ROSE RAMBLER 13.04.2017 …

Hello dear rose friends and thank you to all who came this past weekend – phew, wasn’t it a beaut event?  We certainly enjoyed the occasion and are so grateful to you all for coming … THANK YOU!  Also, a huge THANK YOU on behalf of the Rotary Club of Southern Mitchell and Kilmore Art Society for participating and contributing to this wonderful event!

Just a quick reminder, we are closed tomorrow on Good Friday, but we’ll be OPEN 9am – 4pm the rest of the weekend from Easter Saturday, Sunday through to Monday!


Q.  What do you get if you cross a centipede with a chicken?  A. Enough drumsticks for everyone!  

We’ve had some beautiful rain here at Clonbinane so we know that after a very long, dry spell, such a rain event will result in lots of black spot fungus and potentially, some infestation of insects such as aphids – before the cold nights and rain, we had an infestation of white-fly which proliferate in hot/dry conditions!  There’s always something!!!

If you’ve been regularly spraying with our recommended organic rose-management program, your roses should look ok just as ours do – there will be some stress indication as the roses adapt to this wet and cold weather – black spot may tend to defoliate some varieties earlier than others … they’ll recover with a good quality organic fertilizer and fortnightly application of seaweed solution.

VERY IMPORTANT TO FERTILIZE NOW – this is the last fertilizer application until after pruning in late July/August.

Stressed roses are always more susceptible to black spot and undernourishment, the roses growing in partial shade due to trees blocking out the sun or the lower roots suddenly unable to function due to sopping wet soil will all cause fungal infection and defoliation.

The one positive aspect of black spot infection and defoliation is that it starts on the mature leaves, lower down on the bush, as well as on those shaded, on the inside of the plant.

If the upper leaves are protected by spraying with a fungicide, the sap flow is ensured and even with reduced photosynthesis, food flows to the roots, encouraging them to start sprouting new shoots on the denuded stems.

If your rose has dropped its leaves due to black spot infection, trimming the plant appropriately will still stimulate new sprouting and encourage blooming right into the start of winter.

Q.  Where should a 500kg alien go?  A.  On a diet …
(oh, my goodness, are these jokes getting worse or is it just ME???  Editor: Diana)



Hope you’ve got the date in your diary …
9am – 4pm

The perfect weekend for green thumbs and budding gardeners where you can meet more than forty nurseries and plant growers with a vast range of bulbs, plants and perennials on offer in the one location.

Gather knowledge with free gardening talks and information all weekend or directly pick the brains of your favourite grower or specialist. Visit for more information.

Come down and see us!


Here are a few shots of a couple of great looking roses this past week …

THE THANK YOU ROSE produces masses of very fragrant deep
mauve blooms in clusters all over a very healthy,
well rounded shrub continually throughout the season
a lovely rose to gift when you want to say a special
“Thank You” to somebody special!

Hybrid Tea rose with a delightful confection of colours
including burnt orange, amber and beige with burnt red edges.

This is a very striking rose – one that stands out when in bloom.
The flowers are beautiful in form and the colour is amazing,
yellow with orange stripes fading to a soft pink.
Tropical sunset is a great performing rose with numerous
blooms throughout the season and healthy semi-glossy foliage to compliment.

Hope you have a lovely Easter time with family and friends – perhaps a grand opportunity to have some time in your garden … enjoy the moments!

See you soon at Clonbinane where this
SAT SUN & MON we will continue the promotion..

BUY 1 GET 1 FREE for all Roses
Except those under the tunnel*

(*Conditions apply)


ROSE RAMBLER 06.04.2017 …

By golly, time is moving fast and we wish you a pinch and a punch for the first day of this month of April!  Dear Rose Friends you can be pleased we didn’t have this edition of Rose Rambler land in your inbox on 1st April … Gra was in his absolutely finest form with shenanigans for April Fool’s Day – one day I will discover his source of fun!

Meantime, I need you to know that we offer a fabulous GIFT VOUCHER service which will prove useful when you need a ‘last minute’ gift like I have organised here …

Greetings,  I am Secretary of a Community Op Shop and we are looking at a gift for a local person who has done us a significant favour.  We wondered whether you have a gift voucher which we might give her as a token of our appreciation?   Regards – Angus

Hello Angus, thank you for your enquiry.  Yes, of course you can have a GIFT VOUCHER from our business by going to our online store: and purchase a voucher of whatever value which you can print and then pop into a gift card for the recipient to redeem at their leisure either online or by coming to visit Silkies Rose Farm at Clonbinane.

