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.


ROSE RAMBLER 02.02.2017 …

Hello dear rose friends… In the style we’ve come to expect, January raced by and it’s already February when we celebrate the romance in our lives with VALENTINE’S DAY … this year, to be right in the spirit of it, I want to share this magnificent rose which Graham keeps picking and picking for vases on the kitchen bench … I must go and check how many plants of this glorious rose he has secretly planted in HIS garden!

DARK DESIRE has the most incredibly blended fragrance of sweet and spice, it’s fruity with hints of myrrh and the bloom has perfect form which opens nicely and lasts well in a vase.  It is a most romantic rose on a healthy, well-rounded shrub which is suitable for planting in a large tub on a sunny balcony … bring some romance into your garden this Valentine’s Day and gift DARK DESIRE to the love of your life …

GIFT ROSE – a 20cm potted, flowering rose; includes a pretty rose card with your personal handwritten message, delightful colour-matched gift wrapping, instructions for planting and ongoing maintenance, sample of seaweed solution and postage in a sturdy gift box $73.90 – for more information go to

Of course, you can select any available rose in our range at so be sure to gift a potted, flowering rose this Valentine’s Day and enjoy flowers from your own garden for years to come!



It’s that time of year when we start to promote the ART & ROSES TOURS working in conjunction with Rotary Club of Southern Mitchell and Kilmore Art Society this year promises to host one of the most spectacular weekends …

If you have a group who are interested in attending this event, please let me know as soon as possible so that I can arrange ANYTHING you might need (including weekend accommodation) to make your visit to our region a memorable occasion!

The garden at Curry Road, Kilmore which is opening as part of the weekend, is one of Kilmore’s finest and most plant diverse gardens; opened many times under the loving ownership of Leon & Mary.  New owners have put their personality into the garden and it is simply extraordinary!
Both past and current owners will be on hand during the open weekend … what an opportunity this is to visit Kilmore’s most beautiful garden!



Q.  What’s blue and has big ears?  A.  No, not GRA’S BLUE ROSE … it’s an elephant at the North Pole!

Did you join a rose society or your local garden club yet?  Without doubt, you’ll learn lots and enjoy meeting with like-minded gardeners.  If you are even remotely interested in BREEDING ROSES, please join the Rose Society of NSW and register for the special interest group about breeding … our dear friend Laurel who lives in QLD emailed us after reading the Rose Rambler last week …

“Yes, the new Forum for breeders is great. Richard has been very generous with his advice and I think we are in for a wonderful new resource. He did put a lot of info in the Rose Annuals as well. At present besides my 2 wonders, I have a red and a new orange from Apache and Dublin Bay as well as 15 new plants as yet to flower.”

When you join a Rose Society you will receive the ROSE ANNUAL which is a fabulous resource aside from the monthly newsletters!  Don’t procrastinate any longer … do it now!

Q.  What did the earwig say as it fell down the stairs?  A. Ear we go !

I recently hatched 30 Langshan chickens in the incubator … now on show when you visit the Rose Farm and here they are with grandson, Logan and Mooi …

Be sure to keep trimming the roses as we proceed through the last month of summer – the more you trim now, the more beautiful your roses will flower as temperatures become cooler for autumn.

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

AUSTRALIA DAY … 26.1.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 26.01.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 26.01.2017 …

Hello HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY 2017 TO ALL OUR DEAR ROSE FRIENDS … today of all days we should stop and quietly reflect on how very, very lucky we are to live in this enormously great land where, amongst many other privileges, we have the freedom to grow and tend a garden!

I could postulate about mostly kind weather for gardening, space, peace, availability of plants, money to purchase plants … I won’t go on and on but ask you to just know that we are simply very, very lucky and while you munch on that barbequed meat in a garden today, take a moment to say ‘THANKS … SO GLAD I’M AN AUSSIE’.


Q. What animal can jump higher than the Sydney Harbour Bridge?  A. All animals, because bridges can’t jump!  I’m on a mission researching BIO-CHAR for increasing microbial activity in soil and potentially using it to increase the healthy vigour of our potted roses by adding it to our coir-fibre potting mix this winter.

Exciting research is being conducted in Australia and BIO-CHAR products are available out of Tasmania … I will keep you posted as I learn more and my experiments reveal the kind of growth and hardiness anticipated.

Whatever mediums we can add to increase microbial activity in our very mineral depleted ‘old’ soil here in Australia is worth it over the long-term and even home gardeners can have an impact in this endeavour!  Keep mulching and composting – return your waste to improve the soil in your yard!!!

