ROSE RAMBLER …  4.2.2016

Hello dear rose friends as time speeds up again with only 10 days to VALENTINE’S DAY … when I send a gift rose to your loved one this year, it will have love-heart chocolates in the box to make your gift even more special!  Please get your orders to us AS SOON AS POSSIBLE and definitely by next Monday, 8th February!

Here are a few roses varieties which I highly recommend …

Masses of bright golden blooms continually throughout the season with ruffled petals and stunning glossy foliage – yellow symbolises FRIENDSHIP in roses – this glorious rose is an easy-care, nicely rounded shrub which would also be suitable to grow in a large tub …

Perfectly formed pale-pink buds open to exude a most delightfully sweet fragrance.  Dark healthy foliage compliments the continually free-flowering attribute of this highly recommended rose …

If Valentine’s Day means long-stemmed, darkest red, most highly fragrant roses, this, our Best Selling Rose again this year, is the one you should gift …


To test for fragrance in a rose, pick a semi-open bloom and keep it in your pocket or under your cap for half an hour – you will soon know whether or not it’s a fragrant variety!  (Yes, Gra does just this – I get rose petals through the washing if I forget to check his pockets and yes, he wears a cap ALWAYS but I thought it was to keep his bald head warm … there’s always something funny going on here!  Diana)

Blooms picked when the outer petals have fully reflected will exude perfume for days in a vase at evenly warm room temperatures!

Q.  How do you start a flea race?  A.  One, two, flea, GO!


Last week I fertilized the whole garden and incorporated rock-dust in the blend – we had good rain within hours!  This will guarantee healthy foliage and masses of blooms throughout autumn when I will do another application of Complete Organic Fertilizer to ensure flowers right into winter.

In between this fertilizing, I highly recommend regular applications (fortnightly is great!) of seaweed solution with some Eco-aminogro or other liquid fertilizer added.

When watering, ensure deep, deep soaking – I cannot stress this enough as most customers who have issues with their roses under-performing, the cause is generally lack of adequate water!  Yes, roses are very ‘water-wise’ but they are such prolific blooming plants when they have good, healthy foliage cover and to maintain this, they MUST HAVE water deep into the root-zone of the plant!  You’ll see the rewards … Gra

Q.  Why are mosquitoes religious?  A.  Because they sing over you before they prey on you!


It’s that time of year again when we start to round up bus groups for the Art & Roses Tours … please insert flyer here … I couldn’t do it!!

Due to overwhelming interest in this day tour of our beautiful region we needed to find another suitable destination for our visitors to have lunch as our Expo Café has limited space.

We are very excited to announce that the FIRST FOUR BUS GROUPS who book will enjoy a gourmet barbeque luncheon with Kevin and Rhonda Butler in their shearing shed where BLAZE-AID was conceived.  Volunteers from around Australia came to assist in recovery after the 2009 Black Saturday fires and the shearing shed became their ‘meet and eat’ destination.

Come and listen to Kevin and Rhonda share their story of BLAZE-AID; how it started, how it works and how it continues to assist Australians wherever disaster strikes!  Members of the Rotary Club of Southern Mitchell will host the lunch (cost $12.00).

Have a beaut week in your garden
– don’t forget to organise your VALENTINE’S DAY ROSE BUSHES … DO IT NOW!

Cheers from Diana, Graham and Mooi at Clonbinane

ROSE RAMBLER 28.1.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 28.1.2016

Hello dear rose friends … hope you all enjoyed Australia Day as much as my friend who emailed this:

“Australia Day was good – I wore my T shirt made in China, my thongs made in Brazil, drank an Aussie beer owned by the Japs, gave the missus a South Australian wine owned by the French, cooked a steak on my BBQ made in Thailand, listened to some music on my radio made in Korea, and then got real patriotic and proudly flew the Aussie flag made in China. Then we went for a drive in our car made in Germany. How Aussie is that!!

Have a good day and I will report back in a fortnight….Thanks P.P”

Graham and I went to lunch with our friends – a German, a Greek, a Scot, a Pom and I’m Dutch – eight of us laughed till we cried whilst learning to do the Zorba which was safer than playing cricket on the back lawn … is cricket our NATIONAL DANCE???

One thing is for sure, we live in the most magnificently lucky, multi-cultural country!


I’ve been doing experiments with ‘bio-char’ which I created from a very slow burning, very hot bonfire several months ago.

