Random Harvest Newsletter Archive

Random Harvest Newsletter - November 2012

Posted On: Thursday, November 1, 2012

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Dear Indigenous enthusiast,

Yesterday morning I was lying in bed listening to the dawn chorus when thunder started rumbling and a little rain shower started.  Isn't this just the sound of the Highveld?  I loved it, and got out of bed feeling so grateful for where I live.

The scary thing is that it is November and I am thinking of Christmas.  How does time fly?  I thought I would get in early this year and make a suggestion that you use an indigenous tree or shrub for your Christmas tree.  You can then plant it in your garden and enjoy it all year round and for many years. 

You could use Gardenia sp., Rhus burchellii (Karroo Kuni bush), Podocarpus elongatus (Breede River Yellowwood) (grows to 5m), amongst many other beautiful and suitable indigenous plants.

In the Nursery

The nursery is looking absolutely beautiful and is worth taking a walk through it just to enjoy it, whether you need plants or not.  I have to say you will be tempted as the plants are looking beautiful.

Trees that are looking beautiful at the moment are Ochna natilitia (Natal Plane) a perfect tree for a small space and Milettia grandis (Umzimbeet), which needs a bigger garden.

 Milettia grandis (Umzimbeet)  Ochna natilitia (Natal Plane)
 Indigofera frutescens (River Indigo)  Turraea florubunda (Wild Honeysuckle tree)

The Indigofera frutescens (River Indigo) are also in bud with a few flowers opening.  This small tree is a real joy with its beautiful pink and white flowers.  Even better, they keep flowering up until March of the following year.

The Turraea florubunda (Wild Honeysuckle tree) is also in full flower and a sight to behold.  Not only does it look stunning but smells divine as well.  You can smell the flowers from 20m away.


Bird Plant Display

If you are keen to encourage birds to your garden pay us a visit as we are busy with a display of plants that offer food that the birds can't resist.  With a few other little features birds should take up residence to make use of the feast you will be offering them.  Now, with your indigenous plantings, you can have beauty and the beasts.

Water Conservation and Patio Displays

The water conservation and patio displays are looking absolutely beautiful and well worth a visit for some inspiration.

There are some good ideas for sculpting the soil to ensure that you have the water standing on your property for a while instead of just running off and not sinking deep into the soil.  With a few shallow dips and low mounds to hold the water you could save a fortune on water at the price it is today and probably only getting more expensive.

The succulent roof is also in full flower and looks great.

Patio Display Path Display

Christmas Gifts

The new edition of "Creative Gardening with Indigenous Plants" will arrive in a few days. It makes a great gift for gardeners.

We have a collection of quirky little gifts such as candles decorated with Heather's charming pictures of nature.  I just love her pictures and she kindly said we could use them to decorate the candles.

A candle along with some homemade jam, chocolates and fudge makes a great gift for teachers. Pop it in a bonsai pot or small garden pot with pretty tissue paper and some cellophane wrap to finish it off.

The beautiful family calendar, moon cards and notebooks are also in stock and make great gifts and stocking fillers.  They would also be great for teachers' gifts and are really good value.

We also have a selection of other gifts, books and decorations.

Goodies for a bird garden are always welcome for people who love birds and their gardens.

Finally, also remember that we sell gift vouchers.  I think that to give someone a gift of plants is very special and something they will remember every time they walk in their gardens.

Bring a friend to Random Harvest

Have you thought about bringing a friend to share in this beautiful place? 

If you do bring a friend along and if they sign up for the Newsletter we will give you FREE tea and scones for both you and your friend.  This is to say a big thank you from us as we need to share the newsletter with as many people as possible.

Conference Room

I have planted up the garden outside our conference room and it is beginning to look great.  We are now ready to host events.  I would really appreciate it if you or any of your friends who are looking for a venue would give us the opportunity to quote.  I am sure the delegates would love coming out into the country.  We can host up to 25 people.   Remember that if people come from far we can also offer accommodation in our Bed and Breakfast cottages.

Random Harvest is also a great place for breakfast or lunch meetings away from the office in peace and quiet.

Waterlily Tea Garden

If you are planning a year end function think about booking a high tea at Random Harvest or maybe breakfast or lunch.  Call David on 082-553-0598 if you would like to book.

