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
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.
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.
Quart Pots Seldom offered selection by Don Jacobs of Eco Gardens, this has exceptional vigor and and very dense growth habit. Really an ideal groundcover for that small area if you are going for the monoculture look as this is going to own its little piece of ground. But not in a bad way - our patch is finally big enough to share. Nice under taller perennials such as Leucosceptrum or shrubs. Heart shaped deciduous leaves shade funny small urn-shaped brownish flowers. A denizen of the moist northern woods, this is a good addition to the shade garden and seemingly tough as nails given moist shade.
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.
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.