To provide a steady feed on my rose garden, I put fine lumps of charcoal into a solution of seaweed and liquid fish emulsion, left it to soak for 3-4 weeks then placed it around the base of my plants.  Once a week, I poured seaweed solution and my weed-tea over the bio-char to keep it actively releasing microbes which are stored in the charcoal.

The results have been amazing – as I’ve been reading:  “Bio-char is proving to be the greatest, most significant beneficial revolution in organic growing techniques for years”.

To replicate this ‘brew’ you could buy a bag of pure charcoal (not heat beads which are impregnated with kerosene!), soak it in water, seaweed, fish emulsion, add some weeds, raw chook poo (or other animal manure) and after a few weeks, place the soaked charcoal around your roses.  Use the remaining liquid by adding about 1 litre ‘brew’ to 10 litres water and pour over all plants – stand back and watch them grow!

Q.  Why do you feed cocoa to tadpoles?  A.  To make chocolate frogs.

If you do nothing much to your roses during summer, please pour some seaweed solution over them at least fortnightly – we use and recommendECO-SEAWEED POWDER because:

  • It has 60 vital nutrients which all plants love
  • Includes 16% potassium to strengthen plants
  • Is 100% pure soluble seaweed – no clogging of spray head
  • Super concentrated – 1 teaspoon per 9 litre watering can
  • Certified organic – no nasty chemicals!

Q.  What goes through a grasshopper’s mind when he hits the windscreen of a car driving at 100km per hour?  A.  His legs! 

Hope you’re enjoying your summer rose garden as much as we are here at Clonbinane – it’s a sight to behold… Gra

Gorgeous modern shrub rose at the best of times but she ‘shone supreme’ during the extreme weather – highly, highly recommended rose if you love to pick bunches of flowers for a vase or simply love a rose which produces clusters of creamy-white blooms continually on a very disease-resistant, neatly rounded shrub to around 1.5 metres –

We had lots of emails about LORRAINE LEE which was featured last week –

“Lorraine Lee is one of my childhood favourite roses. My mother planted a climbing one on a trellis that separated the back yard flower garden from the vegie patch and orchard in our suburban Melbourne home in 1950’s

I could see it from my bedroom window so when we needed to design a garden in 2002 for our Kensington B&B I chose four of the bush variety for their long flowering and fragrance. Passers-by shot to inhale the fragrance and there is hardly a month when there is not one blooming.

I now have a climbing one on the tennis court front fence at our NE Victorian farm.

Robena, The Gorge, Violet Town, City so Close,
We are also delighted with this stunner DUET from which you would pick bunches and bunches of flowers to fill vases in your home:

We wish all the kids a happy time as they move up a grade and back to school now that the summer holidays are over – enjoy the moments!

~ Graham, Diana and Mooi at Clonbinane 

ROSE RAMBLER 21.1.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 21.1.2016

Hello dear rose friends … another week of perfect Victorian weather living up to reputation, has seen our roses sweltering at 45 degrees with north-westerly wind blowing a gale one day then less than 15 degrees the next day – we marvel at the roses adaptability – so long as they have water!


I didn’t cope so well with the 45 degrees – lost my sense of humour well and truly by 4.00 in the afternoon but the roses prevailed and here are three varieties which absolutely staggered me:

Just to let you know my sense of humour is back in place:
Q.  What is the difference between a television and a newspaper?
A.  Ever tried swatting a fly with the tellie?  

This modern shrub rose deserves to be planted wherever you have a blank space to plant a rose and is especially ideal as a hedge!  Amazingly healthy, robust in all weather, extraordinarily free flowering and a stunning colour to brighten the dullest area of your garden … the potted specimens of KNOCKOUT did not bother one bit about the scorching sun and howling hot wind –

Bred in 1924 by Alister Clark at his property in Bulla, Victoria, this rose queen is still in demand because it is so suited to Australian conditions – it’s most prolific flowering can be during February when some roses like to have a bit of a spell after the hot summer.  LORRAINE LEE produces masses of fragrant, smoky apricot-pink blooms in flushes throughout the season on a neat shrub to around 1.5 metres.

There is also a climbing form which is most suited to a tennis court fence or similar large structure as the climber can reach massive proportions and requires very little attention!

produces a stunningly continual display of medium sized open blooms of the brightest orange petals with yellow at the base complimented by a boss of crimson pollen-laden stamens which are so attractive to bees.  TINTERN grows into a neat mound, is very appropriate for potting into large tubs and is one of our HIGHLY RECOMMENDED roses, yes, it actually also has a lovely citrus fragrance!


