ROSE RAMBLER 23.4.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 23.4.2015

What a wonderful weekend it was at Tesselaar’s Plant Expo; there’s no doubt about it, we gardeners are all quite mad because we go out in all kinds of weather!  Perfect on Saturday but we huddled closely under umbrellas and any shelter on Sunday in the cold wind and driving rain – nice to be so up close and personal with those of you who braved the elements to visit us at the Expo – THANK YOU!

As expected, the flowers withstood the elements – picked in a field where there was no water, laid in the back of the van and transported for more than one hour!!!  Their stems were re-cut prior to vasing and they immediately responded – rained on out in the open each night but everybody commented on the magnificent fragrance and stunning beauty that lured them into our site


We try and write concise messages about how to manage your roses and I suppose, sometimes we don’t quite get it totally right because we are doing it every day and it comes natural to us – here are a few emails from  the past week which I am sure you will benefit from reading:


I religiously read all of the newsletters that you send me and I have a question to ask regarding the regular spraying of the mix of Eco Rose, Eco Oil and Seaweed solution.

1 Do I need to also water it into the soil or only spray on the foliage?
2. Does it matter if I also spray my other flowers and small bushes and the small trees such as Buddleja and Lilac trees with the same mix, or should I leave out the Eco Rose and use only the Seaweed solution for the other plants.

I have lost some of the older roses recently so I am taking more care with the younger ones.  We have very poor clay soil here and even though we plant them in a good soil mix I think that after a while they suffer when their roots reach the clay.  Actually our most successful roses are the ones in pots.  Some of the standard roses have grown quite big and been in the large pots for years.

Thank you  … Jenny


Hi Jenny … thank you for your enquiry.  You spray the foliage to run-off which means residual goes to the soil anyway … after pruning in winter, you might purposely spray over the mulch to reduce fungal spores.  All plants will benefit from the spray program – especially fruit trees, lots of vegetables and most ornamentals!  Seaweed solution can be used directly on the soil at all/any times to improve plant health – it is NOT fertilizer – pour it from the watering can very liberally for all plants and extremely important for potted plants!

I don’t believe that clay is ‘poor soil’ because once the rose roots get down into the clay, they usually flourish unless they are drowning due to poor drainage – mulching clay will encourage worms to come to the surface and do the aerating (digging) for you … this takes time but is very good gardening practice!!!

Potted roses should be repotted at least every TWO years at which time you heavily prune the roots and bush/standard prior to repotting!

Hope this answers your queries … cheers – Diana

Not bragging but another email which came to my inbox after midnight warms the cockles of my heart and makes this journey all so very worthwhile:

Hi Diana

I received your magnificent book today and I am up till late reading every word and enjoying the photos.

I have grown many of these roses and have loved them all. Not surprised to read that Jardins de Bagatelle is one of your favourites :) When I was visiting Paris about five years ago I travelled to the Bagatelle gardens amongst others.

I love your book. It’s a good, sensible reference for any rose grower, beginner to experienced. I hope to get to your talk at Tessallars on Saturday.

Cheers … Michelle.


Bit knackered this week after the Tesselaar Plant Expo last weekend but I’ve got this to share:  a lot of non-living objects are actually either male or female; hope this makes you laugh like I did …

They are male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

Also a male object, because to get them to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under their butt.

These are female, because they are soft, squeezable and retain water.

Female, because they’re constantly being looked at and frequently getting hit on.

Egg timers are female because, over time, all the weight shifts to the bottom.

Male, because in the last 5000 years, they’ve hardly changed at all, and are occasionally handy to have around.

Female. Ha! You probably thought it would be male, but consider this: It easily gives a man pleasure, he’d be lost without it, and while he doesn’t always know which buttons to push, he just keeps trying.

Respecting the ANZACS, we’ll be open for business after midday till 4.30pm on Saturday and we suggest you might drive by the Wandong township to see the ‘new’ memorial garden which we have had the pleasure of planting and managing over the past 18 months … these pics are only a very small part of the whole garden – please do take a look if you’re coming up our way …

Enjoy quiet, reflective moments in your garden this very special weekend for all Australians …
cheers from Diana, Graham and Mooi at Clonbinane 

ROSE RAMBLER 16.4.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 16.4.2015

ROSE RAMBLER – 16th April 2015

Hello dear rose friends – what a sensational weekend we had with the friendly groups who came for the Art Expo & Rose Tours and enjoyed Ben’s awesome scones, Cooper’s delightful chat, Virginia’s gorgeous smile and Graham’s walk and talk in the garden … oops, where was I?  All about the place and enjoying every single moment of the magnificent weather and company … taking pics like this one…


GOD to ST. FRANCIS: Frank, you know all about gardens and nature.   What in the world is going on down there on the planet?   What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago?  I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan.  Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon.  The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds.  I expected to see a vast garden of colours by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles. 

ST. FRANCIS: It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers ‘weeds’ and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass. 

GOD: Grass? But, it’s so boring. It’s not colourful.  It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms.  It’s sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

ST. FRANCIS: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.  

