ROSE RAMBLER 26.3.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 26.3.2015

Hello dear rose friends … it’s been such a lovely time here at the Rose Farm … lots of visitors wandering around sniffing and selecting their roses for the coming winter rose season.  It’s so how we recommend you should plan new gardens for winter – unless of course, the gardens are ready to be planted now … then buy and plant your new roses NOW.

Planting roses from pots into established garden beds in autumn means they go into warm soil and establish quickly.  It means that you can wander through the nursery, smell and see the true colour of the roses you’re planting.  Roses planted now will be very well established bushes in the next spring/summer flowering season – every single $ worth spending if you plant in the autumn!

Here are a few more of the new release roses for 2015 … they can only be ordered as bare-rooted winter plants and are available at


Is the colour of this very productive rose as it varies like the moods of summer.  The fully double, high-centred blooms range in colour from soft pink with cream reverse to salmon orange with cream-yellow reverse.  Winner of multiple international awards including the ADR, this lovely rose comes with a soft fragrance, dark green leaves and extremely healthy upright growth to 1m.


Is a profuse bloomer, the habit is compact and a little over knee high.  The medium sized buds have attractive form, the rich variable copper shades are not prone to premature fading.  It has very high resistance to blackspot when compared to neighbouring varieties.  It has a definite light fragrance.  Proceeds from the sale of the rose will be directed toward research into pancreatic cancer.


Is a low growing Hybrid Tea Rose to about 60cm wide. The large, clear silver pink blooms have classic form, are high centred with a petal count of over 40. A lovely fragrance, healthy, disease resistant and dark green foliage make this rose a must for Hybrid Tea lovers. Height: 100 cm.


Pretty exciting week this is … I’ve been harvesting corn, tomatoes, kale, potatoes, lots of beans, tomatoes and still got strawberries for when our ‘berry loving’ grandson Cooper visits – he also likes to prune with his Oma …

Q.  What bee is good for your health?  A. Vitamin bee!

Please be kind to your soil – 2015 is the YEAR OF THE SOIL so place a good layer of lucerne mulch over your garden beds as it feeds and insulates the earth so that earthworms aerate and leave their castings which add enormous goodness by enriching the soil to create humus.  Mulch stops soil erosion and adds so much goodness – just mulch with any products available.  Water over the mulch at least monthly with seaweed solution too!


Our website is geared and ready to take your winter orders with every rose having a description and most having photographs – if there is a rose you really have to have and don’t find listed, please call me 03 5787 1123 and I will advise where you might be able to acquire it.

It’s a pretty special week with two unusual orders – two of our roses have been packaged for a flight to RUSSIA … yes, POPE JOHN PAUL II and DOUBLE DELIGHT left Melbourne last night and we’ve been told they’ll be planted at their new home on Friday.

Another one of our GIFT ROSES is heading to Darwin for a 50th wedding anniversary … we are so lucky to be sharing the joy of roses so far and wide!

Have a beaut week in your glorious autumn rose garden … cheers from Diana, Graham and Mooi at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane – hope we see you real soon – the roses are sensational here!

ROSE RAMBLER 19.3.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 19.3.2015

Hello dear rose friends – we can’t wait for daylight savings to end … it is cutting into the beautiful mornings so that nothing is done until after 7am when we can start to see the gardens!

Here are some more of the new release roses which have been loaded onto our website ready for you to order for this winter.  There is no rush to place orders as I’ll be showing you more 2015 new release roses over the next few weeks – go and take a look at if you cannot wait for them to appear in the Rose Rambler …


FOR YOUR EYES ONLY was voted Rose of the Year for 2015 in UK.  This repeat flowering floribunda shrub rose will flower continuously throughout the season.  It’s the result of over 30 years of selective breeding by Chris Warner and the lightly scented flowers are a delicious blend of rich sunset shades including pink, peach and apricot that will mix easily with most shades. The petals have a darker coloured base and form in a single row around a boss of golden stamens, which become noticeable as the flower opens. Very good disease resistance, it grows up to 1m high and 1m wide.

