ROSE RAMBLER 22.1.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 22.1.2015

Hello dear rose friends … how glorious is the summer rain?  We hope the heavens opened on your garden and it’s had a fair share.  No matter how much you water your garden from the tap, when God wees on the garden, the results are amazing!

The potted roses love the rain too – they are stunning right now as we’ve had good windows of opportunity to spray regular applications of foliage fertilizer as well as our organic rose maintenance program – all this attention means lots of lush, healthy foliage and a bountiful supply of glorious blooms.

Time to load the kids in the car, bring the dog on a lead and a picnic – sit at the table and chairs under the gum trees and feel free to wander around our beautiful gardens while the kids go looking for frogs and snails – we’ll show them how to conduct the races!

Bring your camera so you can take lots of pics of roses if you’re planning a new garden for this coming winter season – you have until Monday, 2nd February to take advantage of $5.00 off every single rose if you have garden beds ready for planting now. We’re so easy to find if you’re on the HUME FREEWAY …


It’s on Saturday, 11th – Sunday, 12th April, 2015 and once again, my Rotary Club has secured a grant to subsidise travel for groups who would love to come and experience our region during this weekend.

The $10 per person travel subsidy will apply for groups of 15 or more.  You will enjoy a stop-over at the delightful Hidden Valley Estate Restaurant for morning/afternoon tea ($7.00 per person) along with a guided history walk by the lake (the estate was established by the late Robert Holmes a Court as a thoroughbred horse stud and was home to the Melbourne Cup Winner, BLACK KNIGHT), play Petanque (Boule) on the lawn or sit and watch golfers hit their balls onto the only island hole in Australia!

Naturally, you will come and visit us here at Silkies Rose Farm where you’ll be entertained by WALK AND TALK IN THE GARDEN WITH GRAHAM (yes, ok, he’ll tell some jokes too!) and you will be our guests to enjoy the scones, jam and cream with refreshments which we’ve never lost the touch of producing!

Then, you will visit Kilmore where you’ll get free entry, catalogue and gallery guide at the Kilmore Art Expo; you can enjoy a delicious lunch (main course is approx $10 per head), great coffee or a glass of local wine in the Expo Café.

If you would like to book a group and take advantage of this spectacular offer of $10 per head travel subsidy to enjoy a day in the country, please contact me on 03 5787 1123 or Andrea (Rotary Club of Southern Mitchell) 0428 410 041.


If you’re the GUEST SPEAKER CO-ORDINATOR of your group, please contact us so that we can organise a visit for Graham or Diana (sometimes both, depending on meeting time) to come and share our gardening knowledge with you … 03 5787 1123.


Had some great response to my ‘brew’ … could start a whole new business – take a look at Diana’s emails with Nat who does the brew:

Nat:  “My weed tea is in an old webbing chaff/wheat/feed bag suspended in a 100 litre tank with a tap at the bottom.  Perfect.  I have a flat stick I stir it with to get new weed additions and oxygen down into the brew. I really don’t mind the fragrance in the least. I grew up in dairy country, and it’s exactly the same to me as the smell of cow poo, which to me is actually nice, believe it or not.”

Diana’s response:  “You and Gra would do well in the perfume industry … you call it ‘fragrance’ which I think is hysterical.  I don’t dislike the smell at all … I just hate when Gra uses the brew on days when the nursery is open, the nursery is full of lovely smelling rose blooms and he disintegrates that glory with the cow poo smell!!!  Like come on, you would have to agree with me on this one?????  Laughing all the way … cheers … Diana”

Nat:  “Amazing you say that about the perfume industry. I was thinking of bottling and marketing it. House of Odieuse, new fragrance ‘O- d’Effluvia’!”

From Laurel in Queensland:   “I reckon that the green weed tea is magic. Up here we add a bit of chook manure for the water melons especially, but roses love it too if I could work out how to make enough to give each a drink. I thought of placing 40 gal drums at spaces along the lines but would need a lot – no shortage of weeds to use though!”

Some emails requested information on how to make the ‘brew’ … here’s what Diana wrote though she’s never made it or used it herself – just complained vehemently about the ‘smell’ but gloried at the results it produces …

This is easy … just get a 44gal drum, a hessian bag, a stick and a piece of string … fill the bag with weeds … all sorts including herbs, anything green, thistles too and any animal poo … tie them off in the bag then suspend the bag over a drum of water .. cover it or leave it open – air is good … stir it every couple of days … you’ll start to see bubbles and you’ll probably start to smell it … some say it’s ‘fragrant’ (what planet they live on is something I wrestle with???).

For ‘proper’ set up … put the drum on a stand and have a tap at the base for easy dispensing … put a couple of them around the yard in strategic locations so you can always have a ‘brew’ happening … within 3-4 weeks just tap-off and dilute with some water (1:10 one litre ‘brew’ to 10 litres water) to be safe if you’re pouring it over plant foliage … this is not so essential if you’re just pouring it over the ground … it’s brilliant fertilizer and it’s so cheap and easy … recommend adding seaweed (powder or solution) to the ‘brew’ every couple of weeks – adds to strengthening the cell wall of the plants reducing pressure from heat/cold stress.

Q.  What do you get if you cross a worm and a young goat?  A.  A dirty kid

Goes to show you can have a whole lot of fun while you’re out in the garden … see you soon at Clonbinane where you can pick up some magnificent roses during our summer promotion and personally check out my ‘brew’ … Gra


Here is a rose which truly shines to its name … SUMMER OF LOVE is an exquisite Hybrid Tea rose of immense beauty!  Tall growing with lush, healthy, dark-green foliage and continual repeat flowering, SUMMER OF LOVE is a must for those of you who love to pick roses for a vase – a stunning beauty in all seasons of flowering but particularly spectacular now and from bud to full bloom…

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going” … applies to roses which are subjected to super-tough conditions which we are likely to experience in the coming weeks of heat – they’ll amaze you with their beauty so do take time out to stop and smell the roses …

~ Cheers from Diana, Graham, Mooi and heaps of baby chickens at Clonbinane

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