GOD:  The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

ST. FRANCIS:  Apparently not, Lord.   As soon as it grows a little, they cut it – sometimes twice a week.  

GOD:  They cut it?  Do they then bale it like hay?

ST. FRANCIS: Not exactly, Lord.  Most of them rake it up and put it in bags. 

GOD: They bag it?  Why?  Is it a cash crop?  Do they sell it? 

ST. FRANCIS:  No, Sir, just the opposite.  They pay to throw it away. 

GOD: Now, let me get this straight.  They fertilize grass so it will grow.  And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?  

ST. FRANCIS: Yes, Sir.  

GOD: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat.  That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

ST. FRANCIS:  You aren’t going to believe this, Lord.  When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it. 

GOD:  What nonsense.  At least they kept some of the trees.  That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself.  The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer.  In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It’s a natural cycle of life.

ST. FRANCIS:  You better sit down, Lord.  The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle.  As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away. 

GOD:  No ! ?  What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

ST. FRANCIS:  After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch.  They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves. 

GOD:  And where do they get this mulch?

ST. FRANCIS:  They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch. 

GOD:  Enough!  I don’t want to think about this anymore.

St. Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts.  What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

ST. CATHERINE:  ‘Dumb and Dumber’, Lord.   It’s a story about . . . . 

GOD:  Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis.


Q.  What did the pastor say when a bee entered his church?  A.  Please bee leave! 

Take time now to prepare garden beds for planting new roses this winter!  Why?  Because the roses will flourish and produce way more flowers in their lifetime if you prepare the planting holes like this NOW:

  • Dig a really rough hole 250mm x 250mm at least so that roots easily penetrate the clay wall
  • Mix a bucket full of well-rotted manure/bagged compost/leaves or combination of all blended with some organic fertilizer
  • Back-fill the hole with all the soil and compost blend – mounded up if necessary!
  • Water the area at least weekly with 10 litres of water and seaweed solution

Q.  Why was the teacher cross-eyed?  A.  Because he couldn’t control his pupils!


18th & 19th of April

The Tesselaar Gardening and Plants Expo has kindly allowed us to share their promotion with our loyal readers!

We’ll be at this event! Do come up to Silvan in the Dandenongs, east of Melbourne, where the autumn trees are spectacular and the Tesselaar Garden Expo hosts some of the most professional nurseries in Victoria … A REAL GARDENERS EVENT!

A must for all green thumbs and budding gardeners!

There is a lot to look forward to at the annual Tesselaar Gardening and Plants Expo
this weekend:

The incomparable Stephen Ryan hosts the free Experts Talks program, highlighting special guest speakers; David Glenn of Lambley Nursery, Attilla Kapitany of Australian Succulents and many more expert speakers cover a range of practical topics. See the website for the full details and timetable.

As a valued Tesselaar subscriber, we have included a “Buy 1 ticket, get your 2nd ticket free” offer. Simple present the below voucher at the gate to redeem your free ticket.

We can’t wait to welcome you to this fabulous weekend.

The Tesselaar family

9am until 4pm
18th & 19th April, 2015
357 Monbulk road, SILVAN

$16 – Adults
$13 – Concession
Available online or at the gate.

Your subscriber Voucher

Hope we see you gasping at our cut flower display up at
Tesselaars Plant Expo this coming weekend

– cheers from Diana, Graham & Mooi at Clonbinane



Hello dear rose friends … finally some very welcome rain has dumped on our garden – now I’ll have to add “mow lawns” to my agenda of things to do before the bus groups visit this coming weekend.

We are expecting around 150 keen gardeners over the two days and if you would like to ‘tag along’ for WALK AND TALK IN THE GARDEN WITH GRAHAM, please do join us on this coming Saturday and Sunday between 10-11am and 2-3pm.

Because the Rotary Art Expo is on in Kilmore this weekend, I suggest you take a visit into Kilmore also – there is a beaut ‘Expo Café’ at the Memorial Hall where you can partake of a truly ‘home-made’ lunch served by a volunteer brigade of workers and International School students – all proceeds to Rotary projects!


Q.  What’s the biggest mouse in the world?  A.  A HIPPOpotamouse! 

I’ve caught a few big ones this past week – since we live along the Sunday Creek, have mulched gardens and chooks, we expect vermin problems so have bait stations at strategic locations OUTSIDE the buildings and house!

The logic here is that you don’t want vermin in any building so if you bait externally, the ‘hippopotamouses’ don’t usually become a problem INSIDE where they cause the greatest grief – especially if they die in wall cavities, etc. after taking a bait that you had inside!

We are maintaining the roses in good condition despite the cold and now wet weather – every 10 days we are applying the organic rose management program and I recommend you do the same now if you want blooms right up into winter –

To 10 litres of water add:           
Seaweed solution or powder (follow pack directions)
¼ cup ECO ROSE and ¼ cup ECO OIL

It is beneficial to add liquid fertilizer to this concoction to stimulate more flowering and keep the foliage healthy – more healthy foliage means more beautiful roses!

