Random Harvest Newsletter Archive

Random Harvest Newsletter - February 2014

Posted On: Saturday, February 1, 2014

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Dear Indigenous Enthusiast,

Talk about a feast or a famine - we have gone from a dry heat wave to just a little less rain than the deluge. 

I for one am happy as all this rain will certainly help to replenish the boreholes.

In The Nursery


Fritos has planted up some lovely reasonably priced pots of mixed plants. 

They look like a little bit of nature in a container.  He really seems to have 'the touch' with his plant choices. 

They look gorgeous planted up in these really good quality Terracotta pots.

Cottage to Let

There is a lovely thatched cottage to let at Random Harvest. 

If you know anyone who would like to live here on this beautiful, secure farm please let them call my mother Rita on 083-302-7370


We are working on re-doing our ever-popular succulent display which is starting to look really good.  We also have a new stock of succulents in giving you a wide variety to browse through.

The cottage garden is also looking great and will hopefully inspire you to create a pretty colourful space in your own garden.  The free pamphlet gives you the basics you will need, and gives you a list of the plants that we used.

Plants that are looking great at the moment

Gloriosa superba Flame Lily
Evergreen creeper for shade or morning sun.
Do not overwater and keep as dry as possible in winter
Gerbera jamesonii Barberton Daisy
Perennial with a basal rosette of large leaves.
Beautiful orange daisy-like flowers on long stems
Plant in semi shade or shade
Bauhinia tomentosa Yellow Bauhinia
Deciduous medium sized shrub with beautiful yellow flowers
Prune to keep in shape and to the size you want.
Nymphaea nouchallii Water Lily
This deciduous blue waterlily are looking great at the moment.
Plant in a pond and let the leaves float.
Plumbago auriculata 'White' White Plumbago
Evergreen shrub for sun or shade. 
Prune to keep in shape as it can get big. 
Train and use as a creeper.
Makes a great hedge
Flowers are edible
Synchelostemon densiflorus Pink Plume
Evergreen shrub for sun.
Nice medium sized shrub for smaller gardens.
Long flowering time of beautiful pink plumes.
Prune lightly after flowering.
Pavonia praemorsa Yellow Pavonia
Evergreen shrub for sun or semi shade.
Nice medium sized shrub for smaller gardens.
Long flowering time
Prune lightly to keep in shape.


Kleinia galpinii
Succulent perennial with basal grey succulent leaves.
Red flowers clustered at the tips of long stems.
Plant in sun or semi shade.
Pavonia praemorsa Yellow Pavonia

Tree walk

We have had so many people wanting to join us on the tree walk I advertised last month.  I decided to do the same walk again to try and accommodate the people who were disappointed by not finding space.

I already have quite a long waiting list and there are only a few spaces left so if you missed out give us a call as soon as possible to ensure your place.

As with the last one you will receive a booklet.

Date: 1st March, 2014 Time: 8.30 for 9.00 (I thought to do it early to avoid the heat of the day.)

We will start with tea and coffee and biscuits at 8.30 and then start the walk at 9.00am
Cost: R 50.00 per person and booking is essential.  Please call David to book on 082-553-0598

Garden Design Courses by Lindsay Grey
Lindsay Gray, principal of The School of Garden Design, is back with us on several weekends this year to conduct her enjoyable, informative and visually stimulating courses:

Join Lindsay at our nursery in 2014 on 21 - 23 February;  9 - 11 May;  12 - 14 Sept or 24 - 26 October.

Introduction to Garden Design & Maintenance.
On the Friday preceding each of these she will hold an additional workshop entitled
The delights of Sustainability and Diversity : how these concepts affect the Urban Gardener.

For more information or to book your place, contact The School of Garden Design on [email protected] or www.schoolofgardendesign.com. Cell: 082 44 99 237

New Year's Resolutions for your garden.

Even though we are already 1 month into 2014 I thought I would share some resolutions in the hopes that they will enhance your enjoyment of your garden.

1. Plant only indigenous plants. If you have a lot of exotics make a commitment that any new plants you plant will be indigenous.
2. Spend more time in the garden observing and contemplating
3. Think about creating habitat in your garden
4. Walk barefoot on the lawn and feel the earth beneath your toes.
5. Plant and use fresh herbs from your garden.
6. Go on regular bug and nature walks and see just who is living in your garden.

