Unique and unusual indigenous plants   Industry Expert Q&A

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unique, unusual, indigeous, flowers, greenery, plants, trees, bushes, flowers, life is a garden, biodiversity, Spring, September, Spring Zing

September’s Topic: The local magic spring brings
Theme: Unique and unusual indigenous plants  

Industry Expert: Jonathan Taylor
Garden Centre: Random Harvest Nursery    


A hidden gem awaits you in the golden highveld of Muldersdrift, Johannesburg. Random Harvest Nursery specialises in indigenous plants and trees and they also have a lovely tea garden with seasonal homemade goods. Bring the kids and let them enjoy the creature treasure hunt or sandpit play area. Here’s what they had to say about the local magic spring brings this September!  

 1. We love that Random Harvest has such a large variety of indigenous plants to choose from! What are some of your top sellers?

Ornamental veld grass species are always a winner. We have such an array of indigenous grasses to choose from that can be used to create stunning meadow gardens - from small species of 20cm tall like Hartjiegras (Eragrostis capensis) to tall options like Boom grass (Miscanthus junceus), and everything in between! 

Boom grass stands out with lovely soft pink plumes while Snowflake grass (Andropogon eucomis) has fluffy white seed heads. Sickle grass (Pogonarthria squarrosa) has seed plumes that are almost black when the sun catches them. Just in terms of colour and texture, these alone can create an eye-catching display. Clever placement of species, depending on their ultimate growing height and the interplanting of flowering species, creates a rich, seasonally changing garden.  

 Trees for small spaces are also one of our top sellers at the moment. As gardens are decreasing in size, people need to select trees carefully. The need for screening, privacy, shade, and a sense of green in an outdoor area can be achieved by planting the perfect tree. A few great options for a small space are: False olive (Buddleja saligna), Forest lavender (Heteropyxis canescens), Boxwood (Gonioma kamassi), Wild pride-of-India (Galpinia transvaalica), and the Glossy white ash tree (Bersama luscens).

May in the Garden Let’s revel in our African sunshine and plant some of our spectacular indigenous seeds and bulbs this season!


Hang in there gardeners! Your beloved, outdoor sanctuaries will soon be open.  While you wait for your post-pandemic indulgence at favourite GCA Garden Centre, let’s take this time to rejoice in this beautiful and envied continent of ours. May is Africa month with  African Day on the 25th of May. We will also celebrate World Bee Day on 20th May, and then the International Day for Biodiversity on May 22nd. Moms are also in the spotlight this month for Mother’s day on Sunday 10th May, and Life is a Garden highly recommends you spoil her with a little green treat.

With so many festivities, let’s revel in our African sunshine and plant some of our spectacular indigenous seeds and bulbs this season!

Ideas for Mother’s Day gifts from the garden

For kids of all ages: Moms love flowers, especially the hand-picked kind. If you have any of the following good cut-flowers blooming in your garden, they would be perfect as your Mother’s Day gift bouquet:

Tall flowering Dianthus, Carnations, Snapdragons, Larkspur, Alstroemeria or Sunflowers. If you don’t have these in the garden, you could always buy a few plants from your local GCA Garden Centre. The plants and their flowers will last for a long time - even till next year and then they’ll be ready for picking again.

Hot Tip: Pittosporum branches, leather leaf ferns, Aspidistra leaves and a variety of other plants, like those in Autumn berry, such as. the Pyracantha, can be added to your bunch of flowers too.

For the big kids and dads: Our indigenous wild banana plants (Strelitzia nicolai) are trendy additions to the new leafy-look, ideal in high light areas indoors, or as pretty patio plants. This plant is a stunner and even more so when planted in a lovely pot.