If you need to spray the organic management products, especially if you experience humidity which can induce black pot/powdery mildew, do so, but ONLY WHEN IT IS NOT GOING TO BE OVER 30 DEGREES and we highly recommend morning application.

ECO-OIL is a very effective insecticide – it also makes ECO-ROSE FUNGICIDE and seaweed solution STICK TO THE FOLIAGE to improve efficacy of the products.  It will BURN FOLIAGE if applied during hot weather!!!

If you notice brown/crisp edges on foliage, check soil moisture and be sure to apply at least 20 litres of water per plant AT EACH APPLICATION once a week – not 5 litres per plant every day!  Such watering is pointless as it doesn’t reach the root-zone which is where roses require water.

Q.  How do you fit more pigs on your farm?  A.  Build a sty-scraper.

To increase the healthy vigour of your roses and have them produce quality blooms throughout summer, deep soak your plants to ensure their roots travel way down into nutrient-rich clay sub-soil – there are usually good reserves of moisture down in the sub-soil!  Good watering will ensure a healthy cover of foliage which is the absolute ‘life-force’ of your roses!

Please feel free to email photos of your roses to: if you need advice or have any concerns about the health of your roses … or just to share photos and brag about your roses, of course!  Meantime, enjoy all the beauty in your rose garden!

~ Cheers from Graham, Diana & Mooi 

ROSE RAMBLER 14.1.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 14.1.2016

We hope you’re still enjoying the holidays and can take time to read this article from Biodynamic Agriculture Australia newsletter:  Between the Leaves

Calculating the Value of Organics
(including biodynamics, of course –ed)

“A team of international scientists has shown that assigning a dollar value to the benefits nature provides agriculture improves the bottom line for farmers while protecting the environment.  The study confirms that organic farming systems do a better job of capitalizing on nature’s services than do conventional farming systems.

‘By accounting for ecosystem services in agricultural systems and getting people to support the products from these systems around the world, we move stewardship of lands in a more sustainable direction, protecting future generations’, said Washington State University soil scientist John Reganold.

Earthworms turning the soil, bees pollinating crops, plants pulling nitrogen out of the air into the soil and insects preying on pests like aphids – these are a few of nature’s services that benefit people but aren’t often factored into the price we pay at the grocery store. The research team quantified the economic value of two ecosystem services – biological control of pests and the release of nitrogen from soil organic matter into plant-accessible forms – in 10 organic and 10 conventional fields on New Zealand grain farms.

The values of the two ecosystem services were greater for the organic systems, averaging $146 per acre each year compared to $64 per acre each year for their conventional counterparts.

The combined economic value, including the market value of the crops and the non-market value of the two ecosystem services, was also higher in the organic systems, averaging $1165 per acre each year compared with $826 per acre each year in conventional fields.  The study showed that the value of the two ecosystem services on the organic farms exceeded the combined cost of traditional pesticide and fertilizer inputs on the conventional farms”.

(Extracted from ‘Science on Your Side’, Acres USA June 2015)


Using organic and biodynamic management practices in your home garden is very economical and will definitely afford you better health and a sense of satisfaction that you’re working alongside Mother Nature providing a safe and inviting environment for you and your family to enjoy!

Some websites I suggest you log onto for more information:

Q. What do you call an ant sitting on a $10 note?  A. An antenna


Large, orchid pink blooms with split outer petals on long single stems that have few thorns on the flowering stem.  Lush, healthy mid-green foliage – beautiful!

Palest pink blooms gently deeper pink towards the centre.  Abundant blooming with dark glossy foliage, medium-tall spreading shrub – stunning!

Vibrant blooms of deep, hot pink this tall grower was named by the RSPCA to honour the unconditional special friendship that comes from loving your pet!  Every single bloom deserves to be vased for the pleasure of fragrance in your home!

Q.  What lies around, one hundred feet up?  A.  A dead centipede.

Remember, when watering your garden during this hot summer, deep soak once a week with at least 20 litres per rose delivered at the same time!  Stay cool … Gra


Here’s another good idea to help you wage war against the little blighters –

Dear Diana,

About this time last year, I wrote asking if you had any tips for deterring possums from eating the buds on my climbing roses.  At that stage, I was tying bags of naphthalene to the climbing frame, as well as smearing Vicks Vaporub liberally along the branches.  That worked, but it was unsightly, so this year I am trying something different, so far with success.  I pruned the roses to a lower point and am allowing new canes to grow outwards, away from the trellis and therefore away from the possums.  All the climbers are blooming and the canes are a manageable length if I keep dead-heading and cutting back just a bit more than in previous years.  The big test was the recent very hot day with strong winds, and all survived.

