A Rare Plant Specialty Nurseryin Port Townsend Washington
Sue Milliken & Kelly Dodson, proprietors
What's New at The Farm - October 8 2014 - Our last three retail open days here at the nursery are tomorrow through Saturday from 10-4 and folks will be in for a treat as we will have some very good bulbs available. Three excellent Lilium x martagon hybrids - "Maroon King', 'Chameleon' and the classic 'Claude Shride' are now in stock and will find their way onto mail order next week. Anyone who saw our clump of 'Claude Shride' in the garden this summer will instantly be salivating with anticipation. We also will have 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
2" Pot This is a surprisingly hardy terrestrial Orchid that is quite easy to grow given a couple of rules. Loose crumbly organic/gritty well-drained soil and fairly dry in the winter. Oh yeah, real cold is not the best either. We have friends who grow these easily in nearby Port Ludlow in rotting logs, stumps and deep moss on rocks with a tarp thrown over in winter to shed rain but that is in a mild maritime garden. Traditionally this is grown in containers and overwintered in a cool sunroom or coldframe. Were making this sound harder than it is and we don't mean to as it is worth the minimal fuss. Pink and white Cattleya-type flowers on such a little plant. This increases freely by small bulblets which is how we have come to offer these to you.
One Gallon Pots - Nursery Pickup Only Second generation plants from Steve Hootman's collection from NE Yunnan China and the first time recorded in that province. Ernest 'Chinese' Wilson collected this much earlier in 1903 in Sichuan and 'Chinese' Hootman's collection is a key reintroduction of this exceptional species. Steve is the Director and Curator at the Rhododendron Species Botanic Garden and one of the most significant plant hunters of the modern era and we've been privileged to explore new areas in Asia with him on three occasions. Steve says he collected seed of this at 7500' on steep virtually inaccessible cliffs with a river rushing far below. If you are going to fall from a cliff, its good to have a river below so you have a least some chance. These are things we have learned. These are truly statuesque lilies - ours were pushing 10' this last year in the shade garden and the ones in full sun were shorter but no less magnificent - with scented big white trumpets colored on the exterior in puce. Puce? That's never gonna sell. Like a white linen tablecloth gently stained in a soft but errant Oregon Pinot Noir. These are very big bulbs for those who need to be gratified immediately.
Quart Pot A pretty cool introduction from Cistus Nursery from a batch of seedlings and this stood out with its silvery filigreed leaves. A surprisingly hardy Fig with intriguing foliage and small figs which we have heard rumors of being edible. Insert disclaimer here. We've seen the species growing quite happily in the Cistus display gardens near Portland which attests to its love of heat (they are hot in so many ways) which we don't get here in maritime Port Townsend but which it does have in its native Iran and Afghanistan. Plant this in a hot spot that gets on the dry side - it should love it. We've yet to try it ourselves outside yet although our friend the inimitable Duane West grew the species for years in a pot in his sheltered garden near Sequim until he gave it to us. Next year we'll do it - it's going out!
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.
Quart Pot Here is an odd Mallow that every collector needs to grow at least once and we're collectors so of course we grow it. We've had this in our sunny border for 8 years now and give it no attention other than an admiring glance and a shout out for being so low maintenance. A robust Croatian to 7' or 8' or more and which gives the impression of a bushy Grape-leafed Hollyhock with clusters of 2" white flowers. The petals open at the base showing the green calyx behind as a 5 pointed star in the center of the flower and there is just something wonderfully endearing about this subtle bit of trickery.
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.
Large Band Pot This is a fine plant and another of the Bressingham Gardens introductions. Good ripe tomato red flowers arrayed nicely on the stem and held out to maximize viewing. Very accommodating those Brits. The flowers are nicely ranked with some overlap on each side which creates a showy floral synergistic effect. This is a compact grower to just a couple feet tall and very useful where you need a shorter plant that can still pack a punch. No doubt a sister seedling to 'Bressingham Blaze' from the same cross of C. masoniorum x C. paniculata as both were introduced in 1970.
4" Pot Domo arigato to our friend Lance for sharing some amazing named selections imported from Japan of this choice autumn flowering perennial. These are mixed seedlings mainly from white flowered selections and although all vary in bloom, they are all consistently really good. A beautiful plant with sizable fleshy Maple-ish leaves and topped in fall by airy sprays of pure white to sometimes touched in pink flowers like snow frozen in flight. Favoring a cool moist position and such a delight to have something wondrous blooming in the autumn. These have a surprisingly rugged constitution which belies their delicate appearance so if you can take to avoid letting them dry out, they will take care of you.