A Saturday Steeped in Roses by Linda Kimmel


The morning of June 8 (Saturday) started off with a Horticulture Judging Seminar in the beautiful home and garden of Mark and Cathy Nolen.  Attendees came from near and far, including Ed Yesan from Collinsville, IL, Cheryl Pettus, Champaign, IL, Howard Carmen and Paula Williams from the countryside of Louisville, Ky. We were very happy to see Renee LaFollette back up and around, as well as Barbara Stauch.

Mark Nolen and John Hefner kick-started the morning with programs on judging rose horticulture, including topics concerning exhibition stage versus exhibition form, judging challenge classes and much more. Members practiced point scoring of several roses selected from the Nolen’s garden. After a beautiful lunch prepared by Cathy Nolen, Linda Kimmel leads the group in a lively game of Old Garden Rose Jeopardy. Mark polished off the afternoon with our final program including ethics. I think everyone went home with renewed enthusiasm and knowledge for judging roses. Thank you, Mark and Cathy Nolen, for hosting the Horticulture Judging seminar, sharing your beautiful home and garden, and for being such gracious host.


But the party does not stop on the south side of Indianapolis, it just moved to Brownsburg. After a lot of rain, Mother Nature provided a beautiful evening at the home of Teresa and Greg Byington for a pitch-in and self-guided garden tour. We are thankful for the 40 wonderful people that attended, of which four to six were new members.


A trellis loaded with ‘Peggy Martin’ blooms and others covered in ‘New Dawn’ rose and Etoile Violette clematis provided backdrops for Prom-like photo opps. ‘Mother of Pearl’ rose emerged as the Queen of the Prom with spectacular peachy-apricot blooms that were simply stunning. As she strolled down the red carpet, ‘Mother of Pearl’ was photographed like frenzied paparazzi at the Oscars.

There was food galore on the tables, lovely serenity views of a gorgeous rose garden and wonderful friends with great conversation. A perfect ending to a perfect day. Thank you, Greg and Teresa, for sharing your wonderful garden and home.

One thing that strikes me while at the Byington home, you can feel the love. You can feel the love that Teresa has for her roses and garden. You can feel the love that Greg and Teresa have for each other and their family. You can feel the love they share with their friends.


Rosefest: Learning and Growing!

Rosefest was a big success! Thanks to all who braved rain, storms, flood warnings and a tornado warning to join us.

Rose Preservationist, Connie Hilker, who chairs the Heritage and Preservation Committee of the American Rose Society, inspired us and encouraged us to get busy and be a part of the solution of sharing roses and their stories. DOWNLOAD CONNIE’S PROPAGATION NOTES HERE.


People of all ages were working like bees to learn Connie’s proven technique of rose propagation and left with their own cuttings from Peggy Martin or New Dawn from the beautiful Master Gardener Rose Garden. 


Teresa Byington, IRS president and grower of more than 200 roses from Hybrid Teas to Old Garden Roses and everything in between, shared her top 10 Easy Breezy Roses to an enthusiastic group who are eager to add more roses to their garden. One eager young man of 10 asked, “what is a ‘breezy’ rose.” It was fun! 

Andrew Fritz, Urban Agriculture Conservationist for the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District, gave a presentation on Backyard Composting. He shared tips on what to compost, different types of compost bins and how to keep critters out!

Members brought roses from their gardens to exhibit and guests voted on their favorites. 


We saw relationship building, note taking, idea sharing and enthusiasm for the Queen of Flowers making Rosefest a huge success for our society!

Thanks to Teresa Downham, Carolyn Lloyd, and Trudy Struck, for their work on the Hamilton County Master Gardener Rose Garden. It is the perfect place to have Rosefest!