ROSE RAMBLER 28.8.2014

ROSE RAMBLER 28.8.2014

Hello dear rose friends … not just good news but GREAT NEWS … after months of writing, there is a beautiful book being released in the first week of September; ALL ABOUT ROSES is a very practical guide to growing and loving roses which I wrote from Christmas, 2013 to deadline: 10th April, 2014 – it was an amazing journey and we are thrilled with the result!

I took lots of the photos and my niece, Katrina, a professional photographer assisted me during the last weeks of autumn compiling magnificent landscape photos of the gardens here at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane. Here’s a sneak preview of the cover:

In my Mother’s words: “ALL ABOUT ROSES is a beautiful coffee table book with magnificent pictures of roses as well as being a very practical guide for gardeners wishing to grow healthy roses organically”.

As a special treat, I’m offering to post you
a signed copy of ALL ABOUT ROSES by simply clicking here!

Copies of ALL ABOUT ROSES will be available in bookstores around Australia as well as in UK and USA and yes, of course, I will have copies here at the Rose Farm too!


Winter ends with sunny days and extremely frosty nights – all the roses are pruned so now let’s take time to consider the soil which produces our beautiful roses.

The world under our feet is critical to the success of our roses and all plants! Without a balanced eco-system within the soil, roses cannot get the nutrients they need regardless of how much fertilizer is applied.

Soil microbes, worms, manures, mulch all play an important part in the BALANCE OF NATURE and here are a few things you need to do NOW to enhance the life-giving force of the soil your plants depend on …
Sprinkle a light application of organic fertilizer over the entire soil surface of the rose garden;
If you took my earlier advice and have a drum of ‘brew’ ready to be used, (manures/grasses and water fermenting for four weeks) add a bit of seaweed to the brew and pour it all over the soil to build up microbes;
Spread a light layer of mulch over the soil to retain even soil temperature – the mulch will be more thickly placed later on before the extreme heat of summer.

Found a couple of beaut jokes:
Q. Why is it not safe to sleep on a train? A. Because they run over sleepers.
And, Q. What did the drone say to the Queen Bee? A. Swarm in here isn’t it.

Have a beaut week in your garden and if you’re not sure about the soil in your garden and how to improve it, bring a shovel full of soil in a bag and we’ll have a chat about the various means to enhance the fertility and microbial content of your soil … see you soon – Gra


Yes, the roses can still be posted and yes, they are very heavily cut back. We had a parcel go astray in Queensland – it left the nursery on 4th August … this is the last email from that customer – take particular notice of the date she got her roses – yes, 22nd August – nearly three weeks in transit. I was always confident the roses would arrive in good condition – they’re perfectly fine after planting and seaweed applications.

Hi Diana,
I received the roses today! Don’t know why the post office would keep it such long. Some yellow shoots sprout I guess its due to prolonged transit, otherwise they are beautiful. Thanks for your beautiful roses and your kind responses to my enquiries! Cheers!
Wai, Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 06:24:20 +0800

If you need a rose posted to the special man in your life for FATHER’S DAY, 7th SEPTEMBER, please be in touch within the next few days – Australia Post will struggle to keep up I think.

Enjoy this magnificent weather and take quiet moments to listen the birds as they ramp it up to herald spring …

~ Diana, Graham & Mooi at Clonbinane

WINTER ROSES … never too late…

This was first posted last year and this year is no different except that right now I can send you extreme quality bare-rooted roses – truly, it’s NEVER TOO LATE to plant roses!!!!:  

No, it’s not too late to order bare-rooted roses … just log onto and I can assure you, I will post you the most beautiful winter roses which have been in their pots for a few weeks, have established roots and lovely new shoots.

I will carefully lift them from the pots with their coir-fibre potting mix around them, wrap them in damp newspaper, seal them off in a plastic bag and they will safely travel to your place … ready to plant in your garden and then flower this coming spring.

Yes, the roses will produce flowers this spring/summer provided you give them all the loving care they require.  Lots and lots of sunshine, no less than 5 hours of sun per day.

They love seaweed solution to establish themselves in your soil – once a fortnight at least, all over the plant.  While you are doing this seaweed solution, you might as well add the products we use in our organic rose management program – eco-oil insecticide, eco-rose/fungicide and eco-aminogrow which will ensure a complete dose of all that will be required for robust, healthy and environmentally managed roses in your garden.

If you need more advice, please email me at and I am more than happy to offer personal consultations to assure you grow the most beautiful, healthy roses in your garden.