Or, you can give me a call; I will take all the details over the phone and then post you a complete GIFT VOUCHER pack which will include a GIFT CARD VOUCHER, rose list and other info.  Talk to you soon …

SILKIES ROSE FARM continues to offer such a diverse service with gifts in $ value GIFT VOUCHERS or as beautifully gift-wrapped, potted GIFT ROSES with personal messages along with the best quality roses you could purchase online or by visiting our Rose Farm at Clonbinane – located just 500 metres from the Hume Freeway interchange.


Oh, aren’t the cooler nights glorious – the trees are starting to turn colour and I’m sleeping under a doona again!  Lovely!!!

Q. How do thunderstorms catch fish?  A.  With a lightning rod … !  

I went to see this magnificent hedgerow of KNOCKOUT – Sharyn and Ewen are thrilled with how quickly they were able to cover the unsightly wire fence at the front of their property, how low maintenance the hedge is and obviously, how their front boundary is a stand-out in their street!
Sharyn wrote:

Hi Graham … I thought you might like to see the progress. Knockout has reached the top of the fence in about 18 months. I have not done any pruning since July last year and thought I would see how it went. I read in the newsletter someone was keeping theirs dead headed. A big job over 54 meters!! What do you think is best? I am happy for you to pass on how thrilled we are and it is very easy to explain where we live. Be over soon for some fertiliser. Cheers Sharyn

Q. Why did the students study in the aeroplane?  A.  They wanted higher grades! 

Hope your kids are enjoying these Easter Holidays – get them out helping in the garden to plant winter veggies, fertilize the garden so you get the most amazing flowers right into winter and don’t be afraid to freshen up the mulch by adding another light layer because worms will start breeding soon and they’ll need protection!  Enjoy the moments with your kids and grandkids these holidays.


It’s going to be superb autumn weather so jump in the car and come visit our region for a great day out.  Print this voucher so you pay only gold coin donation at each destination where you enjoy a cuppa.

Lunch at the Art Expo Café, Memorial Hall, Kilmore will be delectable home-cooked fare as usual – served by Rotarians and Artists – COME WITH AN EMPTY BELLY for the most enjoyable lunch you’ve had in a long time!

Being the holder of this document entitles me to free entry at all attractions*
conducted by Rotary Club of Southern Mitchell and Kilmore Art Society




If you need assistance with organising a visit this coming weekend, don’t hesitate calling me on 0418 337 765 or leave a message at 5787 1123 and if I miss your call, I’ll be back in touch as soon as possible – email:

After this weekend, we’ll get stuck into some serious ‘rose information’ to ensure you get maximum flowering through autumn.  Meantime, when weather permits, don’t hesitate to apply the organic rose management program – we’re doing every 7-10 day applications here because of the very cold, damp nights which produced ‘instant’ spots on foliage.  Remember, lots of healthy foliage produces lots of flowers so to retain good cover of healthy foliage, apply fertilizer and eco-spray NOW!

We wish all our dear rose friends who are cleaning up from recent cyclone Debbie our very best wishes – we hope you are seeing light at the end of the tunnel!!!

Here at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane, both Graham and Diana will be conducting WALK & TALK IN THE GARDEN with Mooi as supervisor while our assistant, Tova will assist you in the Rose Nursery where you can…



(*conditions apply)

 Our supervisor Mooi& the chooks – “I AM THE BOSS … REALLY???”


ROSE RAMBLER 30.3.2017

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ROSE RAMBLER 30.03.2017 …

While we enjoy more beautiful weather to welcome our dear Rose Friends at the end of the first month of autumn, we send our loving thoughts to gardeners who have lived through CYCLONE DEBBIE … please let us gift you a rose when you re-establish your garden!

What a glorious season it has been – we now enter one of the busiest months of our nursery year with Art & Roses visitors on 8-9 April; then our annual pilgrimage to the Tesselaar Garden Expo on the weekend of 22-23 April where we put on our most spectacular flower show …

Particularly important this week is that you can now transfer your rose wish list to lock in a winter order for bare-rooted roses – the online store is now open and there is a surprise there for ONE WEEK ONLY!!!


Although ALI BABA is listed as a NEW RELEASE FOR 2017, we have had the pleasure of this glorious rose in our gardens for a few years – we wanted to test it prior to release and truly, really, you won’t find a more robustly healthy climbing rose in a dusty orange/apricot colour – more amazing is that this rose holds foliage throughout winter which can be a very prominent reason for having a climbing rose in a certain location – we are frequently asked for roses which retain winter foliage!
ALI BABA is stunning and very, very highly recommended …

Q. When should you buy a bird?  A. When it’s going CHEEP!  

We are also re-introducing MANY HAPPY RETURNS because it is an outstanding performer and has such an appropriate name when you need a GIFT ROSE for the person in your life who has absolutely everything … they will make space in their garden or in a large tub for this beauty which flowers and flowers on abundantly healthy foliage – if you forget to trim spent flowers in autumn, you’ll get the most spectacular show of red hips (seed pods) all the way through winter!


