Random Harvest Newsletter Archive

Random Harvest Newsletter - October 2011

Posted On: Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dear Indigenous Enthusiast,

Linda is unfortunately ill at the moment, so her usual wonderful newsletter with snippets on Nature's going's on at Random Harvest will have to follow later - when she is feeling a lot better.

This is a sort of "interim" newsflash, we just thought you would like to know what we have planned for you in October (as well as November and December), and Jeffrey would like to tell you about some interesting plants that are in flower.


Our talk by Julia Botha on "Bring Nature Back to Your Garden" was a great success, thank you to all of you who supported this event. 

Julia's knowledge and the way she shared it was truly inspiring, and reinforced why we are what we are…."Indigenous Enthusiasts"!

The tea garden out-did themselves with a scrumptious tea - thank you to the hard working staff and Linda's creativity.

If you were not able to make the talk, we still have a number of copies of Charles and Julia's book "Bring Nature Back to Your Garden" available. They are R160.00 each.


It is rewarding to see the wildlife slowly discovering the invitation we have laid out for them in the small "wildlife welcoming" display garden in the nursery. 

A lizard has moved into the Minibeastie-box, the birds love the water feature designed especially for their use, and a number of insects, including butterflies, have been spotted visiting the various plants.

We have put up some useful tips on how you can implement some of these elements in your own garden - and will add a few more over the next few months.

November is our birding month and December our butterfly month, so watch out for small additions to the wildlife garden and around the nursery to focus on these lovely garden visitors.


You are invited to a talk on Culinary Herbs and Teas
By Rosemary  Sneyd of  The Herb Basket
When: Saturday, 15th October 2011, 2:30pm
Where: Random Harvest Nursery
Cost: R50 per person, incl tea and scones and Herbal tea tasting.
R25 per child for activities.

Rosemary will share her expert knowledge with you on the many culinary herbs available, as well as preparing them as a tea.

You will be able to taste different herbal teas that have been made up with fresh herbs, or make your own infusions from the herbs available. (This is the first in a series of talks that Rosemary will be giving on herbs. Watch our events calendar for more details.)

Bring your children along to plant their own herb and decorate a label for it, as well as make a "Tussie-Mussie" (herb posie).
To book, please call David on 082 553 0598 or speak to him at reception.


November is our Bird month and December our Butterfly month. We have some lovely events planned, and in December we will be offering a number of activities for the children - Mom, Dad or both can join in too. More details will follow, but here are the dates so that you can save them.

12 November: Gifts from the Herb Garden - A talk by Rosemary Sneyd of "The Herb Basket"

19 November: Walk and talk on birds at the Nursery - lead by Andre Marx

3 December:  Butterflies and their Habitat - a walk and talk lead by Jeremy Dobson;

Butterfly display by the Lepidopterist Society of South Africa

Holiday programme / activities:

Monday, 5 Dec, Decorate a Christmas Tree for the Birds

Tuesday, 6 Dec, Making Christmas Tree Decorations

Wednesday, 7 Dec, A children's Sustainable Gardening Workshop

Thursday, 8 Dec, Card and gift-wrap creations for Christmas - with inspirations from Nature

Friday, 9 Dec, Zoo to You and Build a Mini-beastie Box (Right)

Saturday, 10 Dec, An Indigenous Christmas - A morning of décor inspiration

Saturday, 10 Dec, A herb garden - From design to digging and planting.


Gazania "Citrus mix" (left) and Diascia spp (top) are lovely bedding / filling plants that are looking beautiful at the moment.   They can be planted together with striking effect in sunny areas.

They still flower well where they receive morning sun up until about midday or just after.

Our Osteospermum spp. are also looking great at the moment. They require full sun and regular watering.  Plant in well drained soil.

Dierama floriferum

This beautiful Hairbell is in flower at the moment, and will grace any garden that has sun and space for the breeze to blow. It forms clumps of grass-like leaves, with flowering stalks that droop delicate, mauvish-pink to nearly white flowers that resemble a row of bells. Plant in full sun and water well in summer. Their natural habitat is grassland and marshy ground.

Combretum bracteosum (right)

The semi-hardy Hiccup Nut is a robust climber, that is ablaze with clusters of bright red flowers at this time of year. It is best grown against a fence or trellis, or over a pergola, but can make a good stand-alone specimen if pruned and trained properly. We have a few available for sale.


Acacia xanthophloea

The Fever Tree is a striking, tall, deciduous, fast growing tree with distinctive yellow bark and fragrant, yellow flowers from August to November. Although fairly hardy (protect from frost when young), it is a natural indicator of water, and requires regular watering all year, especially whilst young. 

It can also tolerate inundation with water for a major part of the year.  As the shade is sparse, many plants and lawn grasses will grow underneath it.  When planted in groves where the sunlight can play on the stem they can create a dramatic effect.  I saw a few that were planted against the backdrop of a royal blue wall and it was magnificent.  If you look closely at the bark of old trees it looks as if they are covered with hieroglyphics.
Size: 10 to 15m (in Gauteng: 8 to 12 meters)

Erythrina latissima

At last! The Erythrina latissima ( Broad-leaved Coral Tree) in the open ground is flowering! Linda was delighted to see the picture that Jeff brought her, and it really brightened her day. Most often the woolly-budded flowering tips get frosted before they have a chance to reveal their beautiful vermillion flowers, but despite our freezing cold winter, this tree was determined to surprise us this year!

It is a semi-hardy, deciduous, small to medium-sized sturdy tree (up to about 6 or 7 meters on the Highveld). The rough, grey, corky bark and large, leathery, grey-green leaves make it a decorative garden specimen. The sturdy, compact flower heads bear clusters of elongated crimson to deep red flowers in late winter and early spring. It is slow growing and needs to be protected from frost if you ever want to see the beautiful flowers.

Schotia brachypetala

If you have a little time on your hands, stop in front of the Weeping Boer-bean outside our conference room - it is buzzing with insects and birds busy collecting the copious nectar.
It is a hardy, semi-deciduous (deciduous in cold areas), very decorative tree with interesting branching patterns and a rugged look.  The beautiful foliage is bronze when it first flushes and goes through many different colours and textures in the different seasons.  Bunches of magnificent red flowers, dripping with nectar from August to November attract sunbirds, other nectar feeding birds and insects.  The pods, that are initially bright green with a dark margin, turn beautiful glossy brown.  An excellent and ornamental garden subject for sun or semi-shade and one of our most beautiful trees. Suitable for bonsai.
Size: 3 to 16m (in Gauteng about 3 to 5 meters)

Kiggelaria Africana

Did you know that the Wild Peach Tree bears male and female flowers on separate trees? This is an excellent time to be able to make sure that your tree will bear fruit, as the pretty creamy-green flowers are out.



Our new stock of terracotta clay pots has arrived. Some have been planted up "ready to go" with carefully selected plants. We also have a "herb garden in a pot" - a selection of herbs planted together that is ideal to place for easy access from the kitchen.


We have some very nice pebbles in stock at the moment, with two different colours to choose from. They are selling at R45 a bag.



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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