ROSE RAMBLER 23.6.2016

ROSE RAMBLER … 23.6.2016 …

With the shortest day behind us, winter is well and truly making its presence felt with good rain in most areas.  We are finally able to tell you that most varieties of roses are here tucked in the heel-in beds (except STANDARD ROSES and some ‘contract budded’ varieties which are still to be dug) so we’ll be busy packing and posting your roses any day now!

Please still be patient as we can only physically manage to pack around 40 parcels per day!
Here’s a pic of our lovely assistant, Tova.

Graham has also been busy loading our van, getting ready to deliver to Australia Post at Kilmore!


I’m always being asked “What is the best manure to use when planting roses?”  Any animal manure is great in the soil but it MUST BE COMPOSTED prior to using at the planting hole of roses!  Raw animal manure has the potential of being highly acidic with the risk of burning new roots which the roses will produce as soon as they settle into the soil!  Exactly the reason for not placing fertilizer in the planting hole unless it’s way deep down in the hole, covered deeply with soil and available when the rose is nicely established with a solid root system.

If you have access to fresh manure, spread it over a compost heap for at least six weeks, water weekly with seaweed solution and turn it fortnightly – you’ll see steam coming from the heap which means it’s not ready to be applied in planting holes!  Wait until it is more like the consistency of soil – at this point, place it around the base of your roses and cover with a light layer of mulch to protect all the microbes and worms.

Q. Why does a chicken coop have two doors?  A.  If it had four doors, it would be a chicken sedan. 

Bagged manure and composted material is wonderful to ADD TO THE SOIL at planting – the product is guaranteed to be well decomposed and safe to use around newly establishing bare-rooted roses, especially when blended with existing soil!

I’ll be conducting a ROSE PRUNING DEMO this weekend on SATURDAY, 25TH AT 11.00am and will advise of more demonstrations during July in later Rose Ramblers.

Q.  What is the difference between a cat and a comma?  A.  A cat has claws at the end of paws; a comma is a pause at the end of a clause. 


Diana will be part of the panel this Sunday – 855 on the AM Band where you can call in, donate and be rewarded with garden products, books, professional garden consultations or gift vouchers from many nurseries to the value of every dollar you donate to this magnificent Community Radio program which regular radio listeners say is the most informed, interesting and BEST garden talk-back radio which airs in Melbourne every Sunday from 7.30 – 9.15am.

Lay in bed with your cuppa and toast, pick up the phone: (03) 9419 8377 or (03) 9419 0155 and treat yourself to purchasing lots of goodies to indulge your garden, gifts for friends or simply to know you’re donating $’s to keep a wonderful garden show on the air so you can call in when you need FREE ADVICE from a professional panel of horticulturists.

There are SILKIES ROSE FARM gift vouchers available during the program!

Congratulations to our Facebook photo competition winners!

A big THANK YOU again for all who participated in our photo competition.

We set the challenge for you to select your favourite rose to post to us, and you guys set us the bigger challenge of selecting our favourites from yours!

It was wonderful to see the beautiful blooms from everyone’s gardens! They were all gorgeous but we managed to narrow down our winners to… *drum roll*….

1st place: Ellarose Osbourne’s array of beautiful roses!!

2nd place: Emily Blades’s frosty AMAZING Gallipoli Centenary rose!

3rd place: Karen Allan’s GORGEOUS rose on a hot summers day!

Congratulations to Ellarose, Emily and Karen!

Thank you again to all our participants, we hope you had as much fun sharing as we did liking all the photos! We’ll definitely be looking forward to our next photo comp!

If you’d like to keep up to date with any new events, news and updates happening at Rose Sales Online, follow us on Facebook at

Stay warm and well … Cheers from us all at Clonbinane
– Graham, Diana, Tova & Mooi


ROSE RAMBLER 16.6.16 …

An interesting date to be sending you another screed of information to make your rose growing experience fun, successful and enjoyable!  As this month zooms along, please know that we are doing our absolute utmost to have your roses delivered by Australia Post with expedience.  Remember, orders with STANDARD ROSES are going to be delayed because we are only digging them early next week.

When the roses come to the Rose Farm, we have to grade the highest quality for orders, label and sort them – once completed, we’ll start the process of packing and posting.  Here they are in the heel-in beds ready for you to select:

We have had some resounding testimonials about the beautiful quality roses we’re sending which makes our job such a pleasure – thank you!  Remember, if you want to share your joy about our roses, post a quick word at – this helps others who want to purchase roses online be sure they’re ordering from a reputable supplier – thanks for all who care to share your experiences with our business!!!


