ROSE RAMBLER 28.4.2016

ROSE RAMBLER … 28.4.2016 …

Hello dear rose friends … almost the end of another month of glorious autumn so be sure to enjoy and care for the roses which are still budding!  Here’s GRA’S GARBLE with tips for…


The conditions of the roses in your garden will be influenced, primarily, by the local climate.  Bushes with lots of foliage will carry on flowering but might show signs of fungal disease which is particularly prevalent where cool dewy nights are experienced.

To avoid premature leaf drop which is caused by these conditions, I recommend you continue spraying the organic rose management program every 7-10 days to prolong flowering through the last weeks of autumn and possibly into winter.

To a 10 litre bucket add:

  • ¼ cup Eco-rose / fungicide
  • Seaweed solution as per directions on your preferred brand
  • ¼ cup Eco-oil (insecticide which also acts as spreader/sticker)

Mix products well and apply to foliage – yes, over the entire plant as this will strengthen and protect foliage against fungus and insects.

Remember, healthy foliage is the ‘life-force’ of a rose bush which will, in turn, provide blooms until each rose decides to go into winter dormancy.  Some rose varieties will go dormant earlier than others and the healthier the foliage, the more likely the bush is to continue setting blooms!

Potted roses should continue to be fertilized until mid-May.  Garden beds can be topped with compost and a light covering of mulch to retain moisture and warmth as long as possible which will also enhance late flowering of some varieties.

Q.  What is a cat’s favourite colour?  A.  Purr–ple!


No, they’re not roses at all but regularly referred to as PEONY ROSES and lots of gardeners long to grow them for their spectacular blooms however, peonies require extreme cold/frosty winter conditions to flower well.

As I walk around our autumn garden, I see so many rose varieties which replicate the glory of peonies and they are:

A David Austin rose with immense fragrance and huge cupped,
apricot/cream blooms on a shrub which grows around
1.5 – 1.2 metres with lovely healthy foliage

Plump buds open to display a mass of deep pink,
highly fragrant petals and so very, very like a peony – flowers all season!

A most spectacular Delbard rose which produces masses
of densely petalled, highly fragrant blooms continually
on a stunningly healthy robust bush

These are just a few examples of rose varieties which will quell your thirst for the spectacular beauty of peonies – we have peonies in the gardens here and despite our freezing winter conditions, by the time they flower, the warm weather spoils their display so we’ve decided to plant more ‘peony-like’ roses and recommend you do too!

Q.  Why did the golfer wear two pairs of socks?  A.  In case he got a hole in one!

Take my advice and liberally pour seaweed solution OVER THE FOLIAGE of your roses to maintain the healthiest possible foliage right up to pruning later on – the worms will love you too!  Talk to you next week … Gra


When ordering online at we urge you to select BARE-ROOTED roses as so many varieties are now sold-out as potted specimens.  We still have a moderate number of GIFT ROSES available to see us up to Mother’s Day so get your orders in NOW or give your Mum a great pair of secateurs to make rose pruning a pleasure for her this winter …

$59.90 plus pack/post – great MOTHER’S DAY GIFT !!!

Have a beaut week in your garden –
cheers from Graham, Diana & Mooi at Clonbinane


ROSE RAMBLER 21.4.2016

ROSE RAMBLER … 21.4.2016

Hello dear rose friends – this is really great to share – we are just a small business and we strive to offer the most personable customer service so if you like what we do, you may like to add your testimonial to WORD OF MOUTH ONLINE so that more people choose when considering purchasing roses … thank you to all who submitted their testimonial to support our business!

Silkies Rose Farm is now ranked
in the highest tier of WOMO businesses!

Over the past year, more than 90% of reviews for Silkies Rose Farm have had a 4-5 star rating. Less than 5% of WOMO businesses qualify for the Service Award, so our achievement is worth celebrating!

Help us continue build up our business and leave a review on our WOMO profile.


WELCOME MAT FOR FOXES TO ENTER A CHOOK PEN … When Diana planted VIELCHENBLAU rambling rose 15 years ago, it was designed to offer protection from hot westerly sun on the DINGO enclosure which it did for many years.

When our last dingo, Bonnie died, the pen was idle for a few years so I decided to make it a chook-run … perfect idea and the chooks love it!

However, this rambling rose is now a perfect stepping-stone for foxes to scramble upwards through those thick canes, get onto the roof and jump down into where the chooks roam freely so I will now be removing the rose just in case a sly fox catches us unawares!

