Random Harvest Newsletter Archive

Random Harvest Newsletter - April 2012

Posted On: Sunday, April 1, 2012

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Dear Indigenous Enthusiast,

We have passed the autumn equinox and you can feel autumn in the air in particular in the evenings.

All I can say is WOW! Heather designed a beautiful water conservation garden complete with succulent roof and other elements such as catching rainwater.   I have to say many thanks to Heather and all my staff who worked so hard to build this display garden for all of us to enjoy.

In the Nursery

Water conservation Gardening and Succulent display

Many gardeners might think that Water Conservation Gardening is complete when they have installed "Water wise" plants and have grouped plants cleverly according to their water requirements.

Water Conservation Gardening goes further than that - it is actually the wise use and management of any water in the garden, particularly rain water.

This is a much wasted resource and true conservation of rain water means using methods for storage and infiltration of water into the ground in such a way that not a drop of water leaves our properties - what a challenge!

Our Water Conservation Gardening display is all about capturing rain water, slowing it down on its rapid and often destructive path to our rivers, spreading it out in the garden to decrease erosion as well as to create more surface area to absorb it, and lastly to assist with its infiltration into the ground.

We have a lovely range of succulents in stock. They always amaze me with their beautiful colours, textures and shapes.

When some of the succulents were delivered they brought their own little ecosystem with them - the caterpillar of an African Monarch butterfly and a strange bee-like insect on this Ceropegia sp.

Easter Egg Hunt from 31st March to 29th April

Bring the children for this Easter Egg Hunt which will teach them some wonderful facts about our indigenous plants as they search for answers to their clues. 

We have a treat and a local biodegradable Garden Bunny made out of Alien Invader branches awaiting them once they have completed the hunt.

Public Holidays

Easter Weekend Breakfast Special

Treat yourself to a breakfast on Easter Saturday or Easter Monday. 
For R55.00 you can enjoy an English breakfast (or another breakfast of your choice off the menu) and some yummy homemade sweet treats.

To book please call David on 082 553 0598

6th April Good Friday - We will be closed
7th April Saturday open - We will be open from 8.00 to 17.00 as usual
9th April Easter Monday open - We will be open from 8.00 to 17.00 as usual
27th April Freedom Day - We will be open from 8.00 to 17.00 as usual
1st May Workers Day - We will be open from 8.00 to 17.00 as usual

Have a look at our Event Calendar for more upcoming activities

Owl Boxes

You may have seen the fascinating feature on Carte Blanche this past Sunday.  Nelson Mandela Bay has adopted a poison free approach to rodent control, and employed the skills of owls to destroy vermin in the area.

They mentioned the owl boxes being used to populate townships with owls in the efforts to control rodents and other vermin in a poison free manner.

To get owls to stay in an area, a plentiful food source is important, but as important is a safe and dry place to nest.  Owl boxes will encourage owls to take up residence in your garden. 

You are not guaranteed to get owls, but if you do they will use the nest year after year and their chicks will then readily use nesting boxes.

You could maybe put a little food for them in the owl box thus encouraging them to use it.  After all if they will nest in a plant pot they should nest in an owl box.

Spotted Eagle Owl

Barn Owl

There are two types of nesting boxes in stock - the Eagle Owl which is open and the Barn Owl box which has a passage to hide in as they are more secretive and need a quieter spot.

To further encourage owls put up a few owl posts either in or close to an open area of the garden or your compost heap.  If it is also close to a light you will be able to observe what is going on. 

Sprinkle some bird seed nearby to bait the rats and with a bit of luck an owl will come and hunt from there.

An owl post is simply a gum pole planted in the ground in the darker area out of the light.  This should be about 1.2 - 1.5m above the ground.

Bird Feeders

As the weather is getting cooler it is time to think about feeding the birds again.  We have a selection of bird feeders and bird food in stock.

Feeding stations are also a great place to do a bit of bird watching.

Plant Specials - An opportunity to add diversity to your garden. These lovely flowering plants are discounted by 15% for April.


