ROSE RAMBLER 24.5.2018


Hello dear rose friends as we welcome the new season’s roses which are being sorted, labelled and very importantly, kept moist AT ALL TIMES during this processing!
You’ll be hearing from us soon if you have ordered bare-rooted roses –  please be patient and wait for us to contact you as some varieties are still in the ground … remember too, standard roses will ALWAYS BE DUG LATER … it will be July before we call you to advise posting or collection of orders which contain STANDARD ROSES!


Its time to be planting bare-rooted winter roses.  GIVE ROSES A BOOST TO START THEIR NEW LIFE in your garden by following these planting tips:

  • Dig a hole at least 50cms x 50cms and at least that deep so that the graft is just above the existing soil level;
  • Blend 30% of quality compost with the existing soil;
  • Scientific research has shown that mycorrhiza (good soil bugs) can be obtained from mulch/soil material around other plants in your garden so add a bucket full of this to the planting hole;
  • ALWAYS soak the newly planted rose with at least two buckets (20 litres) of water;
  • Add seaweed solution to the final bucket of water and continue seaweed applications at least every two weeks.

Q.  How can you tell a Martian would be a good gardener? A. They all have green thumbs. 

AWESOME CLIMBING ROSES … here are a few highly recommend ones which would nicely cover a stark fence and require very little in the way of support …


Q.  Which bird can never be trusted?   A. A lyre-bird. 

May the last days of autumn afford you the joy of stunning fragrant roses and amazing colour from the trees around you!  We’re revelling in the last blooms and the most gloriously colourful garden we’ve ever experienced here at Clonbinane!

Talk to you next week… meantime, enjoy the autumn colours all around you… Graham, Diana and the crew at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane… 
Cheers from us all here at SILKIES ROSE FARM, Clonbinane



Hello dear rose friends as we return home from a very special reunion at Mt Tamborine, QLD with Graham’s mates from his days in the Rover Scouts – a catch-up with many memories and laughs!


I hope all you Mums had a beautiful day last Sunday when your family celebrated your specialness!

Q.  What kind of sharks NEVER eat women? A. Man-eating sharks 

Diana likes to throw me an impossible task sometimes; this is one of them:  If I was only allowed to buy three roses this winter, which would I choose?

After much deliberation and writing down more than twelve varieties in a very short time, I ended up with these three:

UNCONVENTIONAL LADY – is one of the most exciting new climbing roses because not only does it flower very, very continually but it holds a lot of healthy foliage throughout winter – a really important aspect of covering an area which would enjoy winter foliage!  A very highly recommended rose!!!
MUNSTEAD WOOD Because I just LOVE this glorious rose which grows on a short hedge-row in my garden … it stops me EVERY time I walk past because I have to take a sniff and its flowering all the time!  My favourite David Austin Rose without a doubt!
KARDINAL I just have to have the most perfectly formed red rose in my garden so that I can pick bunches of long-stemmed blooms to fill vases for the kitchen bench throughout the flowering season and KARDINAL is so PERFECT!  It’s so long-lasting and if you get it at the right moment, yes, it does indeed have a fragrance too!

Be sure and write down your lists of preferred roses, make ‘wish lists’ and do your research so that when you plant, you hopefully get the planting right FIRST TIME.  It doesn’t always quite go to plan – read on:
Hi Diana, I was given ‘Perfume Passion’ two years ago. 

The label said it grew to 1.5 metres. After a year in the ground it just took off!  I’ve never seen such vigorous growth (apart from maybe ‘Best Friend’). 

Even with a good winter prune I’m finding it’s growing closer to 1.8 metres which is a bit too tall for its current position.
I can always move it but what I’m wondering is, how is the height of a rose determined? Regards – Jon


Sometimes, the height is determined by the fact that it just LOVES it at your place.  Seems that’s the case in this instance – see, I would say to another customer, yep, 1.2 – 1.5 for BEST FRIEND but I know for a fact that there are locations where the rose is growing to the eaves of the house and beyond, simply because it loves the position its planted in and, it was a quality rose from the start!