The possums don’t touch my standard or bush roses, and obviously don’t feel sufficiently stable to climb out on the flowering canes of the climbers, whereas anything tied to the trellis is fair game.

Of course, you could also grow climbing roses away from fences in an obelisk/pillar frame such as we stock at the Rose Farm … lovely sturdy supports, not too decorative which can makes them VERY AFFORDABLE – they certainly look beautiful in my new garden.

They come in two sizes – short 1.5mts $150 and tall 2mts $195 both 55cm diameter. These pillars would be suitable for a large pot/wine barrel to add a column of flowering beauty in your space!  There is a new addition to these obelisks which suit CLEMATIS 1.5mts tall x 30cm diameter $75.00 – these frames are ‘pick-up’ only as they are very sturdy and are not bolted together out of a ‘flat pack’ from China – a local guy constructs them for us!

Hope you continue to enjoy your garden despite the ravishes of this summer…
Diana, Mooi & Graham with a final word to share:
George Bernard Shaw said:
“I am an atheist and I thank God for it”… 



ROSE RAMBLER 07.01.2016

We trust you’ve enjoyed the Festive Season as much as we have – we wish you health and happiness during this year!  We re-open tomorrow and will be here every FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY and MONDAY throughout this year from 9.00am –, and with an encyclopaedia of roses and lots of helpful information along with all past issues of this Rose Rambler are there for you 24/7 – enjoy!

Our roses have loved the heat and because of the late frosts we kept the garden beds well irrigated to encourage regrowth and flowering after -3 frost on 30th November with a follow up -1 frost on Saturday, 12th December.  Saturday, 19th December, we recorded 45 degrees and Saturday, 26th December, we recorded 21mm of rain.  A season to remember!!!

Fortunately, we’ve also been blessed with a significant 40mms of rainfall over the past week so it’s a picture here again – all in less than 5 weeks since our garden was devastated by frost during December!


Saw this ad in a local paper:  “Sheepdog for sale – will eat anything. Very fond of children.”

If your kids need entertainment, get them out in the garden – over the next THREE DAYS until Saturday, 9th January, there is a moon phase which indicates a brilliant opportunity for weed eradication.  Offer the kids 5 cents for every weed they pull out – have them count them, write up an invoice and suggest they’ll then have to put 50% of the earnings into their bank account and spend the rest on something they ‘have to have’.  You’ll have a weed-free garden in no time and the kids will have had a great experience!

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world.
He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.”

Scientists tell us that people average around 70% of each day sitting whilst working in the garden for around ONE HOUR is equivalent to a 4KM walk!  Get out in the garden but do remember to be kind to yourself in extremely hot weather – half an hour in the morning and then another half hour after dinner in the evening.  Let your garden be your doctor!!!

Here are some beautiful pics  of potted roses taken around the nursery last week …

Amazing proliferation of blooming clusters on a stunningly healthy shrub to 1.5mts tall with a fresh, citrus fragrance – highly recommended rose!

Always different, depending on the weather – cream buds open with crimson centres which pale to dark mauve as the flowers age.  A healthy, rounded shrub to 1.2 mts ideal for borders of continual, highly fragrant clusters of blooms

One of my absolute favourites in the front garden – always stunning blend of eye-catching colour with dark, dark green healthy foliage on a neat bush to 1.2 mts tall.

When you’re out and about, please call in and visit our Rose Farm
– bring a picnic and let the kids frolic in the gardens and have a play with Mooi …
see you soon at Clonbinane
~ Diana, Graham & Mooi (below)


ROSE RAMBLER 17.12.2015


So we’ll leave you with some delightful testimonials along with beautiful rose pictures to relax and inspire you during this Festive Season; there’s also some great information about beetles/bugs and how to ensure your rose garden is well maintained this summer!

ROSESALESONLINE IS AN OUTSTANDING SUCCESS  – If only we could employ our very own personal ‘carrier pigeon’ to deliver your parcels – there have been some unfortunate glitches with AustPost more recently but we press on, knowing you’re reassured by our 100% guarantee and the quality of our roses!

Because we are now EXPRESS POSTING ALL PARCELS through December/January
TODAY IS THE LAST DAY you can order to guarantee

Most roses arrive like this:

And we graciously acknowledge delivery of our beautiful roses with emails similar to this one from Jennifer in Port Macquarie …

Hi Di – Thank you for your lovely email and all the information, much appreciated.  I was reminiscing today whilst dead-heading … my first order with you was Dec 31st 2014 at about 5pm and I remember you saying I was the last order for the year and what a lovely selection I was ordering.  My how time has flown!!!!!!!!

