ROSE RAMBLER – 11TH OCTOBER 2018

Hello dear rose friends as we move to the middle of spring and here in Victoria rose gardens are starting to ‘show their colours’ … along with the impending madness of the Spring Racing Carnival and Melbourne Cup Day – beauty all around us in our world of roses!


Q: What person do you take your hat off to? A: A barber.


THE GIFT ROSE CONTINUES TO IMPRESS …

Hello Diana … Many thanks for the safe and efficient delivery of MOTHER’S LOVE to my friend Elissa. She was absolutely delighted and touched with the GIFT ROSE. It spoke more eloquently than any words I could express on the loss of her Mother. My heartfelt thanks! Kind regards – Annette


GRA’S GARBLE …

The conversations in last week’s RR incurred lots of emails which I would like to share …

Hi Graham – I was reading your article regarding the possums/parrots. I have suffered from possum magic for a long time: today you see it, tomorrow you don’t. I have tried many things over the years with limited or no success until I leaned an outdoor candle against the orange tree and left it there only to find nothing ate the oranges … unusual!

Long story short, I ran citronella oil along wooden fences where the petunias and rose tips were being eaten off and success, the plants flourished. I put citronella tea candles around low foliage plants and again the plants have survived. Flushed with success, I sprayed citronella oil at the base of woody tree trunks and along rock edging. This was a couple of months ago and I haven’t reapplied it, but will soon. It’s very dry and the possums are hungry, but there are some plants I’m less precious about that they can have a nibble on. Hope this helps, it’s worked for me so far. Cheers – Vicki

 

Or perhaps take this advice …

Hi …A friend who has a small suburban garden gets hair from the hairdresser (the sweepings from the floor), puts the hair in bags and hangs them around the fence. Apparently possums don’t like it perhaps it has the human smell or they think it is a cat/dog. Worth a try for those who have pesky possums. – Jennifer

 

And another possible solution is the use of this implement:

Hi Graham, I have finally solved my possum problem with the purchase of “Animal Away”, available from Diggers.

I have a large raised vegetable garden which I needed to net due to the feeding possums, but since installing Animal Away (ultrasonic sound and flashing light using a 9V battery) I have been able to completely uncover the garden and all is growing well.

My magnolia finally has leaves on the top of the tallest branches for the first time in 4 years, thanks to this device. Hope this helps many who are competing with possums in their gardens. Regards, Kathryn

 

Perhaps Judy at Kyneton would do well to install a few of those ANIMAL AWAY gadgets at strategic points in her garden to scare the cockies?

Started off picking daffodils, then moved onto breakfast on the newly planted camellias… the one good thing about having the frost burn all the new growth is that cockies do not like crisp brown rose shoots! – Judy

As far as solving her problems with burned new rose shoots due to repetitive severe frosts, I cannot help – we are now trimming all the burned shoots on the potted roses in the nursery and deep soaking all the garden beds – fingers crossed, the roses in our gardens will recover??? It’s definitely been a tough year for roses in extreme cold zones here in Victoria!

 

Then the discussion moved to APHIDS

Hello, I would like to share my experience with aphids. I used to wash them off with biodegradable soup (soap? ed.) till I saw lady bugs eating them. I realized the lady bugs could only augment if I stop spraying this soup. Sure enough the next year on the same plant there were many more lady bugs and there were lot less aphids. If a situation seems to need more help I remove the aphids with cloves (gloves ?) by hand. This gentle action, considering nature’s course, goes a long way. Meaning nature is so complex and does take care of things, if we let it. By introducing chemicals we might get an immediate effect, but the long term damage is going to hunt (haunt ?) us.

For 12 years I’ve applied and studied biodynamic farming and my observation confirms my statements. Thank you for your newsletter. I’m in Italy! – Claudia

 

And another …

Thank-you for pointing out that aphids are food for the birds. I have often lamented when discovering aphids and been paranoid that they will infest all of my roses. I have about 40 rose bushes in my garden. I don’t like to use insecticides, as I don’t want to kill the good guys.

But we have plenty of little birds; wrens, finches, swallows and others. So now I will be less stressed when I see aphids, as I know my army of little birds are enjoying them. Kind Regards, Sarah

 

And another …

Hi, I took this phone shot this morn when out doing the early check…a close up of the nasties on the rose…squish! Cheers, Chris

Yes, the pic shows aphids as we all know them – however, the winged insect is an adult aphid who has flown in for a party because there wasn’t too much happening at his place!!! How clever is Mother Nature?

Here’s what we would prefer to see: HOVERFLIES – are true predators of aphids – they commence consuming aphids from larval stage.

Definitely the adult HOVERFLIES should be welcomed in your garden along with LADYBIRDS who breed voraciously and their bubs start eating aphids immediately!

Adult Hoverfly

Please know that you can email me about any issues you have in your rose garden – I’m sure that in a combined effort, we will source a solution and have fun along the way! I only have space to tell you about one of my most favourite, highly fragrant roses so I’ll share more next week … cheers – Gra

Q: What happens when you kiss a clock? A: Your lips stick.


BEST FRIEND ROSE …

Yes, this rose can be one of your best friends with strong, sweet fragrance, vibrant blooms of deep, hot pink on a glorious, upright bush to at least 1.8 metres tall – it’s nice that the royalty payment of this rose goes to RSPCA – every garden should have at least one of these magnificent roses!


