ROSE RAMBLER 15.02.2018 …

ROSE RAMBLER 15.02.2018 …

Hello, dear rose friends … have you joined a Rose Society or perhaps your local Garden Club yet?  All these groups rely on interested gardeners to swell their ranks which in turn means the group can attract great speakers to their meetings and everybody benefits!
Whenever we receive an invitation to speak at such a group or Club we like to know that we’re not driving a distance to speak with 10 people but rather, fill your local hall with 40-50 or more and yes, we’ll happily come and share our expertise.

We are members of the Rose Society of NSW because we can access a most interesting and useful publication:  Rose Breeders’ Forum.  All groups produce a newsletter and there is a Rose Society in each State.  If you need assistance with finding your local group, please email me: and I will source information – I respond to email within 24 hours!

I am particularly fond of old-fashioned roses so maintain my membership of Heritage Roses in Australia – for more information – I have years of their journals and always take at least one away on holidays.

Recently, we joined the Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria and I cannot wait to receive their next quarterly newsletter, GARDENERS’ GAZETTE which contains brilliant information!  Contact:  Secretary & Membership – Jennifer Rickerby email:

DO IT NOW!!!  Share your love of gardening with like-minded gardeners and enjoy the friendship and camaraderie which is a natural consequence of being in a Garden Club or Rose Society!






The Rose Annual 1919, pp 70-76



hope you all enjoyed the romance of roses in your life yesterday?  I placed this vase ofKARDINAL on Diana’s desk.

Q.  What happened to the cat that swallowed a ball of wool?  A.  She had mittens.

We promised to show you MORE BEAUTIFUL CLIMBING ROSES which are ALSO AVAILABLE AS WEEPING ROSES … this group are all large-flowered / old-fashioned shaped blooms.  The branching canes will be heavy so the steel ring and pole kit are absolutely essential to enhance the spectacular beauty of these three varieties:

There will be more suggestions for great climbers/weepers next week …
Q.  How do you find where a flea has bitten you?  A. Start from scratch.


Several years ago I completed this course and urge you to consider undertaking participation so that you too learn how to, amongst other things, make great compost, learn alternative gardening practices to enhance our environment and connect with other gardeners who are inspired to make a difference!  Ernst and Rosie will definitely inspire you in these workshops …

GRA’S BLUE is finally available again!
There was such a demand for my AWARD WINNING, highly fragrant, mini-floribunda rose that we had to de-list it but I’m excited to tell you that we are once again offering magnificent plants of GRA’S BLUE … go to tomorrowafternoon to see our special offer available until end February 2018.

In closing, HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR … as we enter the Year of the Dog – remember that your dog is always welcome here at the Rose Farm provided they are on a lead because there are usually chooks roaming and we don’t want any incidents!
Yes, we have GRA’S BLUE plants available NOW at Clonbinane … see you real soon …

Cheers from Diana, Graham and MOOI.

ROSE RAMBLER 08.02.2018 …


ROSE RAMBLER 08.02.2018 …

Hello, dear rose friends as we revel in this glorious summer weather with green lawns and lushly foliaged roses which are blooming magnificently – such an unprecedented season for us here at Clonbinane where just 9 years ago we endured 48-degree heat and the tragedy of Black Saturday bushfire which entirely destroyed our front garden.

Thankfully, Graham and Ben saved our home and many of the magnificent trees which form the backbone of our ‘paradijs’, which is now resurrected and an absolute delight to us and those who visit!



I remind you that TODAY or TOMORROW at the latest you must organise a GIFT rose for the love in your life to be delivered next WEDNESDAY, ST. VALENTINE’S DAY … if you need EXPRESS POST for interstate delivery you will have to email Diana at: as this option is NOT AVAILABLE in the online store but I am more than pleased to be able to send your GIFT ROSE via EXPRESS POST.

My pick for the most incredibly glorious highly fragrant blooms which, when open, fade to rich cerise – DARK DESIRE will be a winner so that even the least romantic person could present this rose to the one they love and the message is all said and done in the rose itself – simple!

So, let us here at make your gift-giving this St. Valentine’s Day beautifully simple – all you have to do is select the colour of a rose and we’ll gift wrap a magnificent flowering potted specimen and post it to the recipient.  I’m happy to write your romantic message too!
MR. LINCOLN is another beauty which is sure to be an absolute heart-winning rose!
Rather than buy flowers this Valentine’s Day, buy the whole rose bush and enjoy the flowers throughout many years of flowering seasons to be reminded of the love in your life, over and over.
DEVOTED TO YOU … the name says it all on this special occasion … perfectly formed red, red roses!



Lots of our customers rely solely on tank water for their gardens.  Naturally, when we don’t get decent rain periods, keeping a constant supply of water happening can be seriously challenging gardening.  If your roses are stressed due to lack of water, lightly trim spent flowers and with as little as 10 litres of water per week, confidently know the bushes will survive until the rain comes.

Q.  What is the biggest ant?  A.  An elephant … of course!

If you haven’t done the Summer pruning, there is still time – it means that your roses will show off their most glorious blooms from mid-March onwards when the temperature is cooler and the flowers last so much longer on the bushes!

