Monday, August 27, 2018

The 2018 Oregon Association of Nurseries Farwest Show

This year's Farwest Show is in the bag, it's always fun to wander the show floor and and see what's upcoming in the industry — almost as much fun as it is to run into friends, new and old. Below is the Ball Horticultural booth, where for the fist time in memory I saw vegetables, usually this space is reserved for big colorful blooms.

Imagine that.

Suncrest Nurseries had their usual booth full of tempting beauties (many of them not hardy here in Portland)...

But they also had this smaller booth dedicated to edibles, as well as culinary and medicinal herbs.

"160 varieties — Chinese herbs, sages and fruits like strawberries, grapes and papaya. Quart sized and ready for market"

Elsewhere around the show, my crush on the ornamental peach continues. Both the purple leaf...

And the green.

'Autumn Fire' Stonecrop is certainly lush.

Little Prince of Oregon went with a fishing theme this year. There was a lot of wine in the booth as well...

Frogs in the boat!

Very creative...

The gills are Sempervivum leaves.

This booth cracked me up. It's an arborvitae fortress!

With a soft-serve ice cream swirl topiary at the center.

Love this pruned conifer...

And if the season were right (thank god it's not) this topped tree would make the perfect small Christmas tree, don't you think?

Speaking of friends, there's Lori and Richard of Garden Fever. Someone else had asked them to pose for a picture, so I took advantage of the moment.

Pennisetum purpureum 'Royal First Night'

The sign said hardy to Zone 7, could it be? I've never had a dark Pennisetum come back after winter. I'm not holding my breath on this one either.

Blooming had a few interesting things in their booth...

Like this "Purple Glory Bush" (Tibouchina urvilleana). It's not hardy here but that wouldn't stop me from enjoying those fuzzy leaves for a season.

Their display of Agaves and Mangaves was great, how do you fit more plants in a small space? Elevate them!

The Sunset booth was a hot-bed for running into friends. Not only Janet Sluis, who was working the booth, but at least a half-dozen others.

Less water, yep. That's definitely the way to go.

I was lucky enough to take home this Roman Candle™ Podocarpus to trial. Look for this beauty in future blog posts.

Okay I couldn't resist another photo, here it is at home...

Last summer Sunset sent me a pair of these Mahonia x media 'Marvel' to trial. I planted them out last August and even though they've received very little water this year, you'd never know it by looking at them, lots of bright green new growth. Oh and they're soft too! Perfect for those of you who might find the spikes of 'Charity' to be a little intimidating.

I took home one of these Dianella 'Clarity Blue' after last year's Farwest Show. It didn't get planted out until late May but didn't mind our summer heat at all (and it's got the best purple/blue berries on it right now - kind of like the ones shown here).

Then there's everybody's favorite, Platinum Beauty Lomandra...

And one of my long time favorites, Mahonia 'Soft Caress'...

Over in the Youngblood Nursery booth I was taken with this Choisya 'Goldstone', or as my friend Anna referred to it, a "ferny" Choisya. Plant lust tells me it's a Cistus introduction.

The plant of the show, IMHO, had to be the Fine Line Fern Leaf Buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula 'Ron Williams'), it was everywhere! It's a fabulous plant, mine was planted in 2013 and has been about as carefree as a plant can be. The only thing I've done is stake it after the winter of 2016/17 when a substantial ice load had it bending a bit.

Peace of Mind Nursery, Inc had an interesting display.

A decorative wall of conifer cuttings...

And they sell conifer necklaces too, as modeled by owner Dave Grotz.

Dave was an interesting fellow to talk with, his enthusiasm for what he's doing was definitely infectious.

They've got a cut-foliage program that sounds amazing (details here)

I loved seeing so many different types of cones and foliage all together like shown in their display, while I'm not a big conifer fan I do appreciate the variety and would love a bunch of different types like this to work with at the holidays.

The other booth that really grabbed my attention belonged to Fleurizon, they specialize in "starter material" for professional growers.

The way they displayed the plants was rather fun.

I loved it!

I asked about buying a couple of things when the show wrapped up, but the prices I was quoted were a bit steep, which is fine. It's not like I needed anything!

Always fun to look though...

With that I end my coverage of this year's OAN Farwest Show...

Weather Diary, Aug 26: Hi 68, Low 59/ Precip trace

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Lots of cool stuff at the show! The sempervivum-scaled fish is cool - Little Prince always does such a nice job. I kind of love the soft-serve swirl topiary. The Fleurizon bare root display is fascinating but gives me the urge to grab some pots and soil. Oh that purple-leaved ornamental peach...

    1. Ha! Performance art as Peter pots up all the bare-root plants...

  2. Looks like a wonderful show and I love the things you came home with this time and earlier. Mostly I can only dream about them. I did kill a fern leaf buckthorn years ago. Maybe I should give it another go. Such great foliage and skinny too.

  3. This show looks like a lot of fun, even though it's not geared to retail sales. I look forward to seeing that dark Pennisetum, as well as the 'Roman Candle' Podocarpus, show up down this way. As to Lomandra 'Platinum Beauty', it finally surfaced here in reasonably-priced 1-gallon containers. I'm afraid I broke my "no plant purchases other than succulents during the summer months" rule...

    1. Yay! Good for you. Plant purchases feed the soul... ;)

  4. Looks like that should is a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing all of the interesting displays. The 'Roman Candle' Podocarpus is a real beauty. Can't wait to see how you use it.

    1. I've changed my mind a few times already, about where to plant it.

  5. Looks like a great show. You definitely scored on the Roman Candle Podocarpus!

  6. Lots of interesting plants. I'll be eager to hear how that Dianella handles winter in your garden. That Podocarpus is a major score!

    1. I had a pair of Dianella prunina 'Rainbow Twist' that died after the winter of 2016/17. One of them was dug out because I wanted to plant something in that spot. The other one never was, and guess what, totally came back from the roots.


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