ROSE RAMBLER 23.2.2017…

ROSE RAMBLER 23.02.2017 …

… HELLO DEAR ROSE FRIENDS after a few hot days to remind us that we are still in summertime!  However, autumn is just around the corner and this promises to be a most spectacular season as all States experienced above-average rainfall which means our autumn trees are well foliaged and will display magnificent autumn colours like we haven’t seen in some years!

PRUNING FOR AN EVENT … we’ve been madly pruning our roses so they’ll be in full-bloom during the Art & Roses weekend just 6 weeks away …

Be sure and book your bus group NOW … there has been extreme interest in coming to Kilmore for the Art Show but also to visit Kilmore’s most magnificent, plant diverse garden at 10 Curry Road, Kilmore and enjoy meeting Kevin & Rhonda Butler at the BLAZEAID Shearing Shed!

All visitors on this weekend will be welcomed here at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane too … importantly, once you arrive here, EVERYTHING except lunch is FREE.

At the Art Expo Café you’ll enjoy a magnificent home-cooked country lunch for around $12 per head and if you want, you will pop a gold coin in the Rotary donation boxes at each destination where there is a cuppa/Devonshire tea.


… with frosty mornings occurring, we are seeing spectacular colour in the roses already – this is real ‘gardener’s weather’ so we’ve been doing some ‘out-of-season’ pruning and mulching.

Q. What do you get if you cross a centipede with a chicken?  A. Enough drumsticks for everyone! 

It gets really, really cold here at Clonbinane so rather than do heavy winter pruning, we like to trim the roses well NOW and throughout autumn.  Here, winter pruning could only really be done late August/early September and even so, in most years we still experience extreme frost then too – especially in the lower parts of the garden.  Thankfully, the potted roses are at the higher, northern end of the property where it’s warmer!

Which leads me to tell you that we are pouring ECO-SEAWEED solution over EVERYTHING in order to protect our plants of frost protection between 3-5 degrees … it really does work!  If your garden has recently been subjected to intense heat, please, please recover trees and plants with liberal applications of ECO-SEAWEED – soon those same plants will be subjected to extreme cold/frost conditions – give them some relief!

ECO-SEAWEED powder contains a range of naturally occurring plant hormones, anti-oxidants and nutrients which stimulate beneficial responses within plants.  Our 30 years of successful rose growing shows that where SEAWEED SOLUTION is used regularly, say, twice a month (weekly if you feel like it) your plants will enjoy …

  • Enhanced flowering numbers and quality of flowers
  • Improved root, shoot and leaf growth – remember, more leaves, more flowers!!!
  • Reduced transplant shock – plant ANYTIME OF THE YEAR but do it with ECO SEAWEED!
  • Increased ability of plants to cope with drought and frost conditions – 3-5 degrees greater tolerance on plants lucky enough to be treated with ECO SEAWEED!
  • Boosted resistance of all plants to pest and disease
  • Extended vase-life of roses as cut flowers and fruit and veggies from your kitchen garden will last days longer in the fridge!

Here at SILKIES ROSE FARM, we guarantee our rose plants will flourish in your garden if customers use ECO SEAWEED SOLUTION at least once a month!

Every rose posted from Silkies Rose Farm has a sample of ECO-SEAWEED to ensure when you plant your new rose/s, protection against transplant shock is right there!

Q. How do you know Humpty Dumpty was eccentric?  A. He was completely off the wall.
MY ROSE OF THE WEEK …  there is nothing, absolutely NOTHING that beats the fragrance of one of my most favourite roses: PAPA MEILLAND … awesome colour, lovely structured bush and the fragrance … aaaaahhh
LOCK IN A DATE … we will again be on display with vases of roses at TESSELAAR’S GARDENING AND PLANT EXPO on the weekend of APRIL 22-23, 2017 so when you come to the nursery in coming weeks, remember to collect a FREE DOUBLE PASS valued at $36.00

This is a PREMIER EVENT that SILKIES ROSE FARM supports – lots of interstate gardeners make Melbourne their destination for this particular weekend in the Dandenong Ranges where we will have more than 50 vases of roses on display for you to sniff and sort your way through which roses to plant in your garden this season … an event not to be missed!

Hope you’re enjoying some respite from extremely hot weather … talk to you again next week … Diana, Graham, Mooi and our assistant, Tova here at SILKIES ROSE FARM, CLONBINANE.

ROSE RAMBLER 17.2.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 17.02.2017 …

Hello dear rose friends … hope you enjoyed Valentine’s Day and were gifted a rose from the love in your life!  We were busier in the nursery than in past years – lots of flowering, potted roses were delivered as GIFT ROSES and rightly so!


