ROSE RAMBLER 30.7.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 30.7.2015

ROSE RAMBLER … 30.7.2015 …

Hello dear rose friends … end of another month and well into winter now – welcome to all the recent subscribers! Some of you have been phoning and telling us about the beautiful roses you’re picking … gawd, it’s been weeks since we’ve seen a rose blooming here at Clonbinane so we envy you the climate which affords such a long rose-flowering season and love it that our roses give you such enormous pleasure!!!   

Standard roses finally arrived here last week and we were able to process most of the orders – sincere apologies for the delay in your standard rose orders.  Mother Nature determined late digging due to the very mild summer – roses grow beautifully in hot weather which is why roses are so ‘drought tolerant’ … DO NOT OVERWATER ROSES!!!

It’s been months since we’ve irrigated garden beds here because regular ‘God’s wee’ (rain) of anywhere between 5-8 mm of rain weekly means the gardens are beautifully moist.  Don’t be complacent though, if you don’t get any rain but warm, sunny days, consider giving the newly planted roses at least 10 litres of water per plant per week as they are now establishing new roots and growth – careful consideration of their watering needs at this time will ensure your roses will settle well and flourish into prolific spring growth after winter pruning!


THE IMPORTANCE OF CALCIUM FOR ROSES … Calcium is a macro nutrient that performs many critical functions including cell-wall production, nutrient transportation, flower and seed production and overall plant strength.
Calcium deficiency is common in sandy soils, areas of high rainfall and gardens that get watered regularly – mulch can also cause calcium deficiency.

Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: “Does this taste funny to you?”

Roses perform best in soil with a pH range of 5 – 6.5 however, regular use of artificial fertilizers can increase acidification which negatively impacts plant growth.  A soil test kit is handy to have – or you might pop down to your local garden centre and request they perform a pH test of your soil sample.

LIQUID SOIL IMPROVERS … Traditionally, calcium has been applied in a powder form as dolomite lime.  Powders are very slow to activate in the soil, are bulky and messy.

OCP … Organic Crop Protectants have produced a highly effective, economical eco-flo dolomite in a 2litre hose-on pack which covers 800 sq. metres and any time NOW is perfect for application – the start of the growing season!  Eco-flo dolomite has seaweed added which is an obvious advantage to soil microbes and general soil/plant health.

The OCP range of products should be available at your local garden centre!

Two cows are standing next to each other in a field. Daisy says to Dolly, “I was artificially inseminated this morning? “I don’t believe you,” says Dolly. “It’s true, no bull!” exclaims Daisy. 

SPECIAL OFFER FOR PRUNING ROSES … Without doubt, high-quality, sharp secateurs make the job easier on your hands and body but they’ll also guarantee a clean cut which will significantly reduce the incidence of die-back on rose stems.

Since we’re right in the middle of pruning season, we’d like to offer FREE-POST from now till the end of August on our quality LOWE secateurs ($59.50) and handy sharpener ($12.50) which we guarantee will make light work and your rose pruning will be a pleasurable experience for years to come!

If ordering online at just select PICK UP FROM SILKIES ROSE FARM as the postage option and I will know to post your secateurs and sharpener for free!  You can also call me FRIDAY – MONDAY on 03 5787 1123 and I will process your order!

Treat yourself and have a beaut week in your winter garden!  Hope to see you soon at Clonbinane  … Gra, Diana & Mooi


Let me share some advice about growing roses in a cold climate – we frequently incur severe frost here at Clonbinane and I’ll share this recent email inquiry which might assist you if you live in a cold area:

Hello Diana, I’m in the process of looking for some climbing or rambling roses to cover an arbour I have in my back yard.  It is rather large, measuring 8m long x 1.5m wide x 2m high running north south (if that make sense). 
I live just outside Ballarat so the weather is rather freezing in the winter and very hot and dry in the summer – I know, everyone says it isn’t hot in Ballarat ever, but that’s not quite true.  The last 4 summers have just about killed off every plant in my garden that’s not drought or heat tolerant so I’m almost starting from scratch again.  It’s heartbreaking really but that’s life as most gardeners know.
Anyway, back to the roses.  I have had very little experience with roses before so I’m looking for something that will be tough (against me and survivability), fragrant, vigorous, tall to cover the arbour and colourful.  Not a lot to ask but I hope you can help me with some recommendations please.  I’m not sure if they’re suitable or not, but I love the Pierre de Ronsard (pink/white), the Jasmina, Crown Princess Margareta and Claire Austin (white) but I don’t know if they would grow large enough to cover the arbour together.  Any suggestions would be appreciated please.
Many thanks for your help”
My response:

Hello Deb … thank you for your enquiry … first question?  Do you rely on tank water for your garden?  Do you mulch your garden well?  Do you use seaweed solution ever? 
Your climate is no different to ours here but we do have town water and irrigate the garden as necessary, we mulch heavily with pea straw and use seaweed solution and fertilizer/compost to enrich our soil!
I cannot believe that you could be so disillusioned by losing plants continually.  Roses are very tough and I can recommend some beauties which will cover your arch but they MUST have all of the above to survive!!!  A rose should have at least 20 litres of water per plant, delivered at the same time each week during hot weather … not a splash of water delivered every day over the whole week – no, once a week a deep soak and they will survive and flower beautifully!
The roses I recommend you plant on the arbour are:  LAMARQUE, ALBERTINE, PINKIE, CLB., SYMPATHIE, PIERRE DE RONSARD, CREPUSCULE, MME. ALFRED CARRIERE, to name but a few!  I would recommend at least three plants each side and diligent management of watering, mulch, seaweed YEAR ROUND and you will have a magnificent display … let’s talk more .. cheers

ROSE RAMBLER 23.7.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 23.7.2015

Hello dear rose friends … Graham found this lovely quote to share:


Which leads me to share this beautiful email after I sent a GIFT ROSE last week …

Hi Diana – GOLDEN CELEBRATION rose arrived on time and our friend loved it. She was so excited when a large box was delivered, then opening it to find your beautifully wrapped rose, was even more thrilling. Her husband of 50 years has promised to dig a new rose garden as a home for GOLDEN.
All in all it was a great choice on our part to choose a rose as a gift and to choose your company to purchase it from and you, especially, as you have been so helpful and artistic.  Thanks Eileen

Here is a pic of GOLDEN CELEBRATION where it flowers blissfully all season climbing at the side of our little ‘summer house’ … such a joyful rose with glorious fragrance, huge blooms with masses of golden petals throughout the flowering season …
And another email which makes my heart sing …

Hi Diana. Erin was thrilled with the SOUL SISTER Rose. Carla and I haven’t been able to catch up with her yet. We realise it probably looks like a collection of sticks but she has repeatedly messaged us saying how lovely it is. Thank you for however you presented it – Erin was blown away. We will recommend you where we can. Sincerely … Judith.

Such a wonderful, uniquely coloured rose of perfect form with a hint of sweet citrus fragrance … the bush is medium height, very healthy and can be relied upon for a long-lasting bunch of flowers perfect for a vase – lovely rose with a beautiful name!

Remember to go to when you need inspiration to find a perfectly named rose as a way of expressing your thoughts by gifting a beautiful rose plant which will offer the recipient a lasting memory of your love and care in their time of need!

Any rose bush listed at can also be ordered as a GIFT ROSE when you follow the instructions.


(He places his ‘garble’ on a coloured sheet of paper beside my desk weekly and this one has a note at the side which says:  from YOUNG GRA … what is he thinking?  Possibly trying to convince himself that age 72 affords him holidays in the sun … my thought:  Not yet, sunshine, but definitely when this busy rose season is over and meantime, we’ll both keep on dreaming!)

Q.  Why are sausages so bad mannered?  A. They spit in the frypan

Never throw away your old shoes/boots – drill holes in the sole, fill them with potting mix and grow some lovely seedlings like alyssum, calendula, pansies or parsley – all these plants attract beneficial insects which will draw them away from the roses at flowering time.

For the fun of it, paint the shoes/boots and get your kids/grandkids involved in this wonderful outdoor project – beaut fun!