We saw this magnificent rose when we visited South Africa in 2012 – I’m so pleased it is now being released here in Australia for us all to enjoy!


GIFT OF FRIENDSHIP was named by Inner Wheel Australia, this gorgeous new floribunda rose will delight with its stunning fresh fruity colour. The beautiful cherry red, fully double flowers are produced continuously amongst a background of healthy dark green foliage. Decorated with international awards, this trouble free variety is truly spectacular. With a neat harmonic growth habit, it’s an ideal specimen for classic rose beds or pots. Height: 75cm.

$1.00 from the sale of each rose will be donated to Inner Wheel Australia’s national project which supports Cord Blood Research.


LITTLE RAY OF SUNSHINE has bright yellow blooms in an airy, petal filled masterpiece flowering continuously throughout the growing season. Each bloom carries a delightful citrus and rose scent ready to enchant and perfume both garden and home.  The blooms are ideal as cut flowers in a vase; this hardy and healthy rose will grow equally well in both garden and pot alike. Height 1.5m

Part Proceeds supporting the Australian Breastfeeding Association.


Full-petalled petite blooms repeat flower on a tidy little bush just perfect for pots. Soft pastel lavender flowers, bordering on the colour of “stainless steel”, push more lavender with age. Big bloom bunches bounce from rich green and glossy foliage, making for one snip bouquets filling the air with its intense and unique fragrance.
 Height: 90cm.


WATERING THE GARDEN IN AUTUMN … Even though there is a hint of green in the grass, you can be almost sure that way deep down, the soil is bone-dry – indications of a ‘green drought’.  Don’t let up on watering just yet if you want to see lots of beautiful, large rose blooms throughout this most magnificent season for roses!  This is especially important in newly planted gardens!!!

Q.  What does ‘minimum’ mean?  A.  A very small mother!  (Get smart and ask somebody … “what does ‘maximum’ mean?”)

My Mother-in Law’s roses were planted nearly 20 years ago and because she is a ‘die-hard’ water conservationist (pours her kitchen sink water on pot plants around the porch rather than let it drain down the sink) she lets God take care of watering her roses – they continue to flower and yes, her garden does look lovely even though there are fewer flowers and the blooms are smaller than they would be if the plants were regularly watered.  This past summer has been kind to such a garden with ‘God’s watering’!

You don’t need to be a ‘Wally with Water’ to have prolific masses of large blooms well into winter if you provide the following:

  • once weekly good deep soaking of no less than 20 litres per rose bush
  • well-mulched garden bed – top up the mulch to keep the soil warm for longer
  • fertilize with quality complete organic fertilizer – NOW
  • drench with seaweed solution fortnightly to strengthen the cell wall of foliage in preparation for cold nights

and you’re guaranteed to be rewarded with lovely rose blooms right into winter!  We’ve been enjoying planting new rose gardens here – hope you have a great week planting new roses in your rose garden too … Gra


Mark the dates in your calendar for 9-11 October, 2015 – yes, a SPRING Horticultural and Gardening Festival incorporating plants and all things garden, including food, pets and family to be held at the Melbourne Showgrounds – we will be there for this inaugural horticultural event so you must come along and visit us!

See you real soon at Clonbinane where the roses are simply superb …
Diana, Graham & Mooi

ROSE RAMBLER 12.3.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 12.3.2015

Hello dear rose friends and welcome to new readers this week … Here are the first few of our new release roses for 2015 – the pictures here are not my own but I have confirmation from our grower that these are all great roses – we saw some of them while visiting growers in South Africa … stunning roses!

is a delightful Persica rose from breeder Chris Warner, which has masses of bright fragrant blooms on a disease resistant plant. This beautiful new rose has received numerous awards for best novelty rose in European trials. Height: 100 cm.
is exceptionally named to honour the breeder Francis Meilland, of the world’s favourite rose – PEACE.  Each perfectly formed, high centred, soft shell pink flower is petal filled and exquisitely perfumed with a rich fruit and citrus scent. Its beauty is matched by its robustness, winning the prestigious ADR contest in Germany, this rose has extraordinary disease resistance, almost unheard of in a hybrid tea. Ideal in pot or ground alike. Height: 1.5m.

is a very tough and dense growing, upright bush, this rose has all the health and disease resistance famous in a Kordes latest release. Large, elegant, deep velvet red unfading blooms are produced in clusters or singly framed by mid green leaves, over a long flowering period.