We’ll be pruning the potted roses again during the next couple of weeks – we need to time the flowering to ensure we have beautiful flowers for the:

APRIL 14TH & 15TH 


is very natural at this time of year and should not cause concern or any need for spraying.  During very hot periods, the water rises from the roots first to the very top of the plant.  A vacuum created in the leaves due to transpiration needs to be filled first.  The lower leaves, which are not very active anymore, are neglected in the water supply, turn yellow and eventually drop off – the rose stems have thickened and the attachment of the leaves is gradually severed.  A bit like we lose hair and skin every day!

Enjoy the sun on your face and the wind in your hair while out gardening and remember to order a rose bush this week so that you’re prepared for the romance on St. Valentine’s Day next Wednesday. One last joke:

Q. What type of jam cannot be eaten?  A. Traffic jam!


Cheers from us all here at SILKIES ROSE FARM, Clonbinane

Within 500 metres of the CLONBINANE INTERCHANGE
on the Hume Freeway, 60 kms north of Melbourne
Open every FridaySaturdaySunday and Monday – 9am – 4pm
Phone 03 5787 1123

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Our mailing address is:

Rose Sales Online

550 Crn Spur and McDonald’s Rds

ClonbinaneVictoria 3658


ROSE RAMBLER 01.02.2018 …


ROSE RAMBLER 01.02.2018 …

Hello, dear rose friends as we start the last month of summer and our gardens look forward to some relief from the scorching heat.


Thanks to the brave souls who ventured here last Sunday for a Walk ‘n’ Talk in the gardens with me … it was great sharing and swapping ideas.

Here’s my funny bit for this week – hope you enjoyed the Australian Open Tennis …

“JOHNNY, why aren’t you playing tennis with Simon anymore?” his mother asked.
“Mum, would you play with someone who always lies about the score?”  Johnny responded.
“Absolutely not!” his mum said.
“Well, neither would Simon,” Johnny said.

“Oh Dear, What Is The Matter? Should I Panic ): !”

….was the heading of a few emails from Jenny before we finally got to the bottom of her issue:

”You’re not doing night watering, are you? The foliage is affected by black spot/fungus which is generally due to wet foliage overnight … it’s been weather like that down here too!!!    See ABRAHAM DARBY affected by night watering:

Perhaps add some eco-rose (fungicide) and eco oil to the eco-seaweed – you can pour it over from a watering can if you want!!!  Hope this helps … cheers

“You are a genius, no doubt about that. I have removed all affected leaves, fed them and yes guilty as charged, night watering – even though I water from below, the leaves are probably getting wet – derh!

You have warned us all countless times about this. Yes, they are growing like crazy, foliage, buds, flowers and I assume roots – no wonder they are hungry. First rose in full bloom – stunning – and lots of rosebuds forming!  I am SO HAPPY with my ABRAHAM DARBYS.

Thank you again for your kindness, your sensational knowledge and wisdom about roses (that you share so passionately with us all) and your perseverance with me. ”  -Jenny

Here is an extract from Diana’s book:  ALL ABOUT ROSES which you should most definitely have a copy of – not stored in a bookcase but on a shelf in the garden shed or really handy so you can refer to rose issues with assurance …

Hose watering

Watering the garden with a hand-held hose or sprinkler is fine if you only have a small garden.  The roses must be watered on a regular basis for them to perform to their maximum capacity.  Leaving them to dry out for weeks on end and then watering every day will cause chaos for the plants and you will start to see incidence of disease and a decreased number of flowers.

Also, giving the roses a light squirt whilst walking around the garden enjoying the splendid evening fragrance with a beverage in one hand and a hose in the other is a definite NO-NO for your roses.  The foliage will remain wet during the night and most certainly lead to the onset of fungus problems like black-spot and powdery mildew.

Q.  What do you call a sleepy bull?  A. A Bulldozer!


Stunning Rambling climbers which are also budded to 1.8 metre tall weeping roses:

Whether grown as a scrambling rose over an arch or structure, this is also our most popular weeping rose …
Never without flowers and holding a lot of foliage during winter this amazing rambling rose is the most popular pink weeper …
The ‘do anything you like with me’ rose is absolutely brilliant as a weeping specimen rose … remember to feed it copiously, continually!  Glorious rose which may have a slight pink blush during cooler weather but otherwise purest white in massive profusion during more than 9 months of flowering.
Yes, there are more varieties which we highly recommend so I’ll follow through next week with more recommendations.

Meantime, know that we have researched having weeping roses delivered to your door in other States by RANGEVIEW TRANSPORT and although it’s as expensive as the rose itself, you might consider such a spectacular show in your garden very worth the expense!

Please call us at the nursery on 03 5787 1123 during normal business hours – 9am – 4pm  EVERY FRIDAYSATURDAYSUNDAY and MONDAY if you’re interested.  IS MOVING FORWARD by adopting eParcel which promises to make sending our beautiful roses more efficient and we’ll have greater support in the event of a parcel going astray.

I am told that because we hand-write our customer address on the box, their computers are way more likely to pass-over our parcels because they cannot read them as quickly as they can the e-Parcel sticker … yes, this definitely happened on several parcels in the lead-up to Christmas.

