ROSE RAMBLER 21.7.2016

Hello dear rose friends from a rather more warmish winter week here at Clonbinane – by golly but there’s been some rain all around Australia and I don’t know about your garden, but ours could do with a little bit of a dry spell so that we can go and mow the lawns!

Our garden looks a bit shabby with lots of weeds, unpruned roses and lawns needing to be mowed – we’ll get there!  Our current priority is to get your roses packed and posted; we’re busy potting them too and always here with a smile when you come to collect.

When things get busy, put them on a row as I do and you know, it all works out in the end because we’ve received some beautiful emails from customers who are so delighted with the quality of our roses.  My day travels less stressfully when I read these lovely messages during such a busy time – thank you to all of you who share happy emails with me or for the whole world to see … sharing some testimonials –

Hi, Just a note to say thankyou. I received my order quickly and in excellent condition. Very Happy,

Hello Diana, just to let you know that beautiful roses arrived in lovely condition. Nicely settled in their beds. Cannot wait until spring, summer. Thank you so much for all your help.
Kind regards, Ann
Hi Diana, Wow I’m so impressed! I will definitely buy from you in the future. The roses are large and so healthy, delivery was prompt, and communication really enjoyable. I wish I knew about your service years ago. Thank you so much!
Kind regards Maree :)

Yes, there are still lots of roses in the ground waiting to be dug because of extremely wet conditions so again, I urge you to be patient and I promise to contact you immediately the roses are available and ready to be collected/posted.


It is essential when planting new roses (and other plants) to blend compost with existing soil to the planting hole.  Obtain a high-quality compost from your local garden centre or the Zoo (they supply great ‘zoo-poo’ compost and use funds for zoo projects – take some bags home next time you visit).

Use your own ‘home-made’ compost as long as it smells as good as it looks – never use smelly/steamy/gluggy compost which is in an anaerobic (still rotting) state.  If your compost isn’t ready, buy bagged product!

When you add compost to the planting hole you can be sure of the following:

  • Supresses disease in plants
  • Retains nutrients and stops top-soil leaching
  • Regulates nutrient availability in plant establishment
  • Builds soil structure to reduce water use
  • Increases root depth of plants
  • Improves soil moisture access held in soil cavities which roots could not otherwise access.

Q.  What do you call a donkey with only three legs?  A.  A wonkey

On the second Sunday of each month, either Diana or myself present on 3CR Garden Show (talk-back radio for gardeners at 855 AM band EVERY Sunday 7.30-9.15am) we share with a panel of professional horticulturalists – Karen, at Edible Garden Design is always very inspiring and I would like to share her solution to a weed which can be very frustrating when it flourishes in your garden:

It’s good to have a positive attitude to problems in the garden. ‘The problem is the solution’ says Permaculture. Even so, Soursob, or Oxalis pes-caprae  can dampen the spirits of the most enthusiastic gardeners – quite literally if you spend hours in the rain removing it!

After battling this winter weed for nearly 30 years in my garden, I feel qualified to give advice and encouragement! It is possible to control this weed almost 100%, which is good news if you’ve just discovered it since it came out of warm weather dormancy. Unfortunately, digging up your garden to start a new patch, gives Soursob a new lease on life, by bringing the tiny brown bulbs up to the surface from the depths of your soil. New gardens also feed the bulbs with manure, compost and mulch.

To get Soursob under control, you have two main options – hand weeding or chicken tractors. Chickens love the stuff, as you may have seen from my recent web post.

For hand weeding, remove only the tops of the plants, including the thick white centre of the plant at the base of the leaves, but don’t attempt to dig out the bulbs as they are usually so tiny they are difficult to find and deep digging brings more to the surface. Removing plants as they appear starves the resources of the bulbs, but waiting a little longer and removing plants when the bright yellow flowers bloom removes more resources as most of the plant’s energy is above ground at this point and therefore at your mercy.

Chickens are ideal to keep Soursob under control. Use a moveable hutch or tractor moved to a different location each day but make sure to house your chickens safely each night in their predator proof house. Winter is a time when it’s hard to find enough greens for the hard working girls so the partnership of fowls and this really foul weed is perfect!

Diligent removal over the colder months for at least 2 years will result in substantially reduced and quite manageable Soursob in your garden. Don’t forget you get a break through the warmer months of the year when this weed is dormant. If you have particularly bad infestations, you can also try growing dense groundcovers and low shrubs that are just higher than the Oxalis plants, to compete with light and space.

