ROSE RAMBLER 23.3.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 23.03.2017 …

Hello dear rose friends as we start to get slightly cooler weather for this autumn which has broken records across Australia!  Lucky gardens who have had massive dumpings of rain – our gardens had some too!

ART & ROSES TOURS is fast approaching – there are buses coming from…

    Contact GOLD BUS on 1800 775 295 or BROOKE on 0499 002 941 or VIA THEIR WEBSITE at  The coach will depart Ballarat at 8am on SATURDAY, 8TH APRIL.
    Contact: CHERYL SHEMBRI on 9744 1663 or email: This coach seats 48 people and they are leaving Sunbury Community Centre, corner of Elizabeth Drive and Gap Road near the Fire Station at 9am on SUNDAY, 9TH APRIL and the cost is $45 which includes lunch.

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to join a tour group during the Art & Roses weekend – please don’t wait until the last minute to book as I know both coaches are filling fast – if you need any advice or assistance with booking, please don’t hesitate to contact me here at the Rose Farm on 5787 1123 or mobile:  0418 337765

TRAVELLING INDEPENDENTLY IN CARS … means you can incorporate this delightful tour …


Another Reason to visit Kilmore!
Kilmore Historical Society are conducting a
Historical Houses Tour

Saturday 8 April, 2017 – 10am – 4pm
Tickets: $15 person / $25 couple / family
4 Powlett Street, Kilmore –  from 9.45am – 3pm

The Old Courthouse is 500 metres from the Art Expo venue
Ranging from humble, beautifully restored cottages to substantial large homes,
five owners of historic houses in Kilmore have very generously
opened their homes to the public.

Please, if I can assist you with arrangements for your visit to Kilmore, the Art Show, and our gardens along with a visit to Kevin & Rhonda Butler at the BLAZEAID SHEARING SHED, contact me as soon as possible and I will do my absolute best to make your visit here a memorable occasion!


With a good drop of rain, our gardens will now flourish well this autumn – I can hear the roses breathing a sigh of relief!

It’s amazing really, roses LOVE deep soaking water during their flowering season but gosh, overdose them with water and they will turn up their toes VERY quickly!  Unfortunately for us Rosarians, the visible symptoms of UNDERWATERING are exactly the same as OVERWATERING

Yellow leaves in the understorey of the plant, wilting foliage and buds; generally poor plant performance!  So what is the issue when your roses aren’t flourishing?That we have to leave to YOU – gently fork into the soil around the rose and you’ll soon know how wet or dry it is.  When conditions prevail that you are irrigating the garden, be diligent and follow these simple rules for watering in a rose garden:


When you’re planting roses this autumn, soak them to a slurry when you plant them and then turn your back on them while they get on with getting settled and establishing their roots into the new soil – once a week you can spoil them with a light watering of seaweed solution and as long as they’re well mulched, the roses won’t need deep watering again for a couple of weeks.

Stay diligent and if weather conditions prevail where your gut tells you that the roses need another deep soak, give it to them!  DEFINITELY NOT EVERY DAY!

Q. What would happen if pigs could fly?   A. The price of bacon would go up!

I’m looking forward to this rose which is a new release for 2017 – I love the name EARTH ANGEL and I hope it’s a ripper for all of us.


We are always happy to assist if you have an issue about where to plant roses and Diana offers a free service on rose garden design.This is the type of issue which you might confront … Where would plant roses in this situation?  Inside the front boundary where there is limited sun and obviously, a bit of root competition from existing plants …

Or outside the boundary and cover the wall completely?

I suggested to Ash in North Queensland that she might look at planting on the street side by creating three garden beds 1 x 1 metre or a complete bed along that front wall for ease of management with mowing and mulching … can you imagine driving into your home being greeted by not only the mass flowering beauty of RENAE but the fragrance … yes, it would be awesome!
One of the most spectacular THORNLESS climbing roses with perfect small rosebuds in massive clusters continually throughout the flowering season … a very lush, healthy-foliaged plant with glorious fruity fragrance … I hope Ash sends us photos of this when established in a couple of years …Q. What did the computer do at lunch time?   A. It had a byte!

Have a beaut week in your garden.  We suggest you have your wish list of roses available for ordering at … there will be a few surprises for you as the online store opens for bare-rooted rose orders – we’re excited and hope you will be too … talk to you next week – Diana & Graham

ROSE RAMBLER 17.3.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 17.03.2017 …

Hello dear rose friends as we experience glorious autumn weather!  No sign of decent rain though so we’ve been deep-soaking all garden beds to be sure our gardens look fabulous when we expect lots of visitors during the rest of autumn.

In last week’s Rose Rambler there was a bit of a glitch – this story was placed AFTER closing greeting – some of you may have read it, definitely not all of you so I am repeating it this week …

AWESOME SERIES OF ROSES … I bang on about this series and I ask those of you who grow even one KNOCKOUT (doesn’t matter which variety) please do as Laurel from Sunshine Coast, QLD has done and tell us ALL how grand these roses are in your climate … 

It takes a bit for folk to warm to KNOCKOUT but once they see it in full bloom and see its use in a vase, they are hooked.  In early spring there is very little more sensational than DOUBLE KNOCKOUT.