Here’s a shot of our compost heap –
22 bales of straw were used to create it and it’s breaking down rapidly
… you could make a smaller one to fit your yard!

Oak trees and fire … having experienced Black Saturday ’09 bushfire through our property here at Clonbinane I think it’s timely to once again remind you of the fire-resistance of oak trees – their leaves have an oil/liquid exudate which resists burning.

Our local CFA Captain is an Entomologist at Vic Gov Research Station and he told me that in extremely hot weather, insects exude a sticky liquid which resists burning too.

We and our neighbours have very large oak trees which survived the intense flames – the leaves were burned but within 6 weeks of the fire, fresh new leaves were evident on all oak and other ornamental deciduous and fruit trees.

ALL EUCALYPTUS and other NATIVE TREES were completely burned along with their undergrowth.  Consider planting oak trees if you have an opportunity to plant a tree somewhere soon – glorious leaf-litter in autumn is extremely valuable for making microbial compost/mulch and as these trees grow, they will afford so much pleasure to future generations!

Q. Why do kangaroo mums hate bad weather?  A. Their joeys have to play inside!


For true garden sharing, go along to your local garden club – don’t be afraid that they’re going to rope you into being on Committee as soon as you walk in the door!  (A good reason why lots of people resist joining their local groups – sad because you miss so many great opportunities and information sharing by NOT participating!)

Recently, I joined the Rose Society of NSW because they offer SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP with membership and I nominated ROSE BREEDING to receive information and participate with fellow Australian rose breeders by sharing Richard Walsh’s “Rose Breeders Forum – Vol 1, No. 1” which started with this article and had me in raptures throughout:

You Need an Aim I am sure you have heard the many sayings associated with having an aim. “If you don’t have an aim, you just might reach it.”  Or, “better to aim at 110% and achieve 80 than aim at 60% and reach it.”

I started with aims and have modified them several times as they are achieved or become unachievable. My first aims were:

  1. To raise a rose from seed;
  2. To raise a rose from seed pollinated by myself;
  3. To raise a rose from one of my seedlings;
  4. To raise a commercially viable rose.

I made my first crosses in 1980 and they all failed to take, BUT I saved some open pollinated hips from Charleston and achieved the first aim….”

This first edition of Rose Breeders Forum was captivating and so very, very interesting that Graham asked me to print it entirely – as you know, Graham has already bred an award-winning rose

and he wished he had had access to such information earlier in his breeding endeavours!  To acquire this and future copies, we recommend you join ROSE SOCIETY OF NSW ( for $30.00 annual fee – contact details:

Kristin Dawson, Secretary
The Rose Society of NSW Inc.
PO BOX 637, DAPTO, NSW 2530

Email: or

Meantime, enjoy whatever moments you can share with your roses during this flowering season – picking flowers, summer pruning, weeding and mulching or deep-soak watering with the hose on a still morning with a cuppa in hand … aah, what bliss …

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

ROSE RAMBLER 12.1.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 12.01.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 12.01.2017 …

Happy New Year to you, our dear Rose Friends!  Welcome to a new year of sharing our passion for growing beautiful roses using the most environmentally sustainable methods so that our gardens are a healthy haven for us all!

We hope you’ve enjoyed a lovely time with your family and friends – the weather was perfect for revelling in our Great Australian Outdoors.  We’ve had a lovely rest and are still enjoying more relaxed moments – it’s so beautiful pottering and trimming in the garden during cool evenings – now I’m up in technology isolated Victorian High Country at Cobungra with my lads.  Graham and I promise to forward lots of rose gardening information in weeks to come.

Meantime, keep enjoying the holidays … a quickie joke from Gra …
Q.  How would you fire Santa?  A.  Give him the sack …
and just one more ‘cause I got these out of the bon-bons on Christmas Eve …

Q.  Did you hear about the leopard who had a bath every day?  A.  He was spotless!
Hope you didn’t buy the same pack of bon-bons … 


PH. 03 57871123 will continue POSTING potted/flowering roses and will open for bare-rooted online sales in MARCH – meantime, you are more than welcome to call us at the Rose Farm and place a ‘phone order’ for roses to be delivered during winter.  You will pay a deposit when ordering then finalise payment when the roses are ready to be posted from late May to August.

If you see a particular rose which you would like to order for winter, store it in your wishlist on the website! Here are some pics of roses which have been stand-out beauties in the recent hot weather and would be worthy of adding to your wishlist …

Floribunda rose which sported out to a Climbing rose –
warm yellow, full petalled blooms in abundance over the whole flowering season.