The pruning demos this past weekend were a resounding success with lots of keen gardeners donning jackets and beanies to take a walk in the garden with me after I checked and sharpened their secateurs!  Don’t forget to bring secateurs with you in coming weeks when I’ll be doing regular demos and just in time, the sun will shine!

SATURDAY 18TH 1.30PM   and   SUNDAY 29TH 1.30PM

I’ll show you how to plant a bare-rooted rose, what plants to enjoy around the roses and a whole lot of other ‘garble’ whilst we walk around our garden.  Here’s a beautiful rose worthy of planting in a space or because the guy who bred it at Kordes Rozen, Germany, decided that all proceeds would go to a great cause – here in Australia, royalties are paid to LIONS CLUBS … awesomely healthy, great hedge rose, simply stunning …

Q.  What do you call a parade of rabbits hopping backwards?  A.  A receding hare-line.

For those who cannot attend my demo, here are a few do’s when you’re planting roses this season:

  • Dig a nice big hole at least 60 x 60 cms with a fork so you don’t squish worms
  • Put the soil in a wheel barrow and blend it with compost or bagged animal manure
  • Place some back in the hole and break the edges and base, thus blending all
  • Pour seaweed solution over the blended soil/manure
  • Create a mound and place roots over the mound then backfill from the barrow
  • Hose into the hole so the soil is a slurry
  • When drained, refill the hole to existing soil level with mix from barrow
  • Pour seaweed solution over the newly planted rose every week for six weeks
  • Lightly mulch over soil with lucerne or pea straw

The newly planted rose should require no further watering for a few weeks – especially if there is rain – whatever you do, DON’T OVERWATER this new rose and DON’T FERTILIZE at planting!

Q.  Why do fish live in salt water?  A.  Because pepper makes them sneeze

Have a giggle while you enjoy this cold but sunny winter weather!  Gra


There are lots of phone calls during this busy rose season and despite many attempts to have an ‘ENGAGED TONE’ installed by Telstra, your call will go immediately to ‘message bank’ if I am taking another caller which is as frustrating to me as it is to you!  Frequently, the landline 03 5787 1123 and the mobile 0418 33 77 65 are ringing at the same time!!!  I’m so sorry that I cannot get this sorted to make it more friendly for all of us!

I make great efforts to return as many calls as possible – please know that if you cannot reach me by phone, I will always respond to emails at: where you can post enquiries, request rose garden design hints, tell us how happy you are with the quality of your new roses or stuff like this:

Hi Di,
Thank you for the roses – arrived safely – I cannot get them into the ground till early next week – how should I manage them till then please?  Pat

My response:  Hi Pat … no rush with planting … leave them in the pack for a couple of days in a cool place and then 24 hours or so prior to planting, plonk them in a seaweed solution so they’re nice and wet at planting.  Once planted, soak them to a slurry with the hose then pour the seaweed solution over them liberally.  Don’t water them for a few weeks after this soaking!!!

Pour seaweed solution over them at least fortnightly, then as soon as they sprout with foliage, place quality organic fertilizer over the soil around them and repeat this fertilizer every eight weeks whilst continuing with the monthly organic rose management program.  Don’t forget to put a light layer of mulch over the soil too!  Enjoy these beauties in your garden … Diana

Here is a beautiful pic of why you should come to visit us during our open times at the
Silkies Rose FarmFriday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday 9am – 4pm
with a welcome greeting from Mooi and a smile and great service from
myself, Diana, Graham and Tova … see you soon!


ROSE RAMBLER 9.6.2016 …

What a pleasure the clouds and rainy conditions are for us while we are scrambling to sort into categories, label and pit into heel-beds the magnificent roses our grower has presented for you to plant in your garden this winter!

In our thirty years of working with bare-rooted roses, we’ve never had such HUGE plants to deal with and yes, they’re just two year old plants which have enjoyed unprecedented, favourable seasonal growing conditions to produce such monster specimens!

We are working flat-out to post all the roses where orders can be fulfilled with the 5,500 which are here now.  We are still waiting on some varieties to come to the Rose Farm.  STANDARD ROSES will be dug in the next two/three weeks – weather depending – and any order which contains standard roses will be posted during JULY.

