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
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.
Large Band Pot The flowers on this oddly hard to obtain Davison cultivar from 1904 are indeed fit for the gods. Long petals on very large shapely deep orange flowers open widely to best show off the red ring in the center. This is a tall grower between 3' and 4' tall and despite being a centenarian, stills rocks the house.
Large Band Pot This choice Chinese perennial is related to our native Ginger or Asarum and Saruma being an anagram of Asarum shows that even taxonomists are not above the occasional botanical hijink.. Felty heart shaped foliage bronze when young and half inch yellow flowers right away in spring continues to bloom through the summer. These succeeds nicely in Chicago which seems like Siberia to us softies here in the PNW. This is easy..
Large Band Pot Monkshood. This is a fine wildflower from Japan making attractive clumps with cowled dusky lavender flowers. This has been an easy doer increasing easily and the clumps are a snap to divide if you want more. And we always do. This not one for the sunny garden but best in morning sun or light shade. This doesn't get tall staying under 3' and isn't anything to worry about staking. Just a quietly lovely plant except for the unfortunate derisive comments it hurls at passing deer as it is completely unpalatable. Fortunately this commentary lies outside the range of human hearing so there is little chance of offending invited guests.
Quart Pots This is the East Coast Skunk Cabbage, which while common to swamps and boggy areas in the upper third of the US, is an exotic collector's plant here. Tubby yellow flecked brown-purple flowers in this form squat on the bare soil before the big green Hosta-like leaves appear in early spring. Love it. Perfect early blooming plant for that difficult wet shaded spot. These will do fine in moist garden beds as well. These are sturdy seedlings from a collection near Simsbury CT in a swampy wood replete with black mud over the sneakers, mosquitoes and ticks but nonetheless very enticing as it did provide that rare legitimate excuse from visiting with family. Can't understand why they didn't follow us in.....
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" 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.