If your PERFUME PASSION is too large for the current location (it is flowering well I imagine?  ie. It’s not understock?) I recommend you move it to a place where it can do its thing!  Cheers – Graham


Send your plans, wish-lists and specifications to us at and we’ll be more than pleased to assist with organising your new or refurbished rose garden from design to soil preparation, rose selection and planting information.

There’s lots of information at but you’re welcome to call us on 03 5787 1123 any Fri Sat Sun or Mon 9.00am – 4.00pm if you would like to have a chat about anything to do with roses in your garden.

Talk to you next week… meantime, enjoy the autumn colours all around you… Graham, Diana and the crew at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane… 
Cheers from us all here at SILKIES ROSE FARM, Clonbinane

ROSE RAMBLER 16.3.2018

ROSE RAMBLER: 16th March 2018

Hello, dear rose friends … IT’S TIME TO GET ORGANISED FOR WINTER ROSE ORDERING … We invite you to peruse our online store which is now open for winter / bare-rooted rose ordering at 

If you want to order a rose which is not listed in our online store, please contact us at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane by phone:  (03) 5787 1123 or 0418 337 765.  We guarantee to return your email enquiry within 24 hours: and will do our absolute best to source ANY rose which might be available in Australia this winter!

It’s important to note that you can purchase JUST ONE ROSE from Silkies … there is no minimum purchase restriction!!!


Since I’m the ‘big boss’ in this business, let me offer this very special AUTUMN PROMOTION … naturally, it would be MY ROSE … GRA’S BLUE that I am offering UNTIL MARCH 31ST – BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE.

GRA’S BLUE was awarded BRONZE and MOST FRAGRANT ROSE in the National Rose Trial Grounds at Adelaide Royal Botanic Gardens in 2015 – you should definitely buy one – now you have an opportunity to have TWO FOR THE PRICE OF ONE!

This offer is available until MARCH 31ST or UNTIL SOLD OUT of current stock.

Q.  What do you get when you cross a centipede with a parrot?  A.  A walkie-talkie.


Yes, it’s time now to get your garden sorted for coming winter and if there’s a rose you absolutely MUST relocate, DO IT ANY TIME NOW … there are special considerations which apply to most old-fashioned roses
Hi Graham, I would like some advice on transplanting some roses.  I have three Mutabilis (R. Chinensis ‘Mutabilis’) bushes I want to move. They are each approximately 1m x 1m.  I have read more than once that Mutabilis resents hard pruning and have only everdead headed the 10 or so roses I have with good success.  My concern is how far back can I prune the roses for transplant. Obviously they are cut back by you when you dig them up and send them to me bare rooted, but I am still a bit spooked about killing them in the process!  I have never had a problem transferring other types of roses but would like some words of wisdom from you about Mutabilis in particular. Thank you for your help.

Kind Regards,  Sue

MY RESPONSE … At 1 x 1 metre I don’t think they’ve been in the ground for a long time so cut them to a MANAGEABLE size for transplanting … I don’t think you need to chop them back to bare-rooted size .. just what makes it easy for you … deep, deep soak them back into new location then seaweed three times a week for first three to four weeks … they’ll flourish.  You can do it any time now … cheers

I employ the HEAD AND HEART principle when transplanting roses!  Your intuitive powers (head) linked with care and concern for the rose (heart) connect; and if you take your time, rose transplanting can be conducted at ANY TIME of the year.

ECO-SEAWEED applications as recommended above:  three times a week for the first three to four weeks will, in most cases, ensure the rose gets over transplanting shock and goes on to be a thriving specimen in its new location.

I am applying ECO-SEAWEED every couple of days to newly potted cutting-grown roses and it’s been amazing to see the rapid development of these ‘baby’ roses!

As soon as I see lush new growth I will apply light applications of fertilizer pellets every couple of weeks until May when the plants will start to shut down due to our very cold weather here at Clonbinane.