Let’s see what happens with this new system as we hope to continue to receive emails like this one …

“Hello, Diana …A note to say thank you for your prompt action on my last minute request, by phone, for ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ to be sent to my sister in Ringwood for her birthday. It arrived on time beautifully presented & in bloom she said…she was thrilled … So easy for me too! Thanks again, Lesley”

Enjoy this last month of summer in your rose garden …

ROSE RAMBLER 25.01.2018

ROSE RAMBLER 25.01.2018 …

Hello, dear rose friends … it’s been incredibly hot for all of us and our rose gardens have suffered too … if you have water, open the taps and flood the gardens prior to the next possible onslaught of extreme heat!


It’s NEVER too late to be watering over the roses with ECO-SEAWEED solution because it will afford the roses 3 – 5 degrees of heat tolerance and reduce heat stress.  Ashher would have done well to water her potted roses with Eco-Seaweed … here’s her story:

Hi, I have bought a couple of roses online earlier.  They started well but having some issues, I have attached the pictures appreciate if you can advise what seems to be the problem.  I have planted them with potting mix and recently watered them with Iron chelates. Regards, Asher

MY RESPONSE:  Hello … the pots have been allowed to dry out!!!!  You MUST DEEP SOAK POTTED ROSES EVERY DAY – in extremely hot weather like now, you MUST DO IT TWICE A DAY!!!  Your potting mix will need rewetting – to do this, lower it in a bucket of water and leave it there until ALL THE AIR BUBBLES dissipate.  Then soak it well later.  Add seaweed to the water to recover the plant.

The rose in this picture is NAHEMA ..


It naturally has droopy foliage so that is nothing to worry about – however, that isn’t just drooped foliage, some of those leaves are on CLIMBING BLUE MOON are SCORCHED and will never recover!
 Scorched Nahmea
It was great to hear this response from Ashher …
“Thanks, I have been watering them but with the recent hot weather in Sydney they were really bearing the brunt of the sun so I have to change the position of the pots and I can now see marked improvements.
I have given them rose food from Brunnings (I believe that is the brand) and I have fed them seaweed solution 3 times since the purchase ” – Ashher
Another customer was asking advice about watering pots and wondering why the foliage was scorched …
“There’s a bit of debate going on at home about how often to water. It gets up to 30+ where we live and very humid. We have been watering daily between 8-10am. Probably using half a 9L water can for 8 plants. How does this sound to you?” – Matt
MY RESPONSE:  Oh no, Matt … way, way, way NOT ENOUGH!!!  Here we open the hose fully with high pressure and stand there counting 1-2-3 … I was teaching my 10-year-old grandson how to do it this morning … flood the pots at each watering … in the troughs, you MUST do it because they’re terracotta and will leach because it’s porous – unless you treated the inside surface perhaps?

I understand that close to the fence might reflect super hot – well-hydrated plants might tolerate the location way better so you might be able to pop them back there once you get a good handle on watering!…

Take advice from an old guy who’s been managing potted roses for more than 35 years … you MUST SOAK THE POTTING MEDIUM EVERY SINGLE DAY – in seriously hot weather as we are experiencing now, you might do a second watering later in the day!!!

It’s my dream to have an automated shade-mesh pull up over the nursery pots on these really hot days!  How those 20cm pots continue to look so lovely in these extreme conditions is because they’re hand-watered daily and cooled by overhead sprinklers in the middle of the day – also, they’re fertilized with Complete Organic Fertilizer and regularly sprayed or drenched with eco-seaweed.


Rather than tell a few jokes this week, let me share this bit of comedy – (beware, this could be Graham in your local supermarket – he does stuff like this all the time – Diana):


Yesterday I was at my local Coles buying a large bag of Purina dog food for my loyal pet, Jake, the Wonder Dog and was in the check-out line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.  What did she think I had… an elephant?

So because I’m retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn’t have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn’t, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that I’d lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a Perfect Diet and that the way that it works is, to load your pants pockets with Purina Nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with
my story.)

Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care, because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stopped to Pee on a Fire Hydrant and a car hit me.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.

Coles won’t let me shop there anymore.  Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the World to think of crazy things to say. Forward this to all your retired friends…it will be their laugh for the day!


“Dear Graham,  Thank you for your very informative blog. I love this Nursery after driving to collect roses last year. They are so healthy and the staff were very helpful. It is a no fuss or fanfare business but has all the support and quality products. While I am having difficulty finding space for more roses this year I am cultivating another area to do so. Just an excuse to do another drive to the Nursery. Thank you once again for your ongoing information and support.  – Heather

MY RESPONSE: We are most grateful to those who send an email of acknowledgement.  Please know that although I, Diana, manage all the computer ‘stuff’ I am sure to ask Gra to come and take a look whenever he’s mentioned or when there’s something he needs to action … we work together to bring you this Rose Ramber and will continue to produce it as long as you 4,000 subscribers are interested!

There is no doubt that a garden is a fabulous healer – you don’t need to be sick or have had incredible surgery to be healed by the garden!  A bad day in the office or a crazy time with family, sick pet, or any one of the ‘normal’ moments we’ve all come to expect in a day, can dissolve into insignificance after a walk in your rose garden.

