ROSE RAMBLER 11.07.2019

ROSE RAMBLER 11TH JULY

Hello dear Rose Friends as we already near the middle of winter. It’s been gloriously cold here at Clonbinane … this photo of STANWELL PERPETUAL after minus four degrees overnight recently …

Rug up all you in the north of our beautiful country – this lovely cold weather just might reach you too so you’ll experience the last roses of this past season and have to get down and start pruning as we are here in the south!

ISSUES WITH INTERNET SERVICE AND EMAIL

My reputation is shot – after years and years of responding to your emails within less than 24 hours in most instances, I’ve not responded to a single email to info@rosesalesonline.com.au which came through our Big Commerce server since July 1st – they switched us OFF and it took me days to realise that I was spending almost no time at the computer – all your emails are there and as soon as my IT (on holidays in Canada, mind you!) fixes the issue, you’ll be hearing from me again.

Meantime, if there is anything urgent, please don’t hesitate writing to me on this old email address:silkiegardens@bigpond.com which is still active.

I apologise for this interruption to our business and especially, our connection with you!

GRA’S GARBLE

Thankfully, I don’t have anything to do with the internet side of our business but I did feel badly for Diana when things went pair-shaped recently! She does a top job responding to emails, getting this Rose Rambler out to you weekly and organising the online store with beautiful photos, etc.

When I told her this joke, she had her usual smile back on.

Q. Why did the computer squeak?

A. Because someone stepped on its mouse!

FINALLY, A LOT OF STANDARD ROSES ARE HERE

So you can expect notification of orders being posted / ready for collection – however, there are still some in the ground due to variable weather conditions – please wait for us to phone call/text message and know that we are responding to missed calls and messages left on phones as promptly as we can!

Phone numbers: 0418 33 77 65 or 5787 1123.

Meantime, continue to order bare-rooted roses because we will start potting very soon and prices will incrementally increase accordingly – here are a few which I highly recommend:

PER-F-YOOM PERFUME – this rose absolutely urges you to take a sniff of the romantically swirling petals on such a robust, healthy plant which oozes fragrance to die for! A must-have rose for sure!

NEPTUNE – magnificently formed, perfect HT blooms with a mass of thick petals with substance to endure hot conditions when this rose excels. Mid-green, very large foliage is healthy – remember: more healthy foliage, more flowers! This is a beauty!

THE POET’S WIFE – is a new release David Austin rose and was a stand-out in the field! A yellow rose which holds colour throughout all weather is a definite must-have; add a beautiful fruity fragrance on a nicely rounded shrub and you have a winner!

See you this SATURDAY FOR ROSE PRUNING AT 1.30

Gra and the team at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane

ROSE RAMBLER 04.07.2019

ROSE RAMBLER 4TH JULY, 2019 … Hello dear Rose Friends – we hope you’re enjoying stints in your garden during this winter! It’s so extremely good for you to walk around your garden, do a bit of trimming, pull a few weeds or even to quietly sit for a short time in the fresh air and winter sunshine.

GRA’S GARBLE … warming up with a joke this week …

Q. What do you call a cold dog sitting on a bunny? 

A. A chilli dog on a bun!

Some of you who haven’t pruned yet will be biting at the bit to get out and try your new Lowe secateurs and besides, it’s such a joy to see the roses all neat and tidy in their winter state so go do it!

If you’re not sure about how to prune your roses, then come along to my next pruning demonstration here at CLONBINANE – SATURDAY, 13TH JULY – 1.30PM or, set this date in your calendar for a great family day at our local park where hundreds of roses were planted surrounding the memorial of the Black Saturday Bushfires:

WANDONG MEMORIAL PARK SUNDAY, 21ST JULY 10.00AM

THIS EVENT CONCLUDES WITH A SAUSAGE SIZZLE SO, FOR CATERING PURPOSES, PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO ATTEND THIS ROSE PRUNING DEMONSTRATION.

TYPICAL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS DURING JULY … To make rose gardening less complicated for you, here are a few typical Q & A’s we get …

Q. I’m going away for six weeks, should I prune before I go or leave it till I get home?

A. Do what works for you and what you have time for – in a really cold zone you might leave the roses until late August but otherwise, a tidy, well-kept looking garden is a good deterrent for potential burglars so worth considering!

Q. I want to get more roses this season while they’re bare-rooted and cheaper but I haven’t got the garden beds ready – what should I do?

A. We suggest you get digging and dunging the garden beds as soon as possible because we prefer the soil is prepared and left for about six weeks prior to planting (especially if you’re adding manure/compost). So, you can either purchase now and heel the roses into some damp, friable soil for a few weeks or wait and purchase the roses when they’re developed in pots, later in the season. A tad more expensive but guaranteed to survive and be successful!

Q. When do I fertilize my new roses?

A. As soon as the roses have good foliage cover – meantime, we highly recommend seaweed solution at least once a fortnight! Definitely fertilize with quality product like our Complete Organic Fertilizer (COF) or Sudden Impact for Roses in spring and then every 8-12 weeks throughout the flowering season.

Q. Should I mulch the new roses when I plant them?

A. Yes, definitely put a light layer of straw or chip mulch around the roses at planting to reduce weed infestation, keep soil temperature even and feed the worms who are breeding now until October – that army of workers you look after NOW will reward you with all their castings to enrich the soil so your roses flourish when conditions get tough during summer!

Q. The organic rose management spray program – when do I start spraying?

A. If you do the first spray soon after pruning – spray all around the mulch too – then at least once a month as ‘maintenance’ you will retain healthy foliage and thus reduce the need for weekly spraying in spring when insects and inclement/humid weather can affect roses.

