Okay, in the interest of full disclosure if I turned back the other direction (towards a lower level of parking) there was this...
But still, I knew this was not going to be a normal show. I'd already talked with friends—both attendees and vendors—who had decided not to go because COVID cases are ramping up here in Oregon and across the country.
I seriously thought about staying home, but curiosity got the better of me. I did my ankle PT exercises and headed out to do a quick check on the state of the nursery business, and I'm glad I did.
I was happy to see the traditional saguaro topiary at the Bountiful Farms booth.
The fellow manning the booth was demonstrating one of the alternate mask wearing techniques I would see many folks adopting at the show, this the "nose out" variation.
Soul Of The Party
These folks are definitely on trend, the houseplant trend that is.
They need to work on their customer service though. One of the booth reps walked up to me and handed me a card, asking what I sold. I said that I was a garden writer, "I guess that means I sell words." And with that she turned away from me. I guess she didn't understand the power of words?
There are hiring shortages everywhere it seems.
At the Iseli Nursery booth, just behind the hiring sign, was this. I would never have thought of this combination but it works.
The Great Plant Picks/Miller Garden team (L-R): Del Brummet, Rick Peterson, Richie Steffen. It was great to chat with these guys and finally meet Del in person.
The Youngblood Nursery booth always has a beautiful selection of plants.
I did my usual swooning over the dark peach tree foliage, I think this beauty was at the J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co booth.
The Pix Zee Miniature Peach is pretty fab too.
I really wanted to play in the pumice.
Doesn't that look like fun?
I wonder if this little guy got to? Maybe too young. His mom (?) demonstrates another way of wearing a mask.
More houseplants, and I guess nobody told this guy that indoor masking is once again mandatory in Oregon.
There were vendors that went the route of an un-staffed booth.
And out of state vendors that weren't able to do so.
Ditto for the international companies.
Hmmm. Someone needs to brush up on their geography.
This booth was fun.
Yes, they sell cuttings.
And a few rooted bits...
A local nursery that has both garden-plants and houseplants. I thought it was interesting they'd gone with a houseplant theme for the show.
There's always at least one vehicle that I crush on at these shows. I would use this to work my estate garden in Santa Barbara—note there is plant hauling capability you can't see because of the generator box.
This booth had a planting station where you could plant up your own little succulent.
Now that's an instant impact rhododendron!
Botanical Interests! Fun memories of touring their facility during the 2019 Garden Bloggers Fling.
Oh that agapanthus!
Mangave 'Falling Waters'
This poor guy was giving a very energetic talk to an audience of four.
The New Varieties Showcase...
I guess this is a good time to give a nod to just how much the Oregon Association of Nurseries did to make this years show feel safe. In addition to the masks at the door, there was also hand sanitizer available throughout and tables were spaced appropriately to support distancing. The fact some people couldn't get on board with the masking mandate shouldn't take away from the OAN's work to protect everyone.
There were several caladium introductions in the New Varieties Showcase...
This one was gorgeous! From the marketing materials: "Caladium hortulanum / 'Burning Heart' Caladium is bronze fancy leaf variety with pink to orange spots and represents a completely new color of caladiums. It scored high in trials around the country. 'Burning Heart' is intermediate to tall in height. It works well in combination and patio planters. 'Burning Heart' works well in landscapes either in the shade or full sun however it's full rich color is expressed best in sun. It's unique color compliments almost any other plant in patio, combination planters or landscapes. Introduced by Proved Winners North America LLC."
A compact amsonia sounds like a very good thing! "Amsonia 'String Theory' can be described as a compact version of the industry standard Amsonia hubrichtii. The compact habit is covered with light periwinkle blue flowers in late spring, flowering later than 'Storm Cloud.' While other Amsonia can often display chlorotic leaves, 'String Theory displays healthy dark green leaves throughout the summer. We have observed the same brilliant golden orange fall color as you would expect from A. hubrichtii. Introduced by Walters Gardens/Proven Winners. Hybridized by Hans Hansen at Walters Gardens in Zeeland, Michigan."
The last booth I walked by belonged to Little Prince of Oregon and I happened to be there as they were posing with their awards for the OAN photographer...
They always do a wonderful job for the show.
Looks like they got the memo about houseplants being the hot commodity as well...
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