The Rose Society of Victoria

Member society of the National Rose Society of Australia

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Non-members may safely ignore the following temporarily mysterious acronmyn:


Changes have been made to the Constitution (many thanks to David Beard), including a new mission statement for the RSV, and an updated Constitution.

A Special General Meeting to discuss and resolve only this matter, was held on Zoom on October 13th.

Here are the Minutes

A Message To all Victorians From The Governor

An email came to the RSV from the Programme and Projects office of Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, with a message from her.

I wanted to send a message to all Victorians.

Although we are all feeling the effects of the current COVID restrictions in different ways – in different regions, different businesses and sectors and within our own different households -there would not be one of us who is not affected by the challenges of COVID-19.

First and foremost, to those who have lost a loved one, and to those who are battling the illness, my husband Tony and I send our warmest wishes. Our thoughts – and the thoughts of your fellow Victorians – are with you.

To our frontline medical workers and paramedics, police, ADF, contact tracers and all those working so tirelessly to protect and care for us, once again we say ‘Thank you’ to you.

To our experts, scientists and researchers, we know how hard you continue to work – to analyse data, contribute to the development of a vaccine and to find new drugs and treatments. No-one is more committed than you to the breakthroughs that we all long for.

I am not sure how we can ever fully express our gratitude to all those who work in community organisations to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable amongst us are met. There is a vast army of you. You work to make our State better at all times. But there is no doubt that the difficulties of this pandemic would be so much harder without you.

To every single Victorian, I know that you are tired and tested in so many ways by this difficult battle, and all that it is demanding of you.

I hope there is some comfort in hearing the optimism of the experts that the current restrictions are what is needed to save lives, and to have us move to an easier footing as soon as we can.

I have said before that our fight against COVID is clearly a marathon and not just a sprint. The experience in countries and cities all over the world shows us that.

I am confident that our State can pull together and that we will look after each other to do these hard yards together…in the lockdown, and ahead in the recovery too. In the meantime, we wish you all well.

Take good care.

A message to us from the Governor

The RSV thanks the Governor for her thoughts and encouragement.

Victoria, Walled Garden State

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.”

Anne Frank

Anne Frank

Fortunate indeed are we if we can go outside, as many of us are once again confined to home, continuing the quiet contest against the spread of ‘Corona’.

It was hoped things might be safe enough for the RSV to recommence meetings come July. Time has really sprinted; it is now July, and it grieves us to have to admit that this would not at all be a safe moment to meet…nor is it possible to guess when might be.

We are so looking forward to resuming all our happy-making social activities around roses, so looking forward to seeing each other again. Dear member, we hope it will be soon.

As with increasingly leathery squeaky clean hands that crave cocoa butter, we keep being vigilant, keep up the distancing, we send warm smiles of encouragement. More power to us all.

We’ll keep you appraised of any updates as they come to light.

We WERE hoping to have the Spring Rose Show still…

…but we can’t

So sorry to have to cancel.

We’re still following a ‘maximum safety’ policy and avoiding bringing people together en masse. The Spring Rose Show being as well-attended as it always is, now works against us.

This just means we’re gathering impetus to make next year’s show doubly excellent. We will really celebrate, then. We will look forward to seeing you there.

A message from our patron…

HE the Governor of Victoria, the Hon. Linda Dessau AC and Mr Anthony Howard AM, QC:

It has certainly been a difficult start to the year, with parts of our State so heavily affected by bushfires and now the unprecedented challenge of COVID-19.

First and foremost, we care about the health and well-being of all Victorians and hope that those associated with our Patronages are safe and well cared for. We all need to stay across the advice of our health authorities, which are constantly updated and can be found at and

We have seen the anxiety in the community caused by COVID-19, and its effects. Of course, anxiety like this is understandable at a time of such uncertainty. But it is important, now more than ever, to remain calm and to work together.

It is a time too for gratitude to all those who are working so hard to look after our medical and emergency needs, to care for the vulnerable, to keep essential services running and to respond to this unfolding situation.

