Hello dear rose friends on this, the last day of summer which heralds perhaps, a respite for our gardens with maybe some rain ???


We’ve already had some cool mornings but gosh, the sun has a punch in it while we’re watering the pots in the nursery from early morning. The cool nights will increase the incidence of fungal disease so, despite the daytime heat, it’s time to ramp up and start the organic rose management spray program to protect foliage and keep it disease free so that we all enjoy massive flowering through autumn and right up to the first winter frosts.


  • ¼ CUP ECO ROSE (dilute first with strong gush of water!)
  • Small scoop ECO-SEAWEED (or other seaweed product – follow instructions)
  • ¼ CUP ECO-OIL (add last then fill container with full water pressure to mix all)

Often, I mix these three products in a watering can and pour solution over roses which appear to need a boost or show early signs of disease – obviously, using a watering can is great if you’re ‘time-poor’ but it means you’ll use more product so this method is not as economical.

Most important that you apply this organic rose management program NOW!

Q:  What did one lab rat say to the other?  A: I’ve got my scientist so well trained that every time I push the buzzer, he brings me a snack!”

IS IT UNDERSTOCK ??? Very interestingly, we get many queries just like this:

I have several standard Icebergs, one died 2 years ago and I left the roots in the pot, the spring before last up came some shoots and then quite a few more but it did not flower despite several prunings. This spring, after the winter prune, the shoots came alive again and in mid spring we had several large crimson/scarlet roses from what used to be ‘deceased’ iceberg. After the mid spring bloom no more flowers despite several prunings of the long shoots. Question – how come the Iceberg is now producing once a year crimson/scarlet roses ? Question – what can I do, if anything, to get more blooms throughout spring and summer? I live in Cronulla, NSW, the roses get full sun and get watered every second day.”

My response: “Hello … what you’re growing now is UNDERSTOCK … actually, R. DR.HUEY which is commonly used as understock for roses along the eastern seaboard of Australia – where most of our Australian commercial rose growers are!  I usually recommend that customers remove the understock from their gardens – it only flowers once in the season and is rampant and likely to take over large areas of your garden – if birds eat and spread the seeds, it’s almost considered a ‘noxious week’… get rid of the plant and definitely don’t
waste precious drinking water to keep it growing!!!  Cheers – Gra”

… another email with slightly different issues relevant to ROSE UNDERSTOCK …

Hi Diana & Graham, Firstly thank you for the emails I always look forward to receiving them. So my first question is: I pulled some suckers off some of my roses and found one had some roots attached to it so I planted it. Will this grow into a viable rose and produce flowers, or should I just get rid of it?

MY Response: “That sucker you pulled off … throw it away!  You’ll possibly get flowers every spring but they’re not worth having – believe me!  Great for you if you want to propagate roses in the future – very llllooooooong future!  You need acres of it to produce enough canes for rose production.”

I’ve been given a use by date for our current home as we’ll be building and moving to Torquay, I have a sentimental attachment to a couple of my roses and would dearly love to take them or take cuttings from them, what would you suggest the best and easiest way to go about this, would cuttings be better and if so how? or moving the roses (one is quite large).  I could hunt out the name tags from each rose if that would help. Kindest Regards – Tracey

“Take the names of those you love most and you’ll almost surely be able to purchase them when the time comes or there might be a really great, more modern variety available with all the same qualities but a more healthy rose perhaps?

Consider that the current roses will add value to the home when you sell it … doesn’t matter that the new owners might destroy the garden – they’ll offer you a good price for the way the place looks when they buy it! Hope all goes well for you in the future … best wishes …””

S ALL MULCH GOOD MULCH? This email will give you food-for-thought when you next consider which mulch is best in your garden … “Your newsletters have so much info and I look forward to them each week. Re mulch: – I have a very large LILLYPILLY tree in my garden which was cut back last year.  The arborists mulched the cuttings and I spread the mulch around the garden and thought I was doing a good thing.  But then I started to see LILLYPILLY seedlings cropping up everywhere and spent a lot of time removing them; I still see the occasional seedling peeping through ☹

Q:  What animals need oiling?  A: Mice, because they squeak!


FOUR magnificent roses you might consider planting this autumn:


David Austin Modern Shrub Rose with large dark crimson heavily petalled and very fragrant blooms continually.  Very suited to pot-planting for a patio.  Ideal as a hedge-row.
  • Large dark crimson blooms
  • Extremely healthy rounded shrub
  • Intense old rose fragrance
  • Suitable for use in flower arrangements

Delbard Couture Collection Shrub Rose which produces one of the most durable flowers of any rose we stock.