Q.  What did the green grape say to the purple grape?  A.  “breeeeeathe you idiot”

IN CLOSING … enjoy all the moments of your winter garden … it’s a time for pruning and shaping your garden for the glory of another rose flowering season – get down and dirty in your garden while the weather is cool …

cheers from Graham, Diana & Mooi

ROSE RAMBLER 16.7.2015

ROSE RAMBLER … 16.7.2015 …

Hello dear rose friends … hardly a day this winter without sun shining through the clouds for at least part of the day has been ideal weather for potting the beautiful quality roses which we have in our nursery this season … until, of course, this past weekend!  BRRRR … lovely rain, sleet, hail – bring on the rain!

As the roses are potted, we always trim the roots so they’re not curled around but sit nicely on a mound of mix at the base and to the side of the pot then top up with our superb coir-fibre potting mix to which slow-release fertilizer is added to sustain the rapid growth of roots and leaves in their first months in a pot.  The newly potted roses are deep-soaked immediately after potting and require maybe weekly/fortnightly watering at the most!!!

DO NOT OVERWATER NEWLY PLANTED ROSE BUSHES!  This is so very, very important as roses are far more able to sustain quality flowering with MINIMAL water – they are very tough, resilient to periods of drought and very WATER-WISE plants so the worst thing you can do to any rose, whether newly planted or well-established, is over-watering!


This past week I’ve been busy keeping up with Diana’s rose potting by ensuring mineral rock-dust is lightly tossed over the potted roses then regular applications of seaweed solution is poured over them to offer the new growth between 3-5 degrees of protection from frosty conditions!

When all the roses are potted we commence our monthly organic rose management spray program in order to maintain healthy, robust foliage.

The program is:  to 10 litres of water add:

  • ¼ cup Eco-rose (fungicide)
  • ¼ cup Eco-oil (insecticide and ‘sticker/spreader’
  • seaweed solution (follow pack directions of the product you use)

This spray program will ensure that aphids will be controlled at the larval stage and thus interrupt their ferocious breeding habits while the ladybirds are still slumbering and waiting for warm spring days.

Your garden is ALIVE when there are all types of insects and birds flitting around – it is IMPERATIVE that every rose garden should have some aphids and other insects.

The Eco-rose – yes, sprayed on bare sticks – will fall onto the soil surface where it will have impact on fungus spores – don’t bother with smelly Lime Sulphur – spray with Eco-rose/fungicide to protect your roses against black spot and powdery mildew!

Q.  What is the definition of a caterpillar?  A. A worm in a fur coat … I would rather have a worm than a caterpillar in my garden and in this weather, I would rather a fur coat than no coat – hope you’re rugged up in this cool blustery gust of winter!  Gra


Lots of emails from customers who have received their roses in the post – I have to say, I admire you all for venturing to purchase roses ‘on-line’ and I so hope that you are pleased with the quality I select – always THE BEST for you because I understand the risk you take!  Please take this advice as I’ve sent to Claire:

“I encourage you to remove at least half of the stems … yes, half!!!  I’m not kidding – if I could send them that way and not have people shocked by the short stems, I would have done it before they left here … we want our customers to think they’ve got value for money by sending the long-stemmed roses to them … please, please – go out tomorrow and cut them down to at least half and if you trust me, take away two thirds … put those sticks in the ground and you may grow some ‘cutting grown’ roses …fun!
Thanks Claire and please keep me posted if you need more advice … cheers … Diana”

from Claire:

I won’t be able to garden tomorrow (work) but I’ll try and mentally get to grips with cutting away those little buds of new growth along with the stems in the meantime. It seems so wrong!  Very best wishes, maybe one day I’ll be sending you photos of lovely blooms. Claire

My response: “I’m giggling… this really is funny … when people come to the nursery, I wait for them to pay for their roses then ask if they would like me to winter prune them … they gasp and some even get cheeky and ask for half their money back because now they’ve only got half what they paid for!  If I was courageous, I would cut all the roses before I send them but I would be inundated with complaints … can’t have that!!! 

What happens when you prune those long canes back about half?  Beautiful water shoots develop from the crown and you end up with a very sturdy bush with masses of flowers … get your head around it today while you work and do it when you next visit the roses!  Enjoy the experience and most especially, enjoy the results!  Cheers … Diana Sargeant

In the coming weeks as more of you order roses, the roses will come to you as cut-back, winter roses – take it as a compliment!  Your new roses have been root pruned and professionally winter pruned so they’re 100% guaranteed to grow exceptionally well in your garden.

