This is part of our continuing coverage of the Farwest Show. Keep checking back for updates. This post concerns Day Two of the Farwest Show Tours, specifically, Tour 3, the New Plants tour on Wednesday, August 22, 2012.
Many of us have been to one or more of the three Al’s Garden Center locations in the Portland area, and been able to appreciate the smart branding, clever merchandising and quality plant material that are all in abundant display. But today was a special treat — we got a look behind the scenes at Al’s growing facility in Hubbard, Ore. The “Grown by Al’s” tag is familiar to anyone who has shopped in one of their stores, but perhaps there should also be a “rooted by Al’s” tag, too. Not only does Al’s grow their own material, they also serve as a rooting station for five different breeders, including Ball, Syngenta and Suntory. They take unrooted annual cuttings shipped to them by these breeders and turn them into rooted liners. We got to see several new varieties not yet unleashed on the public, which will be available in the spring of 2013. Pictures will be up later on the Farwest Show Facebook page!
One of Al’s best customers for rooted material would be Al’s, of course. According to Dorothy Russo of Al’s, the nursery grows 99 percent of the annual and perennial material that is sold in its stores. That’s not all — Al’s also grows 67 percent of the woody material that it sells at retail.
Keep checking back — we’ll post more updates on this tour, and we’ll do it live if WiFi is available. At the end of the day, we’ll have pictures of all the tour stops at the Farwest Show Facebook page