A Rare Plant Specialty Nurseryin Port Townsend Washington
Sue Milliken & Kelly Dodson, proprietors
What's New at The Farm - January 28 - We had a team meeting today discussing goals for the year and this included ways that we can improve our relationship with our customers. One of the suggestions the crew had was keeping the website updated and the example was that it had been a month since the last posting here. Point taken! There is news here at the Farm and we are pleased to say 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 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!
Quart Pot Chinese Ground Orchid. Hardy Orchid that does great outside here. My mom had a big patch on the west side of her house on the Hood Canal which had over 50 flower stems. Deep lavender-pink perfect orchid flowers. Easy. Mom's gardening doctrine was that of Benign Neglect so you should do fine. A friend of ours does well with these in Iowa with mulch so they are adaptable. They can take full sun here but we have wimpy sun so elsewhere part sun to even bright shade will be great.
Quart Pot A comparatively cold hardy Bottlebrush that gets to be a large shrub with lots of chartreuse yellow vivacious flowers in May and June. This has a willowy texture with the foliage taking on maroon tints in winter and with age gets great white corky bark. Will take dry but better with water. Deer hate it.
4" Pot Dwarf creeping Willow from the frozen north. Trudging across the tundra, mile after mile. This is a little Salix Sue brought with her from her past life in northern Vermont with a Uhaul truck packed to the roof with plants and the little cabover part with her belongings. She's got her priorities right - plants first, stuff second! Absolutely prostrate (good, I remembered the 'r') and making a perfect pancake of thin twigs with tiny catkins in spring. Kinda fun and this will grow in places way colder than you will want to garden in.
Medium Band Pot Nepal Lily. One of our favorite Lilies and one we have had the pleasure of seeing in the wild in Arunachal Pradesh near eastern Bhutan where it was growing in low scrub on a sunny hillside. This is not from that trip but is a particularly good form with very large pendant yellow-green flowers with a stunning chocolate maroon throat. Really pretty amazing. One thing that we especially enjoy is that it creeps about via underground rhizomes setting new bulbs along the way. It is not unusual for it to pop up 18" away from where you planted it. This fecund wanderlust does make for an impressive display in a few years. Good drainage in the winter and mulch. Our planting in our raised shade garden bed had 80 flowers last year and was a sight. These bulbs should flower but some may wait until next year.
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.
Large Band Pot 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)
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.