ROSE RAMBLER 27.3.2024


Hello dear rose friends … no, we’re not at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show this year – I read somewhere that this year is the 19th MIFGS and we’ve been there every year.

Instead, we propose to have a lot of special seminars here at the Rose Farm, attend more Garden Club meetings as guest speakers and go to a few special events like this one happening at Silvan.

We thoroughly enjoyed the TESSELAAR PLANT EXPO last year so we’ll be there again

9.00am  –  4.00pm
357 MONBULK ROAD, SILVAN (Mel. 123 B5)
COST:  $16.00 ADULTS  | $13.00 CONCESSION | U18 FREE
(Group bookings of 4 or more $12.00 per person)



This really is a FANTASTIC weekend of good food, great atmosphere and an opportunity to expand your knowledge about all things gardening – Stephen Ryan will introduce a host of expert speakers to talk about their specialised fields. I will be speaking at 10.15am on Saturday and Graham at 11.00am on Sunday in the marquee seating area.

If you’re unable to go to the Tesselaar Plant Expo then be sure to come along to the Rose Farm at Clonbinane the following weekend. We still have space for a bus group who would like to book on SUNDAY ONLY.

Sat 12 OR Sun 13 April,2014
Kilmore Art Expo
Memorial Hall, Kilmore

Hundreds of Quality Paintings
Also… Photography, Woodwork, Glass Art and Jewellery.
Artist demos all weekend. All work for sale.
Silkies Rose Farm at Clonbinane

Extensive gardens with sales and displays of hundreds of roses.
Walk & Talk in the Garden with Graham about sustainable gardening practices.

Your Probus Club, Gardening Club or other interest group will book their own Coach & receive a subsidy from us for the coach plus other BONUSES:

  • SUBSIDY: $10 per person subsidy for Coach transport to and from Kilmore and Clonbinane
  • BONUS: Entry & Catalogue at the Kilmore Art Expo
  • BONUS: Devonshire Tea at Silkies Rose Farm. Lunches will be available for purchase at: Art Expo Café, One Red Pantry or Royal Oak Hotel – Lunch specials $12 – $15 each.
This weekend event is a project of the Rotary Club of Southern Mitchell and there is a fabulous painting as First Prize in their raffle.   If you cannot make it for the weekend but would like to support Rotary, please call me at the Rose Farm and I can organise tickets for you – I can process your tickets through the eftpos machine and give the cash to Rotary.


Ok, so who was a smarty pants and got the answer to last week’s joke?  The answer is of course, CHIM PANSY.

Because of the damp, cool nights, if you haven’t been doing regular applications of the organic rose maintenance spray program, then DO IT NOW!  The spray program will definitely control fungus issues which may occur during this type of weather.  Also, regular applications of liquid seaweed will strengthen the foliage – a healthy rose is better equipped to maintain healthy foliage and with lots of leaves on the bush, the rose is better equipped to uptake nutrients in order to make it healthier and thus more resistant to fungal disease.

Q.  What is smaller than an ant’s mouth? A. An ant’s dinner.

When my Dad died, I inherited his Felco 5 secateurs and they’re really special to me.  Recently, Diana packed them up and sent them and several other pairs off to Felco for an overhaul.

We are both so impressed with the fantastic service, quality cleaning and sharpening of our secateurs that we encourage you to do the same. Quality tools like Felco should be maintained and for a very reasonable cost, your tools will be in mint condition and ready for the hard work of winter pruning.

Send your tools to
Felco Distribution Pty. Ltd.
23 Manton Road, OAKLEIGH SOUTH, VIC. 3167
EMAIL:  PHONE:  03 9544 6976


Working on the basis that roses produce a new flush of blooms every 45 days, if you keep on grooming the spent flowers until the middle of April, the roses will, obviously depending on the weather, bloom right up to the end of May.

Grooming is about trimming short stems to keep the bushes looking tidy right up to their winter pruning.  Nothing worse than straggly, untidy rose bushes.  See you at one of our events … Gra


Enjoy all the glory of this beautiful autumn flowering.

~ Cheers from Diana, Graham and Mooi at Clonbinane



Hello dear rose friends … crazy weather for autumn with one morning at 5 degrees and within a week its 25 degrees first thing.  We and our roses are at the mercy of the weather but whatever the weather, we’ll wether it!

This coming weekend we’ll be up in the Dandenong Ranges for the Tesselaar Gardening Expo – hope to see you there because we will have vases of a plethora of the new and recent release rose flowers on display again this year!

I just love walking through the rows and collecting rose blooms for an exhibition; then displaying them in vases and watching people sniff and extol at the virtues of the most heavenly of flowers … a fragrant rose.

Have you ever read a book that is so lovely, you never want to see THE END?  I’ve been growing roses for 30 years and during that time I’ve read “FOR LOVE OF A ROSE” by Antonia Ridge at least 20 times and will continue to read it and wish that the story never ends.

If you truly love roses, do yourself a favour and read this beautiful story of the families involved in the creation of Hybrid Tea rose: “PEACE”.

Last year when we were in South Africa at the World Rose Convention, I had several discussions with Alain Meilland whose (grand) Papa Meilland bred the Peace rose.  Alain Meilland is a feisty, vibrant man who is so passionate about roses and was an inspiration to me. His grandfather, Papa Meilland, travelled the world to argue for the legal rights of the gardener who creates a new rose.