This is just a short rendition of the type of questions we get from gardeners and we always say, “ … there’s no such thing as a silly question” … IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE ANSWER, THE QUESTION IS DEFINITELY NOT SILLY!

You are more than welcome to submit questions through our website where Zac has made it easy for you by the click of a button at: www.rosesalesonline.com.au

Here are a few roses which I think you definitely MUST HAVE …

COEUR DE NEIGE

FEARLESS

FORGET ME NOT

Rug up and come for a visit to Clonbinane any Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday – it’s beautiful here and we’re always happy to do a one-on-one pruning demo if you cannot attend one of our scheduled events.

Cheers from the team at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane

ROSE RAMBLER 27.06.2019

ROSE RAMBLER 27TH JUNE, 2019 … Hello dear rose friends as we are already past the shortest day – amazing how quickly time flies and another beautiful winter is here which heralds time for rose pruning.

ROSE PRUNING DEMONSTRATIONS

Graham invites you to come and visit us here at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane for …

SUNDAY, 30th JUNE at 11AM
(If you’re early, we’ll put the billy on and have a cuppa!)
SATURDAY, 13TH JULY at 1:30PM
(Bring the family and pets – on a lead please)

[Add to Calendar]

SPECIAL ROSE PRUNING DEMONSTRATION + SAUSAGE SIZZLE

On SUNDAY, 21ST JULY between 10am and 2pm, we would love you all to come along to a really special community event where Graham and Diana will be at the Wandong Memorial Park for pruning and a real country sausage sizzle after you’ve practiced pruning the magnificent rose garden which was planted after the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires!

There is a playground and skate-park in the gardens so please bring the kids for a really great family day and let our local community offer you a lovely country experience while you learn about rose pruning.  Bring your own tools with you!  We’ll sharpen them if necessary and have our entire range of pruning equipment there for you to experience.

[Add to Calendar]

GRA’S GARBLE …

Q.  What is the difference between a cat and a comma?  A.  A cat has claws at the end of paws; a comma is a pause at the end of a clause.  

It was a real pleasure to attend the RHSV event at Deakin University recently where we met lots of very keen gardeners – here is just one of the emails we received:

Hi Diana, my husband and I were at the GARDENERS DAY OUT (hosted by Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria at Deakin Uni on 15th June) and learned lots from your presentation. We own a JIM’S MOWING franchise and today we had a rose pruning job that took us over an hour to do. We bought two pairs of the secateurs you recommended and they were fantastic – there was no soreness or fatigue in my hands at all. We were also more confident in what we were doing. Thanks – Mary-Ann 

All of us here at Silkies use LOWE secateurs and highly recommend them because they do such precision pruning with absolute ease.  Treat yourself to new secateurs for just $67.50 (plus pack/post) before you start this pruning season – very highly recommended and guaranteed to offer you the pruning joy that Mary-Ann and every other customer who uses them experiences!
You can purchase online www.rosesalesonline.com.au or give us a call on 03 57 821 123 during open hours:  Fri – Sat – Sun – Mon from 9am until 4pm

There were three men in a boat – it capsized but only two fellows got their hair wet!  Why?  A. The third man was bald … like me!

Gotta have a giggle – and remember to rug up with a woolen beanie and jacket for at least half an hour outside in the garden EVERY DAY during winter – preferably when the sun is poking through the clouds to ensure you get adequate Vitamin D intake.  Let your garden be your Doctor!!!

BLACK CAVIAR & WINX

Two of Australia’s most recently famous race horses have been immortalized by two magnificent roses named in their honour and we have them at the Rose Farm NOW.
Don’t delay, order these beauties as bare-rooted specimens for winter planting:

WINX – like the legendary mare, is the epitome of class!  This beautiful rose is the product of exquisite breeding to capture the same qualities in flowers as those that define a magnificent horse named WINX – elegance, longevity and brilliance.

[BUY NOW]

BLACK CAVIAR – has the most intoxicating perfume and the blooms are very full and quartered in the shape of old-fashioned roses.  Continually free-flowering over a long season, BLACK CAVIAR will always be in the winner’s circle and will definitely be a magnificently beautiful rose in your garden!

[BUY NOW]

Enjoy all that winter has to offer … warm hugs from all of us here at Clonbinane …

ROSE RAMBLER 20.06.2019

ROSE RAMBLER 20TH JUNE, 2019 … Hello dear rose friends.  We’ve worked in the rain to finally make it possible to invite you to Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane where you can easily select magnificent quality, alphabetically sorted, two-year-old bare-rooted roses for planting in your garden this winter.

GRA’S GARBLE …

I’m always being asked “What is the best manure to use when planting roses?”  and my response is:
Any animal manure is great in the soil but it MUST BE COMPOSTED prior to using at the planting hole of roses – or, in fact, any other plant!  Raw animal manure has the potential of being highly acidic with the risk of burning new roots which the roses will produce as soon as they settle into the soil!  Exactly the reason for not placing fertilizer in the planting hole unless it’s way deep down in the hole, covered completely with soil and available when the rose is nicely established with a solid root system.
If you have access to fresh manure, spread it over a compost heap for at least six weeks, water weekly with seaweed solution and turn it fortnightly – you’ll see steam coming from the heap which means it’s not ready to be applied in planting holes!  Wait until it is more like the consistency of soil – at this point, place it around the base of your roses and cover with a light layer of mulch to protect all the microbes and worms.

Q. Why does a chicken coop have two doors?  A.  If it had four doors, it would be a chicken sedan. 

Here’s a pic of my gorgeous LANGSHAN roosters admiring themselves in a mirror …

RADIOTHON – THIS SUNDAY ON 3CR GARDEN SHOW

Graham will be part of the panel this Sunday – 855 on the AM Band where you can call in, donate and be rewarded with garden products, books, professional garden consultations or gift vouchers from many nurseries to the value of every dollar you donate to this magnificent Community Radio program which regular radio listeners say is the most informed, interesting and BEST garden talk-back radio which airs in Melbourne every Sunday from 7.30 – 9.15am.