I read this recently:  “Insects and secateurs can transmit rose mosaic virus from rose to rose. (see below pic – irregular mottled yellow markings on rose foliage).

Research conducted at the Universities of Washington State and 3 other USA Universities with funding from the American Rose Society have TOTALLY DISPROVED THIS THEORY.”

Lots of customers tell us they wipe their secateurs with bleach and other petro-chemical mediums whilst pruning … DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME or potentially cause your roses the grief of dealing with wounds affected by these chemicals!

By all means, keep your secateurs clean and sharp but be quite confident that no disease will be spread by pruning your roses and if you read such information and are not quite sure, please shoot me an email so that I can reassure you of the FACTS!

Hope you’ve been planting lots of bulbs – I’m having a ball planting mine and I know we’ll have a most spectacular spring garden again this year!  Don’t you just love the excitement of gardening?  I truly enjoy it all … Graham


It’s such a delight to read emails like this one:

“FYI…. we were all amazed at the lovely packaging, and info with the rose.  My mother and I have always been “into” roses, so she would definitely have appreciated it… I will enjoy watching it grow.   The stem is nice and strong, quite small leaves, which I suppose it just that style of rose? I will definitely keep you in mind again for sending presents like that to other friends!”

Potted GIFT ROSES will continue to be available in the online store even though we are now open for winter orders which are listed as BARE-ROOTED ROSES

If you’re confused or need to speak with a ‘real person’ to sort your order for this winter, please don’t hesitate calling the nursery on our open days:  FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY & MONDAY from 9 – 4 but please understand that we have one phone line  03 5787 1123 – yes, there is a mobile phone too but I can only answer one phone at a time … please be patient!

Know that I will ALWAYS answer your email enquiries promptly – we can even plan and design a rose garden together via email – it’s fun!

Hope you’ve got yourself organised to come and visit during the Art & Roses weekend on 8th and 9th April … see you soon at Clonbinane – Diana & Graham

ROSE RAMBLER 23.3.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 23.03.2017 …

Hello dear rose friends as we start to get slightly cooler weather for this autumn which has broken records across Australia!  Lucky gardens who have had massive dumpings of rain – our gardens had some too!

ART & ROSES TOURS is fast approaching – there are buses coming from…

    Contact GOLD BUS on 1800 775 295 or BROOKE on 0499 002 941 or VIA THEIR WEBSITE at  The coach will depart Ballarat at 8am on SATURDAY, 8TH APRIL.
    Contact: CHERYL SHEMBRI on 9744 1663 or email: This coach seats 48 people and they are leaving Sunbury Community Centre, corner of Elizabeth Drive and Gap Road near the Fire Station at 9am on SUNDAY, 9TH APRIL and the cost is $45 which includes lunch.

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to join a tour group during the Art & Roses weekend – please don’t wait until the last minute to book as I know both coaches are filling fast – if you need any advice or assistance with booking, please don’t hesitate to contact me here at the Rose Farm on 5787 1123 or mobile:  0418 337765

TRAVELLING INDEPENDENTLY IN CARS … means you can incorporate this delightful tour …


Another Reason to visit Kilmore!
Kilmore Historical Society are conducting a
Historical Houses Tour

Saturday 8 April, 2017 – 10am – 4pm
Tickets: $15 person / $25 couple / family
4 Powlett Street, Kilmore –  from 9.45am – 3pm

The Old Courthouse is 500 metres from the Art Expo venue
Ranging from humble, beautifully restored cottages to substantial large homes,
five owners of historic houses in Kilmore have very generously
opened their homes to the public.

Please, if I can assist you with arrangements for your visit to Kilmore, the Art Show, and our gardens along with a visit to Kevin & Rhonda Butler at the BLAZEAID SHEARING SHED, contact me as soon as possible and I will do my absolute best to make your visit here a memorable occasion!


With a good drop of rain, our gardens will now flourish well this autumn – I can hear the roses breathing a sigh of relief!

It’s amazing really, roses LOVE deep soaking water during their flowering season but gosh, overdose them with water and they will turn up their toes VERY quickly!  Unfortunately for us Rosarians, the visible symptoms of UNDERWATERING are exactly the same as OVERWATERING

Yellow leaves in the understorey of the plant, wilting foliage and buds; generally poor plant performance!  So what is the issue when your roses aren’t flourishing?

