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 Pots Interesting and showy Japanese species that makes tidy little evergreen clumps. This is a just too darned slow to ever make it a viable plant for mainstream nurseries but it so worth the wait. So of course we love it! Unusual lavender-pink flowers held well above the foliage. These will slowly increase to make one sweet little grouping. Good moist soil in shade. The whole clan appeals to us beyond reason - Helonias and Ypsilandra are stellar relatives. We have a few very chunky plants we've kept for propagation but now that we have enough in the pipeline, these stalwarts are expendable. It's tough love here at The Farm but we know you'll do right by them.
Quart Pot Perennial Impatiens. Apricot yellow pouchy flowers in late summer enliven the already vibrant foliage of this hardy Chinese species. A good spreader so give it some room. Judith McLoughlin in Victoria combines this beautifully with Filipendula ulmaria 'Aurea' or at least she did at one point in the past as her gorgeous small garden is anything but static.
4" Pot A Roy Lancaster introduction of the variety chinensis from Yunnan, China (which in of itself, is reason enough to have this plant in the collection but then Roy is a hero to us so we're biased but not without reason) of an invaluable winter blooming shrub tolerant of deep shade with white fragrant flowers from late fall into early winter. Superb shade evergreen shrub.
Small Band Pot A surprisingly hardy tuberous little wildflower from the mountains of the Southwest. This has BLUE flowers of some enviable intensity. The multiple flower buds are held clasped in a pouch like a heart folded in half and one flower emerges each day. This simple bit of wonderment continues on for weeks in June and July. Well after blooming, the pouches now clasping bundles of black seeds continue to hold interest and our sales of this here at the nursery continue strongly even when it is out of flower. Sun, average moisture and decent drainage.
4" Band Pot Himalayan Blue Poppy. Few plants capture the imagination and fire a lust to possess to the extant this fabled perennial does. Our 'Lingholm' strain is one of the best of the Blue Poppies and certainly one of the most reliably perennial. We never tire of seeing this in bloom with its large flowers of a good medium blue or of hearing the exclamations of delighted wonder from gardeners of every skill level. There is something about this that is magic and our sympathies if you live where this cannot be grown which is about anywhere it gets hot and/or humid in the summer. This Meconopsis is not an Oriental Poppy. Forget we said the word 'Poppy' because everything that makes an Oriental Poppy happy will surely kill this aristocrat. Think cool. moist, part shade, what is going to make my Primrose happy? and you will be on the right track. This is going to be difficult south of northern New England unless you have a cool microclimate. Forget about Kansas although we have heard good reports from higher elevation in Colorado. We've seen the parent species of this hybrid at 12000' in eastern Bhutan and 10000' in Yunnan both in stable moss-covered boulder slopes which never dry. This appreciates a partly sunny to bright dappled shaded position with good loose organic soil that drains yet doesn't dry out. Acid soil and it doesn't like heat and it does need a winter so it can go dormant. A small percentage will bloom and die - that is just the roll of the Blue Poppy dice and part of the mystique. This strain is much less prone to that plus you have viable seed with which you can start new ones if that does happen. That said, the 'Lingholm' selection in general cultivation has been so diluted by generations of seed-sowing that the Royal Horticultural Society is calling this strain Meconopsis Fertile Blue Group to denote that it is a tall blue flower producing fertile seeds. But what really matters is that these have no peers as there is truly nothing to compare. Young, sturdy plants which will establish very nicely in the garden.
Small Band Pot A treasure for the rock garden or trough, this jewel of a species is native to Europe growing in crevices on rock cliffs. It likes good drainage but not too dry so add some fine gravel or sand to your planting mix. We've found it to be quite easy growing it in full sun and it often reblooms later in the year. It has actually been one of our most care-free of all of our Primulas. Unlike a lot of true alpines, this seems to tolerate our regular overhead watering in the nursery.
Large Band Pot One of the truly elegant cultivars and one that will be the toast of the garden. This is one of 5 surviving C. xcrocosmoides bred by Max Leichtlin of Baden-Baden Germany before 1895 that is still in cultivation. A true heirloom cultivar. Tall stems with fingers of flowers held out like a ladies hand extended to be kissed. Refined orange tepals nicely spaced reflects its obvious confident sense of self and of place which speaks to its heritage of Teutonic thoroughness and simmering superiority.
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..