Cheers from us all at Silkies Rose Farm, CLONBINANE … even MOOI was thrilled about the sunny day last week when we all got out weeding garden beds … not that she pays her way with assistance but we all enjoyed seeing her selected ‘lounge’ was on a clump of rock cyclamen foliage surrounded by pansies and roses … classy lady is our MOOI!

 

ROSE RAMBLER 4TH OCTOBER 2018

Hello dear rose friends as we enjoy early morning starts to each day – this of course will change when daylight saving commences on this coming Saturday night!


IMPORTANCE OF MULCHING YOUR ROSE GARDEN …

Continuing on from last week, I’ve had this conversation about the picture of mulch too close around roses …

Haha! I see you’ve used my sunburnt VALENCIA picture as an example of putting mulch too close to the plant …I did eventually pull it back, but I had read that pushing mulch over the crown and more or less burying it could stimulate basal shoots, and this did seem to work, there are now 5 strong basal canes. (The white on the leaves is copper spray for black spot). Heaps of buds too. Robynne

Hi Robynne … I don’t remember this earlier discussion with you – I selected the pic from files when I was talking about mulch and had obviously stored your pic in there! It’s an interesting dilemma – some say you shouldn’t cover the crown, others say it works – we do both and find different results probably relative to weather / soil conditions; also the type of mulch can impact too!

I have had wheaten straw down over the crown and it burned water shoot stems – the straw filled with water which literally boiled in really hot weather and when this was close to new shoots, they burned but then eventually recovered.

Great that we all consider these issues when down and dirty in the rose garden – some years, there won’t be an issue with whichever way you mulch, another year / season, things might go pear-shaped and temporarily compromise healthy growth and flowering. I guess that’s what gardening is all about!

Thank you for sharing pics of your recovered VALENCIA – such a lovely rose … cheers – DIANA

 


GRA’S GARBLE …

I heard somebody say this recently: “Now is the time of year when the bulbs you forgot to plant last autumn will fail to bloom!” Thankfully, I planted hundreds of daffodils and we have enjoyed a most stunning display.

I JUMPED TO THE CONCLUSION … this HAD to be possums …

Many thanks for lots of information on roses but I have a massive challenge as our roses have all had their new rose tips eaten off. (no Roses). They are outside our front fence otherwise I could net. We have a couple of owls on fence (useless) much to passing walkers delight. The Owls bring a laugh. Am I too paranoid? Thanks Graham and Diana. Judy from Croydon

My response:
If the possums continue to eat the new shoots off the roses, the roses will definitely die! You must call the POSSUM MAN to remove the possums I guess? I am at my wits end with trying to solve this issue for gardeners and gardens in Melbourne – it is a potential disaster as so many of my customers have thrown their arms in the air and decided to let the possums have their garden – it’s all too costly and way too frustrating to have their plants eaten by these pests! Sorry I cannot be more helpful! Cheers – Graham

Then Judy wrote:

Sorry Graham . It’s the parrots!!! Help …. Judy

So I wrote back laughing:
Ooooops! Ok … tie HOLOGRAPHIC / REFLECTIVE TAPE to the stems of the branches and be up earlier to shoo them off your roses … a pretend snake would definitely entertain the walkers who pass your fence but you might have the police after you too … how funny would that be!

Headline in the Daily Paper:

WALKER HAS HEART ATTACK AFTER SEEING PRETEND SNAKE ON ROSES … oh, goodness, now my imagination has really gone off! Laughing!!!

Cheers – Gra


This is a LESSON IN LAUGHTER – gardening should be fun at all times and even when you despair at a situation, see the bright side, look for a positive solution and then share the joy of gardening – my reason for posting a silly joke each week!

Q: What’s a gardener? A: A bloke who calls a spade a spade until he falls over one!


There is a serious side to rose gardening too … New foliage is very soft and lush which makes it susceptible to insects who will take advantage of these conditions … see the aphid cycle on this magnificent photo Diana took and which Steve at www.ocp.com.au (Organic Crop Protectants) has labelled so you now know more about aphids and their cycle …

  • White stuff – these are the shells of the aphids which they’ve shed when moulting
  • Winged insect – these are winged adult aphids and not lacewings. When aphids enter their final moulting stage they can emerge as either winged or wingless adults. They produce wings if the area they’re in is already heavily populated with aphids so it allow them to emerge with wings and fly off to find a new feeding ground which is less crowded. Clever trick really.
  • Brown blobs – these are aphids which have had a parasitoid wasp inject an egg into them. When the juvenile wasp hatches it feeds on the insides of the aphid before pupating and then cutting a tiny hold in the shell of the aphid and emerging as an adult wasp. During the whole process the aphid swells up, turns brown and dies.

If you have good numbers of birds in your garden, consider the aphids as a seasonal feast for birds feeding their chicks! Don’t be too quick reaching for sprays to eliminate the aphids if you feel they’re under control … ECO OIL is very effective in controlling the immature/larval-stage aphids which of course, in time, interrupts the breeding cycle! There is no hard and fast KILL with organic rose management so observation is critical – gentle, gentle works and remember, roses recover from all kinds of harsh events without interference!


GOOD TIMING FOR ORGANIC ROSE MANAGEMENT SPRAY …

In case you’ve lost the recipe:

To 10 litres of water add:

  • 1 SCOOP ECO SEAWEED (or whatever seaweed at recommended rate)
  • ¼ CUP ECO ROSE (ECO-FUNGICIDE – same product!)
  • ¼ CUP ECO OIL

Mix ALL TOGETHER and shake vigorously to be sure products are well blended then pour over or spray to run-off – NEVER USE THIS SPRAY IN WEATHER OVER 28 DEGREES! Yes, you can spray in the evening if it suits better but plants are very receptive in the cool, early morning conditions which is most ideal!

