ROSE RAMBLER 30.11.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 30.11.2017 …

Hello, dear rose friends and HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRAHAM from all of us who appreciate your crazy jokes and GRA’S GARBLE contributions to this weekly email!
I know for sure that without Gra’s weekly reminder to use ECO-SEAWEED*, advice on how to ‘dig and dung’, mulch and water – all the cultural information about roses which he gathers and shares so happily – none of us would grow such fabulous roses!
It’s Graham’s shout to celebrate his Birthday and celebrate this last day of spring …

Eco grow seaweed

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Photos at Clonbinane …

Because we’re busy celebrating this special day together, here are some lovely photos of what’s going on here at CLONBINANE …
Cooper And Logan

Left: Cooper And Logan ( Grandkids) Enjoying Mud And Water Down By Sunday Creek

A Daughter’s Gift


 Right: A New Release Rose Of Such Impeccable Beauty – A Daughter’s Gift



Pierre De Ronsard

Left: What Pierre De Ronsard Looks Like Here Due To Late Frost




What Pierre De Ronsard Looks Like During A Normal Spring


 Right: What Pierre De Ronsard Looks Like During A Normal Spring / Summer Flowering

Your dogs are welcome at Silkies Rose Farm – please remember to bring their lead as we often have chooks free-ranging in the gardens …


Rio (Left) visited last weekend and Judy has promised to bring–




Pierre & Hugo



  Pierre & Hugo (left) again soon






we’ll have a photo shoot with these two handsome dudes posing with our little “Mooi”. (left)


The silly season is always a crazy busy period for us and the postie so a reminder to get your orders in early! Our last rose orders will be sent out on Monday 18th December, 2017 so remember to get your orders in before then.

xmas truck


SPECIAL CHRISTMAS VOUCHERLooking for the perfect Christmas Gift idea? Our special Christmas voucher is back!

Spoil them $100 Gift Voucher this Christmas and get a BONUS $20 on top for spending! (Total value $120.00)


The Christmas voucher can be redeemed for products on or at Silkies Rose Farm. Click here to order now.
ALL ABOUT ROSES A reminder that my book, ALL ABOUT ROSES has been reprinted – grab a copy today as a signed copy will be a PERFECT gift for the rose gardeners in your life this Christmas!

all about roses book

GIFT ROSES Know which rose you’re after? Why not send it as a gift rose! For just $73.90 we will send a gift wrapped, flowering rose of your choice*, beautifully presented with a card and your message in our custom designed box.

gift roses

We’re off now to celebrate Graham’s birthday and the last day of Spring! Breakky by the beach and a lovely drive over the Dandenong Ranges shall make a great birthday day out!
Many thanks to our hard-working Silkie Gardens & Rose Sales Online team for keeping everything operational whilst we’re out of the office (rose garden!)

ROSE RAMBLER 23.11.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 23.11.2017 …

Hello, dear rose friends from the most spectacular gardens here at Clonbinane – gosh but how lots of sunshine and heat turned our garden into a magnificently special place.   If you live within driving distance, do make an effort to come and walk in our garden soon – if you want to visit with a group, please contact us:  (03) 5787 1123 every FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY and MONDAY … we are happy to host a group on days other than our designated open days butYOU MUST BOOK AN APPOINTMENT!

Thank you!!! It’s my rose enthusiast neighbour who couldn’t seem to find the ST. PATRICK rose. Thanks for such a lightning quick response!       By the way, the roses I’ve ordered from you in the past are going gangbusters this year! I’ve been going into the garden and telling them how beautiful they look. Thank you!
I received an email of worry about delivery of a rose which was taking a little longer than normal so I responded accordingly:
“Hello, Pauline … AustPost is an amazing operation ???  One week, it takes two days to travel thousands of k’s and the next it takes ten days to get just a little way!  I cannot send you AustPost tracking number without a mobile phone number – here is the AustPost tracking number – the parcel is in Chullora so will be delivered on Monday … very tardy!     So sorry for the delay but VERY confident the rose will be lovely on arrival though, as we wet them thoroughly prior to posting … please let me know … cheers – Diana”
Thank you, Diana, I can now tell you the Rose arrived in Sydney Friday 7.30 am & was finally delivered at 10 35 am this morning. My sister in law has told me it is “alive” & beautiful. Many thanks for your services, & your confidence it would be intact on delivery. Thank you once again, Pauline

Do remember to take a quiet moment to walk in your garden and indeed ‘talk’ to your plants while you admire their beauty … they know exactly what you’re saying!
BOOKS FOR CHRISTMAS … FLORILEGIUM stock a most amazing range of horticultural publications so if you’re looking for an ideal present for the garden enthusiast in your life, go shopping with Gil and his team

BOOKS MAKE THE BEST GIFTS (Especially for gardeners!)

