Time for the Indianapolis Rose Society Annual Rose Sale!

Planting season will be here before you know it! Here are the roses the Indianapolis Rose Society will have for sale. Place you order now to get the ones you want.

Most of these varieties are not available locally — and definitely not at this low price!

Price: $18

First Come / First Serve / Limited Quantity

Contact Carol asap at to have your favorites held!

Big thanks to our President Linda Kimmel for finding a new source for us and getting us a better price! (And for volunteering to pick the roses up!)

169246115_c12f6ab477_zCherry Parfait / Hybrid Tea / Continuous Bloomer

 Jasmina / Climber / Fragrant
 White Dawn / Climber
Zephirine Drouhin / Climbing Bourbon / Fragrant
all-the-rage09-cropped All The Rage / Easy Care Shrub
Happy Go Lucky / Grandifloria / Fragrant / Full Old Fashioned Cupped Blooms
 Moje Hammarberg / Rugosa / Hardy / Disease Resistant / Fragrant
Peachy Keen / Easy Care Landscape Shrub
Tahitian Treasure / Grandiflora / Disease Resistant
Traviata / Disease Resistant Hybrid Tea
Golden Fairy Tale / Tall Floribunda / Disease Resistant
 Pretty Lady Rose / Fragrant Hybrid Tea
Icecap / Easy Care Shrub
 Quietness / Dr. Buck / Easy Care / Fragrant
Polar Express / Shrub / Fragrant / Disease Resistant
Watercolors / Easy Care Shrub
 Popcorn Drift / Easy Care Shrub
 Gaye Hammond / Shrub / Hardy / Disease Resistant
  Dick Clark / Grandiflora

Don’t forget… Contact Carol at to have your favorites held!


See you Tuesday, March 14  for our kickoff to the 2017 growing year. Dr. Mark Windham will get us started off right! Read more about that evening here.


From the President

“The flowers of tomorrow are the seeds of today” (Indian proverb). We could say, the rose society of tomorrow is grown today. For the past two years, our board of directors has focused on growing our rose society and membership. I must say, 2016 was phenomenal! We received 17 new memberships last year and now our goal is to continue growing and retaining new and old members. Our mission is education, “dedicated exclusively to the cultivation and enjoyment of roses.”  We are rising to the challenge to offer something for everyone. The ever-popular round table discussion group will be back. And, our 2017 theme is “Back to the Basics”. Come learn, share and enjoy. We are going to have a GREAT 2017 year.

Our 2017 Kickoff…

TUES, MARCH 14, 6:30 pm
Sullivan Munce Center / 225 W Hawthorne St / Zionsville
SPEAKER: Dr. Mark  Windham 
(Distinguished Professor of Plant Pathology / UT Knoxville)
PROGRAM: Soil Prep, Planting & Rose Rosette Update

Come join us! All our meetings are open to the public!

Linda Kimmel


He’s Back by Popular Demand!

Spring is just around the corner and visions of roses are dancing in our heads! Our society theme for this year is BACK TO THE BASICS! And, we are starting off with a BANG…

TUESDAY, MARCH 14 / 6:30 pm


Dr. Mark Windham, Distinguished Professor in Ornamental Pathology at the University of Tennessee, will be back with us to kickoff the new year! He was with us last year and spoke to a packed house!

Don’t miss this entertaining and knowledgeable speaker. The delightful Dr. Windham will talk to us about soil preparation and getting our roses off to a good start. He will also give us an update on Rose Rosette Disease! If anyone can make soil and a rose rosette update fun and interesting, he can! Remember last year when he had us in “stitches” over Rose Rosette?? And, we thought that was impossible! 🙂

Sullivan Munce Cultural Center
225 W Hawthorne Street
Zionsivlle, IN.



Our full 2017 schedule will be released in about a week or so when everything is confirmed!

I can tell you that Rosefest 2017, the Wine and Roses Party, member garden tours, the ever popular fun door prizes and much more is coming your way!!

And, there will be yummy snacks! Marilyn and her crew are so good at what they do!

Help us spread the word!

All our meetings are open to the public and this one will be of particular interest to all gardeners. Everyone is welcome!

See you on March 14th.

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!
  • irs-logo_website


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!