Lay in bed with your cuppa and toast, pick up the phone: (03) 9419 8377 or (03) 9419 0155 and treat yourself by purchasing lots of goodies to indulge your garden, gifts for friends or simply to know you’re donating $’s to keep a wonderful garden show on the air so you can pick up the phone on any Sunday and get FREE ADVICE from a panel of professional horticulturists.

There are 5 x $30.00 SILKIES ROSE FARM GIFT VOUCHERS available during the program!


Stay warm and well … cheers from us all at Clonbinane – Graham, Diana, Mooi & the TEAM!

ROSE RAMBLER 06.06.19

ROSE RAMBLER 6TH JUNE, 2019 – Hello dear rose friends as we welcome the first week of winter and the heel-in beds are finally brimming with magnificent quality bare-rooted rose plants – we’ve got a few extra pairs of hands working every day as fast as we can to label and sort the roses as quickly as possible.

PLEASE NOTE – STANDARD ROSES ARE NOT DUG YET – EXPECT JULY DELIVERY.  We promise to get your roses posted as soon as we are able – we will call or email YOU if your roses are ready for collection from the Rose Farm.

If you’re out and about this coming QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY PUBLIC HOLIDAY WEEKEND, do call in – the CLONBINANE interchange has north and south entry/exit and the Rose Farm is within one kilometre of the Hume Freeway – SLOW DOWN and you definitely won’t get lost because we have good signage in place!

GRA’S GARBLE … With recent good rainfall here at Clonbinane we are seeing significant weed infestation – mostly cape-weed which is a real nuisance when mowing starts again in September/October so I’ve been busy applying DOLOMITE which sweetens the soil – the cape-weed doesn’t like it!

Though it’s a bit messy, throw DOLOMITE around the rose garden while it’s raining to save you hosing it in!

Managing weeds is always an issue – even in a pocket-sized suburban garden I’m told … a dear lady mentioned this week that she’s 100% sure she never uttered a swear word before she became a gardener and became frustrated with weeds … how funny!  I still believe that getting ‘down and dirty’ on my hands and knees for a really great session of weeding makes my heart sing and clears my head.

This leads me to share some stats from recent global research:

  • Gardening could help you live to 100
  • A good plant-based Mediterranean diet, daily exercise and social interaction are extremely important to reduce stress and increase positive mental health
  • An hour of planting and weeding in a garden EVERY day, achieves the required amount of cardio work and stretching to remain physically fit
  • Disease tolerance seems to be improved by wielding a spade and rake

Some gardening chores do become physically exhausting as we get older and it would seem easier to give up.  I urge you to measure time in your garden; don’t overdo it and try to inject some funny ideas to a repetitive job … count how many steps it took to walk to the compost heap then count how many shovels it took to fill the barrow; listen to music whilst gardening and meantime, remember this silly joke and share it with as many as you can

Q: What banks never run out of money? A. River banks.

Below is a copy of our latest ROSE PLANTING INSTRUCTIONS which will be sent in all rose packs but you might like to print a copy to have on hand …

DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY

Enjoy the long weekend … stay warm!  Graham and the team …

ROSE RAMBLER 30.5.2019

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ROSE RAMBLER 30.05.2019 …

ROSE RAMBLER 30TH MAY, 2019 – Hello dear Rose Friends as excitement builds here at Silkies Rose Farm in anticipation of a great bare-rooted rose season when these heel-in beds will be filled with supreme quality roses once the plants have been graded, labelled and sorted.

GRA’S GARBLE …

GARDEN ACTIVITY AT THE BEGINNING OF WINTER

If your garden hasn’t had a new layer of mulch for a while, there’s still plenty of time to place a layer over the garden beds so soil temperature stays a bit warmer for longer. NOTE: all the deciduous trees are providing mulch NOW so please do not put those leaves in your waste bin – use them around your garden or if you find them untidy, take them to someone who will use them. You’re more than welcome to bring them here!

Recent rain means the soil is moist so start preparing holes ready for bare-rooted roses … using a garden fork you’ll be less likely to slice the worms who are breeding NOW, lift soil into a wheelbarrow to create a hole approximately 50 x 50 cms. To this soil, blend a few decent shovels full of compost/well-rotted manure and once you’ve forked holes into the base and side wall of the hole, (if your soil is heavy clay, apply gypsum at this point), return all the soil to the hole and water over with seaweed solution and a light straw or leaves mulch over the top. Yes, there will be a mound – it will settle with fortnightly applications of seaweed solution.

Remove spent rose blooms – they’re puff-balls of mould and don’t look so great so removing them will make the plants look neat. We don’t recommend pruning yet! Wait until all the foliage is gone – makes pruning so very much easier!

If you’re planning to pot-up your new roses this winter rather than plant them in a garden bed, organise pots at least 35-40cms diameter, quality potting mix, seaweed, fertilizer and the eco-products for organic rose management (eco-oil, eco-rose/fungicide) so you’ve got everything ready for when your roses arrive. NEVER LET THE ROOTS DRY OUT – leave them in a bucket of water rather than in the packaging we send them in and plant as soon as possible.

Q. Why did the fish blush? A. Because it saw the ocean’s bottom!

MY FAVOURITE RED ROSES …

I am seriously biased and LOVE red roses – especially when they’re fragrant! Add one of these beauties to your winter order …

Mr. Lincoln

Tatjana (See the white stripe on the petal!)

Kardinal

and you’ll save lots of $$$’s because these favourites of mine will very soon become your favourites too because they continually produce buckets of flowers suitable for vases inside your home!

