Hello dear rose friends where we are working in glorious winter sunshine after severely frosty mornings and some rain this week … exactly as we would expect the weather to be at this time of year!


Enjoy inspiring presentations: JANE EDMANSON, STEPHEN RYAN, ATTILA KAPITANY and be there to visit a large number of niche vendors with unusual plants and allied products.

The event is all UNDER COVER with FREE PARKING so ideal for visiting with predicted inclement weather this coming weekend – public transport is close by and you will be supporting the Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria with your presence! Do come and visit us!!!


We’ve had a most thrilling bit of publicity these past few weeks with a story in the WEEKLY TIMES a couple of weeks ago followed by a magnificent presentation in SMALL FARMS MAGAZINE (includes TOWN & COUNTRY FARMER) June edition.

Our darlin’ toy poodle MOOI looks gorgeous in all the photos as does our son Ben and quite frankly, both Diana and I look great too so you MUST get a copy of this magazine – we’ve enjoyed all the other stories featured in this brilliant edition of SMALL FARMS MAGAZINE!

Q: What do you get when you cross a fridge with a radio? A: Cool music. – this joke will be very apparent to our assistant TOVA who likes the radio on while she’s working – we’ve agreed to one day her music, one day ours – happy medium in our work place!!!

I had a phone call the other day: “should I start the organic rose maintenance spray program NOW?” … and my response was: “DEFINITELY, YES! – if you start the program IMMEDIATELY AFTER PRUNING you will eliminate the need to do ‘catch-up’ if/when your roses incur disease/pest issues in spring.

Get ahead of the insects and definitely protect new rose foliage from spring weather conditions which prevail to perhaps incur black spot/mildew!

We recently posted a rose to Ian which was rather roughly handled by Auspost but he’s managed to recover the rose and as any of you who receive roses know, we always pop a copy of our ‘Rosarian’ catalogue into your parcel. Here’s Ian’s email:

“I was leafing through the copy of AUSTRALIAN ROSARIAN, that you put in with my order and I discovered “Shirley’s Rose”. Normally I am not a great fan of white roses, but note that this one is highly fragrant, and my resistance just melted away ’cos my wife’s name is Shirley. So I thought: “I must have that for her”.

For me, I cannot understand why anybody would purchase a rose that is not fragrant, but I am a weird gardener and only like plants that – have a pretty flower, have a nice perfume, or you can eat. Shirley’s Rose will fulfil two of those criteria – guess at a push it could fulfil all three, but probably will not try to eat it 🙂

I don’t have a hole or a place in the garden to really suit this rose, but guess it will survive in that pot that it will come in for a while and I can just pot it on as it grows. This one must definitely be female 🙂 Kind regards, Ian.”

We know that both Ian and his wife Shirley will enjoy SHIRLEY’S ROSE in their garden and suggested that if they ever have another space to fill, two other magnificent roses which were bred by our very own AUSTRALIAN ROSE BREEDER, BRUCE BRUNDRETT who was formerly owner of BRUNDRETT’S ROSES at Narre Warren here in Victoria are available:

THE OPPORTUNITY ROSE will be the very first rose to flower at the beginning of the flowering season in any State – it will also very likely be the last to flower and produce a most stunning display of blooms continually throughout the season – top rose!

MY YELLOW – New Release this year and absolutely amazing for those who want to plant a yellow rose … this rose is so incredibly healthy and very free flowering

Q: What do you call a book that’s about the brain? A: A mind reader.


Hi Diana, just a quick question if I may. I have a shady(ish) spot in the front garden that I’d like to grow something. It gets sun in summer for half a day (but not full sun where I’m planting the other roses you’re sending) and a little sun in winter. There’s a frangipani in the same planting bed but not much else. I’ve been reading that the DANSE DE FEU climbing rose can be grown in shade but not sure if that’s really true!

Any ideas for a shade loving rose that can cover a semi shady corner? There’s a low wall it can grow up. Thanks Lisa

MY RESPONSE: Honestly Lisa … if ANY rose doesn’t get at least 5 hours of sunlight per day while it IS ESTABLISHING it will not give you the joy I would expect … if you were planting the rose in open ground, no frangipani, no other shade trees, etc. then you plant ALL THE PLANTS TOGETHER … it MIGHT work for a rose of exceptional quality – very high-health and extremely prolific since the shady location might cause foliage to incur powdery mildew / black spot but it might also reduce the flowering capacity!

However, to plant a rose in an existing shady location, it probably won’t flourish. The rose you mentioned: DANSE DE FEU is one I have never grown but do remember the name from when we first started in roses 35 years ago.

A magnificent red CLIMBING/PILLAR rose which just might pull this off is DUBLIN BAY if you want to venture! Hope this works and you enjoy planting your new roses this week … best wishes

We’ve done it so many times but it is a great rose so let’s do it again!

Hope you enjoy all the moments in your rose garden this week and perhaps we’ll see you at GARDENER’S DAY OUT, 2018 this weekend or perhaps you’ll pop up to the Rose Farm at Clonbinane .. Graham and Diana

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