Hello dear rose friends as we enter the last weeks of autumn and the cold weather is starting to shut down our rose flowering for this season – we’ve already had some below zero frosts here at Clonbinane!

This is a very brief Rose Rambler offering you a chance to go into a draw for a spectacular MOTHER’S DAY GIFT PACK which includes the following:

* Chair not included

DE WIT (Made in Holland) 4 Tine Garden Fork ($75.00), ALL ABOUT ROSES book ($30.00), LOWE SECATEURS ($62.50) along with our favourite rose gardener’s glovesorganic rose management pack and a ROSE BUSH of your choice – TOTAL VALUE $300(includes pack/post if necessary!)

ALL CORRECT ANSWERS to Graham’s joke will be placed in a draw for this great MOTHER’S DAY GIFT PACK to be drawn at the Rose Farm on MONDAY, 7TH MAY at 9.30am (so that it can be posted in time for Mother’s Day gifting).

When answering the joke via email to: please don’t forget to include your name, phone number and postal address!

Here’s the joke Graham chose:


Have a great week in your garden and we’ll be back with lots of rose garden talk next week … cheers from Graham, Diana and the team at Clonbinane.



Hello dear rose friends as we bask in the glory of autumn and our rose garden looks its most majestic best and we enjoy planting a new area of garden with all the potted roses we ‘snavelled’ from stock throughout this past season!


I haven’t been able to help myself – madly planting lots of kale and silver beet, the pansy border is done and I’ll definitely get the team to assist with planting more roses in MY GARDEN BED!  The last few bulbs will go in this week too and I expect a truly magnificent display coming spring.

Q.  What do you call a cow with no legs?  A.  Ground beef!

We all have a different style and approach to gardening – mine is random and without order, Diana is orderly and tidy – she weeds and mulches in timely fashion and usually according to moon phases so HER gardens usually look neat and well-tended. Neither of us ‘over think’ colour blending because we know from experience that all the colours work together … I guess we complement each other in our different styles of gardening yet we definitely appreciate OUR OWN GARDEN while we work the entire property very much as a team!

Q.  Why did the Math book look so sad?  A.  Because it had so many problems!

If you need a hand with selecting rose varieties or planning a rose garden this winter, please don’t hesitate to send your wish-list and some pictures, perhaps a rough mud-map with dimensions so that we can assist you to plant the rose garden of your dreams!
I hope you’re planting your garden in readiness for a mass of winter veggies and colourful display with annuals such as pansies –

Be sure to plant some more roses in your garden during this most ideal season for rose planting!

While the soil is warm, the roses will settle well before a light winter pruning and perform as well-established roses when they flower this coming spring.  Perhaps my spontaneous SPECIAL OFFER will prompt you to come and do WALK ‘N’ TALK IN THE GARDEN WITH GRAHAM THIS COMING SATURDAY AND SUNDAY AT 1.00 PM EACH DAY – BRING KIDS AND PETS ON A LEAD Here’s my SPECIAL OFFER …


Here are a few suggestions of roses which are performing at their absolute autumn BEST in the nursery NOW





EMAIL FROM JUDY: PERFUME PASSION is my new favourite! …

Hi Diana …Hope you are well!  The perfume is to die for…gorgeous form…red new growth…healthy, no bugs…what more could you want? 😊

People often ask us which rose is our favourite – both of us genuinely love roses for their enduring beauty, continual flowering, amazing fragrances and simply because they afford us such enormous pleasure in our gardens!  We each have lots of favourites … you’re welcome to share your favourite with us and other RR subscribers – send a pic!

Just for an extra giggle to overlook the RR mess last week:  Q.  What did Mozart get when he ate baked beans? A.  Classical gas!

Enjoy this last week of April and hope we see you at the Rose Farm this weekend …
Graham, Diana, Mooi and the team …





Hello dear rose friends as we now recover from a very busy time! Unfortunately, the weather this past weekend was woeful and it surprised us enormously that so many of you ventured to Silvan for the Tesselaar Plant Expo – it was so cold and the wind blew unmercifully so management there decided we should set our magnificent vases of roses in a dark but sheltered walkway with just one spotlight!