We are conscious that many of our Patronages are amongst those groups. We express to them the gratitude felt by all Victorians. We would be pleased if you would convey that to your members for us.

We are conscious too that a number of our Patronages will be celebrating particular anniversaries or achievements during this period, when large groups of people will be unable to gather together. Others will have members who are likely to feel acutely the cancellation of their normal events and activities. That, and the social distancing practices now in place, will often bring a sense of isolation. Each person, each organisation, will experience these upheavals in different ways. Our thoughts are with them all.

Please take care of each other. This is a time when we all need to check on family, neighbours, the elderly, workmates who are working off-site – anyone who might be alone or doing it tough.

We can’t gather together in person for now

Changes to events

To do our bit to limit the spread of the new Coronavirus the RSV have made three fairly big changes ([EDIT] actually four):

1. We won’t have our usual monthly meetings for the time being. We hope we may be able to start meetings again in July.

2. We won’t hold the Autumn Rose Spectacular this 2020 year ([EDIT] and now the Spring Rose Show has had to be cancelled too.)

3. There won’t be any rose pruning demonstrations this year.

This is all a little bit lonely and disappointing, it has to be admitted, but the more we all pull together (yet at a safe distance) right now the quicker we’ll be able to return to fun as usual. It’s up to us! Sit tight, take all possible care and we’ll stop it in its tracks.

As soon as things are fine again, we’ll resume monthly meetings, and when that time comes we’ll let everyone know. We’re very much looking forward to it!

There will regular updates here, so watch this space.

Something lovely to sing for just over 20 seconds hand-washing time:

Hold me close and hold me fast
The magic spell you cast
This is la vie en rose

When you kiss me, heaven sighs
And though I close my eyes
I see la vie en rose

New monthly meetings venue


Australia had a very rough time of it in the summer of 2020! We were in collective grief at the terrible pain across the country caused by bushfire.

Then we had a brief respite from heat which took the form of damaging hail, Our monthly meeting venue of many years was one of the places affected. The roof was broken and so it was arranged for the next few months to meet at the Mount Waverley Bowling Club instead.

Now, we’re staying at the bowling club for the foreseeable future.

Mount Waverley Bowling Club located on the corner of Alvie Road and Wadham Parade, Mount Waverley.

For navigational and parking details go to the monthly meetings page

2019 RSV Xmas Party Official Report

A beautiful prize

Well our dear RSV has ended the rosy year with heaps of fun, laughter and the happy company of friends, at the final meeting.

It was a really joyful party. We had a glorious dinner with an extraordinarily delicious selection of edibles contributed by culinary geniuses. There was general hilarity during the raffle with much coveting of the great rosy prizes. Lots of giggles also with Jacinta’s overseeing the quiz with intense competition and limited attention paid to hints referencing, as usual, The Rose News, our members’ journal. All the Spring Rose Show victors were anointed and burdened, in suffering, with silver trophies. Helen was a friendly and approachable speaker. It’s always fun to peruse the trading table and marvel at the perfection of the roses on the show bench, which participants lovingly take the trouble to prepare and transport and display for all. Rosalie’s floral arrangement was glorious.

It’s amazing what devotion and fellowship can accomplish. Thank you so much for this lovely gathering, all who generously put in your time energy and resources.

The vibe gets happier all the time. We have lots of new members and they bring loads of joy to our society, carrying us forward into the future, which in any sense you like, looks rosy!

An excellent Open Day at Rosemont

Last weekend, Maureen and Paul Lucas of Rowville had an open day in their famed garden ‘Rosemont’. This was very well attended; $642 was raised and has been contributed to support the fast-approaching 2021 World Rose Convention. Many thanks Maureen and Paul for this generous effort!

Rosemont is an organic garden. It was planned that way from the beginning, back in 1994, when the approximately 1/3 of an acre vacant block was full of English Ivy, brambles and Wattles. Clearing was followed by ‘no-dig’ layering of newspaper, manure, compost and mulch. Those were the days, when there was still newspaper!