Take a look at Karen’s website for more great information –

If you have an issue with particular weeds in your garden, don’t rush in and resort to GLYPHOSATE products as they can have very serious detrimental effects on the biological and ecological environment of your garden!  Take extreme care with their use!

From 28th July – 2nd August there is an ideal moon cycle for removing weeds – get down and dirty in your garden and reap the rewards of easy weeding during those dates.

Last joke for this week:  Q. What has webbed feet and fangs?  A. Count Quackula … Gra


There are quite a few flamboyantly striped roses available – I would have sworn I could never like them until I recognised their healthy, free-flowering habit …  here are a few of our absolute favourites…

An outstanding Delbard rose of robust health, exceedingly free-flowering and such delightfully interesting, fragrant blooms of lasting quality – highly recommended rose!

Has the most glossy foliage, dark wood and profuse number of blooms continually on a very upright, tall bush – stunning!

Is rather subtle with pink-on-pink if you are wanting to venture into stripes without going ‘over the top’ … robustly healthy and very free-flowering, aptly named for the gardener/artist of such repute …


We are so proud to offer such exceptional quality standard roses – strong, straight stems which deserve pride-of-place in your garden.

Remember to stake them with sturdy rio-rod – 16mm steel which easily penetrates deep into the soil and is there for the life of your standard roses – tie with Velcro ‘one-wrap’ which is also very durable.

See you at the Rose Farm or talk to you soon on email at  …
~ Cheers from Diana, Graham and Mooi

ROSE RAMBLER 14.7.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 14.7.2016 …

Hello dear rose friends after a most freezing wintery blast here at Clonbinane and surely felt in most states … rug up Queenslanders – it just might reach you too so you’ll experience the last beautiful roses of this past season and have to get down and start pruning as we are here in the south!


So you can expect notification of orders being posted / ready for collection – however, there are still some in the ground due to extremely wet conditions – please wait for my phone call/text message and know that I am responding to missed calls and messages left on both phones.

Please email me if you have any urgent requests or need advice about your order or information about rose care during this extreme weather!


It was amazing to do a pruning demonstration at Whittlesea last Saturday where roses were still flowering – remember what I said last week, “be the boss of pruning your roses and do it when you feel it’s right to prune” – leave pruning until as late as August and you’ll still have roses flowering in November!

Make pruning your rose garden a pleasure rather than a chore … use quality, sharp secateurs and wear protective gloves/clothing knowing that once all the roses are pruned, you start the organic rose management program to ensure disease and pests will be kept at bay for when the foliage starts to emerge … here’s the recipe which includes seaweed powder/solution of whichever brand you use:

To 10 litres water add:


If you apply the three products mixed together and either sprayed or poured over your roses AT LEAST MONTHLY from pruning onwards, you will enjoy the pleasure of pest and disease-free roses throughout the flowering season!

Q.  Where did the kittens go for their school excursion?  A.  The meowseum! 

Here are a few of my favourite roses which fill ALL my senses …

Feel the strong ruffled/split petals of beautiful soft, mid-pink – huge blooms with awesome fragrance – this rose compliments the sound of nature all around me and it will definitely add a magnificence in your rose garden …

Is a gorgeously tall Floribunda rose with Hybrid Tea shaped blooms which flowers continually, producing the most amazing abundance of picking-stems which draws you to enjoy the subtle perfume on a strong bush …

Produces creamy/light yellow classic shaped blooms on a very disease-resistant tall bush with glossy green foliage and a lovely soft fragrance – excellent rose …

Q.  Who earns a living driving their customers away?  A. A taxi driver.

Hope you can make time to come to my pruning demo this SATURDAY, 16TH JULY at the Rose Farm – 10.30 and 1.30 where we’ll take a walk around the gardens and talk about all aspects of organic rose management, complimentary planting amongst roses and you’ll enjoy listening to all my ‘garble’ – the weather is predicted to be fine so bring your secateurs and stay for a cuppa if you like!  See you soon – Gra


Because we pack the roses so beautifully in damp newspaper then sealed in plastic, there’s no immediate rush to plant them but place the pack in a cool location (is there a warm spot anywhere right now?).  Then, a few hours prior to expected planting, unpack and put them in a bucket of seaweed solution so the roots are wet at planting.  Once planted, soak the soil to a slurry with the hose, pour seaweed solution over them and DON’T WATER as long as there is rain!