We consider ourselves very lucky because we have exhibited at many outdoor events over the past 32 years and we haven’t had such miserable weather EVER! There had to be a first time and we’re sorry it was this event because the roses were SPECTACULAR in the extreme! Here are a few photos …

Heidi’s Wedding Rose
Twilight Zone
Belle Parfume
Coconut Ice



Diana and her friend Marilyn did an amazing job with our magnificent display of roses in vases despite the howling wind and icy rain! We enjoyed the weekend together with delightful breakfast at Sassafras Bakery, dinner at The Cuckoo and hanging out at a lovely B&B – thanks to Ben, Leigh and Tova for manning the Rose Farm!

However I have just received my BBG Committee email and it was noted that I had to contact you re the Art and Flower (March) Show. But  it  was too late when the subject was addressed  and consequently  that date was already filled. But hoping that you will be staging another one next year we will be delighted to attend that one.  Would appreciate the date and details for the next one so that we can plan for it in the next 2019 calendar.

Kindest regards from Noeline Gilmour

It was very opportune for me that the huge marquee provided refuge from inclement weather so lots of gardeners attended my presentation so they will now manage their roses with greater knowledge, use our organic rose management program and enjoy pruning their roses with confidence this winter!

Q.  What do you call a cow that eats your grass?  A.  A lawn mooer!


Hello Diana. Nice to see you and Graham briefly last Saturday amidst the shocking weather. Good on you both for staging your roses and giving the talk Graham. Very interesting. You can’t always depend on the weather but that was ridiculous. I just felt so sorry for all the stall holders and food people. We were still there when almost everyone had left trying to keep ourselves warm and dry in the Marque. A nice warm car awaiting us and a pleasant drive back to our B&B

Diana and her friend Marilyn did an amazing job with our magnificent display of roses in vases despite the howling wind and icy rain!  We enjoyed the weekend together with delightful breakfast at Sassafras Bakery, dinner at The Cuckoo and hanging out at a lovely B&B – thanks to Ben, Leigh and Tova for manning the Rose Farm!atHealesville . Was tempted to go back on Sunday but believe the weather was much the same. 

However I have just received my BBG Committee email and it was noted that I had to contact you re the Art and Flower (March) Show. But  it  was too late when the subject was addressed  and consequently  that date was already filled. But hoping that you will be staging another one next year we will be delighted to attend that one.  Would appreciate the date and details for the next one so that we can plan for it in the next 2019 calendar.

Kindest regards from Noeline Gilmour 

It was very opportune for me that the huge marquee provided refuge from inclement weather so lots of gardeners attended my presentation so they will now manage their roses with greater knowledge, use our organic rose management program and enjoy pruning their roses with confidence this winter!

Q.  What do you call a cow that eats your grass?  A.  A lawn mooer!


We get lots of emails about this topic and here is how it goes…

EMAIL:  Subject: Can you identify this Rose?  

Hello Diana, Could you or Gra possibly identify this rose for me? Also I need two Nahema roses plus 1 soul sister. Do I call you or order on line? Many thanks Virginia.  NSW 

What is it … ?  A climber, a bush ???  Does it have an amazing fragrance ?  A bit more information is very important if we are to have a go at id … talk soon

On this occasion, we probably got it right – PAPA MEILLAND.  However, if you have a rose you would like to know the name of, please, send us as much information as you can – along with pictures of course.  Close up is great, foliage is important and any information you provide will assist!

