Monday, August 26, 2019

The Oregon Association of Nurseries 2019 Farwest Show

Another Farwest "national nursery and greenhouse trade show" has come and usual it's the people who come to town for the show make it such a great experience. This year I was privileged to be part of the team that judged the various booths at the show. I wish I'd been smart enough to walk around and take photos of the winners, but I wasn't. If you're curious you can see them here, just click the right arrow to go through all the different categories. Here are a few of the other things that stood out to me at the show...

This booth belonged to Tree Town USA, a name I was not familiar with.

Although I do know of the two nurseries they've recently acquired, Village Nurseries and Hines Growers. Mergers and acquisitions was a topic I discussed with more than a few people at this show. Lots of changes ahead in the nursery industry.

This gorgeous Agave macroacantha was at the Tree Town booth, I asked if they would sell it to me—many nurseries will off-load plants they don't want to haul home on the last day of the show—but sadly (for me) they weren't selling. Instead the plants were all bound for another show. Oh well.

Next I wandered over to the New Varieties Showcase. This is always an interesting stop. What new version of an old plant will be on show this year? (see them all here)

Brunnera macrophylla ‘Queen of Hearts’ was impressive, for its leaf size alone. I wish I liked white variegation.

I didn't know salad was part of the showcase, where's the dressing and fork?

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis ‘AH-21’ PPAF aka Hollywood™ Hibiscus Rico Suave™ (rolls off the tounge doesn't it?). This beauty is being touted for long lasting blooms, compact habit, glossy green foliage, high bud count AND "limited to no requirements for plant growth regulator (PGR) applications to be market ready" WHAT!? Okay that's kind of a mood killer. Oh and it's only Zone 9 hardy.

This one looked freaky in the promotional photos I saw (here) but a redbud for small gardens is something I can get behind. Not that I have space.

Peppy Le Pom™ ornamental pomegranate. Cute, but wouldn't you rather grow a pomegranate you can eat?

Moving on to other booths...I liked those planters with the legs, on the right.

And this! Edelweiss, aka Leontopodium alpinum, and yes, that's as "bloomy" as it gets.

The edelweiss was at the Perennial Passion booth, nice people, fun to chat with. Isn't that the feeling you're supposed to get at a trade show?

This booth on the other hand, which I won't name but some of you might recognize the labels, wow. I went to take a photo of that succulent on the bottom left (Cotyledon orbiculata var. oblonga) picking it up to read the label and placing it back down slightly out from the group—so you could really see it in the photo—and one of the guys manning the booth came over and pushed it back with his foot as I was bent over. As though my moving it a few inches forward was offensive. I would have certainly pushed it back when I was done, thank you very much...

In the Simnitt Nursery booth this Rhododendron 'Ebony Pearl' was looking luscious.

The Walla Walla nursery booth is always fabulous.

There were a couple of times I thought "wow, I smell pot"... and there it was...

Meet Little Miss Figgy’ Dwarf Fig from the Sunset Western Garden collection.

Only 4-8 ft tall and 3-4 ft wide.

Another small shrub they'll be introducing in 2020, Bambina, a small pineapple guava!

Asimina triloba 'Shenandoah', I had no idea pawpaw foliage is so attractive.

I loved this booth, Fleurizon, when it was new to me last year, and still love it this year.

Especially the moon cactus laying there looking all vulnerable.

Blurry photo but I had to include it anyway, just in case there's someone out there with a few thousand extra dollars that they want to spend on me. Oregon Diesel Imports is where you can make my dreams come true...

What the? I don't know. There wasn't anyone in the booth to explain.

Another blurry photo but I'm kind of excited about the "root pouch" I picked up at the OBC Northwest Inc booth. Read about them here if you're curious.

Finally I end this post with one of the most disturbing, yet memorable, booths...

The Oregon Soil and Water Conservation District really managed to grab your attention with this display of "soiled" underwear.

Join in the fun! Here's how...

Weather Diary, Aug 25: Hi 79, Low 59/ Precip tbd

All material © 2009-2019 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Haha! I love the idea of burying cotton briefs to test soil health. I sometimes think it would be fun to attend the Farwest show, but then I read posts like this and they take me back to all the trade shows I HAD to attend when I was working as a journalist. Just one more thing about that job that I disliked. Plant growth regulator...Grrrr.

    1. You should, someday. It's fun to see the business side of things.

  2. I have friends who use the soil root pouch to grow their veggies and flowers and swear by them. At the end of the season the soil gets dumped in the garden and the pots fold up. No heavy lifting required.
    Have tried the cotton underwear trick in my compost pile. Not sure what the neighbours think when bits of leftover underwear are temporarily hung along the fence.

    1. I remember a friend using them to plant tomatoes, she loved them! (the root pouch, not underwear....)

  3. What does it mean that I did not really see anything that grabbed my attention.? Why hybridize a small Redbud when they are such a delicate looking tree full grown and so easy to prune so you have planting space underneath. I grow Brunnera 'Alexander's Giant' which i am guessing is similar to the one in the show. When you can't grow all those silver and dusky blue plants, you have to go for white variegation.

    1. Well it means that you and I are drawn to different things. This is only a tiny part of the overall show.

  4. The soil conservation district campaign is genius: unforgettable, funny, and very effective. By far my favorite takeaway from the show.

    Pawpaws are attention-grabbing even in the wild because they're so different from the look of most native trees in the eastern US. They're a tropical relic that managed to hang on and adapt to cold winters. 'Shenandoah' is a tasty and small-seeded variety, valuable qualities if growing for personal eating rather than for wildlife.

  5. I couldn't shake off my anger at the jerk who was so aggressive toward you. Hopefully, you were able to enjoying the rest of the show.
    I'm extremely fond and proud of my (3) Brunnera jack frost. I'd like to think of the variegation as silver-pale green, but I'd love them at any color. Although 3 tries with new Rhodies didn't end well, Ebony Pearl is intriguing and may convince me give it a shot.

    1. Oh yes, there were so many good, friendly, people there. No way one asshole was going to ruin it for me.

  6. Hmm, I do recognize those plant labels. Sad that the guy was so rude. Hope you're enjoying the sunshine & warmth!

    1. Loving it! Although I really should get outside and water a few things while it's cool this morning...

  7. Always fun to see what are the latest new things. Loved the soil test!

  8. This is a one very interesting trade show. I recall seeing photos of something like that Root Pouch used to grow masses of dahlias by a flower farmer with limited space. That soil test is simultaneously hilarious and oh so compelling.

    1. Right? They really came up with a great way to grab our attention!

  9. Big fail on the part of the booth dude reprimanding your photo op. I mean what if you were a plant buyer ?? That would be off putting as hell. I zoomed in as much as possible on the label but could not make it out.If this was a Norcal grower that my company buys from I'd be happy to tattle on the guy. I would sure love to go to this show again someday but another tradeshow I have to attend is almost always the same week as this one.

    1. Well hopefully some year the two shows will no coincide and you can come on up to P-town...


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