Gil Teague at Florilegium says:  “I’m very enthusiastic about this year’s crop. There are some major Australian contributions to the literature” so I suggest you take a look and purchase a book for Christmas this year …   or   02 9571 8222

My book, ALL ABOUT ROSES has been reprinted – go to as a signed copy will be a PERFECT gift for the rose gardeners in your life this Christmas!


Hi Diana,  You would have identified this in an instant as Delbard’s RED INTUITION,  rather than SOUL SISTER

Red Intuition

Soul Sister

as ordered and labelled.  However, like the kitten or stray dog that wanders in and works its way into your affections, this rose has won me over with its beautiful shadings and fragrance. So if you are happy to forget about the mix-up, I am more than happy to let it keep its place in my garden and find another spot for SOUL SISTER, which I will order for 2018.
Some things are meant to be!  Cheers … Elaine

Q. Where do spirits go to send their mail?  A. The ghost office!

If you’re feeling BLUE, go gardening … there are lots of research papers presented which reflect the value of regular and frequent engagement with the environment – it’s quite clear that gardening is great for mental health treatment and recovery.

Over the years, I have heard customers say:  MY GARDEN IS MY DOCTOR.  If you experience moments of sadness and a sense of “I’m not important …” go visit with your roses and they’ll let you know that you are ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL – they want you to trim, fertilize, mulch, perhaps spray the organic roses management program – they’ll be asking for you to turn the hose on and soak them now that the weather has turned into hot and sunny!

You are most definitely EXTREMELY IMPORTANT in your garden – get out there and enjoy the sunshine, hold the hose to water your roses – it’s like a meditation in the morning but YOU have to do it!

Plan what you’ll plant where on another adventure in your garden – it might be potting some herbs, perhaps tomatoes for harvesting this summer … the value of planning SOMETHING is enough to get you out into the sunshine and motivated about your future!

In closing, just for a giggle, here’s another joke:

 Q.  What has teeth but does not bite?  A. A zipper …

Enjoy the glory of your rose garden this spectacular spring …


Cheers from us all here at SILKIES ROSE FARM, Clonbinane


ROSE RAMBLER 16.11.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 16.11.2017 …

Hello, dear rose friends … phew … another busy week is done and dusted with lots of happy customers enjoying their roses this magnificent season – it was such a joy to be displaying our potted roses surrounded by glorious rose gardens at Werribee State Rose Garden this past weekend.
Tova and I loved all the moments we shared with those who came to our site – it was delightful to have our very own GARDENETTE, Chloe, sharing her gardening knowledge with customers who are interested in organic garden management.



Q. What do skeletons order at restaurants?  A. Spare ribs … yuk!

Here are a few pics of roses our customers have sent this past week … thank you to you all for sharing!We just know you’re having a most sensational flowering season – enjoy the happiness!










Haejin’s NAHEMA



Haejin’s NAHEMA



I think it’s important to repeat how you can prevent the risk of your roses incurring the most common fungal disease infection:

  • PLANT ROSES IN FULL SUN – no less than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day
  • PLANT ROSES IN WELL VENTILATED SPACE – wind will dry wet foliage
  • WATER APPROPRIATELY – never water over foliage from 3 pm onwards
  • CHECK SOIL MOISTURE – roses hate wet feet constantly but love deep-soaking
  • SELECT DISEASE-RESISTANT VARIETIES – yes, some roses are definitely healthier!

Now is a great time to research varieties of roses you want to plant in your garden – don’t just look at pretty flowers, look at the WHOLE BUSH.  Visit the State Rose Garden in your state, take pictures and notes.
When you photograph a rose, photograph the plant label so you remember the name of each rose!

Hi, Diana and Graham, Just to say thank you and how much we enjoyed our morning tour of your wonderful rose farm and rose nursery.  Everything was so healthy and glossy leaved and so much to learn as we walked with you.  Again many thanks, Whittlesea Garden Club.

ROSE RAMBLER 9.11.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 09.11.2017 …

Hello, dear rose friends as another Melbourne Cup came and went – today ladies are out celebrating OAKS DAY – we donated table centres for YEA OAKS DAY where in past years our roses have raised significant funds for the Ambulance Service at Yea and district – hope the girls have a great day out!

I think they might well change the name of MELBOURNE CUP to MELBOURNE FESTIVAL OF HORSES AND ROSES – weren’t the roses spectacular in television coverage?

