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
Quart Pot A recent release first appearing in the UK's RHS Plant Finder in 2008-9 and in the current 2011-2012 issue a grand total of two nurseries are offering Crocosmia 'Moses' so we might be first here in the US of A. We can only guess that this was named with the biblical burning bush in mind for this is a vivid flare in the landscape. Vibrant orange flowers darker on the outside and on the interior there is a bit of yellow wash showing through the orange providing a nice accent to the center of each tepal face. A sturdy plant to 3 feet or a bit more, this is worthy and will begat much pleasure.
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.)
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)
4" Pot A jolly plant indeed introduced by Heronswood from Sichuan. This has evergreen foliage springing from new growth that looks to be a bamboo until it leafs out. Small creamy white flowers in early summer and blue-black fruit held well into winter if the cold doesn't knock back the 6' + stems. Cut back old stems in spring if you were lucky enough to have a mild winter and it remained evergreen.
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.
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.
4" Pot Bottlebrush. Fun and very hardy selection that has willowy and twisting branchlets sporting 2" light yellow flower brushes on the branch tips all pointing willy-nilly for a wild Medusal effect. Length of bloom is longer on older plants so it is true that some things get better with age. I feel that way about Sue and another month o the diet, she'll feel the same about me.. Happy in nearly any soil and happiest with regular water. Not deer fodder.
4" 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.