This rose has been decorated with international gold medals as well as Best Shrub and Bronze medal at the National Rose Trial Garden in Adelaide.  Height: 1.2m.  $1.00 from the sale of each rose will be donated to the ADCC Qld Inc to help fund ANZAC education to Australian school children and war veteran related projects.


There’s always room for a new rose in the garden but it’s very important that you care for the roses you already have – now that we are experiencing the cool, damp mornings of autumn, it’s time to implement the organic spray management program to protect your roses from the likelihood of mildew and black spot.

I know from years of experience that if you use preventative measures like fertilizing and spraying your roses before problems occur when these weather conditions prevail, the roses will flower beautifully right through autumn and into winter if you follow these instructions … DO IT NOW

To 10 litres of water add seaweed solution or powder (follow directions on pack) plus
+ ¼ cup Eco-rose (or Eco-fungicide … same product different name!)
+ ¼ cup Eco-oil

You can add liquid fertilizer like Eco-aminogro to the solution if you prefer to liquid fertilize rather than use pellets.  Spray or pour over plants first thing in the morning and repeat every 10-14 days while the mornings are damp!

If you consider the spray management program tedious, please just pour seaweed solution over the leaves fortnightly to strengthen the cell wall of the foliage and generally prepare your roses for winter.

The roses will store all the nutrients you give them now and apart from lengthening the flowering season well into winter, you’ll reap rewards with lots of large flowers when the roses bloom again in spring – remember, what you give, you will receive in return!

Q.  What do you call a witch’s motorbike?  A. A baaaarroooommstick! 

And for an extra giggle, I found this …

Knock, Knock!  Who’s there?  GRUESOME.  Gruesome who?  I like flowers so I GRUESOME …

Have a beaut week in your garden … Gra


“That’s not a rose” I hear you say!  Yes, it is!  Such a beauty and very, very old.  R. viridiflora is probably a sport of Parson’s Pink China and known to be in cultivation since as early as 1743 and more commonly called:  GREEN ROSE.

We have ONLY 7 plants available and since it is not listed on our website, if you are interested in acquiring such a delightful heritage rose for your garden, please call me on FRIDAY, SAT, SUN OR MON on 03 5787 1123 and I can organise to post one to you … $32.50 plus $21.50 pack and post … dare to be different!


Will be held on Saturday, 28th March from 12 – 4pm and I recommend you pick a few roses from your garden and take them along for exhibition – you just never know, you might win a prize and you’ll have a whole lot of fun doing it!

Contact: for more info.

Hope you organise a visit to come and see our spectacular roses soon …

Cheers from Diana, Graham and Mooi



Hello dear rose friends and welcome to autumn with cooler days and abundant colour.  Autumn is the season to see roses at their absolute best!  Their colour is brilliantly true and unfaded, inhale their delicious fragrance on a sunny autumn day … aaahhh!  Of course, it’s the season for collecting rose catalogues to know which roses are being released this coming winter – the excitement of it all!

We are in the process of updating our website to enable receipt of your winter orders for bare-rooted roses; meantime, GIFTROSES.COM.AU will continue to receive orders for flowering roses suitable to gift for those special occasions which happen in our lives.

This week, one of the most spectacular roses in the nursery is MANY HAPPY RETURNS – such a delightful rose to gift for the occasion of a birthday to the person who ‘has everything’ but you still wish to recognise and congratulate.  Acknowledge their special day with this wonderful shrub rose which flowers continually throughout the season, is suitable for a large tub or that ‘empty space’ in a garden bed.

