ROSE RAMBLER 12.1.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 12.01.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 12.01.2017 …

Happy New Year to you, our dear Rose Friends!  Welcome to a new year of sharing our passion for growing beautiful roses using the most environmentally sustainable methods so that our gardens are a healthy haven for us all!

We hope you’ve enjoyed a lovely time with your family and friends – the weather was perfect for revelling in our Great Australian Outdoors.  We’ve had a lovely rest and are still enjoying more relaxed moments – it’s so beautiful pottering and trimming in the garden during cool evenings – now I’m up in technology isolated Victorian High Country at Cobungra with my lads.  Graham and I promise to forward lots of rose gardening information in weeks to come.

Meantime, keep enjoying the holidays … a quickie joke from Gra …
Q.  How would you fire Santa?  A.  Give him the sack …
and just one more ‘cause I got these out of the bon-bons on Christmas Eve …

Q.  Did you hear about the leopard who had a bath every day?  A.  He was spotless!
Hope you didn’t buy the same pack of bon-bons … 


PH. 03 57871123 will continue POSTING potted/flowering roses and will open for bare-rooted online sales in MARCH – meantime, you are more than welcome to call us at the Rose Farm and place a ‘phone order’ for roses to be delivered during winter.  You will pay a deposit when ordering then finalise payment when the roses are ready to be posted from late May to August.

If you see a particular rose which you would like to order for winter, store it in your wishlist on the website! Here are some pics of roses which have been stand-out beauties in the recent hot weather and would be worthy of adding to your wishlist …

Floribunda rose which sported out to a Climbing rose –
warm yellow, full petalled blooms in abundance over the whole flowering season.

One of the most rewarding roses to grow in almost any location in the garden – it’s a fantastic rose in tubs too! This versatile rose is so stunningly bright and vivacious with orange blooms and a yellow reverse. The shrub is so healthy and so very free-flowering – it produces great hips too! One of the most carefree roses … very highly recommended!

MULTI-AWARD WINNING modern patio/miniature rose of incredible beauty, fragrance and proven disease-resistance. GRA’S BLUE is hailed by the growers and all those who see it as a true ‘little beauty’.

– yes, it was sold out for a while but we have magnificent plants
available NOW. Positive approach …
“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviour. Keep your behaviour positive because your behaviour becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”
Mahatma Ghandi

Until next next week, cheers from Graham, Diana, Tova & Mooi

ROSE RAMBLER 22.12.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 22.12.2016 …

Yes, dear rose friends, it’s Christmas and we want to end this year of ramblings with you by sending our love and best wishes to you and yours; may 2017 be a lovely year with good health and happiness and may your garden thrive and offer you a special place to uplift your spirit, energise your soul and be your health guardian!

We’ll be open at Silkies Rose Farm from 6th January with normal trading times:  FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY and MONDAY from 9.00am till 4.00pm – any other times by appointment.

Thank you most sincerely for your continued support of our business and thank you to our magnificent IT team (FIONA and WENCY at who compile our ramblings into the lovely document you receive each week!

Graham and I are truly grateful that we are able to share our passion for gardening with you and most especially thankful that we all love roses!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR – Diana, Graham, Tova & Mooi


ROSE RAMBLER 15.12.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 15.12.2016 …

Hello dear rose friends and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of the most precious people in our lives, my darling Mother, Miep / Nan / Grandmere, who is 84 years young today!

I (Diana) am one of her four children who produced 11 grandchildren, there are 18 great-grandchildren and more on the way …

All this from a beautiful woman who courageously boarded a ship in Holland back in 1953 to be with my Dad who came some months earlier to find work and sadly died in a car accident way back in 1973 … he missed so much but I missed him more! 


Seriously time to get the tap turned on because as soon as we get hot northerly winds you can be sure the soil is drying out and the plants are thirsty!

It’s absolutely essential to have a thick layer of mulch over the soil – mulch is fundamental in Australian gardens to prevent hydrophobic conditions where moisture simply WILL NOT penetrate for lack of humus and microbes.

An irrigation system that’s simple and low-maintenance is dripper hose attached to a battery operated timer at the tap – readily available from your local hardware.

It is imperative that however you decide to water your roses, you DEEP SOAK THEM AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK with say, 20 litres of water per rose.  Roses which receive 40 litres at each watering will retain lush, healthy foliage and produce lots more flowers.

Q.  What do witches like to read at bedtime?  A. Ghoul Deluxe and the three Scares.

LUDWIG TASCHNER has several rose farms in South Africa and I read this in his recent newsletter – “… one statement that always makes me smile is:  “But, they all get the same treatment, so why is this rose not doing as well as the others?”