Get into pruning your roses NOW… all the bushes and standards will appreciate being pruned with only 30cms of stem remaining – climbers love to be tied back to a frame and pruned according to what size you wish – old-fashioned roses just like to be trimmed by about one-third to one-half of the bush.

Remember that no matter what you do to the roses, apart from over-watering, they will forgive you and bloom again this spring!

Plant some sunshine yellow in your garden – here are a few of our highly recommended varieties … not necessarily in order of preference but all ‘must have’ roses!

A very popular lime-yellow floribunda rose which produces clusters of gloriously fragrant blooms continually.  Glossy, dark green foliage compliments this robust bush which grows to around 1.2 metres tall – stunning rose which has been around forever!

Modern shrub rose of immensely high-health and free-flowering habit.  A medium height shrub 1.2 x 1.2, delightful planted as a group and the flowers are beautiful in the vase – stunning rose!

Indeed a beauty of creamy golden yellow glory with magnificently healthy foliage, abundance of flowers and lovely healthy shrub

Is a beautiful David Austin rose which lends itself to planting as a hedge-row or border for a massive display of continual bloom on a shrub 1.2 x 1.2 – delightful rose which changes colour throughout the season … lovely!

An old, old-time favourite which continues to delight with an amazingly free-flowering profusion – one of the first and most definitely the last rose to flower in gardens everywhere …!

is one of the most endurable cut flower roses which enjoys a very hot, sunny position in your garden – perfect form, long stems of green buds which open to clotted creamy yellow – supreme rose in a warm climate ..

Enjoy contemplating which of these wonderfully sunny roses you would wish to order for planting in your garden this week … all orders through which include one of the above highly recommended roses will receive a ‘FREE’ GOLDEN YELLOW ROSE with our compliments until next Rose Rambler on 23.7.2015.

You can suggest which FREE rose you would like in the COMMENTS section but otherwise, leave it to me and I will send you one of our BEST …

Cheers from Diana, Graham & Mooi at Clonbinane


ROSE RAMBLER … 9.7.2015 …

Hello dear rose friends … while many of you might be enjoying the winter school holidays, venturing further afield to warmer climates in the Northern Hemisphere or rugged up on the couch, be sure that we rose growers are head-down-bum-up and busy!

Standard roses and later budded yearlings will be dug and sorted, labelled and processed during the next two weeks.  It’s still winter so there is no need to be concerned about planting bare-rooted roses and if your garden bed hasn’t been prepared for planting, you have at least another 8 weeks to get sorted!



I have been planting some of the new release roses and I’m excited by how many worms are actively breeding in the upper layers of soil under the mulch and around the weeds which I’m pulling and feeding to my Langshan chooks who seriously think it is Christmas in July – they’re loving the weeds … leads me to this joke:

Q.  How can you tell which end of a worm is which?  A.  Tickle it in the middle and see which end laughs!

I recommend you use a garden fork when digging in the garden – much less risk of slicing through the worms – also gives you the opportunity of forking drainage holes into the side walls and base of a planting hole which will ensure the ability of roots to penetrate deep into nutrient rich sub-soil.

Just last weekend I pruned these magnificent roses:

A vigorous, healthy bush which produces glorious long-stemmed blooms suitable for a vase

One of the most durable rose blooms on the bush – we grow it as a hedge-rose along the entrance drive into the Rose Farm and it is stunning with a massive proliferation of the darkest red clusters of blooms continually

The longest stemmed rose of most perfect form – I grow it on a standard and can always pick a bunch for a vase inside

Call in during our open times and I’ll happily take you for a personal walk in the garden and pruning demonstration – bring your secateurs with you so that I can show you how to sharpen and clean your pruning equipment … remember, pruning is FUN … Gra

STANDARD ROSES – When you’re out pruning the standard roses, be sure to check the stakes and ties – this a most important task and should be maintained frequently in order to grow beautifully straight stems.

We use and recommend 20mm RIO ROD as the standard stake with VELCRO ONE-WRAP as the tie material – don’t even bother planting standard roses unless you budget for sturdy steel stakes and endurable ties!