I truly hope you and yours have a wonderful time over the coming weeks and I’d sincerely like to “THANK YOU” for all the beautiful roses I have accumulated over the past year, along with your never-ending dedication, sense of humour, expertise and of course your always efficient friendly, prompt service.

It’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know Rosesalesonline and I look forward to many more spectacular roses in the future… (if I can only find somewhere to put them hahahahahaha).  Cheers, Jen”

Our spectacular GIFT ROSE arrives like this and
will grace the Christmas dining table for sure


We’ve received ‘HELP PLEASE’ emails from customers who are dealing with a variety of ‘pests’ on the roses so we asked Steve from Organic Crop Protectants (who produce our organic rose management products) to shed some light on the situation – this is great reading, worth printing and keeping in your garden folder for future reference!

Before we get serious, here’s a joke:
Q.  Did you hear about the little pig with a rash?   A. He needed OINKMENT!

Please note:  During this dialogue, I have put some of my own comments in brackets.

“There are so many weird and wonderful beetles out there we’d really need an entomologist to identify them.  By definition beetles are chewing insects (bugs conversely are sap suckers) and so you can possibly blame some holes in rose flowers on beetles.”  

(Gra:  we found earwigs had chewed holes in rose buds this week!  Maybe earwigs are classed as a beetle too?)

“However there is a group of beetles loosely called pollen beetles and they mostly feed on pollen and do little or no damage to rose petals or leaves.  I think the small black beetles you have are pollen beetles for sure.  The other ones I can’t say for certain.” 

(Gra:  Here in Victoria we have ‘soldier beetles’ which are totally harmless to roses but can arrive in massive infestations which cause rose gardeners to panic!)

“My plan of attack would be to spray with eco-neem.  While the label in Australia shows 9 insects (including caterpillars) the overseas label lists more than 200 pests (including various beetles).  A rate of 3ml per litre of water would be the way to go and to spray weekly until the problem resolves itself.  If you have a very bad outbreak then you could spray every 5 days.  I’d also add some eco-oil (at 2ml per litre) in with the solution.  This will help the spray stick better on the roses and improve the results.

Eco-neem works in several different ways including suppressing appetite, preventing insect growth and repelling insects in general.  Different insects are more vulnerable to different modes of action at different stages in their lifecycle.  Sounds a bit complicated I know but ultimately it means caterpillars die in a couple of days but harder body insects can sometimes take longer before the impact on their overall population shows (hence doing repeat sprays).” 

The great thing about eco-neem is there is no known cases of pest insect resistance, it’s safe for good insects (like bees and ladybeetles) plus it’s independently Certified Organic.


To conserve water, the first and most important product in your garden is MULCH-MULCH-MULCH!!!  We use and highly recommend PEA STRAW as it provides insulation to the soil yet allows water, air and fertilizer to penetrate as it slowly decomposes to create humus which has wonderful water-retaining capacity.  You can use lots of other mediums:  redgum/eucy mulch, pebbles/stones or any other straw without seeds!

What water you apply to the garden MUST REACH THE ROOTS of the roses – deep soaking with no less than 20 litres per plant, delivered in the same application once a week will force root growth downwards, deep into clay sub-soil.

And this:  Organic fertilizer is ONLY taken up by the rose WHEN IT NEEDS IT.  Chemical fertilizer is water soluble so is taken up whether a rose needs it or not!

Q.  What did Adam say on the day before Christmas?  A.  It’s Christmas, Eve

Please know that sharing our knowledge and love of roses every week through this Rose Rambler is enormously pleasurable – the statistics tell us that you enjoy reading our ramblings; Gra’s Garble and jokes make it extra special I know!!!

Enjoy all the moments of Christmas with your family and friends
– the Rose Farm will re-open on Friday, 8th January, 2016 …


ROSE RAMBLER 10.12.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 10.12.2015

Hello dear rose friends … it’s overwhelming to see how magnificent the potted roses are looking and it is sheer joy to go there and water them every morning – we use it as a time for quiet meditation and love the peaceful moments surrounded by heavenly fragrant roses in every colour, shape and form!


There is no doubt about it, roses LOVE to be fertilized when they’re doing all this flowering and rather than wait until they’re ‘burnt out’ we highly recommend you fertilize WHILE THEY’RE FLOWERING as this will sustain healthy foliage.  When spent flowers are trimmed, the bush will respond with healthy new foliage and another round of flowers on the trimmed stem within 40-50 days!