But, the big BUT, is, you have to go there – steal the moments to go and pick a bunch of flowers, enjoy the fragrance, maybe pick a weed or two while you’re out there.  Do bring the flowers into the house and place them in a vase so that when you come home from work tomorrow night, there’s a greeting card on your kitchen bench.  The house will smell beautiful too!
Here’s a pic of our kitchen bench last weekend …

And a few more close up pics of roses in those vases …

Graham and a bench
Graham at the Kitchen Bench



YES! We are open this Friday (Australia Day), Saturday, Sunday and Monday as usual!

Have a love Australia Day long weekend and perhaps pop out to CLONBINANE for the SUMMER ROSE CARE DEMONSTRATION this Sunday, at 11.00am … stay cool …

ROSE RAMBLER 18.1.2018


ROSE RAMBLER 18.01.2018 …

Hello dear rose friends – we’ll all cook today as local temperatures climb to 40 degrees so I hope you had an opportunity to deep soak your rose gardens during this past week?  I guess the roses will scorch but the great thing about them is that you can trim them this weekend and they’ll be glorious again within 45 – 60 days.


There are advantages to this hot dry weather – it ‘burns-off’ black-spot and mildew fungus spores which attack our roses during humid weather conditions and when foliage stays damp overnight – as it has most definitely been here during past weeks.

Q.  What lies at the bottom of the ocean and twitches?  A.  A nervous wreck.

Marianne emailed … “Hi and happy new year to your team ..  This summer with waves of high heat and then evening mists here in Braidwood, NSW, my roses have the worst black spot attack in years – l-ast week they had their monthly rose maintenance program as per your recipe but as the infection is so bad i think they would benefit from more frequent anti-fungal treatment.  In writing about black spot in your book you suggest that in humid conditions weekly application may be necessary – do you mean application of the full rose maintenance mixture or just the anti-fungal – I’m using eco-rose – and the eco-oil components mixed into 10 litres? I don’t want to make matters worse by over feeding them!!

My response:  “Yes, I was watering pots in the nursery this morning – we’re all in the same boat and I’m hoping tomorrow’s heat will burn-off the fungal attack … it’s such a difficult time when it’s ever so hot that you cannot apply the spray, then it’s damp/wet and you can’t apply the spray … I got lucky on Monday and sprayed but possibly too late because a lot of varieties have spotted foliage!

I will re-do the spray on Monday coming … perhaps you might use just the Eco-rose but always put in the Eco-oil (you can reduce the quantity of oil but you need it as a sticker/spreader/dispersant).

When I run a spray program I ALWAYS use the eco-seaweed – applied to the foliage it definitely aids in strengthening the foliage against disease … for the small amount you use, it’s worth adding I think!!!

Hope this is helpful.  Oh, and don’t be afraid to give them all a decent trim that retain as much foliage as possible … 1/3 off would be ok!  Cheers … GRAHAM


We have decided to hold off allowing bare-rooted roses to be purchased NOW but will reactivate the WISH LIST function to enable you to save the varieties you see when browsing.  Our reason for this delay is that it seems extreme to have you pay for roses which you won’t receive for at least 6 months!

In coming weeks we will show you pics of the 2018 New Release Roses which we have decided to offer this year – there are more than 60 available!  Since we have seen most of them in the field we promise to offer only varieties which we consider worthy of growing in your garden!

Posting roses has not slowed with lots of GIFT ROSES being sent when there is a family event to acknowledge – birth, death, marriage, anniversary or just to say:  “I care”.  Lots of customers are still buying roses for planting in their own garden – Jo was thrilled with the rose I posted recently:
“Hi Diana, The JUST JOEY rose arrived this morning and I have to say WOW! Thank you so much for such an awesome plant! It even had two flowers on it and the plant was much bigger than I had envisioned. Thank you so much for your prompt attention and the fantastic packaging!”

MY RESPONSE:  WOW back!   I love it when I get such great feedback from our customers and it all works so much better NOW than when Auspost were flooded in the Christmas lead-up and things went a bit pear-shaped and some customers get nasty … ooooh, I so hate that!  This is beautiful – just as it should be!  Thank you!  DIANA

Just Joey
Hybrid Tea rose with charming waved petals of creamy-buff-copper,
very free flowering habit – a true delight!


Whenever I plant into the garden, there are usually worms.  This past weekend I was planting a border of plants (getting ready for the Art & Roses Tour and lots of visitors to the Rose Farm in April).  Surprisingly, I didn’t see a worm but in reflection, that makes sense because even though our garden beds are well mulched, those worms are not silly.

The worms are way, way down in the soil – probably starting to sort out which mate they’ll entertain in their upcoming mating season.  Know they’re there if your soil is moist way down and the nutrients and mulch are ready in the upper layers.  Worms are such a vital ingredient of humus-rich soil and they will dig and aerate your garden for you if you provide the perfect environment for them!

Q.  Did I tell you the joke about the ceiling?  Oh, forget it … its way over your head!

Here’s a few pics of the loveliest roses flowering in our gardens today –

 Mary Rose
Prolific, bushy and has a great fragrance. Masses of loose petalled, double rose pink blooms appear throughout the season – you will not be disappointed.
Modern Shrub rose named for our very own Maggie Tabberer who is the patron of the Melanoma Foundation who receive the royalty payments from sales of this rose in Australia.


Don’t miss out! We’ll be hosting another Walk & Talk about the Rose Farm and tips and demonstrations about summer pruning over the next two weekends.