This extremely healthy rose produces a sensational proliferation of rose hips in late autumn/early winter to offer the recipient an opportunity to make ‘rose hip wine’ … I made it once, years ago – after months of waiting, we enjoyed a most delicious beverage – sweet, like port but truly nutritious because of the Vitamin C content of rose hips.

Now, here’s an idea, present the rose MANY HAPPY RETURNS along with any of the wonderful recipes to use the rose hips which add a whole different dimension to your rose gift!  Go check with Mr Google for a recipe which suits the recipient … wine, jam, soup?


Diana will be on the panel for talk-back radio this Sunday – it’s an ALL GIRL SHOW in recognition of INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY.

Tune in from 7.30am – 9.15am at 855 on the AM DIAL
and enjoy what listeners tell us is the best gardening talk-back radio in Melbourne!

If you would like to speak with me or others on the panel with a gardening question, phone 03 9419 8377 or 03 9419 0155.


I’ll start with a joke because my other garble is serious …

Q.  What’s the difference between broccoli and bogies?  A.  Kids will eat bogies … gawd!

I talk to you about how we use Australian products in our organic rose management program, how fabulous they are and how proud we are to use them to grow sensational roses!  We also use Australian made and researched TRI-NATURE products exclusively in our home for personal body care, cleaning, pets and even our cars!

Please consider what you use around your home – take the most recent news seriously and review why you should read the labels on products and remember that here in Australia we produce some of the most reliably environmentally friendly products available to us, our children and our pets!  The few extra $’s you might spend are so worthwhile!!!

Next week I’ll be presenting you with a list of jobs to do now that its cooler outdoors and you’ll be more inclined to get into the garden … Gra

Have a beaut week in this wonderful autumn weather … we’ll definitely be open throughout this long weekend and hope you can pop in for a visit …. the roses would love to see you because they look absolutely stunning right now!

Cheers from Diana, Graham & Mooi 

ROSE RAMBLER 26.2.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 26.2.2015

Hello dear rose friends and welcome to the last days of summer – so pleasant here at Clonbinane with a magnificent season when the roses flourished without environmental factors to impose on their health – aphids were kept controlled by wrens, pardalotes and ladybirds, regular applications of the organic spray management program and regular applications of quality fertilizer along with daily watering, kept our potted roses looking beautiful but now they’re happy to welcome the cooler respite of autumn.


I’ve been busy pruning the potted roses so they look their absolute best when the bus groups come for the Art & Roses Expo and we will again attend Tesselaars Garden Expo at Silvan on 18th and 19th April.

Late summer pruning will extend the flowering period right up to the beginning of winter so it’s never too late to prune!  In order to maintain great health and vigour in the bushes, be sure to distribute a good handful of Complete Organic Fertilizer around each bush – for the large climbers, you can be even more generous so they produce sturdy water-shoots to make winter pruning much, much easier.

I will cover all aspects of general rose care, composting, watering systems and more so organise for a group of friends to come here on the weekend of 11th and 12th April.  There is still time to book your group for this event – call Diana on (03) 5787 1123 for a great day out!

Rotary will provide $10 per head subsidy towards your transport for groups of 10 or more.  The tour includes, free of charge:

  • Entry, catalogue and gallery guide at the Kilmore Art Expo – Kilmore
  • Entry and Walk & Talk in the Garden with Graham at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane
  • Guided short walks, history and entertainment at Hidden Valley – Wallan

Light lunches will be available at the Kilmore Art Expo Café … estimate approx. $10.00
Morning or afternoon tea/coffee and cake at Hidden valley Restaurant, Wallan $8.00

Q.  What does a boy monster do when a girl monster rolls her eyes at him?  A.  He picks them up and rolls them right back to her.