Because of cooler nights where damp conditions and dew prevail, I urge you to protect your roses by implementing this program every fortnight but most definitely, at least monthly:
To 10 litres of water add:

  •    ¼ cup ECO ROSE (FUNGICIDE)
  •     Small scoop ECO-SEAWEED (or other seaweed product)

MIX THOROUGHLY and pour over roses or spray foliage to run-off – avoid spraying flowers as yes, the spray will mark rose petals.  You can add liquid FERTILIZER to this spray – it’s very important to fertilize your roses NOW in autumn.


Best laugh at yourself!  Forget exercise, love and money – the key to happiness could be learning to laugh at yourself.  Psychologists and researchers studying different styles of humour and personality tests found that those who make self-deprecating jokes had better mental health and were more sociable – my best mate Bazza is a testament to this theory!
We now enjoy laughing as we challenge each other to who will live longest!

Q.  What do you find in an empty nose?  A.  FINGERPRINTS … oooh, yukky boys joke!


It’s been some years since we offered these varieties:

Which has the most amazingly pretty waved-petal formation as the perfect Hybrid Tea bud opens and there is a lovely fruity fragrance also …


Was bred by Eric Welsh who offered us an amazing opportunity more than 30 years ago to introduce his TRACEY WICKHAM rose here in Victoria – this transitioned into the creation of SILKIE GARDENS ROSE NURSERY which 25 years later became SILKIES ROSE FARM at CLONBINANE and and now we are so very pleased to re-release one of Eric’s most beautiful miniature roses which is a prized possession with rose exhibitors … a truly magnificent miniature rose …


Is a lovely rose planted with other GUILLOT roses in our garden – the fragrance, the form, the beauty … entirely awesome …AVAILABLE BARE-ROOTED WINTER 2018

Is very special and very highly recommended for perfection and magnificent beauty on a strong, upright, healthy bush …



If you live around Sydney, you might plan a visit to the UPPER NORTH SHORE & HILLS REGION ROSE SHOW where I will be to sign copies of my book ALL ABOUT ROSES and hope to meet many customers who planted our roses in their gardens … if you have a special query such as a rose to id or an issue with any rose, bring specimens along and I will have a chat with you

Meantime, enjoy autumn in your rose garden …Diana, Graham and the crew at 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 18.1.2018


ROSE RAMBLER 18.01.2018 …

Hello dear rose friends – we’ll all cook today as local temperatures climb to 40 degrees so I hope you had an opportunity to deep soak your rose gardens during this past week?  I guess the roses will scorch but the great thing about them is that you can trim them this weekend and they’ll be glorious again within 45 – 60 days.


There are advantages to this hot dry weather – it ‘burns-off’ black-spot and mildew fungus spores which attack our roses during humid weather conditions and when foliage stays damp overnight – as it has most definitely been here during past weeks.

Q.  What lies at the bottom of the ocean and twitches?  A.  A nervous wreck.

Marianne emailed … “Hi and happy new year to your team ..  This summer with waves of high heat and then evening mists here in Braidwood, NSW, my roses have the worst black spot attack in years – l-ast week they had their monthly rose maintenance program as per your recipe but as the infection is so bad i think they would benefit from more frequent anti-fungal treatment.  In writing about black spot in your book you suggest that in humid conditions weekly application may be necessary – do you mean application of the full rose maintenance mixture or just the anti-fungal – I’m using eco-rose – and the eco-oil components mixed into 10 litres? I don’t want to make matters worse by over feeding them!!

My response:  “Yes, I was watering pots in the nursery this morning – we’re all in the same boat and I’m hoping tomorrow’s heat will burn-off the fungal attack … it’s such a difficult time when it’s ever so hot that you cannot apply the spray, then it’s damp/wet and you can’t apply the spray … I got lucky on Monday and sprayed but possibly too late because a lot of varieties have spotted foliage!

I will re-do the spray on Monday coming … perhaps you might use just the Eco-rose but always put in the Eco-oil (you can reduce the quantity of oil but you need it as a sticker/spreader/dispersant).

When I run a spray program I ALWAYS use the eco-seaweed – applied to the foliage it definitely aids in strengthening the foliage against disease … for the small amount you use, it’s worth adding I think!!!