One of the most rewarding roses to grow in almost any location in the garden – it’s a fantastic rose in tubs too! This versatile rose is so stunningly bright and vivacious with orange blooms and a yellow reverse. The shrub is so healthy and so very free-flowering – it produces great hips too! One of the most carefree roses … very highly recommended!

MULTI-AWARD WINNING modern patio/miniature rose of incredible beauty, fragrance and proven disease-resistance. GRA’S BLUE is hailed by the growers and all those who see it as a true ‘little beauty’.

– yes, it was sold out for a while but we have magnificent plants
available NOW. Positive approach …
“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviour. Keep your behaviour positive because your behaviour becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”
Mahatma Ghandi

Until next next week, cheers from Graham, Diana, Tova & Mooi

ROSE RAMBLER 22.12.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 22.12.2016 …

Yes, dear rose friends, it’s Christmas and we want to end this year of ramblings with you by sending our love and best wishes to you and yours; may 2017 be a lovely year with good health and happiness and may your garden thrive and offer you a special place to uplift your spirit, energise your soul and be your health guardian!

We’ll be open at Silkies Rose Farm from 6th January with normal trading times:  FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY and MONDAY from 9.00am till 4.00pm – any other times by appointment.

Thank you most sincerely for your continued support of our business and thank you to our magnificent IT team (FIONA and WENCY at who compile our ramblings into the lovely document you receive each week!

Graham and I are truly grateful that we are able to share our passion for gardening with you and most especially thankful that we all love roses!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR – Diana, Graham, Tova & Mooi


ROSE RAMBLER 15.12.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 15.12.2016 …

Hello dear rose friends and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of the most precious people in our lives, my darling Mother, Miep / Nan / Grandmere, who is 84 years young today!

I (Diana) am one of her four children who produced 11 grandchildren, there are 18 great-grandchildren and more on the way …

All this from a beautiful woman who courageously boarded a ship in Holland back in 1953 to be with my Dad who came some months earlier to find work and sadly died in a car accident way back in 1973 … he missed so much but I missed him more! 


Seriously time to get the tap turned on because as soon as we get hot northerly winds you can be sure the soil is drying out and the plants are thirsty!

It’s absolutely essential to have a thick layer of mulch over the soil – mulch is fundamental in Australian gardens to prevent hydrophobic conditions where moisture simply WILL NOT penetrate for lack of humus and microbes.

An irrigation system that’s simple and low-maintenance is dripper hose attached to a battery operated timer at the tap – readily available from your local hardware.

It is imperative that however you decide to water your roses, you DEEP SOAK THEM AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK with say, 20 litres of water per rose.  Roses which receive 40 litres at each watering will retain lush, healthy foliage and produce lots more flowers.

Q.  What do witches like to read at bedtime?  A. Ghoul Deluxe and the three Scares.

LUDWIG TASCHNER has several rose farms in South Africa and I read this in his recent newsletter – “… one statement that always makes me smile is:  “But, they all get the same treatment, so why is this rose not doing as well as the others?”

My standard reply is: “We always try to treat all our children the same way and why do they not all develop in the same way?”

For sure – every rose variety has its own personality and one needs to be a rose whisperer to understand this.  It can often be something small, that needs to be rectified and the rose recovers in no time.”

You are welcome to send photos of any issues you have with your roses to:  – we also love to receive beautiful pics of the roses you grow or identify an unnamed rose if possible.


MONDAY, 19TH DECEMBER will be the last posting however, if you are planning on sending a GIFT ROSE for somebody, I would be most grateful to have your rose in the post today or tomorrow – Monday is the absolute deadline!  Here are a few suggestions – these plants look sensational in the nursery NOW:

Modern Shrub Rose of extraordinary health and vigour
as a pleasant reminder of the hero in your life!

Floribunda/Modern Shrub rose with splashes of pale creamy salmon-pink with flecks of darker salmon-pink, constantly in flower.

A wonderful floribunda rose which produces clusters of perfectly formed Hybrid Tea shaped blooms. There is a very unique fragrance, a true favourite and highly recommended rose!

Delbard Couture Collection Shrub Rose which produces one of the most durable flowers of any rose we have ever stocked – it lasts and lasts on the bush.

One of the MOST stunning roses to place against a post, in a pillar frame or create a hedge-row of continual blooming, fragrant, vase-quality roses


We will be open on Christmas Eve, Saturday, 24th until 2.00pm
then closing until Friday, 6th January.


See you soon in Clonbinane – Diana, Graham, Tova & Mooi