DOUBLE KNOCKOUT in Adelaide Park

I have been pruning rather severely between each flush and finding that the resultant flush is really a magnet.

People will wake up to realise what they could grow.  I guess I can say that, with a huge space to be filled!  KNOCKOUT cuts so easily too so I have plenty planted and the brides love them as they fill out an arrangement and last so well !

I am delighted to promote this useful garden rose in all its forms as I have never seen black spot on its shiny masses of foliage and its lovely hips are great at Christmas for ornaments and table arrangements.  What a treasure!”  Laurel

Please send me your opinion of any KNOCKOUT roses you’ve grown.  Because Debi read the article last week, she forwarded this appraisal …

“Hi Guys – Just finished reading your latest email regarding readers opinions on ‘Knockout’. Well I just can’t say enough.  I’m pretty new to roses – only started my ‘addiction’ about 2 1/2yrs ago & in that time I’ve planted 27 roses. I live in Coffs Harbour on the coastline of northern NSW & it gets very humid. 

Out of all the roses I have I can honestly say that ‘both the Double & Pink Knockouts are by far the healthiest, most disease free, bushiest & ALWAYS IN FLOWER roses that I have in my garden without a doubt!!’  Growing & maintaining them is hassle-free with no need for any fussing & spraying… I JUST LOVE THEM!!!

They may not have the prettiest of ‘rose type flower’ but if you want bright colour NEARLY ALL YEAR ROUND on disease free roses, I don’t know of a better rose, & if you do, can you PLEASE tell me…

Also I do get a chuckle every time I read the little jokes… It is appreciated … Regards, Debi”

So there you go!  I dream of seeing the highways and byways of Australia planted with KNOCKOUT roses – it will happen … one day!  If you have a large unsightly space in your garden plant KNOCKOUT roses and you’ll be amazed how beautiful they really are!  More testimonials about these fabulous roses will be posted as we receive them …

Knockout and clematis in our garden – MOOI loves it there too!



… I’m still summer pruning because I think we just might have an extended autumn so pruning now, we’ll have flowers well and truly into June and that will be fantastic because I’m not sure if you remember but we had a cold, late start to flowering so we might make up time by having a warm entry to winter and thus prolong the flowering season well into June.


Q. Why are sardines the silliest fish in the sea?   A. Because they climb into tins, close the lid and leave the key outside!

When MOOI our poodle was trimmed last week, the breeder, Emily, suggested that because MOOI’S coat was dry, we feed her one sardine a couple of times per week – you might find this useful information for dry-coat conditions in your dogs.

Remember that now is a fabulous time to be planting ANYTHING in your garden – here’s my special offer to encourage you to plant a few roses …


Finish with this quiz … What do you get when you cross a salmon, a birds leg and a hand?  Of course, you get BIRDSTHIGH FISH FINGERS.

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

ROSE RAMBLER 10.2.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 10.03.2017 …

Hello dear rose friends as our autumn becomes an ‘Indian Summer’ with very warm days here!  Some lucky gardeners have had random rainfall all about the place – not here at Clonbinane but we live in hope of seeing the swale full of water again sometime soon.  Part of the joy of being gardeners – always living in hope – one day hoping for rain, another hoping for the rain to stop.

In the winter hoping for the sun to shine to make our roses grow and in the summer hoping for the clouds to cover our roses for respite from the hot sun.

Yes, we live in hope but we know that every morning when we wake up, there’s something to keep us occupied in the garden!

Whilst doing ‘stuff’ on the computer today there was an ‘ad’ which offered a VIRTUAL OFFICE TO IMPRESS YOUR CUSTOMERS … so frequently we are asked if we would like to ‘swap offices’ with our customers and of course, it will NEVER happen … 

Here are some pics of our REAL OFFICE which we hope you’re impressed by … do come and visit soon – perhaps during the Art & Roses Tours on 8th & 9th April … pics taken this past week so it will get better from here onwards …


… some customers are lucky enough to acquire pig manure from either their own yard (God forbid … it will NEVER occur in our yard I hope … Editor, Diana) or another source – great stuff by all accounts and they say some of their best roses were grown when pig manure was applied!

Q. What does a pig call his grandfather?   A. A Hampa!

This is the season for being able to smell the fragrance of our roses pretty much at all times of the day – cup your hands around the bloom or spray to experience the fullness of fragrance and that smell can lift your spirits to unexpected heights which also include the awareness of the beauty of a flower!

It’s hard to select three great roses to share for this week – PARFUM DE PARIS produces the most amazing blooms of an extraordinarily healthy plant – I can smell a bag of fruit when I take a great big sniff of this rose so I highly recommend it!

