Hello dear rose friends as we say GOODBYE to glorious autumn and WELCOME to winter and the start of a whole new season in our gardens!

Winter might be considered THE ‘SEASON’ OF ROSES … there’s so much going on in the rose world at this time of year … selecting and purchasing/planting new bare-rooted roses in your garden, pruning roses and getting management procedures in place to ensure your roses grow robustly healthy during the impending flowering season.


the leaves of our magnificent ornamental trees have fallen to create a superb mulch over the soil around our trees and although we still have lovely sunny days interspersed with clouds and some rain, winter is with us tomorrow!

Joke: A COW COCKY was filling in the census form. In answer to the question, “What is the length of residence in Australia”, he wrote: Thirty feet, ten inches with a verandah front and two sides.”

An email from Catriona … When do you recommend we start pruning?

My response: Whenever you like really … we’ll be pruning the potted roses up in the nursery in the next few weeks … garden roses will gradually be pruned as time permits rather more than consideration of the weather since we get soooooo cold here! It’s hit and miss for us because we get such severe frost … prune early can mean the bushes produce shoots which harden in the early frost conditions but prune late and when the bushes shoot, those shoots can be frozen!

If you’re in a mild climate or large town where there are lots of street lights which warm your environment, you can do it anytime I guess. Pruning is a bit like that now! Cheers

The above email response is pretty much how we are experiencing the issue of when to prune … it does definitely depend on:

  • Your climate
  • What suits you ie. Do you travel during winter – prune before or after?
  • Time constraints

I recommend you prune when you’re feeling happy about doing the job – do it in bits and pieces rather than make it a ‘chore’ … we all know that doing a job with negative vibes is way harder and can incur negative responses than when you do a job with joy in your heart and a spring in your step!

Please know that pruning your roses should be a joyous occasion in your garden – you’re doing your roses a huge favour by pruning them during this winter so that they are able to rejuvenate by producing lots of new water-shoots, healthy foliage and subsequent flower buds for next season’s flowering.

Just reminding you and you can pass on to the kids: Chooks are the only things you can eat before they are born and after they are dead!


There are so many times when you just need to send a magnificent rose which expresses exactly what you wish to say as a GIFT ROSE – all you have to do is add your message which I will personally inscribe onto a lovely card. Here are a few suggestions: …






Although the roses are ‘just sticks’ right now, be reminded that those ‘sticks’ when potted into a 20cm pot of top-quality coir-fibre potting mix, will be a magnificent flowering plant by this SPRING and will then endure to be a loving reminder of your consideration in sending a GIFT ROSE during this winter.

Let our lovely roses do the talking for you!

Cheers from the team at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane …


Hello dear rose friends as we welcome the new season’s roses which are being sorted, labelled and very importantly, kept moist AT ALL TIMES during this processing!

You’ll be hearing from us soon if you have ordered bare-rooted roses – please be patient and wait for us to contact you as some varieties are still in the ground … remember too, standard roses will ALWAYS BE DUG LATER … it will be July before we call you to advise posting or collection of orders which contain STANDARD ROSES!


Its time to be planting bare-rooted winter roses. GIVE ROSES A BOOST TO START THEIR NEW LIFE in your garden by following these planting tips:

  • Dig a hole at least 50cms x 50cms and at least that deep so that the graft is just above the existing soil level;
  • Blend 30% of quality compost with the existing soil;
  • Scientific research has shown that mycorrhiza (good soil bugs) can be obtained from mulch/soil material around other plants in your garden so add a bucket full of this to the planting hole;
  • ALWAYS soak the newly planted rose with at least two buckets (20 litres) of water;
  • Add seaweed solution to the final bucket of water and continue seaweed applications at least every two weeks.

Q. How can you tell a Martian would be a good gardener? A. They all have green thumbs.


here are a few highly recommend ones which would nicely cover a stark fence and require very little in the way of support …




Q. Which bird can never be trusted? A. A lyre-bird.

May the last days of autumn afford you the joy of stunning fragrant roses and amazing colour from the trees around you! We’re revelling in the last blooms and the most gloriously colourful garden we’ve ever experienced here at Clonbinane!

Talk to you next week… meantime, enjoy the autumn colours all around you… Graham, Diana and the crew at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane…


Hello dear rose friends as we return home from a very special reunion at Mt Tamborine, QLD with Graham’s mates from his days in the Rover Scouts – a catch-up with many memories and laughs!


I hope all you Mums had a beautiful day last Sunday when your family celebrated your specialness!

Q. What kind of sharks NEVER eat women? A. Man-eating sharks

Diana likes to throw me an impossible task sometimes; this is one of them: If I was only allowed to buy three roses this winter, which would I choose?