First a joke:  Q. How do chickens get strong?  A. Egg-cersize  and a picture of my chickens who are growing madly while they rip and tear around the pen –

They’re incredible time-wasters because they are such entertaining viewing!  Do make time to visit with them when you visit in coming weeks.

Since we only have less than two weeks of summer, start gearing up to complete the following tasks to ensure prolific flowering roses throughout autumn and well into winter.

  1. Fertilize all rose bushes – we prefer you use organic fertilizer like our pelletised Complete Organic Fertilizer with balanced N:P:K and trace elements – it doesn’t smell since it’s well processed and loaded with humates; if you cannot purchase our fertilizer, go to your local garden centre and ask for their highly recommended organic product and follow the application rates – usually one handful per square metre!
  2. If you haven’t been pruning throughout summer flowering, now would be ideal timing to remove approximately one-third of growth whilst retaining good foliage cover just in case we get more hot weather!  Continue dead-heading through autumn for continual bloom right up into winter.
  3. Treat the roses to an application of the organic rose management spray:
    To 10 litres of water add:

    • 1 TEASPOON ECO SEAWEED POWDER (or use your choice of seaweed product – powder seaweed is extremely economical because you’re not buying water!

      (Just $32.50 for 600g which makes 6,000 litres of solution – all products available in our online store:
    • MIX ALL THE PRODUCTS TOGETHER in a bucket and spray over roses until run-off to retain healthy foliage.
  4. Mulch again if needed – keeping a good thick layer of mulch over the garden will retain warm soil temperature throughout autumn and into winter so rose foliage will be maintained … remember:  MORE HEALTHY FOLIAGE, MORE FLOWERS!
  5. When you can’t figure out what else to do, it’s time for a nap!  Sssshhhhhh!

Q. What do you get when you cross a fly, a car, and a dog?  A. A flying carpet

At the close of summer, it’s appropriate to show you several roses which were outstanding performers during this past season …

No matter where this rose grows, it is a grand flowerer on a sturdy, extremely healthy foliaged bush – when you drive past a country-town CFA and see a brilliant orange flowering rose you can bet it’s this beauty!  Very highly recommended rose …
It might seem I’m bragging but so many customers who grow my lovely, award-winning beauty extol it’s virtues of extreme fragrance on a healthy, very free-flowering low maintenance shrub which is perfect as a border and in a large tub …

This rose is WOW … perfectly shaped HT blooms on long stems, extremely healthy busy to 1.5 metres tall, awesome fragrance – a truly magnificent Gold Medal Winner in the National Rose Trial Grounds … every Aussie should grow one and we’ll have plenty available this winter …


We still think it’s too early to select and pay for roses NOW so we have decided to open our on-line store for winter roses at the end of MARCH, 2017 … if you are impatient to place a winter order, you are welcome to call me on 03 5787 1123 every FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY & MONDAY between 9am and 4pm.  Rest assured, we have a HUGE SELECTION OF WINTER ROSES ordered so you won’t miss out!Meantime, continue ordering potted roses at so that you can autumn-plant flowering roses whilst planting your winter-flowering bulbs in the same bed and enjoy INSTANT GARDENING pleasure!

Autumn is truly the most spectacular planting season as the roses settle well before light winter pruning and are beautifully well-established plants for spring flowering this year!

See you soon at Clonbinane… Graham, Diana, Mooi and assistant Tova.


ROSE RAMBLER 09.02.2017 …

Hello dear rose friends and Happy Birthday to our son Benjamin!  As I flipped over the calendar, this saying appeared …

SUCCESS … we need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, understanding that failure is not the opposite of success; it’s part of success …
– Arianna Huffington

Relocating our Rose Nursery to Clonbinane has been very successful – it works for us and we hope it works for you too!  We are open for business …

9.00am – 4.00pm
Phone: 03 5787 1123  (leave a message and I will respond)

Q. Why did the fly never land on the computer?  A. He was afraid of the world wide web.


We are renowned for our prompt email response!  We find portable phones most frustrating as we have frequent ‘power-out’ here at Clonbinane and we can only answer one incoming call at a time!!!  I do NOT always have a mobile phone in my pocket – as it is, I carry two pouches – one with portable phone, one with secateurs and they drag my trousers down!  Add a mobile phone to my baggage and you’ll see me walking around with no trousers …!  No, it won’t happen!!!

Added to the above, I put a battery on my back and shears in my hand … this is how I work on pruning now so that we have a most spectacular display of roses down in the ‘tram-stop’ garden for this autumn … ‘KNOCKOUT’ being pruned …

EVERY SINGLE CUSTOMER who grows this rose (and others like it) absolutely rave about the spectacular flowering and easy management of these varieties of roses … you ALL MUST GROW at least one KNOCKOUT ROSE or one of the following varieties to recognise their magnificent beauty…



(What a beauty for Valentine’s Day!!!)