This weekend we’re exhibiting at VICTORIA STATE ROSE GARDEN SHOW at WERRIBEE – home also of the WERRIBEE PARK NATIONAL EQUESTRIAN CENTRE, WERRIBEE MANSION and WERRIBEE OPEN RANGE ZOO – a magnificent destination in Victoria and I urge you all to come and visit WERRIBEE this weekend – it is SPECTACULAR IN THE EXTREME


Let me start with a joke … Q. Which of the witch’s friends was good at baseball?  A. The bat
Your roses are growing rampantly now – most will be flowering so it’s important to fertilize with the best quality fertilizer you can buy – go to your local supplier and be advised by what is locally available.  If you’re driving by Clonbinane, call in and collect our COF (complete organic fertilizer) which you can liberally apply to ALL THE PLANTS IN YOUR GARDEN – except Australian Natives!
Healthy, well-fed plants usually indicate healthy foliage – sometimes things go wrong and here is what the LEAVES ON ROSES are indicating …


Really nothing you need to worry about since it is evident when roses are growing voraciously and then it seems to be less indicated … we don’t recommend propagating roses with MOSAIC VIRUS and there is no spray or cure to eradicate it!

Mosaic Virus
Mosaic Virus


A sign of old foliage on lower leaves/stress from lack of fertilizer on newer foliage / moist foliage overnight – generally can be corrected by trimming, fertilizing, deep-soaking watering to promote new foliage and flowering!  Remember that you lose hair and skin EVERY DAY … BLACK SPOT is the mechanism for a rose to lose old foliage – it is up to you to prune!

Black spot (left) and Rust (right)
Black spot (left) and Rust (right)


Is usually evident on the underside of rose foliage where there is almost no ventilation and very damp conditions prevail.  Rose plants are very debilitated by this fungus and it can spread rampantly.


Will occur where there is little or no sunshine, very little air-flow or foliage is constantly wet.  Disease can be eliminated by increasing ventilation – removing ground-covering perennials/annuals/other plants clear to 20cms from the base of roses, shifting shaded roses into a sunny location and NEVER WATERING after 3 pm so that foliage is not wet during the night!

Powdery Mildew
Powdery Mildew
I urge you to use our recommended preventative ORGANIC ROSE MANAGEMENT SPRAY PROGRAM at least monthly to reduce any incidence of disease on your rose plants …
To 10 litres of water add:

You can also add liquid fertilizer to this mix!  Vigorously shake the solution, add water to 10 litres volume and shake again.  Spray over foliage and underside where possible – avoid spraying open flowers if you can as the droplets will be evident on rose petals!


It is extremely important to offer roses conditions which reduce plant stress and ensure they flourish which avoids the need to use the ORGANIC ROSE MANAGEMENT SPRAY too frequently:

  • Water at least 20 litres per plant ONCE EVERY WEEK if there is no rain
  • Fertilize regularly – every 8-12 weeks sprinkled lightly over entire root-zone
  • Mulch garden beds to regulate soil temperature and retain moisture levels
  • Apply ECO-SEAWEED solution whenever you feel inclined!


Q. Which musical instrument do skeletons play?  A. Trom-Bone … ha, ha!


Yes, I’ve got LANGSHAN chickens with their clucky hen mothers, lots of ducklings are venturing from our swale to the neighbour’s dam and although the Magpie bub is well and truly faring for itself, we’ve got pardalotes, wrens and finches all showing off with their fledgelings.
This is a spring of unprecedented joy with an abundance of production – last Tuesday was our last minus 1 frost and we hope it’s the last for this year as we want to plant veggies where the roses were heeled-in this past winter … such an ideal location because excess water from the nursery runs directly to this area.  Hope you’re planting veggies too!
Here are a few pics of spectacular roses in the nursery NOW …

THE OPPORTUNITY ROSE is a profuse bloomer, the habit is compact and a little over knee high. The medium sized buds have attractive form, the rich variable copper shades are not prone to premature fading. It has very high resistance to blackspot when compared to neighbouring varieties and a distinct light fragrance.

THE GOLDEN CHILD magnificent Modern Shrub Rose produces masses of bright canary yellow clusters of fragrant blooms on a beautifully healthy shrub with glossy mid-green foliage and magnificent crimson new foliage – highly recommended rose!

MUNSTEAD WOOD –  David Austin Modern Shrub Rose with large dark crimson heavily petalled and very fragrant blooms continually.  Very suited to pot-planting for a patio.  Ideal as a hedge-row.