Dear Diana – Could you help us with some questions on our potted roses. We have large terracotta pots with straight sides. They don’t make trays to go underneath them. Should we raise them off the ground a little as they seem to send roots out if we don’t (does this matter if they do send their roots out) afnd, do potted roses need manure placed in the pots. Thanks so much – Kim

My response to this query is as follows:  Every potted rose should be repotted every 2 years … if they send roots out and settle in soil then you might remove some potting mix above and around the root ball, trim those roots back and replace soil with new potting mix – I do it here very successfully with climbing roses which are planted over arches in a centre walkway of the nursery … I’ll talk about this is r/r in coming weeks …Yes, you MUST FERTILISE potted roses very frequently – at least every four weeks with quality fertilizer and eco=seaweed applications regularly just to keep potting media actively stimulated to keep the plant producing healthy foliage!  Graham

Q.  What do you call a pony with a cough?  A.  A little hoarse!

It’s now very spectacular here in the gardens with the autumn trees putting on their most spectacular display so if it’s sunny any Friday – Monday soon, do jump in the car and come for a visit.  Remember, you are ALWAYS WELCOME to walk around the gardens when you come here!

Enjoy autumn in your garden – sniff every bloom because yesterday we had our first frost! Cheers from us all at Clonbinane …


ROSE RAMBLER 22.02.2018 …

ROSE RAMBLER 22.02.2018 …

Hello, dear rose friends … thank you all so very much for your lovely messages and best wishes for my 60th birthday yesterday!  I’ve had a most wonderful, fortunate life; blessed with a beautiful family and although I enjoyed my early working career in our family bakery at Kilmore, waitress at all three pubs in town, first real-job as Assistant to Shire Secretary at Kilmore Council and subsequently, great positions in my secretarial profession, I’m so glad that when I met Graham again in 1984, he didn’t promise me a rose garden … but rather, we created a business and became professional Rosarians together!


This is the last week of summer and despite all sorts of weather conditions, our roses have endured and look stunning – just as we expect roses to do!

Q. What has six eyes but cannot see? A. Three blind mice!


Did I leave the best till last? No, not necessarily, it depends on what you really want to see; these are just beautiful in their own right and deserve a place in your garden!

(Top: LamarqueMiddle: Renae, Bottom: Summers Evening)
Q. What do you call BEARS with no EARS?  A. ‘B’
– it took a while for me to get this one too!


Question via email:

I wish to have my roses blooming for 16th March this year.  I did cut off all buds and many long stems too over one week ago but they all have thrived with some special rose feeding and mulch and look ready to bloom before my March date. So will I just remove all red leaves/buds in the hope they will stall and roses will bloom when I want them on date above?  Mainly David Austin roses grown.  Your advice welcome.  Bev

MY RESPONSE:  I would be surprised if you have lots of blooms for that date … it’s usually 45-60 days prior that you do the cut to guarantee flowering.  We cut the nursery yesterday so that we are ready for Art & Roses 2nd weekend April … gardens being done through this week – we might be a bit cooler but 60 days is good to work with.  Cheers


If you didn’t already know, I just adore heritage roses!  Here is an extract from the American Rose Annual, 1931 by F.E. Lester

“The discovery, protection and preservation of our old roses constitutes a challenge to all rose lovers.  No one person, no one committee can do justice to it.  It is a duty resting upon all who love the rose, its history, its romance, its usefulness as an agency of human happiness, to save our disappearing old roses for the benefit of present and future generations and to make known their manifold advantages to all who love gardens.”
STANWELL PERPETUAL as the name suggests is perpetually flowering magnificently!  Lovely fragrance, delightfully healthy grey-green foliage as a wonderful foil to the pretty blush-pink to pure white blooms throughout an amazingly long flowering season – in some climates, I guess STANWELL PERPETUAL will flower all year!

It is one of our most favourite old-fashioned roses … please don’t inundate us with requests for this gorgeous rose NOW but rest assured we will continue to stock this rose as long as we own a rose nursery!

So what defines a HERITAGE ROSE?  At the 2016 Heritage Rose National Conference, it was unanimously voted that any rose which was bred 75 years ago or more would qualify.  That is a ‘moving’ date which will eventually include the David Austin roses and since PEACE was bred in 1935, it is now also a HERITAGE / OLD-FASHIONED ROSE!  

