Random Harvest Newsletter - April 2014

Posted On: Tuesday, April 1, 2014

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Dear Indigenous Enthusiast,

No matter that my newsletter is proof read by at least 4 people the gremlins still creep in.  The first paragraph should have read ‘autumn equinox’ not winter equinox – I can be a bit slow some times.

One thing I can say is that I have been really happy to see the sun (not that I am complaining about the rain).  I definitely could not live anywhere else but in this beautiful country of ours that has the best weather in the world.

Kids Events

We are well prepared for another interesting outing for the children about:

Trees in our lives

We will teach the children about the lifecycle of trees.  They will discover trees with their senses – smell, sight, touch.  Look at wood and learn to read tree rings, scratch in the mulch to find the life in it and finally learn to plant a tree which they will then take home with them.  Each child will also receive a pamphlet which they could maybe use for school projects.

The program will run from Wednesday to Sunday of each week from the 28th March to 6th April and from the 23rd April to 4th May.   Children under 6 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

COST:  FREE:    TIME:  10h00 every Wednesday to Sunday

Easter egg hunt

Bring the children along for an Easter egg hunt.  They will do a trail through the nursery and learn some interesting ‘Eco Facts’ along the walk.

When they are finished the trail, there will be a gift of a wire bunny or chicken with a plant and a few sweets.A lot of fun for the children and if the truth be told I am in love with the wire chickens that were made for the children by a very talented man Clopas.

Bird Walk

After having to cancel the bird walk as the ground was a quagmire we had to cancel it again the following week as my neighbour, in his wisdom, decided to have a rock concert – not conducive to good bird watching.

Hopefully third time lucky Andre Marx is once again kindly going to do a bird walk for us on the 5th April.  These walks are really popular so call early to reserve your space as we can only accommodate 20 people.  Booking is essential.

The price includes a sunrise breakfast after the walk (bacon, eggs, tomato, sausages, toast and jam served with a cup of tea or coffee.)

TIME: 
Walk will start at 7h00 but we will have coffee and biscuits ready for you by 6h30.
COST: R95.00 per person BOOK WITH: David on 082-553-0598. 
Booking will be confirmed upon payment.

Bushveld Trees

We have set up a display of some unusual bushveld trees.  All the trees have been grown here at Random Harvest and survived the winters. 

There are not many true blue South Africans who don’t love the bushveld. 

Why not treat yourself to a little bushveld corner in your garden by planting a few bushveld trees and creating a little of the bushveld feeling in your own garden.

Herb Section

We have revamped the herb section and made it a lot bigger.  The different types of herbs have been grouped together.

All the sections have been labelled and there will also be a free pamphlet available.

We also have a few Peppadew plants in stock at the moment.

No need to have a dedicated herb garden you could plant them in amongst your indigenous plants and still enjoy the benefits.

Bird Feeders

The same man, Clopas, who made the chickens for the children has made us beautiful wire bird feeders. 

The beauty of these is that the bowl holds quite a lot of seed and can’t be accessed by big birds such as the horrible feral pigeons. 

The smaller birds love them and readily use them even though they are quite small.

Buying one of these will not only exclude the pigeons but will create employment and thirdly keep your smaller seed eaters happy.

A win-win situation for all concerned.

For your garden

Agrisil – my friend calls it “anti-freeze for plants”. 

At the end of this month you should start watering with this product to help protect your plants against frost. 

It contains minute quantities of silica which prevents the formation of crystals.  Frost is a crystal and that is the reason it helps.

The addition of a few of these lovely creatures, meerkats, tortoise, ladybugs etc. to your garden will give you something to smile about each time you see them.

Plants

 

Dermatobotrys saundersiae this beautiful plant grows in shade and semi-shade. 

It is also epiphytic and grows in the forks of trees. 

Makes a wonderful container plant as well as garden plant.

 

Cunonia capensis (Red Alder).  This beautiful forest tree prefers to grow in cooler conditions. 

Plant on the East side and be prepared to be amazed at the beauty of both the flowers and the leaves with their red petioles and beautiful spoon-shaped stipules. 

Makes a lovely container and indoor plant.

 

Kniphofia pauciflora (Dainty Poker). 

Plant a few of this beautiful delicate plant in amongst shorter grasses in moist areas where its nodding heads are a joy to behold. 

It grows well in marshy areas as well.  Requires moist conditions. 