After much deliberation and writing down more than twelve varieties in a very short time, I ended up with these three:

UNCONVENTIONAL LADY – is one of the most exciting new climbing roses because not only does it flower very, very continually but it holds a lot of healthy foliage throughout winter – a really important aspect of covering an area which would enjoy winter foliage! A very highly recommended rose!!!

MUNSTEAD WOOD Because I just LOVE this glorious rose which grows on a short hedge-row in my garden … it stops me EVERY time I walk past because I have to take a sniff and its flowering all the time! My favourite David Austin Rose without a doubt!

KARDINAL I just have to have the most perfectly formed red rose in my garden so that I can pick bunches of long-stemmed blooms to fill vases for the kitchen bench throughout the flowering season and KARDINAL is so PERFECT! It’s so long-lasting and if you get it at the right moment, yes, it does indeed have a fragrance too!

Be sure and write down your lists of preferred roses, make ‘wish lists’ and do your research so that when you plant, you hopefully get the planting right FIRST TIME. It doesn’t always quite go to plan – read on:

Hi Diana, I was given ‘Perfume Passion’ two years ago.

The label said it grew to 1.5 metres. After a year in the ground it just took off! I’ve never seen such vigorous growth (apart from maybe ‘Best Friend‘).

Even with a good winter prune I’m finding it’s growing closer to 1.8 metres which is a bit too tall for its current position.

I can always move it but what I’m wondering is, how is the height of a rose determined? Regards – Jon


Sometimes, the height is determined by the fact that it just LOVES it at your place. Seems that’s the case in this instance – see, I would say to another customer, yep, 1.2 – 1.5 for BEST FRIEND but I know for a fact that there are locations where the rose is growing to the eaves of the house and beyond, simply because it loves the position its planted in and, it was a quality rose from the start!

If your PERFUME PASSION is too large for the current location (it is flowering well I imagine? ie. It’s not understock?) I recommend you move it to a place where it can do its thing! Cheers – Graham


Send your plans, wish-lists and specifications to us at and we’ll be more than pleased to assist with organising your new or refurbished rose garden from design to soil preparation, rose selection and planting information.

There’s lots of information at but you’re welcome to call us on 03 5787 1123 any Fri Sat Sun or Mon 9.00am – 4.00pm if you would like to have a chat about anything to do with roses in your garden.

Talk to you next week… meantime, enjoy the autumn colours all around you… Graham, Diana and the crew at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane…

ROSE RAMBLER 10th MAY, 2018 …

ROSE RAMBLER 10th MAY, 2018 … 

Hello dear rose friends.  And … drumroll … the WINNER IS: LISA MUNNS from LAVINGTON IN NSW

Sincere thanks to you all for your AMAZING support of this competition by emailing your answer and details accordingly … most of you got it right!  Steph takes the prize for the most creative response:


A. FINDING HALF A WORM IN YOUR APPLE! Why?  — because: (1) you have ingested some unexpected extra protein; and (2) you’ve lost the opportunity to put the apple and a lovely wriggling lively worm in your compost where the apple will break down, the worm will thrive and create lovely compost to PUT ON YOUR ROSES! 🙂  Kind regards …Stefanie 

Along with this beautifully creative contribution from Sonia’s little girl:  “Finding half a worm or a family of baby spiders, earwigs or a human eyeball … ewhh – yuk”

We were overwhelmed by the incredible number of email responses and we’re so pleased to be able to continue presenting this weekly Rose Rambler for your learning and gardening pleasure knowing so many of you actually continue to read it!

The reason we did such a low-key Rose Rambler last week was that I had had a rather serious car accident on MY dirt road into Kilmore and wrote-off Graham’s vehicle!  I am 100% OK and a walking – talking miracle really!  There was a lot to organise and the accident was a signal for me to slow down and take time out to ‘smell the roses’!
Graham and I will be taking time out in these next few weeks before the busy bare-rooted season starts.   Ben and Tova are more than capable of holding the fort so continue to place your winter orders for bare-rooted roses!


Here are a few highly recommended varieties which you MUST consider:


ALI BABA – is one of the most exciting new climbing roses because not only does it flower very, very continually but it holds a lot of healthy foliage throughout winter – a really important aspect of covering an area which would enjoy winter foliage! A very highly recommended rose!!!

DREAM CHASER – was one of the outstanding roses in the field this past summer – it’s got everything you want in a rose … highly fragrant, very easy care, extremely high-health and a lovely rounded shrub which just ‘fits in’ … you MUST have this beauty in your garden!

