The 2012 Farwest show took place this past month.Â For those of you not familiar with the show, it is our regionâ€™s largest green industry trade show.Â Every August hundreds of vendors show off their goods and to network with each other and attend seminars.Â You generally see nursery and landscape equipment, computer software, pot manufacturers and nurseries with a few others also showing up.Â To save you all the details, I will just talk about plants since Iâ€™m sure none of you care about potting machines or the different thicknesses of container rims.
The Farwest show has sufferedalong with everyone else during these last years of recession.Â Attendance is down and the number of vendors is also down.Â It also seems like the rush to create new plants has slowed some.Â There are still new Heucheras, Hostas and Hydrangeas coming out on an hourly basis but even that has slowed.
I did see a few things that caught my attention as plants that may have real staying power.
Vaccinium ovatum â€˜Scarlet Ovationâ€™:Â This plant JUST came out the week before the show.Â The plant has a tighter growth habit that makes it as close to zero maintenance as a plant can get.Â The same grower is going to release a Sarcococca with foliage similar to a Rainbow Leucothoe.Â Imagine that fragrance paired with mottled foliage!Â The bad news is that it may be 2015 before there is enough stock built up for them to release it. It will be worth the wait, though!
The coolest tree I saw was a Prunus subcordata, Klamath Plum.Â If you know me, you know that my definition of â€œcoolâ€ is up to interpretation.Â The photo I took turned out terribly and the ones I saw on Google are all of trees growing in the wild and look like a mess of sticks.Â The tree was 1.5â€ caliper and 8ft tall but had hundreds of small purple plums.Â They taste great and look even better on the tree.Â We will be stocking these in a very limited amount until I see if others think itâ€™s as cool as I do. Feel free to request them, if you are interested. Contact us here.
We have already started to carry some of the other plants that were grabbing attention at the show.Â Abelia â€˜Kaleidoscopeâ€™ and Pieris japonica â€˜Katsuraâ€™ are the best of the bunch so far. You can check out our current inventory of these two plants by clicking here.
Pieris japonica â€˜Katsuraâ€™: A medium, dome shaped evergreen shrub with flashy chains of little rosy, bell-shaped flowers and bright red emerging foliage that darkens to burgundy then green.
Abelia â€˜Kaleidoscopeâ€™: This striking compact shrub has radiant yellow gold and deep green variegated foliage and charming white flowers in summer and fall.