Hope this is helpful.  Oh, and don’t be afraid to give them all a decent trim that retain as much foliage as possible … 1/3 off would be ok!  Cheers … GRAHAM


We have decided to hold off allowing bare-rooted roses to be purchased NOW but will reactivate the WISH LIST function to enable you to save the varieties you see when browsing.  Our reason for this delay is that it seems extreme to have you pay for roses which you won’t receive for at least 6 months!

In coming weeks we will show you pics of the 2018 New Release Roses which we have decided to offer this year – there are more than 60 available!  Since we have seen most of them in the field we promise to offer only varieties which we consider worthy of growing in your garden!

Posting roses has not slowed with lots of GIFT ROSES being sent when there is a family event to acknowledge – birth, death, marriage, anniversary or just to say:  “I care”.  Lots of customers are still buying roses for planting in their own garden – Jo was thrilled with the rose I posted recently:
“Hi Diana, The JUST JOEY rose arrived this morning and I have to say WOW! Thank you so much for such an awesome plant! It even had two flowers on it and the plant was much bigger than I had envisioned. Thank you so much for your prompt attention and the fantastic packaging!”

MY RESPONSE:  WOW back!   I love it when I get such great feedback from our customers and it all works so much better NOW than when Auspost were flooded in the Christmas lead-up and things went a bit pear-shaped and some customers get nasty … ooooh, I so hate that!  This is beautiful – just as it should be!  Thank you!  DIANA

Just Joey
Hybrid Tea rose with charming waved petals of creamy-buff-copper,
very free flowering habit – a true delight!


Whenever I plant into the garden, there are usually worms.  This past weekend I was planting a border of plants (getting ready for the Art & Roses Tour and lots of visitors to the Rose Farm in April).  Surprisingly, I didn’t see a worm but in reflection, that makes sense because even though our garden beds are well mulched, those worms are not silly.

The worms are way, way down in the soil – probably starting to sort out which mate they’ll entertain in their upcoming mating season.  Know they’re there if your soil is moist way down and the nutrients and mulch are ready in the upper layers.  Worms are such a vital ingredient of humus-rich soil and they will dig and aerate your garden for you if you provide the perfect environment for them!

Q.  Did I tell you the joke about the ceiling?  Oh, forget it … its way over your head!

Here’s a few pics of the loveliest roses flowering in our gardens today –

 Mary Rose
Prolific, bushy and has a great fragrance. Masses of loose petalled, double rose pink blooms appear throughout the season – you will not be disappointed.
Modern Shrub rose named for our very own Maggie Tabberer who is the patron of the Melanoma Foundation who receive the royalty payments from sales of this rose in Australia.


Don’t miss out! We’ll be hosting another Walk & Talk about the Rose Farm and tips and demonstrations about summer pruning over the next two weekends.

Come down and say hi!

Flowers and gloves


Saturday 20th of January, at 2.00pm
Sunday 28th of January, at 11.00am

Stay cool and we’ll talk to you again next week … If you have any queries, please email: and we’ll respond within 24 hours
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 21.12.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 21.12.2017 …

Hello, dear rose friends for the last Rose Rambler this year.  We enjoy compiling this newsletter and welcome your comments and information-sharing, ideas, your photos and emails – thank you so much for contributing – it makes the Rose Rambler a valued email when more than 3,500 interested rose gardeners receive it every Thursday morning around this time!

Being seasonally appropriate here’s GRA’S GARBLE starting with a joke:

 Q.  How do sheep greet each other at Christmas?  A.  A Merry Christmas to ewe!  (my question to this joke was:  so what do ‘boy’ sheep say? … “HO HO HO” – such a ‘boy’ response!)

Sally Holmes



Sally Holmes 

Rhapsody in Blue





Rhapsody In Blue

Gold Bunny




Gold Bunny




During our break, I’ll take a video of Diana doing summer pruning as she’s sure to have a different method to show you! We’ll keep everyone posted once this goes up!
There are some amazing roses in the nursery in case you’re thinking of dropping past for that last-minute Christmas present:–

We’ll be open this weekend as usual right up to 4pm on SUNDAY and Diana will pop a lovely gift-wrap on roses you’re purchasing for Christmas gifting.