(Available in Winter 2017)


Q.  What do you call 100 spiders on a tyre?  A. A spinning wheel! 

We have noticed an extreme number of spider webs in our garden and even along freeways in the barriers – fascinating!  There are three big fat garden orbs who have taken up residence on our front verandah – very entertaining when they appear in the evening ready to capture their prey.

Make your garden a space where you maintain an ecological balance by minimizing use of harsh chemical pesticide sprays; all the spiders and insects together with birds and other animals who rely on this balance for their survival, will flourish and allow you and your children the privilege of viewing nature “LIVE” … not through a TV screen but right there in your own yard!

Please encourage the little people around you to be enthralled by rather than fear spiders and insects, birds and other animals!


I picked these blooms for a vase on the island bench in our kitchen to prove that there is a distinct difference between my two most favourite white roses … oh, if only I could send the fragrance in this email … both magnificent roses in their own right – POPE JOHN PAUL II has the stronger fragrance, MEMOIRE is the most weather-tolerant of all the white roses we stock … BOTH AVAILABLE AS BUSH AND STANDARD IN WINTER 2017


If you want roses posted, best you call us NOW and we’ll EXPRESS POST a rose plant so it arrives on time …
03 5787 1123 … enjoy the romance!

See you soon at Clonbinane… Graham, Diana, Mooi and assistant Tova.


ROSE RAMBLER 02.02.2017 …

Hello dear rose friends… In the style we’ve come to expect, January raced by and it’s already February when we celebrate the romance in our lives with VALENTINE’S DAY … this year, to be right in the spirit of it, I want to share this magnificent rose which Graham keeps picking and picking for vases on the kitchen bench … I must go and check how many plants of this glorious rose he has secretly planted in HIS garden!

DARK DESIRE has the most incredibly blended fragrance of sweet and spice, it’s fruity with hints of myrrh and the bloom has perfect form which opens nicely and lasts well in a vase.  It is a most romantic rose on a healthy, well-rounded shrub which is suitable for planting in a large tub on a sunny balcony … bring some romance into your garden this Valentine’s Day and gift DARK DESIRE to the love of your life …

GIFT ROSE – a 20cm potted, flowering rose; includes a pretty rose card with your personal handwritten message, delightful colour-matched gift wrapping, instructions for planting and ongoing maintenance, sample of seaweed solution and postage in a sturdy gift box $73.90 – for more information go to

Of course, you can select any available rose in our range at so be sure to gift a potted, flowering rose this Valentine’s Day and enjoy flowers from your own garden for years to come!



It’s that time of year when we start to promote the ART & ROSES TOURS working in conjunction with Rotary Club of Southern Mitchell and Kilmore Art Society this year promises to host one of the most spectacular weekends …

If you have a group who are interested in attending this event, please let me know as soon as possible so that I can arrange ANYTHING you might need (including weekend accommodation) to make your visit to our region a memorable occasion!

The garden at Curry Road, Kilmore which is opening as part of the weekend, is one of Kilmore’s finest and most plant diverse gardens; opened many times under the loving ownership of Leon & Mary.  New owners have put their personality into the garden and it is simply extraordinary!
Both past and current owners will be on hand during the open weekend … what an opportunity this is to visit Kilmore’s most beautiful garden!



Q.  What’s blue and has big ears?  A.  No, not GRA’S BLUE ROSE … it’s an elephant at the North Pole!

Did you join a rose society or your local garden club yet?  Without doubt, you’ll learn lots and enjoy meeting with like-minded gardeners.  If you are even remotely interested in BREEDING ROSES, please join the Rose Society of NSW and register for the special interest group about breeding … our dear friend Laurel who lives in QLD emailed us after reading the Rose Rambler last week …

“Yes, the new Forum for breeders is great. Richard has been very generous with his advice and I think we are in for a wonderful new resource. He did put a lot of info in the Rose Annuals as well. At present besides my 2 wonders, I have a red and a new orange from Apache and Dublin Bay as well as 15 new plants as yet to flower.”

When you join a Rose Society you will receive the ROSE ANNUAL which is a fabulous resource aside from the monthly newsletters!  Don’t procrastinate any longer … do it now!

Q.  What did the earwig say as it fell down the stairs?  A. Ear we go !

I recently hatched 30 Langshan chickens in the incubator … now on show when you visit the Rose Farm and here they are with grandson, Logan and Mooi …

Be sure to keep trimming the roses as we proceed through the last month of summer – the more you trim now, the more beautiful your roses will flower as temperatures become cooler for autumn.

See you soon at Clonbinane… Graham, Diana, Mooi and assistant Tova.