Have a beaut week in your garden … Diana, Graham & Mooi at Clonbinane


ROSE RAMBLER … 2.7.2015 …

Hello dear rose friends … not just a new month but already the second half of the year and the winter solstice behind us so we move onto longer days – how time zooms on by!



Some roses offer the amazing quality of flowering right into winter and here are a few I have noticed in the gardens here – they flowered despite frosty mornings and their fragrance was intense too –

Possibly one of my favourite lilac-blue roses for perfect Hybrid Tea form, lovely open-shaped healthy foliaged bush which produces bunches of highly fragrant flowers which are long-lasting in a vase …

dark, rich red, intensely fragrant, perfectly formed blooms on very long, thornless stems (one for the blokes who detest thorns!).  The very tall bush is healthy but will love being positioned in the hottest part of your garden …

I just LOVE this climbing rose because it continues to produce masses of highly fragrant soft-pink blooms on long thornless stems relentlessly!  It has unique curled foliage which is nothing to worry about and deserves planting as a free-standing shrub or climber shown here with KARDINAL (a perfect red rose with awesome qualities) and our rock cyclamen – what a glorious photo to share …

a healthy beast in the extreme – awesomely free-flowering bush which produces masses of creamy-yellow, perfectly formed blooms and is reliable for a bunch of lightly fragrant blooms for the vase throughout the season – Highly recommended rose!

Q.  What do you call a snail on a ship?  A.  A snailor!  Speaking of snails … use a pet-safe snail bait throughout winter to try and slow their breeding for less issues with their destructive force in spring!

Q.  What kind of dog likes baths?  A shampoodle!  Here’s a pic of our lovely MOOI who is always keen to greet you when you visit – there’s absolutely no bite in her bark, just a demand for a cuddle … here she’s showing you how she helps me round up the LANGSHAN BANTAM chooks who are bigger than her …

Please call up to the Rose Farm and if you need a personal rose demo, I’m happy to walk with you in the gardens when I am here … bring your secateurs with you and I’ll show you how to maintain/sharpen them too … see you soon at Clonbinane – Gra

BENALLA GARDEN CLUB – TUESDAY, JULY 7TH – 7.00PM – CONTACT: for more information
3CR RADIO – Graham will be on the panel this month – 7.30 – 9.15am SUNDAY, 12TH JULY on 855 AM BAND radio – always interesting SUNDAY MORNING gardening talk-back radio
ROSE SOCIETY OF VICTORIA – Monthly meeting at St. James Anglican Church, Cnr. Burke Road and High Street, Glen Iris – 8.00 PM – CONTACT:

There are more presentations later in July and I will advise those dates next week. Meantime, hope you’re enjoying getting out in the garden while the weather is so inviting to share time with the kids through these school holidays …

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

ROSE RAMBLER 18.6.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 18.6.2015

Hello dear rose friends … there is heaps of action here at the Silkies Rose Farm with lots of magnificent bare-rooted plants snuggly bedded down and sorted – still waiting on many rose varieties as you will know if your order hasn’t been processed YET!

Meantime, keep digging and dunging your new rose beds – roses love to go into prepared soil and you will be rewarded for many years with healthy, robust roses if you put a bit of effort into soil preparation NOW!


As the GIFT ROSE grows in popularity, let me give you a few suggestions for when you have an occasion in your life which offers the opportunity of telling your feelings by sending a beautifully gift wrapped rose along with a card inscribed with your own personal message and posted in a magnificently presented gift box.

The name pretty much says it all as this rose is absolutely beautiful with cerise pink, high-centred perfectly formed blooms on the longest stems and an amazing fragrance.
The bush is tall (1.5metres), robust and healthy

Q.  What is the difference between a fly and a bird? 
A.  A bird can fly, but a fly can’t bird …

The ultimate rose to present on the sad occasion of a death; this beautiful rose is sturdy enough for a ‘non-gardener’ to place in their garden and enjoy a proliferation of perfectly formed blooms with a blend of apricot/orange/red throughout the flowering season – glossy foliage compliments the stunning flowers!