Revel in the beauty of your spring garden and we’ll see you at Werribee this weekend or soon at Clonbinane …


Cheers from us all here at SILKIES ROSE FARM, Clonbinane
Within 500 metres of the CLONBINANE INTERCHANGE on the Hume Freeway, 60 kms north of Melbourne Open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday – 9am – 4pm Phone 03 5787 1123


ROSE RAMBLER 02.11.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 02.11.2017 …

Hello dear rose friends as this month throughout Victoria heralds the start of our flowering season and we’re flowering magnificently here at Clonbinane.  After the most amazingly freezing cold winter our roses have bolted – glorious healthy foliage and early-flowering specimens heralding the joy of what we can expect to see in coming weeks.


I’m not a gambler but I would bet this season promises to be one of the BEST SEASONS in many years of rose growing … the flowers are HUGE and if it isn’t windy, the fragrance is HUGE too!

Q. Why do witches ride on brooms?  A. Because vacuum cleaners are too expensive!

I’m ever so glad I elected to find an organic alternative to rose management when we first started growing roses – here’s an email exchange you might enjoy after Fiona ordered the organic rose management pack at and we confirmed her order and offered advice should she need it …

“Thanks, Diana and Graham – I have over 50 roses and 2 small children, so am really hoping an organic program will work to keep the aphids at bay without being too toxic for the family.  We are on a farm with Lucerne near the house and I think between the Lucerne and the roses, the aphids think they have found heaven!  It will just be a matter of making the time to do the regular spraying”  – Peter and Fiona”

My response:

You know what Fiona … I’m in exactly the same kind of location as you with paddocks and grasses all around the rose gardens!  I was out mowing lawns tonight … I don’t think I needed to eat when I came in for dinner as I reckon I ingested so many bugs – I’m told they’re jassids/leafhoppers rather than ‘whitefly’ (which would potentially cause massive issues on rose plants in the nursery!!!).     Out in the gardens, we have a mega army of workers eating everything … our birds are amazing and I feel I would deprive them of delicious dining if I was to spray the gardens … obviously, we have to keep the potted roses ‘clean’ so we spray regularly in the nursery!

There is absolutely NOTHING TOXIC in the OCP products which we promote and have used in our rose growing for more than 28 years!  We’ve only been growing roses for 31 years and decided that if we had to use all the lethal cocktails of chemicals to grow roses then we wouldn’t grow them … that sent us on a journey of exploring the possibilities and introduced us to many wonderful people who shared our passion to work WITH MOTHER NATURE.

It’s been a joy to share our experience with many, many rose gardeners who happily grow beautiful roses who accept the fact that sometimes after a magnificent flowering, rose foliage gets black-spot and defoliation might follow.  With a quick prune, quality fertilizer and deep-soaking watering the rose will continue flowering!   I’m so glad you’re purchasing the organic rose management products we use and highly recommend – you’ll show your kids the beauty of ladybirds mating and feasting on aphids in your healthy garden!


Aphids and Ladybug
Aphids and Ladybug

More information from an email exchange:

“Dear Diana and Graham, I bought NAHEMA and RENAE from you last winter and both are looking good. NAHEMA has shot up the fence to the trellis (1 metre off the ground), and I’ve trained her two leading canes sideways along the base of the trellis. Both canes now have several big fat buds which will pop soon. I can’t wait. She has a ‘water shoot’ growing from the base right next to one of the leading canes. Do I remove it from the base, or do I let this grow up to become another leading cane?”


RENAE has sat quietly muttering to herself all winter. She now has suddenly decided that life is good, and has sent out a number of fresh new shoots. I remember you (or someone) said of climbers: ‘The first year they sleep, the second year they creep, the third year they leap’. RENAE is just waking up, but she’ll be a beauty by year three.

I’m hoping to come out to Clonbinane shortly to see all your roses in their glory.”

Thank you for introducing me to Nahema and Renae. I’m enjoying them both already — and that’s before they flower! Happy gardening, Stefanie



State Garden and rose show
State Garden and rose show
The STATE ROSE & GARDEN SHOW is just around the corner so a magnificent display is assured.  Don’t miss their 5th year!

11th & 12th November 2017, open 10am – 4pm Victoria State Rose Garden   Gate 2, K Road, Werribee South VIC

Visit for more information.

A joke in closing this week …

Q. Which room do ghost houses never have?  A. THE LIVING ROOM!  

Enjoy all the glory of your roses flowering now … if you need advice please email your questions to: and we promise a response within 24 hours.

Come for a drive to Clonbinane soon … cheers from MOOI who knows the value of a mulched garden!



Cheers from us all here at SILKIES ROSE FARM, Clonbinane