I urge you to be patient please!  If you are going away in the coming weeks and don’t want roses posted, please let us know.  Otherwise, you will be notified when they are in transit and Australia Post is being very reliable by presenting our parcels in very timely fashion!  Phew!!

Since this weekend is another long-weekend with Queen’s Birthday Holiday on Monday and the weather forecast for Saturday isn’t great, we’ll hold PRUNING DEMONSTRATIONS s on Sunday, 12th and Monday, 13th – 1.30pm both days.


Here’s my joke for the week:  “What’s wrong with Dylan?” asked Father Donnal.  His wife replied:  “I don’t know Father but yesterday he swallowed a spoon and he hasn’t stirred since.” 

When you come to the Rose Farm for a pruning demonstration, I’ll show you how companion planting around roses with vegetables and herbs is a great way of producing healthy, home-grown veggies for the family whilst making the most of soil area around the rose bushes.

I grow lots of greens – silver beet and various types of kale which we now use in soups and hearty winter meals of mashed potato with silver beet, meatballs and gravy – superfood which kids love too!  Every day, I supply greens of some description to the chooks which means I have very few health issues with my chooks.

BLACK CAVIAR roses arrived in the nursery yesterday – stunning two-year-old plants so if you’re looking for a really dark, dark red rose with amazing fragrance, this is the one I highly recommend …

Tune into 3CR Community Radio Garden Show this Sunday 12/6 morning at 7.30am – 9.15am
when I will be there to answer your questions along with a panel of garden experts.  Do give me a call on 03 9419 8377 – you’ll find 3CR on the AM dial at 855.

See you at a pruning demonstration soon – bring your secateurs for sharpening too – Gra.

Cheers from us all at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane



ROSE RAMBLER …3.6.2016 …

Hello dear rose friends and welcome to winter and a whole new year of beautiful roses!  We’ll be contacting you shortly to advise that your roses are ready for posting so we hope you’ve done the necessary preparations which our magnificent quality roses deserve to ensure they flourish for many years in your garden … here are a few tips for planting bare-rooted roses …


As soon as you can, after receiving your parcel of roses in the post, remove them from the box and soak them in a trough/bucket to which you have added a proportional amount of seaweed powder or solution – the roses are good in this soak for 24 hours but if you’re planting immediately, just give them a dip – pour the remaining solution over the roses after you’ve soaked them to a slurry with the hose!

NEVER OVERWATER NEWLY PLANTED ROSES – let them settle in gently – most gardens will have had some rain and the garden won’t need watering for a while but fortnightly light applications of seaweed over all plants will ensure frost tolerance to between 3-5 degrees and even if you don’t experience frost in your area, you’ll encourage good root development and healthy foliage through coming months!

Add liquid fertilizer such as ECO-AMINOGRO to the seaweed for balanced, gentle feeding while the roses are settling in and starting to form roots which will, in turn, produce healthy foliage – I know I harp on this, but the more healthy foliage on your roses, the more beautiful, colourful and long-lasting flowers your roses will produce – it’s ALL ABOUT HEALTHY FOLIAGE which is produced from microbe/humus rich soil where the roots are feeding – give them the best possible start WHEN YOU PLANT YOUR NEW ROSES!

Q.  What do you call a horse that lives next door? A.  Your neigh-bour …

We’re always asked “what’s your favourite rose?” … the one which looks sensational today is usually my response and here are a few that have been superb in recent weeks while we’ve had cold nights and rain on the flowers …

Probably my most favourite white rose for its resilience in ALL WEATHER – it produces beautifully formed huge pure white blooms which last well in a vase on a magnificently shaped bush of medium height with darkest-green, most healthy foliage

The stripes on these blooms are sensational with every single flower unique and perfectly beautiful – slashes of crimson red with yellow/cream – voluptuous and exotic, extraordinarily healthy and very free flowering – awesome rose!

Deep lilac with rich purple tips on each petal, perfectly formed blooms ideal for flowering arranging on an upright, medium height bush which tolerates hot weather conditions.

Q.  What do you call a box of ducks?  A.  A box of quackers …

Next week, I’ll be sharing information about digging holes for your new roses … Gra

See you soon at Clonbinane … Diana, Graham and Mooi 

Remember, rose pruning demonstrations on
SATURDAY, 11TH JUNE 10.30 AND 1.30!