Here’s my final funny one for this year …“Three men died on Christmas Eve and were met by Saint Peter at the pearly gates.

‘In honour of this holy season,’ Saint Peter said, ‘To get into heaven you must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas.’

The man from England fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter; he flicked it on. ‘It represents a candle’, he said.

‘You may pass through the pearly gates’ Saint Peter said.

The man from New Zealand reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, ‘They’re bells.’

Saint Peter said ‘You may pass through the pearly gates’.
The Australian started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women’s panties.

St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, ‘And just what do those symbolize?’

The Aussie replied, ‘These are Carols.’ “Keep smiling and enjoy your garden these holidays – Gra

It was such a pleasure to receive this email earlier in the week:

“Hi Diana, Ross picked up the rose and was overwhelmed with tears by the sentiment. He loved that it was called “FATHER’S LOVE” – so appropriate to remember the passing of his youngest son.
Its gifts like these that really do lighten the burden for those suffering the loss of a loved one. Thankyou rosesalesonline, for offering a truly wonderful service.

We’ll start posting roses again on FRIDAY, 5TH JANUARY, 2018 when we can rely on Auspost to once again deliver our magnificent roses in a timely fashion.
Obviously, the website is open and you can continue placing orders throughout our holiday time. Meantime, from our family to you and yours, we wish you MERRY CHRISTMAS along with good health and happiness throughout 2018 …

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 14.12.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 14.12.2017 …

Hello, dear rose friends for the second last …


… since it’s even more ‘silly season’ this week than last week, let’s lighten your mood with a joke … Q. Why did the man run around his bed?  A. Because he was trying to catch up on his sleep!

With the Christmas holidays looming, we’ll all be able to catch up on some sleep and enjoy quiet time at home – hopefully, you’ll make time for moments in your garden so here are a few TIPS FOR SUMMER ROSE GARDEN MANAGEMENT –

  • Watering roses is about DEEP-SOAKING at least 20 litres (or more) per weekly watering event so that water reaches way deep down into the root zone;
  • Watering should be carried out preferably in the early morning or up until 2 pm but NEVER in the evening when foliage is likely to be wet at sunset which can incur black-spot and mildew or rust on foliage;
  • Treat your garden to an application of quality fertilizer, especially since recent rains have leached a lot of nutrients from the soil;
  • Groom your roses … continually remove spent flowers and as a general rule-of-thumb, prune 1/3 of each rose stem during summer pruning – next week I will include a video of my PRUNING DEMONSTRATION – come along to the Rose Farm at Clonbinane this SUNDAY, 17TH DECEMBER commencing at 1.00pm.
  • Hot/dry weather conditions will ‘burn off’ fungal diseases like black-spot and mildew; if your roses are plagued by diseases you should continue to apply the organic rose management spray program – use it early in the morning and NEVER if the temperature is expected to exceed 28 degrees!
  • Most insects which cause issues for roses will hopefully decline in numbers – ‘white-fly’ which have been rampant this past season may still need to be kept in check with ECO-NEEM and ECO-OIL sprays – I suggest you avoid lethal chemicals!


  • Go cow-padding with your family for a fun day out in the country air – collect bags of dried manure to take home to your garden for mulch.  Be sure and check with the property owner prior to entering private property!
  • Plant seedlings along a garden border – perhaps some veggie/herb seedlings in small pots or for a real novelty, drill holes in the sole of shoes which the kids have grown out of and plant them with pansies/petunias/lobelia or other flowers!


An email from Jo prompted me to offer this advice about the two spray units we use here –

Hello Jo … I possibly overlook suggesting this:  ALL SPRAY EQUIPMENT MUST BE THOROUGHLY CLEANED AFTER EACH USE!  We actually use TriNature floor cleaner (Optimate) and disinfectant (Sphagnum Moss) spray in the tank after each use.

This ensures the spray head and line are also thoroughly cleaned because of the oil component in the mix!     We have had a 15 litre backpack spray unit SOLO which has been very reliable for more than 15 years and parts readily available if/when the repair was necessary.

