Random Harvest Newsletter Archive

Random Harvest Newsletter - May 2014

Posted On: Thursday, May 1, 2014

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Dear Indigenous Enthusiast

This is such a beautiful time of year - I love the quality of the light. It is also a time when the trees are losing their leaves and the low sunlight is starting to play on the stems and bark adding another beautiful dimension to our gorgeous indigenous trees.

In the Nursery

Mother’s Day

Sunday 11th is Mother’s Day. All mothers who visit us on this day will receive a free gift of mixed bulbs in a lovely wire container made, once again, by Clopas.

Treat your Mom at our Tea Garden with a hearty meal or to one of our specials.

A special treat for breakfast is a delicious homemade wrap filled with scrambled egg, a little mozzarella and bacon served with tomato, pepper and onion salsa and sweet potato chips for R55.00 each.

Enjoy a plate of yummy mixed sweet and savoury treats (a mini high tea) for just R55.00 each. Spend quality time with your Mum under the trees or strolling around the nursery and farm.

How does the wildlife find a new garden in a few hours?  It is amazing how quickly they descend to enjoy the new habitat created.  The dove (Did you see it?) in the picture above is just basking in the sun.

Bargains for your garden

We have put some plants on special in the nursery – look out for the special labels around the nursery.   A good way to fill the empty spaces in your garden at a very reasonable price.

Succulent display

The guys have been working really hard to create a beautiful succulent display. 

I can’t help just sitting and admiring it every day with the sun on my back and the beautiful plants and glowing grasses in front of me - I am in heaven!

I told Jonathan and Jeffrey that I was going to tell all my readers how they don’t take notice of the voice of experience, mine. 

I told them to check the rocky riverbed for leaks before placing all the rocks and what happened - it leaked.

They had to move all the rocks to fix it.  I say if you don’t hear it you have to feel it.  I have been teasing them unmercifully about it.  It has afforded us a good few laughs.

I think you will really enjoy walking around this display and gaining some inspiration on how to create a waterwise garden.

Voting day

After you have done your civic duty of voting come along to spend some time here at Random Harvest Nursery as we will be open from 8h00 to 17h00.

For the Birds

We have had some lovely seed bell holders made which is not only food for the birds but beauty for your garden as well. 

You can buy spare seed bells while you are here as we stock the refills too. There is also a new stock in of the bird seed feeders I mentioned last month.


The Natal Red Topped Grass (Melinus repens) is looking amazing at the moment. 

A friend of mine showed me a picture of a little creature living on the seed heads that looks exactly like a seed. 

Jeffrey and I have been going around with our noses stuck in the grass looking for one, but no luck yet. 

We did see this Katydid (I think) in the grass. Really weird.  The world of insects is another whole universe to learn about.

Looking Good at Random Harvest

The Felicia erigeroides (Wild Michaelmas Daisy) is covered in abundant pink flowers at this time of year. This tough tiny shrub tolerates both dry conditions and frost. With a light pruning after flowering it ensures a bumper crop of flowers next season.

The Erythrina humeana (Dwarf Coral Tree) are coming into full flower. If pruned into a standard it makes a delightful small tree. The bonus is that they attract sunbirds to the garden.

Pelargonium fragrans ‘Nutmeg’ is a lovely little shrubby Pelargonium with neat round leaves which smell and taste of nutmeg. Use in a sunny, but not too hot, area of the garden. Makes a pretty container plant.Use the leaves to make a herbal tea.

Selago glomerata (Blouaarbossie) is long flowering and will ensure that your garden is dancing with butterflies when it is in flower. This lovely medium sized shrub has irresistible nectar and makes a beautiful show of flowers to please your eye. Plant in full sun and prune back about one third after flowering.



Everyone knows the lovely flowering climber Thunbergia alata (Black Eyed Susan). This cheerful plant never fails to make me smile.Train up a trellis or plant in a hanging basket and prune quite hard once a year when it is finished flowering to ensure a beautiful display the following season.