    • Exquisite dark red almost black flowers
    • Exceedingly healthy and very free flowering
    • Ideal as rose hedge or border
    • Most endurable flowers which last more than 10 days on the bush


A refreshingly bright canary yellow flowered Floribunda rose.  This rose will definitely lift your spirits and so will it’s fragrance.  Nice dark green foliage, free blooming, and compact growth.  If you want a yellow this is one we highly recommended.

    • Bright canary yellow blooms
    • Beautiful fragrance
  • Free blooming
  • Nice dark green foliage and compact growth

A wonderful Hybrid Tea rose – lovely healthy, spreading bush produces huge blooms of lavender/pink flowers continually throughout the season. The blooms have a most heavenly fragrance – hence the name!  Highly recommended rose for cut flowers too!

  • Hybrid Tea rose
  • Large, spreading bush
  • Huge blooms of lavender/pink
  • Great cut flower with amazing fragrance

Hope you enjoy the cooler nights for sleeping and let’s hope we get rain for our gardens so that our roses put on their most spectacular autumn display in coming months … cheers from the team at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane – do come for a visit soon!


Hello dear rose friends as I write this date which appears on all my legal documents – another year older … sadness as this is the first birthday I will celebrate without a phone call from my Mum but I know she’s looking over us to be sure we’re tending the roses well!


I’ve been managing on my own while Diana was gallivanting around Perth with her cousin Joyce – they share their birth dates on the same year during February. Mooi and I coped well and I was able to reinvent my compost heaps – while the boss is away, mice will play!

Here’s what I’ve now created

This compost heap is a blend of new materials deep in the centre which should break down more quickly because of the outer layer of humus over which, of course, I will place a thick layer of raw materials (straw / horse manure with shavings) in order to retain moisture and protect microbes from intensely hot sun. I’ll soak the whole area with a sprinkler at least once a week for no less than one hour – moisture hastens breakdown of all the composting materials!

Q. Where do horses get their hay? A. From their Neigh-bours … which is exactly where we get all our horse manure with shavings … we are sooooo lucky to have this resource so close and we do check when they last wormed their animals. Fresh manure from recently injected horses needs to be placed in separate areas and NOT on our compost heap as the chemicals might potentially kill our compost worms!!!

When completely broken down in say, two – three months, I will use all of this compost/humus around the rose garden during winter – both for planting new roses and spread up to 10litres (one bucket-full) around established roses once they’ve been pruned.

It’s very important to mulch humus when you place it around your plants as it …

  • Feeds worms and soil microbes
  • Retains top soil from being blown away in wind
  • Prevents weeds from seeding
  • Keeps soil moist and evens soil temperature

There are so many benefits in composting your household and garden refuse – it’s easy once you learn how to and you’ll definitely enjoy the rewards of a robustly healthy and environmentally sustainable garden for your family to enjoy!

Q. Why do fish live in salt water? A. Because pepper makes them sneeze!



Is still one of the most popular roses we sell and is rich in colour now that the nights are a little bit cooler!


Is so stately and grand – magnificent in the extreme and the lush healthy foliage complements the overall beauty of this lovely rose!



Has flowered and flowered through the most incredibly hot weather and the fragrance is amazing! Very highly recommended rose for sure!

Q. What’s the difference between a musician and a cricketer? A. One scores a hit and the other hits a score!


Enjoy this last week of summer in your garden – cheers from all of us at Clonbinane …


Hello dear rose friends as we celebrate ST. VALENTINE’S DAY when the most red roses IN ANY ONE DAY are sold throughout Australia! We hope you received a beautiful GIFT ROSE which means you’ll be able to pick roses from the same bush over and over to be reminded of the love in your life!


On days like today I feel so happy to be a rose grower – I can pick an armful of red roses for my girl since I have MY garden filled with red roses and I dream one day, I’ll breed an absolutely beautiful red rose which will be stunningly fragrant, filled with strong dark petals and grow the healthiest foliage … you’ve gotta have a dream!