I never fill it to capacity because I couldn’t carry it and we use it predominantly for SLASHER weed killer and it is also used for BIODYNAMIC PREPARATION SPRAYING.

The unit we use in the nursery is a 50 litre SWAGMAN BATTERY POWERED SPRAY UNIT … it has served us extremely well for at least 10 years with only one new spray arm replaced due to mishandling – it’s a trolley and can be easily pulled around.

hardi Container with weedkiller

NEVER use GLYPHOSATE products (ROUNDUP) in the spray unit which you use for spraying your roses!

Q. What do you get when you cross a parrot with a pig?  A. A bird who hogs the conversation!


Which just might get you out of trouble at the very last minute and available until New Year’s Eve …


Xmas Voucher





Really?  Recently we’ve had several requests for black roses – we’ve been shown pics from Facebook of very dark, yes, almost black blooms –we think the stems might have been placed in black dye– you could try doing that.  When I experimented several years ago with dye using ICEBERG (white) roses, it didn’t occur to me to use BLACK but the colours I used were successful as you can see in the pics below.

Coloured Roses

The colours intensified the longer the roses were in the dye and I could have made a very strong solution for greater colour intensity. Back to BLACK ROSES … the darkest, most highly fragrant rose available in our nursery is PAPA MEILLAND as when it first opens, the petals are black/red and the outer petals retain that dark hue right to the end – this picture was taken by Judith in Kyneton yesterday:
Judiths Papa Meillandnursery of Papa Meilland

(Left: Judiths Papa Meilland




 Right: picture from nursery of Papa Meilland)
In praise of this magnificent rose, if you love the fragrance and darkest red combination in a rose, then grow PAPA MEILLAND!


When it all gets too busy and you’ve had enough, pick up your secateurs and close out all of everything and go and trim your roses … speak with them while they tell you about themselves – a more interesting conversation could not ever be had!

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

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Our mailing address is:

Rose Sales Online

550 Crn Spur and McDonald’s Rds

ClonbinaneVictoria 3658


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ROSE RAMBLER 7.12.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 07.12.2017 …

Hello, dear rose friends after an amazing weather event here at Clonbinane where we recorded more than 160mm of rain since last Thursday.  It was ‘nice’ rain as it fell quietly and simply rained day and night!  Of course, the blooms are damaged so we’ll have a massive program of ‘summer pruning’ and in order for you to learn all about it, come for a demo this Saturday.


Bring your secateurs for a sharpen and general check and wet-weather shoes to walk into the gardens where it’s still sopping wet!  If you have a rose flower you want to be identified, bring that along too!


Since it’s the silly season, let’s start with a joke

Q. What do you call an attractive pig?  A. A good snort. 

Enjoy your Christmas ham!

CONGRATULATIONS To Gary, Steve and the team at ORGANIC CROP PROTECTANTS who distribute our organic rose management products.They recently released product SLASHER ORGANIC WEEDKILLER is a recognised winner … read the press release:We’re super excited that SLASHER ORGANIC WEEDKILLER has picked up not one but two prestigious awards!  After 10 years of research and product development, it’s incredibly rewarding to have our work recognised by these awards.

Here are the details:

Organic Product of the Year – 2017 Organic Consumer Choice Awards Organic Product of the Year (Non-Food) – 2017 Australian Organic Annual Awards for Excellence

SLASHER was one of 18 finalists in the Organic Consumer Choice Awards which are voted for by the public. Once all votes were tallied SLASHER was the standout winner. Big thanks to all that voted!!! It is particularly satisfying to see so much public support for the product given the short time it has been on the market.

 It’s a further sign that more and more people are opting for safe organic options compared to questionable chemicals. The Australian Organic Annual Awards for Excellence are run by Australia’s largest organic certifying organisation Australian Organic (formerly called the Biological Farmers of Australia – BFA).