The plants fortunate enough to live in Rosemont are many of them drought-friendly perennials and shrubs; any and all plants suitable for our hot, dry summers, such as succulents, cacti, hundreds of bulbs, Iris, Salvias, Pelargoniums, Clivias, Plectranthus along with of course perhaps 100 roses (which once established are also quite able to go it alone even in the heat and dry). Maureen’s name for the garden is ‘Garden of 10,000 plants’.

The garden is beautiful in every season and is designated an official ‘Garden for Wildlife’.

There are no toxic chemical pest controls – but there isn’t a pest problem, because the garden is in a state of ecological balance in which any annoying species are naturally controlled by other organisms. This means also that there is a beautiful feeling in the garden as it buzzes with joyous life, being host to precious native bees, frogs, lizards, perhaps 30 species of birds, and of course the odd possum.

Everything was created and constructed by the couple. The design of the garden was Maureen’s domain, while Paul is the builder of all the structures: the potting shed, fences and edging, decking and arches.

What delight, a paragon and a model for all gardens here in the southern parts of the country.

Maureen and Paul are members of the Rose Society of Victoria Inc. Maureen was a judge at the RSV Spring Rose Show this year. She is a National Horticultural Judge, the Garden Writer for The Senior Newspaper in Australia, Editor of the Australian Horticultural Judges’ Magazine and the Travel Writer for the local Rowville/Lysterfield News. She also freelances for other publications. Paul, who was a past President of the Knox Home Garden Club, is an accredited National Photographic Judge, an award-winning photographer and the photography writer for the Rowville/Lysterfield News. He is on the Committee of the Garden Clubs of Australia.

Vale Susan Irvine

In sight of her last bountiful Tasmanian spring, Susan Irvine died in the morning of 6 September, 2019.
Susan was born in Dalby, Queensland, far from the scent of roses and the glory that is spring in a cold climate. She obtained a B.A. in German and philosophy at the University of Queensland and did her post graduate work at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.
She taught in New South Wales and Tasmania before coming to Victoria, where she was head mistress of Lauriston Girls’ School from 1972 to 1982. She began work on the gardens at Bleak House in 1982. She was on the Council of Ornamental Plants Collections Association and was a member of the Rose Society.  She has written for the Age gardening page and the Australian Garden Journal. (Garden of a Thousand Roses—Making a Rose Garden in Australia)
Susan Irvine’s books, “Garden of a Thousand Roses”, ”A Hillside of Roses”, “Rose Gardens of Australia”, The Garden at Forest Hall” and Rosehips & Crabapples” all convey her great love for gardening and roses in her unique and winning style.
In the 1980s her growing passion for roses led her to establish the well-known gardens of Bleak House, Erinvale and in the 1990s the preservation of the historic house Forest Hall at Elizabeth Town, Tasmania. The renovation and extension of the garden at Forest Hall, is remembered with love, by all who knew Susan. ( Rosehips & Crabapples—A Rose-lover’s Diary)
In 1994 she was recipient of the Australian Rose Award for her work, in particular, in tracing and preserving lost roses of the distinguished Australian rose breeder, Alister Clark. She was also a Life Member of Heritage Roses in Australia and in 2006 was awarded their Deane Ross Memorial Award for her outstanding contribution to the promotion and interest in and knowledge of Australia’s old roses.
A memorial Service to celebrate Susan’s life, was held at the C. T. Finney Centre, 34 Nunamina Ave, Kings Meadows, on Friday, 13th September 2019.

Tom Lyons

Susan was greatly admired among all members of the RSV. We have her excellent books in our library- they continue to provide much delight and inspiration, and with gratitude and fondness we will always remember her warmth and approachability as well as her knowledge and intelligence.

Here is a great blog post about Susan to prompt a smile in this sad time:

Wonderful thorns, great hips and baby elephants all in a row…

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