ROSE RAMBLER 26.5.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 26.5.2016


Hello dear rose friends as we here at Clonbinane say goodbye to another magnificent season of beautiful flowering roses … some of the last flowers in our gardens are stunning.

is putting on a delightful display – lovely floribunda rose with near-thornless stems produces bunches of blooms which are perfect for a vase on a medium sized, well-rounded, very healthy shrub.  I love it that this rose is always different throughout the season – both in colour and flower shape – see all the pics at

is producing an abundance of blooms to ensure that Graham can take my Mum a bunch of highly fragrant roses as his “thanks for taking up the hems on my new trousers” – Mum just loves the roses in vases …

Now we’re dealing with sticks but oh, my word, those sticks are such amazing quality after such a long, hot, dry summer – it was a perfect season for establishing roses, especially since our grower has a plentiful supply of ground water and magnificent soil which he nurtures with organic fertilizer, crop-rotation and good management!


Not ALL the roses come in the first consignment – if your order contains standard roses, they are the last to be dug later in June so we will notify you then.  Some varieties of roses need to be left in the ground that little bit longer … please be patient about your order arriving – we promise to notify you prior to posting your roses so you know to expect them.

If you have any particular queries about your rose order, please email Diana at and I will contact you within 24 hours of your enquiry.

A few beautiful testimonials which we would like to share:

Thank you so much, what wonderful service. The lady we are giving the Rose to is called Cecilia it is the perfect gift. I can’t thank you enough for your attentive service and care. Your company will be highly recommended.
Many thanks Carolyn
Oh Diana …Thank you so much, one of my colleagues Dad died on the ward we work on so this would be beautiful, thank you for your kindness, what a great company you are.

Please know that we do our absolute best when it comes to supplying the most beautiful quality roses along with great customer service and patience is a virtue when you’re excited to get your roses in the ground!



When preparing the soil for planting roses I suggest you use ‘humus compost’ and add ‘rockdust’ at the planting hole.

Q.  What do you get if you cross a spider with an elephant?  A.  I’m not sure, but if you see one walking across the ceiling then run before it falls down!

Any good nursery/garden centre which supplies ‘GROW BETTER’ products will have quality compost and Munash Rockdust and Renew (sea minerals) which is the activator for the microbes in Rockdust.  We are convinced of the value of adding these vital minerals to our soil and scattered over our potted roses as it increases their immunity to fungus diseases and keeps their foliage healthy – here is a testimonial from somebody we don’t know but understand his experiences:

“I’ve been a gardener for over thirty years, growing shrubs, fruit trees, ornamentals and vegetables. Ten years ago we moved to a bright sunny apartment in Sydney with a large north facing balcony. This was a dramatic change from my usual gardening. Potted and indoor plants.

Easy I thought but after several years I was having minimal success.

A couple of years ago, we were invited to a function at the Wayside Chapel which included a tour of the apartment in which Indira Naidoo lives. Her ‘Edible Balcony’ was amazing. It was here that we were introduced to Munash Renew and the Munash Rock Dust.

I was at first quite sceptical, the Munash Rock Dust looked a lot like the blue metal I had used under the pavers and the amount to use of the Revive was minuscule but Indira had recommended it, so I would give it a go.

It is difficult to describe the results, within a week we had a dramatic turnaround, the foliage greened and the plants had a vigour I had not been able to achieve with a multitude of other products. We now have a balcony garden that is, may I dare say, as good as Indira’s and indoor plants that just glow.

I would highly recommend both the Munash Renew and Rock Dust for use on balconies and indoor plants. I could only assume their use on outdoor plants would create an Amazonian type environment.”


We urge you to use these products when planting your roses this winter – we especially recommend you apply Rockdust and Renew on your veggie garden as our food is grown in soils which lack vital minerals – ensure supreme quality, mineral rich veggies from your own garden!

Here’s a bit of a story … Mrs. Kranky:  “Doctor, I’m extremely worried about my husband.  He keeps thinking he’s turned into a chicken.”  Doctor:  “Why didn’t you tell me this before?”  Mrs. Kranky:  “Well, we’ve needed the eggs.”

My Langshan chooks are still laying because they get a daily ration of ‘greens’ – silverbeet, kale, weeds and herbs which have gone to seed.  What you put in, you will get out – applies to a lot of things in life, most definitely!  Enjoy the last flowers of this season … Gra


There’s no rush but for those who like to prune early, come along to:

10.30am and 1.30pm
Please bring your secateurs for sharpening
and bring the kids too! 

