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ROSE RAMBLER 18.08.2019

Posted by Diana Sargeant on

ROSE RAMBLER 18TH JULY 2019 – Hello dear rose friends from a wet, cold and soggy Clonbinane. Due to persistent rain last Friday, my team of workers, Ben, Tova and Janelle decided they would prefer to work on Sunday – which they did. On checking the Bureau of Meteorology site, Clonbinane registered as “1 degree but felt like minus 4”. They’re brave but by midday, they called it quits as it was way too cold to be working outdoors!

Yes, we’re already potting the roses into magnificent coir-fibre potting media. Our special potting mix gives our beautiful roses the best chance to perform at their best during their life in a 20cm pot since the coir fibre retains moisture longer than other elements in the mix and can be easily re-wet if it ever dries out! Nutrients lock into the fibres where the roots attach.

This potting mix sustains our roses and we believe it is the reason why we are able to produce such outstandingly healthy plants throughout the season and also why they are so adaptable to travelling long distances and then settling into their new home so readily.

There’s no rush with ordering for this bare-rooted season – prices will remain the same until August. However, if your garden beds are ready, get planting as soon as possible!

This email came the other day:

“Hi Diana … My roses arrived today and I am mightily impressed at the standard of the roses and the packaging. I have been growing roses for many years and I have never received such healthy, large plants – they make a mockery of what some other suppliers send out for mail orders. I wish I had found your nursery sooner. You can be very proud of your product and I am a very happy customer. Kind regards … Alan.”

We are indeed very proud of the quality of our stock. However, due to restrictions imposed by Australia Post, we have had to cut the stems of our standard roses for posting so they fit into a box 105cms in length. Meantime, we are reviewing our means of getting your roses to you and will be organised for sending them from next week onwards.

We apologise profusely for this delay – better that we get a new courier service than cut the standard roses so short that you’ll be disappointed in our quality. I must tell you though, if I was planting those standards in my garden, I would definitely be cutting them to around 10cms in length for their first season!

Yes, there are still lots of roses in the ground waiting to be dug because of extremely wet conditions so again, I urge you to be patient and I promise to contact you immediately the roses are available and ready to be collected/posted.


It is essential when planting new roses (and other plants) to blend compost with existing soil to the planting hole. Obtain a high-quality compost from your local garden centre or the Zoo (they supply great ‘zoo-poo’ compost and use funds for zoo projects – take some bags home next time you visit).

Use your own ‘home-made’ compost as long as it smells as good as it looks – never use smelly/steamy/gluggy compost which is in an anaerobic (still rotting) state. If your compost isn’t ready, buy bagged product!

When you add compost to the planting hole you can be sure of the following:

  • Supresses disease in plants
  • Retains nutrients and stops top-soil leaching
  • Regulates nutrient availability in plant establishment
  • Builds soil structure to reduce water use
  • Increases root depth of plants
  • Improves soil moisture access held in soil cavities which roots could not otherwise access.

Q. What do you call a donkey with only three legs? 

A. A wonkey

I’m slowly getting around to pruning the gardens – its such a joyous time and the results are beautiful to stand back and admire nicely pruned roses!

We’ll be down at the local WANDONG MEMORIAL PARK on this Sunday, 21st between 10am and 2pm – we’ll stop and have a sausage sizzle for lunch. Bring the kids, pets, secateurs and other pruning equipment … I’ll show you how to sharpen and clean them. Wear good warm clothing and we’ll be there, rain, hail or shine so come along and have fun with us!

Here are three gorgeous DAVID AUSTIN ROSES which haven’t hit the potting bench yet – they would make a stunning ‘group planting’ … yes, all pink but each one with a distinct variable to make a lovely statement of intense fragrance in your garden:

BROTHER CADFAEL – One of the strikingly beautiful aspects of this rose is the dark brown, almost thornless stems – this is a lovely rose to place in a vase!

THE ALNWICK ROSE – Drop the ‘L’ and the ‘W’ to say the name of this beauty which is ideal to grow as a medium-height hedge-row … stunning!

HERITAGE – with ICEBERG in the breeding, you have an incredibly free-flowering rose, lovely rounded shrub and … incredibly beautiful, fruity fragrance!

See you soon at Clonbinane … cheers from the team at Silkies 

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