We now have Plant Breeders’ Rights which means that gardeners pay a royalty for more recently released roses which makes them a bit more expensive than older roses. Take the time to read Antonia Ridge’s story about how ‘Peace’ was created and you will appreciate and generously spend the extra few $’s to buy a newly released rose.

In Australia, PBR applies for 20 years.


Trim back old flowers 10cm from where the rose finishes. If you remove this finished flower it helps the bush to resist fungus attack on wet damp and cold nights. You still might get flowers before winter pruning.

Spray eco-fungicide with seaweed solution and eco-oil.  If there are any insects include the eco-neem which sucking/biting insects ingest and it goes into their brain and they stop eating.
You can apply these sprays with a watering can and it is best applied in the morning when the foliage has dried.

Remember that all the products we use and recommend are safe in the environment, are all Australian Made and are approved organics.  Bees are safe with all these products too.

Q.  What do bees do with their honey?  A.  They cell it.

If you haven’t already fertilized, do it now with a quality organic fertilizer which is safe for earthworms and frogs.

Great time to plant potted roses as the roots will settle well before the light winter prune and you’ll have an established rose this coming spring … at the rate this year is going, that’s just around the corner!


Have a great week in your garden – see you this weekend at Tesselaar’s Plant Expo, maybe the week after at our Art & Rose Expo weekend or whenever you feel like getting in the car and taking a drive to Clonbinane … Gra


There will be four beautiful Kilmore gardens open on the weekend of the Art Expo along with Walk and Talk in the Garden with Graham here at the Rose Farm.

If you would like more information, please call Diana 5787 1123 – it would be handy to know if you are bringing a group for this weekend adventure in and around Kilmore.


Now is the time to start preparing the bed if you’re planning on planting roses this winter.  Remove the turf or weeds to about 10cms depth and place layer upon layer of any type of animal manure, barley/wheat/oat/pea straw, fallen autumn leaves, sprinkling of rock dust and then water over with renew (sea minerals) and seaweed solution.  As the worms come up to start digesting all this, keep topping up with layers of all the goodies.

There is absolutely no need to turn the soil – don’t break your back and then pay for chiropractic realignment … the worms will come and they’ll do all the digging for you.  They’ll also leave all their castings.

By the time bare-rooted roses are ready for planting, all you have to do is dig at the planting hole and you will have the most productive, humus rich soil that the roses will definitely want to be planted into.

Have another beaut week in the autumn rose garden and we’ll see you really soon at Clonbinane!
~ Cheers from Diana, Graham & Mooi

ROSE RAMBLER 10.4.2014


Hello dear rose friends … Warm welcome to all our new subscribers who joined up to receive our ramblings after meeting with you at the Tesselaar Plant Expo last weekend.

The weather was glorious and just as well because I had forgotten to order a marquee. It was delightful to watch people walk past our site and then do a double-back because the fragrance was unbelievable and they just had to come and have a closer look and sniff.  Rose flowers in vases like this are simply magic.

Expo Vases 4

Expo Vases 9


Graham and I walked through the rose fields to pick the roses which is such a joyous thing to do.  Arms loaded with roses out in the middle of a paddock.  After being in the sun at the Expo for two days, I expected to have to bin the flowers but we still have them in vases all about the place here – lovely!


Not the best timing to be so wet since we have bus groups visiting this weekend but we are not complaining. If it stays mild after all this rain, we will enjoy an extended autumn flowering season.  Often a good deep soaking of rain is all a rose garden needs to promote more flowers and although our gardens are irrigated, tap water just isn’t quite the same.


Great mobs of kangaroos have pooped all over our yard during recent months because grass stayed green as a result of run-off from watering pots in the nursery and our yard was the only place with a decent bit of green pick.

They’ve returned us a favour because all their poop has ‘melted’ with the rain and I’m quite sure it’s added a heap of nutrient to the soil.  Worms will be starting to breed soon so they’ll have a party too.  Nature is wonderful, isn’t it?

I’ll be needing to mow again as soon as we see the first peek of sunshine.  So refreshing to see green after the long hot summer.


Within the next few weeks, our website will be set up ready to take orders for winter roses.  Our new assistant, Virginia, is currently working with my niece, Katrina who is a professional photographer (InVision Photography) and if the proofs are anything to go by, those girls will put together an amazing website.

If you would like to place winter orders in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to call me on
03 5787 1123.  I will keep you posted when the new site is up and ready for ordering your winter roses – very exciting.


If you haven’t fertilized, do it now while it’s rainingSprinkle over the entire soil surface and if you happen to throw fertilizer over foliage at the base of the roses, hose it off because it can burn the foliage.

Some pets eat fertilizer so to avoid this, soak the fertilizer in a garbage bin for a few days and pour the liquid over the roses – add seaweed to the ‘brew’ as an extra tonic for the roses and you’ll get more flowers for longer.

With all this humidity, regular applications of the rose maintenance spray program will keep fungus at bay and maintain healthy foliage.  The fungicide works by altering the pH of the foliage surface so fungus spores cannot live there.  The more foliage on the plants, the more photosynthesis occurs and this equates to more flowers … simple!

I planted yellow pansy seedlings for loads of colour in the winter – with all the rain, I’ll have to go and put out the snail-bait.

Q.  What is a slug?  A.  A snail with a housing problem …


~ See you at Clonbinane soon … Diana, Graham & Mooi