A Rare Plant Specialty Nurseryin Port Townsend Washington
Sue Milliken & Kelly Dodson, proprietors
What's New at The Farm - April 19 2014
Sitting at the computer on this Saturday morning waiting for the second cup of Port Townsend's Sunrise Coffee's Heavy Haul Out blend to kick in and provide inspiration for our 3629th pot tag description which happens to be Potentilla 'Volcan'. With any luck, a few more descriptions will get done before it is time to open here for retail at 10 o'clock. The lure of potting seedlings is 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 Golden Valerian. I don't the origin of the species name but I do know there is no phu like a gold phu. I love this plant. I can't help it - I'm a phu for love. Ok, I'll quit phuling around. Brilliant exhilarating spring gold foliage greening up in summer. Our stock bed of this is like a beacon of captured sunlight on a gray early spring day and has helped to eliminate our seasonal need for serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Stems to 4' with tiny white and visually insignificant but very fragrant flowers.
Medium Band Pot Moon Carrot. Freakishly good plant with gray-blue leaves with an impressive mid to late summer branched inflorescence sporting compound umbels touched in pink then maturing white. Plant nerdishness meets high-end design with this one. Immediate full disclosure - this is biennial but reseeds so do not fear. Good drainage is key such as a sandier soil.
Large Band Pot Eastern species with nodding flowers of pure deep red. These are nice divisions from plants Sue brought from her old nursery in Vermont. Parted with reluctantly and Sue reserves the right to take them back if she deems it appropriate for the welfare of the Trillium. Personally we like Trilliums that clump up sufficiently to divide and this is one of those species.
Quart Pots This is the East Coast Skunk Cabbage, which while common to swamps and boggy areas in the upper third of the US, is an exotic collector's plant here. Tubby yellow flecked brown-purple flowers in this form squat on the bare soil before the big green Hosta-like leaves appear in early spring. Love it. Perfect early blooming plant for that difficult wet shaded spot. These will do fine in moist garden beds as well. These are sturdy seedlings from a collection near Simsbury CT in a swampy wood replete with black mud over the sneakers, mosquitoes and ticks but nonetheless very enticing as it did provide that rare legitimate excuse from visiting with family. Can't understand why they didn't follow us in.....
Small Band Pot Fantastic little gem from the high mountains of Taiwan collected by our friend Philip MacDougall. Our mama plant from him is several years old and is a compact dome just 9" high and maybe 12" across. Early summer has this adorned in small heads of dark pink buds which open to dense heads of clustered flowers which have a pink throat with a corolla edge of pale pink to near white.
Quart Pot This beguiling stinker could be called Beauty and the Beast. If it was a dead beast. The fascinating flower appears before the leaves with the flower bud unzipping in minutes and it then heats up a couple degrees above the ambient air temperature and wafts quite an aroma to lure the carrion flies. This doesn't last very long as the flies quickly pollinate the flower and the smell switch gets flipped off. Tropical leaves and the best petiole or leaf stem around being beautifully mottled in prominent rusty maroon spots.. Moist and good drainage and best mulched over winter as the bulbs are typically not very deep. A good increaser by offsets, this does fine in our shade garden and would be just as happy in the sun. In cold zones, the bulbs can be lifted and stored inside and will actually bloom with the bulb just sitting in your living room although it begs the question "Why?". These bulbs likely won't bloom this year but you'll get great foliage.
Tall Medium Band Pot This is quite the rarity both in cultivation and in the wild where it is endangered in the few high valleys in which it grows in Corsica. These are seed-grown bulbs of which some flowered fall of 2011 and thanks to plant enthusiast Claire Cockroft for sharing a pot of grassy seedlings some years back. Narrow leaves don't present the challenge that some of the larger species do and the small soft lilac-pink flowers are charming. Despite its smaller stature, this is pretty tough little bulb because we did a couple of things wrong - most notably too much water when dormant - and it grew anyway. Perfect for the bulb frame or rockery.
4" Pot Chilean Guava. Our mama plant is loaded with fruit in the greenhouse right now and after eating some, we're questioning why we are selling any instead of keeping them to lavish ourselves in personal extravagance. If we were just two miles down the road by the shore we would grow these outside but here in the relative Siberia of the Quimper Peninsula Steppe, we dasn't take the chance. One of the perfect evergreen shrubs for mild climates, this has shiny aromatic leaves giving olfactory testimony to its inclusion in the Myrtle family. Nice white flowers followed by ruby flavorful fruit the size of average Blueberries and all on a broadly columnar plant to 8' tall. If this was hardier, it would be ubiquitous. As it is, it is worth coddling in cooler climes and personally we are going to throw down some Chilean Guava on our foodie friends come Christmas. Brought Ullucus tuberosus tip salad to Thanksgiving and now for something Ugni. Walking the razor's edge of foodism with an MC Hammer You Can't Touch This. The best thing about bringing an Ugni dish to Christmas dinner? It'll be the best Ugni anyone has ever had. Nemo in The Matrix not in black but in white Chef holding a plate of Ugni ala Far Reaches in one hand and reaching out and beckoning "Bring it, foodies" with the other. Oh yeah, so doing the Ugni.