15 Favorite Plants and Products Garden Retailers Spotted at Farwest 2023

Garden retailers were on the hunt for their favorite plants and products within the trade show at the 2023 Farwest Show. This year, 15 products from 12 companies received Retailers Choice Awards, a joint presentation by the Farwest Show and The Garden Center Group.

Here’s a quick review and links for more details on products awarded (check out the slideshow above for a closer look at each winner).

Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Eclipse’ (Bailey Nurseries)

Foliage that is dark purple, almost black, in coloration is a standout. Eclipse holds that dark color all season, even after being cut back or when grown in warm climates where other hydrangeas start to go green. For more: Baileynurseries.com/new-varieties/eclipse-bigleaf-hydrangea.

Centaurea ‘Silver Swirl’ (Darwin Perennials)

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Judges were drawn to this unique perennial that is drought tolerant, rabbit resistant, colorful, and attractive. Low maintenance, best for Zones 6 to 9. For more: https://www.ballseed.com/PlantInfo/?phid=014608610031657

Petunia ‘Frosted Sapphire Bliss’ (Ball FloraPlant)

Beautiful blue and white picotee pattern makes this double petunia a great component for hanging baskets, containers, and mixes. For more: https://www.ballfloraplant.com/Series_ Info.aspx?phid=048800763051713

Echinacea ‘Double Scoop Watermelon’ (Darwin Perennials)

This amazing double flower form is eye-catching and a favorite of judges. It features clean leaves and brilliantly colored blooms. For more: https://www.ballseed.com/PlantInfo/?phid=024103656051630

Cercis canadensis ‘Alley Cat’ Eastern Redbud (Bountiful Farms)

This unique Redbud has green foliage splashed with white that gives it a one-of-a-kind touch from the rest. Its dark pink pea-shaped flowers emerge in April just before the leaves begin to show, with shades of copper pink and soft green. The white splashes on the green leaves emerge as the leaves mature, then turn a reddish, bronze color in the fall to offer stunning autumn color. For more: https://www.bountifulgardens.com/product-page/alley-cat-eastern-redbud

Comptonia peregrina ‘Sweet Fern’ (Briggs Nursery)

Judges were drawn to this woody shrub that is not actually a fern at all. ‘Sweet Fern’ has glossy green leaves that are aromatic when abraded. Native to the Northeast U.S., Comptonia is very adaptive, but prefers full to partial sun in well drained conditions. It is drought and wildlife tolerant once established. For more: https://www.briggsnursery.com/plant/comptonia-peregrina/

Alocasia ‘Frydek’ (Cascade Tropicals)

The mature, broad, velvety black leaves have striking white veins, making this easy-care plant a real beauty. The juvenile leaves appear as bright lime-green and the pale leaf stems have a purplish jagged banding which adds even more intrigue to this eye-catching species. For more: https://cascadetropicals.com/products/alocasia-frydek-6in

BP4LI Battery Operated Backpack Sprayer (Dramm Corp.)

Judges were excited to see this new backpack sprayer with such fine droplet distribution and powered by rechargeable battery. Operating at a maximum of 150 psi, the BP-4Li atomizes spray solutions for excellent coverage. Fully variable pressure allows the BP-4Li to run from 10-15psi with the turn of a knob. The battery-operated pump ensures even flow rates, perfect for even application of plant growth regulators, insecticides, fungicides, and other greenhouse chemicals. The BP-4Li runs for 45 minutes on a charge with a swappable battery. The 4-gallon capacity is just the right size. Perfect for spot treatments or concentrated applications, but small enough to still be comfortable. For more: https://www.dramm.com/html/main.isx?sub=496

Picea pungens ‘Moonstone Spruce’ (Iseli Nursery)

This well-mannered little gem has bright-blue foliage and maintains a compact, rounded form from youth to maturity. The perfect size and shape for suburban gardens. Hardy to Zone 2. For more: https://www.iselinursery.com/picea-pungens-inhwb-u-s-pp34321/

Daphne odora ‘Banana Split’ (Monrovia)

The judges were amazed by the vigor of this Daphne.  An exceptional new selection with variegated foliage, each leaf with a wide yellow edge. Rose-pink buds open to white, sweetly fragrant flowers. For more: https://www.monrovia.com/borealis-variegated-winter-daphne.html

Echinacea ‘Guatemala Gold’ (Monrovia/ThinkPlants)

The retailers’ eyes were attracted to this wonderful color of Guatemala Gold.  A very short and compact variety with golden yellow blooms. The low foliage creates a dense mound. For more: https://www.monrovia.com/guatemalatm-gold-coneflower-46758.html

Boxwood ‘Liberty Belle’ (NewGen Boxwood)

Judges were impressed with the smallest leaf and form of the NewGen introductions of blight resistance boxwoods. Low, spreading, billowing form, graced by glossy, deep-green foliage. Best performance in shade to part sun. Excellent as a specimen or container plant – can also prune or shear for low hedges. Demonstrated superior boxwood blight resistance in trials, as well as good boxwood leafminer resistance. Deer resistant as well. For more: https://www.newgenboxwood.com/newgen-liberty-belle

Baby BARE Leaves Wall Plant Supports (Treleaf)

The judges were impressed with this new line of leaf-themed plant supports, in both trellises as well as the wall mount versions here. Set of six customizable wooden leaf cut out trellis. You have the freedom to customize them in a way that suits your style – whether it’s creatively painting colors onto it or drawing images, adding doodles, or writing messages on it. It doubles as the most unique gift for a fellow plant lover. For more: https://treleaf.shop/products/baby-bare-customizable-wooden-leaf-cut-out

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Dragon Baby’ (Van Belle Nursery)

The compact and tight form of this new Hydrangea paniculata really impressed the judges. This improved Hydrangea delivers extraordinary flower power in a petite form for modern outdoor spaces. For more: https://vanbelle.com/

Cotinus coggygria ‘Old Fashioned’ (Youngblood Nursery/Concept Plants)

Retailers were impressed with this different form of Smoketree with its new shoots purple colored. Later, the leaves transition to blue/green. In autumn the leaves become pinkish. Eye-catching smoke-like tresses in midsummer. Bright yellow-green flowers in spring. For more: https://www.youngbloodnursery.com/product-page/cotinus-coggygria-old-fashioned

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