For a magnificent sight along the front boundary of your property, rather than a fence, plant a row of roses spaced between 75-90cms apart for an almost impenetrable hedge.  Here are just a few varieties which would suit:

Extremely prolific flowering, dense and very healthy dark green foliage,
exquisitely beautiful blooms which are suitable to vase 1.2 X 1.2 metres

Never without flowers, very healthy foliage,
stunningly bright colour for nine months 1.2 x 1.2 metres

For a larger space like along a driveway this magnificent rose
produces bracts of single blooms continually on an
extremely healthy shrub 1.5 x 1.5 metres

Because it is such an appropriate time for planting roses, for the next TWO WEEKS, all HEDGE ROSES will be available at the very special price of $22.00 each when you purchase four or more plants of the same variety.

Varieties included in this offer are:

KNOCKOUT              SILVER GHOST                  FABULOUS               CASANOVA
WINDRUSH               MAINAU FEUR                    BONICA                    SEAFOAM  

All the hedge roses can be pruned mechanically, are extremely low maintenance because of their magnificent health and vigour and will add a wonderful display of colour in your garden for eight-nine months each year!

We liked this so are sharing … ‘How deeply seated in the human heart is the liking for gardens and gardening.’  Alexander Smith  

Have a great week in your garden …
~ Cheers from Diana, Graham and Mooi at Clonbinane 

Rose Rambler 19th Feb 2015

ROSE RAMBLER 19.2.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 19.2.2015 …

Hello dear rose friends as I recall that this time last year, I was head down writing my book ALL ABOUT ROSES.  I was sharing that experience whilst speaking with a lovely bunch of gardeners at the Hobson’s Bay Garden Club earlier this week – lots of them purchased a signed copy of the book after I told them how readers had told me they use the book as a constant reference … it has the organic spray management recipe in it, there are very useful tips about mulch, fertilizing and watering.

ALL ABOUT ROSES is a very handy book which covers all aspects of rose growing – buy yourself a copy and also put it on your ‘gift list’ for a gardening friend!


Don’t let up on watering the garden even though there’s been a bit of rain!  Noticed that some of our ornamental trees are stressed so we are on a mission of deep soaking, seaweed solution application and layer of mulch around every single tree in the gardens.  Phil Kenyon, our Arborist was here this week removing more native trees that have succumbed since the Black Saturday fires and he told us that a tree will grow 40% more in a year when it is adequately mulched!  Roses are no different!

It was a very worthwhile project to have a professional Arborist give an assessment of all the trees in our garden – highly recommended consultancy if you love your trees and want them to continue flourishing!



If you have a special event in your garden during the coming months, you can trim your roses so that they are flowering magnificently on THE DAY … when I say ‘trim’, I want you to take stems about 15cms (6”) long and cut just above an outward facing bud.  This forces the stem to produce a very strong shoot that will be loaded with flowers within 55 – 60 days … its magic!

After you’ve trimmed, lightly fertilize the ground around the bushes, mulch if necessary and water over the organic rose management program.  If you use seaweed solution with a bit of eco-aminogro (or other fish emulsion type liquid fertilizer) every fortnight you’ll be amazed at how rapidly the bushes will produce masses of blooms in time for your event.

I turned over a compost heap yesterday and am impressed with the humus content – corn growing nearby needed watering so the compost heap has been regularly watered too.  If you are composting your putrescible waste, frequent watering will hasten that waste turning into beautiful humus which you can then apply around the roses and veggies.

ALWAYS place mulch over the humus to retain all those precious microbes!

Here’s my joke for this week … Q. What do you call an elephant in a phone box?  A. Stuck!


This amazing rose has an incredible range of colours – dark orange/chocolate brown/blue-grey … these are all my own photos of HOT COCOA which is a continually free-flowering, tall growing bush with the most glossy, healthy foliage – very highly recommended rose!

Have a great week in your rose garden – Diana, Graham & Mooi at Clonbinane

ROSE RAMBLER 13.2.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 13.2.2015

Hello dear rose friends with a timely reminder that it’s VALENTINE’S DAY tomorrow which, like I said in a radio interview yesterday, is a time to say “I LOVE YOU”!