If you’re interested in researching roses, always go directly to and don’t hesitate to leave them a donation for the considerable amount of information they collate which affords us easy access to roses around the world at the push of a button!

Overcoming weeks I will introduce you to some beautiful roses which I hope inspire you to grow at least ONE old-fashioned/heritage rose in order to preserve their glory in Australian gardens forever.

Yeyyh, Diana, Thanks for the Rambler and its news. Couldn’t agree more with being a joiner. A dear lady is giving all of her Rose Annuals to the QRS. They date from 1952. I have most of mine from 1967 except some I gave to an outback family who are still growing lovely roses. I am re-reading some great articles I remember well and wanted to find again. One by Dr A S Thomas on exhibiting in other states. It is surely the best thing ever written on the subject.  It is the 1984 Annual.  I grow a lovely rose called “That’s Life” that is said to be named for Dr Thomas. Can’t agree more with “Teasing Georgia” and “William Morris”. They are among my favourites but I grow them as shrubs. Delicious!  ….Laurel in QLD always sends us lovely emails with great information …

Ann took action … Hi there … Thanks for the Info on joining organisations etc. Years ago I did belong to the Heritage Rose Society and I loved their quarterly journal still have them all.  I let my membership lapse but will now renew. I have lots of species roses on my nature strip mixed with native plants;  there is plenty of room and they are so tough only water is the rain.  I planted there for all little creatures inc. possums and I love listening and watching the birds.  My favourite is Rosa Moyesii Geranium.  Cheers …Ann


Enjoy this last week of summer in your garden …

ROSE RAMBLER 25.01.2018

ROSE RAMBLER 25.01.2018 …

Hello, dear rose friends … it’s been incredibly hot for all of us and our rose gardens have suffered too … if you have water, open the taps and flood the gardens prior to the next possible onslaught of extreme heat!


It’s NEVER too late to be watering over the roses with ECO-SEAWEED solution because it will afford the roses 3 – 5 degrees of heat tolerance and reduce heat stress.  Ashher would have done well to water her potted roses with Eco-Seaweed … here’s her story:

Hi, I have bought a couple of roses online earlier.  They started well but having some issues, I have attached the pictures appreciate if you can advise what seems to be the problem.  I have planted them with potting mix and recently watered them with Iron chelates. Regards, Asher

MY RESPONSE:  Hello … the pots have been allowed to dry out!!!!  You MUST DEEP SOAK POTTED ROSES EVERY DAY – in extremely hot weather like now, you MUST DO IT TWICE A DAY!!!  Your potting mix will need rewetting – to do this, lower it in a bucket of water and leave it there until ALL THE AIR BUBBLES dissipate.  Then soak it well later.  Add seaweed to the water to recover the plant.

The rose in this picture is NAHEMA ..


It naturally has droopy foliage so that is nothing to worry about – however, that isn’t just drooped foliage, some of those leaves are on CLIMBING BLUE MOON are SCORCHED and will never recover!
 Scorched Nahmea
It was great to hear this response from Ashher …
“Thanks, I have been watering them but with the recent hot weather in Sydney they were really bearing the brunt of the sun so I have to change the position of the pots and I can now see marked improvements.
I have given them rose food from Brunnings (I believe that is the brand) and I have fed them seaweed solution 3 times since the purchase ” – Ashher
Another customer was asking advice about watering pots and wondering why the foliage was scorched …
“There’s a bit of debate going on at home about how often to water. It gets up to 30+ where we live and very humid. We have been watering daily between 8-10am. Probably using half a 9L water can for 8 plants. How does this sound to you?” – Matt
MY RESPONSE:  Oh no, Matt … way, way, way NOT ENOUGH!!!  Here we open the hose fully with high pressure and stand there counting 1-2-3 … I was teaching my 10-year-old grandson how to do it this morning … flood the pots at each watering … in the troughs, you MUST do it because they’re terracotta and will leach because it’s porous – unless you treated the inside surface perhaps?