ROSE RAMBLER 21.8.2014

ROSE RAMBLER… 21.8.2014

Hello dear rose friends … the joy of new life is happening in our front garden! After several weeks of being harassed by a pair of plovers every time we walked beyond the front veranda, two tiny weeny chicks are now gracing our garden so it will be weeks before I can go anywhere near the swale with the mower.  These little cherubs also tell us that spring is imminent.  Do take a look when you come up to the Rose Farm and if I get a chance to get close, I’ll take a pic to share this delight.


Don’t race around the shopping centre trying to find the ‘perfect gift’ for your Dad – send him a rose for his garden.  Here are a few that Virginia and I decided would make special gifts this year:

– glorious swirling mass of petals in a very fragrant medium-red flower on a healthy, robust bush – spectacular standard specimens available too!

– for the fun of it!  This spectacular rose is almost never without masses of yellow/orange/red single-petal blooms on one of the most supremely healthy bushes!

– heavily fragrant, medium pink flowers of huge proportion on a seriously healthy shrub which produces vase-quality blooms all season!

– when this very healthy shrub flowers in your Dad’s garden, he will be reminded continually of your appreciation of his love and care – the deep mauve, highly fragrant flowers are spectacular!

Yes, you can purchase all the above roses in the GIFT ROSE section of or you can come up to the Rose Farm in the next few weeks and get a potted, gift-wrapped rose for the special man in your life!


Time to start mowing the lawns which means you’ll have lots of lawn clippings for the compost heap but don’t place them in clumps – spread them out in 100mm thick layers so that they can warm the compost heap, decompose more quickly and not leave a stinking, anaerobic mass on the compost heap.

Your compost heap shouldn’t stink!  If, when you turn it, there is a bit of odour, pour over seaweed solution, a sprinkling of rockdust and the smell will dissipate quickly while these products add all the minerals essential to healthy compost.

Q.  What kind of music do planets sing?  A.  NEPTUNES

When planting a climbing rose to cover a wide expanse of fence, tie the lateral canes horizontally and because the rose naturally grows upwards to seek light, those lateral canes, when spread out and tied, will become flowering branches.  More spreading equates to more flowers and very easy pruning which encourages even more flowers!

You be the boss of your climbing roses and they will reward you with masses of beautiful roses continually.  Enjoy being the boss … I love it … Gra


Yes, you can now purchase the complete package of products necessary to organically manage your roses now that you have pruned them.  The pack includes the following:

Eco-oil 500ml             $18.50
Eco-rose 500g           $17.50
Eco-seaweed 100g    $21.50
PACK & POST            $18.50

Which means you don’t have to go trawling around stores to obtain the complete organic rose management program.  Any complete package purchased until end October will also contain a FREE 500ml spray unit which has a 360 degree nozzle for easy application under the foliage – a bonza little unit which normally retails for $7.50!


Enjoy the last weeks of winter weather and stay posted next week for the most exciting news …

~ Diana, Graham & Mooi at Clonbinane

ROSE RAMBLER 14.8.2014

ROSE RAMBLER 14.8.2014

Glorious yellow wattle blossom is a sure sign that winter is fast waning to make way for spring – the birds are also a tell-tale sign that spring is definitely in the air.  We’re anxiously waiting for kookaburra chicks to make an appearance from the hollow in a gum-tree opposite the nursery – the parents make a sensational racket – I’m quite sure they’re laughing at us working away potting roses in all kinds of wintery weather but we don’t mind, the nursery is looking beautifully organised!


A beautiful root system will have formed in the pot so I carefully pack those roots with the coir-fibre potting mix intact, wrap in damp newspaper and seal off in a plastic bag.  The roses transit exceptionally well and all you need to do is remove the bag and newspaper, then plant directly in your soil, pour over seaweed solution and the roses will continue to flourish.

Every rose is now very heavily pruned (professionally, I might add) so there is little work for you to do when you order roses now.

The GIFT ROSES are posted in the pot then gift wrapped with your message transcribed into a beautiful card.  Here’s how they are packaged …

these pics were taken at the end of last season, however, even without flowers, the rose bushes look impressive with colour-coordinated gift wrapping/ribbon and pictorial tag.  When flowering, the rose will be an enduring memory in the recipient’s garden of your love and thoughtfulness – take a look at the GIFT ROSES at and let us make your gifting extra special.


I’ve been head-down-bum-up pruning and really enjoying the experience – one job, at a local cemetery where I wasn’t asked to prune the roses last year, the job took more than twice the time I originally needed because I had to prune out a lot of ‘old wood’ which wasn’t done the previous year.

One of the most important tasks in pruning is to remove dead-wood right down to the crown as this makes way for new, healthy water-shoots to develop and these are so easy to prune.

If you haven’t pruned your roses yet,
this weekend I’ll conduct the last pruning demos for this winter:

Come along and we’ll do some fruit-tree pruning as well as talk about all the tasks necessary NOW to ensure you enjoy the rewards of a robust, healthy garden this coming spring.