ALL PRODUCTS for this spray management are available at www.rosesalesonline.com.au


OPEN GARDENS AND ART SHOW AT CHARLTON – GREAT WEEKEND AWAY!

Hello all at Silkies: I am enjoying reading your Rose Rambler, lots of advice on good gardening practises.

Just wanted to let you know that Charlton is having their Open Gardens on Sunday the 14th of October. Also the Rotary Club will be having the Annual Art Show, some of your clients might like to know about the event.

Regards Sue, 0407 140 336


Enjoy the gloriously delightful spring weather …
cheers from all of us here at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane

ROSE RAMBLER 27TH SEPTEMBER, 2018 …

Hello dear rose friends from sunny Clonbinane where most mornings we wake up to see frost … STILL! There’s been minor damage … see below for more information on how to manage any frost affected plants in your garden…


GRA’S GARBLE …

Q: What do baby crabs wear? A: Nippy-nappies.

MULCHING YOUR ROSE GARDEN …

is seriously one of the most important tasks you can undertake NOW while there is still good soil moisture deep down in the sub-soil/clay. To conserve this moisture and have your roses send their roots way down and anchor themselves for years of robust, healthy growing and flowering, I recommend you place a good thick layer of mulch around the entire garden bed.

Notice when we mulch here, there is a ‘biscuit’ of pea straw along the border – this stops birds flicking loose straw out of the bed and we generally place a thick layer of damp newspaper under the ‘biscuit’ to inhibit weeds coming into the garden bed!

In the actual garden bed, the pea straw (or bale of whatever mulch you prefer) is pulled apart and fluffed-up – nice and thick – this also allows fertilizer pellets to find their way down onto the soil. NEVER REMOVE THIS LAYER OF MULCH because soil microbes are actively working to enhance your soil and you could, by exposing them to sunlight, destroy those beneficial microbes very quickly!

Be sure to allow at least 5-10cm of space around the crown of each rose.


MULCH WAY TOO CLOSE OVER CROWN

As this allows sunshine and space for new water-shoot development.


MULCH AWAY FROM CROWN AND WATER-SHRUBBLER VISIBLE

No matter which product you prefer to use, it’s imperative to get MULCH ON YOUR GARDEN NOW! We’re expecting a long, hot summer and we don’t want your roses to suffer or your water-bill to be excessive – ACT NOW!


FROST DAMAGE – WHAT TO DO FOR ALL AFFECTED PLANTS …

Some roses in lower areas of our garden are seriously frost damaged but we are not going to prune ANYTHING MORE off them until the first flowering in November and I urge you to do the same where frost damage is evident. From previous experience here at Clonbinane, I assure you that ALL YOUR ROSES WILL RECOVER and flower this spring. During severe frost last winter, this FATHER OF PEACE, FRANCIS MEILLAND rose was severely frost affected.

The rose recovered and was magnificent this past season. It might take several years to fully remove all blackened branches – diligent summer pruning is an advantage – we’ll cross that bridge when we get there!


THREE NEW BEAUTIES YOU’RE SURE TO LOVE IN YOUR GARDEN …

TWILIGHT ZONE
Has the most amazing darkest purple petals which exude enormous fragrance! Glossy, extremely healthy foliage adorns the rounded shrub which grows to 1.2 metres and the flowers are long-lasting in a vase – must have!


DREAM CHASER
Was one of the most outstanding and alluring roses we saw in the rose fields this past summer when we went to check-out all the new release roses … stunningly healthy foliage on a sturdy, rounded shrub just over 1 metre tall smothered in large blooms of brightest pink – and, it’s beautifully fragrant to boot!! Lovely and already a favourite …


ASHRAM
no rose garden would be complete without a stunning bright orange rose which produces long-stemmed, perfectly formed blooms which are brilliant to use in vases! This beautiful rose has dark reddish foliage which is a perfect foil for the orange flowers – a beauty and very highly recommended …


Q: What type of underwear packs a punch? ? A: Boxer shorts!

Hope you’re enjoying all the glory which spring offers us gardeners – Graham


LAST BARE-ROOTED ROSES – PRICE INCREASE …

This weekend is the last opportunity you’ll have to order BARE-ROOTED ROSES because the roses are now POTTED and beautifully foliaged, lots of roots in the coir-fibre potting mix and some are even budding! Yes, we have flower buds despite minus 2 frosty mornings!

In between watching the footy this weekend, scroll through www.rosesalesonline.com.au and order a few roses to plant for flowering throughout this season and for years to come!


Happy gardening from the team here at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane …

ROSE RAMBLER 20TH SEPTEMBER, 2018…

Hello dear rose friends as lots of gardens are open for you to wander through and be inspired by!  This Expo at Yea coming weekend will be a great spring event …

Our garden is beautifully lush and green, daffodils are stunning and we’ll be seeing rose buds soon …

We hope you did what Laurel in QLD did last week – she forwarded the Rose Rambler to her local politicians.  Together we must and will stop multi-national companies ripping the fragment of our small family businesses apart; however, this will only happen with ACTION so we hope you shared the Rose Rambler with family, friends and politicians!  Thank you!

Here’s the climber which was missing in RR last week … SPITFIRE is a very moderate climber to around 2.5 metres which makes it actually very appropriate to plant in a large tub on a balcony perhaps!  The stamens which are laden with pollen are very attractive to bees and the rose blooms constantly from season start to end!