My standard reply is: “We always try to treat all our children the same way and why do they not all develop in the same way?”

For sure – every rose variety has its own personality and one needs to be a rose whisperer to understand this.  It can often be something small, that needs to be rectified and the rose recovers in no time.”

You are welcome to send photos of any issues you have with your roses to:  – we also love to receive beautiful pics of the roses you grow or identify an unnamed rose if possible.


MONDAY, 19TH DECEMBER will be the last posting however, if you are planning on sending a GIFT ROSE for somebody, I would be most grateful to have your rose in the post today or tomorrow – Monday is the absolute deadline!  Here are a few suggestions – these plants look sensational in the nursery NOW:

Modern Shrub Rose of extraordinary health and vigour
as a pleasant reminder of the hero in your life!

Floribunda/Modern Shrub rose with splashes of pale creamy salmon-pink with flecks of darker salmon-pink, constantly in flower.

A wonderful floribunda rose which produces clusters of perfectly formed Hybrid Tea shaped blooms. There is a very unique fragrance, a true favourite and highly recommended rose!

Delbard Couture Collection Shrub Rose which produces one of the most durable flowers of any rose we have ever stocked – it lasts and lasts on the bush.

One of the MOST stunning roses to place against a post, in a pillar frame or create a hedge-row of continual blooming, fragrant, vase-quality roses


We will be open on Christmas Eve, Saturday, 24th until 2.00pm
then closing until Friday, 6th January.


See you soon in Clonbinane – Diana, Graham, Tova & Mooi


ROSE RAMBLER 8.12.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 08.12.2016 …

Hello dear rose friends as it’s all going very fast but never fast enough to stop and read something really special – thank you Noel for forwarding this beautiful letter which I am so pleased to share with our Rose Rambler friends … read on

We don’t know who replied, but there is a beautiful soul working in the dead letter office who understands LOVE
Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month. The day after she passed away, my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if she could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to Heaven, God would recognize her.

I told her that I thought that we could, so she dictated these words:

Dear God, Will you please take care of my dog?  Abbey died yesterday and is with you in heaven.  I miss her very much.

I ‘m happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her.  She likes to swim and play with balls.  I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog.  I really miss her.  Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey & Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven.  We put our return address on it.  Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven.

That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed “To Meredith” in an unfamiliar hand.  Meredith opened it.  Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called,   ‘When a Pet Dies.’ Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith, Abbey arrived safely in heaven.  Having the picture was a big help and I recognized her right away. Abbey isn’t sick anymore.  Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart.

Abbey loved being your dog.  Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in so I’m sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me.  What a wonderful mother you have.  I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much.

By the way, I’m easy to find.  I am wherever there is love. God

In a normal Rose Rambler week we think there’s something to share but I urge you to share this pre-Christmas Rose Rambler with a few friends – perhaps a friend who’s had a tough time or lost their pet recently!


The orders for roses as Christmas gifts are streaming in  and I think we all know that Australia Post is going to be pressed to get parcels to destination on time so please, take my advice and get your Christmas gift roses ordered sooner rather than later!  For every $100 you spend on a gift voucher, we’re giving you $20 … this would be a great gift for someone who’s just moved to a new house perhaps?

Gift them as soon as they’re delivered to you or opt for posting direct to the recipient – I am selecting specimens which are sure to be flowering around Christmas/New Year and I think if you’re like me, you would rather have a perfect rose gifted early than a damaged rose delivered in perfect time!

If you MUST take care of a potted rose prior to gifting at Christmas, place it in a very sunny location where there’s lots of ventilation.  WATER THE POT EVERY MORNING – we post a sample of ECO SEAWEED POWDER with every parcel – use immediately and then weekly until the rose is gifted.

Hello Diana … Thank you very much indeed for sending the roses to my daughter in Adelaide. They are planted and doing well. They gave them plenty of water and seaweed solution, so are looking better now I believe. Freya’s pet parrot, Taco, was very interested in the roses when they arrived! Kind regards ..Marg
My response … Thanks Margaret, I guess we all look a little ragged after a long journey … you’re right though, a nice drink and soaking with seaweed solution and being able to stretch out and see the light soon makes them look great!  Thank you for sending this pic … Happy Christmas!


As a poignant reminder of my birthday and that I’m getting that little bit older, I had two of our grandsons, Logan and Cooper help me build a veggie bed in the now disused rose heel-in bed.  The boys are sure to remember this event – the most enduring memory I have of my Granddad is planting onions with him when I was around the same age as these two lads.

Q. If teeth wore shoes, what sort would they be?  A.  Gumboots.

Give yourself and your kids/grandkids a truly memorable gift this Christmas – plant something!  A tree perhaps; maybe some veggies that you can harvest together later this summer or, of course, a rose which they can learn to plant, prune, fertilize, water and enjoy taking flowers into the house for Mum to enjoy on the kitchen bench!