In all the busyness of our lives, it’s so easy to forget the one who is right there, 24/7. Go pick a rose from the garden, put it in a vase beside their bed – no words necessary, the rose will speak volumes to the one you love!

Here’s Gra’s joke for this week:
Q.  What did the boy snake say to the girl snake?  A.  Give me a hiss!

Now, because we love you fellow gardeners, our rose friends, scroll down to the bottom of this email and enjoy a few beautiful pictures of roses along the way …









While you’re romancing over this weekend, here’s a joke to break-the-ice -
Q.  Why did the sea bed feel unhappy?
A.  Well, you’d be unhappy too if you had crabs on your bottom!!!
Have a beaut week in your garden and remember to present our offer to your Club or meeting group for the weekend of 11-12 April for the Kilmore Art Expo and visit to Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane – book more than 15 people and my Rotary Club will subsidise your travel expenses.
~ See you at Clonbinane sometime soon … Diana, Graham and Mooi



Hello dear rose friends and welcome to the last month of summer – difficult to believe it’s even been summer here in Victoria with cold southerly winds leaving temperatures hovering in the mid-20’s but that will all change soon and we will probably have a spectacular autumn.  Some rain would be good … please?


I say, why buy a bunch of roses when you can buy the whole rose bush and pick bunches of beautiful blooms for at least eight months of the year?  Our assistant, Virginia compiled this poem to inspire you when selecting a rose for the love of your life …

ROSE NAMES that match every occasion. 

Here’s some inspiration from a lovestruck romantic for Valentine’s Day!

You can share this LOVE on our Facebook site Rose Sales Online. Check us out if you haven’t already.  We know you love roses so go on “like us” and enjoy being tantalised by the many beautiful roses we supply through and make your Valentine’s Day especially memorable this year.


I confess to being a connoisseur of fine things and I do LOVE jam!
The de-seeded hips ready for the pot …

… Produced these magnificent jars of ROSE HIP JAM...

… which were delivered to the Rose Farm this week by Mary who took up Diana’s offer to harvest our hips in return for a jar of jam … Diana spent over an hour in the hot sun harvesting 1.5kgs of rose hips, packed and posted them to Buchan where Mary spent three hours de-seeding the hips after she’d ‘topped and tailed them’ – definitely a labour of love because even at minimum wage, each jar of jam must cost no less than $30 but the taste is DIVINE … thanks girls for this delicious treat!

You too could harvest hips and make this delicacy – around three established bushes of the magnificent, hip-producing RUGOSA ROSES would give you enough hips for jam-making so if you purchase these roses through February, you can have them at the very special …


You’ll not only produce rose hips but you will have the most dense, free-flowering shrubs which grow to 1.5 metres tall and wide, attract bees to your garden and offer you a wonderful screen for more delicate plants.  Rugosa roses are soooo tough and healthy – if you take up my offer, I would love another jar of jam next season …

Q. How do hens dance?  A. Cheek to cheek!  Still licking my sticky fingers before I go and check my baby ‘cheekens’ and turn the water on my compost heap …  Gra

Remember that roses are very water-wise plants … no less than 10 litres per plant, per week, delivered in the one application will ensure healthy foliage and flowering – if you are watering your rose garden, be sure to apply a sprinkling of complete organic fertilizer over the soil and the flowers will have substance, great colour and last well in a vase!

Order a GIFT ROSE bush TODAY
for guaranteed delivery on Valentine’s Day ..

See you soon at Clonbinane … Diana, Graham & Mooi

ROSE RAMBLER 29.1.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 29.1.2015

Hello dear rose friends … hope you enjoyed a magnificent AUSTRALIA DAY … we are all so very lucky to live in this great country where we enjoy peace and freedom; space in our gardens and the most glorious environment – let’s be happy with what we have!