Bookings not essential.
We will advise of pruning demonstrations in coming months!

Here’s a beautiful picture of one of the last blooms on FIRESTAR which is a most exceptional rose in all climates – lasting blooms on a very free-flowering, stunningly healthy bush for a blast of dynamic colour.

See you soon at Clonbinane … Diana, Graham and Mooi

ROSE RAMBLER 19.5.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 19.5.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 19.5.2016 …

Hello dear rose friends – we’ve had a beautiful time away from the nursery.  After three days lolling around the Sunshine Coast hinterland, we moved on and had the pleasure of visiting dear friends and viewing gardens to see how you Queenslander’s grow such magnificent roses in such an extraordinary climate – glad so many of you are ‘switched on’ to our organic rose management program which is obviously necessary in such conditions!

You know what though?  Wherever we travel in Australia, the roses adapt and flower according to the local environment – they are amazing plants and we’re so, so lucky to have such a versatile plant as roses in our gardens.

Thank you Queensland rose friends for hosting us and showing us how you grow such magnificent roses – we are inspired!


Hope you enjoyed viewing the new ‘Rosarian’ Catalogue which Diana spent quite a bit of time putting together!  It’s not easy to select which roses to feature when there are so many beautiful roses for us to enjoy – here are a few of my absolute favourites …


They’ve been around for a while but I seriously recommend them for planting this winter if you don’t already grow them …

Such a glorious surprise of yellow/orange/pink stripes on a most robust,
sturdy bush to around 1.2m tall – lovely light fragrant and perfect to vase:

Largest blooms of old-gold (peony-sized blooms) on long,
strong stems with a delicious fragrance – again, perfect to vase:

Still popular, forever gorgeous rose with
HUGE fragrance and simply, one of the best:

Here at Clonbinane we’ve already had quite a few decent frosts so the end of the flowering season is now apparent … if your roses start to show signs of blackspot, don’t be too concerned, they’ll start to shed foliage once the cooler weather sets in and their method of de-foliating generally means the foliage will ‘spot’ and fall.

Q.  What do you call an Eskimo that asks questions?  A.  An Askimo.

Don’t bother going around to remove spent foliage – the soil / mulch will deal with all the fungus spores.  By the time you prune roses and start the organic rose management spray program, taking particular note to spray over the mulch, those fungal spores will have rotted down and become part of the ecological/microbial environment of your garden!
Besides, would you really bother removing all that foliage at the base of your rose plants?  No, of course not … it’s natural!

Q.  What did the constipated mathematician do?  A.  Worked it out with a pencil.

Costa Georgiadis said:

I sure hope you’re adding all the autumn leaves to your compost heap – they are such a valuable aerator and source of nutrients for use when planting roses in coming months!  Keep applying seaweed solution over the roses in readiness for the cold – your roses will enjoy 3-5 degrees of cold-tolerance with fortnightly applications and the foliage will remain healthy until it falls for winter – enjoy the last beautiful flowers of autumn … Gra


They’re almost here – the heel-in beds are ready and waiting so get your orders in NOW at

If you need advice about designing your garden and selecting the very best, most suitable varieties for your location, please email us: with dimensions, a selection of which roses you would like to plant and we can assist you to create the rose garden of your dreams ..

Cheers from Graham, Diana & Mooi at Clonbinane

ROSE RAMBLER 12.5.2016

ROSE RAMBLER … 12.5.2016

Hello dear rose friends … let’s move right into the promised advice for building the BEST rose garden to accommodate your new roses this winter!


Because rose bushes are so productive with their flowering it’s important to remember as “RULE NO. 1” the more healthy foliage on the bushes, the more flowers you can expect throughout their potential 8-9 months of flowering.  Your roses will produce healthy foliage with good soil preparation prior to planting and using the organic management spray program throughout the season will be a bonus.

Prepare each planting hole in your garden beds as follows:

  1. With a fork (a shovel will cut through worms … ouch!) dig a really rough hole about 400 x 400 x 450 deep and fork the walls and base of hole;
  2. Place the soil / clay in a wheelbarrow and blend in about 50% organic compost or animal manure (not raw chook poo or mushroom compost!) a scattering of rock dust and a half-handful of organic fertilizer.
  3. Put all of the above back in the hole – yes, it will create a mound but when well-watered, this will settle – water over with seaweed solution weekly.

