Allison Westbrook & Ellen C. Wells
The Farwest Show, put on by the Oregon Association of Nurseries, took place August 22 to 24 in Portland, Oregon. They had nearly 400 exhibitors tailored to attendees’ needs and priorities. And speaking of those attendees—there were close to 6,000 (the count as of the second to last day) from at least 45 states and 20 countries. Visitors also had the choice of three different tours the day before the show, including a retail tour, which visited garden centers in the area.

Highlights of the show included the growing trends showcase, retail product awards and a new product showcase, where attendees can vote on their favorites. For retailers, this is a great opportunity to see what new, eye-catching products really draw a crowd!

Retailers Choice Awards
The Garden Center Group once again pulled together retailers to scour the Farwest Show floor. Their mission: to find products they themselves would be excited to sell. Not a surprise, many of what they found are some of the latest shrubs and perennials on the market, but the group found some other gems, too.

And the winners are:

•    Hibiscus Danica, Alpha Nursery
•    Nandina Lemon Lime, Sunset Western Garden Collection
•    New Bonsai Program, Iseli Nursery
•    Grace N’ Grit Roses, Monrovia
•    Sunbelievable Sunflower, Monrovia
•    Mixed Greens, Peace of Mind Nursery
•    Amazel Basil, Proven Winners
•    Berried Treasure Strawberry, Proven Winners
•    Mycorrhizae Fertilizer, Plant Success Organics
•    Organic Compost, SeaCoast Compost
•    Hydrangea paniculata White Wedding, Sunset Western Garden Collection
•    Echinacea CARA MIA Yellow, Terra Nova Nursery

1: Monrovia’s Grace N’ Grit roses won a 2018 Retailers’ Choice Award at the recent Farwest Show.

The People’s Choice
Like any great trade show, Farwest includes a New Varieties Showcase where judges and attendees vote on their favorites. For 2018, Hibiscus Summerific Cherry Choco Latte was chosen as the Best in Show winner for the new varieties. Introduced by Walters Gardens, Cherry Choco Latte is a new long-blooming hibiscus with a smaller size, suitable for tight spaces. It has large, 8- to 9-in. flowers that are white with pink veining and a large red eye. Olive green foliage has bronze highlights and forms a compact plant, with flowers covering the entire plant later in the season. As it is deer-resistant, attractive to hummingbirds, great for landscapes and a native hybrid, it sounds like a perfect retail item!

2: Summerific Cherry Choco Latte. Photo courtesy of Walters Gardens.

Pretty Pottery
We spotted some pots that certainly stood out with bright colors and patterns. These were from The Pottery Patch. The pots pictured are from the 2019 Spanish Collection, and the patterns are available in a variety of sizes, including window box, wall sconce, basket and v-shaped. The white pots with green leaves certainly fit in with the tropical houseplant trend!

3 & 4: They also showcased a collection of fountains encased in glazed pots. Several had LED lights incorporated into them.