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
Quart Pot Solomon's Seal. Mighty fine selection and surely one of the very best variegated perennials for shade. Good clean white variegation that illuminates wherever it is planted. Stunning enough to stand alone with a simple groundcover at its feet or schmoozes easily with other garden glitteratti. This doesn't increase overly quickly by any means and a large clump is very prized. Not to be confused with the old standby variegated Solomon's Seal which while nice, doesn't have nearly the degree of variegation as this selection.
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 This will come as no surprise when we till you this has carmine flowers. Shorter and bushier then say 'Lucifer' with mid-sized flowers flared open with a dab of yellow in the center. A clump of this really puts out the flowers. This is a very good performer in our garden or at least it was until we let the Prunus mume, Buddleja loricata and Rosa x richardii shade it out. Fortunately our big clump in our stock beds is doing great and that is where these are coming from so no worries. Introduced in the early 1950's.
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.
Medium Band Pot An oddity in the Hydrangea family, this is a small shrublet introduced by Crûg Farm from cultivated Japanese plants although they say it apparently is native to the Ryukyu Islands. Light green and lightly toothed leaves subtend the vertical open sprays of fertile pink flowers with tiny highlights of bluish stamens. People won't involuntary exclaim in amazement when they see this in your garden but they will feel like they are lagging quite a bit behind you as plant collectors. It is an excellent psychological profile plant as it is a safe bet nobody will know what this is and there will be those who ask right off "just what the heck is that" while others will attempt to give the illusion of "that old thing". Moist and sheltered. We have not yet tried it in our garden but we need to thank Ed Bowen of Opus Plants in Rhode Island for sharing it with us.
Large Band Pot This is a compact Angel's Fishing Rod but it is a lunker in flower power. This makes a dense evergreen grassy clump which has lots of flower stems bearing pendulous fared pink bells in mid summer. We have this out in our sunny border and it has been great. Very floriferous and gently self-sowing plus it is deer resistant.
Medium Band Pot Our thanks to one of horticulture's good guys, Jim Fox for bringing us a plant of this lovely Aster from one of his trips to the UK. We'll have to go with him some time to learn how to balance plant shopping and carousing but now that we think on it, all of us regard plant shopping as carousing..........we can't be getting old - no, we're just wiser. After all, that Aster will still be there in the morning. This was named for Princess Sturdza's garden at Le Vasterival in France and that should be recommendation enough. Neither pink nor lavender but firmly positioned in that descriptive Bermuda Triangle of the in-between which allows it to mingle effortlessly with a broad palette of colors. A vigorous grower to 5' with deep royal plum colored stems and flowers for weeks in September. When shipped in the fall, we'll need to cut this plant back.
One Gallon Pot From a Floden-Mitchell-Wynn-Jones collection at Lao Cai, above Silver Waterfall, Vietnam at 2100 meters in the fall of 2011. This is quite a rare evergreen vine and we are privileged to offer just a few. We might refer you to the March 2009 issue of The Plantsman for an excellent treatment on Holboellia and this species in particular. Male and female flowers on this woody vine which are attractive and likely cream to pinkish and just as likely nicely scented. These are followed by prominent fruit. Hardiness is totally unknown and you can contribute to botanical knowledge by giving this a try and reporting back. Certainly protect this first winter 2012-13 as these are first-year plants. Realistically, a mild Zone 8 is a good starting point.