Hello dear rose friends as we flip another page of the calendar over to reveal a whole new month. If you’re anything like us, there will be dates highlighted in August – another busy month ahead!

We’ve hardly pruned a single rose in the gardens because it’s been just so busy in the nursery but we’ll get there. If the weather is fine and you haven’t done your pruning yet, come on up to the Rose Farm this Saturday


Customers who afford themselves the time to come to one of these experiences with Graham always follow through with a lovely email of appreciation so do come on Saturday.


to say it’s been busy is an understatement and I’m always fascinated about where our beautiful roses go when I read the labels on the parcels whilst loading them into my van ready to deliver to our local Auspost depots at Kilmore and Wandong.

Most importantly during this busy time, I’m the delivery guy! Arriving before 7.00am at Wandong in the dark on very cold mornings and later in the day to Kilmore Post Office, I am very pleased to tell you that Auspost do a grand job of getting our roses to destination in the quickest possible time with very few glitches.


(simply buy 4 roses, and we’ll add an additional rose to your shipment!)





You could plant five of these beauties in a row to make a fabulous hedge of roses to pick for vases throughout the coming season … all highly recommended roses for growing in all Australian gardens!

Only one joke this week – from very naughty ANNE P …

It was entertainment night at the Senior Citizens’ Centre. After the community sing-along led by Alice at the piano, it was time for the star of the show – Claude the Hypnotist! Claude explained that he was going to put the whole audience into a trance. “Yes, each and every one of you and all at the same time,” said Claude.

The excited chatter dropped to silence as Claude carefully withdrew, from his waistcoat pocket, a beautiful antique gold pocket watch and chain.

“I want you to keep your eyes on this watch” said Claude, holding the watch high for all to see. “It’s a very special and valuable watch that has been in my family for six generations,” said Claude.

He began to swing the watch gently back and forth while quietly chanting, “Watch the watch — Watch the watch —- Watch the watch”.

The audience became mesmerized as the watch swayed back and forth. The lights were twinkling as they were reflected from its gleaming surfaces. A hundred and fifty pairs of eyes followed the movements of
the gently swaying watch. They were hypnotized. And then, suddenly, the chain broke!!!

The beautiful watch fell to the stage and burst apart on impact. “SHIT,” said Claude.

It took them three days to clean the Senior Citizens Centre and Claude was never invited there again.

I hope you’re laughing until your sides split and the tears are running … exactly what Diana and I did when we read this! Nice that we’re all going in the same direction and keeping each other aware of the pitfalls of aging in a most enjoyable way … get out in the garden and bend your body every which way to keep mobile!


Hello dear rose friends … no time for too much rambling this week since we’re finally up to our eyeballs packing rose orders so that we hopefully meet our deadline of having empty-order-folders by the end of August.

Another two huge consignments arrived on Tuesday – all the roses need to be graded, labelled, sorted and tucked into the moist, friable soil we call the ‘heel-in-bed’. From there we hope to be able to contact you and advise that your order is ready for collection – if the roses are being posted, you’ll receive Auspost tracking notification!


Always time for a joke:

Q: What’s the difference between an oak tree and a tight shoe? A: One makes acorns, the other makes corns ache!


  1. Blend ANYTHING you add to the planting hole with existing soil
  2. NEVER add any product which is decomposing/smelly/steaming to planting hole
  3. ALWAYS pour seaweed solution into planting hole and after planting
  4. After planting TRIM the new roses by at least 1/3 – be brave!
  5. DON’T OVERWATER – more roses succumb due to wet soil than dry soil!
  6. Fertilize roses with top-quality organic fertilizer when foliage appears

Enjoy planting new bare-rooted roses in your garden this winter … there are still more than SIX WEEKS until we start posting POTTED ROSES … plenty of time to dig over a new garden bed to plant these beauties which I highly recommend:

MR. LINCOLN – still our most highly prized top-selling rose of all time in all climates!

DAYBREAKER – seriously fabulous and most healthy and prolific rose!

MEMOIRE – the most weather-tolerant, perfectly formed white rose of all times!

If you’re about this weekend and want to learn about rose pruning do call up to the Rose Farm on SATURDAY … 1.30pm for WALK AND TALK PRUNING DEMO with me – see you there, Graham.

P.S. One more joke: Q: Why is a ladies (or gents) belt like a garbage truck? A: Because it goes around and around and gathers the waist (waste).

UUMMM??? Get out in the garden pruning and planting roses so that you reduce the waist-line and keep fit and happy!!!


We endeavour to have most orders completed by the end of August. Meantime, if you are anxious at all about your order, please know that we have it all in hand and are posting as quickly as we can!

