ROSE RAMBLER 22.12.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 22.12.2016 …

Yes, dear rose friends, it’s Christmas and we want to end this year of ramblings with you by sending our love and best wishes to you and yours; may 2017 be a lovely year with good health and happiness and may your garden thrive and offer you a special place to uplift your spirit, energise your soul and be your health guardian!

We’ll be open at Silkies Rose Farm from 6th January with normal trading times:  FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY and MONDAY from 9.00am till 4.00pm – any other times by appointment.

Thank you most sincerely for your continued support of our business and thank you to our magnificent IT team (FIONA and WENCY at who compile our ramblings into the lovely document you receive each week!

Graham and I are truly grateful that we are able to share our passion for gardening with you and most especially thankful that we all love roses!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR – Diana, Graham, Tova & Mooi


ROSE RAMBLER 15.12.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 15.12.2016 …

Hello dear rose friends and HAPPY BIRTHDAY to one of the most precious people in our lives, my darling Mother, Miep / Nan / Grandmere, who is 84 years young today!

I (Diana) am one of her four children who produced 11 grandchildren, there are 18 great-grandchildren and more on the way …

All this from a beautiful woman who courageously boarded a ship in Holland back in 1953 to be with my Dad who came some months earlier to find work and sadly died in a car accident way back in 1973 … he missed so much but I missed him more!


Seriously time to get the tap turned on because as soon as we get hot northerly winds you can be sure the soil is drying out and the plants are thirsty!

It’s absolutely essential to have a thick layer of mulch over the soil – mulch is fundamental in Australian gardens to prevent hydrophobic conditions where moisture simply WILL NOT penetrate for lack of humus and microbes.

An irrigation system that’s simple and low-maintenance is dripper hose attached to a battery operated timer at the tap – readily available from your local hardware.

It is imperative that however you decide to water your roses, you DEEP SOAK THEM AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK with say, 20 litres of water per rose.  Roses which receive 40 litres at each watering will retain lush, healthy foliage and produce lots more flowers.

Q.  What do witches like to read at bedtime?  A. Ghoul Deluxe and the three Scares.

LUDWIG TASCHNER has several rose farms in South Africa and I read this in his recent newsletter – “… one statement that always makes me smile is:  “But, they all get the same treatment, so why is this rose not doing as well as the others?”

My standard reply is: “We always try to treat all our children the same way and why do they not all develop in the same way?”

For sure – every rose variety has its own personality and one needs to be a rose whisperer to understand this.  It can often be something small, that needs to be rectified and the rose recovers in no time.”

You are welcome to send photos of any issues you have with your roses to:  – we also love to receive beautiful pics of the roses you grow or identify an unnamed rose if possible.


MONDAY, 19TH DECEMBER will be the last posting however, if you are planning on sending a GIFT ROSE for somebody, I would be most grateful to have your rose in the post today or tomorrow – Monday is the absolute deadline!  Here are a few suggestions – these plants look sensational in the nursery NOW:

Modern Shrub Rose of extraordinary health and vigour
as a pleasant reminder of the hero in your life!

Floribunda/Modern Shrub rose with splashes of pale creamy salmon-pink with flecks of darker salmon-pink, constantly in flower.

A wonderful floribunda rose which produces clusters of perfectly formed Hybrid Tea shaped blooms. There is a very unique fragrance, a true favourite and highly recommended rose!

Delbard Couture Collection Shrub Rose which produces one of the most durable flowers of any rose we have ever stocked – it lasts and lasts on the bush.

One of the MOST stunning roses to place against a post, in a pillar frame or create a hedge-row of continual blooming, fragrant, vase-quality roses


We will be open on Christmas Eve, Saturday, 24th until 2.00pm
then closing until Friday, 6th January.


See you soon in Clonbinane – Diana, Graham, Tova & Mooi


ROSE RAMBLER 8.12.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 08.12.2016 …

Hello dear rose friends as it’s all going very fast but never fast enough to stop and read something really special – thank you Noel for forwarding this beautiful letter which I am so pleased to share with our Rose Rambler friends … read on

We don’t know who replied, but there is a beautiful soul working in the dead letter office who understands LOVE

Our 14-year-old dog Abbey died last month. The day after she passed away, my 4-year-old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if she could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to Heaven, God would recognize her.I told her that I thought that we could, so she dictated these words:

Dear God, Will you please take care of my dog?  Abbey died yesterday and is with you in heaven.  I miss her very much.

I ‘m happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her.  She likes to swim and play with balls.  I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog.  I really miss her.  Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey & Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven.  We put our return address on it.  Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven.

That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed “To Meredith” in an unfamiliar hand.  Meredith opened it.  Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called,   ‘When a Pet Dies.’ Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith, Abbey arrived safely in heaven.  Having the picture was a big help and I recognized her right away. Abbey isn’t sick anymore.  Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart.

Abbey loved being your dog.  Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in so I’m sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me.  What a wonderful mother you have.  I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much.

By the way, I’m easy to find.  I am wherever there is love. God

In a normal Rose Rambler week we think there’s something to share but I urge you to share this pre-Christmas Rose Rambler with a few friends – perhaps a friend who’s had a tough time or lost their pet recently!


The orders for roses as Christmas gifts are streaming in  and I think we all know that Australia Post is going to be pressed to get parcels to destination on time so please, take my advice and get your Christmas gift roses ordered sooner rather than later!  For every $100 you spend on a gift voucher, we’re giving you $20 … this would be a great gift for someone who’s just moved to a new house perhaps?

