2016 Year in Review

2016 was an outstanding year for our society. So many opportunities to learn, grow  and just enjoy the many facets of roses. And, best of all, opportunities to spend time with wonderful rose friends!

Let’s take a walk down memory lane… Click on any of the pictures to activate the gallery feature–making the pictures much larger to enjoy! There were so many things that we “forgot” to take pictures of, but we vow to do better next year! And, if you have a smart phone or camera — bring them to events and take pictures!


Get ready! 2017 plans are being made and you won’t believe how much fun we will have!

Looking forward to 2017!


2017 is coming! And there is so much to be excited for!

  • 2017 National Garden Bureau Plant of the Year is the Rose! Details here.
  • 2017 Pantone Color of the Year is GREENERY a wonderful “gardeny” color! More here.
  • 2017 IRS Theme for the year is BACK TO THE BASICS. We will will cover all the basics and so much more during our meetings.
  • 2017 kick off Indianapolis Rose Society meeting speaker is Dr. Mark Windham. Back by popular demand! This time he’ll be talking about garden soil and getting our roses off to a good start as well as a Rose Rosette Update! MARK YOU CALENDAR for Tuesday, March 14 @ 6:30 pm.
  • In 2017 the society will have so many lovely roses to sell at a discounted rate!
  • In 2017 we will continue the popular end-of-meeting raffles! Prizes Prizes Prizes
  • In 2017 we will continue to meet at the Sullivan Munce Cultural Center in lovely downtown Zionsville. Address here. 
  • 2017 Rosefest has been scheduled for Sat, June 10 at the Hamilton County Fairgrounds again in conjunction with the HCMGA Tea in the Rose Garden. Don’t miss this!
  • In 2017 we can’t wait to be back together!
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Virginia Bischoff, the Rose Whisperer

-Linda Kimmel

I would like to introduce my good friend and mentor, Virginia Bischoff. Virginia has been an Indianapolis Rose Society member since 1953, 63 years! September 17th, she celebrated her 96th birthday. Happy Birthday, Virginia!


Virginia at a recent rose society meeting. We are all so honored to know her!

I first met Virginia at the Flower and Patio show at the Indianapolis fairgrounds in the spring of 1991. She had already been a rose society member for nearly 40 years. She was working the Rose Society booth. At the time, I had twelve roses and thought I was a big time rose grower. I stopped and chatted with her. I remember thinking, “that woman knows what I need to know.”  I had been checking out and reading rose books from the local library for information, but there is nothing like talking to a real person that lives in your locale. I took the membership application form and purchased a “Successful Rose Growing in Indiana” booklet ($3.00).  Not sure how I managed it, but I promptly lost the membership application before I got home. I had no idea how to reach the Indianapolis Rose Society. I waited a full year and went back to the Flower and Patio show, specifically to meet Virginia again. I thought my chances were pretty slim, like lightening striking twice, of finding her. But low and behold, she was standing behind the Indianapolis Rose Society booth talking to attendees. The booth was busy with information seekers and I couldn’t get all my questions answered. So this time, I took a membership application and managed to complete it and joined up. Virginia and I became instant friends. I loved to ask questions and she loved to talk about rose growing.  Once, she leaned over to me and whispered, “the secret is in soil.” I have never forgotten that important tidbit of information, because “THE SECRET IS IN THE SOIL.”  To have a great rose garden, the soil must be great. Take care of your soil and your roses will flourish.

After buying a tank sprayer on wheels (not a good Mantis but a less expensive version), a high-maintenance piece of equipment, it seemed something was always broken. As I whined on the phone about my broken sprayer, wasted money and the two weeks wait for a replacement part, Virginia said, “are you going to be home for a few minutes?” “Yes”, I replied. “I’ll be right there”, she said. In about half-hour, Virginia and Francis showed up at my house with an Atomist sprayer. “Here you go, use it as long as you need it,” Virginia offered. I loved that sprayer, minus the long extension cord it required. It was certainly economical on chemicals, requiring half of what I was using. What a kind and helpful gesture from the Bischoffs.

The first American Rose Society National Rose Show and Conference that I attended was in Shreveport, LA (1993), Virginia introduced me to everyone she knew, saying “this is a good one, she is a keeper.”  I was so green, I didn’t know how to read a show schedule, but Virginia saw something in me that was worthwhile.

I was invited to Francis and Virginia’s house many times to look at their roses, talk roses and to observe Francis’s hybridizing program. Francis kept a meticulous log of his rose crosses, focusing on miniatures. When the time was right, Francis would harvest the hips, store the seeds in a refrigerator and then plant the rose seed under artificial lights in his basement during the winter months. I remember looking at several flats of rose seedlings, growing under lights during February and March. What a fabulous site, a few were showing buds and some were blooming!

Francis had six miniature roses that were commercialized and marketed:

‘Ginny’ (1981), was named for Virginia.  It had good exhibition form, as did all of Francis’ marketed roses. ‘Ginny’ was classed as a red and white blend with 45 petals; I remember it as a white with vivid red edges and high pointed center. The cross was ‘Little Darling’ x ‘Toy Clown.’