Q.  What do you call a man without a shovel?  A.  Douglas

That’s the ‘bones’ of soil preparation for planting something new in your garden and now I’d like to take it a step further by explaining what more you can do to make your soil highly productive and full of life-giving energy so planting ANYTHING in your garden is vibrant and retains vitality which means you grow a garden to love and continually enjoy …

  • Every garden has its own type of soil – good bugs which allow earthworms to breed and flourish, good fungus to balance the soil which in turn permits organic fertilizer, minerals and microbes to be taken up by plants;
  • When you add a bit of leaf litter to the new planting hole from anywhere in your garden – under trees, from the veggie garden, the compost heap, etc. that litter will contain microbes which are already present in YOUR garden and they’ll readily proliferate in the new space!
  • Because our Australian soils are so depleted of minerals, Munash Rock Dust along with Renew (sea mineral microbe activator) and seaweed solution are highly recommended additions to garden preparation and ongoing maintenance.

Q.  Patient:  what do the x-rays of my brain show?  A.  Doctor:  NOTHING! 


It’s been a few years since we produced a new catalogue and we’re excited to present it to you here …

We hope to inspire you to plant more beautiful roses in your garden this winter … if you need assistance with planning, please email your ideas and Diana will be able to guide you into selecting the most appropriate varieties of roses to make your garden an absolute pleasure for you and all who visit!



Due to the appalling weather last weekend,
we’re extending our Mother’s Day special
to this weekend!

bring your Mum to the Rose Farm at Clonbinane and

*Terms & Conditions apply.

Cheers from us here at Clonbinane … Graham, Diana & Mooi


ROSE RAMBLER … 5.5.2016 …

Hello dear rose friends … following is an extract from Ludwig Teschner’s newsletter ‘Talking Rosesin South Africa:


The one problem that really became evident this season was infestation by scale insects. No doubt this was due to the hot and dry summer. Scale insects, just like spider mites bide their time on the lower part of the bushes, puncturing into the phloem tubes for food. Female scales can live up to a year.

These phloem tubes carry sugar, amino acids, hormones and other organic nutrients made by the leaves to the rest of the plant and for storage to roots or bulbs.

During periods of drought, when there is not enough water being transported by the xylem to the leaves, the sap becomes much more concentrated in sugar and is sweeter which is just what the pests like. To them, that is a signal to multiply by laying eggs.

Whereas red spider starts off on the lower leaves, scale insects are on the bark of the stem. The mother provides a protective scale for the little ones that hatch from the eggs within days and crawl out to do their own puncturing, scale building and egg laying. They will even lay over the scale of the mother as can be seen on the image. Eventually, with no more space available and little food they move up the stem.

Pernicious or white scale 
White scale – note the different generations

The same principle applies to the Australian bug also known as cottony cushion or fluted scale. The female has a large fluted white egg sac attached which contains many bright red eggs. The young are extremely active, tiny crawlers. They can be seen on the image below.

Australian bug – FLUTED SCALE

Australian bug – FLUTED SCALE larval stage

How to control them? Heavily infected stems that seem to be dying anyway are best cut out of the bush and removed. Insecticide sprays are only effective on the crawlers before they have made their scale or wooly sac. The protected mothers are able to carry on laying eggs.


This is what you do to control scale which can infest ALL plants – most especially potted plants after a few seasons in the same potting medium!

Spraying with ECO-OIL has a suffocating action and should be applied every 5-7 days – at least three applications should stop the scale from breeding. Adding ECO-NEEM to the spray if there is a significant infestation will hasten the process of control – insects ingest the ECO-NEEM and it basically tells them to stop eating!  The unprotected crawlers will die as well.

During winter when we repot roses into new potting mix we usually see scale and we have used a toothbrush and ECO-OIL to remove them; I frequently use this method to keep the chooks legs clean of lice!

HOWEVER, for roses in the ground which show signs of scale infestation, it will not stop the next invasion if the sap flow in the phloem is not improved. This can only happen by getting more water to the roots of the roses and to provide a well aerated environment for the roots to become more active.  Regular applications of seaweed solution will improve the general health of affected roses too!

Since winter pruning is almost around the corner, many infected stems will be cut off – these should be burned, definitely NOT composted!

All this has been rather lengthy, but once you know what insect you’re dealing with it is easier to do something about it and since you’ll be gearing up to repot anytime soon, this advice is timely.

