A Rare Plant Specialty Nurseryin Port Townsend Washington
Sue Milliken & Kelly Dodson, proprietors
What's New at The Farm - November 13 - Most of the time we like vying for Number One but last night we were among the coldest spots in Western Washington at 20F. We were completely clear without a cloud and calm with no wind to mix in some warmer air. Needless to say, this caught us by some surprise as we were geared for 26F so we will see how some of the unprotected plants fared. Always a learning experience. November 9 2014 - We are hustling about getting ready for the first real cold event of the year which is going to hit us Tuesday night with temps in the upper twenties. We'll be mulching, moving plants in, staging frost fabric and heaters, collecting seed and taking cuttings as well as digging up a few tender display plants from the gardens. We work pretty hard at protecting plants from winter and the positive side of that is we don't lose many plants. The negative side 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" Band Pot One of the most intensely colored Juliana type Primroses out there. This puts on a no-holds barred display of shrieking magenta flowers that is a celebration of pigment with no apologies. The rich color sets it apart from all others. Tolerates full sun if given enough water but looks better given some relief from afternoon sun. Very tough and a good clumper. Our plant came from Rice Creek Garden in Minneapolis years ago so that gives some clue as to hardiness. It also came under the name of 'Lois Lutz' which we have sold it as for a number of years including this year on our online store here. Thanks to the American Primrose Society show people down in Portland for pointing out the error of our ways.
:Large Band Pot An interesting hybrid selection of this New Zealand Iris relative. Evergreen (except for hard winters) olive green foliage provides a grand setting for the numerous stems of small bright white flowers. This makes a clump pretty quickly and is great texture in the garden. This has been consistent a performer in our border garden for years and the worst winters fry the leaves which we cut back in spring and then the new growth appears and it blooms very happily and we can't remember we had a bad winter. When we have mild winters it looks great and we don't have to do anything. We mulch the crown of ours when we have an arctic express barreling down upon us just to be on the safe side.
Quart Pots Seldom offered selection by Don Jacobs of Eco Gardens, this has exceptional vigor and and very dense growth habit. Really an ideal groundcover for that small area if you are going for the monoculture look as this is going to own its little piece of ground. But not in a bad way - our patch is finally big enough to share. Nice under taller perennials such as Leucosceptrum or shrubs. Heart shaped deciduous leaves shade funny small urn-shaped brownish flowers. A denizen of the moist northern woods, this is a good addition to the shade garden and seemingly tough as nails given moist shade.
Large Band Pot Our collection from NW Yunnan of this very showy Meadow Rue. Nicely colored stems and attractive foliage with the large-for-a-Thalictrum lavender-pink flowers. A first rate perennial and proving to be a very good garden plant in both our sunny garden as well as in our shade garden. It's a lankier in the shade appreciates staking but still blooms well. (MD97110 = Milliken-Dodson and it was the 110th seed collection in 1997.)
Quart Pot Exceptional deciduous ground cover with solid dark green leaves for the shade garden or partly sunny spot. Early spring pink tinged blue flowers appear with abandon before the leaves emerge. Portland garden designer and author Lucy Hardiman told us there is nothing like this for underplanting Corylopsis pauciflora with its complementary soft yellow bells. Thrives in a heavy moist soil and neither asks for nor receives any extra attention beyond the bare minimum from us.
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.
Quart Pot A cool little bulb which needs to be kept frost free in a greenhouse or sun porch over winter. We have found it easy and rewarding as it increases quickly and when nicely crowded produces many spidery pink flowers in late summer on 6"-8" stems above the thin thread-like grassy foliage. This is such an easy and charming plant. Drier when dormant.
Large Band Pot Tree Dahlia. This gets 20+ feet tall. I repeat, 20+ feet tall. With stalks as thick as your arm, this gives the effect of a large clump of Bamboo but no, it's a Dahlia. One would imagine the flowers to be the size of trash can lids but they normal 5" lavender pink blossoms. Like all Dahlias, these are excellent cut if you have a tall enough vase and a cathedral ceiling. This needs a long season to bloom so here in our area they need to be frost-free well into November. Uptown Port Townsend it blooms. Seattle it blooms. Far Reaches Farm it frosts the buds off. I swear we can almost see the one in Uptown flowering less then 2 miles away as we stand alongside our frost-blackened dashed hope. Still, we had a lot of conversational mileage out of it over the summer. In coastal northern California, this will flower most of the winter. We mulch ours deeply each fall in case of a bad winter. Our friend Ricky in Seattle always ask me how big did mine get? (It's a guy thing - I've accepted it.) A couple years ago he said his was 24 feet three and a quarter inches. You can tell it is serious business when the fractions of inches count on a Dahlia over two stories tall. (By the way, Ricky's was bigger - I still struggle with it)