Q. Why are A’s like flowers? A. Because bees come after them … have a giggle! GRA

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ROSE RAMBLER 30.05.2019 …

ROSE RAMBLER 30TH MAY, 2019 – Hello dear Rose Friends as excitement builds here at Silkies Rose Farm in anticipation of a great bare-rooted rose season when these heel-in beds will be filled with supreme quality roses once the plants have been graded, labelled and sorted.

GRA’S GARBLE …

GARDEN ACTIVITY AT THE BEGINNING OF WINTER

If your garden hasn’t had a new layer of mulch for a while, there’s still plenty of time to place a layer over the garden beds so soil temperature stays a bit warmer for longer. NOTE: all the deciduous trees are providing mulch NOW so please do not put those leaves in your waste bin – use them around your garden or if you find them untidy, take them to someone who will use them. You’re more than welcome to bring them here!

Recent rain means the soil is moist so start preparing holes ready for bare-rooted roses … using a garden fork you’ll be less likely to slice the worms who are breeding NOW, lift soil into a wheelbarrow to create a hole approximately 50 x 50 cms. To this soil, blend a few decent shovels full of compost/well-rotted manure and once you’ve forked holes into the base and side wall of the hole, (if your soil is heavy clay, apply gypsum at this point), return all the soil to the hole and water over with seaweed solution and a light straw or leaves mulch over the top. Yes, there will be a mound – it will settle with fortnightly applications of seaweed solution.

Remove spent rose blooms – they’re puff-balls of mould and don’t look so great so removing them will make the plants look neat. We don’t recommend pruning yet! Wait until all the foliage is gone – makes pruning so very much easier!

If you’re planning to pot-up your new roses this winter rather than plant them in a garden bed, organise pots at least 35-40cms diameter, quality potting mix, seaweed, fertilizer and the eco-products for organic rose management (eco-oil, eco-rose/fungicide) so you’ve got everything ready for when your roses arrive. NEVER LET THE ROOTS DRY OUT – leave them in a bucket of water rather than in the packaging we send them in and plant as soon as possible.

Q. Why did the fish blush? A. Because it saw the ocean’s bottom!

MY FAVOURITE RED ROSES …

I am seriously biased and LOVE red roses – especially when they’re fragrant! Add one of these beauties to your winter order …

Mr. Lincoln

Tatjana (See the white stripe on the petal!)

Kardinal

and you’ll save lots of $$$’s because these favourites of mine will very soon become your favourites too because they continually produce buckets of flowers suitable for vases inside your home!

Q. Why are A’s like flowers? A. Because bees come after them … have a giggle! GRA

View this email in your browser

ROSE RAMBLER 30.05.2019 …

ROSE RAMBLER 30TH MAY, 2019 – Hello dear Rose Friends as excitement builds here at Silkies Rose Farm in anticipation of a great bare-rooted rose season when these heel-in beds will be filled with supreme quality roses once the plants have been graded, labelled and sorted.

GRA’S GARBLE …

GARDEN ACTIVITY AT THE BEGINNING OF WINTER

If your garden hasn’t had a new layer of mulch for a while, there’s still plenty of time to place a layer over the garden beds so soil temperature stays a bit warmer for longer. NOTE: all the deciduous trees are providing mulch NOW so please do not put those leaves in your waste bin – use them around your garden or if you find them untidy, take them to someone who will use them. You’re more than welcome to bring them here!

Recent rain means the soil is moist so start preparing holes ready for bare-rooted roses … using a garden fork you’ll be less likely to slice the worms who are breeding NOW, lift soil into a wheelbarrow to create a hole approximately 50 x 50 cms. To this soil, blend a few decent shovels full of compost/well-rotted manure and once you’ve forked holes into the base and side wall of the hole, (if your soil is heavy clay, apply gypsum at this point), return all the soil to the hole and water over with seaweed solution and a light straw or leaves mulch over the top. Yes, there will be a mound – it will settle with fortnightly applications of seaweed solution.

Remove spent rose blooms – they’re puff-balls of mould and don’t look so great so removing them will make the plants look neat. We don’t recommend pruning yet! Wait until all the foliage is gone – makes pruning so very much easier!

If you’re planning to pot-up your new roses this winter rather than plant them in a garden bed, organise pots at least 35-40cms diameter, quality potting mix, seaweed, fertilizer and the eco-products for organic rose management (eco-oil, eco-rose/fungicide) so you’ve got everything ready for when your roses arrive. NEVER LET THE ROOTS DRY OUT – leave them in a bucket of water rather than in the packaging we send them in and plant as soon as possible.

Q. Why did the fish blush? A. Because it saw the ocean’s bottom!

MY FAVOURITE RED ROSES …

I am seriously biased and LOVE red roses – especially when they’re fragrant! Add one of these beauties to your winter order …

Mr. Lincoln

Tatjana (See the white stripe on the petal!)

Kardinal

and you’ll save lots of $$$’s because these favourites of mine will very soon become your favourites too because they continually produce buckets of flowers suitable for vases inside your home!

Q. Why are A’s like flowers? A. Because bees come after them … have a giggle! GRA

In closing … a picture of our Supervisor, Guard Dog Supreme, toy poodle MOOI perched high up on top of the mound of eucy-mulch which we were barrowing around the gardens for paths … no doubt about it, there’s happiness when you’re working in your garden so rug up and pull some weeds or trim spent roses – you’ll feel great when you come back into your warm house … enjoy the winter months ahead!!