These roses look exceptional in the nursery right now and would make perfect gifts

Q.  Why did the girl sleep with a ruler?  A. She wanted to see how long she slept!

Two more Rose Ramblers before we close on Saturday, December 24th for a couple of weeks of Christmas Holiday … see you at Clonbinane where you’ll get the most beautiful living Christmas gifts for 2016 …

Cheers from Diana, Graham, Tova & Mooi

ROSE RAMBLER 1.12.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 01.12.2016 …

Hello Hello dear rose friends … on this first day of Summer, who would have thought December 2016 would come around so quickly?  We’re surrounded by beautiful rose blooms in gardens around Australia – took us here in cold Clonbinane a little while to catch up with the rest of you but oh my, waiting is worthwhile for such glorious beauty and fragrance!

Here’s a pic of an unusual bee / fly which Tova and I saw sitting on my car the other day … take note of unusual things happening in your garden – enjoy all the differences, notice the bugs, listen to the birds, maybe hear frogs?  Be sure to tune-in to quiet moments at one with nature in the busy lead-up to Christmas!


Now is an ideal time to check each dripper/shrubbler in the irrigation system – this is sooooo important!  Once you’ve checked everything is clean and functional, place a layer of compost around the drip-line at the base of each rose, cover it with pea straw or lucerne mulch then water over with seaweed solution.  Repeat this process in around 8 weeks.

Q.  What is grey, big and beautiful?  A. Cinderelephant!

Walking around the nursery yesterday, these varieties begged me to tell you about them:

Is a David Austin rose which produces large blooms filled with ruffled petals which exude fresh tea fragrance and lemon as the bloom ages.  The bush is full in structure and extremely healthy.

Is my ‘happy-smiling-rose’ which is always in flower on a pillar entering our property – deep crimson with white random stripes and a delightful fruity fragrance.

Has a most intense fragrance – perfect for such a deep crimson rose which has few thorns on the flowering stems making it an ideal cut flower – one customer told me she has 40 plants in her garden!  That must be serious WOW …

Enjoy your flowers in vases throughout the house – when cutting flowers for indoors, follow these simple instructions – extract from ALL ABOUT ROSES by Diana.

“Rose blooms picked from healthy, well-watered plants should remain fresh in the vase for many days providing you take a bucket of water out to the garden with you so that the blooms are dunked within moments of being picked.

When you cut a rose stem from the bush, air is immediately sucked into the stem and it’s this trapped air in the leaves and stems of the flowers which causes them to wilt, even after they are placed in water.  This can be rectified by conditioning the flowers to enjoy their lasting qualities in a vase.
Once you’ve picked the flowers, fill the bucket to the brim and place it in a cool dark place for a few hours to stop evaporation.  A household refrigerator temperature is too cold to store a bucket of cut rose blooms so the coolest place in the house is usually the bathroom or laundry.

When you are ready to start arranging the flowers, add a sachet of Chrysal (flower preservative) to each two litres of water in the vase.  At this point, the leaves should feel firm when you remove the lowest ones from the stems before placing them in the vase.  There is no need to rush with arranging because you have conditioned the flowers and their stems will be filled with water rather than air.

If the roses are wilted, as may happen despite immediate dunking in water, you can restore them by using 3 tablespoons of sugar dissolved in hot water.  Hot water contains less air than cold water.  When you submerge the rose stem into hot water, it is absorbed all the way up the stem, driving out the air bubbles which caused it to wilt.  Sugar also acts as food for the cut flowers.”

I’ll put more information in next week about cut flowers!

If you come to Clonbinane this Saturday 3rd December remember that we will be leaving here right on 4.00pm to drive down the Valley of a Thousand Hills to Strath Creek for the Twilight Market so we might perhaps see you there between 5-9pm – share a snag with us while we all enjoy an opportunity to do ‘unusual’ Christmas shopping and great country town hospitality in the park at Strath Creek!

See you soon at Clonbinane … Diana, Graham, Tova & Mooi

ROSE RAMBLER 25.11.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 25.11.2016 …

Hello dear rose friends as we fast approach Christmas Eve with only four weeks to go … here’s a novel way to spend your Saturday 3rd December evening and do all your Christmas shopping at one place!  If you can make it, I think this will be a lovely event nestled in the VALLEY OF A THOUSAND HILLS at Strath Creek.

This is such a beautiful part of Victoria and just up the road so we’ll be there with our roses all beautifully gift-wrapped …

We had a beaut weekend at the State Rose and Garden Show where the State Rose Gardens looked sensational!  There is no doubt that climbing roses can be an integral part of rose garden design and they’re magnificent at Werribee State Rose Garden – entry to the park is free, there’s lots of car parking close to the gardens – take a picnic and have a lovely family day out surrounded by beautiful rose gardens!


