ROSE RAMBLER 8.10.2015

ROSE RAMBLER 8.10.2015 …

Hello dear rose friends as the frenzy builds for a spectacular Horticultural & Gardening Festival event at the Melbourne Showgrounds starting tomorrow, Friday 9th until Sunday 11th … we’re ‘bumped in’ with our safety vests on, set up our presentation and would love to see you visit our display and hear Diana speak on MAIN STAGE – Friday from 1.30pm – 2.10pm and again in the DEMONSTRATION AREA with friends from OCP on Sunday 1.30pm – 2.10pm where we’ll show you how easy it is to prepare and spray the organic rose management program to ensure you grow the most beautifully healthy, abundantly free-flowering roses in your garden!

Also come visit Diana at Stand D30 at the festival this Friday, Saturday & Sunday, where she will happily sign a copy of her book ALL ABOUT ROSES and show you how really works. See you there!


There is no greater delight than personally meeting our ‘online’ customers – very recently we have had customers from NSW and QLD visiting Victoria and SILKIES ROSE FARM was on their agenda whilst driving down the HUME FREEWAY.  Since we are within 500 metres of the CLONBINANE interchange we would love to see YOU when you’re down our way!



Hello Diana – Thanks for your return phone call. I receive your newsletter each week and enjoy the read.

I am located in Eltham, Melbourne.  I am disappointed with the way my roses are waking up after winter.  A similar thing happened last year but I put it down to relocating them and that perhaps the soil in the new location was not rich or prepared enough.  The roses seemed to develop good buds but when they open they are not fully formed leaves; just look like unopened wispy shoots.   I fed them with a combination of your fertilizer and when I ran out used “Roses Only”.  I also put down some compost which I purchase from Betta Growers.  It is provided in handy sized bags and they say it is suitable for roses.  I seem to recall reading somewhere (may be your newsletter) that mushroom compost is not good for roses.  I suspect the compost I used may contain mushroom compost but the contents are not fully listed on the bag.  Do you think this could be the cause of my rose problem?  At first I thought it might have just been the colder weather delaying the new growth but I have a couple of roses in the area and in another area doing the normal thing (they don’t have the compost on them). Attached is a photo of the rose growth (note the standard roses are healthy and were purchased from you last year; they are co-located with the bad performers (also provided photo of another rose in the same area which is also healthy; it is a La Marque).  There are about 8-10 roses that I am concerned about.

I spray the roses with the recommended dose of eco rose, liquid seaweed, eco oil.

Re the use of weed spray; I may have used some last year but on a lower section of the garden on a gravel path (near the Dublin Bay climber).  I normally use a wand not a spray.

I would really appreciate your advice on what the problem might be and how to get the roses moving. Thanks Diana. 

Regards Kathy
Pic of Dublin bay with affected foliage:

MY RESPONSE … Ok, there are a few roses in the nursery pots doing the same thing???  Has happened before and our agronomist recommended using YATES TRACE ELEMENTS … fixed the problem in no time – if you can get hold of a pack of ROCK DUST that would be good for them too … fortnightly applications of seaweed solution will help the TRACE ELEMENTS do the job.  You might check with the source of compost what EXACTLY they have in the product????  A bit spooky that roses you DIDN’T put the compost on are doing fine!  You must be asking the question yourself???

They’ll come right in no time, I’m sure – please keep us posted.  Hope this is helpful … cheers, Diana


Dear Diana & Graham – Could you help with any suggestions on how to kill or manage onion weed in gardens?  
Thank you, Jane
MY RESPONSE … Hi Jane … I wait for a moon phase which is most beneficial for weeding and pull them out by hand!  Yes, might be considered a NUT but it works for me!!!  One particular garden bed where onion weed is quite rampant can be a challenge but I pull them every single time I visit that garden – most times I get the bulb and all – must be just lucky sometimes I guess.  Hope this works for you … cheers

To which Jane responded (hope she was having a giggle as I did):  Thanks for your reply, thought that might be the answer … Jane


Yes, aphids are in the wind from pasture areas all around Australia.  To control these critters and allow ladybirds and other predators to build up good numbers in your garden, DON’T USE ANY PESTICIDES – not even Pyrethrum as you will kill ALL the beneficial insects!   Look closely and see the beneficial ‘lacewings’ too …
Q.  Why wouldn’t they let the butterfly into a dance?  A.  Because it was a mouthball!

I caught Diana intensely studying one of the climbing roses on an arch in the nursery and she was keen to show me 3 ladybirds (two of whom were sleeping so late in the morning?) and estimated there would probably have been no less than 10,000 aphids on the plant – yes, she’s prone to exaggeration so modified that to 1,000 aphids – how could 3 ladybirds possibly keep up with eating all those aphids?

Aphids are voracious breeders and their numbers are dominant – it takes a while for ladybirds and beneficial insects to populate as rapidly as the aphids so if you start spraying with ‘quick-fix’ chemicals, you’ll kill ALL the beneficials but not ALL the aphids and they’ll be breeding rapidly before you even put the sprayer back in the shed!!!

ECO-OIL however, will assist in the control of aphids by suffocating them – it is especially effective on their ‘babies’ at larval stage which interrupts their breeding cycle.  If there are huge numbers of aphids inundating your roses, add ECO-NEEM to the ECO-OIL so when the aphids suck the foliage, ECO-NEEM goes into their brain and tells them to stop eating.

There is obviously a way more scientific explanation of this product but this is my simple interpretation of how ECO-NEEM works – it seriously does reduce aphid infestation!
Neither ECO-OIL nor ECO-NEEM will impact on beneficial insects or bees – in fact, HIPPO enhanced ECO-OIL has elements which attract, yes, ATTRACT all the good insects to your garden!

Amazing Australian research and development by OCP (Organic Crop Protectants) for the benefit of OUR environment – please use these products in a regular, monthly spray program to be sure you enjoy trouble-free, happy roses flowering in your garden!

Q.  Why do milking stools only have three legs?  A.  Because the cows got the udder.

We are almost flowering here and one of our earliest flowering roses is the most glorious GOLDEN CELEBRATION – the fragrance oozes from this gorgeous, petal-filled bloom which nods from the clambering canes continually throughout the season … this wonderful rose is also a delightful gift for anything relative to a 50th celebration!

Enjoy all the beauty in your garden this week – see you at Melbourne Showgrounds or at Clonbinane soon … cheers from Graham, Diana & precious guard-dog Mooi …

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