Growing a Friend


Growing a Friend

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Being that time of the year when my thoughts turn to ‘doing things in the garden’ I was attracted and intrigued by some enthusiastic pamphlets produced by the Random Harvest indigenous nursery located on a farm in Muldersdrift. We duly set off to investigate. It was a warm morning and by the time we arrived we were looking forward to a cool drink and a farm breakfast at The Waterlily Tea Garden – a lovely name. Our disappointment was great when we discovered that the nursery is not open on Sundays – a fact that the leaflets had failed to mention. However, a very helpful man on the gate agreed to let us in to have a look around. What we saw was enough to make us want to return between a Monday and Saturday or, preferably as a family, on a public holiday. The website is excellent and is well worth a visit and contains some interesting and valuable information. Click on the link next to this column.

Having failed in our first goal, and with rumblings of discontent from within, we backtracked and drove into the extremely attractive Garden World, on Beyers Naude Drive. The whole world seemed to be there, but we managed to find a table in the Tea Garden where we sank thankfully into our chairs beneath a large yellow umbrella. We were told that our meal would take 30 minutes to be served and they were spot on. The wait did not matter as the drinks arrived quickly. A delicious and attractively presented meal duly appeared and was consumed with enthusiasm. On the other side of the parking area the large weekend Craft Market was in full swing. The nursery itself, hidden behind trees and large shrubs, was doing a roaring business and most of the customers seemed to be coming away with at least one large, flowering Clivia. It is well laid out and signposted, with a good variety of plants, and an interesting garden shop, and is worth a visit.

The nursery that works best for me – not only because it is much closer but because of the service, variety and quality that I have invariably experienced there – is The Garden Shop on Jan Smuts Avenue in Parktown North. I enjoy going there, the service is great, they invariably have what I am looking for and I almost always come away with more than I intended! Last week I went to replace a wooden bird feeding house and purchased a sugar-water dispenser as well. Since making the mixture according to the instructions, and hanging the bottle in the garden, all the birds have studiously ignored it! It looks quite good though, and is an interesting topic of conversation.

Also on the premises is Bunches the Florist (Tel: 011 880 2890). They have to be one of the most helpful and efficient organisations with whom I have dealt. Their deliveries have always been on time and extremely well arranged and presented. What’s more the flowers have constantly lasted well. That, of course, sounds as if I make a habit of sending myself bouquets – would that I could!

Wherever you live plants make an enormous difference. I have a number in my study, there are always arrangements to bring a splash of colour and delight somewhere else in the house, and the garden is an endless source of pleasure. Visit a nursery and get creative!

Whenever you grow something your own world is enhanced

September 18: Swartkrans walking tour
Maropeng is happy to announce that they will be hosting their popular Swartkrans Walking Tours again in 2010.

Swartkrans, one of the Cradle’s richest fossil sites, is usually closed to the public. But on these tours, small groups will have a rare opportunity to observe an active palaeontological dig and will be guided around the site by scientist Morris Sutton, who is currently excavating there.

Swartkrans has yielded the largest sample of Paranthropus robustus, and it is also significant for the discovery of the earliest evidence of the use of controlled fire in Southern Africa, dating back 1-million years.

The tour costs R350 per person and includes a sumptuous picnic.

Please note the tour is strictly for adults only.

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