Farwest Show attendees select favourites for the Retailers’ Choice Awards

Garden retailers roamed the trade show floor as part of the Retailers’ Choice Awards Awards™ and chose 15 different products that caught their eyes as judges at the 2023 Farwest Show in Portland, Oregon.

The awards chosen by the judges were presented Thursday afternoon on August 24 at the show in a presentation emceed by Danny Summers, managing director of The Garden Center Group. Both live goods and hard goods were eligible.

“Judges based their decisions on whether or not they were interested in carrying the products,” Summers said. “Some of the products were also honored at other trade events, echoing the sentiments of other retailers about the potential popularity of the products with consumers.”

The awards winners were as follows:

  • Eclipse Hydrangea® (Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Bailmacseven’ PP34544) —  offered by Bailey Nurseries (Booth 17019)— Foliage that’s dark purple, almost black, coloration, it is a standout. Eclipse® holds that dark color all season, even after being cut back or when grown in warm climates where other hydrangeas start to go green. Info: https://www.baileynurseries.com/new-varieties/eclipse-bigleaf-hydrangea/
  • Darwin Centarea Silver Swirl (Centaurea ragusina) — offered by Ball Seed Company (Booth 15025) — Drought tolerant, rabbit resistant, colorful/attractive Foliage, low maintenance (zones 6-9) Info: https://www.ballseed.com/PlantInfo/?phid=014608610031657
  • Petunia Frosted Sapphire Bliss (Petunia hybrida) — offered by Ball Seed Company (Booth 15025) —Beautiful blue and white picotee pattern makes this double petunia a great component for hanging baskets, containers and mixes. Info: https://www.ballfloraplant.com/Series_Info.aspx?phid=048800763051713
  • Echinacea Double Scoop Watermelon (Echinacea × hybrida) — offered by Ball Seed Company (Booth 15025) — Double flower form is eye-catching. Features clean leaves and brilliantly colored blooms. Info: https://www.ballseed.com/PlantInfo/?phid=024103656051630
  • ‘Alley Cat’ Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis ‘Alley Cat’) — offered by Bountiful Farms (Booth 16037) — This unique Redbud has green foliage splashed with white that gives it a one-of-a-kind touch from the rest. Its dark pink pea-shaped flowers emerge in April just before the leaves begin to show with shades of copper pink and soft green. The white splashes on the green leaves emerge as the leaves mature that then turn a reddish, bronze color in the fall to offer stunning autumn color. Info: https://www.bountifulgardens.com/product-page/alley-cat-eastern-redbud
  • Sweetfern (Comptonia peregrina) — offered by Briggs Nursery (Booth 18037) — ‘Sweet Fern’ has glossy green leaves that are aromatic when abraded. Native to the NE united States, Comptonia is very adaptive, but prefers full to partial sun in well drained conditions. Drought & wildlife tolerant once established. Info: https://www.briggsnursery.com/plant/comptonia-peregrina/
  • Alocasia ‘Frydek’ (Alocasia micholitziana ‘Frydek’) — offered by Cascade Tropicals (Booth 7037) — The mature, broad, velvety black leaves have striking white veins making this easy-care plant a real beauty. The juvenile leaves appear as bright lime-green and the pale leaf stems have a purplish jagged banding which adds even more intrigue to this eye-catching species. Info: https://cascadetropicals.com/products/alocasia-frydek-6in
  • BP4LI Battery Operated Backpack Sprayer — offered by Dramm Corp. (Booth 11015) — Operating at a maximum of 150 psi, the BP-4Li atomizes spray solutions for excellent coverage. Fully variable pressure allows the BP-4Li to run from 10-15psi with the turn of a knob. The battery operated pump ensures even flow rates, perfect for even application of plant growth regulators, insecticides, fungicides an other greenhouse chemicals. The BP-4Li runs for 45 minutes on a charge with a swappable battery. The 4 gallon capacity is just the right size. Perfect for spot treatments or concentrated applications, but small enough to still be comfortable. https://www.dramm.com/html/main.isx?sub=496
  • Moonstone® Spruce (Picea pungens) — offered by Iseli Nursery (Booth 19037) — This well-mannered little gem has bright blue foliage and maintains a compact, rounded form from youth to maturity. The perfect size and shape for suburban gardens. Hardy to zone 2. Info: https://www.iselinursery.com/picea-pungens-inhwb-u-s-pp34321/
  • Banana Split® Daphne (Daphne odora ‘Monzulzay’) — offered by Monrovia (Booth 17037) — An exceptional new selection with variegated foliage, each leaf with a wide yellow edge. Rose-pink buds open to white, sweetly fragrant flowers. Info: https://www.monrovia.com/borealis-variegated-winter-daphne.html
  • Guatemala™ Gold Coneflower (Echinacea × ‘Guatemala Gold’) — offered by Monrovia (Booth 17037) — A very short and compact variety with golden yellow blooms. The low foliage creates a dense mound. Info: https://www.monrovia.com/guatemalatm-gold-coneflower-46758.html
  • Boxwood Liberty Belle (Buxus sinica var. insularis ‘RLH-BI’ PP24443) — offered by NewGen Boxwood (Booth 14025) — low, spreading, billowing form, graced by glossy, deep green foliage. Best performance in shade to part sun. Excellent as a specimen or container plant – can also prune or shear for low hedges. Demonstrated superior boxwood blight resistance in our trials, as well as good boxwood leafminer resistance. Deer resistant as well! Info: https://www.newgenboxwood.com/newgen-liberty-belle
  • Baby BARE™ Leaves Wall Plant Supports — offered by TreLeaf (Booth 9025) — Set of 6 – Customizable wooden leaf cut out trellis. You have the freedom to customize them in a way that suits YOUR style – whether its creatively painting colors onto it or drawing images, adding doodles or writing messages on it. Doubles up as the most unique gift for a fellow plant lover. Info: https://treleaf.shop/products/baby-bare-customizable-wooden-leaf-cut-out
  • Dragon Baby Hardy Hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) — offered by Van Belle (Booth 8048) — this improved Hydrangea delivers extraordinary flower power in a petite form for modern outdoor spaces. Info: https://vanbelle.com/
  • Cotinus Old Fashioned (Cotinus coggygria ‘Old Fashioned’ PP19035) — offered by Youngblood Nursery Inc. (Booth 18049) — Foliage is blue-grey at maturity, grey-purple when young. Eye-catching smoke-like tresses in midsummer. Bright yellow-green flowers in spring. Info: https://www.youngbloodnursery.com/product-page/cotinus-coggygria-old-fashioned

The Farwest Show serves professionals engaged in the nursery industry and related trades, including retail nurseries, wholesale growers, landscapers, landscape designers, and others involved in the green industry. For more information about the 2023 Farwest Show, visit www.farwestshow.com

The Oregon Association of Nurseries (OAN), based in Wilsonville, represents nearly 700 wholesale growers, retailers, landscapers and suppliers. Oregon’s ornamental horticulture industry is one of the state’s largest agricultural commodities, with annual sales of $1.38 billion. Oregon’s nursery industry is a traded sector; more than 75% of the nursery plants grown in Oregon are shipped out of state. For information, visit www.OAN.org or call 503-682-5089.

The Farwest Show, the biggest green industry trade show in the West, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2023  The show is produced by the OAN, a nonprofit organisation that represents and serves the interests of Oregon’s nursery, retail and greenhouse industry. Any revenue realized by the OAN is reinvested into the industry through education, research, marketing support and government relations.

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