A Rare Plant Specialty Nurseryin Port Townsend Washington
Sue Milliken & Kelly Dodson, proprietors
What's New at The Farm - March 29 2014
It is finally going to happen. We are going to be open for retail here at the nursery starting April 4 & 5 from 10-4. We are calling this our usual "soft opening" because we won't be fully stocked by any means but we are cleaning and labeling like mad. The gardens are still in their winter cleanup and editing phase but are coming together. 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
Quart Pot This is not commonly grown and only a handful of nurseries in the UK offer this 1918 George Henley introduction and you would be hard-pressed to find anyone in the US. Small flowers touched red on the outside of the tepals and fusing into yellow on the inside presenting a very pleasing two-toned effect. The small-flowered cultivars bring a tasteful nuanced splash of color and often can be more effective than the larger flowered varieties. This is a good mid-sized plant at 30" tall or a bit less.
4" Pots Excellent selection from the former Heronswood nursery of this robust woodlander noted for the dark hued stems especially in the new growth. This is an exuberant grower sending up big dark chocolate asparagus spears of new growth in late spring which branch out as they get taller bearing small creamy-green bells followed by glistening small black fruit. The young leaves carry some of coloring of the new growth and the whole plant retains this color better if grown in sun in our mild sun climate. In our shade garden, the foliage matures to a very pleasing dark olive-green and seems like some impressive cousin to bamboo as it can each 5'-6' tall. We always mulch ours in winter as we don't want to freeze out the crown and the new growth can start early here in the PNW so this mulch protects it from getting frosted. An easy and stunning plant. This was and still is offered as a selection of Disporum cantoniense but we thank Bleddyn Wynn-Jones for correctly identifying this as to species.
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)
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.
Large Band Pot Second generation plants from our collection of this Solomon's Seal from the Cangshan in Yunnan. This has narrow leaflets arrayed in tiers with small bell-shaped pale white flowers overlaid in a dusky wash and which are clustered near the leaf bases which later become red-orange fruit bunched like small grapes. This keys to P. kingianum in the Flora of China but likes the rich color and flower size of classic kingianum. Lots of research be done on this genus so we'll get a name on this before too long. Surprisingly sun tolerant given enough water. In our lath house shade garden which is fairly bright, this has become quite impressive in the last few years making a bamboo-like clump of herbaceous stems to 7'-8' which makes us very happy.
4" Pot A most improbable looking Glad but one you will be glad to grow. Pun intended. This South African species never fails to garner attention when it is in flower and is perfectly hardy in the ground here. The flowers are somewhat hooded and are white brushed with purple on the outside and a yellow splash outlined in maroon inside. In nursery parlance, this is a good grower and fast increaser which translates to "plant it where you want a lot of it" as this makes a staggering number of new bulbs each year. This has taken the "Go forth and multiply" thing to a whole new level. So forewarned is forearmed and all that. It is a cool plant and a lot of gardens have a spot that can be devoted to an eternal Gladiolus papilio monoculture.
Large Band Pot Rosebud Salvia. One big Salvia that always surprises me how hardy it is. Our big clump came through 14F last winter shooting up lots of new shoots this spring but then Sue is a manic mulcher in the Fall. Large soft leaves and terminal flowers of a vivid cerise rose arising from a large "rosebud" in late summer on stems 4'-6' tall.
4" Pot One of the sweetest little groundcovers we have grown. Aside from the small terminal clusters of deep blue flowers in late spring and early summer, we are taken by its good evergreen foliage and year-round tidy appearance. It is in one of our troughs and spills over the lip perfectly. Good for the rock garden.