Hello dear rose friends – HAPPY NEW YEAR and hope you enjoyed the celebrations as much as we did.  This really is an exciting time with expectations that we will all fulfil our new year’s resolutions.  Did you write yours down and stick it in the top drawer of your bedside table so that you’ll take a peek at it each night before you go to bed?

May all your dreams for 2014 come to fruition!

We enjoyed lovely family get-togethers and loved that we were able to come and go as and when we pleased during the past two weeks of holiday time.  Now, we’re back to business as usual and there’s lots of trimming and sorting, feeding, weeding and all the regular ‘stuff’ which is part of living in a rose nursery.

This time of year means whether you’re a parent or grand-parent, there will probably be little people around on a regular basis and rather than have them impose on your gardening time, take them out into the garden with you.  Set them achievable tasks like 5 cents for every weed you pull out in that square metre of ground – might not mean a whole lot to the little, little kids but from 6 upwards, I guarantee you, they’ll be counting and multiplying and you’ll both be checking the arithmetic.  This is so much fun to do with kids.  When they get distracted and go play elsewhere, you get time for your serious gardening and then they’ll be back and wanting some attention.  Throw the ball around for a while and then once again, off they’ll go again and bingo, more time for your gardening pursuits.

With a new puppy around, I find I have to break my tasks into a little bit of ‘play time’ with Mooi (MOY) then she’s happy to sit and watch for a while, I get more weeding/trimming done and then we have another play and so on – that way, we’re both happy and I feel satisfied that I still get my gardening chores completed.  Kids are really no different to pets (or, for that matter, husbands who need to be fed!  Giggle!!!)  They are all an interference to your need to stay in the garden.


They’re about to be tested out, big time! On Tuesday, 17th December, 2013, yes, the week before Christmas, Graham and I together with a team of Council staff planted 400 roses in the Black Saturday Bushfire Memorial Park at Wandong.  Nearly 300 of the roses were bare-rooted plants;   we used some potted/flowering specimens from our nursery stock to give some immediate impact for the local community as two former plantings of native shrubs had died!

After planting, all the roses were saturated with Natrakelp soil conditioner (liquid seaweed) and on that hot Christmas Eve when we realised the Council had not watered the plants, we went there with hoses but the mains water pressure let us down.  On the evening of Christmas Day, members of the Wandong Community Group assisted watering the roses with their 1,000 litre tank – the mains water pressure was good on that evening so we got the job done much faster than first thought.

Every rose is already producing shoots though stems are very sunburnt!

I hear you asking “but why would you plant bare-rooted roses in December?”  Well, the park looked drab with the dead native plants along the walkways so we approached the Council and asked would they be interested in planting roses if we could get them from our rose grower, Brian.  Meantime, I contacted Brian to see whether the excess stock from the past season had already been burned – “No, but it will be next week” was his response and he offered a less-than-wholesale price rather than burn such beautiful rose plants.

Consultation with both parties ensued.  I selected varieties from the ‘overs list’ which I considered would be strong enough to endure such ‘abnormal’ planting and while the roses were in transit, I completed the garden design.

Graham and I are committed to having a beautiful rose garden at this Memorial Park – the colour of the roses around the actual memorial are symbolic of fire – orange, yellow, red and the beautiful ‘Edgar Degas’ with all those colours combined is very dominant in this area of the planting.  Other varieties we used are ‘Bonica’, ‘Summer Memories’, ‘Mary Rose’, ‘Knockout’, ‘La Sevillana’ and ‘Hommage a Barbara’ plus a few others in lesser numbers.

EDGAR DEGAS – Delbard rose of immense beauty and vigour.
Very free flowering, lightly fragrant and extremely healthy rose.

The community at Wandong/Heathcote Junction was ravaged by the ’09 Black Saturday Bushfires and now they will have a beautiful rose garden planted with roses that were also saved from the peril of fire!  It will make a lovely story for future generations.


Happy Gardening New Year!

Q. How do you know when Santa is in the room?  A. You can sense his presents. 

If you use liquid seaweed mixed with water and pour it over the leaves of your roses and other plants, it actually makes them tougher.  It makes the leaf skin thicker so it will give an extra 3-5 degrees heat and cold tolerance.  Use it now every week for an increase of up to 30% more rose blooms and healthier plants!

Q. Why can’t a bike stand up by itself?  A.  It’s two tired. 

Happy holidays if you’re on hols but if you’re back at work, enjoy that too because you can go home and enjoy the garden while we have the longer summer days. Gra


With Australia Post back ‘on the job’ roses can now be ordered for posting again!  Fortunately, all orders processed right up until the last post were delivered before Christmas.  If you received a gift voucher for Christmas, pop in soon for some amazing roses to plant in your garden now!
Best wishes and enjoy the rest of the holiday season …

Diana, Graham and Mooi at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane

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