Roses up the pole or pillar roses look spectacular growing up 2-3 metres high and around 500cms wide – they’re easy to care for and train.  Here are a couple of my favourite varieties …

A strong, deep, vibrant red with single flowers about 8 petals on each flower and a boss of golden yellow stamens.  The rose is seldom without flowers and stands out like a beacon in the garden.  It’s a tough rose and could also make a lovely hedge 2-3 metres in height.  The foliage is very clean, deep green and extremely healthy – a very highly recommended rose.

A vigorous, lightly wooded plant that will easily cover 2.5-3 metres.  Lightly scented clusters of copper yellow flowers and deep green, shiny, disease resistant foliage.  Prune in a conventional way or hedge to form a blanket of growth and flowers over the entire growing surface.  CREPUSCULE is so versatile and also makes an excellent weeping specimen.  Trim constantly and you will have flowers continually throughout the season – a truly brilliant rose!

Flowers are two-toned creamy white centres with pale pink brushed edges on 40 plus petals in each lovely flower!  The leaves are large and glossy.  This is a truly stunning rose and makes an impact in full bloom – one of our best-selling roses!

Q.  What do you call a wood pecker without a beak?  A.  A head banger!


Whilst flowering or just after a good flush, refresh the plants with a boost of fertilizer, trim the rose stems back around 12cms and your roses will continue to retain healthy foliage which in turn means you’ll have lots of flowers continually too!

Use an organic fertilizer like cow manure, Sudden Impact for Roses or Better Grow organic rose food.  If you come to visit us here at Clonbinane, take a 25kg bag of Complete Organic Fertilizer (COF) as it is great to use on ALL plants in your garden (except Natives of course).

Also apply seaweed solution over the leaves to maintain healthy foliage, boost flowering and make the plant a lot tougher – seaweed will give you 30% more flowers so use it at least once a month.

Q.  What do you get when you walk under a cow?  A.  A pat on the head.

Enjoy the flowers – keep trimming and get the watering system organised … Gra


After 10 years of development, SLASHER is now registered and will be more readily available – we know this product works and are so pleased that it is Registered Organic for use in organic farms and gardens!

Key points for SLASHER Weedkiller

  • Kills weeds, moss and algae
  • Can be used anywhere in the garden and around the house
  • Active ingredient made from GM-free plant oils
  • Rapid action, desiccating plants on contact
  • Doesn’t require heat or sunlight to work
  • Non-selective
  • No lasting spray residues (100% biodegradable within a few days)
  • Glyphosate free

Have a beaut week in your garden – keep emailing your queries about growing roses as we are compiling a FAQ’s folder which will be available soon at where past issues of this Rose Rambler are stored for you to access easily.

See you soon at Clonbinane … Diana, Graham, Tova & Mooi

ROSE RAMBLER 17.11.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 17.11.2016 …

Hello dear rose friends as we gear up to show-off our beautifully healthy, flowering potted roses at the FREE Wyndham City Event STATE ROSE AND GARDEN SHOW this Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th from 10am – 4pm … BE THERE!

Diana will be speaking at 3.00pm SATURDAY, 19TH … see you there!

We finally had to have lovely sunny days and I’m so pleased that this weekend promises to be beautiful weather for our outdoor event.

Q.  How do you stop a giant from smelling?  A. Cut off his nose!

We’ve had a really busy week so we won’t be giving you a lot of info in this Rose Rambler but I want to show you our ‘new’ compost heap.  I had to create this to ‘house’ the wheat straw weeds we had pulled from all the garden beds over past weeks – it would have been such a waste to put them on a bonfire.

This compost heap is approximately 3 metres around, created using 18 straw bales and with adequate watering, Graham says we’ll be able to remove well-rotted compost in about 8 weeks … nice!  I really like the look of this – very organised and tidy on our roundabout driveway.

Here is an updated photo of how the pea straw continued to grow – Tova used a brush-cutter to trim some of it but it just keeps growing – I guess one day soon I’ll be down on hands and knees pulling it up!

On the other hand, here’s neat and tidy mulch application – lucerne biscuits along the border of the garden with newspaper underneath (to slow down creeping weeds) and pulled apart and fluffed-up lucerne in the garden around the roses … ideal mulching!

Here are some random pics of roses which are flowering in pots around the nursery … come and see them at Werribee this weekend or call in for a visit at Clonbinane where Graham and Tova will be – the gardens are delightful here now!