CALL 5787 1123 to book and bring along a joke like this one so that we can have a laugh together!

Q.  Where do sheep go to get their hair cut?  A.  To the baa baa shop!

While you’re out doing your pruning, be sure to check all the ties which hold the standards, weepers and climbers attached.  Release the ties and re-tie; you might need new tie material.

We recommend the Velcro ‘one-wrap’ because it does give a measure of expansion as the stems grow.

NEVER USE ELECTRIC CABLE TIES ON ROSES – they do not expand and take a long time to break down which means they will definitely ring-bark rose stems to which they are attached!
Oh, one more to inspire you to come and share a pruning experience along with some jokes this coming weekend …

Q.  What did the driver say when a bug splattered on his windscreen?
A.  You’ve gotta have guts to do that …
enjoy your garden … Gra


Such a gutsy performer, robust, healthy, very, very free-flowering and so, so fragrant HEAVEN SCENT will be delightful as a gift or to simply plant amongst other roses.  The gorgeous split petals on the huge blooms make a stunning, long-lasting display in a vase … this is one of our MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ROSES … ticks all the boxes!

Have a beaut week in your rose garden, maybe pruning, maybe planting new roses – very highly likely weeding!!!  Whatever you’re up to in the garden, believe it’s all to your benefit … let the cold winter wind blow you free of all the flu and colds which are prevalent now … see you soon at Clonbinane

~ Diana, Graham & Mooi


Hello dear rose friends … a pinch and a punch for another whole new month and no need to remind you how close we are to Christmas … more exciting though, how beautifully are the roses flourishing with new growth in readiness for their forthcoming flowering?  That’s what excites me!  The minus 5 frosts will have slowed things down – we can correct all that with grooming/pruning in September and we’ll guide you through that process then.


Yes, the rose growers are still digging roses.  Unbelievable really, and a first in our 30 year history in the rose nursery!

Next year I will promise to supply roses before the END OF AUGUST rather than the middle of July – what happens then???  Customers delay preparing garden beds and the roses will be ready by the end of June … believe me, it’s never easy when working with Nature – she is the BIG BOSS and has control over all gardening!

I’m happy to let Mother Nature be the boss and it’s pleasing to speak with customers who understand the delay – thank you all!


Lots of customers have been asking for roses suitable to plant in pots – really, every rose can be grown in a pot but for the best long-term results when selecting a pot for planting roses to put under the pergola, on a balcony or simply for the joy of having roses in pots which you can shift around the yard to enjoy when they’re flowering, I highly recommend the self-watering planters.

Self-watering pots come in a great selection of sizes and colours – they’re not expensive and are so practical for a busy gardener!

There is a water-well in the base of the pot which means:

  • If you miss a day of watering, the plant will survive
  • You can add nutrients like seaweed solution so the plant has constant feed at the root-zone
  • When you go away on holidays, your ‘plant carer’ only needs to water the pots every second day

If you want to grow roses in pots, here are the rules:

  • Use high quality potting mix which contains nutrients and moisture-retention crystals – coir-fibre holds moisture and nutrients.
  • Regularly apply seaweed solution – recommend fortnightly applications to keep the potting mix ‘alive’.
  • Fertilize every 8 weeks with high quality organic fertilizer because constant watering leaches fertilizer from the pot.
  • Mulch around the top of the pot with lucerne/straw/leaves and compost which will regulate the temperature of the potting mix.

Every few years you need to repot the rose because the potting mix will have lost its ability to sustain the rose.  This might be an easy process for lots of roses but what about the beautifully established rose in a huge pot – maybe a climbing rose wound around posts of the pergola?

Of course, you cannot remove all the growth, take the plant from the pot and start all over again.

There is a way of revitalising a rose in this situation:

  • Remove the very top layer of soil and the soil at the sides of the pot
  • With a sharp knife, cut away some of the root-ball
  • Core holes with a drill or sharp implement into the remaining roots and fill these holes with slow-release fertilizer
  • Water the plant with seaweed solution
  • Replace potting mix together with a blend of compost/worm castings, some of your own topsoil (up to 30% of mix)
  • Mulch to top of pot with lucerne/pea straw and water thoroughly over the entire plant with seaweed solution.

Any potted rose which receives all of the above attention will flourish through the next season.  Here is a joke to send you potty:

Q.  Why don’t monsters eat clowns?  A.  Because they taste funny!


For the stragglers or those who live in the cold zones, we’ll do the last pruning demos for this year


Cost is $20 per adult – kids welcome!  Bring your secateurs with you and be prepared to learn how to prune fruit trees and prepare your garden for robust, healthy spring flowering and fruiting.