That we have to leave to YOU – gently fork into the soil around the rose and you’ll soon know how wet or dry it is.  When conditions prevail that you are irrigating the garden, be diligent and follow these simple rules for watering in a rose garden:

When you’re planting roses this autumn, soak them to a slurry when you plant them and then turn your back on them while they get on with getting settled and establishing their roots into the new soil – once a week you can spoil them with a light watering of seaweed solution and as long as they’re well mulched, the roses won’t need deep watering again for a couple of weeks.

Stay diligent and if weather conditions prevail where your gut tells you that the roses need another deep soak, give it to them!  DEFINITELY NOT EVERY DAY!

Q. What would happen if pigs could fly?   A. The price of bacon would go up!

I’m looking forward to this rose which is a new release for 2017 – I love the name EARTH ANGEL and I hope it’s a ripper for all of us.


We are always happy to assist if you have an issue about where to plant roses and Diana offers a free service on rose garden design.

This is the type of issue which you might confront … Where would plant roses in this situation?  Inside the front boundary where there is limited sun and obviously, a bit of root competition from existing plants …

Or outside the boundary and cover the wall completely?

I suggested to Ash in North Queensland that she might look at planting on the street side by creating three garden beds 1 x 1 metre or a complete bed along that front wall for ease of management with mowing and mulching … can you imagine driving into your home being greeted by not only the mass flowering beauty of RENAE but the fragrance … yes, it would be awesome!
One of the most spectacular THORNLESS climbing roses with perfect small rosebuds in massive clusters continually throughout the flowering season … a very lush, healthy-foliaged plant with glorious fruity fragrance … I hope Ash sends us photos of this when established in a couple of years …

Q. What did the computer do at lunch time?   A. It had a byte!

Have a beaut week in your garden.  We suggest you have your wish list of roses available for ordering at … there will be a few surprises for you as the online store opens for bare-rooted rose orders – we’re excited and hope you will be too … talk to you next week – Diana & Graham

ROSE RAMBLER 17.3.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 17.03.2017 …

Hello dear rose friends as we experience glorious autumn weather!  No sign of decent rain though so we’ve been deep-soaking all garden beds to be sure our gardens look fabulous when we expect lots of visitors during the rest of autumn.

In last week’s Rose Rambler there was a bit of a glitch – this story was placed AFTER closing greeting – some of you may have read it, definitely not all of you so I am repeating it this week …

AWESOME SERIES OF ROSES … I bang on about this series and I ask those of you who grow even one KNOCKOUT (doesn’t matter which variety) please do as Laurel from Sunshine Coast, QLD has done and tell us ALL how grand these roses are in your climate … 

It takes a bit for folk to warm to KNOCKOUT but once they see it in full bloom and see its use in a vase, they are hooked.  In early spring there is very little more sensational than DOUBLE KNOCKOUT.

DOUBLE KNOCKOUT in Adelaide Park

I have been pruning rather severely between each flush and finding that the resultant flush is really a magnet.

People will wake up to realise what they could grow.  I guess I can say that, with a huge space to be filled!  KNOCKOUT cuts so easily too so I have plenty planted and the brides love them as they fill out an arrangement and last so well !

I am delighted to promote this useful garden rose in all its forms as I have never seen black spot on its shiny masses of foliage and its lovely hips are great at Christmas for ornaments and table arrangements.  What a treasure!”  Laurel

Please send me your opinion of any KNOCKOUT roses you’ve grown.  Because Debi read the article last week, she forwarded this appraisal …

“Hi Guys – Just finished reading your latest email regarding readers opinions on ‘Knockout’. Well I just can’t say enough.  I’m pretty new to roses – only started my ‘addiction’ about 2 1/2yrs ago & in that time I’ve planted 27 roses. I live in Coffs Harbour on the coastline of northern NSW & it gets very humid. 

Out of all the roses I have I can honestly say that ‘both the Double & Pink Knockouts are by far the healthiest, most disease free, bushiest & ALWAYS IN FLOWER roses that I have in my garden without a doubt!!’  Growing & maintaining them is hassle-free with no need for any fussing & spraying… I JUST LOVE THEM!!!

They may not have the prettiest of ‘rose type flower’ but if you want bright colour NEARLY ALL YEAR ROUND on disease free roses, I don’t know of a better rose, & if you do, can you PLEASE tell me…

Also I do get a chuckle every time I read the little jokes… It is appreciated … Regards, Debi”

So there you go!  I dream of seeing the highways and byways of Australia planted with KNOCKOUT roses – it will happen … one day!  If you have a large unsightly space in your garden plant KNOCKOUT roses and you’ll be amazed how beautiful they really are!  More testimonials about these fabulous roses will be posted as we receive them …

Knockout and clematis in our garden – MOOI loves it there too!



… I’m still summer pruning because I think we just might have an extended autumn so pruning now, we’ll have flowers well and truly into June and that will be fantastic because I’m not sure if you remember but we had a cold, late start to flowering so we might make up time by having a warm entry to winter and thus prolong the flowering season well into June.