Gift them as soon as they’re delivered to you or opt for posting direct to the recipient – I am selecting specimens which are sure to be flowering around Christmas/New Year and I think if you’re like me, you would rather have a perfect rose gifted early than a damaged rose delivered in perfect time!

If you MUST take care of a potted rose prior to gifting at Christmas, place it in a very sunny location where there’s lots of ventilation.  WATER THE POT EVERY MORNING – we post a sample of ECO SEAWEED POWDER with every parcel – use immediately and then weekly until the rose is gifted.

Hello Diana … Thank you very much indeed for sending the roses to my daughter in Adelaide. They are planted and doing well. They gave them plenty of water and seaweed solution, so are looking better now I believe. Freya’s pet parrot, Taco, was very interested in the roses when they arrived! Kind regards ..Marg
My response … Thanks Margaret, I guess we all look a little ragged after a long journey … you’re right though, a nice drink and soaking with seaweed solution and being able to stretch out and see the light soon makes them look great!  Thank you for sending this pic … Happy Christmas!


As a poignant reminder of my birthday and that I’m getting that little bit older, I had two of our grandsons, Logan and Cooper help me build a veggie bed in the now disused rose heel-in bed.  The boys are sure to remember this event – the most enduring memory I have of my Granddad is planting onions with him when I was around the same age as these two lads.

Q. If teeth wore shoes, what sort would they be?  A.  Gumboots.

Give yourself and your kids/grandkids a truly memorable gift this Christmas – plant something!  A tree perhaps; maybe some veggies that you can harvest together later this summer or, of course, a rose which they can learn to plant, prune, fertilize, water and enjoy taking flowers into the house for Mum to enjoy on the kitchen bench!

These roses look exceptional in the nursery right now and would make perfect gifts

Q.  Why did the girl sleep with a ruler?  A. She wanted to see how long she slept!

Two more Rose Ramblers before we close on Saturday, December 24th for a couple of weeks of Christmas Holiday … see you at Clonbinane where you’ll get the most beautiful living Christmas gifts for 2016 …

Cheers from Diana, Graham, Tova & Mooi

ROSE RAMBLER 1.12.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 01.12.2016 …

Hello Hello dear rose friends … on this first day of Summer, who would have thought December 2016 would come around so quickly?  We’re surrounded by beautiful rose blooms in gardens around Australia – took us here in cold Clonbinane a little while to catch up with the rest of you but oh my, waiting is worthwhile for such glorious beauty and fragrance!

Here’s a pic of an unusual bee / fly which Tova and I saw sitting on my car the other day … take note of unusual things happening in your garden – enjoy all the differences, notice the bugs, listen to the birds, maybe hear frogs?  Be sure to tune-in to quiet moments at one with nature in the busy lead-up to Christmas!


Now is an ideal time to check each dripper/shrubbler in the irrigation system – this is sooooo important!  Once you’ve checked everything is clean and functional, place a layer of compost around the drip-line at the base of each rose, cover it with pea straw or lucerne mulch then water over with seaweed solution.  Repeat this process in around 8 weeks.

Q.  What is grey, big and beautiful?  A. Cinderelephant!

Walking around the nursery yesterday, these varieties begged me to tell you about them:

Is a David Austin rose which produces large blooms filled with ruffled petals which exude fresh tea fragrance and lemon as the bloom ages.  The bush is full in structure and extremely healthy.

Is my ‘happy-smiling-rose’ which is always in flower on a pillar entering our property – deep crimson with white random stripes and a delightful fruity fragrance.

Has a most intense fragrance – perfect for such a deep crimson rose which has few thorns on the flowering stems making it an ideal cut flower – one customer told me she has 40 plants in her garden!  That must be serious WOW …

Enjoy your flowers in vases throughout the house – when cutting flowers for indoors, follow these simple instructions – extract from ALL ABOUT ROSES by Diana.

“Rose blooms picked from healthy, well-watered plants should remain fresh in the vase for many days providing you take a bucket of water out to the garden with you so that the blooms are dunked within moments of being picked.When you cut a rose stem from the bush, air is immediately sucked into the stem and it’s this trapped air in the leaves and stems of the flowers which causes them to wilt, even after they are placed in water.  This can be rectified by conditioning the flowers to enjoy their lasting qualities in a vase.
Once you’ve picked the flowers, fill the bucket to the brim and place it in a cool dark place for a few hours to stop evaporation.  A household refrigerator temperature is too cold to store a bucket of cut rose blooms so the coolest place in the house is usually the bathroom or laundry.When you are ready to start arranging the flowers, add a sachet of Chrysal (flower preservative) to each two litres of water in the vase.  At this point, the leaves should feel firm when you remove the lowest ones from the stems before placing them in the vase.  There is no need to rush with arranging because you have conditioned the flowers and their stems will be filled with water rather than air.

If the roses are wilted, as may happen despite immediate dunking in water, you can restore them by using 3 tablespoons of sugar dissolved in hot water.  Hot water contains less air than cold water.  When you submerge the rose stem into hot water, it is absorbed all the way up the stem, driving out the air bubbles which caused it to wilt.  Sugar also acts as food for the cut flowers.”

I’ll put more information in next week about cut flowers!

If you come to Clonbinane this Saturday 3rd December remember that we will be leaving here right on 4.00pm to drive down the Valley of a Thousand Hills to Strath Creek for the Twilight Market so we might perhaps see you there between 5-9pm – share a snag with us while we all enjoy an opportunity to do ‘unusual’ Christmas shopping and great country town hospitality in the park at Strath Creek!

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