We had a massive victory with Australia Post last week – due to the volume of parcels we are posting they have allowed us to post over-sized packs with STANDARD ROSES so we will be able to post standard roses to you throughout the year!

Please email if you have concerns about your order or need advice regarding planting a new garden – our service is FREE and we welcome the challenge of assisting you to create the rose garden of your dreams …

See you soon at Clonbinane perhaps … the team at SILKIES ROSE FARM …


Hello dear rose friends as we freeeeeeeze here at Clonbinane with days on end of minus degrees – this swale has NEVER frozen over so is a very good indication of how cold it’s been …


it’s going to be a busy weekend with pruning demo at WHITTLESEA COURT HOUSE on SATURDAY starting at 10.30 am then I’ll be at Melbourne Showgrounds on Sunday before I venture to the City for the Rally to SAVE THE ABC. If you’re out and about, you might see me along with Ben at these locations.

Meantime, because we’re so flat out here at the Rose Farm in one of the busiest winter seasons we’ve experienced in years, I’ll post these couple of jokes to remind you that we make time in every day to have a giggle and keep the fun in our day! We know you love these jokes as much as we do …

Q: What animal drops from the clouds? A: A reindeer!

Just in case it happens to you, let me tell you what one of the kids said to me recently:

“Poppy, can I tell you a dirty joke?” I was cautious but before I could respond, my grandson said: “THE MAN FELL IN THE MUD” … phew, that let me off the hook as we laughed and did a ‘high five’! Turn this trick joke on one of your kids and enjoy the response!

Here are a few pics of roses we’re pleased to be releasing this season …





Please know that there is a HUGE consignment of roses coming to the nursery today and all those roses need to be graded and tagged, collated for orders, then pitted into the heel-in beds so they’re roots are kept moist during the entire process whilst here in our care at the Rose Farm.

There has been a bit of a delay with some varieties of roses this season … those stragglers have held up quite a few orders but we seriously hope to have most orders wrapped up and posted early – mid this coming week.

Please note that it is still WINTER and we promised to send your roses during winter – the roses will be fine to be posted way, way into August/September so don’t panic and remember to keep the LOVE in planting roses this winter!

If you are at all concerned because you are going away, please don’t hesitate to email Diana at to advise your plans so that your roses can be posted accordingly. Otherwise, please know we are going flat-chat as fast as MOTHER NATURE is allowing us to!

Enjoy the ‘new rose-planting experience’ … if you need advice or assistance with any rose management please contact us during our normal business hours: FRIDAY – SATURDAY – SUNDAY – MONDAY 9.00am till 4.00pm

Please understand that if you call 03 5787 1123 during those hours and you experience our recorded message, it’s only because WE ARE ON ANOTHER CALL … we are ALWAYS OPEN on the days we promise to be here!

Hope you’re gloved-up and rugged-up, out there with a sharp secateurs enjoying pruning your roses! Cheers from us here at Clonbinane …


Hello dear rose friends as we’re well into winter and within a week or so, will finally have the STANDARD ROSES available for sorting/labelling and despatch – pretty much on time as promised!

There are still quite a few varieties of roses being dug and graded during this time – believe me, everybody is doing their absolute best to get beautiful quality roses processed and ready for posting and planting in your garden this winter!

Q: Why was Cinderella thrown off the netball team? A: Because she kept running away from the ball!


There’s lots happening this week …


From 7.30-9.15am I’ll be on the panel for 3CR GARDEN SHOW which you can find on the am dial of your radio at 855 (close to 774 which is ABC).


WHERE: The Grandview Hotel (upstairs), 429 Heidelberg Road, and STREAMED LIVE ONLINE

ABOUT: Diana and Graham will discuss with us their organic rose businesses. They will give their best tips for getting the most out of your roses, including pruning techniques and feeding, as well as some of the new varieties available and how they can be designed into your gardens.
They will remind us why roses are one of the most widely grown ornamental plants in the world, and how they can be successfully grown organically.

PRESENTERS BACKGROUND: Diana and Graham are the owners of Sikies Rose Farm and Rose Sales Online, a production nursery and retail business specialising in the organic management of roses. They have spent more than 30 years showing people how to grow roses successfully, without the use of harsh chemicals.

This event is free for GGP members – venue and live-stream (Live Stream link will be emailed to GGP members separately, no need to book)

Non GGP member pricing: $20 and hort students $10 (code STU, student ID required) Visitors book HERE for venue or live-stream

For $85 p.a. join SGA’s Green Gardening Professionals
For more information and to join click here

SGA Green Gardening Professionals are gardeners, horticulturists, landscapers, food gardeners, educators, trainers and nursery people interested in learning and catching up with people working in the same world as themselves.

