who visits us on this day will receive a fresh herb in a pot. 

We are also preparing to serve a high tea on Women's Day.   Think of bringing a special lady in your life and spoil her with a High Tea.  We will prepare separately for each table booked so you choose the time you would like to come along and we will prepare fresh plates of sweet and savoury treats for you.

Booking is essential - please call David on 082-553-0598 to book your table.

COST R85.00 per person


Quinton Bean and Andy De Wet will be giving a talk on Hybrid Aloes.  They will give some insight on how they go about hybridising these plants and also how to look after these gorgeous plants.  Any questions you have on how to grow and care for Aloes will be answered by these experts.

DATE: 13th August   TIME. 2.00PM

Booking essential please call David on 082-553-0598



My brother Paul will be giving a demonstration of how to build a water feature quickly and easily in your garden using the amazing Firestone Pond Liner.

Paul has a vast store of knowledge on how to build a pond, the plants to use and how to make it wildlife friendly.  He will happily share his knowledge and experience with you as well as showing you the practical steps you need to take.

He will also take you to see the pond he built for my mother and the waste water treatment ponds we built.

Unfortunately for you to get the maximum benefit we have to limit the numbers to 10 people.

DATE  27th August   TIME  9.00AM

BOOK with David 082-553-0598    COST R100.00 per person including tea.


Join a friendly group and listen to a guest speaker sharing their knowledge with you.  Enjoy Tea and cake and some lively conversation with like minded people.  There is no cost and all are welcome.


We have a new fertiliser in stock 'Nutrimix' earthworm castings.  I have tried it in my soil mix and have had good results so far.  The price is R49.50 for 15dm making it an economical natural fertiliser for your garden.

Some Blurb from the manufacturer of Nutrimix.

The product contains soluble bio-available nutrients and micro-nutrients for promoting growth in plants. In addition the product contains:

  • bio-stimulants which facilitate the growth of beneficial soil micro-organisms
  • growth hormones and enzymes that improve seed germination
  • beneficial soil bacteria and enzymes that function as natural pest repellents

Earthworm compost

The new stock of Earthworm compost is in @ R29.00 per bag.  This lovely dark compost is full of earthworm castings, eggs and even some earthworms to help condition your soil for the maximum benefit from the plants and veggies you plant.


With breeding season just around the corner, and we all know how demanding families and babies can be, it is time to 'Feed the Birds'

We have a really good selection of bird food and bird feeders in stock. 

As you will see from the pictures they really appreciate the consideration.

I have been amazed at just how much they love the corn feeder and we are battling to keep up with enough mielies for them.


William and David have persuaded me to leave the tree display for another month and, not only that, but we will still be offering the 10% discount on all trees for the month of August. 

Take advantage of this to plant a beautiful Indigenous tree. 

The display of our top trees will make choosing a tree much easier.


We have some lovely hanging baskets of Strawberries.  Walk past and pick a juicy, clean strawberry in a few weeks' time - Price R48.50

From Women's Day on we will be offering dry spring bulbs just in time for you to plant them out in the garden.

Our seed packets should also start coming onto the shelves from the 15th August. 

Why not try your hand at growing your own indigenous plants.  Full instructions are on the packet.

I have noticed people are starting to look at getting their ponds ready for summer and thought I would remind you of the useful floating pots we make. 

Plant your marsh plant in the pot and watch it bob and dance with the movement of the water.  The prices are R45.00 and R65.00 for the different sizes.


Even though it is cold and dry there is always something exciting going on at Random Harvest.

We have 4 new calves for the children to visit.  They are really cute.

The Mousebirds have been going crazy on the Aloe castanea flowers. 

There are at times up to 15 birds on 3 flower spikes.  They are so funny as they look as if they are hugging the flowers. 

When you look closer at the flowers you can see why.  They are full of dark coloured nectar which the birds are greedy for. (The picture right at the top of this newsletter)

There is such a variety of birds using these Aloes from the Black Collared Barbet to tiny Tawny Flanked Prinia and a variety of other LBJ's that are too quick for me to identify.

