Random Harvest Newsletter Archive

Random Harvest Newsletter - May 2012

Posted On: Tuesday, May 1, 2012

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Dear Indigenous Enthusiast,

To wake up in the morning in an indigenous garden is to wake up to true beauty.  Just open your curtains and look out on the soft morning light playing in amongst the leaves and flowers. 

My view is of the light on the orange Strelitzia flowers that really seem to glow with a soft orange halo. 

They are planted under the Celtis africana with their shimmering silvery stems.  With a view like that how could anyone start the day any other way feeling in awe of the beautiful world we live in?

In the Nursery

The succulent display is looking wonderful as you can see from the pictures.  I am amazed at how great the plants look on the roof - not bad for a first attempt.  We got a real compliment from my brother who said it was the best piece of arid landscaping he had ever seen.  Now that is a real compliment.

We have put the booklet we wrote about the display onto the blog on the website www.rhn.co.za .  It has some useful tips on how to keep rain water on your property where it does most good rather than letting it disappear down the storm water drains.


We are open on both public holidays
27th April Freedom Day
1st May Workers day.

Special plants

Our new stock of Fynbos plants is in.  There is a nice selection of Leucospermums  (Pincushions), Ericas and Proteas. 

The sunbirds just love the pincushions which along with the Ericas and Proteas add some winter colour to the garden and when in bloom are a real talking point.


Water your plants with 'Anti-freeze for plants' (according to my friend who lives in Bloemfontein).  The minute amounts of silica in this product help to slow down the formation of crystals and thus the formation of frost crystals that damage your plants.  I tried it in the nursery last winter and had really good results.  Price R115.50 f 1 litre


Also in stock. Price 3 x 10m R75.00    3 x 5  R38.50


The gardening gloves we have in stock are "by far and away the best gloves you can get and can be put into the washing machine in warm water to clean them".  This is according to one of my enthusiastic gardening clients.


We have some lovely spring bulbs in stock.  At just R1.00 each (R20.00 for 20 bulbs and R50.00 for a bag of 50 mixed bulbs) they are really good value for money and will grace your garden with their cheerful and colourful flowers in late winter and early spring just when we need a lift of the spirit.


I have a display of some beautiful decorative pots of bonsai and rare succulents planted up artistically by the late Charles Craib he was a true artist in his own unique way. 

Don't miss this last chance to become the proud owner of one of the unique plants in one of a kind, hand thrown pots at reasonable prices.


Following on from the gifts we made for you at Christmas we are now offering the butterfly boxes for sale as gifts. 

We are also busy with putting together a 'Forest Starter' box to help reduce the carbon footprint.

I have had orders for these boxes as wedding gifts and they went down a treat.

If you are interested or know of anyone who may be interested I would be grateful if you could contact me.


Frans is making some chocolate and caramel coated almonds which we are now selling.  These are so delicious you will have trouble resisting them.

We will also be offering Chocolate truffles, again, homemade by Frans.


I am taking all my courage into my hands and adding some new items to the menu. 


Scrambled eggs sprinkled with bacon bits cooked in fresh herbs and served with homemade bread and preserves


We will be offering spinach and feta rolled pancakes baked in the oven and a crunchy grilled chicken and sprout salad.

What's on in the Nursery

Mother's Day

This year mother's day is on the 13th but as usual we will be celebrating the day before on Saturday 12th May.

Visit us on the 12th and all the mothers will receive a special gift of 'Gardeners Hand Cream' especially formulated and made for us from extracts of indigenous healing plants.

High Tea

If you really want to spoil your mom bring her along for High Tea at Random Harvest.  We will be serving a spread of delicious homemade sweet and savoury delights.  Where better to spend time with your mom but relaxing under the trees and being spoilt.
The cost is R95.00 per person and booking is essential.
Please call David to on 082-553-0598 to book.
Autumn Colour

The trees are looking great with their autumn colours. 

Try not to look at the leaves as a mess you need to clean up.  Rather look at them as a feast for your eyes while they are on the trees and mulch for your garden when they have fallen. 

By using them as mulch you make a blanket for the soil to protect the fine hair roots of your plants and return all the nutrients back to the soil they came from.  

Another bonus is that you can watch the play of shadows from the bare branches on the buildings and ground around the trees.  So now we can think of autumn leaves as a gift at this special time of the year.

Kirkia wilmsii - Mountain Syringa
Combretum kraussii - Forest Bush Willow
Combretum padoides - Thicket Bush Willow
Ekebergia capensis - Cape Ash
Heteropyxis canescens - False lavender tree
Heteropyxis natalensis - Lavender tree


Driving around the farm and nursery I am amazed at just how beautiful and colourful a time of the year this is.

The Leonotis leonurus (Wild dagga) I cut back severely last year after flowering, as I wanted to transplant them, are looking just amazing.  I have never seen so many flowers on them. 

Leonotis leonorus white - Wild dagga
Leonotis leonorus orange - Wild dagga

Just goes to show a good pruning now and again does a lot of plants a lot of good.  Not to mention what a bounty they offer the sunbirds who are constantly patrolling the flowers and chasing their rivals off. 

The Hypoestes aristata (Ribbon bush) have so many flowers on them (the ones I pruned last season are the most floriferous ones) you cannot even see the leaves.  As these are a favourite nectar plant for the butterflies you can just imagine what is going on in and around the flowers.

It just goes to show a good pruning now and again does many plants a lot of good.

Other plants that are looking amazing at the moment are Tecomaria capensis (Cape Honeysuckle), Barleria obtusa (Bush Violet) and Justicia petiolaris (Blue Justicia).

Why not take a stroll around your garden and check out exactly what is looking beautiful and take just a moment to contemplate how lucky we are to have such beauty in our gardens?

It is so much drier at Random Harvest this year that I am not seeing the dewdrops on the spiders webs that we normally see.  I usually just love driving around and spotting these beautiful works of art but am missing them this year.

To my great delight (no camera of course!) a Hamerkop landed next to the pond in the nursery.  This was very exciting as I have not seen them on the farm for a couple of years.  I hope he makes the nursery his happy hunting ground.

The water in my sewage reticulation is so crystal clear I am amazed and so are the Wagtails. 

They march up and down a few planks I put into the pond to help save any birds or creatures that might fall in. 

One of the planks is waterlogged and floating slightly below the water.  This the Wagtails love as I think it takes them closer to their prey making their meals much easier to get to.

How are these beautiful mushrooms? 

Jeffrey says they look like a Chinese Town.   They are growing on the stumps of the Casualrinas I chopped down some years ago.  I never thought an alien plant would give me so much pleasure.  But watching the process of the wood breaking down has been a real fascination.

I think Jeffrey and I must be some of the very few people who get excited when something starts eating our plants.  The Hawk month caterpillars are busy munching the leaves of the Arum lilies on my patio - much to our delight.  It humbles me to know that these beautiful creatures are happy to share my space with me.

Finally! How is this beautiful moth? 

It looks like a sea shell and I wonder if the white dot is an egg it laid?  I only noticed it in the picture so am not sure.  I am trying to identify this moth as you couldn't see its head or antennae which were under its body.  I will let you know when I find out.  If any of my readers know, please share its identity with me and I'll let everyone know in the next newsflash.

Sit in your garden in the midday warmth and enjoy the low light playing on the plants and the sunbirds flitting from flower to flower.  Enjoy this beautiful time of the year and allow gratitude to fill your heart for this beautiful world of ours.



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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