Hello dear rose friends … crazy weather for autumn with one morning at 5 degrees and within a week its 25 degrees first thing.  We and our roses are at the mercy of the weather but whatever the weather, we’ll wether it!

This coming weekend we’ll be up in the Dandenong Ranges for the Tesselaar Gardening Expo – hope to see you there because we will have vases of a plethora of the new and recent release rose flowers on display again this year!

I just love walking through the rows and collecting rose blooms for an exhibition; then displaying them in vases and watching people sniff and extol at the virtues of the most heavenly of flowers … a fragrant rose.

Have you ever read a book that is so lovely, you never want to see THE END?  I’ve been growing roses for 30 years and during that time I’ve read “FOR LOVE OF A ROSE” by Antonia Ridge at least 20 times and will continue to read it and wish that the story never ends.

If you truly love roses, do yourself a favour and read this beautiful story of the families involved in the creation of Hybrid Tea rose: “PEACE”.

Last year when we were in South Africa at the World Rose Convention, I had several discussions with Alain Meilland whose (grand) Papa Meilland bred the Peace rose.  Alain Meilland is a feisty, vibrant man who is so passionate about roses and was an inspiration to me. His grandfather, Papa Meilland, travelled the world to argue for the legal rights of the gardener who creates a new rose.

We now have Plant Breeders’ Rights which means that gardeners pay a royalty for more recently released roses which makes them a bit more expensive than older roses. Take the time to read Antonia Ridge’s story about how ‘Peace’ was created and you will appreciate and generously spend the extra few $’s to buy a newly released rose.

In Australia, PBR applies for 20 years.


Trim back old flowers 10cm from where the rose finishes. If you remove this finished flower it helps the bush to resist fungus attack on wet damp and cold nights. You still might get flowers before winter pruning.

Spray eco-fungicide with seaweed solution and eco-oil.  If there are any insects include the eco-neem which sucking/biting insects ingest and it goes into their brain and they stop eating.
You can apply these sprays with a watering can and it is best applied in the morning when the foliage has dried.

Remember that all the products we use and recommend are safe in the environment, are all Australian Made and are approved organics.  Bees are safe with all these products too.

Q.  What do bees do with their honey?  A.  They cell it.

If you haven’t already fertilized, do it now with a quality organic fertilizer which is safe for earthworms and frogs.

Great time to plant potted roses as the roots will settle well before the light winter prune and you’ll have an established rose this coming spring … at the rate this year is going, that’s just around the corner!


Have a great week in your garden – see you this weekend at Tesselaar’s Plant Expo, maybe the week after at our Art & Rose Expo weekend or whenever you feel like getting in the car and taking a drive to Clonbinane … Gra


There will be four beautiful Kilmore gardens open on the weekend of the Art Expo along with Walk and Talk in the Garden with Graham here at the Rose Farm.

If you would like more information, please call Diana 5787 1123 – it would be handy to know if you are bringing a group for this weekend adventure in and around Kilmore.


Now is the time to start preparing the bed if you’re planning on planting roses this winter.  Remove the turf or weeds to about 10cms depth and place layer upon layer of any type of animal manure, barley/wheat/oat/pea straw, fallen autumn leaves, sprinkling of rock dust and then water over with renew (sea minerals) and seaweed solution.  As the worms come up to start digesting all this, keep topping up with layers of all the goodies.

There is absolutely no need to turn the soil – don’t break your back and then pay for chiropractic realignment … the worms will come and they’ll do all the digging for you.  They’ll also leave all their castings.

By the time bare-rooted roses are ready for planting, all you have to do is dig at the planting hole and you will have the most productive, humus rich soil that the roses will definitely want to be planted into.

Have another beaut week in the autumn rose garden and we’ll see you really soon at Clonbinane!
~ Cheers from Diana, Graham & Mooi

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