Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Farwest Show 2010, Part 2

The New Varieties Showcase at the Farwest Show features just that, new varieties of plants in four different classifications: Perennials & Grasses, Shrubs, Annuals & Tender Perennials, and Trees. Last year we were asked to vote for our favorite in each class. This year we got to just vote for our top three plants. Much easier! My votes went to: ‘Purple Haze’ Melianthus major, zones 8-10... ‘Gold Strike’ Lily of the Nile, zones 7-10... And ‘Burgandy Bunny’ Dwarf Fountain Grass (I apologize for the bad photos, it was very dark and hard to get a good shot!), zone 6-?.... I have to say it was also easier for me to make my decision this year because there weren’t as many interesting plants to choose from. Ah well.

The booth design featured succulent pyramids and columns. The Hakonechloa on the top of the pyramids reminded me of troll doll hair (that’s not to say it’s bad, I have fond memories of my troll doll collection and this made me smile).And the Hakonechloa on the columns? It looked like car wash brushes or feather dusters to me...if you can't have a little fun with plants then what can you have fun with! But did you notice that random large slab in the floor pattern? Edged by rocks? Here is a close up. Dangerous! People are walking along looking at the plants not at what their feet are resting on. Such a hazard, I’d be surprised if at least one ankle wasn’t twisted here. I know I’m hyper sensitive to these things (after breaking my ankle last winter) but I hope that booth designers exercise a little more caution in the future. Ok…enough ranting, back to the plants.

I’d be very surprised if this Coloropsis Jive Tickseed doesn’t take home top billing. While I didn’t vote for it, it seems everyone else was positively infatuated with the little blooms. It was everywhere at the show. The designers also worked at least one of the winners from last year into the display, this Ptilotus x ‘Platinum Wallaby’ was one of last year’s favorites.I was very excited when I saw a white/yellow version in the Proven Winners booth… Ptilotus nobilis. Aren't they just adorable? Other things I wanted to take home with me included this Eucomis 'Freckles' in the Terra Nova booth (no luck, all their plant material was already sold). These tree fern stumps in the Mr. Fern booth. These babies came all the way from Australia!
And I was head over heels for this simple little green stool. I asked if they would part with it but no such luck, turns out it was their only sample.
The Plug & Play booth (actually called the Plug Connection) was where I really fell in love though. Not only was their booth extremely colorful and a fun design…
…but they had a new Agave that was calling my name! Agave attenuata Ray of Light
…and then this Beschorneria joined in the chorus too (Beschorneria Flamingo Glow). At first glance I thought it was a Yucca ‘color guard’ but as I really looked at it and touched it realized it was not and just how cool it was. Lust.
I went back right before closing on Saturday and asked if they would consider parting with the both of them, after all that way they wouldn’t have to haul them back to California, right!? Well they did….they both became mine for a song!
They were green house grown from tissue culture and are both approximately 14 months old.

I got extra geeky when I got home and looked them up online to learn more. Besides the Plug Connection the only other listing I could find for both was from San Marcos Growers (and you know how I feel about them! Love them!)…across the top of their page was this message in bright red letters: THIS PLANT IS IN PRODUCTION BUT NOT YET AVAILABLE - THIS LISTING FOR INFORMATION ONLY

OMG…and I have them in my garden! So lucky…


  1. WAY TO SCORE!!! Nice plants.

  2. Dammit, Loree! Uh, that was in reference to the troll doll reference you made (remember, they were called dammit dolls?) and not your amazing plant coup. I'm putting both those plants on my wanted list. And I really prefer that white joey thingie to the pink one. And, yes, that green ceramic stool is gorgeous! Great plant show report.

  3. what spectacular and interesting plants - looks like a great show.

  4. Love the display work in the New Varieties area - it's really intriguing, not to mention colorful and funny. I definitely get the troll doll connection!

    You are just the one to talk Plug Connection into re-homing their traveling plants. Way to go! Tissue-culture sounds like it would be an interesting propagation method to learn more about, even if it takes a lab or something in order to do it.

  5. You are so sly, popping back at closing time. No, not sly. SMART! Way to go. They are both gorgeous.

  6. Lucky you, other gardeners will be envious. I am glad that the power that be granted home gardners access. They should have done this years ago.

  7. sooo jealous

  8. That variegated lily of the nile is dangerous! It I see those myself I'll end up buying every last one!

  9. WOW lucky you! glad you were able to expand your collection with vey exclusive finds :)

  10. The variegated a. attenuatas are hard to find here, and when you find them they are super expensive. I just saw a tiny one in a 4" pot at the Cactus and Succulent show at the LA Arboretum and it was $50. That's too rich for my blood.

    The one that you got looks huge by comparison. Congratulations.

  11. Knowledge is power! You have educated yourself to zero in on the true finds, and worked hard enough to become "lucky". Way to go, Loree...and thanks for being our eyes and ears at the show.

  12. Uh yeah, Lucky is right. How nice of the vendors to share them with you. And they look so great together.

    Love the unfurling tree ferns. Lust!!

    I bet that Coreopsis isn't hardy. None of the new ones I've tried have survived the winter except 'Heaven's Gate.' I hope I'm wrong.

    I think your voting choices were good ones.

  13. kate, thank you! I love them!

    Denise, no...I don't remember them being dammit dolls!!! I feel so, well, uncool!!! I do hope you find those plants for your garden. You will be able to put them into the ground where they could really enjoy life...here they'll be living a little frustrated.

    Stevie, it was! I can't wait for next year.

    MulchMaid, can you imagine if we could come up with a neighborhood lab we shared? We would be dangerous!

    Les, actually they didn't. Last year I was part of an invited group, I don't think they did it this year. I was an actual paying "industry professional" (media - for plant lust) this year.

    RFG, I hope that you can find them!

    Mary C, me too!

    Party Valley Heights, thank you. I do have a variegated one that I bought a few years back, it is a lot smaller and did cost a lot more. I scored with this one.

    thank you ricki!

    Grace, interesting...I didn't even look at the hardiness since I know nothing about that plant...now I wish I would have. To think that everyone was swooning over a non-hardy little flower would be odd.


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