Q. How do you fix a pizza?  A. With tomato paste!



Perfectly formed Hybrid Tea blooms striped with yellow/orange/pink and salmon – stunningly pretty with a spicy fragrance. Award winning in trial grounds around the world for extreme disease resistance. The foliage is dense enough for this magnificent rose to be used to create a colourful hedge to 1.8 metres tall. A highly recommended rose which is sure to make visitors to your garden gasp with awe!

Is mid-cherry red and flowers non-stop for no less than nine months of the year. The flowers are medium sized and open with a tight bud which slowly opens to reveal a boss of yellow stamens; this is very attractive to bees so a hedge of this rose around the veggie garden or orchard would enhance pollination of veggies and fruit. This series of roses are the most disease resistant roses we have ever grown!


Is frequently used as a GIFT ROSE and I’m pleased to tell you, it’s one of the most reliable and easy to grow! The copper/orange petals are tipped with crimson red; perfectly formed, medium-sized blooms are produced continually and the glossy lighter- green foliage is extremely lush and healthy … a great rose to be reminded of a loved one!

Q. What is out of bounds?  A. An exhausted kangaroo.


we still have areas of green grass so our property is residence to more than thirty kangaroos each night – the bigger, taller bucks easily jump our fences so graze in the gardens while mums and bubs graze on the perimeter. Luckily, kangaroos don’t like roses and the fences are too high for wallabies, wombats and rabbits!

I served a customer on Sunday who came to purchase another 600g pack of ECO-SEAWEEDand she was telling me of the success she had when she shifted roses from her Mother’s garden recently when the house was being sold.

Jen cut the roses by two-thirds and lifted about half a metre round and deep root-base – at no point in the shift were the roses let to dry out!!! She covered them with damp hessian sacks and loaded them into a ute then planted them in her garden and poured ECO-SEAWEED over them once they were soaked to a slurry in their new location.

Weekly applications of ECO-SEAWEED as per our directions meant that Jen now has her Mother’s roses flowering in her own garden – they were almost sure to be destroyed when the house was sold so Jen’s extremely happy we recommended she remove the roses despite the fact it was summer and we have experienced the hottest summer on record here in Victoria!


Hope you’re enjoying your summer rose garden and preparing garden beds for autumn planting … best wishes from us all at Clonbinane …


Hello dear rose friends as we spare a quiet moment in memory of what devastation occurred during the Black Saturday Bushfires in Victoria ten years ago today!
We hope all our customers are safe as we swelter and the rain continues to fall in Queensland – please know that your garden will recover from all these harsh weather events – our garden now is testament to that, as it was ravaged by fire 10 years ago and is a beautiful space filled with glorious trees and rose gardens for us to enjoy today!

Our garden immediately after the fires.

And the garden today!



Yes, time flies and you need to get onto this quickly if you want a glorious, living, flowering, fragrant rose of your loved-ones choice posted in time for gifting … perhaps you need to choose?  If so, let us make it easy for you …

You SELECT THE COLOUR and let us select the most beautiful rose in that colour range to be posted along with your romantic message – all VALENTINE’S DAY ROSES will be posted TOMORROW or MONDAY so please do get online NOW and order a GIFT ROSE!

All you have to do is print your message which Diana will hand-write into a beautiful card and then in the COMMENTS section of the order, tell us which COLOUR rose you would like us to send.

There are so many beautiful roses in the nursery NOW … make your gift-giving this Valentine’s Day very simple by letting us select the most beautiful rose in the nursery on the day you present your order!

Q. Why did the song do well in school?  A. Because it took a lot of notes!



MR. LINCOLN continues to be the MOST POPULAR Hybrid Tea Rose and is the most commonly requested dark red rose because it has a HUGE fragrance, is tall and tough in all conditions throughout Australia.

LOVING MEMORY produces a continual display of perfectly formed medium-dark red blooms on a very sturdy and healthy bush.

This magnificent rose is highly recommended for gifting to the ‘least garden friendly’ person when you want to offer a lasting LOVING MEMORY in the event of a death – it is such a resilient and hardy rose!

CAMP DAVID … Hybrid Tea dark red rose and one of the most stunning!  This rose is one of the most abundant Hybrid Teas, producing the darkest red, red roses – no purple in this beauty as I refer to it as ‘brown red’ … it stays dark red all the way through to petal drop and it has the most glorious fragrance.

and lots of others of different colours ..

Have a happy week in your garden and take care …
Graham, Diana, Mooi and the team at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane


Q. How do you fix a pizza? A. With tomato paste!