It has frilly/scalloped petals and a gorgeous salmon-pink colour to match. Add to that, a delightful strong fragrance and this rose is sure to attract attention!
Deep warm apricot high-centred buds which open to fully reveal the eye-catching bronze which finishes a coppery pink, generous clusters and lovely spicy scent.

Honey Perfume does have a lovely honey and spice fragrance which is a bonus when you pick a truss for the vase – lovely near-thornless stems too!

Mother’s Love has beautifully long pointed buds of the palest pink with slightly deeper pink centres which may fade in the very hot sun.

One of the most popular climbing roses which produces masses of creamy-white to pale pink blooms deepening to carmine at the edges in cooler weather.

A worthy climbing rose to plant because it is such a spectacular performer with flowers from the earliest Spring until well into the Winter.

Enjoy the last two weeks of spring 2016 and if you need advice about any issues with your roses, please email me: which is sometimes better than trying to get us on very busy phone lines … truly sorry for the frustration but I can only answer one phone at a time!

See you soon at Clonbinane … Diana, Graham, Tova & Mooi

ROSE RAMBLER 10.11.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 10.11.2016 …

Whoo, whoo, we’re finally flowering in most areas of the gardens and definitely the potted roses are looking stunning!  It’s been extremely cold with frosts very late – just last weekend, we were pruning frost-damaged foliage on our roses – they’ll recover but will probably only flower for Christmas this year!

Budburst Festival is on in the Macedon Ranges this weekend – of particular note we recommend you call at PARKSIDE WINERY at 308 Parks Road, Lancefield for the official opening of their Cellar Door for budburst weekend (

At Parkside Winery ( you’ll be treated to taste magnificent wines of our region served in the historical barn which our son Eric has enjoyed restoring during this past cold, wet winter – every bluestone laid with love as only Eric would … a mammoth task he said and so rewarding to be part of the history!   You MUST take a look … mention to Darryl that the timber cobble floor would look much better finished in blackwood and he’ll know exactly who sent you … enjoy!


There was a bit of a glitch in last week’s Rose Rambler – my rose in the trial gardens is this beauty which we propose to call JUST LOVELY…

Pictures in last week’s R/R are the rose which I hope is released in 2017 because it was so delightful and I fell in love with it!  Sorry for the confusion and thank you to those who responded with such enthusiasm.


We get stories from rose lovers wanting to retain a special rose just like Susan’s and NOW is the time to take action – read on …

Dear Silkie Gardens Rose Farm,

Earlier this year we purchased two of your beautiful roses from roses on line, they were FALLING IN LOVE and THE CHILDREN’S ROSE and they’re growing wonderfully in the garden. It’s surprising how much they’ve grown in such a short time and we’ve even had a couple of roses.

I wanted speak to you about the other roses your two have come to live with. They belonged to my grandfather and I transplanted them about 3 years ago from his garden to mine before we had to sell the family home. I know that goes against the gardening rules as the nurseries all told me in Sydney that roses can’t be moved but I moved these successfully. I only lost one rose following the move with 7 of them now living in my garden and doing very well about 3 years on. These roses are quite old and one my mother tells me is over 100 years old and it has now lived in 3 gardens, as my grandfather moved it in the 1970’s from my great grandmother’s place to his.

My question is how do I grow more of these original roses? I’ve tried cutting, growing from seeds, I’ve watched lots of videos online and tried a range of different cutting liquids recommended by the nurseries. Can you please give me any suggestions on how to grow more so as other members of the family can have a little part of history growing at their place. Many thanks for any suggestions …Susan

My response:  Hello Susan … it always staggers me that nursery personnel suggest it is impossible to shift / re-locate old roses!  Of course, there can and might be fatalities but one should always TRY no matter what the weather or season!  As long as the gardener puts their head and heart into the task, it will generally be successful!

Seems you have been successful in the relocation – AWESOME!  Now you wish to propagate and share plants of those precious old roses so you need to send me some canes that we can have ‘contract budded’ this budding season from Nov-Jan … please don’t wait but send wood sooner rather than later!!!

Here’s a pic of what you need to send me …

This wood is around pencil-thick and there was a flower or bunch of flowers at the end of the cane which are now finished.

This part you’re going to send me is really the length of cane which you would normally cut back and throw away!

Here is a pic of what the bud eyes look like when they’re cut from the cane and ready to be budded …

Most important that you send the freshest canes wrapped in damp (not sopping wet!!!) newspaper, sealed in plastic and placed in a post pack via EXPRESS POST to


We, in turn, can check the wood prior to forwarding for budding … best wishes … DIANA

It is important for ALL to note that any CONTRACT BUDDING requires no less than 5 plants per variety to be budded so you will have to purchase those 5 plants the following winter.  Contract Budded Roses cost $32.50 per plant and will be available no earlier than late July/August; bare-rooted plants will be supplied with a hand-written identification tag.