I understand that close to the fence might reflect super hot – well-hydrated plants might tolerate the location way better so you might be able to pop them back there once you get a good handle on watering!…

Take advice from an old guy who’s been managing potted roses for more than 35 years … you MUST SOAK THE POTTING MEDIUM EVERY SINGLE DAY – in seriously hot weather as we are experiencing now, you might do a second watering later in the day!!!

It’s my dream to have an automated shade-mesh pull up over the nursery pots on these really hot days!  How those 20cm pots continue to look so lovely in these extreme conditions is because they’re hand-watered daily and cooled by overhead sprinklers in the middle of the day – also, they’re fertilized with Complete Organic Fertilizer and regularly sprayed or drenched with eco-seaweed.


Rather than tell a few jokes this week, let me share this bit of comedy – (beware, this could be Graham in your local supermarket – he does stuff like this all the time – Diana):


Yesterday I was at my local Coles buying a large bag of Purina dog food for my loyal pet, Jake, the Wonder Dog and was in the check-out line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.  What did she think I had… an elephant?

So because I’m retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn’t have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn’t, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that I’d lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a Perfect Diet and that the way that it works is, to load your pants pockets with Purina Nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with
my story.)

Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care, because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stopped to Pee on a Fire Hydrant and a car hit me.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.

Coles won’t let me shop there anymore.  Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the World to think of crazy things to say. Forward this to all your retired friends…it will be their laugh for the day!


“Dear Graham,  Thank you for your very informative blog. I love this Nursery after driving to collect roses last year. They are so healthy and the staff were very helpful. It is a no fuss or fanfare business but has all the support and quality products. While I am having difficulty finding space for more roses this year I am cultivating another area to do so. Just an excuse to do another drive to the Nursery. Thank you once again for your ongoing information and support.  – Heather

MY RESPONSE: We are most grateful to those who send an email of acknowledgement.  Please know that although I, Diana, manage all the computer ‘stuff’ I am sure to ask Gra to come and take a look whenever he’s mentioned or when there’s something he needs to action … we work together to bring you this Rose Ramber and will continue to produce it as long as you 4,000 subscribers are interested!

There is no doubt that a garden is a fabulous healer – you don’t need to be sick or have had incredible surgery to be healed by the garden!  A bad day in the office or a crazy time with family, sick pet, or any one of the ‘normal’ moments we’ve all come to expect in a day, can dissolve into insignificance after a walk in your rose garden.

But, the big BUT, is, you have to go there – steal the moments to go and pick a bunch of flowers, enjoy the fragrance, maybe pick a weed or two while you’re out there.  Do bring the flowers into the house and place them in a vase so that when you come home from work tomorrow night, there’s a greeting card on your kitchen bench.  The house will smell beautiful too!
Here’s a pic of our kitchen bench last weekend …

And a few more close up pics of roses in those vases …

Graham and a bench
Graham at the Kitchen Bench



YES! We are open this Friday (Australia Day), Saturday, Sunday and Monday as usual!

Have a love Australia Day long weekend and perhaps pop out to CLONBINANE for the SUMMER ROSE CARE DEMONSTRATION this Sunday, at 11.00am … stay cool …

ROSE RAMBLER 16.10.2014

ROSE RAMBLER 16.10.2014


Hello dear rose friends … this interesting email discussion is very worth sharing:

Hello Diana … Thank you so much for your weekly news sheets – they are most helpful. On the 12th September you referred to the organic spray to prevent black spot, etc.  After looking up recipes on the web, I found a carb soda and soap recipe which I used before the foliage had started showing.  The roses are looking really lush now.  But I cannot find whether this should be continued once the foliage is out, or is it ineffective now?It is the first time I have used it and I have to say that I was terrified of what may happen.  I decided that if I killed every rose, I would make a trip to Silkie Rose Garden and replace them all!  Fortunately, I didn’t kill any

I would so appreciate your advice.