GRA’S GARBLE…

It’s so rewarding when customers have a happy experience with our roses.   This email from Yungaburra, QLD – the roses were in transit for EIGHT DAYS!

”Thanks to the team at Silkies … the roses are doing well. Some were a little bit wilted after their long journey (they were collected and planted on Saturday). On one PG I trimmed off a few wilted leaves, and gave all a soak for a few hours in seaweed solution before planting. All watered in and sprinkled with seaweed solution over the next couple of days. They are all looking bright and chirpy now.
Best wishes – Dinah”

You may think I harp and harp about the value of seaweed solution on roses but if all gardeners did the regime which Dinah offered her new roses, then you would also see ‘bright and chirpy’ plants every time you plant something new in your garden!

It’s simple and very economical – deep soak every new plant then water over with a sprinkling of seaweed solution – one watering can would easily cover more than 5 square metres – you don’t need to put a whole watering can of seaweed solution over each plant.

SUPER SPRING SPECIAL

With every online order until the end of September, add 1 x 600g ECO-SEAWEED (RRP $32.50) to your cart and pay just $25.00!

Q: What’s a really happy ant?  A: Exhuber-ant.

Did you know that ants are really good to have in your garden?  They actually open up the soil which allows water penetration deep into the subsoil and we all know the importance of moisture in any garden.

Ants are in harmony (symbiotic) with earthworms and other soil microbes and when you see ants being particularly busy, you can be sure there’s rain on the way!

One more ant joke:

Q: What do ants study at university?  A: Ant-atomy.

YES, WE’RE STILL OPEN TO POSTING BARE-ROOTED ROSES … You’ve still got another two weeks to order bare-rooted roses for planting this season.  We are now removing all foliage when packing the roses as this reduces stress in transit and from all recent accounts, the roses are travelling well and settling into their new homes with ease!

Here are two very special favourites which Gra says are “to die for” …

 


GOLDEN CELEBRATION
is my all-time favourite golden yellow rose with exceptional fragrance in large, cupped flowers with masses of petals – I like to cut short stems and float them in an open bowl on the kitchen counter … a delight!


MUNSTEAD WOOD
produces large blooms with velvet, deep crimson petals which exude strong old-rose fragrance.  The bush grows beautifully rounded to about one metre and I have three growing on a short hedge in my breeding garden … a true beauty!


HOW TO PERMANENTLY ‘TAG’ ROSES IN YOUR GARDEN …

Following on from last week, we are confident this suggestion from Kathy is sure to meet with approval – I’m definitely going to get to my local Rodwell’s and see their range of tags …

Hi Graham and Team, I was reading through your newsletter and someone had asked about name tags for roses. Being on a cattle and cropping farm we have access to the NLIS ear tags used for cattle. I use these and the marking pen that comes with it. They are great for all weather conditions and our heat and I attach with a zip tie on a lower branch – not done up tight. After a year or two they might need writing over again but they have lasted better than any other types of tagging system I have tried and can be purchased from rural stores by anyone or online. We buy off Drovers and get blank ones.

Regards  –  Kathy


Hope to see you at Clonbinane soon… Cheers from the team

Within 500 metres of the CLONBINANE INTERCHANGE
on the Hume Freeway, 60 kms north of Melbourne
and open every FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY and MONDAY
9 – 4 PM – PH. 03 5787 1123 …

ROSE RAMBLER 13TH SEPTEMBER, 2018

Hello dear rose friends as the first week of spring ambled on by with lots more daffodils revealing their smiling selves!


GRA’S GARBLE…

I truly enjoy seeing something strikingly different in a rose garden so I’m showing you three climbing roses which I just couldn’t be without in my garden:

JOSEPH’S COAT

– is one of the first roses to flower on the arches through the nursery – it prides itself as our ‘insect indicator’ … if aphids are around, they’ll definitely be on this rose and very quickly we’ll know whether ladybirds are active.  But apart from us ‘using’ this beautiful rose, it provides a most glorious display of multi-coloured blooms continually throughout the season … the bees love it, we love it and you’re sure to love it too!

EDITH HOLDEN

– is a true ‘brown’ colour – very unique and although some unusual-coloured roses can be considered ‘difficult-to-grow’, this rose is very robust, extremely healthy and continual flowering – it could be used as a very dense ground-covering bush of 2 x 2 metres – a very versatile rose!


SPEAKING OF BEES … every one of us has a responsibility to encourage bees into our gardens.  I urge you to plant flowers for ALL SEASONS to enable bees to support themselves and in turn pollinate our food crops!  

Q: Why did the flying angel lose his job?  A: Because he had harp failure.


IDENTIFICATION LABELS FOR ROSES  …

We’re constantly being asked …

Dear Diana, I was wondering whether you have a permanent name badge solution? How do you tag your Roses?  Kind Regards Robyn

Permanent naming of roses has been a journey – back at Kilmore I used 45cm long white conduit sticks to which I pop-riveted 25cm lengths of venetian blind and HAND PAINTED with BLACK ENAMEL paint … they were terrific and lasted really well!  However, when the 24hour service station opened and there was a lot of night foot-traffic past the gardens, we used to have armloads of the name ‘sticks’ returned to the nursery – mostly but not only, from the swimming pool at the Motel a few doors down!  Lots were still there when we destroyed those gardens back in 2012 to move out here to Clonbinane.