Rules for managing your summer rose garden:

  • Water regularly – maybe twice a week with at least 20 litres per rose bush
  • Fertilize NOW – before it gets really hot!  If you don’t have irrigation, the plants shut down to survive
  • Fortnightly applications of seaweed solution will offer 3-5 degrees of heat tolerance and maintain healthy foliage – water SEAWEED OVER THE ENTIRE PLANT
  • Trim constantly – the sooner you trim spent flowers by removing 20-30cm long stems the more quickly healthy new growth will produce more flowers
  • Surely your garden has a good thick covering of mulch!  So, so important to sustain worms, soil microbes and retain what moisture is available!

Q.  Why did the surfer cry?  A.  Because the sea-weed


Foliage is plentiful, thick and highly disease resistant.  Semi-double flowers are borne on long, strong canes with several to a head and look stunning in a vase as they slowly open and hold well.  Mid-pink colour is quite distinct and highlighted by crimson stamens – an extremely healthy, hardy rose.

The health and flowering ability of this beautiful shrub rose has to be seen to be believed!  Lightly fragrant, fully double, creamy white blooms with an apricot eye produced in clusters which hold well in a vase.  Glossy, dark green foliage is highly disease-resistant.

An exceptional Hybrid Tea rose which produces a proliferation of perfectly formed, subtly fragrant, large flowers with blends of apricot/pink/yellow and a splash of red bordering each petal – stunning in a vase.  Magnificently showy rose which is always reliable and highly recommended.

Q. What is rude and only comes at Christmas?  A.  Rude-olf

Just realised that all the roses I’ve recommended this week are bred by Kordes, Germany – one of the great rose breeding houses in the world!  Enjoy them all … Gra


And because Australia Post are inundated and going slow, we’re closing NEXT THURSDAY, 17TH DECEMBER so get your orders in NOW.

All rose parcels are now being sent EXPRESS POST and this won’t necessarily GUARANTEE your parcel will arrive within 24 hours but it will have a way better chance of being delivered in optimum time than when it is delivered without EXPRESS POST labelling.

There is a slightly higher postage charge for ALL PARCELS DURING DECEMBER/JANUARY to save you and us the stress of delayed parcels and we will subsidise the shortfall of the higher postage rates – our CHRISTMAS GIFT TO YOU along with this little bonus to get you excited…

to redeem your 15% DISCOUNT
until Christmas Eve at

This great offer is AVAILABLE at the Rose Farm too but you MUST ask for it … our Rose Rambler subscribers are SPECIAL CUSTOMERS – remember the CODE: HAPPYCUSTOMER15 to be eligible for 15% off all purchases!

This lovely email came yesterday:

“THANK YOU so much for solving my Christmas present dilemma. My mother in law was thrilled with her new rose!  Regards Melanie”

One more Rose Rambler to go … talk to you next week but meantime, if you live close, do pop into the Rose Farm, it’s absolutely beautiful here right now!

HAPPY 6TH BIRTHDAY TODAY to our very cheery, ‘know all about gardening’ grandson, COOPER who is an excellent pruner already and is featured with his wheelbarrow in my book:  ALL ABOUT ROSES!

… cheers from Diana, Graham and Mooi at Clonbinane

ROSE RAMBLER 4.12.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 4.12.2015

Hello dear rose friends … we celebrated Graham’s birthday on Monday down in the front garden pruning away the devastation of a severe frost which occurred here the previous Friday morning – yes, minus 3 degrees frost on 27th November!

We participate monthly as presenters on 3CR Garden Show talk-back radio in Melbourne and it was ME calling in on Sunday morning for advice from Pam, Stephen and the panel on how to deal with recovering different varieties of plants which, by Sunday, we could see were not going to recover without intervention – what to do?

Our orientalal lilliums won’t flower this season, potatoes will recover, so will the dahlias; buddleia will flower later – all affected plants needed to be trimmed and it was recommended we fertilize and deep-water the garden beds – seaweed solution would be beneficial but we had already done that!

So, how did the roses fare?  We trimmed them on Monday too but today, nearly a week later, we have done a complete summer prune of all the roses in the front garden because the buds which were frozen indicated they were not going to flower and there were new shoots producing below the frost damage … so interesting!