Until next week, we wish you happiness in your garden …
The team at Silkies Rose Farm,

In closing … a picture of our Supervisor, Guard Dog Supreme, toy poodle MOOI perched high up on top of the mound of eucy-mulch which we were barrowing around the gardens for paths … no doubt about it, there’s happiness when you’re working in your garden so rug up and pull some weeds or trim spent roses – you’ll feel great when you come back into your warm house … enjoy the winter months ahead!!

Until next week, we wish you happiness in your garden …
The team at Silkies Rose Farm,

In closing … a picture of our Supervisor, Guard Dog Supreme, toy poodle MOOI perched high up on top of the mound of eucy-mulch which we were barrowing around the gardens for paths … no doubt about it, there’s happiness when you’re working in your garden so rug up and pull some weeds or trim spent roses – you’ll feel great when you come back into your warm house … enjoy the winter months ahead!!

Until next week, we wish you happiness in your garden …
The team at Silkies Rose Farm,

Rose Rambler 9.5.2019

ROSE RAMBLER 9th MAY, 2018 …
Hello dear rose friends as we celebrate with you – the rain finally arrived just when you thought it might NEVER rain again! We hope the rain continues so that farmers can sow their crops – the soil was parched this past summer and we know feeding stock became financially unviable for many … may that all change now!

I read this yesterday and I think we can all action this statement by Peter Guber:

“The great majority of that which gives you angst never happens,
so you must evict it. Don’t let it live rent-free in your brain.”

May all you beautiful MUMS, GRANDMOTHERS and GREAT-GRANDMOTHERS enjoy special treats from your loved ones this Mother’s Day … remember I told you this when you get brekky in bed .

WORRIES ARE LIKE BREADCRUMBS IN THE BED …
THE MORE YOU WRIGGLE, THE MORE THEY SCRATCH!

ROSES IN MAY … it’s that time of year when the roses are ready to have a break – their one means of losing foliage to become hardened up for winter pruning, is to potentially incur yellow leaves with black spot so the foliage cannot photosynthesise. The foliage drops, the plant becomes bare, you prune it, it rests for winter and the next minute, it is sprouting foliage again and then very soon after, it’s flowering!

This is a cycle with a whole lot of ‘stuff’ in between – most awesomely, beautiful flowers pretty consistently for around 7-9 months depending on the climate where you live. All very, very special SO, ENJOY THE LAST BLOOMS BEFORE WINTER!

GRA’S GARBLE …

Perth had significant rainfalls weeks prior to our arrival so we saw great expanses of GREEN when it’s been a long time since we saw that anywhere in our locality despite the patches of green which the kangaroos enjoyed. We loved riding bikes all about the area where we stayed and we also visited rose nurseries – so very, very interesting how different WA is to our eastern states.
WA gardens are mostly grown on straight sand – to get a rose established requires almost daily deep-soaking watering; in hot weather, twice a day is best. We saw roses in nearly every garden on several kilometres of the road where we walked each day … we felt quite at home and could have stayed for weeks but, the Rose Farm will become a very, very busy place in a few short weeks and there are tasks requiring our input … darn!

Here are pics of a few glorious roses which are flowering beautifully despite severe
frost last week:

HOMMAGE A BARBARA

Delbard Couture Collection Shrub Rose which produces one of the most durable flowers of any rose we stock.
Raised by Delbard, France, this extraordinary double rose has intense deep blood-red blooms with the most striking fluted and outward curved petals which age to almost black and then fall cleanly from the bush.

THANKYOU

produces masses of lightly fragrant deep mauve blooms in clusters all over a very healthy, well rounded shrub continually throughout the season – a lovely rose to gift when you want to say a significant “Thank You” to somebody special!
THANK YOU has been dedicated to TRANSPLANT AUSTRALIA.

MOLINEUX

is a David Austin Rose of immense charm because it’s variety of colours in yellow, gold and cream – a beautifully rounded shrub with complimentary mid-green, very health foliage makes this a stand-out rose on a border of the rose garden.

MOLINEUX is particularly happy in a very HOT SPOT in your garden where it will produce masses of blooms continually throughout the flowering season.

We wish you pleasure in your beautiful autumn garden – be sure to rake the leaves and pop them all over your compost heap!

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to you all … I’ll be at Melbourne radio 3CR from 7.30 am until 9.15 am this Sunday morning while Diana slumbers on her special day! You will find 3CR at 855 on the AM band – call in with a question … talk to you then … GRA

Best wishes from all of us here at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane .

Cheers from us all here at SILKIES ROSE FARM, Clonbinane
Within 500 metres of the CLONBINANE INTERCHANGE
on the Hume Freeway, 60 kms north of Melbourne
and open every FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY and MONDAY
9 – 4 PM – PH. 03 5787 1123 …

ROSE RAMBLER – 25TH OCTOBER 2018

Hello dear rose friends as we arrive home from a most entertaining evening with all our very special friends in the rose industry – rose growers, rose breeders, rose lovers who exhibit their roses in the National Trial Grounds in Adelaide Botanical Gardens where just three years ago, GRA’S BLUE won two very prestigious awards – MOST FRAGRANT ROSE OF THE 2015 TRIALS along with BRONZE MEDAL overall … Graham’s magnificent rose continues to flourish in gardens everywhere!

This year the winners will be advised as soon as possible.


GRA’S GARBLE …

FIRST ROSE TO FLOWER AT CLONBINANE after a winter of most unrelenting and savage frosts which caused masses of damage in our beautiful rose gardens.

This year the winner is THE OPPORTUNITY ROSE … closely followed by MY YELLOW (both Australian-bred roses by Bruce Brundrett – royalty payments to Rotary Foundation projects) and UNCONVENTIONAL LADY (Kordes, Germany – royalty payment to fund-raising World Rose Convention in Adelaide, 2021).

All the above roses are extremely grand performers in our gardens so I highly recommend them in all weather conditions!