‘Sadler’ (1983). Virginia said a man gave Francis a $100. to name a rose after him and the rose now bears his last name. The ‘Sadler’ rose is orange-pink with good exhibition form and 43 petals. It was a cross between ‘Fabergé’ (floribunda, Boerner, 1969) x ‘Darling Flame.’

‘Penny Annie’ (1983) was named after Dr. Lyle’s bulldog. It is light pink with 35 petals and classic hybrid tea bloom form.  It is a cross between ‘Little Darling’ x Unnamed seedling.

‘Marty’s Triumph’ (1985) was named after a rose friend, who was battling cancer. It was to signify Marty’s triumph over cancer. The rose is Orange-pink with a mild fragrance. It is a small, double (17-25 petals), flat bloom form. It was described as “a new and distinct variety of miniature rose plant, characterized by bright coral pink buds and blooms with pale pink reverse. It is a vigorous, compact plant with abundant glossy green foliage.” It is a cross between ‘Little Darling’ x Unnamed seedling.

‘JuJu’ (1996) is named after Jack Walter’s (Kimbrew-Walters Roses) grand-daughter. It is red blend with medium-full (26-40 petals) hybrid tea bloom form. It is a cross of ‘Little Darling’ X ‘Black Jade’ (miniature, Bernadella 1985).

‘Lida O’ (1997) is named after Virginia’s mother. It is classed as “yellow”, but I remember it being a creamy pale yellow. Again, it has great exhibition form. I won the best mini rose bowl with a ‘Lido O,’ back in the day when our rose shows were held in the gymnasium at St. Luke United Methodist Church. “Lida O” is a cross of ‘Party Girl’ x ‘Miss Dovey’. Incidentally, ‘Party Girl’ was hybridized by Harm Saville in 1997 and was named after Jan Shivers, a longtime member of the Indianapolis Rose Society.

There were many miniature roses that Francis deemed not worthy because they were too big to be miniatures and too small to be floribundas. Ben Williams, a rose nurseryman, was having the same experience. Ben saw a future for these oversized miniature roses and trademarked the name “Mini-Flora” (1977). Williams offered the name to the American Rose society but was turned down. 22 years later, the American Rose Society accepted the Mini-Flora trademark as a gift; and, the miniflora rose was established as a formal classification of a new type of modern roses (1999). The spelling was changed from Mini-Flora to miniflora to match grandiflora, etc. I only wish that we had some of those beautiful roses that Francis discarded because they were too big for the miniature classification of the day.

Virginia said, “Francis was the hybridizer.” “I liked to exhibit.” Virginia won Queen of the Show at Columbus, OH, 1974, with ‘Uncle Joe’. It was her first and only national queen. ‘Uncle Joe is a dark red beauty with strong fragrance. It was hybridized in 1972 and is a strong contender on the rose show table still today. Displaying nearly 80 petals, ‘Uncle Joe’ has a very large, globular bloom that takes its own sweet time opening.

Virginia served as IL-IN District director for a total of seven years (1976-1983). She finished out a year for a director that became ill, then served two, 3-year terms (6 years). She has fond memories of being the District Director, chuckling “they teased me all the time.” Virginia received the Silver Honor Medal (1973), and Francis received the Silver Honor in 1984. Virginia also received the Outstanding Consulting Rosarian from the District in 1984. At the local level, Virginia served as Indianapolis Rose Society President in 1969 and 1971. Both Virginia and Francis received the Award of Honor (preceded the Bronze Medal) from the Indianapolis Rose Society.

Thank you, Virginia, for being my Rose Whisperer, for whispering rose secrets over the years. I will never match all of your accomplishments in the rose world, but I’m definitely a better rose grower with your friendship and mentoring.


COMING OCT 11, 2016

NOTE: Our program has changed for October! Diane Brueckman had to cancel.


NEW! Joyce Durbin Miller comes highly recommended and will talk to us about herbs. The rose is an herb too, so this will be right down our alley! Did you know that in 2012 The International Herb Association named the rose as Herb of the Year? You can read more about that HERE. Come help us make our guest speaker feel right at home!

Our VP Teresa Byington is just back from judging at the Biltmore International Rose Trial and she will have an update about that. Add to that voting on our officers for 2017 and our ever popular Roundtable Discussion lead by Humberto DeLuca on 2016 Successes and Failures, and this is a evening not to be missed!

This will be our last meeting until our Awards / Christmas Banquet on Friday, December 2.  It has been an amazing year with a room packed full of rose friends. Once our 2017 officers are decided on, we will get to working on another great year! 


TUES, OCTOBER 11, 6:30 pm 

Sullivan Munce Center  /  225 W Hawthorne St / Zionsville

Welcome & Announcements: Linda Kimmel, President

2017 Officers: The slate of 2017 officers will be presented and voted on.


  • Herbs by  Joyce Durbin Miller
  • Report on Biltmore Rose Trial by Teresa Byington
  • Roundtable: Humberto DeLuca / 2016 Successes & Failures

Door Prizes/Raffle


Awards Banquet / Christmas Party
Friday, December 2
Rathskeller Restaurant (Details here.)
Please RSVP to Humberto here.