My CLEMATIS were unaffected with only slight burning at the edge of flowers – they do make me smile at their toughness while so many gardeners are shy of them!  PENSTEMONS sagged a bit but have pressed on and recovered without trimming.  New shoots on several of the oak trees are burned; we won’t have flowers this season on any of the CREPE MYRTLE down in the front garden but the driveway plants were spared – thank goodness!

There you go, we’ve lived in this garden for 16 years and NEVER had such a late frost!  What it means is that our garden will be ‘different’ through summer and autumn because we’ve had to prune heavily ‘out of season’ but it will survive and the difference will be lovely to witness and record for experience!


With all the variable weather, we’ve been maintaining regular applications of our organic management spray program which will guarantee lush, healthy foliage on our potted roses – interestingly, none of them was affected by frost – fair to say the nursery is on ‘higher ground’ than the front, south-facing garden but the potted roses are getting fortnightly applications of seaweed solution so they’re more pampered!

Q.  What is the easiest way to double your money?  A.  Put it in front of a mirror!

This lovely email is so worth sharing –

Hi Graham and Diana,  How are you?  I hope you are well.  The roses I bought from you last year are doing really well. FORGET ME NOT’S fragrance knocks my socks off.  Here they are…
CHILD’S LOVE also has amazing fragrance
– I managed to capture some photos.

And PARFUM DE PARIS is the bloom machine.

Thanks again for such quality roses. Yoda

Q.  Why did the picture go to jail?  A.  Because it was framed love sharing a joke … Gra


Please let us make your Christmas gifting an easy but more importantly, most rewarding experience this year.  Any rose of your choice can be selected and posted as a GIFT ROSE – if you’re not sure which rose to send, why not purchase a GIFT VOUCHER which can be sent directly to the recipient so they can select their own roses – online shopping made super easy at – gift vouchers!

We cannot more highly recommend a LOWE SECATEUR for all rose gardeners – beaut, light-weight and so ‘fit in any hand’ pair of secateurs which will easily and ergonomically cut through thick branches – make pruning a memorable gift this Christmas:

$59.90 plus $15.00 pack and post

Please be reminded that we will continue to post roses until 17th December to ensure your gift rose arrives on time and then we will close the nursery from Monday, 21st December and re-open on Friday, 8th January – online orders will continue to be processed throughout the holiday period for books and products – roses will be posted AFTER 8th January!

Enjoy the moments with your beautiful roses for quiet, peaceful time …
Graham, Diana & Mooi at CLONBINANE 

ROSE RAMBLER 26.11.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 26.11.2015

Yes, in just a month from today, Santa will have come and be on his merry way home – hope we can help make your Christmas gift a living, lasting and beautiful present for your loved one this year!

Since it’s so close to Christmas we’re taking orders NOW for GIFT ROSES to be posted – please note that NO ROSES WILL BE POSTED AFTER THURSDAY, 17TH DECEMBER, 2015 *
(*only Melbourne Metro can be posted on Monday, 21st December)

Here are some beaut gift ideas – EVERY gift will be beautifully GIFT-WRAPPED for FREE and price includes pack and post:

  • ALL ABOUT ROSES – my book, personally signed with your message if you would like me to inscribe your own words – $44.95
  • ORGANIC ROSE MANAGEMENT PACK – for a person where there’s no space for a new rose but is interested in caring for the roses they have!  Pack includes:  100g ECO SEAWEED, 500g ECO-ROSE and 500ml ECO-OIL and ‘how-to’ information – $76.50 and we’ll put ECO-AMINOGRO (foliage fertilizer) in FREE saving $18.50!
  • There are a host of magnificent roses which would make an ideal gift – maybe these pics will inspire you … $69.90 as a completely beautiful GIFT ROSE
The glorious large pale yellow/cream blooms with a hint of pink at the edge are delightfully fragrant and produce a stunning continual display of blooms.

Dare you to send this to your parents if you have siblings!!!  This magnificent Modern Shrub Rose produces masses of bright canary yellow clusters of fragrant blooms on a beautifully healthy shrub with glossy mid-green foliage and magnificent crimson new foliage – highly recommended rose!

if you cannot be with your family this Christmas, send them this beautiful rose which has a name to suit your message!  CLOSE TO YOU produces long, strong stems of pale lemon perfectly formed large Hybrid Tea blooms continually throughout the season.  There is a wonderful fruity/spice fragrance and dark green glossy foliage.