Come down and say hi!

Flowers and gloves


Saturday 20th of January, at 2.00pm
Sunday 28th of January, at 11.00am

Stay cool and we’ll talk to you again next week … If you have any queries, please email: and we’ll respond within 24 hours
Cheers from us all here at SILKIES ROSE FARM, Clonbinane

Within 500 metres of the CLONBINANE INTERCHANGE
on the Hume Freeway, 60 kms north of Melbourne
Open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday – 9am – 4pm
Phone 03 5787 1123

ROSE RAMBLER 21.12.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 21.12.2017 …

Hello, dear rose friends for the last Rose Rambler this year.  We enjoy compiling this newsletter and welcome your comments and information-sharing, ideas, your photos and emails – thank you so much for contributing – it makes the Rose Rambler a valued email when more than 3,500 interested rose gardeners receive it every Thursday morning around this time!

Being seasonally appropriate here’s GRA’S GARBLE starting with a joke:

 Q.  How do sheep greet each other at Christmas?  A.  A Merry Christmas to ewe!  (my question to this joke was:  so what do ‘boy’ sheep say? … “HO HO HO” – such a ‘boy’ response!)

Sally Holmes



Sally Holmes 

Rhapsody in Blue





Rhapsody In Blue

Gold Bunny




Gold Bunny




During our break, I’ll take a video of Diana doing summer pruning as she’s sure to have a different method to show you! We’ll keep everyone posted once this goes up!
There are some amazing roses in the nursery in case you’re thinking of dropping past for that last-minute Christmas present:–

We’ll be open this weekend as usual right up to 4pm on SUNDAY and Diana will pop a lovely gift-wrap on roses you’re purchasing for Christmas gifting.

Here’s my final funny one for this year …“Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates.

‘In honour of this holy season,’ Saint Peter said, ‘To get into heaven you must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas.’

The man from England fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter; he flicked it on. ‘It represents a candle’, he said.

‘You may pass through the pearly gates’ Saint Peter said.

The man from New Zealand reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, ‘They’re bells.’

Saint Peter said ‘You may pass through the pearly gates’.
The Australian started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women’s panties.

St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, ‘And just what do those symbolize?’

The Aussie replied, ‘These are Carols.’ “Keep smiling and enjoy your garden these holidays – Gra

It was such a pleasure to receive this email earlier in the week:

“Hi Diana, Ross picked up the rose and was overwhelmed with tears by the sentiment. He loved that it was called “FATHER’S LOVE” – so appropriate to remember the passing of his youngest son.
Its gifts like these that really do lighten the burden for those suffering the loss of a loved one. Thankyou rosesalesonline, for offering a truly wonderful service.

We’ll start posting roses again on FRIDAY, 5TH JANUARY, 2018 when we can rely on Auspost to once again deliver our magnificent roses in a timely fashion.
Obviously, the website is open and you can continue placing orders throughout our holiday time. Meantime, from our family to you and yours, we wish you MERRY CHRISTMAS along with good health and happiness throughout 2018 …

Cheers from us all here at SILKIES ROSE FARM, Clonbinane
Within 500 metres of the CLONBINANE INTERCHANGE on the Hume Freeway, 60 kms north of Melbourne Open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday – 9am – 4pm Phone 03 5787 1123

ROSE RAMBLER 14.12.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 14.12.2017 …

Hello, dear rose friends for the second last …


… since it’s even more ‘silly season’ this week than last week, let’s lighten your mood with a joke … Q. Why did the man run around his bed?  A. Because he was trying to catch up on his sleep!

With the Christmas holidays looming, we’ll all be able to catch up on some sleep and enjoy quiet time at home – hopefully, you’ll make time for moments in your garden so here are a few TIPS FOR SUMMER ROSE GARDEN MANAGEMENT –

  • Watering roses is about DEEP-SOAKING at least 20 litres (or more) per weekly watering event so that water reaches way deep down into the root zone;
  • Watering should be carried out preferably in the early morning or up until 2 pm but NEVER in the evening when foliage is likely to be wet at sunset which can incur black-spot and mildew or rust on foliage;
  • Treat your garden to an application of quality fertilizer, especially since recent rains have leached a lot of nutrients from the soil;
  • Groom your roses … continually remove spent flowers and as a general rule-of-thumb, prune 1/3 of each rose stem during summer pruning – next week I will include a video of my PRUNING DEMONSTRATION – come along to the Rose Farm at Clonbinane this SUNDAY, 17TH DECEMBER commencing at 1.00pm.
  • Hot/dry weather conditions will ‘burn off’ fungal diseases like black-spot and mildew; if your roses are plagued by diseases you should continue to apply the organic rose management spray program – use it early in the morning and NEVER if the temperature is expected to exceed 28 degrees!
  • Most insects which cause issues for roses will hopefully decline in numbers – ‘white-fly’ which have been rampant this past season may still need to be kept in check with ECO-NEEM and ECO-OIL sprays – I suggest you avoid lethal chemicals!


  • Go cow-padding with your family for a fun day out in the country air – collect bags of dried manure to take home to your garden for mulch.  Be sure and check with the property owner prior to entering private property!
  • Plant seedlings along a garden border – perhaps some veggie/herb seedlings in small pots or for a real novelty, drill holes in the sole of shoes which the kids have grown out of and plant them with pansies/petunias/lobelia or other flowers!