For an unusual colour combination in your succulent garden or in a container use Kalanchoe sexangularis (Kalkoentjie). With its bright red leaves combined with sunshine yellow flowers it makes a real statement in a succulent garden or container.
To the left is the Hypoestes aristata (Ribbon Bush) are coming into flower. They come in pink, purple and white and are beautiful planted under trees. They do best of all with a little morning sun but grow in full shade as well. Butterflies are regularly flitting around them looking to sip the nectar they offer.

Designing your own Garden

Join Lindsay Gray, principal of The School of Garden Design, for yet another of her comprehensive and stimulating courses on the weekend of 24 & 25 May at Random Harvest.

On the Saturday she will discuss the Practical and Creative aspects of Garden Design as well as the key elements of garden maintenance for an indigenous garden.

On the Sunday course, she will teach students how to draw an accurate plan for their garden which is essential for cost effective planning.

An optional module on Friday, 23 May, is the fabulous one day course on Sustainability and Biodiversity - understanding these concepts and how they impact the urban/peri-urban gardener.

For further details email [email protected] or call Lindsay on 082 44 99 237.  Web : www.schoolofgardendesign.co.za

Good news for grasslands

The Mpumalanga Minister of the Environment has, with the full and enthusiastic support of the landowners in the Chrissiemeer area, declared 73000ha of grassland as a protected area.  A stewardship arrangement with various NGO’s and the farmers in the area has been reached.

I don’t think people realise just how rich and diverse a natural grassland is and just how many species occur there.  Grasslands are the least protected habitat in South Africa so this is a very real and necessary victory after all the effort that has been put into reaching this point.

This is really close to my heart as I am besotted with the grassland on the farm and really enjoy taking time to see what is living there and what new species of plant has established itself in the grassland.

Talk at the Pretoria Botanical Garden.

Jeffrey did a talk at the Pretoria Botanical Gardens on colourful indigenous plants. 

I was so proud of him as I got a few emails telling me how inspirational he was.  I also find him inspirational and a total pleasure to work with.


I bit the bullet and bought a baler to make it easier to collect grass for my compost making endeavours.  It was really a lot of money and I wondered if I was over enthusiastic - as usual!

All I can say it was a great decision and we are collecting grass by the ton.  As it is all so new, as the grass arrives on the trailer I get really excited and Jeffrey is just as bad. 

Hopefully next year we will have enough compost to be able to sell it by the cubic meter.

On the farm

I decided to put fruit out for the fruit eating birds and to my delight the first time we put it out the Black Collared Barbet arrived for his breakfast.

This beautiful Citrus Swallowtail butterfly posed on the fence of the courtyard display garden just so Jeff could take a picture. 

Very accommodating.

Talking of butterflies – How beautiful is this Painted Lady posing on a Scabiosa? 

Isn’t nature just so perfectly designed?

This Yellow Pansy sitting on a rock in the succulent garden among the beautiful yellow lichens was already pretty, but on closer inspection the beautiful dusting of gold on the top edges of the wings made this creature even more beautiful and perfect.

I never cease to be moved by the beauty and intricacy of the life around me and feel so blessed to be able to live the life I do.

One thing I am not so happy about is these beautiful fruits of a Sausage Tree in one of my customer’s gardens. 

I was so proud of my 2 little seed pods until I saw these huge beauties. 

I am just plain jealous and am really happy for my customer who is an enthusiastic gardener.

We are seeing more and more spider webs like this beautiful one on the Aloe marlothii.   

I am happy about this because, as you know, I was really worried about the spider population which seemed to have crashed last year. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to remind you to please Like Us on Facebook if you have not already done so. 

We are working on sharing more information and interesting moments from our special farm with you through Facebook, so please have a look and feel free to comment!

I would also like to remind you that we are no longer involved with the nursery at the Walter Sisulu Botanical garden and have not been for some years. 

Another reminder is that we are open on Sundays from 8h00 to 17h00

Enjoy this beautiful autumn weather and hope to see you at Random Harvest soon.



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 Sunday

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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