The morning light has been magical for taking photos of the roses … here are a few…

– a most impressively healthy shrub which flowers continually with the brightest, most stunning yellow clusters of fragrant blooms


– almost certainly my most favourite Hybrid Tea rose … very free flowering and the most heavenly fragrance on a sturdy bush which, when continually pruned, produces an abundance of blooms for vases in our home


– should be planted as a group for a most stunning display of delightfully fragrant blooms in amazing abundance … if a mass planting of continual flowers from season start to end is your requirement, this is a beauty!


I’ve planted pumpkins, melons, corn, the tomatoes are almost fruiting and I’m loving the compost heap because it delivers all the fabulous nutrients those plants need to produce their ‘fruits’ – we’ve been harvesting apples which are suitable for Diana to produce ‘applemoes’ (Dutch for stewed apples) … yummy with ice-cream or yoghurt as dessert or any time of the day!  Peaches and nectarines we are eating straight from the trees … too deliciously messy to bring into the house!

Because of regular deep soaking, my pear and nachi trees are producing abundant fruit which will be ripe in a few weeks – it’s most important that you water the garden CONSISTENTLY … yes, it is about quantity but very much more importantly, it is about regular and consistent!

Flowers and vegetables which are conditioned to regular deep watering will be highly productive, sweet and very edible!

Q. How many grandmas does it take to change a light bulb?  A.  TWO … one to change the bulb, one to go on about how much better bulbs were in the old days!

Enjoy your garden during this most delightfully beautiful summer – I’ll be doing seminars on ‘all about roses’ soon – stay posted for the dates … Gra


Now is the time to get out and about with your camera and ‘sniffer’ to decide which roses you want to plant this coming winter … here’s a typical line up of roses during a recent consultancy for a new rose garden …

“Life can never be dull if you are prepared to think of others as they can always give you something that you will never be able to give yourself …”

Happy gardening as we plough through the last month of summer …

~ Cheers from Diana, Graham & Mooi who loves the chickens at Clonbinane

ROSE RAMBLER 22.1.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 22.1.2015

Hello dear rose friends … how glorious is the summer rain?  We hope the heavens opened on your garden and it’s had a fair share.  No matter how much you water your garden from the tap, when God wees on the garden, the results are amazing!

The potted roses love the rain too – they are stunning right now as we’ve had good windows of opportunity to spray regular applications of foliage fertilizer as well as our organic rose maintenance program – all this attention means lots of lush, healthy foliage and a bountiful supply of glorious blooms.

Time to load the kids in the car, bring the dog on a lead and a picnic – sit at the table and chairs under the gum trees and feel free to wander around our beautiful gardens while the kids go looking for frogs and snails – we’ll show them how to conduct the races!

Bring your camera so you can take lots of pics of roses if you’re planning a new garden for this coming winter season – you have until Monday, 2nd February to take advantage of $5.00 off every single rose if you have garden beds ready for planting now. We’re so easy to find if you’re on the HUME FREEWAY …


It’s on Saturday, 11th – Sunday, 12th April, 2015 and once again, my Rotary Club has secured a grant to subsidise travel for groups who would love to come and experience our region during this weekend.

The $10 per person travel subsidy will apply for groups of 15 or more.  You will enjoy a stop-over at the delightful Hidden Valley Estate Restaurant for morning/afternoon tea ($7.00 per person) along with a guided history walk by the lake (the estate was established by the late Robert Holmes a Court as a thoroughbred horse stud and was home to the Melbourne Cup Winner, BLACK KNIGHT), play Petanque (Boule) on the lawn or sit and watch golfers hit their balls onto the only island hole in Australia!

Naturally, you will come and visit us here at Silkies Rose Farm where you’ll be entertained by WALK AND TALK IN THE GARDEN WITH GRAHAM (yes, ok, he’ll tell some jokes too!) and you will be our guests to enjoy the scones, jam and cream with refreshments which we’ve never lost the touch of producing!

Then, you will visit Kilmore where you’ll get free entry, catalogue and gallery guide at the Kilmore Art Expo; you can enjoy a delicious lunch (main course is approx $10 per head), great coffee or a glass of local wine in the Expo Café.