MY YELLOW – is absolutely stunning and again, extremely high-health, fragrant and it just doesn’t seem to EVER BE WITHOUT FLOWERS … we’ve been trialling this beauty in our gardens here at Clonbinane and it is EVERYTHING we never expected to enjoy in a yellow rose – an Australian-bred beauty by Bruce Brundrett and if you love YELLOW roses, then this is the rose you MUST grow – a real beauty!

If you don’t like online ordering then call us at the Rose Farm every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday when we are open – otherwise, order at you can see a plethora of beautiful photos of the roses available for ordering NOW.


Since you obviously all love a good joke, here’s my contribution for this week:

Q. What do you get if you cross a worm with a baby goat?  A. A dirty kid!  

Many of you will still have beautiful blooms for weeks to come in your rose garden so be sure to apply the organic management spray program regularly as it will retain healthy foliage for longer as the nights get cooler/damper – to 10 litres of water add:

  • 1/4 cup ECO-ROSE / FUNGICIDE (these products are one and the SAME!!!  Eco-Rose has a red coloured label and Eco-Fungicide has an aqua coloured label)
  • 1 small scoop ECO-SEAWEED (the 600g pack is still on special because we forgot to change the price several weeks ago – you’ll make 120 x 9 litre watering cans of seaweed solution from each 600g pack!  Real value at full price of $32.50 but currently just $25.00
  • 1/4 cup ECO-OIL – although it is an insecticide, ECO-OIL also acts as a ‘sticker’ so it’s a very important component in the organic rose management spray.

Thoroughly mix all the products into a spray unit or watering can and cover rose foliage fortnightly during this cool/damp weather to keep foliage healthy right up to winter when all rose leaves will start to show signs of black-spot and yellowing.

Remember that this decline in healthy rose foliage is a NATURAL MECHANISM for roses to LOSE their FOLIAGE and go into winter dormancy.  When they’ve completely defoliated it will be time to prune – more on that topic later.

Here’s an email exchange with Jodie in Queensland:  “Hi Gra … my roses are all flowering and looking great – the only challenge I have is black spot.  I have started to spray them with the special eco powder for black spot that I purchased from you, but I suppose it will take a number of more sprays before it starts to work?”

My response:  The organic spray management program works very efficiently, effectively and economically when applied regularly and in line with prevalent weather conditions … so rather than wait for damp weather to affect rose foliage by staying damp overnight and increasing the possibility of black spot or mildew affecting the leaves, SPRAY BEFORE such weather is expected – if and when possible!

Just another thought … do you have the ECO OIL as well???  Always add that to the spray because it also acts as a ‘sticker’ … makes the fungicide and seaweed solution ‘stick’ to the foliage because it is oil based!  If you don’t have ECO OIL you should at least add a dash of detergent – the soap will make the spray solution stick to the rose foliage … 

Since I started with a joke, I’ll end with one also:

Q. Why did the singer climb a ladder?  A. To reach the high notes!   … cheers


Thank you for continuing to send emails commending the quality of our roses, our helpful assistance with all manner of rose issues and your general approval of how we conduct our business.

In order to voice your opinion more widely, can you please submit your testimonial on here, so that potential customers will confidently allow us at Silkies Rose Farm and to encourage them the pleasure of growing beautiful roses in their gardens!

Be sure to ‘smell the roses’ while they are still flowering in your garden and a very HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the wonderful Mum’s / Grandmother’s and Women in general who make this country a loving place for all of us!

Graham, Diana, Mooi and the crew of helpers:  Ben, Tova and Leigh.


Hello dear rose friends as we enter the last weeks of autumn and the cold weather is starting to shut down our rose flowering for this season – we’ve already had some below zero frosts here at Clonbinane!

This is a very brief Rose Rambler offering you a chance to go into a draw for a spectacular MOTHER’S DAY GIFT PACK which includes the following:

* Chair not included

DE WIT (Made in Holland) 4 Tine Garden Fork ($75.00), ALL ABOUT ROSES book ($30.00), LOWE SECATEURS ($62.50) along with our favourite rose gardener’s glovesorganic rose management pack and a ROSE BUSH of your choice – TOTAL VALUE $300(includes pack/post if necessary!)

ALL CORRECT ANSWERS to Graham’s joke will be placed in a draw for this great MOTHER’S DAY GIFT PACK to be drawn at the Rose Farm on MONDAY, 7TH MAY at 9.30am (so that it can be posted in time for Mother’s Day gifting).

When answering the joke via email to: please don’t forget to include your name, phone number and postal address!

Here’s the joke Graham chose:


Have a great week in your garden and we’ll be back with lots of rose garden talk next week … cheers from Graham, Diana and the team at Clonbinane.