Best regards Thea


My response: Hi Thea …

In the ‘old’ days when we first started our journey into sustainable/organic management practice, we also used all these recipes and it was a lot of mucking around – treat yourself to the AUSTRALIAN well-researched, economical and very effective OCP products – eco-oil and eco fungicide/eco rose (same product!!!) and you won’t have that immense worry about whether you’ll harm your roses or not!!!  It’s like fertilizer – yes, you can buy a bit of this and a bit of that and maybe somewhere in there, get it right – why not just buy quality fertilizer which has all the nutrients … easy and the science is done by professionals!  We are very lucky now that we have access to such brilliant Australian products and I recommend you use them!  Hope this is helpful …



Thea’s response:

Thank you so much Diana.  I hadn’t realised that ‘eco …’ is a brand name.  Have checked out Bunnings and Masters websites and found it.  So am all set!  Shame I don’t cook – I think that’s what carb soda is used for mostly.  But I am certainly not going to start.

Best wishes, Thea


Please, please support your local PLANT NURSERY!!!  Yes, the ‘big guys’ have it all but if you take a moment to wander through your local nursery, have a chat with the (usually) qualified person who gets up each and every morning (usually) at least 6 days a week, they will be the people who will offer you back-up support, great information, quality plants with (usually) a guarantee!

Think about what your kids/grandkids might be doing in years to come – hopefully working in a profession that makes them extremely happy and this great country of ours is the best place to be!  Yes, we sell our Australian products on the internet to Australian gardeners – consider where you buy and what you buy in the interest of the future for ALL of us!

Q.  What did the alien say to the garden?  A.  Take me to your weeder. 

Then he follows up with this one:
Q. What did the alien say to the cat?  A.  Take me to your litter. 

(Editor, Diana:  Gawd, I’ll let you figure all that out ‘cause I haven’t got a clue where he’s going with any of this.  He needs a holiday so I’m thinking of sending him to the moon – any takers for a co-driver?) 


You’ve heard me talk about constructing a toilet facility for you when you come to visit.  Is there anybody out there who knows something about composting toilets, camping toilets – anything simple that is legal?

No, we don’t want to give you a shovel, no the ‘long-drop’ won’t work because we live on the Sunday Creek – boys can pee behind a tree but we would like to offer our lady visitors the comforts they expect without them coming into our home.

If you have experience with a toilet which might be used say, high out, 10 times a week, can you please send us an email with your ideas … thanks.


this magnificent Hybrid Tea rose has won awards for the most exquisite fragrance and beautiful, perfectly formed blooms on long, strong stems.  JARDINS DE BAGATELLE is a significantly important rose for me – when we demolished the gardens at Kilmore, Graham took particular time to carefully remove three bushes and replant them here at Clonbinane just below the veranda where I sit with my morning coffee – it’s one of my most favourite Hybrid Tea roses.

When customers purchase this rose, I know they’re in for a treat and Yoda sent this glorious photo of one of the first roses to flower in his garden this season:


Please do check the ties and structures where your roses are planted.  Last week I was raving about how magnificent MRS. B.R. CANT was flowering over the (33 year old) swing frame.  In the horrific winds of this past few days, the frame lifted out of the ground and massive canes shattered – Gra and I spent 3 hours pruning the rose today – hopefully she will be flowering again at Christmas unlike a few customers who have called to say their weeping/standard roses were ripped from their canes and there is no other option than replacement!  Not good!!!

Here’s another date to log into your diary –

on the 8th – 9th November
at Mount Waverley
Details from the Society’s website on

Have a beaut week in your rose garden contemplating these words …


~ Diana, Graham & Mooi


ROSE RAMBLER 9.10.2014

ROSE RAMBLER 9.10.2014

Hello dear rose friends … are you a little lighter in the pocket after paying the kids to harvest snails, slugs, bugs … even worms got into my transactions – cost me $2.50 until Logan reminded me that we didn’t need any more snails because his lizards eat dog food anyway!!!  Laughed till I cried at that comment!

