A Rare Plant Specialty Nurseryin Port Townsend Washington
Sue Milliken & Kelly Dodson, proprietors
What's New at The Farm - July 15 2014
We are going through reentry after an amazing week looking at plants in Colorado with our friend Dan Post. The trip was orchestrated by our friend and Master Plant Puppeteer, Panayoti Kelaidis who is Senior Curator and Director of Outreach at Denver Botanic Gardens. Panayoti is a plant fiend who has never met a plant in which he couldn't find some meritorious quality to celebrate. Fortunately, that same approach is applied to people and 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
Small Band Pot Our collection from Leigongshan in Guizhou of this fine Mountain Ash which is in the Aria section with its simple entire leaves. Small trees in the wild to perhaps 20' with clusters of white flowers backed by the good foliage. The fruit looks like miniature asian pears and complements the russet brown fall color.
Large Band Pot This will come as no surprise when we till you this has carmine flowers. Shorter and bushier then say 'Lucifer' with mid-sized flowers flared open with a dab of yellow in the center. A clump of this really puts out the flowers. This is a very good performer in our garden or at least it was until we let the Prunus mume, Buddleja loricata and Rosa x richardii shade it out. Fortunately our big clump in our stock beds is doing great and that is where these are coming from so no worries. Introduced in the early 1950's.
Gallon Pots Our collection from 1997 in Yunnan, China of this evergreen member of the Convallariaceae. We collected seed of this on a moist rocky yet mossy partly shaded steep slope where it grew under the tree peony, Paeonia delavayi. You would think by now we would have sussed out the species but funny how owning a nursery leaves not nearly enough time for botanical ferreting. We'll work on it and have an answer summer of 2012. Nothing like a deadline. This has small white flowers followed by glossy blue-black fruit like clustered gleaming exotic pearls. This has been a stalwart plant in our shade garden asking little and requiring less. This is not a creeper but a distinct and defined clumper with long fine-bladed green grassy leaves making a dense mop of foliage to 18" tall. These are divsions from the original collections.
Small Band Pot From our seed collection on the lower reaches of Luojishan in Sichuan fall of 2012 where we saw these in some localized profusion in grassy areas. These were notable because of their nearly 3' height but also because of the very glaucous silver underleaf. No clue yet as to the flower but the foliage was worth a chance.
Large Band Pot Rare and choice goody that Jim Fox brought back to us from England. Surprisingly hardy, this shocks in a genus full of yellows and whites by having screaming hot bright fuchsia pink daisies in summer. Don't plant it with the red Dahlia 'Bishop of Llandaff' like we did - a memorable combo for garish bad color combinations that still sends me bolt upright in bed. We can only paraphrase Bob Brown's perfect description as the plant did come from his nursery "The color reminds me of an Indian brothel. Not that I would know," We mulch ours in winter just to be on the safe side which is easy as it is dormant.
4" Pot Very cool South African bulb grown from seed we received from English plantsman Harry Hay many years ago. Harry was a discriminating collector of plants and generous in sharing. This has broad strap leaves and tall stems bearing pendulous flowers of softly muted green. Truly regal. This has been amply hardy for us and appreciates a bit of shade from the hottest part of the day and will do well on an eastern aspect which where we have ours planted on our sunny border. Nice bulbs which are reaching flowering size so some will and some won't but for those that don't it will be next year for sure.
Medium Band Pot A collection from Guangxi of this fairly tender but interesting Araliad. Big bipinnately compound leaves are not exempt from the sharp spines which clad the stems. Open constellation of pale white umbels of small flowers give way to glossy black fruit. This was nine feet tall as a single stemmed plant growing in moist shade.
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.