ROSE RAMBLER … 08.01.2015

Hello dear rose friends and welcome to the excitement of a whole brand new year – may you enjoy lots of pleasure in your garden with good health and loving throughout 2015.

We hosted my Rotary Club Christmas party here at the Rose Farm and had the most extraordinary fun doing a snail race … the snails were marked with little stickers and we had to remember which sticker was attached to the snail we ‘bought’.  The snails were placed in a bucket and first snail to reach the top was the winner – talk about laugh!  After a few races, we had to wake the snails up by putting some water in the bucket after which, they went like rockets!!!

I shared this fun with a friend in Queensland and she told me they put frogs in a circle and the first frog out of the circle is the winner … we have lots of frogs in our garden because we don’t use lethal chemical weedicides/pesticides and when our grandchildren visit, it’s the first thing they do … find frogs and make a ‘habitat’ (container with grass, sand, sticks, etc.) add a skink (lizard), and other bugs.  We’ll be doing races with frogs next!

This is the type of thing kids should be doing and I’m sharing these ideas so that you can enjoy time with your kids and grandkids over the holidays.  Make sure you have fun with them in your eco-friendly garden!


I know Christmas is over but this is funny and worth sharing:

Q.  What do you get if you cross Santa Claus with a duck?  A.  A Christmas quacker!

While I water the pots, there’s usually a rose variety which stands out on a particular day but NEPTUNE impresses me every single time I water it – the highly, highly fragrant, rich lavender blue blooms with a blush of purple on the outer edge of the petals produces a consistently abundant amount of flowers.  The leaves are huge, very leathery and extremely disease resistant.  I reckon NEPTUNE is the BEST mauve-blue Hybrid Tea rose of them all!

I do hope you’ve mulched your garden beds as we’ll be experiencing some hot weather from here on in … you can source wheat/oat/barley straw (the cheapest and good on the compost heap and garden borders) but use either pea straw or lucerne around the roses because as it breaks down, it actually feeds the plants.

By mulching your garden, you are helping the environment by enriching the soil with carbon, reducing water consumption and feeding soil microbes and worms … etc. etc.

Q.  Why do giraffes have such long necks?  A.  Because their feet stink.


Recently I received an email with a request to identify a rose and I want to share with you how easy it is to get 100% correct ID if you forward a series of photos exactly as Jennifer did – the fully open flower, the foliage, the thorns, the bud …


So easy to identify this magnificent rose as MERMAID.  Remember too, if you need to have a rose budded because it is no longer in production, now is the time to forward the budwood to us so that we can request ‘custom budding’ by our grower – no later than end January!!!  Call us if you need advice (03) 5787 1123.


Recipe forwarded by Deborah after I sent her a box of fragrant, dark red rose petals …

“My grandmother-in-law has fond memories of her mother making ros pe jam out of wild roses that grew along the fence of where they used to holiday in Poland.  So for her birthday, I decided to recreate a jar of sweet rose jam for her to enjoy, using the sweetest and most fragrant rose petals from Silkies Rose Farm!  Here’s the recipe, so that you can enjoy this summer delight!”

Ingredients: makes ~ 600g of jam

  • 230g fresh rose petals (make sure they’re pesticide-free, like Silkies roses!)
  • 450g sugar
  • 1.2 litres of cold water
  • The juice of two lemons and all their pips


  1. Sterilise jam jars by washing them in the dishwasher, or washing them with boiled water, then dry them.
  2. Trim the white tips and any brown blemishes off the rose petals – these parts of the petals can make the jam bitter.
  3. Rinse the petals well but gently, making sure there are no bugs or dirt.
  4. Bruise the petals gently with your fingers to release their oils, then toss them in sugar, ensuring that each petal is coated with sugar.
  5. Set aside the leftover sugar and cover the sugared petals with clingfilm to leave in the fridge overnight.
  6. The next day, place the water, remaining sugar, lemon juice and pips in a large saucepan and bring to the boil.
  7. Add your rose petals and simmer for 20 minutes, then boil rapidly for 5 minutes.
  8. Test if the jam is ready by placing a drop of jam on a cold saucer, letting it cool, then jiggling the saucer to see if the jam holds and feels sticky.  If not, keep boiling and test after every minute until ready.  The best tasting jam should be a little runny (but not watery), to get that full rose flavour!  Over-boiling will make the jam taste more sugary and less rosie.
  9. Once ready, take the saucepan off the heat, fish out any lemon pips you can see, then decant the jam into warmed jars (sitting the jars in hot water will do the trick).
  10. Let the jam cool before placing the lid on and refrigerating.


Is going from strength to strength with many people taking advantage of this delightful way of expressing their love in the form of a gorgeous rose bush.  I received this beautiful testimonial recently:

“My friends Kerry and Kath ordered a gift rose PEACE rose from you and it arrived two days before Christmas on my Dad’s anniversary and I took two blooms with other roses from our garden and some catmint to Mum and Dad’s grave.

The gift rose box is fantastic.  I got sprung in the front garden in my dressing gown (rescuing a limp hydrangea) by a man saying “hello lady” holding a very impressive box.  When you take a sneak peak in the top as suggested you look down into gorgeous blooms and foliage.  The tabs hold the pot very firmly and the white writing and design contrasts with the brown cardboard very nicely.

You must enjoy packing these roses off knowing how welcomed they will be.

Thanks so much for your beautiful roses and Happy Christmas.  Monica”

Yes, I do indeed enjoy packing the roses into the ‘GIFT ROSE’ box knowing they won’t move a millimetre no matter how roughly they are handled in transit.  Where possible, I select a specimen which is flowering – most definitely one with buds for the recipient to enjoy soon after the rose arrives.

If you’re not happy to order online at or, just phone me on 03 5787 1123 and I will organise a beautiful GIFT ROSE for you.

Enjoy this holiday season – maybe it will afford you time to come and visit us here at Clonbinane any FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY and MONDAY or other times by appointment.
~ Cheers from Graham, Diana & Mooi 

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