Since we get lots of requests for recommendations of roses suitable to scramble over aviaries, chook-pens and other animal enclosures, it is worth sharing this valuable piece of warning – predators likes foxes are definitely around during the day and we would like you to protect your precious pets so be wary about where/how you plant climbing roses/ramblers over areas where your pets are housed!!!

Q.  What disease was the horse scared of getting?  A.  Hay-fever!

She dug the plot on Monday, the soil was rich and fine.
She forgot to thaw out dinner, so we went out to dine.
She planted roses Tuesday, she says they are a must.
They really are quite lovely, but she quite forgot to dust.
On Wednesday it was daisies, they opened up with sun.
All whites and pinks and yellows, but the laundry wasn’t done.
The poppies came on Thursday, a bright and cheery red.
I guess she really was engrossed, she never made the bed.
It was violets on Friday, in colours she adores.
It never bothered her at all, all crumbs upon the floors.
I hired a maid on Saturday, my week is now complete.
My wife can garden all she wants, the house will still be neat.
It’s nearly lunchtime Sunday, and I cannot find the maid.
Oh no! I don‘t believe it, she’s out there WITH THE SPADE!


A light covering of mulch on the soil at this time of year is essential as it provides food and protection for worms.  Seaweed solution watered around plants provides worms with minerals to ingest while the liquid will nourish their bodies.Worms breed from April to October – provide them with lots of organic matter and they’ll repay you by producing massive numbers of offspring who in turn become the army of underground workers in your garden!  Here’s a pic of a handful of worms from our compost heap …

This joke message comes from our grandson Levi … Q.  Why did the car go through the Café?  A.  They thought it was a drive-through!  Thanks Levi and any other kids who have jokes to share, send them to: and we’ll publish YOUR joke!


A lovely lady who, when she re-located from Queensland to Melbourne, promised herself she was going to grow beautiful roses in her new home so she went internet surfing for information.  My book, ALL ABOUT ROSES was available online in the UK so she had it posted to her in Melbourne!  We laughed!Needless to say, she was amazed that we live ‘just down the road’ so she asked me to sign her new book after we had loaded her car with roses!  You can get your copy at 

Enjoy all the pleasures of your garden this autumn – bury the kids in autumn leaves after they help you rake them up … Logan and I did this every autumn at the Kilmore nursery and oh, what precious memories we have – this was in 2012 – have fun!

Cheers from Graham, Diana & Mooi at Clonbinane … 


ROSE RAMBLER 14.4.2016

ROSE RAMBLER … 14.4.2016

Hello dear rose friends!  Well, the weather was extraordinary when over 250 visitors came to the Rose Farm last weekend and the coaches left with their bellies filled up as well as the travellers’ bellies were … everybody happy which is exactly how we like it and lots of roses being planted in country gardens during this glorious autumn so they’re magnificently established for spring flowering after a light winter prune!  Here are a group of visitors on the WALK ‘N’ TALK in the gardens with Graham:

We owe a HUGE THANK YOU to our family members and staff who worked tirelessly to make your visit such a pleasant experience.  Because this past weekend was such a success, we will be holding…

– 26th and 27th NOVEMBER, 2016

so save the date and start getting bus groups organised.

Unfortunately, we cannot offer a travel subsidy but we can definitely offer magnificent DEVONSHIRE TEA throughout the weekend – might see if my Rotary colleagues will organise a BBQ using those fantastic Warialda Beef (Clonbinane) hamburgers again!


Driving along a country road the other day, I saw a BIG sign which read: “POO – $2.00”

When you see a sign like this, STOP and grab as many bags as will fit in your car, take it home and place it on a compost heap, directly on your garden or into hessian bags dunked in water!

  • Any amount of POO added to your garden NOW will benefit the soil and retain warmth while adding humus and nutrients before the cold of winter.
  • Adding animal manure in layers to a compost heap is imperative to VITALITY and ENERGY within the compost – keep the heap moist AT ALL TIMES!
  • Dunking hessian bags filled with POO will offer your soil a nutrient rich ‘tea’ when you pour it over the garden at a rate of 1 part to 10 parts water.  Toss the contents of the bag on a compost heap or directly on a garden bed then cover with mulch to preserve the microbes.  Renew the POO BAG continuously throughout each year!

Q.  What kind of bat cannot fly?  A.  A wombat! 

Hope you’ve got all your winter bulbs planted – my job in the next few days so that we have a gorgeous display of colour to herald spring.  Bulbs are great value in a rose garden as they’re flowering while the roses are dormant – ideal to plant around roses because they allow great air circulation at the base of roses throughout the rose-flowering season!

