ROSE RAMBLER 28.11.2013

ROSE RAMBLER 28.11.2013

Hello dear rose friends … the last days of Spring, 2013 and it really doesn’t quite feel like we are ready for Summer – crazy weather but the roses are growing beautifully and producing lots of magnificent growth and blooms.  On the glorious days when the air is still and the sun is shining on the potted roses in the nursery it is blissful to walk around and be intoxicated by the heady fragrance of the roses.

Pick a day like that to come to the Rose Farm … when you go through the ‘booze bus’ on the way home, you’ll register zero but might still be asked to “Please step out of the car and walk in a straight line” … they’ll know you’re high on something.


There are two really important tasks to be carried out right now in the rose garden – the hot weather WILL come:

  1. Check and repair, as necessary, the watering systems; and
  2. Buy quality lucerne or pea straw mulch for immediate application

Once you know the watering system is all ok and before you apply the thick layer of mulch around the roses, give each rose a good handful of complete organic fertilizer which will be spread over the entire root-zone of each rose bush – definitely not ‘dumped’ at the base of the rose!

When the fertilizer has been liberally distributed over the entire soil surface, apply a nice thick layer of quality mulch – in order of preference :

  1. Lucerne (ask for second or third cut because it will have fewer weeds)
  2. Pea Straw (if it seeds, just see this as an opportunity for another layer of mulch and know that once you have pulled the ‘pea weed’ out, it will not re-seed)
  3. Any other mulch material

Remember last Summer when it suddenly got intensely hot and our plants were totally unprepared for the onslaught?  Avoid this type of stress on the roses in your garden this year and be prepared for all weather variables – give regular doses of liquid seaweed which should avail your roses of between 3-5 degrees of greater heat stress tolerance.


Did you know that lemons are like roses?  They need the same amount of food and an even amount of watering.  Both LOVE liquid seaweed poured over their leaves and if you add 2 caps each of Eco-Oil and liquid seaweed, you’ll deal with most bugs too!

Rose petals and lemons are loaded with Vitamin C so squeeze half a lemon into a cup of warm water first thing in the morning – the acid tasting lemon alkalises your system.

Use rose petals in salads to give the dish some pizzazz.

While I’m talking about food, use lots of Turmeric in your chicken, beef or lamb dishes;  add garlic and onions – said to be anti-inflammatory (ie reduce face wrinkles) and reduces swelling associated with rheumatoid arthritis – also an antioxidant.  Look out for the bulbs like mini ginger in green grocers now – it can be grown in the southern states from November through to May.

Q. What do you do if you break your toe?  A. Call a toe truck!


We guarantee our roses for 3 months after purchase
We grow roses without using chemicals
We are specialist rose growers
We can send roses around Australia in the post all year – except to Tassie/WA
We sell all Australian-made products
We are a registered Sustainable Garden Centre
We are not cheap but we sell all types of top quality roses!

Check out our quality roses and products at

Hope to see you at Werribee this Sunday …


Graham’s wish for his 70th birthday was to spend the whole day in the State Rose Garden at Werribee … he’ll be there for two whole days because we are celebrating with our children and grandchildren at the Werribee Zoo Slumber Safari on Saturday and then, (by sheer coincidence), we have a site at the State Rose and Garden Show on Sunday (Vasili will be there too! Gra and Vasili in the same place will be a hoot so you must come!)

See you soon …
            ~ Diana, Graham and Mooi (say: MOY … not MOOEY – silly me for not thinking!)

The ‘Black Boy’ rose saga


Dear Diana and Graham,

You suggested emailing you with mystery rose images, and I’m very happy to oblige. The attached mystery red was sold to me as Alister Clark’s ‘Black Boy’ [I have the label still; it originally came from Rankins]. But a serious rosarian friend who has collected almost all Alister Clarks known saw the plant alone and told me this was not Black Boy. Seeing the blooms, it was obvious even to me that indeed it is not Black Boy, which is less double and has flimsy transparent untidy petals.

My plant is acting like a climber. It is a repeat bloomer and is very fragrant. I’m sorry it’s not Black Boy, because I am told my great grandfather had that rose growing in his garden on St Georges Rd in North Fitzroy, and I wanted to have it in his honour. But the rose I DO have is extremely nice in its opulent, velvety and rich way. I’d love to know what it really is.

Suggestions so far have included ‘Countess Of Stradbroke’, another A Clark, ‘Climbing Crimson Glory’ and ‘Climbing Chrysler Imperial’. I don’t think it’s Chrysler Imperial because the red is wrong. Mine is more pinkish crimson.

So I’d be grateful if people could cast their eye over my pics and give me the benefit of their knowledge.

I hope your stall at the show was a good experience and that you are reaping benefits. Thanks for bringing along the beautiful rugosas, which I had only ever seen as wintry looking bare roots, masses of fearsome prickes on hugely robust looking leafless twiggy plants, on a farm.

Best wishes,