We will not take responsibility for failure of any variety to bud successfully – you will only be charged for plants supplied in winter.

Please don’t race out into your garden and take budwood from all the ‘old’ roses in your garden as lots of old roses are still in production and we are EXCLUSIVELY offering this service to customers who wish to retain rose varieties in perpetuity – varieties which are almost certainly not in production today and which are as significant as those in Susan’s story above.



Our roses, when we experience them with ALL our senses, can make our soul sing!

  • SIGHT – be drawn to your favourite colours and love them all together;
  • SOUND – be with the sounds of nature, close your eyes and hear frogs, birds, the breeze;
  • TASTE – run your tongue around your mouth and swallow right then – so sensitive;
  • SMELL – aah, take note of all the fragrances as they can literally take your breath away;
  • TOUCH – feel the texture of rose petals, so soft – wiggle your toes, feel the ground or ‘Mother Earth’.

Experiencing all our senses to connect with the beauty of nature, keeps us vibrantly healthy and alive.  Q.  Why did the lizard cross the road?  A. To see his flat mate!  

Slugs and snails are very predominant in our gardens due to unprecedented rains so I urge you to protect your plants by using an Australian product called ERADICATE which is safe to use around your pets and birds!

Obviously use any snail bait wisely – do not place pellets in heaps but broadcast approximately 70 pellets per square metre so they break down readily as soil/plant nutrient and are not easily accessible or attractive to your pets or birds.

Q. Why did the orange stop in the middle of the road?  A. Because it ran out of juice!  


You will not EVER find a more spectacularly robust, healthy, free-flowering, fragrant and simply stunning orange/pink rose which is totally suitable for mass planting or hedging … honour our CFA volunteers and pay the $8.50 royalty to enjoy this beauty in your garden …

One of the first to flower with exquisite fragrance … stunning blooms with a mass of petals on a supremely healthy shrub …

Darkest black red, most gorgeous waved petal form, longest-lasting flower on the bush … what more could one ask for?  Fragrance perhaps?  It missed out there but ticks every other box for a ‘must-have’ rose!

If you are ever looking for back-issues of this Rose Rambler, you could spend days trawling through where you’ll find no less than four years of publications along with an encyclopaedia of roses which I plan to update in coming months.

Be sure to put in your favourites so that when you need a quietly relaxing place to visit with roses this lovely website is right there – ask questions, get information and see lovely rose photos.

Be sure to take time to smell the roses as we head into hectic times leading up to Christmas; jump in the car on a weekend soon and wander amongst the roses in our garden; have a chat with Graham and let him show you the compost heaps, mulching methods, watering systems – bring the kids because they just love being here to have a run with Mooi …

See you soon at Clonbinane … Diana, Graham, Tova & Mooi


Don’t forget….
19th & 20th November
Diana will be speaking at 3.00pm SATURDAY, 19TH … see you there!

ROSE RAMBLER 3.11.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 03.11.2016 …

Hello dear rose friends … so, did you back the Melbourne Cup winner?  Weren’t the roses spectacular despite the abysmally cold, wet, wintery weather that Terry Freeman and his team had to contend with to get them so beautiful … ah, Melbourne, no wonder it wins as the ‘most liveable city’!


Congratulations to the rose breeders of the world who have been rewarded after two years of assessment at the Australian Rose Trial Grounds in Adelaide … this year, DARK DESIRE won MOST HIGHLY FRAGRANT ROSE – such a magnificent rose which you would love in your garden … Pop it on your ‘wish-list’ for 2017.

The rose which Diana has entered in the Rose Trials looked stunning and is performing very well as it enters its second year of assessment … should we name it JUST LOVELY?

and the rose which Diana loved most – this rose might be released 2017 ???

What do you think?

Please, if you have an opportunity when visiting Adelaide, pop into the Botanical Gardens where the Australian Rose Trial Grounds are situated and you’ll be delighted by the roses in the gardens there.

Q.  What dog keeps the best time?  A. A watch dog – of course!  Easy one.

It is so important during this amazingly strange weather to be diligent, observe what weather patterns permit application of the organic rose management program to ensure your roses retain healthy foliage which in turn will promote lots of beautiful blooms throughout the coming flowering season!

Fertilize NOW – then again in six weeks because heavy rain will have leached nutrients from the soil.


There is a huge difference between a WATER SHOOT and UNDERSTOCK … easy to see in this pic of a suckering standard rose.

Here’s what you should do to remove understock suckers … extracted from Diana’s book, ALL ABOUT ROSES …

“ …. get down on your hands and knees at the base of the plant, scrape back some soil near the sucker and see where it’s growing from.  Usually it will be attached to the understock and might be way down deep or could be quite obvious close to the surface.