To be shortlisted and then win is a big nod from the organic industry that SLASHER is a quality product. Weeds are one of the biggest challenges facing organic farmers and we are pleased that SLASHER is there to help

To celebrate this victory and encourage you to use SLASHER rather than harmful glyphosate weedkillers, we’ll take $5 off every 1-litre bottle until current stock is runout.  We do have 5-litre packs available for pick-up at the Rose Farm – they’ll also be reduced by $5 through December – a keen gardener would be thrilled to receive this product as a Christmas gift!


“Hi there … Firstly, my roses are doing really well – thank you … just a quick question though. They are putting up a couple of quite long shoots with flower buds on top of them – much longer than the bush itself is.  Is this OK – what should I do re “pruning” these, either now or after the flowers have come out??  I might have to stake them up I think, they are so long.”  Many thanks – Lyn

My response to Lyn … they’re watershoots carrying heads of flowers and yes, you might have to stake them in these blustering weather conditions – we lost a lot in this past week … but ah, well, good pruning today will recover them and we’ll have magnificent flowers again in January!

New watershoots

(Two lush branches on the left side are NEW WATERSHOOTS, three other branches are older watershoots and would be the first pruned out in favour of the two newer watershoots) If you see these shoots emerging in future, you might give them a trim ‘on the way upwards’ and this will stop them growing so high and the watershoot will branch out more in line with the overall bush height …

watershoots 2

You’re obviously doing everything ‘right’ by producing such healthy roses so loaded with blooms … enjoy!
I will teach you WATERSHOOT MANAGEMENT during the SUMMER PRUNING DEMONSTRATION and also show you the difference between WATERSHOOTS and SUCKERS so you’ll be able to successfully manage both in your rose garden.

Here are my top picks for a GIFT ROSE this Christmas …

Just $73.90 delivered to your door by Australia Post …

Dark desiredouble delightapricot nectar

Heaven ScentAbraham Darby

(Top: Dark Desire Middle Left: Double Delight Middle Right: Apricot Nectar Bottom Left: Abraham Darby Bottom Right: Heaven Scent)
Diana and her crew of ‘ reindeers ’ will be busy gift wrapping and boxing any rose of your choice until the last posting on MONDAY, DECEMBER 18TH … order NOW and if you have to care for a rose prior to gifting on Christmas Day, just pop it in a sunny location and water it every morning – do trim spent flowers prior to gifting so it looks lovely!


After such a rain event, it is important to take any opportunity (when the weather is predicted to be below 30 degrees) to apply the organic rose management program:To 10 litre bucket of water add:

¼ cup ECO-ROSE (FUNGICIDE) dilute with a burst of water then add

¼ cup ECO-OIL (INSECTICIDE / STICKER) reduce to ½ strength in hot weather

1 scoop ECO-SEAWEED POWDER or follow directions on pack of your preferred seaweed product!

MIX THEM ALL TOGETHER AND SPRAY TO RUNOFF OR POUR OVER PLANTS MONTHLY or more frequently if pests or disease are apparent. If a rose has succumbed to disease infection or just looks poorly after massive flowering and inclement weather conditions, give it a good prune, deep-soaking water and apply organic rose management spray – within weeks it will be flowering again!

I am hearing more and more people talk about how ‘EASY’ roses are!  They’ve certainly been hammered by all sorts of weather this past six months and when I open my eyes each morning and look out over the rose garden here, I am constantly reminded of their hardiness and magnificent beauty!

See you this weekend for the first SUMMER ROSE MANAGEMENT DEMONSTRATION – there will be one more before Christmas on 17th December and I will schedule another couple through January when you can bring the kids along too …  In closing:

Q.  What kind of snacks do noses like? A. SNEEZLES

… have a great week and take time out to smell the roses – especially now during this busy time of year.

Happy Festivities from Graham, Diana and the lovely team who make and SILKIES ROSE FARM at CLONBINANE your TOTAL ROSE EXPERIENCE …

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

PAY ONLY $25.00 FOR 600g PACK ECO SEAWEED – RRP $32.50 Extremely Concentrated Powder – Makes 1200 litres of solution – Add Your Own Water! Superbly Economical – Supremely effective on all plants!

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

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.