Dyschoriste sp. Nova
Pink Dyschoriste (E)

This hardy, evergreen, shrubby perennial has beautiful, almost maroon-green leaves.  The leaves on the tips of the branches turn purple in winter.  Pale pink flowers are borne almost all year except during mid-winter.   Flowers best in full sun but also grows in semi-shade.  Prune back lightly after flowering.   It makes a wonderful container plant
Size 30 to 60cm

Price R23.00 less 15% now only R19.55


Tulbaghia violacea 'Silver Lace'
Variegated Wild Garlic (e), Wildeknoffel (a)

Hardy, evergreen, tuft forming bulbous plant with strap-like grey and white striped leaves that are garlic scented when bruised.  Umbels of delicate lilac-pink flowers on long stalks are borne mainly from Jan. to Apr. although it will bloom on and off almost all year in cultivation.  The flowers are sweetly scented at night.  An excellent groundcover for difficult areas as it can thrive in very poor soils although it is lush and flowers better in well-composted soil.  Grows in full sun or semi-shade.  Use in the garden as a companion plant, particularly to deter aphids.
Size 20 to 25cm

Price R19.95 less 15% now only R16.95


Scabiosa columbaria hybrid 'Harlequin'
Wild Scabiosa (e), Bitterbos (a), Selomi (Tsw), isiLawu esikhulu (x), iBheka (z)

A hardy, evergreen, soft, clump-forming, herbaceous perennial with attractive, deeply lobed foliage.  The large, open, mauve flowers are carried on slender erect stems.  A lovely plant for mass planting in full sun.  Butterflies are irresistibly attracted to its nectar and it is seldom you see a plant in flower without butterflies.  Makes a good cut flower and container plant. 
Size 20 to 30cm

Price R19.00 less 15% now only R16.15


Stachys tubulosa
Mauve Sage (e), Kruipsalie (a)

Very hardy, shrubby perennial with finely hairy, aromatic leaves that  feel sticky to the touch.  It bears spikes of pink flowers that are speckled with mauve from Nov. to Apr.  This floriferous, pretty plant can be planted in sun or shade.  It tolerates dry conditions but does best in well-composted  soil.  It attracts insects to the garden.
Size 25 to 60cm

Price R18.50 less 15% now only R15.72

On the Farm

Sometimes things work out really amazingly here at Random Harvest.  Our first batch of Chickens has just hatched out. 

At Easter time - how appropriate!  The little fluffy yellow chicken being a symbol of Easter and so cute.

The light at this time of year is really beautiful and things look completely different. 

The young pods of the Paper Bark (Acacia sieberiana) were really shining in the morning sun and it was the first time I noticed the pink tinge that they have. 

That is why I love the indigenous plants so much.  You never stop learning about them, they are endlessly interesting.

The dam had started to become completely overgrown without an open area on one side. 

I noticed that the variety of birds visiting was diminishing.  We cleared one side and -  (viola!) the variety of birds has increased. 

Jeffrey and I were so excited when we saw these tiny birds on the edge of the dam. 

After carefully looking we were lucky enough to see Three Banded Sand Plover - a new addition to the Random Harvest Bird List. 

We were also lucky enough to get a picture to show you.

The birds seemed to appreciate it and a whole lot of them came down for a bath.  Jeff and I got there at just the right time to get some nice pictures.

These are some photos we took of the birds that we saw at the dam.

Look at the strange reflection of the legs of the Wattled Plover

The Blacksmith Plover was also throwing himself in his bath with gusto

The Cape Longclaw had a great bath and stood right close to the golf car shaking himself and preening

But all the same what's good for one bird is bad for another.  I took this picture of the Common Waxbill (Left) just the day before we cut the grass around the dam.

There were about twenty of them foraging around in the grass but after we cut the grass they had to go and look for another place to forage. 

Luckily there are lots of other clumps of grass for them on the farm or else I would be suffering from a  terrible guilty conscience.

I couldn't resist showing you this picture of the Guinea Fowl (Right). 

They are so difficult to photograph even if they are very photogenic. 

It is even more difficult to see their babies which they were hiding in amongst the rocks.

All species of Acacia have their own colony of ants living in their crowns.  They are there to help protect the tree against browsers.  I saw these strange looking galls on the Acacia karroo (Sweet Thorn) at the bottom of the farm. On inspection when we broke it open, there were the ants and the eggs.

We have also been seeing Hares on a regular basis.  I love it when they just freeze and give us the time to really observe them.  They have really beautiful limpid eyes and their gorgeous pink ears with the sun behind them.

I would also like to mention that if you are thinking of doing something special on Mothers Days we will be having a high tea.  If you decide to bring your mom along please remember to book.

Hope to see you in the nursery over the Easter weekend.  If you are going away drive safely and have a great time.



Cell 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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