ROSE RAMBLER 15.10.2015

ROSE RAMBLER … 15.10.2015 …

Hello dear rose friends –thank you so much to those who visited our site at the Garden Festival this past weekend – I was happy to ‘eye-ball’ some familiar faces in the audience at my presentations – sincere thanks for your support and welcome to all our new subscribers!  This was our site:

When you visit us at STATE ROSE AND GARDEN SHOW at WERRIBEE on Saturday, 14th and Sunday, 15th November – we have an outdoor display with lots of FLOWERING roses and you will enjoy the expert advice from TWO Consulting Rosarians – myself and our son Eric will be there all weekend so do put these dates in your diary – the State Rose Gardens will be in full bloom!

It’s a FREE event (please do give a gold coin donation at the gate because these gardens are managed by a host of volunteers!) and there are lots of displays from nurseries and garden suppliers, delicious food and coffee stalls.  More in later R/R editions …just keep the dates free … this is our PREMIER EVENT OF THE YEAR … to be right there in the most spectacular, world renowned State Rose Gardens – you MUST BE THERE TOO!


It’s from emails I receive and respond to that you will learn lots about those issues we ALL have with rose gardening so read on, weeds first:

Hi Diana, I read with interest your response to Jane regarding onion weed.  I have had great success in “smothering” onion weed in my garden beds with thick wads of wet newspaper covered with a heap of mulch around the rose – making sure I leave the base of the rose clear.  Once that has been lain down the onion weed – and every other weed for that matter has given up the ghost and just disappeared for good.

By the time the newspaper decomposes along with the mulch (couple of years depending on how thick it is laid out) the soil condition has drastically improved into a rich lush (delicious) soil and there isn’t a weed to be seen! 

Rosily and cheerily, Deb

ANYTHING has to be better than using lethal chemicals which contain glyphosate (Roundup) in a rose garden and our environment!


Hi Diana, I have a continuing infestation of aphids on some (but not all) roses. I have been using your recipe and plan to continue using it: my question is whether or not I am diluting the effect as I add seaweed solution to the mix? Why would some roses be more prone to aphid infestation than others? Taste or health of the plant? 

Lots of horse manure available if you want it…..regards, Peta

My response:  “Yes, we’ve got a plethora of aphids too but in the same breath, there are masses of ladybirds (every time I look they’re mating!!!)

and the little birds are keeping on top of eating them too!  You’re NOT diluting efficacy of eco-oil by adding seaweed!  It’s strengthening the cell wall of rose foliage!!!!

I ask the same question as you … why lots of aphids on some roses and not others???  Is it the location?  More confined, easier for aphids to access, less wind, some varieties have more lush foliage in the early spring flush???  All possibilities/probabilities and MOTHER NATURE takes over and does HER job which is one of the lovely challenges of gardening … keep looking out for ladybirds and as long as you’ve got lots of little wrens, sparrows and other birds in the garden, they’ll surely be feasting on the aphids – just like this ladybird – she’ll have them all cleaned up by the end of today!


Your horse poo … I will share it around that you have lots available for collection – lovely stuff and just down the road from Silkies Rose Farm so customers might bring their trailer and load up while they’re here!  Thank you … Diana


Hi Diana, We bought a young rose, which unfortunately never survived planting.  There isn’t anything wrong with the site as we have four other roses surrounding it.  But I have read somewhere that you shouldn’t try to plant a rose where another has died as the new one will die.  Someone else suggested that it was about the bugs in the soil and suggested digging all around the old rose and putting a cardboard box with new soil in its place so the new rose can establish better.

As I have no idea what I’m doing I thought I’d better ask before trying to buy, especially if a particular type of rose is the best answer. 

Cheers, David

My response:  Hello David … do you think the rose you purchased was good quality?  Also, if the rose was only planted this winter, it’s not possible to have the ‘soil sickness’ that is often referred to when planting into the same location where a rose has been growing for many years – the dead rose would only have been there a short time I’m assuming???

I suggest you turn the soil well, add seaweed solution weekly until you purchase a new pl
ant for that location – buy a lovely healthy specimen and I think you’ll be fine!  I hope this is helpful.  Cheers – Diana


Andrea sent through pics of affected foliage low down on her newly planted roses – I suggested she go out at night with a torch and see which critter was eating her roses and this is what she discovered … Hi Diana!!!  Guess what? I found out I think its earwigs eating my roses at front and also my magnolia at back.  So, last night I put down little dishes of BEER!  Voila, today there are dead earwigs in the bowls!  I now have little dishes of dead earwigs!  At least they had a happy ending! Ha ha 🙂

Thought you would appreciate this little tip which I’m sure you have heard of before.  I did not want to put pellets down in case of animals getting them.

Andrea and Stephen

The story doesn’t end there … Andrea sent a follow up which reads:  “I have just re-done the beer for tonight!! Little alcoholics!  P.S. there is one unhappy camper in the story of the earwigs and that’s my husband!  He couldn’t understand why his beer supply was diminishing so quickly!  Yes the little earwigs had premium Boags! He was most upset to think I had given them the best!  Needless to say we are off to Aldi to get some less premium beer for the darling earwigs!  Andrea”


Just a joke this week since I’ve been busy holding the fort while Diana has been off gallivanting at the Garden Expo!

Knock, Knock.  Who’s there?  Mice.  Mice who?  Mice to meet you! 

Be very vigilant with filling mice bait stations OUTSIDE of your home and definitely OUTSIDE the chook enclosure!  Never put mice bait stations INSIDE your home because you will then have issues with rotting carcasses in walls/under the house/in the ceiling!!!  Please check that vermin haven’t dragged bait out of the bait station because mice bait is lethal stuff if your pets get to eat it!!!

Q.  Why do gorillas have big fingers?  A.  Because they have big nostrils! 

Enjoy all the moments this magnificent spring weather has to offer
– see you soon at Clonbinane – Graham, Diana and Mooi 

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