Biodiversity & Wildlife Gardening
Standing in the veld grasses, tucked away at the bottom of Random Harvest Indigenous Nursery, it is hard to believe that this was once a dense stand of alien invader trees, Black and Silver Wattle.
All around one the sounds of nature buzz and hum, and on close inspection the diversity of herbaceous Highveld indigenous plants is staggering.
Carol Knoll, former editor of Footprint magazine has captured this diversity beautifully in her article "Restoration of an Indigenous Grassland at Random Harvest Nursery"
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A Book, Plant and Food Fair at Random Harvest Indigenous Nursery. Join us on Saturday the 17th of October 2015.
It's going to be a veritable feast for the mind, body and soul and we'd love you to spend the day with us - starts at 9:00am and ends at 4:00pm.
This day is a moment that is part of a larger story - October 2015 is our 25th Birthday month at the indigenous plant nursery.My life and that of Random Harvest are inextricably intertwined, and so in celebrating 25 years of this remarkable Farm and Nursery, I share three of my first loves with you - indigenous plants, books and good food.
Proceeds from the Day will be going to my nominated charity, South African Riding for the Disabled. What an amazing group of people and "equine therapists" (horses and ponies) that work together to bring healing, hope and joy to the lives of so many.
After 25 years of restoring a section of disturbed grassland at Random Harvest Indigenous Nursery, I am so excited that Prof. Braam van Wyk will be leading a walk through this beloved part of my farm in October.
I have been fascinated and delighted by how the grassland ecology has increased in complexity since we have restored this piece of land.
Braam’s passion for bringing botany and ecology to the public in an understandable and interesting manner made him my first choice to lead this special walk.
I never cease to be amazed at how children respond to being at Random Harvest Indigenous Nursery. It is as if they rediscover open space and the beauty of nature around them all over again.
I am a firm believer in Nature being a wonderful teacher. In fact, some experts refer to nature as “Vitamin N”- essential for a healthy balanced life. For many children that live in urban areas, Random Harvest Nursery provides a vital dose of this “Vitamin N”. We like to engage the children with their senses, encouraging them to respond to what is around them through touch, smell, hearing and sight.
Random Harvest Nursery celebrates 25 years in business as an indigenous plant nursery in October, and we are delighted that Elsa Pooley is part of our exciting programme of events for this month.
Random Harvest Nursery has been in business for 25 years in October this year!
Our message stays constant – live sustainably and always include indigenous plants to make your garden wildlife friendly.
Some fun activities have been planned to celebrate our anniversary. All events and exhibitions tie in with our commitment to caring for the environment and delighting in its beauty. Here is a brief summary of what’s on in October at Random Harvest.
Indigenous veld grasses are increasingly incorporated in projects by home-owners, indigenous landscapers and landscape architects.
Soft swaying grasses contrast strikingly with the solid shapes of buildings.
Apart from the aesthetic advantages, gardening with grasses has strong environmental advantages as well as solving some problematic issues in urban city landscapes.
It is important to distinguish between a grass garden and a grassland garden. Grass gardens are planted up purely with grasses.
Grassland gardens, on the other hand, include indigenous veld grasses, wildflowers, bulbs, Aloes etc., and non-living elements (wood, stone and often, water).
They are full of life, with a multitude of creatures visiting and living in them. Selecting indigenous plants suitable for grasslands and meadows will result in good biodiversity (plant, animal and micro-organism).
At Random Harvest we have an amazing number of birds resident or regularly visiting us. I believe this is because we have so many different types of habitat here on the farm.
We have planted a big variety of indigenous plants. The way they are planted and the variety help create the habitat that the numerous species of birds use.
Our Gardens are home to many different creatures, many that busy themselves gathering pollen and nectar or hunting for smaller "beasties", but there are also many that we don't even see until we look very carefully.
We share our garden with a host of creatures that are busy - some in the day and others at night - feeding, breeding, nesting and resting in any bit of suitable habitat they can find.
These are insect species, spiders and some other invertebrates, as well as a few vertebrates (such as lizards, and if we are in the right area, frogs and toads).
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