Put your garden gloves on … once you’ve revealed the source of the understock branch, grab hold of it and yank it really hard and fast – I liken it to when the kids had a loose tooth and I would ask them if I could take a look and wobble it maybe.  Quick yank, tooth gone and kid wondering what the heck happened but excited about the tooth fairy coming that night.

When you’ve yanked the sucker away from the understock it is very important to check if there is a nice rounded end on what you pulled away.  If you can see and ‘eye’ which could be compared to a corn on your toe, then you have been successful in removing the sucker.

If not, get a sharp knife and remove the ‘’eye’ by cutting inwards and upwards under the eye and inwards and downwards from above the eye.”

NEVER, EVER cut suckers at ground level – as we all know, roses love to be pruned so cutting suckers encourages them to grow even more – they must be removed!

Q. Where do baby monsters go when their parents are at work?  A. The day scare centre!


Hiya Diana, My roses arrived on Friday, in the ground Saturday and looking a million dollars today, Tuesday! Very hard to grow roses in a sub-tropical area but I have been for 30 years and with persistence I have success!  Thank you for your great service, take care!

Warm regards, Chris

Enjoy the glory of your spring garden … cheers from us all at Clonbinane …
P.S.  Hope you’ve reserved the dates:
19th & 20th November
Diana will be speaking at 3.00pm SATURDAY, 19TH … see you there!

ROSE RAMBLER 27.10.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 27.10.2016 .. Hello dear rose friends as Gra and I are spending a week away from the Rose Farm but Tova is very capably manning the fort and will be here when you call in.

WWW.ROSESALESONLINE.COM.AU orders will continue to be posted this week so order with confidence!

I’m copying sections of the Rose Rambler from this week in past years to give you a trip down memory lane …

REWIND BACK TO… 31.10.2013

Hello dear rose friends… Already passed the middle days of Spring and things starting to ‘hot up’ … a taste of the fast advancing Summer and oh, the joy of the roses blooming and the magnificent fragrance makes all the dipping and dunging so worthwhile!  No time to rest on your laurels though … plenty to do in the rose garden now.



Ever noticed all the perfumes we could buy – there are dozens.  The perfume in roses is natural and the best time to smell a rose is when the sun is shining on the open flower.  What ENERGY attracting the bees to create the beginning of another rose – the seeds!  The rose fragrance also gives us lucky humans a lift.  Try smelling some coffee first, then smell the rose;  what a delight for our spirit … it takes us to a higher place.

By the way, what did Cinderella say when her photos didn’t show up?
“Some day my ‘prints’ will come.”

  • POTTING ROSES: Potted roses can still be planted or re-potted from now on and throughout the flowering season.  If potting, always use a good quality, certified potting mix with added nutrients and water saving granules.  Mulch the top of the pots with compost about 50mm thick and then place milled lucerne or some straw over the compost.  Place the pot on a tray filled with stones and water daily, use Natrakelp or Eco-cweed at least fortnightly.
  • ROSE GARDENERS GLOVES:  How good are your garden gloves?  It is so important to use good quality, washable gloves that have material on the back that breathes but also protects your knuckles while moving around the thorny roses as you prune!  Buy two pair so that you can change and wash them regularly – great Christmas present for the avid rose gardener and the one’s we stock here at the Rose Farm come in four different sizes – we’ve used them for years and highly recommend them!!
  • MULCH IS CRITICAL:  It is important to mulch the rose garden NOW to save moisture from Winter/Spring rains – plants are 96% water!  Use Lucerne, straw, leaves and soaked newspaper at the edges of the garden beds will keep weeds away and be home to good soil critters and worms.  Place the mulch on damp soil or water before and after mulching.

HELP THE ENVIRONMENT… MULCH THE SOIL!  I’m told that 40% of grass is carbon so lawn clippings in light layers must be useful as a mulch too!
Enjoy the beautiful perfume of the roses while you wonder about the answer to this … what has a thumb and four fingers but is not alive … I’ll tell you next week ….

~ Graham.



Last week I was kneeling down while mulching the garden and got bitten – probably one of those big ants, maybe a spider …?  Gentle reminder to me and I wish to pass on to you all that the burning welt on my leg lasted for over a week and I will now use one of the kneeling frames.

No I won’t, I’m not old enough to justify using a kneeling frame for it’s intended purpose ie. assist me in getting up from a kneeling position .. giggle .. so I’ll just use a piece of cardboard or layer of newspaper.  I WILL NOT kneel and crawl around the garden unprotected and I urge you all to take care of the same insects lurking in your rose garden!

