Industry roundup: Farwest names winners for 2017 New Varieties Showcase

Mesa de Maya southwest oakMesa de Maya southwest oak

The Mesa de Maya Southwest oak (Quercus x undulate ‘Mesa de Maya’) has been chosen as the Best in Show winner for the 2017 Farwest Show New Varieties Showcase.

The Mesa de Maya was one of 40 new selections displayed at Farwest 2017 and available from at least one show exhibitor. The show took place Aug. 23-25 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon.

“Farwest has a long legacy of showcasing the best new selections the horticulture industry has to offer, and our 2017 show continues that proud tradition,” show director Allan Niemi of the Oregon Association of Nurseries said.

The Mesa de Maya Southwest oak is part of the curated program of Western adopted oaks branded as Southwest oak, released by Heritage Seedlings & Liners of Salem, Oregon, and it was selected from seedlings grown by Dr. Allan Taylor in Boulder, Colorado.

The Mesa de Maya has blue-gray, large leaves which hold their color into late autumn. The foliage does not resemble oak foliage, and the tree can reach 25 feet in height with a 20-foot spread at maturity.

The tree is grafted onto adapted rootstock, and it is said that it will have a very broad range of application from Washington to Colorado, to West Texas over to California. In both the West and Southwest, it is said that it will thrive in arid and drought-prone plantings, but it will also flourish in irrigated sites.

The tree enjoys full sun, adapts to drought and high pH soils, is said to be suitable for use as a specimen as well as in commercial plantings and thrives in irrigated landscapes.

In addition of the Best of Show award, three Awards of Merit were given:

  • First editions Sweet Tea gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides ‘PIIGA-II’ PP27258): This re-blooming gardenia was introduced by Bailey Nurseries and has fragrant tennis-ball-sized flowers. ‘Sweet Tea’ is larger and more upright than ‘Double Mint’ and is more winter hardy. It requires partial shade, medium water, a soil pH of 5.5-6.5 and it blooms on new wood.
  • Burgundy lace hazelnut (Corylus avellana ‘Burgundy Lace’ (OSU 954.076) PPAF): This was selected from seedlings at Oregon State University from crosses made in 1998, and it was introduced by Heritage Seedlings and Liners. With lacey red foliage, it is attractive in spring and early summer. It is moderately sized and is easily managed in smaller yards. It’s a moderately fast grower and has a mature height of 35 feet and a spread of 30 feet.
  • Corydalis Hillier ‘Porcelain Blue’ (Corydalis ‘Porcelain Blue’): This is bred by Hillier Nurseries in the U.K., and it was introduced by PlantHaven International and Skagit Horticulture. The ‘Porcelain Blue’ blooms from early spring through fall and has a strong growth habitat. It produces many electric-blue flowers, with repeat flowering, and works well in containers. They typically reach 10 by 12 inches and have a clumping growth habit.

In addition of the Best of Show award, three People’s Choice Awards were given:

  • Black Diamond Purely Purple crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica ‘#18 Li’ PPAF): This was bred by Jim Berry of J. Berry Nursery and is an aesthetic standout with dramatic dark foliage and beautiful purple blooms. It performs in most challenging landscapes because of its drought and sun tolerance, and it can be pruned to tree, perennial or shrub form. It features black foliage from spring until first frost, and it showcases masses of purple blooms from early summer until frost. It can reach 10-12 feet tall with a width of 8 feet.
  • Strait-Laced elderberry (Sambucus nigra ‘SNR1292’ USPPAF): This was developed by Ken Tobutt and Fiona Wilson in the U.K., and it was introduced by Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs. It’s a narrow, upright variety that takes up only a few square feet of ground. It features feathery black foliage with straight stems, and in early summer it brings hundreds of pink flowers to contrast with the leaves. They enjoy full sun to partial sun and it is not recommended for warm climates. It can grow 6-8 feet tall and 3-4 feet wide.
  • Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Miss Saori’ PP26657: Introduced by Concept Plants and bred by Ryoji Irie from Japan, this was presented as a debutant at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Its double-petaled, sterile flowers have deep-rose margins, and the color softens to white in the center, which forms a contrast with the dark foliage that turns burgundy in autumn and spring. It has a long flowering period that begins in June, and it enjoys full sun or partial shade.