Last week on the very cold day the Mousebirds were so funny. 

They were clustered together in the top of the Ilex mitis out of the wind but just in a window where the sun was shining through an opening in the leaves. 

Their feathers were staring and looked just like mouse fur.  Jeffrey and I had a little giggle.

The White eyes are congregating in groups and bouncing around the plants.  I saw the cutest thing the other morning they were all having a bath together in the grindstone in my garden.  There were 10 of them jostling for space - it really was a sweet scene (no camera of course).

I am starting to hear the night noises as we head towards spring.  The Thick Knees (will I ever get used to this name) are calling in the evenings getting ready for breeding season.

Last week I heard the spotted Eagle Owl - this is always exciting.  A beautiful haunting sound in the middle of the night.

The Jackal have also started to make themselves heard in the night.  I can always fool myself that I am living in the Bushveld when I hear the cry of the Jackal.

I have found it amazing that so early in the year when there is a little cloud around I am hearing the Burchells Coucal calling - maybe it means early rain?

I have built a water treatment plant for all our overflow of water from the sewage system. 

It has been an education. 

I am amazed that there is no horrible smell, which I was afraid of. 

I must say there are really huge Cyperus papyrus in the reed bed that it flows through.  

Although the water is quite green in the holding pond it is being circulated through a UV light which has killed most of the bad bacteria. 

I am planning to extend it and use the water to grow my water plants. I will keep you posted on our success rate.

The problem I have with the whole system is the geese.   They love this green water and on top of it they are eating the polystyrene rings of the floating pots and thus sinking my plants that are supposed to be helping take the nutrients out of the water. 

This has now cost a lot of money as I have had to fence the whole system off to keep the geese out.  The joys of living on a farm!

Amazingly enough I saw a Cape Weaver in full breeding plumage already.  He visited the feeding table for 2 days and I have not seen him for a week now.  Maybe he is trying to satisfy his notoriously fussy wife's new home.  The Masked Weavers are slowly beginning to show some yellow feathers. 

The dam is looking cold and sad at the moment.  I go down there to check and marvel at how different it is at different times of the year and how it evolves and changes over the years.  Nature is really marvellous.

A last tip from me to get ready for spring.  Send your lawnmowers and brush cutters in for servicing before the rush.  It is not good to only notice a problem with the lawnmowers when you are ready to cut the lawn.  By then you will have to wait in a queue while the lawn threatens to take over.

Here is to all things budding and blooming



Cel 079-872-8975
email [email protected]

For directions please go to our website www.rhn.co.za : or call 082-553-0598

Hours of business 8:00 to 17:00 Monday to Friday (Closed Sundays)

Cottages 072-562-3396 :  Nursery 082-553-0598


Directions from the N1

  • From the N1 take the Beyers Naude off ramp and travel north along Beyers Naude Drive.
  • From the Christian De Wet Road crossing (Northgate is towards your right) continue along Beyers Naude Drive for 8.2km.
  • If you are traveling along Christiaan De Wet Road, turn left or from Northumberland Ave. turn right into Beyers Naude Drive.
  • Using Garden World Nursery, which is on your right, as a landmark measure 1.8km to our turn-off.
  • Opposite Oakfield farm (which is well sign-posted) at Valdor Centre turn right into College Road.
  • Continue for 2.2.km keeping right and following the small directional signs to Random Harvest Nursery.
  • You will find us on the left.

Directions from the N14

  • From the N14 (Krugersdorp - Pretoria Highway) take the Randburg/Zwartkop offramp (NB Do not take the Randburg/Lanseria offramp if you are coming from Pretoria).
  • Turn left towards Johannesburg along the extension of Beyers Naude Drive.
  • Pass the turn-off to Diepsloot - Nooitgedacht
  • Take the next tar road to your left at Valdor Centre into College Road 
  • Follow the directional signs (See above).


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