Random Harvest Newsletter Archive

Random Harvest Newsletter - July 2015

Posted On: Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Dear Indigenous Enthusiast,

Oh my Goodness! Did you see the beautiful glowing moon in the clear sky this morning?  It was breath-taking and reminded me of just how lucky we are to live in this beautiful world.

In The Nursery

We are busy dismantling the vegetable garden display.   As you can see the birds have had a field day with our vegetables and this picture shows what is left of the Swiss Chard.

During the month we’ll be starting a Herb Garden Display.  This is going to be a steep learning curve for all of us as it is something we have never attempted before. 

Wish us luck!

Bird Walk

On the 18th of July Andre Marx and Random Harvest will be hosting a bird walk to help raise funds for S.A. Riding for the Disabled.  Andre is donating his time and we are donating the venue and the breakfast.

This is a charity close to my heart as I grew up with horses and had a riding school where I saw what a difference being close to the horses and riding made to the disabled children.

This is the reason that the cost for this walk will be R150.00 per person which includes Tea and homemade biscuits on arrival and breakfast afterwards.

Time: 7h00 for 7h30 Price: R150.00.

Plants Looking Good

Osteospermum Hybrids

These beautiful flowering perennials come in an astounding array of colours and forms. 

They brighten up a spring garden just when we are in need of our gardens perking up and growing. 

Not only do they make us happy, but the butterflies and tiny insects love them as well for the bounty they offer.

They require full sun and well-drained soil.


Euphorbia tirucallii ‘Firesticks’
Talk about brightening the garden up - this plant does it in winter when the red tips look like they are on fire with the low winter sun behind them.

The green form has been used traditionally as a hedge around cattle kraals.  This form also makes a beautiful hedge.

As with most succulents they require well-drained soil and at least half day sun.


Crassula ovata
Money Plant (E); Stoepplantjie (A)
This plant may be a little old fashioned as our grandparents invariably had one on their veranda in a container.  But this doesn’t detract from its beauty.  It looks like a mini Baobab with its thick swollen stems.  The pink and white flowers are really pretty against the backdrop of dull winter colours.
A very forgiving garden or container plant that has pleasant proportions and will give years of pleasure.  It is particularly striking when planted with Euphorbia ‘Fire Sticks’ and Aloe arborescens.

Plant in well-drained soil in sun or semi shade.


Anisodontea hybrid ‘Classic Cerise’
This beautiful shrub is so tough it blooms happily throughout the year.  You will have to close your eyes and prune it back once a year to keep it looking good even though it may still be covered in flowers.

Plant in well-drained soil in sun or semi shade.

A really rewarding plant

When planning your garden remember that leaves add year round colour and texture, even when the plants are not blooming.

An example of this is the mix of Aloe vanbalenii (Van Balen’s Aloe) and Cotyledon orbiculata var flannaganni.  Both of them are succulents that should be planted in well-drained soil.  Both can tolerate some shade during the day but require mostly sun.


Installing a fireplace in the Gazebo has been on my to do list for a few years.  At last I have done it - and you can now sit cosily in the Gazebo on a chilly day, and enjoy a meal here at Random Harvest.

Tea Garden

Talking of enjoying a meal, we now have a consulting chef helping us in the kitchen.  I have taken this step to up my customers’ experience, by striving for greater efficiency and also to add some interesting food options to our menu.

This month we have new specials on our breakfast menu, such as Eggs Benedict. I have wanted to put this on the menu for years but have been scared of the Hollandaise sauce.  Now Louis has taught us how to do it – Yay!

There are a few other yummy offerings.  If you decide to try some of these your feedback would be appreciated.  This will help us to decide what to put on the menu permanently.



Training Courses

One of my customers is running a website and marketing course.  I thought there may be some of you out there with their own businesses who may be interested.

Our Webmaster spent a day with us explaining the workings of a website.  It was really enlightening and this made me decide to let you know about Ryan Ebede’s course.

Website & online marketing workshop for small businesses

Ryan Ebedes will be presenting a 3 hour website & online marketing workshop here at Random Harvest, 9am on Saturday 25 July. The session will cover website management, content writing, search engine optimisation, directory links, Google rankings and advertising.

Ryan and Glenice from Grounded Landscaping created and manage their own website and receive over 90% of their business through their online presence. 

Cost R280.00 per person including coffee and homemade biscuits on arrival, and tea and scones halfway through.  To book please email [email protected] or register online at www.groundedlandscaping.co.za/.

Domestic Gardener Training

Lindsay Gray will, once again, be holding the domestic gardeners course.  Together with one of my staff, she takes the students through a range of garden principles which are then put into practice in a section of our gardens. We have had much positive feedback on this course and are pleased to be offering the course again on the following dates.