Soft pink, highly fragrant and perfectly formed blooms adorn this bush in frequent proliferation throughout the season – such a robust, healthy shrub with a name so appropriate when the occasion arises!

There are way more suggestions on – go take a look but remember that there are no flowers on the roses now but they still look fabulous when beautifully gift wrapped and carded with your personal message by Diana!

Q. What do you get if you cross a tarantula with a rose?  A.  I’m not sure but I wouldn’t try smelling it!

I’ll be doing a ROSE PRUNING DEMONSTRATION – this SATURDAY AFTERNOON – 2.00pm see you there!  Gra


If you’re considering having a ‘serious prune’ of your rose garden this year, let me suggest you contact or phone: 0402 352 843 to book rose pruning this season … he’s ‘amazing’ on hedge pruning too!

Cheers from Diana, Graham and Mooi at Clonbinane

ROSE RAMBLER 11.6.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 11.6.2015

Hello dear rose friends … let’s go straight into GRA’S GARBLE because he’s telling us what to do when planting new roses in your garden…


  • Dig a really rough hole (with a fork so you don’t slice the worms … ouch!) at least 45 x 45cm (like about the length of your boot plus a bit)
  • Place the soil into a wheelbarrow and blend at least two shovels full of well composted medium to your existing soil
  • Put a bucket of water in the hole and let it soak in – you could add seaweed solution if you want
  • Fork the base and side walls of the hole so that the newly formed roots can easily penetrate the soil
  • Make a mound of soil and spread the roots of your new rose over that mound; backfill with the soil/compost blend
  • Tamp around the main stem with your boot so that the rose is very firmly planted right up to the bud union then add another layer of light soil
  • Soak the entire area with the hose then pour a watering can of seaweed solution over the plant and surrounding soil
  • Place layer of lucerne/pea straw mulch for about a square metre over the soil around the rose
  • Prune each stem down to 20-30cms in length then stand back and admire that you have given this new rose every possible goodness to get on with flowering!

This is the crown/bud union/scion … plant right up to where you see Virginia’s finger!


  • DO NOT put fertilizer of any description in the planting hole as it might burn the newly forming roots
  • DO NOT dig a perfectly square hole – rough walls allow roots and water to easily penetrate even heavy clay soils
  • DO NOT OVERWATER – if you soaked the soil to an absolute slurry at planting then watered over with seaweed solution, the rose should not require much water until shoots start to appear and even then, check soil moisture before watering no less than 20 litres per rose, per week – at each watering – deep soaking to root zone!

Q.  What do you call a skeleton that doesn’t get out of bed?  A.  (Easy peasy) LAZY BONES!


Yes, put all your garden weeds into a hessian bag (except the creepy-crawlies like couch grass just to be on the safe side!) and dunk the bag into a wheelie bin or other 30-40 litre receptacle with a lid – place in a sunny location away from the house!  It might stink!!!  Leave the bag soaking for at least three weeks.

Put 2-3 litres of brew into a watering can then fill it with water and pour liberally over garden beds and plants at least once a month – you could add seaweed powder/solution.

Since worms are in their breeding season from May to October, they will love this liquid feed; soil microbes will be increased and residual fertilizer is made readily available to plant roots by this application.

Grab a copy of a MOON PLANTING GUIDE which will indicate when is the most effective time to remove weeds from your garden and then use the weeds to productively increase the micro-culture of your soil – your roses and veggies will grow superbly!!!

Q.  Why did the skeleton run up a tree?  A.  Because the dog wanted his bones

This Sunday morning I’ll be on 3CR radio (855 AM band Melbourne) from around 8.00 and I would be pleased to take a call from you (03) 9419 8377 or (03) 9419 0155 then come along to a pruning demo in the afternoon at 2.00pm SUNDAY 14TH JUNE at SILKIES ROSE FARM.