Q. Why are sardines the silliest fish in the sea?   A. Because they climb into tins, close the lid and leave the key outside!

When MOOI our poodle was trimmed last week, the breeder, Emily, suggested that because MOOI’S coat was dry, we feed her one sardine a couple of times per week – you might find this useful information for dry-coat conditions in your dogs.

Remember that now is a fabulous time to be planting ANYTHING in your garden – here’s my special offer to encourage you to plant a few roses …


Finish with this quiz … What do you get when you cross a salmon, a birds leg and a hand?  Of course, you get BIRDSTHIGH FISH FINGERS.

See you soon at Clonbinane … Graham, Diana, Mooi & our assistant, Tova

ROSE RAMBLER 10.2.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 10.03.2017 …

Hello dear rose friends as our autumn becomes an ‘Indian Summer’ with very warm days here!  Some lucky gardeners have had random rainfall all about the place – not here at Clonbinane but we live in hope of seeing the swale full of water again sometime soon.  Part of the joy of being gardeners – always living in hope – one day hoping for rain, another hoping for the rain to stop.

In the winter hoping for the sun to shine to make our roses grow and in the summer hoping for the clouds to cover our roses for respite from the hot sun.

Yes, we live in hope but we know that every morning when we wake up, there’s something to keep us occupied in the garden!

Whilst doing ‘stuff’ on the computer today there was an ‘ad’ which offered a VIRTUAL OFFICE TO IMPRESS YOUR CUSTOMERS … so frequently we are asked if we would like to ‘swap offices’ with our customers and of course, it will NEVER happen … 

Here are some pics of our REAL OFFICE which we hope you’re impressed by … do come and visit soon – perhaps during the Art & Roses Tours on 8th & 9th April … pics taken this past week so it will get better from here onwards …


… some customers are lucky enough to acquire pig manure from either their own yard (God forbid … it will NEVER occur in our yard I hope … Editor, Diana) or another source – great stuff by all accounts and they say some of their best roses were grown when pig manure was applied!

Q. What does a pig call his grandfather?   A. A Hampa!

This is the season for being able to smell the fragrance of our roses pretty much at all times of the day – cup your hands around the bloom or spray to experience the fullness of fragrance and that smell can lift your spirits to unexpected heights which also include the awareness of the beauty of a flower!

It’s hard to select three great roses to share for this week – PARFUM DE PARIS produces the most amazing blooms of an extraordinarily healthy plant – I can smell a bag of fruit when I take a great big sniff of this rose so I highly recommend it!

EMILIEN GUILLIOT… stand-out colour of bright orange with masses of petals which make the blooms hang on forever on the bush or in a vase – a seriously healthy, grand rose worthy of space in your garden …

NAHEMA in Europe it’s the most popular flower for bridal bouquets and any wonder with such a magnificent fragrance!  The cupped double petals exude such fragrance that Guerlain perfume is based on the essence of this fragrant rose … it grows superbly too …

Hope you continue to enjoy your garden this autumn … see you real soon at Clonbinane or perhaps at the  …

Tesselaars Garden Festival 
9am – 4pm
22nd – 23rd April 2017
Over 40 nurseries and plant growers
Expert plant talks & demonstrations
Shop for plants of all shapes and sizes
Cheers from Graham, Diana and Mooi – also, our assistant, Tova



ROSE RAMBLER 02.03.2017 …

Hello dear rose friends on this very special day … the second day of AUTUMN and the season to enjoy true splendour in a rose garden – we all know how tough roses are, how they endure extreme weather conditions and produce flowers throughout those harsh times …

Then, as sure as the sun sets every day, autumn arrives and they say “… aaaah, time to show our true magnificence and really, truly, put on a grand show of colour.

Although we’ve been planting throughout summer in various parts of the garden, we’ll be planting a lot throughout this autumn – there’s a bed I’ve been preparing for some time now and since there are quite a few potted varieties which I’ve had my eye on to plant in this new bed, now is my perfect opportunity to proceed with mass planting!

RETRACTION FROM LAST WEEK’S ROSE RAMBLER … sometimes I get too enthusiastic in my ramblings and I thank my beautiful friend Shelley for calling me about last week’s newsletter referring to ART & ROSES …

This statement needs clarification:  “All visitors on this weekend will be welcomed here at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane too … importantly, once you arrive here, EVERYTHING except lunch is FREE

Please understand what I mean by this:   As long as you are part of a booked group during Art & Roses weekend, once you have paid for your travel and around $12.00 for a magnificent lunch at the Art Expo Café, ADMISSION to every aspect of your visit will be FREE.