An email from Jo prompted me to offer this advice about the two spray units we use here –

Hello Jo … I possibly overlook suggesting this:  ALL SPRAY EQUIPMENT MUST BE THOROUGHLY CLEANED AFTER EACH USE!  We actually use TriNature floor cleaner (Optimate) and disinfectant (Sphagnum Moss) spray in the tank after each use.

This ensures the spray head and line are also thoroughly cleaned because of the oil component in the mix!     We have had a 15 litre backpack spray unit SOLO which has been very reliable for more than 15 years and parts readily available if/when the repair was necessary.

I never fill it to capacity because I couldn’t carry it and we use it predominantly for SLASHER weed killer and it is also used for BIODYNAMIC PREPARATION SPRAYING.

The unit we use in the nursery is a 50 litre SWAGMAN BATTERY POWERED SPRAY UNIT … it has served us extremely well for at least 10 years with only one new spray arm replaced due to mishandling – it’s a trolley and can be easily pulled around.

hardi Container with weedkiller

NEVER use GLYPHOSATE products (ROUNDUP) in the spray unit which you use for spraying your roses!

Q. What do you get when you cross a parrot with a pig?  A. A bird who hogs the conversation!


Which just might get you out of trouble at the very last minute and available until New Year’s Eve …


Xmas Voucher





Really?  Recently we’ve had several requests for black roses – we’ve been shown pics from Facebook of very dark, yes, almost black blooms –we think the stems might have been placed in black dye– you could try doing that.  When I experimented several years ago with dye using ICEBERG (white) roses, it didn’t occur to me to use BLACK but the colours I used were successful as you can see in the pics below.

Coloured Roses

The colours intensified the longer the roses were in the dye and I could have made a very strong solution for greater colour intensity. Back to BLACK ROSES … the darkest, most highly fragrant rose available in our nursery is PAPA MEILLAND as when it first opens, the petals are black/red and the outer petals retain that dark hue right to the end – this picture was taken by Judith in Kyneton yesterday:
Judiths Papa Meillandnursery of Papa Meilland

(Left: Judiths Papa Meilland




 Right: picture from nursery of Papa Meilland)
In praise of this magnificent rose, if you love the fragrance and darkest red combination in a rose, then grow PAPA MEILLAND!


When it all gets too busy and you’ve had enough, pick up your secateurs and close out all of everything and go and trim your roses … speak with them while they tell you about themselves – a more interesting conversation could not ever be had!

Cheers from us all here at SILKIES ROSE FARM, Clonbinane

Within 500 metres of the CLONBINANE INTERCHANGE
on the Hume Freeway, 60 kms north of Melbourne
Open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday – 9am – 4pm
Phone 03 5787 1123

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Our mailing address is:

Rose Sales Online

550 Crn Spur and McDonald’s Rds

ClonbinaneVictoria 3658


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ROSE RAMBLER 7.12.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 07.12.2017 …

Hello, dear rose friends after an amazing weather event here at Clonbinane where we recorded more than 160mm of rain since last Thursday.  It was ‘nice’ rain as it fell quietly and simply rained day and night!  Of course, the blooms are damaged so we’ll have a massive program of ‘summer pruning’ and in order for you to learn all about it, come for a demo this Saturday.


Bring your secateurs for a sharpen and general check and wet-weather shoes to walk into the gardens where it’s still sopping wet!  If you have a rose flower you want to be identified, bring that along too!


Since it’s the silly season, let’s start with a joke

Q. What do you call an attractive pig?  A. A good snort. 

Enjoy your Christmas ham!

CONGRATULATIONS To Gary, Steve and the team at ORGANIC CROP PROTECTANTS who distribute our organic rose management products.They recently released product SLASHER ORGANIC WEEDKILLER is a recognised winner … read the press release:We’re super excited that SLASHER ORGANIC WEEDKILLER has picked up not one but two prestigious awards!  After 10 years of research and product development, it’s incredibly rewarding to have our work recognised by these awards.

Here are the details:

Organic Product of the Year – 2017 Organic Consumer Choice Awards Organic Product of the Year (Non-Food) – 2017 Australian Organic Annual Awards for Excellence

SLASHER was one of 18 finalists in the Organic Consumer Choice Awards which are voted for by the public. Once all votes were tallied SLASHER was the standout winner. Big thanks to all that voted!!! It is particularly satisfying to see so much public support for the product given the short time it has been on the market.

 It’s a further sign that more and more people are opting for safe organic options compared to questionable chemicals. The Australian Organic Annual Awards for Excellence are run by Australia’s largest organic certifying organisation Australian Organic (formerly called the Biological Farmers of Australia – BFA).

To be shortlisted and then win is a big nod from the organic industry that SLASHER is a quality product. Weeds are one of the biggest challenges facing organic farmers and we are pleased that SLASHER is there to help

To celebrate this victory and encourage you to use SLASHER rather than harmful glyphosate weedkillers, we’ll take $5 off every 1-litre bottle until current stock is runout.  We do have 5-litre packs available for pick-up at the Rose Farm – they’ll also be reduced by $5 through December – a keen gardener would be thrilled to receive this product as a Christmas gift!


