The late legendary hybridizer Frank Benardella of New Jersey and former American Rose Society president had both of his 2008 Award of Excellence (AOE) winning mini-floras ‘Show Stopper’ and ‘Power Point’ make the Horizon Roses Honor Roll. These two roses join the miniatures ‘Soroptimist International’ and ‘Kristin’ and the mini-flora ‘Leading Lady’ as roses that Frank has hybridized to make the Honor Roll. Frank’s roses will have a lasting impact in rosarians’ gardens and on the show tables for many years to come.
The apricot blend ‘Show Stopper’ was bred from the floribunda ‘Lorena’ and his own AOE winning miniature rose ‘Baby Boomer’. I feel ‘Show Stopper’ is Frank’s best mini-flora show rose, because when it’s good very few roses can match the mesmerizing spiral and form. In the garden, the plant is vigorous and upright but not overly tall or bushy and has nice oversized dark green foliage on thick canes. Like all roses, ‘Show Stopper’ does have some minor faults such as its susceptibility to blackspot if left unsprayed and it seems to have a tendency to form only one leaf set under the bloom. Statistics compiled by RoseShow.com has ‘Showstopper’ with 24 recorded Queens at the end of 2012 and as the 7th ranked mini-flora show rose. This spring in the Penn-Jersey District ‘Show Stopper’ won the mini-flora Queen twice (Hearne – Greater Harrisburg RS and Bolar – Del-Chester RS).
The bright red mini-flora ‘Power Point’ is the product of Frank’s 2001 miniature Award of Excellence winner ‘Ruby’ and the 1998 All-American Rose Selection hybrid tea ‘Timeless’. In 2011, ‘Power Point’ won seven Queens, but unfortunately, 2012 was a down year for ‘Power Point’ as no Queens were recorded and dropped seven spots to the 16th ranked mini-flora rose. In total ‘Power Point’ has 15 credited Queens (RoseShow.com). Roses typically perform very well, both in the garden and on the show table, in the area where they were hybridized. The exception to this, as far as a show rose goes, is ‘Power Point’. As many local rose shows as I have either attended or exhibited at, I don’t recall ‘Power Point’ ever making the court in the Penn-Jersey District. Frank’s more recent introduction the bright orange-red ‘Powerhouse’ has seen more success in the Penn-Jersey District up to this point. I personally would not be surprised to see that rose eventually make Honor Roll.