Kids' Stuff

We delivered another successful course for the children on Ecology, for Grade 4 pupils from Japari School.  They had a thoroughly good time lying on their stomachs in the grass with magnifying glasses and fishing in the dam and ponds for life to see through the microscope.  I think we blew them away and fostered a real interest in some of the children. 

The teachers agreed that this was a really valuable and fun learning outing for the children.

December Events

We have organised some fun and educational events this December.  I am particularly excited about Geoff Lockwood coming to do some bird watching and giving children a peek into the lives of the birds.
Please remember to book with David on 082 553 0598 and to book well in advance to avoid disappointment. 
We do have to be paid to secure the booking.

Birding Morning for kids, with Geoff Lockwood

Saturday, 8 December 2012
Join well known bird expert Geoff Lockwood for a fascinating morning looking into the lives of birds. This is a must for any nature-loving child that would like to know more about our feathered friends. The early start is important to be able to view as many birds as possible.
Ages: From 6 - 13 years
Time: 07h00 to 10h30
Venue: Random Harvest Indigenous Nursery, Muldersdrift
Cost: R55 per child. Breakfast snack pack available at R25 each
Contact: David: 082 553 0598 or [email protected]. Website www.rhn.co.za

There's a Nature Reserve in My Garden - Garden Safari

Monday, 10 December 2012, Wednesday 12 December 2012, Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Armed with magnifying glasses, binoculars, and keen eyes, we will be going on a garden safari to discover a whole world that exists in our gardens - from tiny soil bugs to butterflies, birds, mice and other creatures.  Maximum 10 children per safari, so book early to avoid disappointment. Bring a hat, water bottle and walking shoes.
Ages: From 5 upwards
Time: 08h30 to 12h00 - incl. two short breaks
Venue: Random Harvest Indigenous Nursery, Muldersdrift
Cost: R50 per child, excl. refreshments. Snack pack available at R25 each
Contact: David: 082 553 0598 or [email protected]. Website www.rhn.co.za

There's a Nature Reserve in My Garden - Garden Safari FOR TODDLERS & MOMS

Tuesday, 18 December 2012
A sensory experience from beginning to end - join us on a garden safari to discover a whole world that exists in our gardens. Your little ones will be able to experience water, mud, textures in nature and a whole lot more.  Maximum 10 toddlers, so book early to avoid disappointment. Bring a hat, water bottle and walking shoes.
Ages: From 18 months to 3 years.
Time: 10h00 to 11h30 - incl. a short break
Venue: Random Harvest Indigenous Nursery, Muldersdrift
Cost: R50 per child, Refreshments available from Water Lily Tea Garden.
Contact: David: 082 553 0598 or [email protected]. Website www.rhn.co.za

Making Christmas Decorations

Tuesday 11 December, Wednesday 19 December 2012
Brief description Make a variety of beautiful Christmas decorations - with many inspirations from nature. Cost includes 3 different decorations.
Appropriate age group 4 to 6 yrs - accompanied by an adult. 7 years upwards - adults also welcome.
Time 9h30 to 12h30
Venue: Random Harvest Indigenous Nursery, Muldersdrift
Cost R100 per person (Note: no charge for adult assisting a young child) incl refreshments and items made
Contact: David: 082 553 0598 or [email protected]. Website www.rhn.co.za

Card and gift-wrap creations for Christmas - with inspirations from Nature

Thursday, 13 December 2012, Monday 17 December 2012
Make your own Christmas cards, tags and giftwrap, either to use or give as a gift. Wear old clothes or bring an apron.
Appropriate age group 7 years upwards - adults also welcome. 4 to 6 yrs -to be accompanied by an adult.
Time: 09h30 - 12h30
Venue: Random Harvest Indigenous Nursery, Muldersdrift
Cost R100 per person (Note: no charge for adult assisting a young child) incl refreshments and items made
Contact: David: 082 553 0598 or [email protected]. Website www.rhn.co.za

Mosaic and Mixed Media workshop for beginners

Friday, 14 December 2012, Saturday 15 December 2012
Colourful mosaicking workshop for beginners - no grouting so you can take your items home with you on completion. Workshop will be run by experienced mosaickers.
Age level: from 6 years up - regret no children younger than this.
Time: 09h30 - 12h30
Venue: Random Harvest Indigenous Nursery, Muldersdrift
Cost R90 per kiddies mosaic, R160 per adult mixed media project - suitable for 11 years upwards (Note: no charge for adult assisting a young child) incl. refreshments and materials.
Contact: David: 082 553 0598 or [email protected]. Website www.rhn.co.za

On the Farm

There have been so many interesting things happening on the farm, and everything is bursting with life and breeding.