If you would like to book a group and take advantage of this spectacular offer of $10 per head travel subsidy to enjoy a day in the country, please contact me on 03 5787 1123 or Andrea (Rotary Club of Southern Mitchell) 0428 410 041.


If you’re the GUEST SPEAKER CO-ORDINATOR of your group, please contact us so that we can organise a visit for Graham or Diana (sometimes both, depending on meeting time) to come and share our gardening knowledge with you … 03 5787 1123.


Had some great response to my ‘brew’ … could start a whole new business – take a look at Diana’s emails with Nat who does the brew:

Nat:  “My weed tea is in an old webbing chaff/wheat/feed bag suspended in a 100 litre tank with a tap at the bottom.  Perfect.  I have a flat stick I stir it with to get new weed additions and oxygen down into the brew. I really don’t mind the fragrance in the least. I grew up in dairy country, and it’s exactly the same to me as the smell of cow poo, which to me is actually nice, believe it or not.”

Diana’s response:  “You and Gra would do well in the perfume industry … you call it ‘fragrance’ which I think is hysterical.  I don’t dislike the smell at all … I just hate when Gra uses the brew on days when the nursery is open, the nursery is full of lovely smelling rose blooms and he disintegrates that glory with the cow poo smell!!!  Like come on, you would have to agree with me on this one?????  Laughing all the way … cheers … Diana”

Nat:  “Amazing you say that about the perfume industry. I was thinking of bottling and marketing it. House of Odieuse, new fragrance ‘O- d’Effluvia’!”

From Laurel in Queensland:   “I reckon that the green weed tea is magic. Up here we add a bit of chook manure for the water melons especially, but roses love it too if I could work out how to make enough to give each a drink. I thought of placing 40 gal drums at spaces along the lines but would need a lot – no shortage of weeds to use though!”

Some emails requested information on how to make the ‘brew’ … here’s what Diana wrote though she’s never made it or used it herself – just complained vehemently about the ‘smell’ but gloried at the results it produces …

This is easy … just get a 44gal drum, a hessian bag, a stick and a piece of string … fill the bag with weeds … all sorts including herbs, anything green, thistles too and any animal poo … tie them off in the bag then suspend the bag over a drum of water .. cover it or leave it open – air is good … stir it every couple of days … you’ll start to see bubbles and you’ll probably start to smell it … some say it’s ‘fragrant’ (what planet they live on is something I wrestle with???).

For ‘proper’ set up … put the drum on a stand and have a tap at the base for easy dispensing … put a couple of them around the yard in strategic locations so you can always have a ‘brew’ happening … within 3-4 weeks just tap-off and dilute with some water (1:10 one litre ‘brew’ to 10 litres water) to be safe if you’re pouring it over plant foliage … this is not so essential if you’re just pouring it over the ground … it’s brilliant fertilizer and it’s so cheap and easy … recommend adding seaweed (powder or solution) to the ‘brew’ every couple of weeks – adds to strengthening the cell wall of the plants reducing pressure from heat/cold stress.

Q.  What do you get if you cross a worm and a young goat?  A.  A dirty kid

Goes to show you can have a whole lot of fun while you’re out in the garden … see you soon at Clonbinane where you can pick up some magnificent roses during our summer promotion and personally check out my ‘brew’ … Gra


Here is a rose which truly shines to its name … SUMMER OF LOVE is an exquisite Hybrid Tea rose of immense beauty!  Tall growing with lush, healthy, dark-green foliage and continual repeat flowering, SUMMER OF LOVE is a must for those of you who love to pick roses for a vase – a stunning beauty in all seasons of flowering but particularly spectacular now and from bud to full bloom…

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going” … applies to roses which are subjected to super-tough conditions which we are likely to experience in the coming weeks of heat – they’ll amaze you with their beauty so do take time out to stop and smell the roses …

~ Cheers from Diana, Graham, Mooi and heaps of baby chickens at Clonbinane