You will partake in FREE ENTRY along with a guided tour of the Kilmore Art Expo hosted by a member of the Kilmore Art Society – this includes a FREE CATALOGUE.

At 10 Curry Road, Kilmore, you will enjoy a tour hosted by both the previous and current owners of this awesome, most plant-diverse garden– this is A SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY and is TOTALLY FREE for all BOOKED TRAVELLERS!  

ALL OTHER VISITORS WILL PAY $10.00 ADMISSION for this very special garden tour!

No, of course the roses you might purchase here at SILKIES ROSE FARM are NOT FREE … however, you will once again enjoy a cuppa and “Walk and Talk in the Rose Garden with Graham” absolutely FREE OF CHARGE!


… This is my kind of weather when I can get out in the garden and trim everything because it’s autumn … just love this time of year!

Q. What robs you while you’re in the bathtub?   A. A ROBBER DUCKY!

It’s time to fertilize the rose garden – a good handful per bush of COMPLETE ORGANIC FERTILIZER (COF) or top quality (preferably organic) fertilizer from your local supplier will guarantee another constant supply of beautiful flowers through autumn and into winter.

If the mulch is light-on, get a good thick layer on NOW so that when the soil starts to cool down, the mulch acts as a blanket and keeps the soil warmer for longer; this can extend the flowering season.

There’s no doubt that whatever goodness you offer your garden, you will be rewarded over and over with the joy of coming home to a lovely space with flowers and perhaps your own fresh veggies; a nice green lawn … aah, the joy of entering your driveway after a busy day!

Treat your garden during autumn to all the luxury you can afford and you’ll enjoy the rewards throughout all of this year!

Here is an updated picture of the compost heap which was created back in November and you can now see it starting to collapse –

perfect timing because I will now have lots of compost available when Diana is planting her new rose garden in coming weeks.  Notice how much material I have collected ready to re-use the straw bales for another compost heap …

I hope to be able to repeat this process at least once more since the straw bales cost $11 each and there are 22 used in construction of the heap.  When the bales no longer hold up to create a wall, they’ll be composted along with other material to ensure any weed seeds are well decomposed!

I think I’m very clever – although it was originally Diana’s ‘straw house’ constructed to compost all the weeds (and me) which flourished after I had spread oat straw as mulch!

Moving on … just one more instruction for NOW!  Use ECO-SEAWEED POWDER which contains a range of naturally occurring plant hormones, antioxidants and nutrients which stimulate beneficial responses within plants.  Research has shown that where eco-seaweed is used regularly, say, twice a month, it will

  • enhance flowering
  • improve root shoot and leaf growth
  • reduce transplant shock
  • increase ability to cope with drought/frost to 3-5 degrees tolerance
  • boost resistance to disease and insect attack
  • strengthen cell wall of foliage
  • extend vase-life of flowers
  • extend shelf-life of fruits and vegetables


Add a 600g pack of ECO SEAWEED POWDER to you next online order – use your own water to make 600 x 9 litre watering cans of seaweed solution to protect and enhance performance of all plants in your ENTIRE garden … $32.50 per 600g

Meantime, enjoy this lovely autumn weather – talk to you next week … Graham, Diana, Mooi and our assistant, Tova …  here at SILKIES ROSE FARM, CLONBINANE.

ROSE RAMBLER .. 23.2.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 23.02.2017 …

… HELLO DEAR ROSE FRIENDS after a few hot days to remind us that we are still in summertime!  However, autumn is just around the corner and this promises to be a most spectacular season as all States experienced above-average rainfall which means our autumn trees are well foliaged and will display magnificent autumn colours like we haven’t seen in some years!

PRUNING FOR AN EVENT … we’ve been madly pruning our roses so they’ll be in full-bloom during the Art & Roses weekend just 6 weeks away …

Be sure and book your bus group NOW … there has been extreme interest in coming to Kilmore for the Art Show but also to visit Kilmore’s most magnificent, plant diverse garden at 10 Curry Road, Kilmore and enjoy meeting Kevin & Rhonda Butler at the BLAZEAID Shearing Shed!

All visitors on this weekend will be welcomed here at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane too … importantly, once you arrive here, EVERYTHING except lunch is FREE.

At the Art Expo Café you’ll enjoy a magnificent home-cooked country lunch for around $12 per head and if you want, you will pop a gold coin in the Rotary donation boxes at each destination where there is a cuppa/Devonshire tea.


… with frosty mornings occurring, we are seeing spectacular colour in the roses already – this is real ‘gardener’s weather’ so we’ve been doing some ‘out-of-season’ pruning and mulching.