EMILIEN GUILLIOT… stand-out colour of bright orange with masses of petals which make the blooms hang on forever on the bush or in a vase – a seriously healthy, grand rose worthy of space in your garden …

NAHEMA in Europe it’s the most popular flower for bridal bouquets and any wonder with such a magnificent fragrance!  The cupped double petals exude such fragrance that Guerlain perfume is based on the essence of this fragrant rose … it grows superbly too …

Hope you continue to enjoy your garden this autumn … see you real soon at Clonbinane or perhaps at the  …

Tesselaars Garden Festival 
9am – 4pm
22nd – 23rd April 2017
Over 40 nurseries and plant growers
Expert plant talks & demonstrations
Shop for plants of all shapes and sizes

Cheers from Graham, Diana and Mooi – also, our assistant, Tova



ROSE RAMBLER 02.03.2017 …

Hello dear rose friends on this very special day … the second day of AUTUMN and the season to enjoy true splendour in a rose garden – we all know how tough roses are, how they endure extreme weather conditions and produce flowers throughout those harsh times …

Then, as sure as the sun sets every day, autumn arrives and they say “… aaaah, time to show our true magnificence and really, truly, put on a grand show of colour.

Although we’ve been planting throughout summer in various parts of the garden, we’ll be planting a lot throughout this autumn – there’s a bed I’ve been preparing for some time now and since there are quite a few potted varieties which I’ve had my eye on to plant in this new bed, now is my perfect opportunity to proceed with mass planting!

RETRACTION FROM LAST WEEK’S ROSE RAMBLER … sometimes I get too enthusiastic in my ramblings and I thank my beautiful friend Shelley for calling me about last week’s newsletter referring to ART & ROSES …

This statement needs clarification:  “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

Please understand what I mean by this:   As long as you are part of a booked group during Art & Roses weekend, once you have paid for your travel and around $12.00 for a magnificent lunch at the Art Expo Café, ADMISSION to every aspect of your visit will be FREE.

You will partake in FREE ENTRY along with a guided tour of the Kilmore Art Expo hosted by a member of the Kilmore Art Society – this includes a FREE CATALOGUE.

At 10 Curry Road, Kilmore, you will enjoy a tour hosted by both the previous and current owners of this awesome, most plant-diverse garden– this is A SPECIAL OPPORTUNITY and is TOTALLY FREE for all BOOKED TRAVELLERS!  

ALL OTHER VISITORS WILL PAY $10.00 ADMISSION for this very special garden tour!

No, of course the roses you might purchase here at SILKIES ROSE FARM are NOT FREE … however, you will once again enjoy a cuppa and “Walk and Talk in the Rose Garden with Graham” absolutely FREE OF CHARGE!


… This is my kind of weather when I can get out in the garden and trim everything because it’s autumn … just love this time of year!

Q. What robs you while you’re in the bathtub?   A. A ROBBER DUCKY!

It’s time to fertilize the rose garden – a good handful per bush of COMPLETE ORGANIC FERTILIZER (COF) or top quality (preferably organic) fertilizer from your local supplier will guarantee another constant supply of beautiful flowers through autumn and into winter.

If the mulch is light-on, get a good thick layer on NOW so that when the soil starts to cool down, the mulch acts as a blanket and keeps the soil warmer for longer; this can extend the flowering season.

There’s no doubt that whatever goodness you offer your garden, you will be rewarded over and over with the joy of coming home to a lovely space with flowers and perhaps your own fresh veggies; a nice green lawn … aah, the joy of entering your driveway after a busy day!

Treat your garden during autumn to all the luxury you can afford and you’ll enjoy the rewards throughout all of this year!

Here is an updated picture of the compost heap which was created back in November and you can now see it starting to collapse –

perfect timing because I will now have lots of compost available when Diana is planting her new rose garden in coming weeks.  Notice how much material I have collected ready to re-use the straw bales for another compost heap …

I hope to be able to repeat this process at least once more since the straw bales cost $11 each and there are 22 used in construction of the heap.  When the bales no longer hold up to create a wall, they’ll be composted along with other material to ensure any weed seeds are well decomposed!

I think I’m very clever – although it was originally Diana’s ‘straw house’ constructed to compost all the weeds (and me) which flourished after I had spread oat straw as mulch!

Moving on … just one more instruction for NOW!  Use ECO-SEAWEED POWDER which contains a range of naturally occurring plant hormones, antioxidants and nutrients which stimulate beneficial responses within plants.  Research has shown that where eco-seaweed is used regularly, say, twice a month, it will

  • enhance flowering
  • improve root shoot and leaf growth
  • reduce transplant shock
  • increase ability to cope with drought/frost to 3-5 degrees tolerance
  • boost resistance to disease and insect attack
  • strengthen cell wall of foliage
  • extend vase-life of flowers
  • extend shelf-life of fruits and vegetables


Add a 600g pack of ECO SEAWEED POWDER to you next online order – use your own water to make 600 x 9 litre watering cans of seaweed solution to protect and enhance performance of all plants in your ENTIRE garden … $32.50 per 600g

Meantime, enjoy this lovely autumn weather – talk to you next week … Graham, Diana, Mooi and our assistant, Tova …  here at SILKIES ROSE FARM, CLONBINANE.