I so hope your garden looks as beautiful as ours … this is a season to beat all seasons with rose buds on so many early-flowering varieties and MRS. B.R. CANT (tea rose) in full bloom; lush, healthy green in every shade imaginable; blossom on the fruit trees.  How blessed are we to be caretakers of this small piece of paradise?  Very!!!


Don’t you love to know the names of your roses when you’re showing somebody around your garden?  Many years ago I made great labels for each rose in the gardens at Kilmore by cutting 30cm lengths of conduit, with pop-rivets attaching 30cm lengths of venetian blind horizontally then hand-printing the rose name with oil-based black paint.

They were very durable and lasted well, however, several times our rose labels were returned to the nursery after being removed and tossed around the town so I gave up replacing them. I have often thought to make those again for our gardens here at Clonbinane but after planting a lovely new rose garden last week, I came upon this thought as a very sustainable gardening idea…

All our potted rose labels are now attached to a pink plastic ‘stick’ which is clipped to the side of each pot – great for the roses because the stem where we used to tie the plant label was stressed, the label now sits up from the pot and is nicely visible and looks sensational when you walk through the nursery because you see the labels ‘looking’ at you rather than them flapping wildly in the breeze.  When it’s time for trimming the potted roses, we don’t have to worry about re-attaching labels which was a very laborious chore!

As I was planting my new rose garden,

I unclipped a label from the pot and stuck it in the ground in front of each rose.  Then it occurred to me that Virginia (our assistant who thinks outside the square) did an experiment last year by painting rose labels with marine varnish to see if they would endure weather pressure when tied on the bush – a year later, those labels still look brand new.

Sooooo, in the new rose garden, each rose will be identified by re-using the ‘pink stick’ to which the plant label is attached.  I’ll buy a can of marine varnish and paint each label – durable, sustainable, identifiable … perfect solution to naming the roses in your garden – give it a go and check out the new garden when you visit us in the coming weeks!


been busy building a new shade-house area where I grow all my cuttings and seedlings as well as park my car – had to paint all the timber after I dug the holes for the posts – gawd, the things you do for love!  (I love my car and my seedling cuttings!)

Q.  Why did the man give up tap dancing?  A.  ‘Cause he kept falling down the sink! 

My Grandma used to call the sink the ‘zinc’ with a bit of her Scottish accent and this leads me to talking about the minerals we should be adding to the soil.  One of the simple ways we gardeners can provide a balance of minerals is by throwing MUNASH ROCKDUST around the garden.  Once you throw the ROCKDUST around, put ONE SMALL CAPFUL of MUNASH RENEW sea minerals in a watering can of water and pour that wherever you distributed the ROCKDUST.

We do this program over the potted rose plants in the nursery to keep a good balance of minerals up to the pots … amazing results which prevent the incidence of black-spot and mildew on the roses.  I don’t have any scientific studies to refer to our results – just know there are healthier plants when we apply these products.

If you grow vegetables, please, please use these products to mineralise the soil in your veggie garden because our OLD Australian soils are so deplete of a balance of minerals and we must ingest a good balance of minerals to stay healthy – since you don’t eat your roses, mineralise your veggies first and what product you have remaining, use on the roses and you’ll see amazing results!


We’ll talk more about in coming R/R’s :



We wish you joy in your stunning spring garden …

~ Graham, Diana & Mooi (no, not mooey, moy!)

ROSE RAMBLER 2.10.2014

ROSE RAMBLER 2.10.2014

Hello dear rose friends … yes, no R/R last week but there’s so much going on that sitting at the computer takes a back seat – while I’m out pulling weeds and ‘doing stuff’ I speak with you all constantly, telepathically, do you hear me speaking with you rather than typing the R/R???  Probably not!

