ROSE RAMBLER 23.6.2016

ROSE RAMBLER … 23.6.2016 …

With the shortest day behind us, winter is well and truly making its presence felt with good rain in most areas.  We are finally able to tell you that most varieties of roses are here tucked in the heel-in beds (except STANDARD ROSES and some ‘contract budded’ varieties which are still to be dug) so we’ll be busy packing and posting your roses any day now!

Please still be patient as we can only physically manage to pack around 40 parcels per day!
Here’s a pic of our lovely assistant, Tova.

Graham has also been busy loading our van, getting ready to deliver to Australia Post at Kilmore!


I’m always being asked “What is the best manure to use when planting roses?”  Any animal manure is great in the soil but it MUST BE COMPOSTED prior to using at the planting hole of roses!  Raw animal manure has the potential of being highly acidic with the risk of burning new roots which the roses will produce as soon as they settle into the soil!  Exactly the reason for not placing fertilizer in the planting hole unless it’s way deep down in the hole, covered deeply with soil and available when the rose is nicely established with a solid root system.

If you have access to fresh manure, spread it over a compost heap for at least six weeks, water weekly with seaweed solution and turn it fortnightly – you’ll see steam coming from the heap which means it’s not ready to be applied in planting holes!  Wait until it is more like the consistency of soil – at this point, place it around the base of your roses and cover with a light layer of mulch to protect all the microbes and worms.

Q. Why does a chicken coop have two doors?  A.  If it had four doors, it would be a chicken sedan. 

Bagged manure and composted material is wonderful to ADD TO THE SOIL at planting – the product is guaranteed to be well decomposed and safe to use around newly establishing bare-rooted roses, especially when blended with existing soil!

I’ll be conducting a ROSE PRUNING DEMO this weekend on SATURDAY, 25TH AT 11.00am and will advise of more demonstrations during July in later Rose Ramblers.

Q.  What is the difference between a cat and a comma?  A.  A cat has claws at the end of paws; a comma is a pause at the end of a clause. 


Diana will be part of the panel this Sunday – 855 on the AM Band where you can call in, donate and be rewarded with garden products, books, professional garden consultations or gift vouchers from many nurseries to the value of every dollar you donate to this magnificent Community Radio program which regular radio listeners say is the most informed, interesting and BEST garden talk-back radio which airs in Melbourne every Sunday from 7.30 – 9.15am.

Lay in bed with your cuppa and toast, pick up the phone: (03) 9419 8377 or (03) 9419 0155 and treat yourself to purchasing lots of goodies to indulge your garden, gifts for friends or simply to know you’re donating $’s to keep a wonderful garden show on the air so you can call in when you need FREE ADVICE from a professional panel of horticulturists.

There are SILKIES ROSE FARM gift vouchers available during the program!

Congratulations to our Facebook photo competition winners!

A big THANK YOU again for all who participated in our photo competition.

We set the challenge for you to select your favourite rose to post to us, and you guys set us the bigger challenge of selecting our favourites from yours!

It was wonderful to see the beautiful blooms from everyone’s gardens! They were all gorgeous but we managed to narrow down our winners to… *drum roll*….

1st place: Ellarose Osbourne’s array of beautiful roses!!
2nd place: Emily Blades’s frosty AMAZING Gallipoli Centenary rose!

3rd place: Karen Allan’s GORGEOUS rose on a hot summers day!

Congratulations to Ellarose, Emily and Karen!

Thank you again to all our participants, we hope you had as much fun sharing as we did liking all the photos! We’ll definitely be looking forward to our next photo comp!

If you’d like to keep up to date with any new events, news and updates happening at Rose Sales Online, follow us on Facebook at

Stay warm and well … Cheers from us all at Clonbinane
– Graham, Diana, Tova & Mooi


ROSE RAMBLER 16.6.16 …

An interesting date to be sending you another screed of information to make your rose growing experience fun, successful and enjoyable!  As this month zooms along, please know that we are doing our absolute utmost to have your roses delivered by Australia Post with expedience.  Remember, orders with STANDARD ROSES are going to be delayed because we are only digging them early next week.

When the roses come to the Rose Farm, we have to grade the highest quality for orders, label and sort them – once completed, we’ll start the process of packing and posting.  Here they are in the heel-in beds ready for you to select:

We have had some resounding testimonials about the beautiful quality roses we’re sending which makes our job such a pleasure – thank you!  Remember, if you want to share your joy about our roses, post a quick word at – this helps others who want to purchase roses online be sure they’re ordering from a reputable supplier – thanks for all who care to share your experiences with our business!!!


