A Rare Plant Specialty Nurseryin Port Townsend Washington
Sue Milliken & Kelly Dodson, proprietors
What's New at The Farm - February 26 We have recovered from the marathon early than normal push to get the gardens and nursery in tip-top shape as we had the privilege to attend the international Mahonia Summit in mid February as well as host the attendees here at the nursery on the final day of the conference. Try to imagine the anxiety attacks we were having at the prospect of Dan Hinkley, Tony Avent, Nick Macer, John Grimshaw, Mark Weathington and the like times ten wandering about for hours. No, you have to imagine our anxiety at a 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 Nice robust Crocosmia with vibrant trumpets of red and orange-yellow flowers. Flowers like hot coals with the same mesmerizing effect as staring into a fire absently swirling some 15 year Laphroig in your glass and thinking back upon opportunities seized or lost and past lovers real and that could have been and of all of the forks pondered in life's road and how time is fleeing by and there is so much left to do and just as I start to freebase unanswerable questions with no expectation of reply I glance at Emberglow and wonder how did it come to be that I am so lucky to have so many plants that capture my senses so completely as to send me traveling the astral plane soaring in grace and peace high above the scrabble that so often fractures my day?
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.
Large Band Pot A bright flare of rich red flowers makes this is an excellent garden plant which puts on a good show and was named for a woman of no small means and substance. To bestow such a namesake upon a plant of anything less than the first rank would be folly in more ways than a simple flatlander such as myself could conjure so that alone should speak to its merits. The spawn of breeding Crocosmia xcrocsmiiflora x 'Lucifer' in the late 1980's by A.J. Hogan in Cornwall resulted in some excellent seedlings. This was the cream of that crop and was named in 1993 and bears little resemblance to 'Lucifer'. A robust plant to 3' tall or so.
Large Band Pot aka Schizostylis. This South African native was selected for its coral colored flowers and consistent excellent performance by a wholesale nursery in Oregon which specialized in choice perennials and we doubt that "Coral" was ever intended to be anything other than a descriptive color name but it seems to have become entrenched in the trade as a legitimate name. Related to Gladiolus, this has similar flowers arranged on 18" stems but are more wide open and star-shaped. These spread by rhizomes to make a nice patch and the late summer flowers are very nice. This form has large flowers of dark even pink with a long bloom period from August into October.
Two Gallon Pot Second generation plants from our collection from a grassy bank above a stream in Tibetan Yunnan where it was growing in moist rich topsoil at around 10000'. This is a choice herbaceous member of the Barberry Family with rich darkly mottled new growth and broad sharply lobed palmate leaves up to a foot across with a crystalline pink chalice of a flower giving way to large red fruits in fall. Gorgeous moist shade plant to 3' tall although we've seen this same collection at a friend's garden pushing 4' tall. Hardy to Zone 5 and best of all - it's easy. These are very large flowering size plants of a size that is seldom if ever available. Seriously, our growing bed of these this year was waist high on Kelly who is of average height and striving for average weight. Beautiful as a single specimen plant or especially effective in drifts of 50.
Quart Pot Rare in cultivation, this form from NW India of this Solomon's Seal is mainly an epiphytic species growing in mossy trees and on mossy, humus covered rocks. The speckled pale pink flowers hang as small bells as the new growth elongates and as the season progresses, the flowers turn into attractive red fruits. In frost-free areas, the fruit-bearing stems overwinter and overlap the flowering of the next year's growth which is very charming. This is an evergreen species in mild areas and is some years for us but of late has been deciduous due to cold winters with no ill effects. It has done very well in our raised shade beds and this is another plant we mulch in the fall as a winter precaution. Good drainage.
Large Band Pot Rosebud Salvia. One big Salvia that always surprises me how hardy it is. Our big clump came through 14F last winter shooting up lots of new shoots this spring but then Sue is a manic mulcher in the Fall. Large soft leaves and terminal flowers of a vivid cerise rose arising from a large "rosebud" in late summer on stems 4'-6' tall.