ROSE RAMBLER 20.8.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 20.8.2015

Hello dear rose friends – less than TWO WEEKS to spring and despite having one of the “coldest winters on record in 70 years”, the roses are pushing leaves and before we know it, they’ll be flowering.

Some of you might not even have ventured to prune the roses yet … that’s ok, when you leave pruning till late in the season, the roses will indicate exactly where they would like to be pruned – find the plumpest, outward facing bud – snip – job done … remember to snip a trouble away each time you cut!

Here’s an email conversation which might be useful to you all –

Hi Diana and Graham, In your last newsletter you talked about putting compost around the base of the rose, but not to till the soil.  I usually remove the old leaf litter and sugar cane mulch and replace with fresh. Should I in fact not be removing old mulch?  Should I put new compost over the existing mulch and then top up with new mulch?
And should we be feeding the roses yet?  If you would clarify, that would be great.  Thanks, Jo

Our response:  We NEVER recommend removing mulch because there is always a plethora of microbial/insect/just plain natural ‘stuff’ going on in the soil under mulch – spray the organic rose management program over the plants/soil, distribute fertilizer over entire garden area, put compost around the plants (if you have it) then mulch over the whole lot.

As we prune roses we naturally remove ‘litter’ closest to the bud union … this makes it easy to get in with the secateurs to remove oldest branches right down to the crown but we would NEVER fork/till soil around the roses unless we felt there was soil compaction – exactly why we suggest you use a layer of cardboard/biscuit of straw around the rose garden to step on while you’re pruning!  Really important function whilst pruning a winter garden – most especially if the soil is damp!!!

Hope this answers all your questions – importantly, listen to what your INTUITION tells you to do in your garden … enjoy the moments … cheers Diana and Graham


All the bare-rooted roses are potted now so I did our organic rose management spray program this week:  to 10 litres of water add:

¼ cup eco-rose fungicide
¼ cup eco-oil insecticide
Seaweed solution (as per pack instructions of the product used)

I added ECO-AMINOGRO which is a fish/amino acid-based foliage fertilizer which will stimulate strong, healthy foliage and transfer into good root development on the newly potted roses!

Q.  What monkey looks like a flower?  A.  A chimp-pansy … hope you’ve planted lots of annuals for delightful early spring flowering in your rose garden!

We always get lots of request for ‘problem solvers’ when it comes to rabbits, possums, wallabies and native birds in the rose garden – unfortunately, there is NO ABSOLUTE SOLUTION to any of the predators.

However, we do recommend constant vigilance, creative barriers and understanding of the creatures we live with who share our garden space!

Q.  What do you get if you cross a rabbit with a flea?  A.  Bugs Bunny … that’s me and my jokes for this week … Gra


Yes, of course we can still post you roses – they’re (mostly) trimmed back to within an inch of their lives and shooting madly but because we are careful in the bundling, add some coir-fibre potting mix within the damp newspaper and then wrap firmly in plastic, the roses are travelling really well – here’s a testimony:

Thank you so much for your wonderful nursery, rose delivery service, and your wonderful book which I am reading at the moment… but most especially for your wonderful self!!!  And Graham is pretty wonderful too… V

And another one:  Dear Diana, Just a note to thank you. The roses arrived quickly after order last week. They looked in beautiful condition and are happily planted. Will see how they go and hopefully we can order more of the same after Sydney summer. Sincerely, Anne

We will continue to post bare-rooted roses through September so if you’re still preparing garden beds but not quite sorted, don’t panic and yes, the rose bushes will bloom abundantly from November onwards as long as you diligently apply seaweed solution at planting and then at least monthly thereafter!

IN CLOSING … when you need to send a memorial gift, REMEMBER ME is such a beautiful, healthy, reliable rose to send to the most ‘non-gardening’ person and way, way better than a bunch of flowers because they will plant this gorgeous rose and have memories of perfectly shaped blooms, continually throughout the flowering season … this is such a grand rose which makes a statement:

beautifully gift wrapped, ready to post now from

REMEMBER ME produces flowers like this continually … can be ordered as a bush rose for your garden at just because you want a lovely bright orange/copper rose in your garden …

Enjoy the last weeks of winter … head down, bum up and pruning as we are … cheers from Diana, Graham & Mooi at Clonbinane 

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