ROSE RAMBLER 27.7.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 27.07.2017 …

Hello dear rose friends as the morning bird calls start to indicate a sign of spring in the air … definitely a bit early by comparison to previous years but all things considered, it’s been a rather extraordinary winter with us having recorded our coldest frost in 17 years here at Clonbinane – down to minus 8 a couple of weeks ago and an amazing number of freezing morning temperatures with gloriously sunny days and above-average daytime temperatures.  Aaaaah … the conspiracy of the weather will keep our conversations alive!

Yes, we are all ok and still here – yes, your computer email is functioning ok too – I didn’t produce a Rose Rambler last week simply because I felt it was way more important to put all my energy into packing parcels of roses!   Thank you to all of you who checked up on us!

After a consignment of roses this week, most rose orders will be completed – JOSEPH’S COAT was a real straggler and has held up a lot of orders … when it flowers in years to come, you’ll forget about how late your rose order was delivered when this magnificent rose flowers and flowers throughout each season … what a sight to behold it is and I’m so glad we offer it to you by having it budded each year …


STANDARD ROSES are most definitely a great way to grow roses as your body ages and it gets more difficult to get down on the ground to prune and manage bush rose plants!  One of the most important issues to consider when planting standard roses is permanent and durable STAKING A STANDARD ROSE …

We use and highly recommend 13mm RIO ROD which easily penetrates deep into soil and will not move, will never rot and actually looks great because it’s almost invisible as it rusts and sits very snugly right against the rose stem.

Be sure and allow around 20-30cms of rod ABOVE THE CROWN which acts as support or to lightly tie new water shoots to, in extremely high-wind areas.


To secure the standard rose understock to the rio rod, use 19mm VELCRO ONE-WRAP because it doesn’t come unstuck if correctly applied!

Q. Why aren’t elephants allowed on the beach?  A. Because they can’t keep their trunks up! 
(for the kids reading this, old guys ‘trunks’ are kind of like your ‘jocks’ …)


We can all learn from this email exchange during past weeks:

“My names Amber and recently my rose garden has been devastated by Rose Rosette Disease! About 16 of our roses have contracted it. I was wondering if you had advice on how long we should wait to re-plant new roses after digging these ones out as we would like to order between 10-20 bare root roses from you guys.  Also if you could recommend something to prevent mites and other pests that would be great. We had been using eco oil and a yates spray previously, but it didn’t seem to prevent aphids and what I suspect were mites destroying our roses. Perhaps we weren’t diligent enough with spraying.  If you could get back to me at your earliest convenience that would be great! Thanks”

My initial response to Amber … I would be most interested to know who diagnosed your DISEASE?  This all sounds very dramatic and totally over and above ANYTHING that I have experienced in more than 30 years of rose growing!  Seems you’ll swing from chemical maintenance to organic with no success using either regime.

Let me help you grow beautiful roses ORGANICALLY, NATURALLY!!!  Get rid of all the chemicals as the first move.  Take a big, deep breath and relax whenever you go into the rose garden – actually, BEFORE YOU ENTER the rose garden so you go there with a quiet mind ready to experience all the pleasure rather than perhaps focus on some of the negatives which can occur from time to time in ANY GARDEN and on potentially, ANY PLANT!

I am almost 100% sure that your ROSE ROSETTE DISEASE is in fact growth appearing AFTER you’ve been spraying around the roses with one of the GLYPHOSATE PRODUCTS … perhaps RoundUp or Zero???  Had you used a weedicide product prior to noticing the weird foliage which has been diagnosed as RRD?

If you give me more information and perhaps a few pics I’ll take this further … talk soon – Diana


One pic of Amber’s affected foliage …

Amber admitted to ‘self-diagnosis’ after trawling through the Internet … I suspected this and although I know there is NO rose rosette disease in Australia, I wanted to be careful with how I responded – not wanting to offend any Rosarian who might be consulting with Amber and trying to sort her problems!

Since much email exchange, I realised Amber ordered roses from us this week …

Hello Amber … whilst I was busy packing roses today I noted that there was a parcel of roses for YOU … the roses are now in the post but I’m concerned about whether you should be planting while you seem to have so many issues with the existing roses???

My colleagues have all agreed that there is an OVERDOSE OF SPRAY on your roses … which product exactly, we’re not sure … highly likely a pre-emergent weedicide of some kind.


Thankfully, Amber has responded very positively …

“I have stopped using any chemical sprays at all & my husband knows not to use any weed killer as well now. I have purchased eco rose, eco seaweed and already have eco oil on hand so I’m going to be using the organic spray recipe on your website from now on.”

Please take extreme care when using weedicides – in fact, ANY CHEMICALS around your garden!  There are so many alternatives available – for more information please retain these two addresses: and so you have access to the most updated information about sustainable gardening and which products you can safely use in your home garden.

Q. What happens when a frog parks in a no-parking space?  A. It gets toad away.

When the winter blues happen for you, either give us a call (our phones were seriously challenged this past week when all calls went direct to ‘message bank’ … sorry!) or log into and purchase some roses just like Holly did a couple of times in these past weeks …

“Feeling a bit low just now because after the worst winter day this year (no gardening) I baked two cakes with duck eggs (famously wonderful) which came out like moon craters.  Ho hum.  See- my mind is only on gardening, not baking, and my brain thinks digging holes is the only thing worth thinking about.  I even dreamed of rose planting last night!  So it serves me right trying to bake when the heart is elsewhere, eh?  Mary Berry is safe in her day job. Looking forward to receiving my roses … thanks, Holly”

Enjoy time spent in your winter garden …
cheers from all of us at Silkies Rose Farm, Clonbinane …

One Reply to “ROSE RAMBLER 27.7.2017”

  1. Dear Diana,
    I’m renting a property in Brisbane, and moved in in late June. To my delight there were several rose bushes in the garden, all very neglected-looking. I have pruned them and fed them. I don’t use any poisons. Two of the roses seem to be suffering from what I thought might be RRD. But you say there is no RRD in Australia. I suspect that the ground had been sprayed with weedkiller- perhaps for years, who knows? What would you recommend so the poor little things can recover? Thanks, Prue

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