ROSE RAMBLER … 4.9.2014

Hello dear rose friends …Hello dear rose friends and welcome to spring!  The garden comes alive with blossom on all the trees, the birds are singing and because it hasn’t been used for a while, the bloody lawn mower won’t start … have a giggle rather than swear; know you’re among friends who are sharing the same joys of spring!

Inspiration for what to chat about in the Rose Rambler often comes in the form of a phone or email enquiry just like these …

Hi Dianna

I have sprayed once with the eco oil etc, and am about to do my second spray and am wondering if the mixture I used in the first application is able to be used as I had it left over, and did not want to waste it. Could you advise please.

Kind regards, Del

My response to Del is:

Definitely NOT!!!  Always use the ‘leftover’ spray on any other plant in the garden prior to washing your equipment!  Never leave an oily spray in a sprayer … guaranteed to clog all the fittings – dangerous practice for the possibility of somebody else picking up the unit and spraying left-over product which in fact, could be anything … poison maybe???
Cheers, Diana Sargeant

Here’s another one:

“I am enjoying your emails. Thank you.  I have a student help me in the garden, and he put a small bag of composted cow manure (purchased) into the holes of three new roses from you. Should I dig them up and remove the manure? Only planted about two or three weeks ago.

Help! Thank you,  Marion”

Here’s my very obvious response to the very lucky Marion:    No, most definitely NOT …?????  Compost mixed into the soil at the base of the newly planted rose is perfect soil management!!!  Let this kid loose in your garden because he sounds like he has his soul in the earth!!!  I imagine the roses are growing beautifully – are you applying seaweed solution regularly???  Please do !!!  Cheers .. Diana

To which Marion responded:

Many thanks Diana – and for the laugh! Cheers, Marion

From those above emails, it would appear that I say a lot of “NO” … I know I do in email responses but I must check with Graham whether I say it a lot and whether he gets a laugh out of it or not??

My grandchildren will tell you that I’m a “YES” Oma/Di-nana and that’s really important feedback for me!  The joy, the joy!


Loved this email from Kerry … You can complain because roses have thorns or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.” – Ziggy, character in comic strip by Tom Wilson.  I’m still doing lots of rose pruning because we are in a really cold zone and I cannot stress how much more relaxed and confident you will feel when you wear a really sturdy pair of gloves whenever you’re working around the rose garden.

It’s not just about thorns either … it’s about insects and spiders which can bite when you interrupt their goings on … they don’t mean to hurt you but will definitely inflict a sting when they are disturbed and feel threatened. Q.  How do toads travel?  A.  By hopper craft

Time now also to wear boots – at least a pair of good sturdy, closed-in shoes when you’re out in the garden because a warm, sunny spring day will entice snakes out of their winter hibernation.

When I go walking around my neighbourhood in the morning, I take a walking stick with me and it is a most handy and useful object:

  • Put it in the neck of a bottle to pick it up without actually handling it then drop it in the plastic rubbish bag I always carry with me;
  • Twirl around above my head when the magpies are nesting and decide to ‘bomb’ me;
  • Slow the passing traffic ‘cause they think there’s an old invalid walking on the street (it’s a good trick!!!);
  • I feel like I’m the leader in a band – a bit like the Pied Piper – and it’s fun to swing around!

What the heck has this got to do with rose growing?  Well, it gives you a bit of an idea about my life as a rose grower and I reckon that if you take a page out of my book and have a walk each morning, with or without a walking stick, you’ll feel much happier about life – I highly recommend it!!!

Enjoy the early spring glory of your garden … Gra


this magnificent rose is winning awards around the world – on the show bench and in trial gardens – and cannot be more highly recommended for planting in your rose garden … FORGET ME NOT

“Hi Graham and Diana,  With all the mulching, pruning, digging and planting of my new roses I forget to send you these photos of ‘Forget Me Not’. They were taken on the last day of May this year.  I know I am preaching to the choir, but seriously this is a very beautiful rose.  All the best,  Athanasi.”

Not a black-spot to be seen, no leggy branches – just a perfectly rounded shrub with lush, healthy foliage and a most amazing constant flush of beautiful Hybrid Tea shaped buds which unfurl with a stunning, swirling mass of highly fragrant petals – a flower which lasts well when picked for a vase.  This rose has got it all and is very, very highly recommended.


Yes, the book is now available in the online store at or please, call at the Rose Farm and I will be more than pleased to sign a copy for you … early indications are that this book is very popular and you should be able to acquire a copy at your local bookstore now.

Published by New Holland, retail price:  $29.95 + $15.00 pack and post anywhere in Australia if you would like me to personally sign and send you a copy.

The book release has been an exciting time, the finalising of winter rose orders a relief, glorious sunny spring weather blissful.  As they say in the classics:  “wouldn’t be dead for quids” …

~ Cheers from Diana, Graham & Mooi at CLONBINANE


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