Another thing that has worked is to paint the original label with MARINE LACQUER – I have a PIERRE DE RONSARD label which is still 90% as clear-looking on a plant against a hot tin shed wall facing south-west – it was painted with marine lacquer more than five years ago!

In an endeavour to get something even MORE PERMANENT, I had a guy visit who was able to print aluminium tags with a laser printer … unfortunately, it was very expensive, the print way too small and the label too short so got lost under mulch!  An expensive experiment indeed!!!

So, if you find a really great way to permanently label our roses, I do hope you share your creativity!  Cheers … GRAHAM

Q: Where do birds invest their money?  A: In the stork market!

I received this email during the week that I want to share with you all:
====================================================
Dear Dick Smith Fair Go supporter,

I have never been so angry!!

Please watch my video below, where I expose foreign-owned multinationals for extorting millions of dollars from small, family businesses in Australian country towns, in the middle of a drought.

In the video, I compare this “extortion” to the protection money paid by Kings Cross hotel owners to crime gangs in the 1950s.

This is not voluntary. Our small country family businesses are forced to sign up to these foreign booking websites, otherwise they will lose up to 50% of their business and be forced into bankruptcy.
WATCH IT NOW!
SHARE WITH ALL YOUR COLLEAGUES, FRIENDS & FAMILY!
THIS NEEDS TO GO VIRAL!!

Please watch video here.
Read media release here.

Regards
Dick Smith
====================================================

Enjoy your week in the garden … remember to take at least 10 minutes to pull some weeds, mow a lawn or trim some plants – those 10 minutes of exercise EVERY day will ensure you live happier for longer!

ROSE RAMBLER 6TH SEPTEMBER, 2018

Welcome dear Rose Friends to spring when the roses come to life again after their winter hibernation – not, of course, true for those in northern climates – you’re already flowering but let me tell you this … Melbourne rose gardens are also flowering NOW! I’ve had several customers call to ask “What should I do? I’ve got flowers on my roses!”

I guess you know what my response would be … ENJOY THEM! Of course!

Lots of our customers leave southern areas seeking warmth during winter – if any of you are coming home now or in a few weeks, if you didn’t prune prior to leaving home, happily go about and prune your rose garden. Flowering might be a little later than usual but you’ll be staggered at the size and quality of the blooms when they arrive in early summer!


GRA’S GARBLE…

Late last summer I planted hundreds of EARLY FLOWERING DAFFODILS and the gardens here are spectacular now despite heavy frosts – the bright yellow daffodils are so warming and a lovely reminder that spring is in the air!

Q: What do you get if a giant steps on Batman and Robin? A: FLATMAN & RIBBON!

Since it’s nearly the end of bare-rooted season, I want you to consider planting a hedge-row of one of the following varieties which I see are still in the heel-in bed:

SOEUR EMMANUELLE
One of the most strikingly pretty, very free-flowering and robust roses you could wish to have – add to that, incredible fragrance, extremely high health and you’ll be stunned with a row of three or more of this magnificent rose.


MUNSTEAD WOOD
Creates a low hedge to around 1 metre tall and it is never without heads of flowers which are ideal for a vase – it’s magnificently fragrant, and produces the darkest crimson red blooms constantly in a west-facing garden.


VERSIGNY
Is so awesomely pretty that when people step from their car in the top carpark they are drawn to visit this beauty which produces long stems of roses which are suited to use as a lasting cut-flower – a hedge or group of three or more plants will offer you masses or gorgeous blooms in vases throughout the flowering season!

Q: Why wasn’t there any food left after the witches party? A: Because everyone was a goblin.


MULCH TO RETAIN MOISTURE IN YOUR ROSE GARDEN …

All organic mulches conserve water by reducing evaporation due to sun and wind, they supress weed growth and feed earthworms and many other microbial insects vital to balance the eco-system of the soil in your garden. Organic mulches hold and retain moisture for their use in hot weather!

Straw (wheaten, oat, barley, pea) can be used very effectively in times of dry weather. There is no doubt that lucerne straw is by far the most superior mulch because it breaks down and adds beneficial nutrients to the soil – right now, however, most lucerne will be used for drought affected animals!

Mulch of woodchips / leaves / animal manure around roses and other plants is effective however, apply lime over the soil every second or third year to counter possible acidity. I will talk more about soil health after my attendance at a SOIL WORKSHOP this past weekend. IMPORTANT: get a good cover of any of the above mulch products over your soil as soon as you have weeded the garden this week!

I’m sneaking another joke in …

Q: Why did the greyhound breeder take dog food to bed? A: Because he wanted to feed his nightmares!


POSTING ROSES IS SUCH A PLEASURE …

“Dear Diana, I would like to say, that of the 32 bare root roses we’ve ordered this season, your root stock and your packaging thereof is by far the best, by far. Thank you very much. With kind regards, Jo-ann”

to which delightful message and a peek at the fact that Jo-ann had purchased SIX roses from us, I emailed …

“WOW … how lovely is this? I’m so thankful when our customers take time to praise our roses and service … you be sure to enjoy a lovely flowering season for years to come! Best wishes and thank you! Diana

It didn’t end there … Jo-ann had the last say:

“It is not for you to thank me….it is for me to thank YOU!!!! 🙂 Thank you, again! 🙂 With kindest regards, Jo-ann”.