It’s a picture here now at Clonbinane – green, green grass and the trees all leafed up; the roses starting to flower – my most favourite time of year!

Q: Why is the sky so high? A: So birds won’t bump their heads.


If you haven’t already done so, now is a great time to fertilize all the roses. No, I don’t like to eat the same food all the time so perhaps with our roses, we could give them a bit of variety too – quality NPK fertilizer which includes trace elements will ensure the roses produce abundant flowers on large and healthy bushes well into summer.

To ensure the bushes retain healthy foliage, douse them at least monthly with ECO- SEAWEED solution to which you can add liquid FERTILIZER – REMEMBER: SEAWEED SOLUTION IS NOT FERTILIZER!

Liquid fertilizer might be ECO-AMINOGRO or perhaps, if you use SEASOL, their complimentary liquid fertilizer is POWERFEED – add the seaweed and fertilizer and spray liberally over all garden beds whilst they’re producing so abundantly! If you make your own compost, place handfuls around rose bushes and be sure to place a layer of mulch over this to ensure valuable microbes are not subjected to hot sun which would kill them.

Manure teas add extremely vital nutrients and microbes to keep soil robust – in a large drum or wheelie bin, suspend a hessian bag part filled with any animal manure and weeds;

let it soak for a few weeks – yes, it will stink! When you think the brew is ready, dilute it by 1 litre to a 9 litre watering can and pour it around your plants – they love it!

These are all different ways of ensuring you adequately feed the soil in your garden which in turn provides the flowers and fruits – yummy veggies!

If you need more assistance or advice with COMPOST MAKING then come along to SILKIES ROSE FARM, CLONBINANE on SATURDAY, 3RD NOVEMBER AT 1.30pm and I’ll show you all the different methods I employ to feed the soil – including an inkling of how and why I use biodynamic sprays and their effects in our garden!

It’s all happening … stay calm, enjoy all the beauty around you and have a giggle:

Q: Why did they cross a homing pigeon with a parrot? A: So if it got lost, it could ask for directions home!


RUSHWORTH SPRING GARDENS EXPO

SATURDAY 27 TH OCTOBER, 2018 9AM – 1PM
VILLAGE GREEN, HIGH STREET, RUSHWORTH

Diana will be available to sign copies of her book ALL ABOUT ROSES and she’ll have some roses and products available for sale. During the morning Diana will do a stage presentation and talk about her favourite topic: ALL ABOUT ROSES.


STATE ROSE GARDEN SHOW 2018

Another date for your diary:

DIANA will do two MAIN STAGE presentations with host Kim Syrus at Werribee State Rose Garden: Saturday the 10th November at 2.30pm for 30 minutes and on Sunday the 11th November at 11.05am for 25 minutes presentation.


Have a lovely week in your garden … Cheers from the team at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane where we are now busy packing potted roses for you to enjoy in your garden – go to www.rosesalesonline.com.au to select another beauty for your garden or as a reminder of your loving thoughts when it really matters, select a GIFT ROSE at www.giftroses.com.au

 

ROSE RAMBLER – 18TH OCTOBER 2018

Hello dear rose friends – our roses are not in full flower here yet but the camellias, pansy borders, late daffodils and some tulips are a delight! It’s magnificent to see all the variables in rose foliage which is worth considering when you are planning a massed planting of rose bushes in future!


Gertrude Jekyll is a very famous garden designer who wrote:

If you take any flower you please and look it over and turn it about and smell it and feel it and try to find out all its little secrets, not of flower only but of leaf, bud and stem as well, you will discover many wonderful things. This is how you make friends with plants, and very good friends you will find them to the end of our lives.

This portrait of GERTRUDE JEKYLL reminds me of my dear paternal Oma who visited Australia from Holland when I was 11 years old; she was also a grand woman!

Here is a picture of the magnificent David Austin rose which was named to honour GERTRUDE JEKYLL … one of the most perfectly formed and most highly fragrant of all the David Austin roses; can be grown as a large shrub or climber to 3 metres. Awesome!


GRA’S GARBLE …

Once again, my garble is inspired by emails from customers:

The roses arrived today – once again in perfect condition. I just have a quick question as I am planting them into big pots. Your advice on the care slip enclosed said to water them every day when in pots, but wouldn’t this make the roses too wet? I thought they liked to dry out a bit. Cheers … Karen

My response: Hi Karen … in pots, it’s dicky! Right now, while it’s still a bit cool at night, you might get away with NOT daily watering however, when ‘true summer’ arrives, you MUST water EVERY DAY … and thoroughly soak the potting media!!! There are more failings with potted roses due to incorrect watering and I wish we had glass pots so gardeners could see what’s going on in the pot!

Roots are spread out throughout the whole area of the pot so it is imperative to fill the pot over the entire surface to ensure water drips down – NOT JUST THE MIDDLE OF THE POT – but over and down through every particle of the potting media!

Did you know that once pine bark dries out, it’s one of the most difficult mediums to re-wet! Hence, using a wetting agent in pots is very handy to ensure the potting medium stays damp AT ALL TIMES, especially in hot weather!

Roses purchased from SILKIES ROSE FARM / ROSESALESONLINE are planted in a potting medium containing COIR FIBRE which is one of the MOST EASY-TO-WET potting mediums! Without coir-fibre in our potting medium, roses which are sometimes delayed in transit would quickly perish! We have known roses to be lost in transit for more than 28 days and still arrive ALIVE – no, not in great condition but definitely alive because coir fibre retains moisture over long periods!

When selecting quality potting media to maintain roses in pots, check to see if the mix contains COIR FIBRE to guarantee your roses will be adequately moist throughout their life in a pot – provided you ALWAYS WATER OVER THE ENTIRE SURFACE OF EACH POT EVERY DAY DURING HOT WEATHER!

