A Rare Plant Specialty Nurseryin Port Townsend Washington
Sue Milliken & Kelly Dodson, proprietors
What's New at The Farm - February 23 2014
The good news is Kelly and Sue are more or less vertical after being flattened the last couple of weeks by the good old H1N1. That's what we get for leaving the Farm and going to Seattle for the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. Which was a lot of fun but 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
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)
Quart Pot These are divisions from our plants grown from wild-collected seed in Yunnan. This is a tough little plant making dense clumps of low grassy leaves to just 14"-16" high with the flower stems standing taller. The flowers are in shades of blue-lavender to violet. This is a sweet and good garden plant and is a classic Iris from western China and a key component for any Asian Iris collection. We're assuming most people have an Asian Iris collection but we're new at this mail order thing. These are fine in average garden soil in a sunny position.
Bare Root This Japanese woodlander is among the very elite of all plants for shade. Slow to propagate and uncommonly beautiful, a well-grown mature plant is a prized trophy which marks you as a gardener of exquisite taste. This plant is not often available and plants of the size we are offering are simply never available. These will have 8-12 growth buds on the crowns - seriously - this is not a typo. Broad maple-like leaves are the foil for the large 3" light lavender crepe paper Poppy-esque flowers. Cool shade and a woodsy soil that doesn't dry out is ideal for this piece of living botanical art.
4" Band Pot This is one of the unsung workhorses in our garden. So it's high time to treat it to a well-deserved and long overdue song. C'mon now - get your hoodies on and lets rap it out::
A peerless performer that is first to bloom
this repels the gray cloudy doom
that passes for spring in the Northwest
which usually feels like an inquest.
I'm telling it true - this gots da power
often you see no foliage - covered by flowers.
Grow this in sun or shade
you feel like you got it made
Word up, yo and listen to my rap
or you'll miss the secret of mulching with cow crap.
Drop a dime bag of moo, the first one's free
You'll see why it makes everything look so pretty.
Copyright 2011. Lyrics and music by C-rapper.
4" Pot Alternate-leaved Golden Saxifrage. Love it when customers share interesting plants with us which is how we came by this little goody. This is pretty much circumarboreal in the northern hemisphere where it is often found in rock outcrops in moist areas. Nice rounded evergreen leaves and umbels of yellow flowers in spring. This is going to work nicely as a small scale groundcover in a moist lightly shaded spot. It grows in some pretty northern cold areas with a distinctly continental climate so good and hardy.
Quart Pot A tough (for a Hebe) shrub which has a somewhat coniferous look to its scaled tawny butterscotch branchlets. Any suggestion that it is a conifer is quickly put to rest in the late spring and early summer when the small white flowers decry any affiliation to the gymnosperms. This brings a unique look to the garden along with a workman-like attitude and this performance has been acknowledged by the Award of Garden Merit.
Large Band Pots Mioga Ginger. A treasured food crop in Japan where the new shoots are prized as a vegetable and the flower buds are considered a delicacy when diced and added to soup. This is a true ginger although it lacks the big rhizome of the culinary variety. What it does have over the gingerbread ginger is hardiness. This is the hardiest of the Zingibers and our friend Aaron Floden tells us he grew this in Kansas without any special protection and temperatures regularly got to -15F and it did not suffer. This clumps up quickly in rich moist soil in shade with 3' green leafy stems and produces exotic small orchid-like creamy yellow flowers at ground level in late summer and fall. It's a no-brainer for fall cleanup because the leaf stalks turn yellow and fall over breaking off cleanly from the crown so all you have to do is pick them up. Or not if you are into self-mulching plants.
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.