Q.  What comes from the desert and shouts “BUM”?  A.  Crude oil.


Roses are really a whole lot about their PERFUME which is surely the unique quality which makes them the most popular flower in the world.  Highly sought after MYRHH fragrance is harvested from roses grown in Bulgaria most especially for the cosmetic industry and you will find that exact fragrance in many modern roses where, if you trace their breeding history, you will find their parents amongst the oldest roses on the earth … here are a few of my most favourite, highly fragrant roses:

Plump buds open a cup of richly fragrant petals – pale pink with just a hint of apricot blooms constantly on a tall healthy shrub …

Very deeply cupped blooms of rich golden yellow with fragrance combination of tea, sauterne wine and strawberries – yes, fruity – on a large shrub / climber which flowers from season start to end and all the way between – awesome rose!

A swirling mass of sensationally fragrant cerise/crimson blooms are produced continually on a healthy, rounded shrub and stand up well in a vase …

ALL the above roses MUST NOW BE ORDERED as BARE-ROOTED ROSES for WINTER – Get your orders in NOW at

Q.  Why was the Egyptian girl worried?  A.  Because her Daddy was a Mummy

We’ve had magnificent rain here at Clonbinane and hope it was shared evenly around the country so that you can start preparing your garden beds for new winter roses – I’ll be talking about that next week … Gra


If you want to gift your Mum roses on this special day, can I suggest you place a GIFT VOUCHER ORDER to whatever value so Mum can order her own selection of roses for planting soon …



Or looking for a great day out this weekend with mum?
bring your Mum to the Rose Farm at Clonbinane and
– Happy Mothers Day to all!

*Only valid for online gift certficates.
Offer available now until 12/5/2016. Terms & Conditions apply.  
To all the Mum’s – have a really lovely MOTHER’S DAY with the special people in your life – love from Graham, Diana & Mooi at Clonbinane

ROSE RAMBLER 28.4.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 28.4.2016

ROSE RAMBLER … 28.4.2016 …

Hello dear rose friends … almost the end of another month of glorious autumn so be sure to enjoy and care for the roses which are still budding!  Here’s GRA’S GARBLE with tips for…


The conditions of the roses in your garden will be influenced, primarily, by the local climate.  Bushes with lots of foliage will carry on flowering but might show signs of fungal disease which is particularly prevalent where cool dewy nights are experienced.

To avoid premature leaf drop which is caused by these conditions, I recommend you continue spraying the organic rose management program every 7-10 days to prolong flowering through the last weeks of autumn and possibly into winter.

To a 10 litre bucket add:

  • ¼ cup Eco-rose / fungicide
  • Seaweed solution as per directions on your preferred brand
  • ¼ cup Eco-oil (insecticide which also acts as spreader/sticker)

Mix products well and apply to foliage – yes, over the entire plant as this will strengthen and protect foliage against fungus and insects.

Remember, healthy foliage is the ‘life-force’ of a rose bush which will, in turn, provide blooms until each rose decides to go into winter dormancy.  Some rose varieties will go dormant earlier than others and the healthier the foliage, the more likely the bush is to continue setting blooms!

Potted roses should continue to be fertilized until mid-May.  Garden beds can be topped with compost and a light covering of mulch to retain moisture and warmth as long as possible which will also enhance late flowering of some varieties.

Q.  What is a cat’s favourite colour?  A.  Purr–ple!


No, they’re not roses at all but regularly referred to as PEONY ROSES and lots of gardeners long to grow them for their spectacular blooms however, peonies require extreme cold/frosty winter conditions to flower well.

As I walk around our autumn garden, I see so many rose varieties which replicate the glory of peonies and they are:

A David Austin rose with immense fragrance and huge cupped,
apricot/cream blooms on a shrub which grows around
1.5 – 1.2 metres with lovely healthy foliage

Plump buds open to display a mass of deep pink,
highly fragrant petals and so very, very like a peony – flowers all season!

A most spectacular Delbard rose which produces masses
of densely petalled, highly fragrant blooms continually
on a stunningly healthy robust bush

These are just a few examples of rose varieties which will quell your thirst for the spectacular beauty of peonies – we have peonies in the gardens here and despite our freezing winter conditions, by the time they flower, the warm weather spoils their display so we’ve decided to plant more ‘peony-like’ roses and recommend you do too!