Remember roses DON’T LIKE WET FEET and since we’re enjoying good rainfall, the bushes are best left to their own devices with just a light, weekly application of seaweed solution poured over the entire bush to stimulate root development.

Potted roses here are already sprouting… oooh, so exciting and a promise of great things to come.  Enjoy the moments in your winter garden, even more the moments in your warm home …

~ Diana, Graham & Mooi at Clonbinane


7.7.2016 …
Hello dear rose friends!  We hope you’re enjoying the excitement of roses arriving in a parcel at your door – lovely to see so many folks coming to the Rose Farm to collect their new roses for this winter too!

Let’s get down to the basics of caring for roses in your winter garden …


We are still receiving email photos of roses blooming in gardens around the country after very mild early-winter conditions – no, don’t prune the roses yet if they’re still blooming!  If you’re fed up with looking at untidy bushes, get pruning – one thing none of us is in control of is the weather and despite frosty conditions, I’m randomly pruning roses in different areas of the gardens here – the south gardens cop severe frost while garden beds on the northern side are relatively protected from frost.

Pruning roses in our gardens here is more about when we have time or are in the mood to prune rather than worrying about weather conditions!

PLEASE NOTE … YOU CAN PLANT AND PRUNE ROSES ANY TIME OF THE YEAR – I say this with such conviction because of my 30 years of working amongst roses – every season is different, our climatic conditions are varied and really, truly, roses are the most forgiving plants.  Don’t get stuck in the rut of thinking you HAVE TO PRUNE IN JULY or CAN ONLY PLANT ROSES IN WINTER!!!


Q.  Which dinosaur knew the most words?  A. The Thesaurus (bet your kids didn’t have that dinosaur on their list!)

Should severe frost impact your garden after you’ve pruned and the bushes might have sprouted new growth, don’t panic – they’ll recover with light pruning before flowering.

One of the most important things you can do for newly planted / pruned roses is give them a soak over the entire bush with seaweed solution at least EVERY FORTNIGHT which will offer 3-5 degrees of frost tolerance, ensure great root development and make nutrients in the soil readily available to guarantee creation of healthy foliage … this will convert to masses of beautiful flowers!


Here are a few of my absolutely TOP 5 ROSES which I pick constantly for pleasure and fragrance in vases in our home:

Was the most popular rose sold in our nursery again last year and if you haven’t already got this rose in your garden, you MUST have it for a robust bush which produces masses of long-stemmed, highly fragrant blooms continually throughout the season – highly recommended rose!

Has delighted all of our customers who took the recommendation to plant this most healthy, robust, free flowering and highly fragrant rose – awesome, unsurpassed beauty and delightful GIFT ROSE ..

Is one of the longest-lasting roses in a vase – yes, striped red with dark red slashes – if only it had a fragrance!

Is a climber which produces lovely long, thornless stems of the most beautifully fragrant blooms continually – awesome rose!

Is such an amazingly brilliant rose of stunning health and vibrant colour continually – should be planted as a border of at least three plants – this CFA rose is such an enduring tribute to CFA volunteers that every rose garden should behold at least one FIRESTAR!

My list could go on and on because I love to pick roses and put them on the island bench in our kitchen … Diana complains that she hasn’t got room when it comes to cooking but she loves the flowers too – we’re looking forward to our island bench filled with lots of roses again soon.

Q.  How do you know when an egg is getting on in the world?  A. When it’s on a roll.  I was on a roll at the Langshan Club of Victoria’s Show this past weekend at Melbourne Showgrounds where I took a few beautifully washed chooks – came away with the BEST BREEDING PAIR of white Langshans.  Nice!  Come and see my beauties here at Clonbinane soon … Gra


Graham will be doing a pruning demonstration at Whittlesea Coursehouse, this SATURDAY 9TH JULY FROM 10.30 AM – 12 NOON … if you live close, this is one of the most popular pruning demonstration events – be there!

If you can’t make it this weekend to Whittlesea, come see us at the Rose Farm next SATURDAY, 16TH JULY at 10.30am – bring your secateurs!


People who are coming to the Rose Farm or calling on the phone will often meet TOVA who has been working with us regularly – here she is trimming roots on roses ready to be labelled …

She is an integral part of our team now and we wish her a very happy time when she leaves on Sunday to explore her heritage in Lithuania with her father and sister.  Bon Voyage Tova – the roses will be waiting to be potted on your return!

