Random Harvest Newsletter - September 2012

Posted On: Saturday, September 1, 2012

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Dear Indigenous Enthusiast,

Here I sit on my veranda in the beautiful warm sunshine.  Hard to believe just a few weeks ago we were watching the snow fall and freezing.  Incidentally, we have lived on the farm for 43 years and this was the first snow that fell here.  Now there is a green mist in the branches of the trees made by all the tiny fresh green leaves.  What an amazing time of the year.

In the Nursery

Pot Special

We are very happy to offer large handmade clay pots at just R350.00 (this is a real steal, as the original pots cost almost R1000.00 each).  They were made by Cello Ceramics which has closed down. I have taken some for my veranda - just love them! 

There is also a new stock of Proteas, Leucospermums which I think would look great in these pots.

Plants looking great

The plants starting to look good again in particular are:

     

Arum Lilies (Zantedeschia aethiopica) are beautiful at the moment and we have both the white and the 'Green Goddess' in stock at R38.50 each.

The larger Clivias in 20ltr. containers @ R165.00 are starting to bloom and look magnificent.  There are a few Yellow ones in bloom as well @ R195.00.  These prices are only valid until the end of September.

Now is the time for lots of cheerful Daisy-type flowers.  The Osteospermums are in full bud with a few flowers just waiting to be planted out to burst into flower.

 

Conference room garden

We have been busy getting our conference room up to scratch so we can start marketing it, and are busy with the garden.  Now that the building work is done we are planting the garden up.  I have the same dilemma -sun or shade.  Trees won hands down and we are creating a little woodland.  I just love what has been done so far and hope you will too. 

Functions at Random Harvest

One of our Indigenous enthusiasts asked us to host a function for her birthday party which included breakfast, a talk on indigenous gardening and a walk around the gardens and trees with Jeffrey.

Everybody had a ball - so I thought it would be something to offer our customers.

Next time you have a special occasion you may want to think about hosting it here at Random Harvest.  

Events

Spring Time Creativity Workshops

Random Harvest is once again running creativity workshopsduring the October, government - school holidays. This is the opportunity for both Mum and child to have fun delving into paint, glue and sparkles while keeping in touch with nature. The children and adult workshops will run simultaneously. Children age 5-10 will be making Christmas decorations-an angel, Gift for the birds and a Christmas sun catcher.
Adults will be making Christmas gift wrap and cards.
 

When:  Wednesday, 3 October
Time:  9-12am including a short break.
Where: Random Harvest, Muldersdrift
Cost: Children R60, Adults R90

Snack packs are available for the children at R25 each, however, these must be pre-ordered when booking for the workshop. Tea and a muffin can be pre-ordered for the adults for R25.00

Booking essential, Call David on 082-553-0598

Biodiversity gardens

We are currently working with W.E.S.S.A. (Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa) on creating biodiversity gardens at 4 Eco Schools which were funded by HSBC.  This is an exciting project for us to be able to encourage children from a young age on how important it is to plant Indigenous and create small niches of habitat in gardens to provide for Wildlife.  Helping preserve some of our smaller fauna is now becoming imperative.

We also did a biodiversity garden display at HSBC headquarters in Sandton and I couldn't resist sharing with you the picture of the display with Sandton spread out beyond the window.  If I had to work in town I would just love to park my desk next to the display.

A reminder we are no longer involved with the nursery at Walter Sisulu Gardens

I have had a lot of customers talking about our involvement at the nursery at Walter Sisulu and would just like to remind you that it has been many years since we were involved in that nursery.

Our relationship with the gardens themselves is still strong.

Gardening tips

Hopefully the rain is on the way and this would be a good time to think of cleaning out the gutters.

If you are a green grass lover now is the time to start watering.  Then cut the lawn low and roll it with a spike roller or if it is a small area just dig the fork in for about 50mm.  This aerates the lawn.

Spread the lawn with compost or lawn dressing, fertilise with Vita Green Slow release 5:1:5 and water again.

You will soon have the green carpet so beloved by gardeners.

If your garden is on a slope and gets a little eroded, spread mulch which will help slow down the water, prevent erosion and cool the soil.  It will also prevent excessive evaporation and increase the moisture content of the soil, saving you money on water.

Tea Garden

We now have Chef Charles, a consultant chef, helping us in the kitchen and are starting to slowly add items to the menu.  Our latest additions are a grilled chicken salad with a yummy honey and mustard dressing as well as a tomato and pesto and a pear and blue cheese tart with mascarpone cheese.  Why not come out and try them and then let me have your honest opinion if they are as good as I think.

Remember suggestions on how we can improve your experience in the nursery are always welcome.

Gardening show at the Johannesburg Zoo

The Johannesburg Zoo is hosting a gardening show on the 31st August and spring Day 1st September. 

We are doing a display there and Jeffrey will be giving a talk on Indigenous gardening on the Friday at lunchtime and Heather a talk on Biodiversity Gardening on Saturday also at lunch time. (Contact details: Kevin Halama (011)646-2000 ext. 260 www.johzoo.org )

On the Farm

The variety of bird calls has increase hugely over the last 10 days.  I heard the Spotted Eagle Owl calling in the night. 

I love their haunting hoots and can never understand how some people think the call is spooky.

When it was so cold the Mousebirds were clinging to the branches of the Ehretia rigida (Puzzlebush) trying desperately to absorb some warmth from the weak rays of sun. 

I felt quite sorry for them.

I thought this picture of a bulbul hanging almost upside down feeding off the insects on the underside of some leaves was really appealing - and you can see the many tiny insects he was feeding on.

My best call is when I start to hear the Burchells Coucal. 

His call is supposed to foretell that rain is on the way and I am waiting with anticipation of the first dark clouds to roll over the hills and bring us rain.  It is always amazing how the plants respond to the first rain.

The Hoopoe has always been the harbinger of spring for me and he has also been calling in the garden. 

Talking about the harbinger of spring the flowers of the Dombeya rotundifolia are opening and once again adorning the tree.

Today the Brown Hooded Kingfisher was calling incessantly in the garden.  Hopefully he will find a mate soon.

I loved this picture of the robin in the pot of Jasmine multipartitum.  Unfortunately you can't see the pretty, fragrant white flowers but it is full of flowers already.

A silly dove has made a nest in the gutter of the succulent roof in the water conservation display. 

I just hope the babies have left the nest before it starts to rain. 

I must say dove babies are so ugly, as you can see from the picture that only a mother could love them.

The Striped Swallows are back from their migration and have returned to the nest on the veranda of one of the cottages. 

I also have a nice veranda, but do you think they will come and make their nest there?  No ways, they just leave me wishing and hoping. 

But you never know maybe this year I will be lucky.

The first goslings have hatched out.  They are really adorable little bundles of yellow fluff.  The rest of the flock of geese is really fussing over them and protecting them.

The days are so beautiful at the moment I find it difficult to stay in the office.  Especially in the mornings so warm and balmy and everything is starting to grow and shoot. 

The nursery is looking great at the moment with lots to see.  Hope to see you here soon.

Sincerely

Linda

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

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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