Q. What do you get if you cross a centipede with a chicken?  A. Enough drumsticks for everyone! 

It gets really, really cold here at Clonbinane so rather than do heavy winter pruning, we like to trim the roses well NOW and throughout autumn.  Here, winter pruning could only really be done late August/early September and even so, in most years we still experience extreme frost then too – especially in the lower parts of the garden.  Thankfully, the potted roses are at the higher, northern end of the property where it’s warmer!

Which leads me to tell you that we are pouring ECO-SEAWEED solution over EVERYTHING in order to protect our plants of frost protection between 3-5 degrees … it really does work!  If your garden has recently been subjected to intense heat, please, please recover trees and plants with liberal applications of ECO-SEAWEED – soon those same plants will be subjected to extreme cold/frost conditions – give them some relief!

ECO-SEAWEED powder contains a range of naturally occurring plant hormones, anti-oxidants and nutrients which stimulate beneficial responses within plants.  Our 30 years of successful rose growing shows that where SEAWEED SOLUTION is used regularly, say, twice a month (weekly if you feel like it) your plants will enjoy …

  • Enhanced flowering numbers and quality of flowers
  • Improved root, shoot and leaf growth – remember, more leaves, more flowers!!!
  • Reduced transplant shock – plant ANYTIME OF THE YEAR but do it with ECO SEAWEED!
  • Increased ability of plants to cope with drought and frost conditions – 3-5 degrees greater tolerance on plants lucky enough to be treated with ECO SEAWEED!
  • Boosted resistance of all plants to pest and disease
  • Extended vase-life of roses as cut flowers and fruit and veggies from your kitchen garden will last days longer in the fridge!

Here at SILKIES ROSE FARM, we guarantee our rose plants will flourish in your garden if customers use ECO SEAWEED SOLUTION at least once a month!

Every rose posted from Silkies Rose Farm has a sample of ECO-SEAWEED to ensure when you plant your new rose/s, protection against transplant shock is right there!

Q. How do you know Humpty Dumpty was eccentric?  A. He was completely off the wall.
MY ROSE OF THE WEEK …  there is nothing, absolutely NOTHING that beats the fragrance of one of my most favourite roses: PAPA MEILLAND … awesome colour, lovely structured bush and the fragrance … aaaaahhh

LOCK IN A DATE … we will again be on display with vases of roses at TESSELAAR’S GARDENING AND PLANT EXPO on the weekend of APRIL 22-23, 2017 so when you come to the nursery in coming weeks, remember to collect a FREE DOUBLE PASS valued at $36.00

This is a PREMIER EVENT that SILKIES ROSE FARM supports – lots of interstate gardeners make Melbourne their destination for this particular weekend in the Dandenong Ranges where we will have more than 50 vases of roses on display for you to sniff and sort your way through which roses to plant in your garden this season … an event not to be missed!

Hope you’re enjoying some respite from extremely hot weather … talk to you again next week … Diana, Graham, Mooi and our assistant, Tova here at SILKIES ROSE FARM, CLONBINANE.

ROSE RAMBLER 17.2.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 17.02.2017 …

Hello dear rose friends … hope you enjoyed Valentine’s Day and were gifted a rose from the love in your life!  We were busier in the nursery than in past years – lots of flowering, potted roses were delivered as GIFT ROSES and rightly so!


First a joke:  Q. How do chickens get strong?  A. Egg-cersize  and a picture of my chickens who are growing madly while they rip and tear around the pen –

They’re incredible time-wasters because they are such entertaining viewing!  Do make time to visit with them when you visit in coming weeks.

Since we only have less than two weeks of summer, start gearing up to complete the following tasks to ensure prolific flowering roses throughout autumn and well into winter.

  1. Fertilize all rose bushes – we prefer you use organic fertilizer like our pelletised Complete Organic Fertilizer with balanced N:P:K and trace elements – it doesn’t smell since it’s well processed and loaded with humates; if you cannot purchase our fertilizer, go to your local garden centre and ask for their highly recommended organic product and follow the application rates – usually one handful per square metre!
  2. If you haven’t been pruning throughout summer flowering, now would be ideal timing to remove approximately one-third of growth whilst retaining good foliage cover just in case we get more hot weather!  Continue dead-heading through autumn for continual bloom right up into winter.
  3. Treat the roses to an application of the organic rose management spray:
    To 10 litres of water add:

    • 1 TEASPOON ECO SEAWEED POWDER (or use your choice of seaweed product – powder seaweed is extremely economical because you’re not buying water!