“Hi there … Firstly, my roses are doing really well – thank you … just a quick question though. They are putting up a couple of quite long shoots with flower buds on top of them – much longer than the bush itself is.  Is this OK – what should I do re “pruning” these, either now or after the flowers have come out??  I might have to stake them up I think, they are so long.”  Many thanks – Lyn

My response to Lyn … they’re watershoots carrying heads of flowers and yes, you might have to stake them in these blustering weather conditions – we lost a lot in this past week … but ah, well, good pruning today will recover them and we’ll have magnificent flowers again in January!

New watershoots

(Two lush branches on the left side are NEW WATERSHOOTS, three other branches are older watershoots and would be the first pruned out in favour of the two newer watershoots) If you see these shoots emerging in future, you might give them a trim ‘on the way upwards’ and this will stop them growing so high and the watershoot will branch out more in line with the overall bush height …

watershoots 2

You’re obviously doing everything ‘right’ by producing such healthy roses so loaded with blooms … enjoy!
I will teach you WATERSHOOT MANAGEMENT during the SUMMER PRUNING DEMONSTRATION and also show you the difference between WATERSHOOTS and SUCKERS so you’ll be able to successfully manage both in your rose garden.

Here are my top picks for a GIFT ROSE this Christmas …

Just $73.90 delivered to your door by Australia Post …

Dark desire
double delightapricot nectar

Heaven ScentAbraham Darby

(Top: Dark Desire Middle Left: Double Delight Middle Right: Apricot Nectar Bottom Left: Abraham Darby Bottom Right: Heaven Scent)
Diana and her crew of ‘ reindeers ’ will be busy gift wrapping and boxing any rose of your choice until the last posting on MONDAY, DECEMBER 18TH … order NOW and if you have to care for a rose prior to gifting on Christmas Day, just pop it in a sunny location and water it every morning – do trim spent flowers prior to gifting so it looks lovely!


After such a rain event, it is important to take any opportunity (when the weather is predicted to be below 30 degrees) to apply the organic rose management program:To 10 litre bucket of water add:

¼ cup ECO-ROSE (FUNGICIDE) dilute with a burst of water then add

¼ cup ECO-OIL (INSECTICIDE / STICKER) reduce to ½ strength in hot weather

1 scoop ECO-SEAWEED POWDER or follow directions on pack of your preferred seaweed product!

MIX THEM ALL TOGETHER AND SPRAY TO RUNOFF OR POUR OVER PLANTS MONTHLY or more frequently if pests or disease are apparent. If a rose has succumbed to disease infection or just looks poorly after massive flowering and inclement weather conditions, give it a good prune, deep-soaking water and apply organic rose management spray – within weeks it will be flowering again!

I am hearing more and more people talk about how ‘EASY’ roses are!  They’ve certainly been hammered by all sorts of weather this past six months and when I open my eyes each morning and look out over the rose garden here, I am constantly reminded of their hardiness and magnificent beauty!

See you this weekend for the first SUMMER ROSE MANAGEMENT DEMONSTRATION – there will be one more before Christmas on 17th December and I will schedule another couple through January when you can bring the kids along too …  In closing:

Q.  What kind of snacks do noses like? A. SNEEZLES

… have a great week and take time out to smell the roses – especially now during this busy time of year.

Happy Festivities from Graham, Diana and the lovely team who make and SILKIES ROSE FARM at CLONBINANE your TOTAL ROSE EXPERIENCE …

ROSE RAMBLER 30.11.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 30.11.2017 …

Hello, dear rose friends and HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRAHAM from all of us who appreciate your crazy jokes and GRA’S GARBLE contributions to this weekly email!
I know for sure that without Gra’s weekly reminder to use ECO-SEAWEED*, advice on how to ‘dig and dung’, mulch and water – all the cultural information about roses which he gathers and shares so happily – none of us would grow such fabulous roses!
It’s Graham’s shout to celebrate his Birthday and celebrate this last day of spring …

Eco grow seaweed

PAY ONLY $25.00 FOR 600g PACK ECO SEAWEED – RRP $32.50 Extremely Concentrated Powder – Makes 1200 litres of solution – Add Your Own Water! Superbly Economical – Supremely effective on all plants!

Photos at Clonbinane …

Because we’re busy celebrating this special day together, here are some lovely photos of what’s going on here at CLONBINANE …
Cooper And Logan

Left: Cooper And Logan ( Grandkids) Enjoying Mud And Water Down By Sunday Creek

A Daughter’s Gift


 Right: A New Release Rose Of Such Impeccable Beauty – A Daughter’s Gift



Pierre De Ronsard

Left: What Pierre De Ronsard Looks Like Here Due To Late Frost




What Pierre De Ronsard Looks Like During A Normal Spring


 Right: What Pierre De Ronsard Looks Like During A Normal Spring / Summer Flowering

Your dogs are welcome at Silkies Rose Farm – please remember to bring their lead as we often have chooks free-ranging in the gardens …


Rio (Left) visited last weekend and Judy has promised to bring–




Pierre & Hugo



  Pierre & Hugo (left) again soon






we’ll have a photo shoot with these two handsome dudes posing with our little “Mooi”. (left)


The silly season is always a crazy busy period for us and the postie so a reminder to get your orders in early! Our last rose orders will be sent out on Monday 18th December, 2017 so remember to get your orders in before then.

xmas truck


SPECIAL CHRISTMAS VOUCHERLooking for the perfect Christmas Gift idea? Our special Christmas voucher is back!

