A Rare Plant Specialty Nurseryin Port Townsend Washington
Sue Milliken & Kelly Dodson, proprietors
What's New at The Farm - February 26 We have recovered from the marathon early than normal push to get the gardens and nursery in tip-top shape as we had the privilege to attend the international Mahonia Summit in mid February as well as host the attendees here at the nursery on the final day of the conference. Try to imagine the anxiety attacks we were having at the prospect of Dan Hinkley, Tony Avent, Nick Macer, John Grimshaw, Mark Weathington and the like times ten wandering about for hours. No, you have to imagine our anxiety at a Read more....
The Skinny on Far Reaches Farm
Welcome to our online store and hope you
find many of the rare plants offered as fun as we do. We’ve been collecting, growing and learning
about plants all our lives and the excitement has simply grown with time and we
look forward to sharing our phytomaniacal obsession with you. There are worse things to be afflicted with
than gardening. Take a moment and read some of the categories to your left on this page like "About Our Plants" for example so you know what to expect.
We have many more plants available here at the nursery that are not listed on our online store. Many are too large or don't ship easily or are in small quantities or we just haven't managed to get them up on the website. If we just didn't need to sleep, we could get more done. The nursery is not open all the time so check our hours and open days.
We propagate and grow most of our plants
ourselves which allows us to grow many more impractical species than we should. Many times people shy away from a rare plant thinking it is hard to grow, but more often, it is difficulty of propagation or simply not fitting into a standard nursery routine that makes a plant rare in commerce. Of course, not all of our plants are uncommon - that would be leaving out way too many good ones such as some of our favorite herbaceous genera like Trillium, Meconopsis, Podophyllum, Paeonia, Paris, Heloniopsis, Crocosmia and then the woody genera like Sorbus, Styrax, Magnolia, Decaisnea, Hydrangea and the like.
We will be adding new plants frequently so do check back.
We continue to enjoy the response from our customers - thank you! Here are a few of the comments we have received:
order(s) today. My plants arrived beautifully packed,
healthy, and surprisingly large. Thank you Far Reaches Farm!” – B.
H. North Carolina
“I received my plants this morning and what fine ones they
Thank you, too, for the bonus
Iris. I will certainly sing your praises among the plant groups I
belong to and, rest assured, I will be ordering from you again.” – RH – Colorado
Thank you, thank
you for your beautifully wrapped plants that made their way to Montana bursting with
vibrance and energy!” – LS – Montana
“This is my second order
with you. Your plants in my first order were large, healthy and very well
packed. I greatly appreciate doing business with you, and look forward to
more in the future. I understand you recently started offering plants
online mail order, it is great to have you as a resource for these beautiful
and rare plants. Keep up the great work, and know that you have a very
pleased and happy customer.” AO -
“I received my plant order yesterday. I just want to say I
am so excited by the wonderful condition of the plants and the excellent
shipping conditions you provided! You did a wonderful job of
packing. The plants are in beautiful condition and are so healthy.
I also want to thank you for the bonus plant! I didn’t expect that so it was a
wonderful surprise. I will certainly recommend your mail order
KD -- Washington
“you have sent me the finest mail-order plant material I
have ever received. Am spreading the word among all the Connecticut gardeners I know.”
RK - Connecticut
4" Pot Perennial Impatiens. Apricot yellow pouchy flowers in late summer enliven the already vibrant foliage of this hardy Chinese species. A good spreader so give it some room. Judith McLoughlin in Victoria combines this beautifully with Filipendula ulmaria 'Aurea' or at least she did at one point in the past as her gorgeous small garden is anything but static.
4" Band Pot Exceptional double Campanula we received via Bob Brown's Cotswold Garden Flowers in England. This has big medium blue flowers like 2 shallow cups nested together. These are on strong stems which don't blow over and we can testify to that living on the windswept Port Townsend Steppe. This is a good performer and one that has the panache to mingle in the trendy garden as well as carrying a classic look that works in the cottage or Victorian garden. Or in our case it shines in our looking-for-a-genre sunny border.
