Retailers’ Choice Awards Chosen at Farwest
As part of the Retailers’ Choice Awards, a jury of volunteer garden retailers roamed the floor and highlighted 12 different products that particularly piqued their interest at the 2022 Farwest Show in Portland, Oregon.
The awards were presented on Aug. 25 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. “[The retailers] nominate plants and products that they would like to carry,” Summers said.
The awards winners were as follows:
- Panicle Hydrangea ‘Little Hottie’ (Hydrangea paniculata ‘Bailpanone’ PP32549 — offered by Bailey Nurseries — A compact hydrangea with great branching, deep green leaves, and late summer flowers that are initially green and open to a creamy white, which are held up on sturdy stems.
- Rudibeckia ‘Goldblitz’ (Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii ‘Goldblitz’) — offered by Ball Seed Co. — A strong, low-maintenance variety for borders and landscapes, featuring tight foliage with shiny, dark green leaves that hold back weeds and flower abundantly from summer well into fall. Golden yellow horizontal petals contrast nicely with the black center disc.
- Crapemyrtle ‘Shadow Magic’ (Lagerstroemia ‘Bailagtwo’ PPAF — offered by Bailey Nurseries — A a crapemyrtle with dark rosy blooms and dark purple leaves, offering disease resistance and compact size (7 to 9 feet tall and 5 to 7 feet wide).
- Snowbell ‘Nightfall’ (Styrax japonicus ‘JFS 6SJ’ PPAF ) — offered by J. Frank Schmidt & Son Co. — A small statured crapemyrtle (8 feet tall, 6 feet wide) with dark purple leaves and a weeping growth habit. The leaves contrast with white buds of late spring that open to creamy white, bell-shaped flowers.
- Wood Tag and Bamboo Plant Stakes — offered by Hip Labels — This eco-friendly tag breakthrough offers a smaller carbon footprint than plastic tags, and it is fully recyclable! It has a water-based, solvent-free coating for water resistance.
- The Bendable Moss Pole and Trellis — offered by Mossify — This support for climbing and trailing plants is made from a premium sphagnum moss mix, 100% sustainably farmed, and completely natural and pesticide free.
- Weigela Midnight Sun (Weigela florida ‘Verweig9’ PPAF, Can PBRAF) — offered by Proven Winners — A neat and tidy bun-shaped weigela with glossy, blazing orange and red summer-autumn foliage, it works well at the front of borders. It bears pink flowers in spring, however, this plant’s form and colorful summer through autumn foliage are its standout element.
- Bushel and Berry Strawberry ‘Scarlet Belle’ (Fragaria × ananassa ‘Ruby Ann’) — offered by Sester Farms — This ornamental and edible strawberry plant is beautiful and delicious. The scarlet red blooms with yellow centers produce berries all season long, and is ideal for patio pots, hanging baskets or garden beds.
- Pieris ‘Glowing Hearts’ (Pieris japonica ‘Piesid2’) — offered by Sidhu & Sons Nursery — This glossy Pieris shrub has glossy evergreen foliage that emerges in strikingly brilliant, glowing scarlet hues.
- Smokebush ‘Velveteeny’ (Cotinus coggygria ‘Cotsidh5’ PPAF)— offered by Sidhu & Sons Co. — This smokebush has silky smooth, deep burgundy foliage with large, feathery plumes of dove gray to pink blooms, and a compact form, maturing at 4 feet.
- REALFLOR Gaillardia ‘Fanfare Showtime’ (Gaillardia × grandiflora ‘Fanfare Showtime’ PP33438) — offered by Walla Walla Nursery Co. — This gailladia has unique pinwheel flowers in bold fire tones, with a compact mounding habit of 21 inches tall by 16 inches wide. It goes well in containers, beds and borders.
- Arborvitae ‘Leprechaun’ (Thuja standishii × plicata ‘Leprechaun’ PP33840) — offered by Woodburn Nursery and Azaleas Inc. — A compact selection of T. ‘Green Giant’, Zone 4–5, holds excellent green color through the winter. It was discovered by Frank Kogut, Kogut Nursery, Connecticut, and matures at 10 to 12 feet.