~ Warm wishes to you all during this cold wet winter – Graham, Diana & Mooi


ROSE RAMBLER … 1.7.2016 …

Hello dear rose friends on the first day of the last half of this year and another cold/wet week here at Clonbinane where we are up to our eyeballs in bare-rooted roses and enjoying all the moments of sorting/labelling and packing your roses ready for posting and collection.  The roses are ‘tucked in’ so if you happen to be going away just let us know and we’ll either pot your roses or hold them in the heel-in beds until you get back as late as August!

It’s been lovely to read emails about the excitement of planting new roses this season; this one is worth a giggle …

Your book ALL ABOUT ROSES and Canberra Gardener are my bibles.  You may laugh, it has been cold and frosty here over the last few weeks and one morning I went out at 5.00am to put more mulch on to keep my new roses “warm”…they do look to be OK!  Cheers, Fiona

Of course, the roses will be fine in all this cold weather – the only thing some of you might need to check is that drainage is in order so they’re not drowning during extreme rain events – remember, roses do not like wet feet – most especially while they’re establishing new roots this winter!


Tomorrow is the start of ‘traditional’ rose pruning month – in the very cold zones, definitely wait until later this month or August.  Pruning early or late has no influence on the flowering time in October/November, which is determined by weather patterns during September.

There’s no rush for pruning or for that matter, planting roses this winter … we’ve got months to get organised which is ideal for procrastinators like myself!  I know that I’ll be planting my selection of this season’s new roses during August/September and still be pruning roses then too.

Q.  What did the grape say to the elephant?  Q.  Nothing, grapes cannot talk!

Bare-rooted roses will still be available in our online store until late August!


It is important to accept that you cannot prune a rose wrongly!!!

A 2m high rose bush that was cut back or pruned to 75cm last year can receive the same treatment any time now.

By inspecting and observing how each rose has grown over the past season you will see where the best stems developed and that gives one a lead – that is, to follow the strongest sap flow which is evident in good strong healthy stems and retain them while removing any twiggy older stems that have already been neglected by the bush.

Deciding how severely to prune back a rose is, to a degree, a very personal choice. The principle is that every remaining stem will sprout new growth.  So, leaving lots of stems means lots of medium to short stemmed blooms, while reducing the amount of stems will produce more longer stemmed blooms.

Because roses are sun loving plants, meaning they need lots of direct light onto the leaves to encourage photosynthesis which produces food that is transported to the roots, removing stems that are growing towards the inside centre is ideal.

Q.  What has a neck but no head?  A.  A bottle.


  • Sharpen secateurs/shears before you start pruning
  • Wear protective clothing – especially comfortable, fitting gloves
  • Prune one-half to two-thirds off each bush rose
  • Tie down and trim lateral branches of climbing roses
  • Remove all dead wood right to the crown – use loppers if necessary
  • Pruning will enhance the flowering capacity – just DO IT and enjoy getting down and dirty with your roses this winter!

If all else fails and you want me to give you a very simple, easy to follow run down on pruning, come along on SATURDAY, 16TH JULY at 10.30am – bring your secateurs!


We’ve already potted lots of selected lines of roses ready to be beautifully gift wrapped, carded with your personal message and posted in the exquisite gift box for when you have an occasion when only a beautiful rose plant will convey your loving thoughts – these roses will be flowering in October/November and afford a lasting memory in the recipient’s garden …

A Modern Shrub Rose of extraordinary health and vigour as a pleasant reminder of the hero in your life! My Hero produces an abundance of classic, shining rose pink blooms which clothe the shrub over a very long flowering season. The petals are massed and have a rather old-fashioned look when the bloom is fully opened.


A Hybrid Tea rose with a delightful confection of colours including burnt orange, amber and beige with burnt red edges. It is extremely healthy and robustly produces pale-green watershoots from the base which ensure the rose flowers continuously. In extremely hot weather, the flowers may be slightly smaller and the colour will be more intense.


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. It is a very feminine rose with graceful branches often producing a single rose but very often a cluster of blooms. The perfume is charming.

… are just a few – go to for more ideas or select any rose at and we will make it a gift to remember!


It’s been a busy time and finally, most of the general varieties of roses are here and being processed for posting.  Due to very wet conditions, standards will be delayed even further – digging them in wet conditions causes damage to stems and can incur lasting devastating impact on the soil … please be patient!  We guarantee you’ll be pleased with the quality of our roses when you finally plant them and enjoy them flowering in your garden for many years!

Warm hugs from us here at cold Clonbinane … Diana, Graham, Mooi & Tova

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