Enjoy the Melbourne Cup – a real celebration of roses
– Diana & Graham at Clonbinane



REWIND BACK TO… 30.10.2014

Hello dear rose friends … here’s a pinch and a punch for the LAST day of the month – another one gone and yep, our roses are blooming.  They’re so healthy and robust – inviting you to come and take a look at how beautiful they are and the outstanding queen this week is FIONA’S WISH with her heavenly fragrance and stunning HUGE blooms demanding attention from the moment you step out of your car … gawd, what a rose …

Following on from last week’s Rose Rambler, the sharing continues and we are all benefiting from the input of readers – Noeline has this great contribution which will please those of you who are plagued by rosellas and other birds who strip your roses …

“Hello Diana, I am sending you the following email to let you know about the success I’m having with keeping the rosellas away from my roses. I’ve had it on each rose bush (a strip of about half a metre) for 3 weeks now and believe it to be the best protection ever. Believe me I’ve tried every other conceivable device. The tape is strong enough to withstand further use. Very effective especially when the sun is out and a slight breeze is blowing. The bright colours are amazing. I can send you a sample strip if you would like. I did forget to put the tape on one standard bush and the birds only just found it a couple of days ago. Threw my shoe at it and put a piece of the tape on it and they haven’t been back since.  Regards … Noeline”

Ok, so what is the product Noeline is successful with?  Here’s the information you need …

Holographic Tape
When exposed to sunlight the tape reflects multi-coloured light in a random chaotic manner and is available from:
Bird Gard Pty Ltd, PO Box 737, Cotton Tree QLD 4558
Tel: 07 5443 6344

It would be most interesting to know if this tape, when attached to roses where there is possibly some night light may deter possums … might be worth a try for those gardeners who despair at the destruction of the rose garden due to possums – let’s keep this conversation alive.

Here’s another tip: Yvonne has the snails stumped …  “Even the snails (of which there were many) are few and far between as we now use coffee grounds around the plants, and snails and slugs do not like coffee grounds.  The lemon tree was being attacked by snails and the fruit skins were snail marked.  So, out came the coffee grounds.  We sprinkled it around the tree and have not been bothered with snails on the lemon tree since that time.”

REWIND BACK TO… 29.10.2015



Q.  Why can’t a ladybird ever hide?  A.  Because it is always spotted! 

You’ll be thinking about which horse might be worth backing in the Melbourne Cup but I would highly recommend visiting FLEMINGTON RACECOURSE just to be up close and personal with the magnificent rose gardens there!  If you get a chance, treat yourself to a spectacular day at the races during these weeks of horse racing and I hope you back a winner!

Q.  Why couldn’t the pony talk?  A.  ‘cause he was a little horse.

Grasses are the essence of Nature! Researchers in Sydney found endorphins given off by lawn mowing keep us feeling good about ourselves!  Aaah, the smell of a freshly cut lawn – you know the smell and feeling – no research necessary because we already know how good it feels and looks!!!

There’s more to it though – grasses are essential because, when they break-down in pastures and gardens, their dry matter and minerals wash into waterways and then into the ocean which then turns into a food source for fish.  Our Oceans are the richest source of nutrients on our planet!  Hence, the seaweed solution we use on our plants, which comes from the Ocean, is vital for balanced plant nutrition and remember, regular applications of seaweed solution will afford your roses up to 5 degrees heat tolerance so liberally pour over the foliage of roses at least monthly to ensure bushes retain lots of healthy foliage!!!

ROSE FLOWERS IN THE HOUSE – there is no greater pleasure than cutting a bucket full of rose blooms to fill vases in your home!  Here are some rules which you MUST stick to which will ensure longevity of the roses you cut for a vase:

  • Cut the roses early in the day (when possible) so they are well hydrated and cool;
  • Take a bucket of cool, clean water to the garden with you;
  • Trim the stems as long as possible and dunk them immediately into the bucket;
  • Leave the bucket in the coolest room of your home for a few hours;
  • Use only very clean vases to which you can add flower-preservative, if you prefer;
  • Remove all the leaves which are below vase water level;
  • Freshen water every couple of days – trim stems each time.

Diana devoted a chapter in her book ALL ABOUT ROSES to CUTTING ROSES FOR A VASE – there is an extensive lot of special hints and tips which are useful if you love to have vases of roses in your home during the flowering season … enjoy the beauty of your garden, inside too!


If you’re venturing up this way on the second weekend in November, please take a slightly longer drive to visit these magnificent gardens which are about one hour further north than Clonbinane … it will be seriously worth driving the extra kilometres.

Hope you back a winner in the Melbourne Cup and enjoy the long weekend with festivities and most especially, roses …

cheers from us all at Clonbinane …