Q.  Why don’t you take your little brother to the zoo?  A.  If they want him, they can COME and GET HIM!

Only a few more days of school holidays – bring the kids with you when you come to visit us here at the Rose Farm – there are chickens to watch romping around … good fun!  Gra


If you don’t already have them!  We all get seduced by catalogues and advertising brochures that show the new release roses every season – here are some enduring ‘favourites’ which you really should consider planting if you don’t already have them:


As a special ‘nearly end of season’ promotion, this weekend ONLY, all the DELBARD and DAVID AUSTIN roses will be reduced to $21.50 each – that’s their winter price but you’ll get them potted and flowering NOW!  If you have a garden bed ready, PLANT NOW!

You will have beautifully established roses for next season’s flowering.  Consider these couple of our favourites:



Don’t be deterred from visiting a very busy Rose Farm this weekend when there will be loads of action and lovely assistants to help you select some more beautiful roses for your garden …

If authors wrote of roses all the livelong day,
And painted them in words to match their sweetness,
They would never tell one half of the glory of the queen of flowers.

– Helen Crofton

Cheers from Diana, Graham and Mooi at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane

– remember, if you can’t get to visit us here then come and meet us at
at Silvan next weekend 18th and 19th April




Hello dear rose friends … welcome to all the new subscribers – hope you enjoy our ramblings and if you live close please come for a visit to the Rose Farm – CLONBINANE is just 60kms from Melbourne CBD – we are within 500mts of the Hume Freeway – entry/exit north and south!

It’s already Easter and we’ll be closed GOOD FRIDAY but open all other days of this wonderful long weekend – call in at the Rose Farm this weekend where you’ll find some super potted/flowering rose deals …




During Saturday, Sunday and Monday, there will be an Easter egg hunt operating continually – any rose where an Easter egg is hidden at the base of the flowering plant will be available at 50% OFF and you’re NOT allowed to cheat because I’ll know where the eggs are ‘laid’ … in 100 of the very best specimens around the nursery!!!

Here are three more new release roses which are available for ordering this winter at – go take a look at these pics which, remember, are NOT MY OWN! Every other rose photo represented at, excluding the 2015 new release roses has been taken by us!!!


The strongly angular red and white petals give the bloom a ‘square’ appearance, similar to a paper folded flower – hence the name Origami. Highly disease resistant and well clothed in mid green foliage, plant singly, as a hedge or in a pot. Light rose perfume.
A Gold Award winning rose – Australian National Rose Trial Grounds.


Like its name suggests, this rose is in Perfect Harmony with itself. Charming blended blooms of yellow with pink/peach edges. A beautiful Hybrid Tea with large, well-filled flowers, which are carried singly or in small clusters on strong stems. A robust citrus fragrance floats from these high-centred buds. This captivating rose blooms in flushes throughout the season which makes it perfect for cut flowers for your home. Good disease resistance. Height: 80-100 cm.


Spreading shrub type Floribunda rose with large sprays of blooms in clusters. Medium sized pointed buds, semi-double to double, mid pink to soft pink blooms, cream-yellow at the base with at times over 60 blooms per spray. Glossy apple green healthy foliage. Repeat flowering. For best visual effect mass planting in beds or borders is recommended.  80cm H x 100cm W.


I buy Better Homes & Gardens magazine for the Moon gardening guide which we use for weeding and planting.  It was a huge surprise to read a fabulous review for Diana’s book, ALL ABOUT ROSES in the April edition.  I won’t copy it verbatim for you here, but the last sentence reads:  “Taking an organic approach to growing, the book is well illustrated and the author’s passion for the blooms spills from every page.” which is why every rose gardener should have a copy of the book on hand! 

Organic gardening should not be a ‘trend’ but very much a ‘norm’ … our organic rose management program is well represented in ALL ABOUT ROSES along with many of our ‘normal’ (organic, obviously!) gardening procedures – get a copy NOW in your local book store or online at so that you have all the information you need to design and prepare a rose garden for this winter … DO IT ONCE, DO IT RIGHT! is our motto.

I like this joke:
Nigel came into the classroom with a great big swelling on the end of his nose.  “How did you get that?” asked Mr. Trilby.  “I was smelling a BROSE.” replied Nigel sadly.  “I think you mean a ROSE,” said Mr. Trilby.  “There’s no ‘B’ in ROSE.”

“Well, there was in this one!” replied Nigel – just as there are bees in the roses you’ll be smelling when you come up to the Rose Farm this weekend!!! 

Bee aware … ha ha!  Gra


Take time out with the kids this week – let them help you as Cooper did so graciously last weekend – he loaded Susie’s car with her potted roses for the new section of garden she’s been planting … we all enjoyed the experience and Susie will have herself a lovely well established rose garden this spring … autumn is the season for planting … nice!

See you soon at Clonbinane or talk to you via email if you’re contemplating designing a new garden this winter and need some FREE ADVICE …

~ Diana, Graham and yes, MOOI – guard dog extraordinaire who thinks she’s a Great Dane but weighs around 2.5 kgs of Toy Poodle!  HAPPY EASTER!!!

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