Q.  What do you call a stupid flower?  A.  A daffy-dill.  A kids play on words because daffodils and lots of spring flowering bulbs will brighten the most bleak winter day so plant lots of them – definitely NOT stupid!  Have a beaut week in your garden …Gra

Here are a few more photos of roses we had in vases recently …

New for 2016 makes a delightfully healthy, well foliaged shrub to 1.2 metres round with continual flowering – very striking …

Available this winter, this amazing shrub rose is very eye-catching, bees love it so it should be planted around the veggie garden/orchard because while the bees are busy on the roses, they’ll pollinate the rest of the garden!  This is a VERY IMPORTANT SERIES OF ROSES to promote bees to your garden …

Is a tall shrub suited to a short obelisk or along a fence line for a continual display of blue/grey blooms with amazingly sweet fragrance … stunning rose!


We’ve re-invented the POT LUCK ROSE section of the nursery where roses which have lost their labels are placed until we can identify them – since we frequently forget to label them, they’re there for you to take home at the crazy price of $15.00 each!

Over the years, we’ve had people come back to the nursery telling us of the fabulous gardens they created with POT LUCK ROSES … it’s fun!

PLEASE NOTE – when ordering your roses NOW, lots of varieties of roses are ONLY AVAILABLE as BARE-ROOTED WINTER ROSES either because they’re NEW RELEASE FOR 2016 or simply SOLD OUT… I can adjust orders accordingly but it is impossible to note in our online store which roses are still available as potted specimens.

If you wish, please call 03 5787 1123 FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY & MONDAY to check on a particular variety if you especially want it as a POTTED SPECIMEN.

Most of the GIFT ROSES at are still available as POTTED SPECIMENS.

Please call in at CLONBINANE soon to enjoy the glory of our autumn trees at their most spectacular best … cheers from Graham, Diana & Mooi




Hello dear rose friends and a hearty, warm welcome to all our new subscribers since the Plant Expo last weekend where we had a most spectacular display of 60 vases of rose blooms … here are a few pics in case you weren’t able to attend.

with such an outstanding and unusual colour…

Although it was in a shaded position, everybody gasped when they sniffed FORGET-ME-NOT and it was truly sensational … and worthy of the magnificently healthy, rounded shrub which supports these stunning blooms

A huge bowl of MUNSTEAD WOOD with perfectly formed Hybrid Tea buds which opened to a swirling mass of darkest crimson petals with enormous fragrance was very popular…

and CARMAGNOLE had people gasping at it’s beauty…

And there were way, way more that deserve mention so I’ll share them in coming Rose Ramblers because they were simply extraordinary!


Q. What bow doesn’t tie?  A.  A rainbow. 

Saw a magnificent rainbow today when the rain was easing and the clouds cleared to intermittent blue sky and showers.  After a lovely dump of more than 10mms of deep-soaking rain the gardens will be stunning for when 220 people come visiting on this weekend as part of the Art & Roses Tours in conjunction with Kilmore Art Expo.

Next week I promise to start giving you all the hints and tips for preparing your rose gardens for winter planting and sharing more information about the Biodynamics Course which I recently attended – I’ve had the whip on me to weed MY garden beds and generally clean up around the place for our visitors this weekend – a bloke’s gotta do what a bloke’s gotta do!

Whatever you do, rake every single autumn leave ready for the composting ideas I’ll be sharing in coming newsletters … one last joke:  Q. What is the easiest way to grow tall?  A.  Sleep long! 

Enjoy your roses while you can … Gra


If you’re out for a weekend drive, call in at Hidden Valley Country Club, the Rotary Art Show at Memorial Hall, Kilmore or here at Silkies Rose Farm (you might score one of our famous Devonshire Teas if you time it right!) and you’ll enjoy a lovely ‘round-trip’ of our region.

After this busy time of Plant Expo and Art Shows we’ll be seriously back into ALL ABOUT ROSES with hints and tips to enjoy the most of your rose garden prior to winter, how to prepare gardens for winter planting and entice you to order magnificent quality two-year-old winter roses from our extensive range.

A new catalogue will be available at soon but if you know which roses you want to order for this winter, do it NOW because all the new release 2016 roses are available for ordering and we’re guessing that lots will sell-out very quickly!

Meantime, hope you’re enjoying peaceful times in your garden
now the weather is cooler and hope we see you soon at Clonbinane …
Cheers from Diana, Graham & Mooi