Maybe this would be a great idea if you have a difficult situation in your garden …

Hi Diana,  We have a very big suburban garden.  Here are the PEACE roses you sent me in your beautiful gift boxes last December after Mum died.  This hedge needs trimming!  The first photo shows the self-watering pots; they are complete with mulch made from Mum’s sympathy cards.  I think the birds have been pinching the shredded cards for their nests.  Better than chucking them in the recycling.  Monica

My response:  That’s such a super idea to hide the pots like that – gives the impression that the roses are in fact, in the ground!  Also, gets you out in the garden daily to water the pots!!!  Good stuff all ’round!  Thanks for sharing … enjoy the flowers!  Cheers, Diana

Hi Diana,  the previous owners established the box hedges but nothing much else would establish under the trees.  The pots only need watering once or twice a week as the reservoir keeps them moist.  They are really quite water efficient.  I water them from the top and any run off goes into the reservoir for use between watering.  The plants are healthier and use less water than those I have in the ground.  I’m thrilled with them.  Monica


Helping roses get through summer … to a 10 litre bucket/watering can:

  • Add ¼ cup of Eco-rose (Eco-fungicide) to protect foliage from black-spot/mildew by altering the pH of the foliage – clever science!
  • In the same mix, add ¼ cup of Eco-oil (Eco-insecticide) which not only makes the products ‘stick’ to the foliage but also deals with pesky insects which can attack roses and other plants in your garden – use on veggies and safely harvest after spraying.
  • Add seaweed solution – follow directions on pack of product you use – we use Eco-seaweed which is 1 teaspoon of powder to 10 litres – very economical!

We recommend you apply the above products IN THE MORNING and NEVER when the temperature is expected to reach 30 degrees!

Q.  What does Santa say in a race?  A.  Ready, set, HO! 

During summer, continue to fertilize the soil with quality organic fertilizer – we use and recommend C.O.F. – Complete Organic Fertilizer with high quantity of humates which enrich the soil and assist in moisture retention!

Q.  What do you get if you cross Santa Claus with a duck?  A.  A Christmas quacker! 

If you have any particular issues with your roses, don’t hesitate to send through photos so that in consultation with Diana, I can answer your queries.  We enjoy receiving pics of your rose gardens too!!

Take it easy in the lead-up to Christmas – give yourself a break with time to ‘smell the roses’ … Cheers from us here at Clonbinane – Diana, Graham & Mooi

ROSE RAMBLER 19.11.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 19.11.2015

Hello dear rose friends.  Well, it’s sure been a very busy time and we welcome all the new subscribers to our newsletter!

It’s lovely that we have no more planned events away from the Rose Farm and can now revel in the glory of our own garden!  Do come and share it with us when you have a spare day in the busy lead-up to Christmas – rose plants are a very beautiful gift so make your present shopping easy and special by gifting a living, flowering rose this Christmas!

My book, ALL ABOUT ROSES would make a lovely gift for a novice rose gardener or offer insight to organic rose management for all rose gardeners!  If you would like to post it as a gift, let me offer to beautifully Christmas-wrap a signed copy for you!


The COMPOSTING SEMINAR was great – we’ll do another one in 2016 because I realise how much gardeners want to be involved in waste-management and doing ‘their bit for the environment’ in their own backyards!

Q.  What kind of undies do reporters wear?  A.  News briefs


When roses finish flowering on a stem, prune them back along the stem/branch by at least 20cms/8” and if you cut just above an outward facing bud, you’re sure to promote another strong, healthy growth which will produce many more blooms.

Now that it’s getting really warm/hot, you can guarantee that there will be flowers within 40-45 days from the time you pruned – some varieties might produce new flowering stems earlier but 40-45 days is the bench-mark if you’re planning an event or want flowers for a particular occasion.

It is imperative to retain as many leaves on the rose bushes throughout this hot summer so that the rose plant circulates moisture and nutrients to sustain continual flowering!  Leaves on roses keep the plant cool and maintain photosynthesis.

Continual applications of seaweed solution all over the leaves, adding products like Eco-aminogro (fertiliser) will toughen your plants up and assist the plants to produce more flowers despite the hot conditions.  Seaweed solution toughens the cell wall of foliage and thus offers plants between 3-5 degrees of greater heat tolerance – very important!!!

Q.  How do you make a tissue dance?  A.  Put a little boogie in it

There are so many glorious roses in the nursery now … this very old variety is so over-looked and yet so easy-care, amazingly free-flowering, healthy, suited to almost any location in the garden … one of our favourites that we are pleased to grow and highly recommend … APRICOT NECTAR


Have a beaut week in your garden … remember to water your roses in the morning rather than in the evening – enjoy this most magnificent rose flowering season …

Graham, Diana & Mooi at Clonbinane