ROSE RAMBLER 21.7.2016

Hello dear rose friends from a rather more warmish winter week here at Clonbinane – by golly but there’s been some rain all around Australia and I don’t know about your garden, but ours could do with a little bit of a dry spell so that we can go and mow the lawns!

Our garden looks a bit shabby with lots of weeds, unpruned roses and lawns needing to be mowed – we’ll get there!  Our current priority is to get your roses packed and posted; we’re busy potting them too and always here with a smile when you come to collect.

When things get busy, put them on a row as I do and you know, it all works out in the end because we’ve received some beautiful emails from customers who are so delighted with the quality of our roses.  My day travels less stressfully when I read these lovely messages during such a busy time – thank you to all of you who share happy emails with me or for the whole world to see … sharing some testimonials –

Hi, Just a note to say thankyou. I received my order quickly and in excellent condition. Very Happy,

Hello Diana, just to let you know that beautiful roses arrived in lovely condition. Nicely settled in their beds. Cannot wait until spring, summer. Thank you so much for all your help.
Kind regards, Ann
Hi Diana, Wow I’m so impressed! I will definitely buy from you in the future. The roses are large and so healthy, delivery was prompt, and communication really enjoyable. I wish I knew about your service years ago. Thank you so much!
Kind regards Maree 🙂

Yes, there are still lots of roses in the ground waiting to be dug because of extremely wet conditions so again, I urge you to be patient and I promise to contact you immediately the roses are available and ready to be collected/posted.


It is essential when planting new roses (and other plants) to blend compost with existing soil to the planting hole.  Obtain a high-quality compost from your local garden centre or the Zoo (they supply great ‘zoo-poo’ compost and use funds for zoo projects – take some bags home next time you visit).

Use your own ‘home-made’ compost as long as it smells as good as it looks – never use smelly/steamy/gluggy compost which is in an anaerobic (still rotting) state.  If your compost isn’t ready, buy bagged product!

When you add compost to the planting hole you can be sure of the following:

  • Supresses disease in plants
  • Retains nutrients and stops top-soil leaching
  • Regulates nutrient availability in plant establishment
  • Builds soil structure to reduce water use
  • Increases root depth of plants
  • Improves soil moisture access held in soil cavities which roots could not otherwise access.

Q.  What do you call a donkey with only three legs?  A.  A wonkey

On the second Sunday of each month, either Diana or myself present on 3CR Garden Show (talk-back radio for gardeners at 855 AM band EVERY Sunday 7.30-9.15am) we share with a panel of professional horticulturalists – Karen, at Edible Garden Design is always very inspiring and I would like to share her solution to a weed which can be very frustrating when it flourishes in your garden:

It’s good to have a positive attitude to problems in the garden. ‘The problem is the solution’ says Permaculture. Even so, Soursob, or Oxalis pes-caprae  can dampen the spirits of the most enthusiastic gardeners – quite literally if you spend hours in the rain removing it!

After battling this winter weed for nearly 30 years in my garden, I feel qualified to give advice and encouragement! It is possible to control this weed almost 100%, which is good news if you’ve just discovered it since it came out of warm weather dormancy. Unfortunately, digging up your garden to start a new patch, gives Soursob a new lease on life, by bringing the tiny brown bulbs up to the surface from the depths of your soil. New gardens also feed the bulbs with manure, compost and mulch.

To get Soursob under control, you have two main options – hand weeding or chicken tractors. Chickens love the stuff, as you may have seen from my recent web post.

For hand weeding, remove only the tops of the plants, including the thick white centre of the plant at the base of the leaves, but don’t attempt to dig out the bulbs as they are usually so tiny they are difficult to find and deep digging brings more to the surface. Removing plants as they appear starves the resources of the bulbs, but waiting a little longer and removing plants when the bright yellow flowers bloom removes more resources as most of the plant’s energy is above ground at this point and therefore at your mercy.

Chickens are ideal to keep Soursob under control. Use a moveable hutch or tractor moved to a different location each day but make sure to house your chickens safely each night in their predator proof house. Winter is a time when it’s hard to find enough greens for the hard working girls so the partnership of fowls and this really foul weed is perfect!

Diligent removal over the colder months for at least 2 years will result in substantially reduced and quite manageable Soursob in your garden. Don’t forget you get a break through the warmer months of the year when this weed is dormant. If you have particularly bad infestations, you can also try growing dense groundcovers and low shrubs that are just higher than the Oxalis plants, to compete with light and space.

Take a look at Karen’s website for more great information –

If you have an issue with particular weeds in your garden, don’t rush in and resort to GLYPHOSATE products as they can have very serious detrimental effects on the biological and ecological environment of your garden!  Take extreme care with their use!

From 28th July – 2nd August there is an ideal moon cycle for removing weeds – get down and dirty in your garden and reap the rewards of easy weeding during those dates.

Last joke for this week:  Q. What has webbed feet and fangs?  A. Count Quackula … Gra


There are quite a few flamboyantly striped roses available – I would have sworn I could never like them until I recognised their healthy, free-flowering habit …  here are a few of our absolute favourites…

An outstanding Delbard rose of robust health, exceedingly free-flowering and such delightfully interesting, fragrant blooms of lasting quality – highly recommended rose!

Has the most glossy foliage, dark wood and profuse number of blooms continually on a very upright, tall bush – stunning!

Is rather subtle with pink-on-pink if you are wanting to venture into stripes without going ‘over the top’ … robustly healthy and very free-flowering, aptly named for the gardener/artist of such repute …


We are so proud to offer such exceptional quality standard roses – strong, straight stems which deserve pride-of-place in your garden.

Remember to stake them with sturdy rio-rod – 16mm steel which easily penetrates deep into the soil and is there for the life of your standard roses – tie with Velcro ‘one-wrap’ which is also very durable.

See you at the Rose Farm or talk to you soon on email at  …
~ Cheers from Diana, Graham and Mooi

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