The pruning demos this past weekend were a resounding success with lots of keen gardeners donning jackets and beanies to take a walk in the garden with me after I checked and sharpened their secateurs!  Don’t forget to bring secateurs with you in coming weeks when I’ll be doing regular demos and just in time, the sun will shine!

SATURDAY 18TH 1.30PM   and   SUNDAY 29TH 1.30PM

I’ll show you how to plant a bare-rooted rose, what plants to enjoy around the roses and a whole lot of other ‘garble’ whilst we walk around our garden.  Here’s a beautiful rose worthy of planting in a space or because the guy who bred it at Kordes Rozen, Germany, decided that all proceeds would go to a great cause – here in Australia, royalties are paid to LIONS CLUBS … awesomely healthy, great hedge rose, simply stunning …

Q.  What do you call a parade of rabbits hopping backwards?  A.  A receding hare-line.

For those who cannot attend my demo, here are a few do’s when you’re planting roses this season:

  • Dig a nice big hole at least 60 x 60 cms with a fork so you don’t squish worms
  • Put the soil in a wheel barrow and blend it with compost or bagged animal manure
  • Place some back in the hole and break the edges and base, thus blending all
  • Pour seaweed solution over the blended soil/manure
  • Create a mound and place roots over the mound then backfill from the barrow
  • Hose into the hole so the soil is a slurry
  • When drained, refill the hole to existing soil level with mix from barrow
  • Pour seaweed solution over the newly planted rose every week for six weeks
  • Lightly mulch over soil with lucerne or pea straw

The newly planted rose should require no further watering for a few weeks – especially if there is rain – whatever you do, DON’T OVERWATER this new rose and DON’T FERTILIZE at planting!

Q.  Why do fish live in salt water?  A.  Because pepper makes them sneeze

Have a giggle while you enjoy this cold but sunny winter weather!  Gra


There are lots of phone calls during this busy rose season and despite many attempts to have an ‘ENGAGED TONE’ installed by Telstra, your call will go immediately to ‘message bank’ if I am taking another caller which is as frustrating to me as it is to you!  Frequently, the landline 03 5787 1123 and the mobile 0418 33 77 65 are ringing at the same time!!!  I’m so sorry that I cannot get this sorted to make it more friendly for all of us!

I make great efforts to return as many calls as possible – please know that if you cannot reach me by phone, I will always respond to emails at: where you can post enquiries, request rose garden design hints, tell us how happy you are with the quality of your new roses or stuff like this:

Hi Di,
Thank you for the roses – arrived safely – I cannot get them into the ground till early next week – how should I manage them till then please?  Pat
My response

:  Hi Pat … no rush with planting … leave them in the pack for a couple of days in a cool place and then 24 hours or so prior to planting, plonk them in a seaweed solution so they’re nice and wet at planting.  Once planted, soak them to a slurry with the hose then pour the seaweed solution over them liberally.  Don’t water them for a few weeks after this soaking!!!Pour seaweed solution over them at least fortnightly, then as soon as they sprout with foliage, place quality organic fertilizer over the soil around them and repeat this fertilizer every eight weeks whilst continuing with the monthly organic rose management program.  Don’t forget to put a light layer of mulch over the soil too!  Enjoy these beauties in your garden … Diana

Here is a beautiful pic of why you should come to visit us during our open times at the
Silkies Rose FarmFriday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday 9am – 4pm
with a welcome greeting from Mooi and a smile and great service from
myself, Diana, Graham and Tova … see you soon!


ROSE RAMBLER 9.6.2016 …

What a pleasure the clouds and rainy conditions are for us while we are scrambling to sort into categories, label and pit into heel-beds the magnificent roses our grower has presented for you to plant in your garden this winter!

In our thirty years of working with bare-rooted roses, we’ve never had such HUGE plants to deal with and yes, they’re just two year old plants which have enjoyed unprecedented, favourable seasonal growing conditions to produce such monster specimens!

We are working flat-out to post all the roses where orders can be fulfilled with the 5,500 which are here now.  We are still waiting on some varieties to come to the Rose Farm.  STANDARD ROSES will be dug in the next two/three weeks – weather depending – and any order which contains standard roses will be posted during JULY.