There will be pruning demonstrations here at the Rose Farm continually through June/July and August – stay posted for a date in every edition of this R/R – see you soon … Gra


Thank you all for purchasing our stunning quality bare-rooted roses – please prune all the roses we are sending to you … they look like this when they arrive (we’re just bragging by selling them so BIG)

We urge you to prune them to 20-30cms stems when you plant them so they look like this which is what we do when we pot them:

No secrets anymore, we’ve started pruning … I suppose on the one hand you might say:  “if we don’t start now, how do we ever get the job done with such a lot of roses to prune?” but there’s also the variables of the weather to contend with – if we prune late, the new shoots may be damaged by severe October/November frost – there might be early frosts and we could be caught out … what the heck, we’re both ‘head down, bum up’ at every opportunity – come and watch us … and select some of the most amazingly beautiful bare-rooted roses while you’re here …

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



Hello dear rose friends … welcome to all the new subscribers – hope your journey with us is fun and assists you to grow beautiful roses in your garden!

Another month flew on by … winter is here now and this is TRADITIONAL ROSE SEASON – time for the roses to rest after a heady season of fragrant flowering; time to get nicked and tucked – pruned that is – or planted in anticipation of another glorious season.

Q. Name the four seasons?   A. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar.

Amazing moment of awe for me when Gra and son Eric drove into the Rose Farm last week with the van and a hire trailer loaded with 4,288 roses.  All needed dipping, labelling, sorting for orders – yes, a mammoth task but this year we are soooo organised and it will all be a breeze.  PLEASE wait for the phone call or email because not ALL the roses came in this consignment – standard roses will come in LATE JUNE!

Awesome quality – brilliant roses which are loved from the moment the understock is cut and planted, budded and then nurtured with quality fertilizer, seaweed solution and watering for the past two years – any wonder we don’t hesitate offering you a 100% guarantee that our roses will give you years of pleasure once planted in your garden.


PRUNING … ah, the moments when men grizzle about the prickles, ladies gripe – “he cut them way too much”.  Girls, take up arms – good sharp Lowe secateurs and a beaut pair of protective gloves which you can purchase in our online store at and get stuck into pruning your roses – it’s the best fun you’ll have in a long time!

Allow pruning your roses as an opportunity to release your pent up emotions and frustrations – be totally purposeful and make every single snip count – as you make each cut and remove the branch, toss out one less trouble in your life.  Pruning is very cathartic when you allow it to be.

Guys, you’re hereby given permission to stand back and watch – if this works in your household as it does in ours!  Here at the Silkies Rose Farm, I have my rose gardens and Diana has hers – I’m a gentle pruner, Diana is mercenary – both ways work for the roses!

Q. What does the word ‘benign’ mean?  A. Benign is what you will be after you be eight.

I’ll do the first ROSE PRUNING DEMONSTRATIONS here at

Bring your pruning equipment with you for assessment and sharpening
$15.00 per person – funds donated to CLONBINANE C.F.A.

With fine weather expected this weekend, come and join us for pruning and a cuppa to toast the Queen on her birthday!  You’re welcome to call 5787 1123 to book your place – see you then – Gra

ALLABOUTROSES.COM.AU is our website where you will find all back issues of ROSE RAMBLER and a host of helpful information about growing roses; there is an extensive ‘encyclopaedia of roses’ too!  It is my intention to see this as a location for interaction between our customers and for the site to be used as a great learning tool where we can share ideas, photos of your rose garden and generally make it the destination when you want to know all about roses – take a look and start sharing please.


Rug up and get down and dirty in your garden this weekend

~ Cheers from Diana, Graham and Mooi at Clonbinane

ROSE RAMBLER 28.5.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 28.5.2015

Hello dear rose friends … sometimes I do a bit of ‘googling’ and I found this brilliant article on EPSOM SALTS.  As you know, when we have something of interest worth sharing, we feel obliged to share … please do note that we HAVE NOT TRIALLED this product and hope that you will share with all subscribers how you go when you use it for your roses … I’m most interested in trialling this for weed eradication – I think it would work on a warm sunny day so let’s all give it a go and report back to R/R with results … can’t wait to hear from you …