During the next few weeks we’ll happily post our roses knowing they’re bouncing to be planted in your garden – we pack them so well and remember, OUR ROSES ARE 100% GUARANTEED TO GROW IN YOUR GARDEN – especially if you follow all of Graham’s recommendations for healthy growing! Weekly Eco-Seaweed solution over your roses in the first six weeks after planting will ensure the plants settle well – please don’t EVER let them dry out before planting and please, DON’T EVER OVERWATER once they’re planted!


Enjoy the happiness of this first week of spring in your garden … cheers from the team here at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane …

ROSE RAMBLER 30th AUGUST 2018

Hello dear rose friends as we come out of hibernation with just two days of what has been a very frost and wet winter.  All the rose gardens are pruned and with lots of sunny warm days recently and in the future forecast, we’ll be flowering early this year!


GRA’S GARBLE…

… My friend Jeff shared this joke:

Q: How does an Eskimo build his house?   A: Igloos it together…

WILL THERE BE …?  
This past week we have been amazed at the number of rose lovers who want to buy WINX … this is what Jacquie wrote after she ordered BLACK CAVIAR –  …

“Thank you Diana – I look forward to receiving her, she is my favourite horse and I love roses! 

Maria wrote and sent this pic …

“Black Caviar. As beautiful as she is!!!  Are they going to have a Winx rose??”


BLACK CAVIAR

Let’s see which of the large rose growers release a rose in honour of this even more successful mare WINX – we’ll keep you posted for sure!

PESKY INSECTS…With spring in the air, your roses might become subjected to infestations of aphids just like Chen’s …

“Would you mind having a look at the photograph that I have attached here to help me work out what the bugs might be. I know that one of them is an aphid, but I do not know what the other bug is.”

Steve Falcioni who is our expert and ‘go to guy’ at Organic Crop Protectants (OCP) says:

I’ve circled the pests in different colours as follows:

Blue = aphid
Red = skin/shell of aphid discarded after moulting
Green = dead aphid (known as a ‘mummy’) that has been killed by a parasitoid wasp. The tiny wasp injects an egg into the aphid which hatches and feeds on the insides of the aphid.  The aphid swells up and then dies with a new wasp emerging to continue on the cycle.

Anything to do with insects or disease on roses will be readily controlled using our organic rose spray management program – if you start the spray program NOW, you will be working on the principle of PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE!  

Sprayed at least once a month offers your roses healthy protection from pest and disease problems.  If your roses become infested, you must spray immediately then in 3-5 days and again in 7 days and possibly once more 7 days after that.

The organic management program is very effective, economical and easy to apply –

TO 10 LITRES OF WATER, ADD:
1 SCOOP ECO-SEAWEED (follow pack directions of your preferred       seaweed)
1/4 CUP ECO-ROSE (ECO-FUNGICIDE)
1/4 CUP ECO-OIL – INSECTICIDE / DISPERSANT

If you are time-poor, you can pour these products over plants from a watering can but we highly recommend spraying plants to run-off – remember, NEVER SPRAY WHEN TEMPERATURE IS EXPECTED TO REACH 30 DEGREES OR MORE!

It is most effective to implement this program first thing in the morning when the foliage stomata (pores) are open and your roses are very receptive to this spray.

Rather than a joke, let me share this …

CHINESE PROVERB:

When someone shares something of value with you
and you benefit from it,
you have a moral obligation to share it with others.


YES, WE’RE STILL POSTING BARE-ROOTED ROSES …

And will continue to post them throughout SEPTEMBER so don’t panic but get your garden bed cultivated and ready to plant some beauties like these beauties which are seriously long-lasting cut flowers:

 


KARDINAL


ST PATRICK


SPIRIT OF PEACE 


If you’re doing a spring-clean weeding in your garden, the most beneficial days according to moon phases are from September 4th – 8th so get weeding during those days and you’ll notice the weeds are easy to pull and won’t return as readily!  IT DEFINITELY DOES WORK!
Have a beaut week in your garden …


TESTIMONIAL TO SHARE:

 

Hello Diana,
Just to let you know that the rose I ordered on Sunday afternoon arrived safe and sound on my front around an hour ago (Wednesday morning) and how impressed I am by how promptly my order was completed, the quality of way my order was delivered and how Australia Post kept me up-to-date by both text and email with how delivery was progressing.

This was the first time I’d ordered a rose online from anyone and would certainly do so again from you; taking into account, too, that I noticed, when in GardenWorld on Monday, that your pricing was on a par with theirs for quality roses.
Best wishes, David

 

ROSE RAMBLER 23rd AUGUST 2018

Hello dear rose friends as we relax a little after an immense day of planting a gorgeous rose garden down Gippsland way … I love to go for a drive and since I designed the garden and Ben and Tova were asked to assist with planting, we drove together – what a joyous day it was!


A LITTLE BIT PEAR-SHAPED…

We’ve done lots and lots of parcels this past winter with 99.9% accuracy – here’s the story of one that went west …

Dear Diana,
Yesterday I received a call from the post office in Cowell S.A telling me my roses had been there for a week waiting for me to pick them up. You can imagine my surprise when the address I gave your outfit was P. O Box **** MILTON NSW 2538!  What to do? ?  Please check my order, it was placed on the 30th July and paid for by PAYPAL, I would appreciate this being resolved sooner rather than later .
Susan

Although it was my day off when I received this email early last Tuesday morning, I took action –

Hello Susan … you can be sure that I will follow this up tonight and be in touch with you tomorrow … how bizarre is this … a first for sure in more than six years of posting roses!!!  Talk soon … Diana

On Wednesday I popped two lovely roses into a box and sent them to the right address!  After a few more emails with Susan, we established this:

Hi Diana,
the roses look fine , the paper around them is still damp so no problems there.  If you haven’t sent the replacements, don’t worry about it as these look really well but thank you for the offer.
Cheers Susan

Hello again Susan .. this is a testament to the type of service we get from AUSTRALIA POST .. they are sensational 99.9% of the time!  Fancy them ringing you from the PO in Cowell, SA and then when they realised the mistake, they put an EXPRESS POST sticker on the pack and you received it very, very quickly at MILTON, NSW … I’m guessing just two days?  That’s very special and I will try and contact the people at Cowell PO to say THANK YOU.