I urge you to be patient please!  If you are going away in the coming weeks and don’t want roses posted, please let us know.  Otherwise, you will be notified when they are in transit and Australia Post is being very reliable by presenting our parcels in very timely fashion!  Phew!!

Since this weekend is another long-weekend with Queen’s Birthday Holiday on Monday and the weather forecast for Saturday isn’t great, we’ll hold PRUNING DEMONSTRATIONS s on Sunday, 12th and Monday, 13th – 1.30pm both days.


Here’s my joke for the week:  “What’s wrong with Dylan?” asked Father Donnal.  His wife replied:  “I don’t know Father but yesterday he swallowed a spoon and he hasn’t stirred since.” 

When you come to the Rose Farm for a pruning demonstration, I’ll show you how companion planting around roses with vegetables and herbs is a great way of producing healthy, home-grown veggies for the family whilst making the most of soil area around the rose bushes.

I grow lots of greens – silver beet and various types of kale which we now use in soups and hearty winter meals of mashed potato with silver beet, meatballs and gravy – superfood which kids love too!  Every day, I supply greens of some description to the chooks which means I have very few health issues with my chooks.

BLACK CAVIAR roses arrived in the nursery yesterday – stunning two-year-old plants so if you’re looking for a really dark, dark red rose with amazing fragrance, this is the one I highly recommend …


Tune into 3CR Community Radio Garden Show this Sunday 12/6 morning at 7.30am – 9.15am
when I will be there to answer your questions along with a panel of garden experts.  Do give me a call on 03 9419 8377 – you’ll find 3CR on the AM dial at 855.


See you at a pruning demonstration soon – bring your secateurs for sharpening too – Gra.

Cheers from us all at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane



ROSE RAMBLER …3.6.2016 …

Hello dear rose friends and welcome to winter and a whole new year of beautiful roses!  We’ll be contacting you shortly to advise that your roses are ready for posting so we hope you’ve done the necessary preparations which our magnificent quality roses deserve to ensure they flourish for many years in your garden … here are a few tips for planting bare-rooted roses …


As soon as you can, after receiving your parcel of roses in the post, remove them from the box and soak them in a trough/bucket to which you have added a proportional amount of seaweed powder or solution – the roses are good in this soak for 24 hours but if you’re planting immediately, just give them a dip – pour the remaining solution over the roses after you’ve soaked them to a slurry with the hose!

NEVER OVERWATER NEWLY PLANTED ROSES – let them settle in gently – most gardens will have had some rain and the garden won’t need watering for a while but fortnightly light applications of seaweed over all plants will ensure frost tolerance to between 3-5 degrees and even if you don’t experience frost in your area, you’ll encourage good root development and healthy foliage through coming months!

Add liquid fertilizer such as ECO-AMINOGRO to the seaweed for balanced, gentle feeding while the roses are settling in and starting to form roots which will, in turn, produce healthy foliage – I know I harp on this, but the more healthy foliage on your roses, the more beautiful, colourful and long-lasting flowers your roses will produce – it’s ALL ABOUT HEALTHY FOLIAGE which is produced from microbe/humus rich soil where the roots are feeding – give them the best possible start WHEN YOU PLANT YOUR NEW ROSES!

Q.  What do you call a horse that lives next door? A.  Your neigh-bour …

We’re always asked “what’s your favourite rose?” … the one which looks sensational today is usually my response and here are a few that have been superb in recent weeks while we’ve had cold nights and rain on the flowers …

Probably my most favourite white rose for its resilience in ALL WEATHER – it produces beautifully formed huge pure white blooms which last well in a vase on a magnificently shaped bush of medium height with darkest-green, most healthy foliage

The stripes on these blooms are sensational with every single flower unique and perfectly beautiful – slashes of crimson red with yellow/cream – voluptuous and exotic, extraordinarily healthy and very free flowering – awesome rose!

Deep lilac with rich purple tips on each petal, perfectly formed blooms ideal for flowering arranging on an upright, medium height bush which tolerates hot weather conditions.

Q.  What do you call a box of ducks?  A.  A box of quackers …

Next week, I’ll be sharing information about digging holes for your new roses … Gra

See you soon at Clonbinane … Diana, Graham and Mooi 
Remember, rose pruning demonstrations on
SATURDAY, 11TH JUNE 10.30 AND 1.30!