These courses really seem to benefit the gardeners in particular with their confidence.
21 August; 23 October and 20 November – COST R650 per person
Advanced Domestic Gardener Training

In probably the quietest and coldest month of the year - July - Lindsay is offering a two-day advanced workshop for gardeners on 23/24 July. The course curriculum is as follows:
Workshop One:  Practical and creative aspects of design; measuring; design principles (including a practical) and plan interpretation (a must for workers in the landscape field)
Workshop Two:  Learning to draw an accurate plan for an area including scale, formal and informal design, sketching and plan presentation

COST R1700.00

Introduction to Garden Design, Maintenance and Plan Drawing
This invaluable course for homeowners, novice gardeners and designers who might need a bit of inspiration, will be offered on the following dates:
22/23 August, 24/25 October and 21/22 November

COST of Workshop one R920.00, Workshop two R1100.00

To reserve your place on any of these courses, kindly email Lindsay on [email protected], or call 082 44 99 237. You can also speak to David Valoyi in our Front Office or on 082-553-0598.

Father’s Day Feedback

The Dads really seemed to enjoy their gift of a little Portulacaria afra (Pork Bush).

I was completely amazed at the number of Dad’s that visited us and really gratified as well.

So many people visited that the kitchen was a bit overwhelmed and a few people did not get the service they deserved.  Even David had to jump in to help with the preparation of the drinks.

To anyone who did not get decent service I would like to sincerely apologise.

I would also really appreciate feedback from you to help improve our service to you.

On The Farm


The birds have been really active this month with so many visitors to our feeding station that they are costing me a fortune. 

This is a small price to pay for the joy they give me and all the people who visit us.

David is getting really good with taking pictures and is giving Jeff a run for his money. 

He took this lovely picture of the male and female Red Winged Starling.

We have got a whole family of Black Collared Barbets nesting in a cavity of an old Plum Tree in the nursery. 

Here they were out in force enjoying the winter sun.

They have also been enjoying our offerings at the feeding station. 

For anyone who thinks the birds are afraid of the beads on the feeders I hope this picture will disprove that particular myth.

The Bulbuls have also started visiting us in the retail. 

This one has a real quizzical look on his face

The Green Hoopoe have found themselves a convenient hole in this Pecan Nut Tree.

The Hadeda’s have been causing havoc in my seedlings. 

They poke huge holes in the pots probing for worms. 

In the process they pull out the seedlings. 

I think I am going to have to devise a Hadeda warning system to protect my seedlings.


We have been really busy with lots of jobs to do.

This is the TLB mixing our compost which is really cooking. 

I love it when I see the compost is working. 

One thing I have to visit regularly is my compost heaps. 

I love to see them gently smoking in the cold morning air.  Of course!

I also love watching the birds probing in it, looking for juicy compost worms (larvae of the Rhino Beetle).

We have also been gardening madly. 

The Plectranthus bed behind the office is getting a new irrigation system and then it will be replanted. 

Timothy has been working incredibly hard installing the new system.

Then, as usual, when I start a new job I open the can of worms just a bit and they all jump out at me. 

Needless to say this turned into a huge job looking for the pipe to connect to. 

Anyone who could see underground would be convinced a mad pipeman lived here as there are pipes all over the place. 

Even my mom who installed a lot of them was completely lost. 

But, after much digging we found it.

We have pruned the trees near the dairy and are going to plant a sea of different Clivia species underneath. 

This should give us something different at various times of the year.

I thought it is also time we did something with the gardens in front of the office. 

I went crazy and pulled almost everything out. 

So,  in my usual inimitable way,  I have to do some building as well. 

Then I decided we need to upgrade the irrigation system and so it goes with every job I start. 

What starts off as a small job just grows and grows.

One of the many jobs we have done this month is to install new blinds around the veranda. 

Now it is almost as if the veranda is open but still protected from the cold. 

I hope you enjoy them when you are sitting there.

Anyone who thinks that winter is drab and dull is completely wrong as these pictures illustrate. 

The Aloes and Red Hot Pokers are in full bloom as are other succulent plants like this Kleinia galpinii with its scarlet flowers. 

The Felicia filifolia (Fine leaved Felicia) is also in full bloom as well as the plants mentioned above.

Winter is certainly not drab and with its many flowers and deep blue skies is a beautiful time of year.

Even the succulent Plectranthus neochilius (Spurflower) which grows in the sun is in full bloom.

I love it when people visit to enjoy this beautiful place with me. 

When I see things like this family starting to teach their child young and these young teenagers sitting in the Waterwise garden, I feel really privileged to be able to offer such opportunities for the younger generations to become interested in the environment.

Some creatures have hunkered down for the winter like this bagworm. 

While others like the sunbirds are extra busy flitting from flower to flower sipping nectar.

When I write the next newsletter, believe it or not, it will be at the beginning of spring. 

Enjoy the last few weeks of winter.



Cell 079-872-8975
email [email protected]

For directions please go to our website www.randomharvest.co.za : or call 082-553-0598

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