Please, if you don’t have room for two of each of these beautiful roses now that I have already posted the replacements … pot a couple of them and save them for an opportunity when you need a GIFT ROSE … they make a truly lovely gift!

Best wishes and thank you for being kind throughout this process … sometimes, when things don’t quite go to plan, people are afforded an opportunity to be nasty … you were a pleasure during this process and that means a lot!  Thank you!  Best wishes – DIANA

 


GRA’S GARBLE…

Our poodle MOOI would love this joke since Tigger is one of her very favourite rattling toys:  Q:Why did Tigger go to the Bathroom?   A: Because he was looking for his friend Pooh…

Since we are still posting bare-rooted roses for a few more weeks, here are a few lovely David Austin roses which can be used as climbers …

 

GRAHAM THOMAS

Pure golden yellow blooms in massive profusion over a very long flowering season – strong Tea Rose fragrance – climbing upright to 2.5 metres and spectacular in an obelisk or pillar frame.


GERTRUDE JEKYLL

Large deep pink flowers with a mass of swirling petals which emit the most sumptuous fragrance of all the David Austin roses, this beauty will climb to 2.5 metres or display beautifully as a free-standing very large shrub.


EGLANTYNE

Glorious large fragrant blooms of apricot-pink on long branching/arching canes which easily grow to 2.5 metres and when tied as espalier make a most amazing display over a long flowering season.


CLAIRE AUSTIN 

Exudes the most delicious fragrance from deeply cupped lemon/pink buds opening to display purest white flowers over an extended season … gorgeous!


Many more of the David Austin varieties of roses are suitable to grow as climbers – you make them do WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO DO … take their branching canes and tie them to a fence, grow them in a tight spot so they grow upwards to fill an obelisk or just let them flounce and branch out to fill large spaces in garden borders.
The fragrance and multitude of colours in the David Austin roses, their old-world charm and high-health plants will delight you!  If you haven’t already planted some of these roses in your garden, order them NOW as you’re sure to be as thrilled with their beauty as I am!

One last joke:

Q.  What did the clean dog say to the insect?   A.  A long time no flea.

 

 

ROSE RAMBLER 16th AUGUST 2018

Hello dear rose friends and thank you so much for your supportive emails regarding what we all might do to assist our gardening friends in this drought-stricken country!


BARE-ROOTED ROSES ARE STILL AVAILABLE …

Yes, it’s warming up around the country but we are confident of posting bare-rooted roses – as long as when you receive them, you soak them from anything for an hour to more than 24 hours in ECO SEAWEED – a sachet is provided in every parcel of roses!

Once planted and deep-soaked, don’t over-water the roses! Weather conditions vary so it’s very difficult for us to tell you how frequently to water your rose garden … please, please be WATER-WISE and mindful of responsible water use in your garden!


GRA’S GARBLE…

… start this story with a smile: Q: How did the witch know it was exactly 12 o’clock midday? A: She used her witch watch. (wrist watch perhaps? Editor)

I guess most of you have pruned you roses by this time – we’ve still got some garden areas to prune – as soon as all the roses are pruned I will fertilize the entire garden with our COMPLETE ORGANIC FERTILIZER – COF – and I recommend you source a really high-quality organic fertilizer which is available in your area.

Why organic fertilizer?

  1. Plants take in organic fertilizer when they need it
  2. Earth worms will break down the fertilizer helping to balance the soil eco system

You should never place fertilizer in the planting hole when planting a new rose – always fertilize established plants – around six weeks after planting.

Fertilizing roses is essential because they are so productive with their growth and flowering over such an extended period – once established, fertilize the soil around your roses with a quality ORGANIC FERTILIZER every 8 – 12 weeks – in between times, liberally apply seaweed solution over the plants at least monthly – more frequently if you have time!

Q: What do you call a cheerful flea? A: A Hop-timist.

Here are a few of my very best recommendations for climbing roses to use to screen an ugly fence which will also inhibit intruders into your property due to their aggressive thorns!


ALBERTINE
One of the loveliest rambling roses you could ever plant …


SEAFOAM
This rose is so adaptable – would suit scrambling over the ground as a large ground-covering clump, glorious as a weeping rose and definitely would inhibit anything coming through or over a fence at your place …


BANTRY BAY
For an amazingly glorious display throughout the season, this prickly rose will afford immense security when scrambling over your front fence!


VISUAL SOIL ASSESSMENT WORKSHOP

Both Ben and I will be attending this workshop on 1st September – If you’re at all interested in knowing more about the soil in your garden, do book for this seminar – we’ll see you there.

There’s a build-up of excitement with spring in the air … do put this important event in your diary – a visit to the Yea Garden Expo will afford you a great day out in the country.