Q.  Why did the golfer wear two pairs of socks?  A.  In case he got a hole in one!

Take my advice and liberally pour seaweed solution OVER THE FOLIAGE of your roses to maintain the healthiest possible foliage right up to pruning later on – the worms will love you too!  Talk to you next week … Gra


When ordering online at we urge you to select BARE-ROOTED roses as so many varieties are now sold-out as potted specimens.  We still have a moderate number of GIFT ROSES available to see us up to Mother’s Day so get your orders in NOW or give your Mum a great pair of secateurs to make rose pruning a pleasure for her this winter …

$59.90 plus pack/post – great MOTHER’S DAY GIFT !!!

Have a beaut week in your garden –
cheers from Graham, Diana & Mooi at Clonbinane

ROSE RAMBLER 21.4.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 21.4.2016

ROSE RAMBLER … 21.4.2016

Hello dear rose friends – this is really great to share – we are just a small business and we strive to offer the most personable customer service so if you like what we do, you may like to add your testimonial to WORD OF MOUTH ONLINE so that more people choose when considering purchasing roses … thank you to all who submitted their testimonial to support our business!

Silkies Rose Farm is now ranked
in the highest tier of WOMO businesses!

Over the past year, more than 90% of reviews for Silkies Rose Farm have had a 4-5 star rating. Less than 5% of WOMO businesses qualify for the Service Award, so our achievement is worth celebrating!

Help us continue build up our business and leave a review on our WOMO profile.


WELCOME MAT FOR FOXES TO ENTER A CHOOK PEN … When Diana planted VIELCHENBLAU rambling rose 15 years ago, it was designed to offer protection from hot westerly sun on the DINGO enclosure which it did for many years.

When our last dingo, Bonnie died, the pen was idle for a few years so I decided to make it a chook-run … perfect idea and the chooks love it!

However, this rambling rose is now a perfect stepping-stone for foxes to scramble upwards through those thick canes, get onto the roof and jump down into where the chooks roam freely so I will now be removing the rose just in case a sly fox catches us unawares!

Since we get lots of requests for recommendations of roses suitable to scramble over aviaries, chook-pens and other animal enclosures, it is worth sharing this valuable piece of warning – predators likes foxes are definitely around during the day and we would like you to protect your precious pets so be wary about where/how you plant climbing roses/ramblers over areas where your pets are housed!!!

Q.  What disease was the horse scared of getting?  A.  Hay-fever!

She dug the plot on Monday, the soil was rich and fine.
She forgot to thaw out dinner, so we went out to dine.
She planted roses Tuesday, she says they are a must.
They really are quite lovely, but she quite forgot to dust.
On Wednesday it was daisies, they opened up with sun.
All whites and pinks and yellows, but the laundry wasn’t done.
The poppies came on Thursday, a bright and cheery red.
I guess she really was engrossed, she never made the bed.
It was violets on Friday, in colours she adores.
It never bothered her at all, all crumbs upon the floors.
I hired a maid on Saturday, my week is now complete.
My wife can garden all she wants, the house will still be neat.
It’s nearly lunchtime Sunday, and I cannot find the maid.
Oh no! I don‘t believe it, she’s out there WITH THE SPADE!


A light covering of mulch on the soil at this time of year is essential as it provides food and protection for worms.  Seaweed solution watered around plants provides worms with minerals to ingest while the liquid will nourish their bodies.

Worms breed from April to October – provide them with lots of organic matter and they’ll repay you by producing massive numbers of offspring who in turn become the army of underground workers in your garden!  Here’s a pic of a handful of worms from our compost heap …

This joke message comes from our grandson Levi … Q.  Why did the car go through the Café?  A.  They thought it was a drive-through!  Thanks Levi and any other kids who have jokes to share, send them to: and we’ll publish YOUR joke!


A lovely lady who, when she re-located from Queensland to Melbourne, promised herself she was going to grow beautiful roses in her new home so she went internet surfing for information.  My book, ALL ABOUT ROSES was available online in the UK so she had it posted to her in Melbourne!  We laughed!

Needless to say, she was amazed that we live ‘just down the road’ so she asked me to sign her new book after we had loaded her car with roses!  You can get your copy at 

Enjoy all the pleasures of your garden this autumn – bury the kids in autumn leaves after they help you rake them up … Logan and I did this every autumn at the Kilmore nursery and oh, what precious memories we have – this was in 2012 – have fun!

Cheers from Graham, Diana & Mooi at Clonbinane …