  1. Improve seed germination … Give your garden a boost right from the start! Magnesium helps seed germination and strengthens cell walls. Incorporate one cup of salt per 100 square feet of soil or mix a tablespoon or two into soil at the bottom of each hole before dropping in seeds.
  2. Help nutrient absorption … Commercial fertilisers often add magnesium to help roots absorb nutrients so go straight to the source. Add Epsom salt to soil to improve absorption naturally.
  3. Turn yellow foliage green … Yellowing leaves are often caused by a magnesium deficiency, as magnesium is an essential component in the production of chlorophyll. Try sprinkling one-tablespoon of Epsom salt around the soil of your plants once a month. You could also mix one tablespoon of salt into three litres of water and spray directly on leaves.
  4. Prevent leaf curling… Leaf curling may also be caused by a lack of magnesium so add Epsom salt to the soil around the base of the plant or spray with the above mix of Epsom salt and water.
  5. Weed killer … This natural weed killer works a treat. Mix two cups of Epsom salt with four litres of vinegar. Add four tablespoons of liquid dishwasher and put mixture into spray bottle.
  6. Beautiful roses … It seems the secret to beautiful roses might just be Epsom salts. Not only do they help roses produce larger blossoms in greater numbers, it makes colour richer, foliage darker and stronger plants. When planting, soak roots in half a cup of Epsom salt diluted in three litres of water. Sprinkle Epsom salt in the hole prior to planting. Once per month during growing, sprinkle one tablespoon of Epsom salt per feet of plant height around the base of plant.


Following on from using Epsom Salts (Magnesium) let me tell you that there are FOUR ESSENTIAL “M’s” which need to be maintained in order for the soil to produce healthy, robust roses and they are:  MINERALS, MICROBES, MOISTURE and MULCH.

MINERALS – since most Australian soils are mineral deficient, I add rock dust at the rate of one handful per square metre to all garden beds at least twice a year.  I can prove it increases earthworm activity and definitely produces the best tasting fruit and vegetables whilst reducing fungus issues on our roses!

Q. What witches do you find in the desert?  A.  SandwiTches.

MICROBES – are essential to break down and make fertilizer available to plants.  You cannot see the microbes but they are in all healthy soil where compost and mulch are regularly applied and are a vital component for robust plant growth.

MOISTURE – during most winters we rely on rain to naturally supply the moisture necessary for our gardens to flourish however, it is imperative to be watchful!  Frost dehydrates plants so to reduce severe frost damage don’t hesitate turning the watering system on!

Q.  What do you call a witch who likes the beach but is scared of the water?  A. A chicken sandwiTch. 

MULCH – probably the most important “M” because it conserves and improves the dynamic of all the above!  Without mulch, moisture is evaporated, microbes cannot flourish and minerals will be depleted by soil erosion.  Never, ever remove mulch in winter to supposedly increase soil temperature!!!

For that matter, never, ever remove mulch FULL STOP – rather be diligent and add mulch of lucerne/pea straw/wheat straw/leaves/compost because mulch is such a vital component of healthy soil!

WHAT ARE THE VERY BEST RED ROSES you should have in your garden?

Here are a few of our favourites which are each very different but definitely sure to please if you love red roses in your garden and love to pick them for a vase:

Probably the best form of any red Hybrid Tea … stunningly healthy bush which always produces a bunch of roses which last forever in the vase.  Extremely healthy dark green foliage, lovely fragrance and unfading red red!

With a fragrance to die for, perfect form, dark, unfading red with black edges and a magnificent tall, healthy bush which produces blooms suitable for long-life in a vase, this rose meets all the criteria!

Our ‘most sold rose for 2014/15 season’ is an ‘old favourite’, probably the most ‘well-known’ RED rose and without doubt, a brilliant performer where you want a very tall, long-stemmed, highly fragrant dark red rose.

If you’re looking for the very best RED CLIMBING ROSE, you won’t ever do better than the supremely healthy, extraordinarily free flowering, most easy care DUBLIN BAY which has a light fragrance and very long-lasting blooms – awesome!


Things are ‘ramping up’ for a new rose season with our first consignment of roses being processed at the Silkies Rose Farm today so place your order online at or call me on (03) 5787 1123 – remember too, if you need advice about designing a rose garden at your place, we offer a FREE ROSE GARDEN DESIGN which can easily be done through email or bring your ideas, dimensions and some pics when you visit Clonbinane.

Our roses are 100% guaranteed to grow beautifully in your garden …
yeah, it’s a whole NEW ROSE SEASON …
cheers from Diana, Graham & Mooi at Clonbinane