Please share this post with others via email or social media! The more the merrier. And, be sure people know that all our meetings are open to the public!

See you there!

Programs, Prisons and pH!


The Indianapolis Rose Society is hosting Eloisa Garza. Eloisa is in charge of the gardening program at the Plainfield Correctional facility, where inmates are provided with satisfying work, marketable skills and an opportunity to grow fresh food. Also, John Hefner will present a session on fall care and overwintering roses.  All of our meetings are open to the public! Come and join us to hear about this wonderful gardening program!


  • Location: Sullivan Munce Center  /  205-225 W Hawthorne St / Zionsville
  • Welcome: Linda Kimmel, President
  • Program: Eloisa Garza / Prison Garden Program
  • Roundtable: John Hefner / Fall Care & Winterizing / pH Soil Testing
    Everyone who wants a soil test, See notes from John below!
  • Door Prizes/Raffle
 pH Soil Testing
To receive accurate results…
  • Bring soil that is moderately moist in a plastic or styrofoam container.
  • The container should be at least 4” in depth to accommodate the pH meter.
  • Do not use metal containers as they may affect the results.
  • Obtain samples from different locations within a bed and mix together within each sample.
  • Since pH readings may vary from each bed, samples should be taken from each bed location.



Carol Tumbas gave a wonderful program on cooking with roses and the history of rose fragrance. She also shared with us delicious treats with roses and rose flavoring in the recipes.


Our members also brought roses from their gardens to share!






Ruby, our rose society mascot and President Linda Kimmel, “got the memo” and were very color coorindated!


VP Teresa Byington shared a picture of rose flavored ice cream she had recently made. You can find that recipe here.


We look forward to seeing you on Sept 13!

The incredible, edible rose!

Join us for our next meeting!


Tuesday, August 9, 6:30 pm

Sullivan Munce Center
205 W Hawthorne St / Zionsville


Carol Tumbas will present a program on edible roses and rose fragrance. We hear there will be some yummy rose food to sample!



Humberto DeLuca will lead a discussion on pests and diseases we are dealing with and ways members are treating them. Bring your questions and your suggestions!


We will end our evening with some fun door prizes. Be sure to get a ticket when you sign in!

We look forward to seeing you!

Have questions? Contact us at indplsrosesoc@gmail.com.



Rosefest was a great day!

From start to finish Rosefest was a great opportunity to share information about our favorite hobby. Not only did we share information we also displayed rose blooms and arrangements for the public to enjoy. The attendees chose their favorite blooms and arrangements in many classes as well as their favorite entry. Many members stated that the event was the best staged show ever. At the end of the day we had 6 new members and a ton of new rose friends!

Our location proved to be perfect. Inside the Hamilton Co. Exhibition Center  the rooms were exactly what we needed for our rose displays and lecture series. Just outside the door was the Hamilton County Master Gardener Association rose garden. The garden was in full bloom and a perfect compliment to a day of rose education and fun–especially the gorgeous Peggy Martin Rose which was very significant since Peggy was was one of our speaker! A big shout out to Monica Taylor and her team for giving our area a beautiful educational rose garden to enjoy.

There were three excellent programs on Earth-Kind® and easy-to-grow roses for our climate  (US Hardiness Zones 5 – 6) presented by noted experts, Peggy Martin from the New Orleans Old Garden Rose Society, Gaye Hammond, from the Houston Rose Society and Indiana’s own, Carol Tumbas.

Quote from Gaye Hammond, our featured speaker on the Earth-Kind rose program.

“Congratulations to the Indianapolis Rose Society and the Hamilton County Master Gardeners for putting on one tremendous weekend of roses! Everything down to the tiniest detail was perfectly executed. All program attendees received their own seedling of the Peggy Martin Rose as part of their registration fee.  Thanks to John Hefner for moderating the educational programs. Volunteers from the Indianapolis Rose Society put on a fantastic floral display for the public to enjoy. Hundreds of roses of every kind, color and style filled the hall.  Rose society members stationed themselves around the hall and were busy all day answering questions posed by the almost 100 visitors. Thanks also to the American Rose Society for giving each of our new members a free ARS trial membership.”

Our board will be meeting in the next couple of weeks to assess this festival and begin making plans for next year. A huge thank you to all of you who participated! For those that were not able to be there, we missed you and look forward to having you join us next year!

If you have comments or suggestions please email them to indplsrosesoc@gmail.com.

Enjoy some of the pictures from our day of roses!


Voting Intense at Arrangement Table 6-11-16.JPG








Our next event is a Wine and Roses Party at the home of Mark and Cathy Nolen.

RSVP: 317-859-4142 or markbnolen@comcast.net

Pitch-in: Bring your favorite wine and a hearty appetizer.

For more event information, read on here.

For those on social media, join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!