Want to know anything else: Office (03) 8850 3050 or email:


How cathartic it is to get down and dirty around the roses whilst pruning! Pruning is really one of the most pleasurable jobs – yep, it will stretch every limb in your body but the joy of standing back and seeing a beautifully pruned rose makes the hardship worthwhile! If you don’t enjoy pruning, consider this option:

This pruning season, if you think your roses would benefit from a PROFESSIONAL PRUNE then please contact our team who will travel if/when necessary. They’ll be pruning with the finest battery-operated equipment from PELLENC which means you’ll get a truly professional prune done in your garden this winter.

Please, don’t call us at the Rose Nursery to book pruning but rather, call direct:

TOVA @ SHE LANDSCAPES: 0481 455 499 or BEN SARGEANT: 0468 822 373

to book them for professional pruning anytime NOW and enjoy the rewards of these two young people pruning your roses and if you want, fertilized too, ready for spring!

Q: What did the hat say to the scarf? A: You hang around and I’ll go ahead!


I so appreciate it when you come along to my Rose Pruning Demos and other special events – earlier I indicated that I would be holding a PRUNING DEMO on Sunday, 15th July but I now have to cancel this as I feel very committed to attending a Rally at Melbourne Town Hall to SAVE THE ABC …

Overwhelming public demand.

Due to overwhelming public demand we have changed the venue for our protest. Existing tickets (for Deakin Edge) will still be valid for Melbourne Town Hall.

WHEN: SUNDAY 15 JULY 2.00 – 4.30pm – (arrive by 1.45)
WHERE: Melbourne Town Hall, cnr Swanston & Collins St, MELBOURNE

Book (seats, $10) at

Earlier on that Sunday, 15th July, I will call in at the ALL POULTRY SHOW at Melbourne Show Grounds and then attend this rally to SAVE THE ABC! ALL Australians should support this most important campaign which enables free speech and an opportunity for information to be dispersed with honesty, integrity and all that we, here in Australia stand for! See you there perhaps?


It’s very important you read this so that when you contact us for advice, you’re not wasting precious time with details that can be provided IN THE FIRST CONTACT rather than a lot of toing and froing of email conversation!

My chats with David:

Hi …I have an arbour 2.4 metres high an opening of 2 metres and 1 metre deep so the total length is 6.8 metres.

I want to put a rose either side to climb to centre of top so 3.4 ish metres. Could you please give me some suggestions? Regards David

Hi David … always happy to work on designing a rose garden with the motto, DO IT ONCE, DO IT RIGHT! If you give me just a few details about how YOU see the finished result, I can definitely assist … you need to tell me which roses you like … shape, colour, fragrance, etc. then I can recommend the best variety. Please also offer me what the aspects are … plenty of sun I suspect??? Cheers

Hi …Thanks for your reply, actually the aspect may be an issue this is on the south side of house, in summer it gets sun most of the day but in autumn and winter only in the afternoon, preference on rose would be of a red, fragrant, medium size blooms something in the looks of MISTER LINCOLN. Like I said not sure if aspect will work especially for the one on the left of pic. Would be ok once higher on arbour but I’m really not sure – Regards David

Exactly why I ask the right questions in the first instance. Yep, it’ll work but only if you ESTABLISH the roses really well during this coming spring/summer … how did I know, also, that you were going to ask for something like MR LINCOLN, CLB ??????? It’s a ‘boy thing’!!!

If you really, really want that rose on that arbour, you can do it – it will take some TAMING but if you BE THE BOSS, it will be magnificent I think – just don’t let it have its head and do its own thing but keep it tied to the brilliant frame you’ve created and chop, chop, chop to make it look really full of lush healthy foliage which in turn will create magnificent lots of blooms in the zone where you are working/playing rather than setting flowers way, way up in the air where you cannot enjoy them! MR. LINCOLN, CLB. is a very ROBUST rose and needs to be kept in check.

If you decide that’s all too hard, as most of the HYBRID TEA CLIMBING ROSES can be, then consider a different colour and I’ll work on selecting a different variety of rose which will be easier to manage over such a lovely structure.

Hope this is helpful … Diana

After a few more emails and discussion, David ordered 2 X NAHEMA and it will be stunning over the area which is in fact, an entertainment area, frequently visited by family and friends so sure to be enjoyed in that location.

Remember that you can call in at the Rose Farm or email me photos and dimensions of your garden, a wish-list of the types and perhaps colours of roses you would love to grow and I will assist you to create the rose garden of your dreams.

Meantime, stay warm and hope you have a chance to listen to 3CR next Sunday morning at 855 on the am band in Melbourne and view the SGA Presentation this coming Tuesday evening via live stream.

Cheers from the busy team who are up to our eyeballs
in magnificent bare-rooted roses here at Clonbinane …