Readers Tour Farwest Show

Richard Bitner in the
Conifer Display

The Farwest Show wrapped up last week. It’s produced by the Oregon Association of Nurseries and is one of the largest wholesale trade shows in the country. Some of our Random Acts of Gardening readers got a tour of the show, which focused this year on conifers, one of my favorite family of plants. They met Richard Bitner, author of several books on conifers, who answered some of their questions (we didn’t have nearly enough time to answer them all). Eric Bizon, grower for Bizon Nursery and someone that’s passionate about conifers, showed the group some of his favorites at his booth (Bizon Nursery is one of the suppliers to Garden World in Hubbard). Carol Nehring, Iseli Nursery, spoke on “Conifer Chameleons: Choosing Conifers with Seasonal Interest,” which are listed below.:

Eric Bizon, Bizon Nursery,
sharing some of his favorite conifers

Pinus contorta ‘Chief Joseph’ – bright yellow winter color
Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Lemon Twist’ – new foliage is a warm, rich yellow
Picea pungens ‘Hoopsii’ – bright silver-blue needles year round
Abies koreana ‘Blauer Pfiff’ – colorful cones and low, spreading habit
Picea abies ‘Rubra Spicata’ – deep red new growth
Tsuga canadensis ‘Albospica’ – showy white tips
Pseudotsuga menziesii ‘Blue’ – a clear blue Doug Fir
Ginkgo biloba ‘Mariken’ – dense fan-shaped foliage and yellow fall color

Carol Nehring, Iseli Nursery, talks
about conifers with multi-season

  • Picea glauca ‘Pixie Dust’ – new yellow growth contrasts with deep green mature foliage
Picea orientalis ‘Aureospicata’ – chartreuse new growth
Picea abies ‘Pusch’ – bright red cones
Cryptomeria japonica ‘Mushroom’ – russet winter color
Juniperus communis ‘Kalebab’ – light green undersides and white tops in spring, medium green summer color changes to bronze in autumn, in winter foliage turns orange-yellow
Pinus contorta ‘Taylor’s Sunburst’ – golden yellow new growth and red cones

Dave Grotz, Peace of Mind Nursery,
shares his enthusiasm for conifers

Then there was a brief stop at Peace of Mind Nursery where owner Dave Grotz showed everyone the conifers in his booth (he has two locations—West Linn and Silverton—that are open to the public by appointment; and check out his photo gallery which is very informative). Finally, the group was turned loose in the New Varieties Showcase. We plan to do the tour again next year so stay tuned!