Spoil them $100 Gift Voucher this Christmas and get a BONUS $20 on top for spending! (Total value $120.00)


The Christmas voucher can be redeemed for products on or at Silkies Rose Farm. Click here to order now.
ALL ABOUT ROSES A reminder that my book, ALL ABOUT ROSES has been reprinted – grab a copy today as a signed copy will be a PERFECT gift for the rose gardeners in your life this Christmas!

all about roses book

GIFT ROSES Know which rose you’re after? Why not send it as a gift rose! For just $73.90 we will send a gift wrapped, flowering rose of your choice*, beautifully presented with a card and your message in our custom designed box.

gift roses

We’re off now to celebrate Graham’s birthday and the last day of Spring! Breakky by the beach and a lovely drive over the Dandenong Ranges shall make a great birthday day out!
Many thanks to our hard-working Silkie Gardens & Rose Sales Online team for keeping everything operational whilst we’re out of the office (rose garden!)

ROSE RAMBLER 23.11.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 23.11.2017 …

Hello, dear rose friends from the most spectacular gardens here at Clonbinane – gosh but how lots of sunshine and heat turned our garden into a magnificently special place.   If you live within driving distance, do make an effort to come and walk in our garden soon – if you want to visit with a group, please contact us:  (03) 5787 1123 every FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY and MONDAY … we are happy to host a group on days other than our designated open days butYOU MUST BOOK AN APPOINTMENT!

Thank you!!! It’s my rose enthusiast neighbour who couldn’t seem to find the ST. PATRICK rose. Thanks for such a lightning quick response!       By the way, the roses I’ve ordered from you in the past are going gangbusters this year! I’ve been going into the garden and telling them how beautiful they look. Thank you!
I received an email of worry about delivery of a rose which was taking a little longer than normal so I responded accordingly:
“Hello, Pauline … AustPost is an amazing operation ???  One week, it takes two days to travel thousands of k’s and the next it takes ten days to get just a little way!  I cannot send you AustPost tracking number without a mobile phone number – here is the AustPost tracking number – the parcel is in Chullora so will be delivered on Monday … very tardy!     So sorry for the delay but VERY confident the rose will be lovely on arrival though, as we wet them thoroughly prior to posting … please let me know … cheers – Diana”
Thank you, Diana, I can now tell you the Rose arrived in Sydney Friday 7.30 am & was finally delivered at 10 35 am this morning. My sister in law has told me it is “alive” & beautiful. Many thanks for your services, & your confidence it would be intact on delivery. Thank you once again, Pauline

Do remember to take a quiet moment to walk in your garden and indeed ‘talk’ to your plants while you admire their beauty … they know exactly what you’re saying!
BOOKS FOR CHRISTMAS … FLORILEGIUM stock a most amazing range of horticultural publications so if you’re looking for an ideal present for the garden enthusiast in your life, go shopping with Gil and his team

BOOKS MAKE THE BEST GIFTS (Especially for gardeners!)

Gil Teague at Florilegium says:  “I’m very enthusiastic about this year’s crop. There are some major Australian contributions to the literature” so I suggest you take a look and purchase a book for Christmas this year …   or   02 9571 8222

My book, ALL ABOUT ROSES has been reprinted – go to as a signed copy will be a PERFECT gift for the rose gardeners in your life this Christmas!


Hi Diana,  You would have identified this in an instant as Delbard’s RED INTUITION,  rather than SOUL SISTER

Red Intuition

Soul Sister

as ordered and labelled.  However, like the kitten or stray dog that wanders in and works its way into your affections, this rose has won me over with its beautiful shadings and fragrance. So if you are happy to forget about the mix-up, I am more than happy to let it keep its place in my garden and find another spot for SOUL SISTER, which I will order for 2018.
Some things are meant to be!  Cheers … Elaine

Q. Where do spirits go to send their mail?  A. The ghost office!

If you’re feeling BLUE, go gardening … there are lots of research papers presented which reflect the value of regular and frequent engagement with the environment – it’s quite clear that gardening is great for mental health treatment and recovery.

Over the years, I have heard customers say:  MY GARDEN IS MY DOCTOR.  If you experience moments of sadness and a sense of “I’m not important …” go visit with your roses and they’ll let you know that you are ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL – they want you to trim, fertilize, mulch, perhaps spray the organic roses management program – they’ll be asking for you to turn the hose on and soak them now that the weather has turned into hot and sunny!

You are most definitely EXTREMELY IMPORTANT in your garden – get out there and enjoy the sunshine, hold the hose to water your roses – it’s like a meditation in the morning but YOU have to do it!

Plan what you’ll plant where on another adventure in your garden – it might be potting some herbs, perhaps tomatoes for harvesting this summer … the value of planning SOMETHING is enough to get you out into the sunshine and motivated about your future!

In closing, just for a giggle, here’s another joke:

 Q.  What has teeth but does not bite?  A. A zipper …

Enjoy the glory of your rose garden this spectacular spring …


Cheers from us all here at SILKIES ROSE FARM, Clonbinane