Small Band Pot The name "Purpurea" is not technically a valid clonal name but it is certainly an apt decriptive name. We received this from plantsman Ed Bowen and it bring some serious Pineapple Lily presence to the garden with its very large purple flushed foliage and imposing statuesque flowers.
Large Band Pot This repetitive lauding of our friend Jim Fox for bringing us cool Asters from the UK could become wearisome and we promise to stop after just a few more. This selection of Aster ericoides was granted the Award of Garden Merit by the Royal Horticultural Society and in the UK this is the horticultural equivalent of being knighted. We are unlikely to be knighted anytime soon but we can have this distinguished Aster in our gardens. This is a lower and bushier plant getting just 3 feet high but that 3 feet is a glorious billow of thousands of small light pink flowers in the fall once it reaches maturity. When shipped in the fall, we'll need to cut this plant back.
Bare Root This Japanese woodlander is among the very elite of all plants for shade. Slow to propagate and uncommonly beautiful, a well-grown mature plant is a prized trophy which marks you as a gardener of exquisite taste. This plant is not often available and plants of the size we are offering are simply never available. These will have 8-12 growth buds on the crowns - seriously - this is not a typo. Broad maple-like leaves are the foil for the large 3" light lavender crepe paper Poppy-esque flowers. Cool shade and a woodsy soil that doesn't dry out is ideal for this piece of living botanical art.
Quart Pot A comparatively cold hardy Bottlebrush that gets to be a large shrub with lots of chartreuse yellow vivacious flowers in May and June. This has a willowy texture with the foliage taking on maroon tints in winter and with age gets great white corky bark. Will take dry but better with water. Deer hate it.
4" Band Pot Himalayan Blue Poppy. Few plants capture the imagination and fire a lust to possess to the extant this fabled perennial does. Our 'Lingholm' strain is one of the best of the Blue Poppies and certainly one of the most reliably perennial. We never tire of seeing this in bloom with its large flowers of a good medium blue or of hearing the exclamations of delighted wonder from gardeners of every skill level. There is something about this that is magic and our sympathies if you live where this cannot be grown which is about anywhere it gets hot and/or humid in the summer. This Meconopsis is not an Oriental Poppy. Forget we said the word 'Poppy' because everything that makes an Oriental Poppy happy will surely kill this aristocrat. Think cool. moist, part shade, what is going to make my Primrose happy? and you will be on the right track. This is going to be difficult south of northern New England unless you have a cool microclimate. Forget about Kansas although we have heard good reports from higher elevation in Colorado. We've seen the parent species of this hybrid at 12000' in eastern Bhutan and 10000' in Yunnan both in stable moss-covered boulder slopes which never dry. This appreciates a partly sunny to bright dappled shaded position with good loose organic soil that drains yet doesn't dry out. Acid soil and it doesn't like heat and it does need a winter so it can go dormant. A small percentage will bloom and die - that is just the roll of the Blue Poppy dice and part of the mystique. This strain is much less prone to that plus you have viable seed with which you can start new ones if that does happen. That said, the 'Lingholm' selection in general cultivation has been so diluted by generations of seed-sowing that the Royal Horticultural Society is calling this strain Meconopsis Fertile Blue Group to denote that it is a tall blue flower producing fertile seeds. But what really matters is that these have no peers as there is truly nothing to compare. Young, sturdy plants which will establish very nicely in the garden.
4" Pot Domo arigato to our friend Lance for sharing some amazing named selections imported from Japan of this choice autumn flowering perennial. These are mixed seedlings mainly from white flowered selections and although all vary in bloom, they are all consistently really good. A beautiful plant with sizable fleshy Maple-ish leaves and topped in fall by airy sprays of pure white to sometimes touched in pink flowers like snow frozen in flight. Favoring a cool moist position and such a delight to have something wondrous blooming in the autumn. These have a surprisingly rugged constitution which belies their delicate appearance so if you can take to avoid letting them dry out, they will take care of you.