This plant is now extinct in the wild.

 Think of planting the purple Hypoestes aristata (Ribbon Bush) and Leonotis leonorus (Wild Dagga) together.

They bloom together to give you a blaze of colour in purple and oranges in late autumn.

Stachys aethiopica (African Stachys). 

This wonderful little ground cover grows equally well in sun and shade. 

It attracts a whole host of tiny insects to the garden which provide food for frogs, lizards and birds. 

Looks beautiful tumbling over the edges of containers.

 

Two really easy Aloes to grow which give no problems at all are Aloe hybrid ‘Little Easy’ on the left and Aloe fosterii (Fosters Aloe) on the right. 

Little Easy is a rambling Aloe which can tolerate half day sun and blooms for a long time. 

Fosters Aloe is so amazing when planted in a group as you can see from the picture.  With its blue-grey stems and multi-coloured blooms what a beautiful addition to your garden. 

Sunbirds are constantly dancing around in the flowers and the insects and bees are so busy harvesting the bounty they offer that they ignore you completely.

Pachypodium saundersiae (Kudu Lily) and Adenium obesum subs multiflorum (Impala Lily) are two beautiful succulent plants.

With their swollen stems and magnificent flowers they make wonderful container plants but should be kept quite dry – do not overwater. 

Place in a protected spot in winter.

They are well worth the trouble if you are a plant lover.

Notice from the Succulent Society

“The Johannesburg Succulent Society will be holding their autumn show over the weekend of 3rd-4th May 2014. As usual it will be in the Floreum at the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens in Emmarentia.

Entry is free, and the doors open at 09:00 on both days, with closing at 17:00 on the Saturday and 16:30 on the Sunday.

On show will be succulents from summer and winter rainfall areas of Southern Africa, as well as the rest of Africa, and exotics from the Americas.

Our members will also have plants on sale during the show.”

On the Farm

I thought I would share this picture of rural bliss with you.  I thank my lucky stars every day that this is my home on Random Harvest.  Luckily I do appreciate this wonderful farm and feel privileged every moment of my life.

After all the rain the sky was so washed clean and changing all day long.  It was great just watching the cloud formations and the beautiful clear sunrises in the morning.  We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful world.

This brings me to such a lovely quote I got from one of my customers – he said “Protecting the environment is an obligation not a choice.”  How right he is.

I also wanted to share some pictures of grassland plants with you. 

Unfortunately we do not have any in stock at the moment but should have a lot for sale next season. 

When you look at these plants it gives you some idea of just how rich and diverse our grasslands are. 

The flowering plants are not easy to see in amongst the tall grasses.  This is just a taste of what we should have for sale next season. 

The pink Gladiolus crassifolius is tall enough to stand above tlhe grasses while the purple Babiana hypogea carries its flowers cryptically near soil level.

Another flower I have been astounded at the beauty of its flowers is this gorgeous apricot coloured Gladiolus sp.  The picture does not do justice to the colour of the flower.  A real beauty.

Talk about dedication.  This customer was determined to get a great picture of a waterlily so off with the shoes and go for a wade in the pond. 

He sent me copies of the pics which were really beautiful. (Please don’t do this without first checking with me as the pond is teeming with life and I don’t want to disturb it.)

I just love this larva of one of the Hawk Moths which uses Zantedeschia as its host plant.  He is so big he can easily eat a big leaf of the arum.  But never fear the damage as his droppings are perfect fertiliser for the lily and it grows back even stronger and bigger.  An example of just how well nature works if we simply leave it to do its thing with minimal interference.

Not sure what this wasp was doing clinging so tenaciously to a seed head of a grass. 

He took absolutely no notice of Jeffrey and I and stuck with his grass flower.

I just love the gentle whistling and trilling calls of the Red Winged Starlings who after the first exciting visit are now regular visitors to the bird feeding station where they gorge on the wild bird pudding we put out for the birds. 

What I particularly love is the way they start calling from far off and gradually get closer and closer.  A real joy.

There has not been much action at the dam this month – what with all the rain and then the dam was so full that there was little space for the birds that love to potter along the edges.  Hopefully everything will be back to normal in a few weeks so we can enjoy all the birdlife around the dam.

I am trying to get up to date with technology and get the Random Harvest Facebook page going.  Please visit it and let me know how we are doing and if there is anything else you would like to see on it.

Enjoy these wonderful balmy autumn days.

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 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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