There you have it – the rules on watering potted roses – oh, I forgot to say: NEVER WATER ROSES IN THE EVENING – foliage will stay wet overnight and cause issues with mildew! If you absolutely MUST WATER a rose in the evening – DON’T WATER FOLIAGE!

Cheers – Graham …

Q: What has two legs and two tails? A: A lizard flipping a coin.


APHID SAGA CONTINUES …

Hello, I’m delighted to tell you my 22 new roses are all growing well. I do however, have a problem with aphids. I have used your products twice now 4 days apart. (Eco rose, Eco oil and seaweed). The leaves have blackened on the tips and in some cases all of the new leaf. Both ST CECELIA’S seem most affected. But worse, there is still bugs on the plants!!! I know the information says to reapply a third time a week later but I thought I’d ask you first. Am I doing it correctly or should I adjust the ratio in my spray mix? Thanks in anticipation. Sally

Hi Sally … It’s getting warm now … and, you’re NOT ALONE … there is a devastating outbreak of aphids across this state if not around Australia!!!

I have also done exactly as you – sprayed 3 days apart but still have massive infestations – we are however, breaking the breeding cycle – we can’t see it but it will definitely appear to reduce within the next 10 days … on one plant we counted 16 BIG FAT LADYBIRDS and they’re doing a most amazing job up in the nursery – when we aren’t there, blue wrens and other finches are having an absolute party.

Stay with what you’re doing except REDUCE THE ECO-OIL TO PERHAPS JUST 100ML : 50LITRES WATER … this ratio is what I use in hot weather – my sprayer is 50litres. You can break that down according to the size of your sprayer. Please keep us posted … Cheers

Q: What do you get when you cross a rooster with a steer? A: A cock and bull story!


SOMETIMES IT’S WORTH CHECKING THE pH LEVEL OF YOUR GARDEN SOIL …

Amanda reached out for assistance when her DA roses hadn’t flowered after three years – this is very important reading !!!

 

Hello! I’ just like to ask a quick question regarding the performance of a few David Austin roses in my SE Qld garden — 2 varieties have never flowered after 3 seasons despite good leaf growth and bush size (Lady of Shallot and Teasing Georgia), and a few others have had a rather poor show (Jude the Obscure, Lady of Megginch, Grace — none especially vigorous). The only two that have had good flowering are Munstead Wood and Boscobel. This, while several Kordes and Delbard roses have performed well around them. The soil is clay amended with mushroom compost supplemented with Life Force Gold fertiliser. Most in full sun, a few with at least 5hrs sun a day.

My question is: Do David Austin varieties need any special conditions to flower well in the Brisbane area? By the way, I’ve purchased several roses from you over the last few years, and have never been disappointed in the quality of plants sent!

Really appreciate any thoughts to help me get those Austins to flower! Thanks very much, Amanda

 

MY RESPONSE TO AMANDA … Hello Amanda … this is quite bizarre as all the roses you mention are prolific flowering under normal circumstances which leaves me to ask: How much sun, really? I am always dubious to sell roses to people who promise ‘approximately’ 5 hours of sun … due the variable slant of the sun in our gardens throughout the seasons, this 5 hours is always changing and I’m thinking that the reason your roses aren’t flowering is because they just don’t get enough sun???

You said: “The soil is clay amended with mushroom compost …” have you ever thought to do a pH test of this soil as MUSHROOM COMPOST IS VERY ALKALINE and if your soil is alkaline, the roses will struggle to flower – please check this!

Also, what is the Nitrogen content of LIFE FORCE GOLD FERTILIZER? If you are pushing the roses with a chemical fertilizer with high nitrogen ratio, the roses will produce beautiful lush foliage at the expense of flowering – we use and recommend fertilizer which has a balanced ratio N:P:K with added trace elements – there is no point me giving the name/brand of our fertilizer since I cannot supply same for you – each of our customers is recommended to go and research what fertilizer is available at their local nursery/garden centre and be advised what is best! We definitely recommend the most ORGANIC FERTILIZER available locally – quality organic fertilizer will have a Nitrogen ratio of around 5 or less!

Please do respond and let me know what products you are using in the garden – together we’ll get this sorted so that your lovely David Austin roses produce masses of flowers as we expect they should! Talk soon …

 

Hi Graham, It’s obvious to see you’re passionate about what you do! Thank you for your detailed reply.

I feel like a goose! I had no idea mushroom compost was so alkaline. I went out this morning and bought a pH kit — tested 5 different spots around the rose gardens and you are correct! The readings were between 7.5 and 9! With the bright purple 9 being right next to my pitiful Lady of Megginch rose. I have applied an initial treatment of sulfur (used the Yates liquid) and will follow their instructions to re-test in a month.

As for the few roses of the bunch that have lower sunshine levels, I will definitely move them and/or cut back sun obscuring bushes. I’m also looking at various organic fertilisers to find one definitely low in the N ratio. And next time I’m planning on adding organic material to the beds I’ll stick with more neutral compost options!

Again, I really appreciate your reply. Also, I wanted to point out that my mother in America orders roses through your website as gifts for me in Brisbane. It’s lovely for her to be able to do that, so thank you for making payment options for overseas buyers easy.

I’ll keep you updated! All the best, Amanda

 

So there you have it, a massive learning experience – thanks Amanda for sharing! Roses flourish in a pH of 5.5 – 6.5 so when you add home-made compost, ash from your fire, or soil from your local garden centre, it’s worth taking time to check the pH of what you’re adding to the soil. As a general rule, a little bit of everything is OK – a whole lot of something can cause issues as Amanda found out and is now challenged to correct the soil pH in order for her roses to be their absolute best!