The most exciting was the Moorhen babies on the dam.  I was really upset when I saw the Black Headed Heron come hunting them.

I couldn't just let nature take its course - I had to interfere.  As you can see from the picture I sent Mongezi down there to work and chase the Heron for a while, just to give the babies a chance.

The Egyptian geese we hanging around there and wouldn't fly away even if you got quite close to them.  I thought they had finished breeding but low and behold a clutch of the cutest tiniest babies appeared. 

Needless to say Mongezi has to stay there for another 2 weeks to chase the Heron and give the babies a chance of survival

The Paradise flycatchers are back.  I just love their cheerful calls in the morning and during the day.  You can't listen to a Paradise flycatcher or see these beautiful little birds flitting around and be grumpy.'

The Black Cuckoo is 'soooooo sad' in the garden.  Added to this haunting call the Piet-my-vrou is like a stuck record all day long.

Andre Marx came and did a bird walk for all the people on the waiting list.  What a great day Saturday was for the walk.  We got 4 great new sightings, Ovambo Sparrowhawk, Neddicky, Fork Tailed Drongo and Willow Warbler. 

Andre will be coming again next month so if you want to go on a waiting list I will let you know what date he will be coming.  The cost will be R95.00 per person including breakfast and unfortunately we will have to ask for payment upfront as people just don't pitch.  This is unfair to the people who want to come and can't because it is full. 

Some of the plants on the farm have surprised me this year.

I planted Acacia hebeclada (Candle Thorn) years ago in our wind break.  How excited I was  when I saw the seeds! I nearly jumped out of my skin.  Don't think this picture of the pods is upside down - the pods are held upright like candles.

The Scilla natalenis (Blue Squill) have been particularly beautiful this year as you can see from the picture.  We collected both the Aloes and Scilla on an Operation Wildflower outing.  So they are true to where they occur naturally.

 Mongezi - Heron chaser  Black Headed Heron
 Scilla natalensis (Blue Squill)  Acacia hebeclada
 Scadoxus puniceus (Paintbrush)  Laughing Doves eating my seeds

How beautiful is my Mom's succulent garden.  It is amazing how spectacular the Scadoxus puniceus (Paintbrush) are growing in almost full sun.

I love our birds… but they can also drive me crazy - like the Laughing Doves above feasting on the seeds I am trying to grow! 

How cheeky. 

Someone has to be close by all day to chase them or there would be nothing left to germinate and there would be no plants for either you or me.

Jeffrey and I went for a 'game drive' the other evening before he left for home. 

We saw 3 Scrub Hares and a Swainson's Spurfowl. 

It was such a beautiful evening and according to Jeffrey a heck of a lot better than sitting in the traffic.

We are starting to see a few moths around. I am not sure what this cryptic moth is but I just loved his pink feet and how well he was camouflaged.

Talking about pictures - we had a computer crash and I lost about 1500 of the beautiful pictures Jeff has taken. 

I was really sad about them, but we are having a lot of fun wandering around the farm and replacing them when we can.

I haven't been able to get a picture, but we have a little family of slender mongoose (Mongeese?). 

The only problem is that they are hunting the baby chickens and geese.  Talk about a double edged sword.

After talking about the wonderful Highveld weather, we had a hailstorm with hailstones the size of golf balls and almost tennis ball size.   It broke 12 windows and a PVC waste pipe.  Unbelievable! 

From the noise you would have thought the War of the Worlds had broken out.  Luckily for us my prayers were answered and there has been no damage in the nursery.  Talk about being blessed…and I have so many blessings to be grateful for, which I love sharing with you.

Enjoy you Indigenous Plants and hope to see you at Random Harvest.



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 Saturday, 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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