      (Just $32.50 for 600g which makes 6,000 litres of solution – all products available in our online store:
    • MIX ALL THE PRODUCTS TOGETHER in a bucket and spray over roses until run-off to retain healthy foliage.
  4. Mulch again if needed – keeping a good thick layer of mulch over the garden will retain warm soil temperature throughout autumn and into winter so rose foliage will be maintained … remember:  MORE HEALTHY FOLIAGE, MORE FLOWERS!
  5. When you can’t figure out what else to do, it’s time for a nap!  Sssshhhhhh!
Q. What do you get when you cross a fly, a car, and a dog?  A. A flying carpet

At the close of summer, it’s appropriate to show you several roses which were outstanding performers during this past season …

No matter where this rose grows, it is a grand flowerer on a sturdy, extremely healthy foliaged bush – when you drive past a country-town CFA and see a brilliant orange flowering rose you can bet it’s this beauty!  Very highly recommended rose …

It might seem I’m bragging but so many customers who grow my lovely, award-winning beauty extol it’s virtues of extreme fragrance on a healthy, very free-flowering low maintenance shrub which is perfect as a border and in a large tub …

This rose is WOW … perfectly shaped HT blooms on long stems, extremely healthy busy to 1.5 metres tall, awesome fragrance – a truly magnificent Gold Medal Winner in the National Rose Trial Grounds … every Aussie should grow one and we’ll have plenty available this winter …


We still think it’s too early to select and pay for roses NOW so we have decided to open our on-line store for winter roses at the end of MARCH, 2017 … if you are impatient to place a winter order, you are welcome to call me on 03 5787 1123 every FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY & MONDAY between 9am and 4pm.  Rest assured, we have a HUGE SELECTION OF WINTER ROSES ordered so you won’t miss out!

Meantime, continue ordering potted roses at so that you can autumn-plant flowering roses whilst planting your winter-flowering bulbs in the same bed and enjoy INSTANT GARDENING pleasure!

Autumn is truly the most spectacular planting season as the roses settle well before light winter pruning and are beautifully well-established plants for spring flowering this year!

See you soon at Clonbinane… Graham, Diana, Mooi and assistant Tova.


ROSE RAMBLER 09.02.2017 …

Hello dear rose friends and Happy Birthday to our son Benjamin!  As I flipped over the calendar, this saying appeared …

SUCCESS … we need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, understanding that failure is not the opposite of success; it’s part of success …
- Arianna Huffington

Relocating our Rose Nursery to Clonbinane has been very successful – it works for us and we hope it works for you too!  We are open for business …

9.00am – 4.00pm
Phone: 03 5787 1123  (leave a message and I will respond)

Q. Why did the fly never land on the computer?  A. He was afraid of the world wide web.


We are renowned for our prompt email response!  We find portable phones most frustrating as we have frequent ‘power-out’ here at Clonbinane and we can only answer one incoming call at a time!!!  I do NOT always have a mobile phone in my pocket – as it is, I carry two pouches – one with portable phone, one with secateurs and they drag my trousers down!  Add a mobile phone to my baggage and you’ll see me walking around with no trousers …!  No, it won’t happen!!!

Added to the above, I put a battery on my back and shears in my hand … this is how I work on pruning now so that we have a most spectacular display of roses down in the ‘tram-stop’ garden for this autumn … ‘KNOCKOUT’ being pruned …

EVERY SINGLE CUSTOMER who grows this rose (and others like it) absolutely rave about the spectacular flowering and easy management of these varieties of roses … you ALL MUST GROW at least one KNOCKOUT ROSE or one of the following varieties to recognise their magnificent beauty…


(What a beauty for Valentine’s Day!!!)

(Available in Winter 2017)


Q.  What do you call 100 spiders on a tyre?  A. A spinning wheel! 

We have noticed an extreme number of spider webs in our garden and even along freeways in the barriers – fascinating!  There are three big fat garden orbs who have taken up residence on our front verandah – very entertaining when they appear in the evening ready to capture their prey.

Make your garden a space where you maintain an ecological balance by minimizing use of harsh chemical pesticide sprays; all the spiders and insects together with birds and other animals who rely on this balance for their survival, will flourish and allow you and your children the privilege of viewing nature “LIVE” … not through a TV screen but right there in your own yard!

Please encourage the little people around you to be enthralled by rather than fear spiders and insects, birds and other animals!


I picked these blooms for a vase on the island bench in our kitchen to prove that there is a distinct difference between my two most favourite white roses … oh, if only I could send the fragrance in this email … both magnificent roses in their own right – POPE JOHN PAUL II has the stronger fragrance, MEMOIRE is the most weather-tolerant of all the white roses we stock … BOTH AVAILABLE AS BUSH AND STANDARD IN WINTER 2017


If you want roses posted, best you call us NOW and we’ll EXPRESS POST a rose plant so it arrives on time …
03 5787 1123 … enjoy the romance!

See you soon at Clonbinane… Graham, Diana, Mooi and assistant Tova.