On The Farm

Wow! Has there been a lot going on, on the farm this month?  The biggest thing of course has been the rain.  After the terrible heat wave we had I was so excited when it rained.  The retained heat in the paving in the nursery was immense.  As the rain started falling the nursery started smoking. 

We had 20mm of rain and the nursery continued smoking for about an hour.  I have never seen anything like that before.    I was so excited about the rain after the long dry spell little did I know what was about to be unleashed.

When it started raining last week we had 140mm in one day.  The dam filled up in a few hours and in spite of the overflow it almost started spilling over the bank of the dam.  We have lived on the farm for 45 years and I have never seen anything like it.  

The overflow created a temporary river on Random Harvest.  This water ran down to the stream in the valley and with all the water pouring turned this gentle little stream into a roaring river - amazing.

Needless to say, Jeffrey and I were permanently wet with our regular trips down to the dam in the rain to check what was going on.  What fun we have had.

One of our boreholes is on the bank of the dam.  Well no longer.  If we have a problem with the borehole we will have to access it with a boat.  I was just hoping that the water did not reach the height of the electrics.

The continuing rain has brought so many different interesting experiences and things to see.  It is amazing that you can live somewhere for so long and there are still interesting things to see.

There have been many different birds visiting the dam now that it is bigger and deeper.  One of the most entertaining was seeing the Little Grebes. 

As we arrived at the dam I saw them disappearing into the reeds with just a brief glimpse.  I decided to try out my Roberts Bird App on my phone and played the call. 

Talk about a reaction they came zooming out of the reeds calling their heads off searching for the intruders. 

I really irritated them with the call.  They came right up to where Jeff and I were sitting displaying and calling their heads off. 

We were really amused at the reaction we got from hem.  I thoroughly enjoyed the brief encounter but switched off the phone as the birds were quite agitated.

The next unusual sighting was this Black Headed Night Heron.  He flew onto the dead tree on the now non-existent island and posed there for me. 

An interesting addition to our Bird List which now stands at 143 inside the fence of the farm.

Another bird we saw, which I have not seen on the farm for some time, was the Pied Kingfisher, looking very intently into the water in the hope of catching a meal.

I can't wait to see what else visits the dam over the next few weeks as the habitat has changed completely and we should have some interesting visitors

Although I have spoken mostly about the dam there have been other parts of each day that I have enjoyed.

The one thing that has been really beautiful is the sky.  In the early mornings it has been every shade from bright orange to red and cerise with beautiful shaped clouds.  Some mornings the clouds have been a bright and shiny silver in the early morning sunlight.  I have had hours of pleasure floating on my back in my pool just enjoying the clouds and the sky.

The Bullfrogs have been out and about with all this rain, and I have seen more bullfrogs in the last few weeks than I have seen in the last few years.  They have also been very vocal around the habitat I created solely for them, so I am still hoping to have lots of little bullfrog babies on the farm.

The insects have also been really interesting.  The other morning I was sitting on my veranda with the light on.  I slowly began to realise that there was a lot of buzzing going on.  I looked up and saw that the light had confused a whole swarm of bees.  The Apodytes dimidiata (White Pear) shading my veranda was in full flower and I realised the bees had come to the light instead of to the flowers.  I switched off the light and within 20 seconds the bees had left and started visiting the flowers to collect pollen and nectar. 

I sent Jeff to try and take a picture of the bees and to my surprise there were a few different species as well as a whole host of other insects on the flowers.  Nature is ever surprising and amazing.

The other little insect was living on my chair.  They were so tiny I could not make out if they were spiders or not - so I can't help with identification. 

If anyone can tell me what they are I would be very interested to know. 

They behaved really weirdly.  They dispersed (maybe looking for food) but if they felt threatened, quickly clustered together again.  They also spent the night clustered together. 

I think the picture is of the eggs they hatched from.

We had our first visit to the feeding table from the Grey Hornbill.  I was too late with the camera to get a picture but hopefully he makes a habit of it and visits us again.

I had to share this picture of the Giant Pineapple Flower (Eucomis pole-evansii).  It was so spectacular. 

As you can see from the picture it is bigger than the Strelitzia and a lot bigger than the Agapanthus. 

What a beautiful plant for full sun and little water.

I hope you have enjoyed the rain as much as I have.



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 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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