Enjoy all the glories of this magnificent spring weather in your garden …

ROSE RAMBLER – 11TH OCTOBER 2018

Hello dear rose friends as we move to the middle of spring and here in Victoria rose gardens are starting to ‘show their colours’ … along with the impending madness of the Spring Racing Carnival and Melbourne Cup Day – beauty all around us in our world of roses!


Q: What person do you take your hat off to? A: A barber.


THE GIFT ROSE CONTINUES TO IMPRESS …

Hello Diana … Many thanks for the safe and efficient delivery of MOTHER’S LOVE to my friend Elissa. She was absolutely delighted and touched with the GIFT ROSE. It spoke more eloquently than any words I could express on the loss of her Mother. My heartfelt thanks! Kind regards – Annette


GRA’S GARBLE …

The conversations in last week’s RR incurred lots of emails which I would like to share …

Hi Graham – I was reading your article regarding the possums/parrots. I have suffered from possum magic for a long time: today you see it, tomorrow you don’t. I have tried many things over the years with limited or no success until I leaned an outdoor candle against the orange tree and left it there only to find nothing ate the oranges … unusual!

Long story short, I ran citronella oil along wooden fences where the petunias and rose tips were being eaten off and success, the plants flourished. I put citronella tea candles around low foliage plants and again the plants have survived. Flushed with success, I sprayed citronella oil at the base of woody tree trunks and along rock edging. This was a couple of months ago and I haven’t reapplied it, but will soon. It’s very dry and the possums are hungry, but there are some plants I’m less precious about that they can have a nibble on. Hope this helps, it’s worked for me so far. Cheers – Vicki

 

Or perhaps take this advice …

Hi …A friend who has a small suburban garden gets hair from the hairdresser (the sweepings from the floor), puts the hair in bags and hangs them around the fence. Apparently possums don’t like it perhaps it has the human smell or they think it is a cat/dog. Worth a try for those who have pesky possums. – Jennifer

 

And another possible solution is the use of this implement:

Hi Graham, I have finally solved my possum problem with the purchase of “Animal Away”, available from Diggers.

I have a large raised vegetable garden which I needed to net due to the feeding possums, but since installing Animal Away (ultrasonic sound and flashing light using a 9V battery) I have been able to completely uncover the garden and all is growing well.

My magnolia finally has leaves on the top of the tallest branches for the first time in 4 years, thanks to this device. Hope this helps many who are competing with possums in their gardens. Regards, Kathryn

 

Perhaps Judy at Kyneton would do well to install a few of those ANIMAL AWAY gadgets at strategic points in her garden to scare the cockies?

Started off picking daffodils, then moved onto breakfast on the newly planted camellias… the one good thing about having the frost burn all the new growth is that cockies do not like crisp brown rose shoots! – Judy

As far as solving her problems with burned new rose shoots due to repetitive severe frosts, I cannot help – we are now trimming all the burned shoots on the potted roses in the nursery and deep soaking all the garden beds – fingers crossed, the roses in our gardens will recover??? It’s definitely been a tough year for roses in extreme cold zones here in Victoria!

 

Then the discussion moved to APHIDS

Hello, I would like to share my experience with aphids. I used to wash them off with biodegradable soup (soap? ed.) till I saw lady bugs eating them. I realized the lady bugs could only augment if I stop spraying this soup. Sure enough the next year on the same plant there were many more lady bugs and there were lot less aphids. If a situation seems to need more help I remove the aphids with cloves (gloves ?) by hand. This gentle action, considering nature’s course, goes a long way. Meaning nature is so complex and does take care of things, if we let it. By introducing chemicals we might get an immediate effect, but the long term damage is going to hunt (haunt ?) us.

For 12 years I’ve applied and studied biodynamic farming and my observation confirms my statements. Thank you for your newsletter. I’m in Italy! – Claudia

 

And another …

Thank-you for pointing out that aphids are food for the birds. I have often lamented when discovering aphids and been paranoid that they will infest all of my roses. I have about 40 rose bushes in my garden. I don’t like to use insecticides, as I don’t want to kill the good guys.

But we have plenty of little birds; wrens, finches, swallows and others. So now I will be less stressed when I see aphids, as I know my army of little birds are enjoying them. Kind Regards, Sarah

 

And another …

Hi, I took this phone shot this morn when out doing the early check…a close up of the nasties on the rose…squish! Cheers, Chris

Yes, the pic shows aphids as we all know them – however, the winged insect is an adult aphid who has flown in for a party because there wasn’t too much happening at his place!!! How clever is Mother Nature?

Here’s what we would prefer to see: HOVERFLIES – are true predators of aphids – they commence consuming aphids from larval stage.

Definitely the adult HOVERFLIES should be welcomed in your garden along with LADYBIRDS who breed voraciously and their bubs start eating aphids immediately!

Adult Hoverfly

Please know that you can email me about any issues you have in your rose garden – I’m sure that in a combined effort, we will source a solution and have fun along the way! I only have space to tell you about one of my most favourite, highly fragrant roses so I’ll share more next week … cheers – Gra

Q: What happens when you kiss a clock? A: Your lips stick.


BEST FRIEND ROSE …

Yes, this rose can be one of your best friends with strong, sweet fragrance, vibrant blooms of deep, hot pink on a glorious, upright bush to at least 1.8 metres tall – it’s nice that the royalty payment of this rose goes to RSPCA – every garden should have at least one of these magnificent roses!


Cheers from us all at Silkies Rose Farm, CLONBINANE … even MOOI was thrilled about the sunny day last week when we all got out weeding garden beds … not that she pays her way with assistance but we all enjoyed seeing her selected ‘lounge’ was on a clump of rock cyclamen foliage surrounded by pansies and roses … classy lady is our MOOI!