We’ve enjoyed busy days in prime-time weather out in the garden with our heads down and bums up being close and personal with the magpies who had to be part of the action by getting worms and bardy grubs after the weeds were pulled and the last few days have been taken up with helping erect a school holiday building project – cubby-house with the pea-straw bales, Mooi’s first birthday celebrations and personal time-out … nice stuff!

Once read a beautiful Chinese proverb which told me that if I had learned something of value, I had a moral obligation to share it with others.  This email gives some insight to our online business which I think is great to share …

Hi Diana … I am VERY pleased to say that my beautiful roses arrived yesterday. They were a little bumped and bruised in the box, but otherwise all good and still very moist in their packaging. TINTERN is soooooooo cute. They all look VERY healthy and I can’t wait to plant them up this coming weekend.

I loved reading through the Newsletter too, and will follow your suggestion re the ongoing maintenance with Eco products.

One question if I may … You mention in the Rosarian just above the Maintenance suggestion that you “fertilise every 8 weeks with half a handful of fertiliser”, but you don’t mention the name of the fertiliser. I’m guessing if it’s “half a hand full” it must be in pellet form? Can you please clarify that part of your publication?

Also, you say NOT to fertilise until Spring, but we are currently IN Spring up here in Bris Vegas (Brisbane). Does that mean I should fertilise at the same time as I plant the new ones?, or just follow the mixture of Eco-Fungicide, Eco-Oil, Eco-Aminogro and Eco-Seaweed all mixed up together in the same watering can?  I don’t intend to over stress the plants by also spraying with Eco-Neem, so when should I do that and how often?

Sorry to be a pain. I should just buy your book ;>}

Chrissie xx

PS: It was so lovely to see your picture in the Rosarian. Now I can put a face to the name. Gra looks lovely too. In fact you both look like the loveliest couple. I’m so glad I stumbled upon your website via Googling.

Fertilising roses remains a constant area of concern for some customers – because of the weight constraints, it is impossible to send you the brilliant Complete Organic Fertilizer we use.  The best we can do is recommend that you take note of what you are buying, only buy quality and be mindful that organic fertilizer is beneficial to the soil.  Follow the directions on the pack as every product will have a varying recommendation.

When all else fails, just follow your gut instinct – think the plants need a feed, feed them, think they need watering, water them!  A whole lot of ‘good gardening’ is about allowing your intuitive power to prevail!


A pinch and a punch for a whole new month but most exciting is that your roses will be displaying lush, healthy foliage and some of you already have masses of flowers – here at CLONBINANE buds are starting to show colour so it will be an early season indeed!

Q.  What is a cow’s favourite film?  A. The SOUND OF MOOSIC!

One of the first roses to be flowering here will be JOSEPH’S COAT which is a climbing rose of immense beauty with a parade of all colours from warm-yellow buds which, as they age, go through stages of being apricot, pink and then crimson to finish.

In full flower, JOSEPH’S COAT is a sight to behold and I’m glad we remember to send budwood to the grower each season which means this robust old climber which was released in 1963 stays in production.

Our specimen of JOSEPH’S COAT is planted in a huge tub and scrambling over an arch in the centre walk-way of the nursery.  It’s planted with a mauve CLEMATIS and together they are a true spectacle.

Speaking of CLEMATIS – we now have a great range of HYBRID CLEMATIS in stock.  They are very suitable to plant alongside a climbing rose because the climbing rose shades the ground to keep the root-run of the CLEMATIS cool which is exactly what they need to flourish.

A customer gave some great advice about successfully growing CLEMATIS – plant them deep, throw heaps of compost and manure around them and let them get on with it and that’s exactly what we do here in the gardens and they appear to be more frost-hardy than some of the roses!
Treat yourself – plant a few CLEMATIS near the climbing roses in your garden and see for yourself how easy they are to grow.

Have a beaut week in your garden, get the kids to help you pick snails off the veggie seedlings … 10 cents for every snail – you’ll be broke but you’ll have a ball!

See you soon at CLONBINANE … Diana, Graham & one year old Mooi

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!)