Also during the tradeshow, Walla Walla Nursery Co. Inc. took home the Ted Van Even Best in Show booth award.

“The Farwest Show invites people to ‘Be Far From Ordinary,’ and Walla Walla Nursery did exactly that,” show director Allan Niemi of the Oregon Association of Nurseries said. “They went the extra mile to showcase the richness and diversity of the nursery industry in the Pacific Northwest, as well as the strong, green focus of the Farwest Show.”

Walla Walla also took home a Best of Division award for Best Island Booth, Grower. Other Best of Division award winners included the following:


  • Best 10×10 Booth – Little Prince of Oregon Nursery
  • Best 10×20 or Larger Row Booth – Blooming Nursery


  • Best 10×10 Booth – Fogco Systems
  • Best 10×20 or Larger Row Booth – Plant Revolution Inc.
  • Best Island Booth – NurserySource LLC

This year the Little Prince of Oregon Nursery, Brooks Tree Farm and Plantaflor USA Inc. also won the Far From Ordinary booth awards.

Walla Walla Nursery Co. won the Ted Van Even Best in Show award for best booth at this year’s Farwest Show. Photo: Walla Walla NurseryWalla Walla Nursery Co. won the Ted Van Even Best in Show award for best booth at this year’s Farwest Show.
Photo: Walla Walla Nursery

NALP announces Shark Tank LANDSCAPES 2017 edition and six new Trailblazers  

The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) will be partnering with Judy Guido to present Shark Tank, The LANDSCAPES 2017 edition on Oct. 19, from 9:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. This willlogo for the NALP take place at the LANDSCAPES 2017 event held at GIE+EXPO in Louisville.

This Shark Tank-style Power Session will bring together four industry leaders and three entrepreneurs that include Judith Guido, chairwoman of Guido & Associates; Frank Mariani, CEO Mariani Landscape; Mike Rorie, CEO of GOILAWN; and Doug York, CEO of Ewing Irrigation & Landscape Supply.

Entrepreneurs will present their ideas for new industry products and services. If their ideas tempt the “sharks,” they may receive an investment from the industry leaders.

For interested entrepreneurs who are seeking an investment, are passionate, ready to grow their business and have a solid business plan, Guido is still soliciting proposals. The “sharks” are seeking investments from all types of companies in the industry, and for those interested in being considered for a slot to present ideas in front of the “sharks,” email Guido at [email protected].

“There is a lot of interest in this session and we expect a full-house of people who want to learn more about how to capitalize on trends, read market dynamics and scale a business,” said Guido. “I am excited to connect budding entrepreneurs with real industry investors who can help make them profitably grow their business and make their dreams a reality.”

NALP’s newest Trailblazers have also been announced. The Trailblazers are individuals who are nominated by their peers for making significant and long-term contributions to the landscape industry and are committed to giving back to the industry through mentoring other industry professionals.

Each Trailblazer provides on-site mentoring to a member of NALP and sets aside one day per year. This method of mentoring and networking has proven successful for both emerging and established companies to gain insight and advice from professionals on how to grow and develop their businesses. They also participate in the Trailblazers on Call program, which provides members with quick answers to their business questions.

This lifetime honor is given for achievement and excellence in the areas of lawn care, irrigation and water management, landscape management, design/build/installation and interior plantscaping.

The following are the 2017 NALP Trailblazers:

  • Mark Ackerson, Ackerson Landscape, Raytown, Missouri
  • Paul Fraynd, Sun Valley Landscaping, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Loriena Harrington, Beautiful Blooms Landscape Design, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Seth Kehne, Lawn Butler, Knoxville, Tennessee
  • Fred Peratt, Environmental Enhancements, Inc., Sterling, Virginia
  • Kurt Thompson, K. Thompson & Associates, Clover, South Carolina

The Trailblazers will be recognized during NALP’s LANDSCAPES 2017 Awards Dinner on Oct. 19.

The Attachments Idea Book
Landscapers use a variety of attachments for doing everything from snow removal to jobsite cleanup, and regardless of how often they are used, every landscaper has a favorite attachment.
Attachments Idea Book Cover