Enjoy the last days of winter and don’t be hassled if you haven’t pruned yet … we’re still busy pruning here …

 

 

ROSE RAMBLER 9TH AUGUST 2018…

Hello dear rose friends, as the rain tumbles down on us here at Clonbinane and our gardens are sopping wet which makes us want to share even more diligently with our northern neighbours who are bone dry and in a most dreadful drought. We urge you to kindly contribute whatever you can …

This plea came from my Rotary Club today:

“In Australia, farmers are the lifeblood of our country and they are in crisis. Record breaking heat and lack of rain means farmers are struggling to feed sheep and cattle, and keep crops alive. Families on the land are suffering and they need our help. Channel 9 and Rotary Australia have partnered with the National Farmers’ Federation, launching an appeal to big business and everyday Australians, so we can provide some emergency relief. 100% of donations goes to the farmers and is tax deductible via Rotary and RAWCS. Every dollar counts.”

The link for the donation page for the project is:

ROTARY AUSTRALIA WORLD COMMUNITY SERVICE
https://donations.rawcs.com.au/17-2018-19
The RAWCS website home page has the link also: http://rawcs.org.au/

 

If that doesn’t work, please don’t give up but direct your donation to this destination: donations@donations.rawcs.com.au and know that every single dollar you contribute to a Rotary project will go DIRECTLY where you want your donation to go!


Please let me indulge by sharing this email exchange just this week:

Hello Val … thank you for your order. What a lovely selection of roses I’ll be posting to you tomorrow! Enjoy these beauties in your garden … best wishes.

Thanks Diana- I can’t wait for them to flower- I just pray for some rain… We live on a farm with no food and handfeeding 300 alpacas. Might have to use our house water to keep the roses alive. Val

This is the story of our gutsy Aussie farmers – our mates who are the backbone of our magnificent country – get behind them NOW in their deep time of need and open your purse so they might receive a free load of feed or a tanker of water for their animals.

How delightful that Val purchased rose plants for her garden during this time of amazing hardship – when I first ventured into horticulture in early ‘80’s one of my mentors (who is a rose cut-flower grower) told me that during the Depression, cut flower sales sky-rocketed because people wanted something beautiful in their homes – flowers gave them joy and a sense of hope for a brighter future!

Let’s hope our donations and roses bring joy and a sense of hope to our gardening friends who are also farmers during this dreadful drought!


GRA’S GARBLE…

Here’s a thought: What’s the use of consulting a doctor about a cold when he gives you a heart attack with the bill?

Stay healthy in these remaining days of winter by rugging-up and getting down and dirty in your garden by pulling weeds – they’re small weeds now but will turn into BIG WEEDS as the sun shines warmly.

Turn all those little weeds into compost or weed-tea by placing them in a receptacle (perhaps a 44 gall drum or an old garbage bin – whatever you can find really), pour water over them to the brim of the container and pop a lid on … DON’T PLACE THIS CLOSE TO THE HOUSE as it will, despite having a lid, emit the most amazing stench!

Stir the brew once a week if you’re brave; add a bit of eco-seaweed powder too. After about 8 weeks of fermentation dilute one part to ten and pour over the entire garden as a totally organic fertilizer / tonic for your garden. Start the brew again!

Q: What sort of lollies do koalas eat? A: Chewing gum.


WATERING YOUR GARDEN WITH SULLAGE WATER …

Precious water from your bath, basin, shower, washing machine and kitchen sink can be invaluable to water your garden.

The best results will be obtained where sullage waste water is derived from house fixtures where all soaps and detergents are plant or herbal based – we use and highly recommend products – all Australian-made!

Flexible pipe can be connected to waste pipes and shifted around garden beds, placed in locations to water valuable trees and with minor management of shifting every couple of days, especially on washing day when there will be potentially more waste run-off.

Here’s our run-off pipe – sometimes extended with more flexible pipe …


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION …

“Hi, I am wondering if you are able to assist me. Would you have roses in the name of: Carol, Tony / Anthony, I know you didn’t have Marianne – but anything close maybe even Anne? Many Thanks – Karen”

Our usual response: Not able to assist in ANY way with that lot of names … SORRY! Perhaps if you’re able to give us a clue as to why you need roses in those names we might be able to offer some lovely alternatives ???

There are such beauties like:

FORGET ME NOT


LINKED HEARTS


REMEMBER ME


Or there’s: HEAVEN SCENT, BEST FRIEND, SOUL MATE/SISTER, MOTHER’S LOVE, FATHER’S LOVE, GRANDMA’S ROSE … these are all quality roses which are sure to please the recipient for many years in their garden! Other roses might have the ‘right’ name but they’re just not ok for an average garden … when we say that, here’s an example.

You can get a rose called WEDDING DAY which is a beast for thorns, flowers once in each season and you need an axe to prune it! A stunning rose in the right location!

WEDDING DAY

However, if you get the right advice and purchase THE WEDDING ROSE … the gift is an immensely pretty rose which flowers and flowers, has an amazing fragrance and is simply delightful as a GIFT ROSE on the occasion of a wedding.

THE WEDDING ROSE

If we can assist with your selection for posting the most beautiful and appropriate GIFT ROSE, don’t hesitate calling (03) 5787 1123 during our business hours of FRI, SAT, SUN, MON or emailing us at info@rosesalesonline.com.au … Cheers


Here’s a picture of a GIFT ROSE ready for posting … did you even notice there are no flowers on this lovely rose beautifully gift-wrapped? Probably not, because recipients of the GIFT ROSE are telling us how significant the rose is; it will flower eventually and that will hold a whole new meaning! Nice!!!

CHARLOTTE GIFT ROSE


See you at Clonbinane soon … cheers from the team!