See you at CLONBINANE soon … cheers from
~ Diana, Graham & Mooi (toy poodle & guard-dog in training)

ROSE RAMBLER 31.7.2014

ROSE RAMBLER 31.7.2014

Hello dear rose friends … I missed you probably as much as you missed me last Thursday and yes, everything is ok here but Gra only had a dirty joke, I was up to my armpits sorting and labelling, packing and posting roses so the last edition of Rose Rambler went by the wayside.  Gra will make up for it this week though … grab a cuppa and read on …


One of the last customers today was telling me how they had bought ‘berry blaster’ fertilizer ready to put in the holes when they plant their new standard roses!  Gawd, NO!

USE SEAWEED SOLUTION FORTNIGHTLY TO GET THE ROSES ESTABLISHED then apply (preferably organic) fertilizer in early spring.

An email tonight:

Good evening,
Are you able to give me the name of a recommended fertiliser, and when should I apply it to newly planted bare rooted roses. Thank you, Regards, Peter

To which I responded:

“Hello Peter … thank you for your enquiry.  We use and highly recommend COMPLETE ORGANIC FERTILIZER (COF) which we have used for years because it has a wonderful blend of NPK (look on the pack and you’ll see N: P: K: ) and trace elements like calcium, magnesium, iron, etc. – the added humates are great for soil conditioning and this fertilizer can be used on all plants except natives – one product for the lot – easy, practical, very economical, not smelly like lots of organic ferts.

YOU SHOULD NOT apply ANY fertiliser to newly planted roses until they have settled and are growing – probably until early spring!!!  At this stage, apply seaweed solution every fortnight to enhance healthy root development.  Hope this is helpful!  Cheers … Diana”

It is imperative that you all heed this advice!  Yes, if you have pruned established roses and you want to get the whole job done at once, fertilize now with a complete organic fertilizer, start the organic rose spray management program, fluff up existing mulch or add a layer of new mulch and leave the roses to get on and do their stuff – they’ll be flowering by mid-late October.


If you belong to a Garden/Probus Club and can organise a group of between 4-8 interested rose gardeners, we will conduct a special ROSE PRUNING DEMONSTRATION on a day which suits your group – booking is absolutely essential and can be on any day of the week.


It was common practice to spray roses in winter with LIME SULPHUR to prevent fungus like black-spot and powdery mildew.  Thanks to Organic Crop Protectants (OCP) we use far more environmentally products such as eco-rose or eco-fungicide (same product) to control all the potential fungus infections on fruit trees, vegetables and of course, roses!

Q.  Why can you tell an egg joke?  A.  Because it will always crack (you) up!

The sulphur spray stinks like rotten eggs – surely reason enough not to use it around your garden.  It can also clog-up your spray equipment.  Always use protective clothing and especially cover your eyes if you choose to use it – all the ‘stuff’ you don’t need to bother with if you use eco-rose fungicide!!!

Here’s a really good tip:  when you’ve finished pruning and starting the organic rose maintenance spray program for this coming season, spray around the root-zone of the roses over the mulch where all the old foliage has fallen.

NEVER remove the mulch because it’s keeping soil microbes protected and if its wet in your zone, worms will come up to the surface to escape flooding or drowning and a layer of 50mm of straw or lucerne gives them somewhere to rest and wait for the moisture to subside … meanwhile, of course, they’re pooing and weeing in your soil which is sensationally beneficial!

Another one:  Q.  What is the easiest way to count a herd of cattle?  A.  With a cow-culator.  (listen to how people speak and you’ll hear this!)

Hope you’ve raked up all the autumn leaves in your garden and neighbourhood, applied them directly around the rose garden or placed them on the compost heap where they’ll rot down to provide humus to spread around the roses later!

The winter garden is a great place to be … get ahead of the weeds by pulling them now while the soil is damp – feed them to the chooks or add them to the compost heap … enjoy the rewards of gardening while it’s cool … Gra


After a very long and protracted season, most orders will be finalised by the first week of August.  It has been extraordinarily wet at Kalangadoo where our roses are grown but remember, IT’S ALWAYS THE RIGHT TIME TO PLANT ROSES – FOR YOUR HEALTH AND A GREENER ENVIRONMENT! affords you the opportunity to plant roses at any time of the year – our gift roses are a very practical and economical way of sharing your love on a special occasion – go take a look at the website where you’ll see some of our favourite and most highly recommended roses!  Here’s one that we really love …


FORGET-ME-NOT is receiving acclaim and awards around the world in trial gardens and on show benches for producing the most glamorous of flowers from a perfectly formed Hybrid Tea bud to a swirling mass of highly fragrant petals on the most stunningly healthy bush – send one to someone you love because we highly recommend this magnificent rose!

~ See you at the Rose Farm soon …
cheers from Diana, Graham & Mooi