A Rare Plant Specialty Nurseryin Port Townsend Washington
Sue Milliken & Kelly Dodson, proprietors
What's New at The Farm - September 10 2014
It's the Great Winnowing happening here at Far Reaches. Our absurd plant collection has tipped even us over the edge and we have no desire to star on the Plant Hoarding Channel although possible profit would have some serious appeal. We are systematically going through the archival can yard of sentiment and botanically interesting with a liberating ruthlessness or at least with what passes as ruthlessness here in Port Townsend. Yes, it's Compost by Committee with a ceremonial 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 Second generation plants from our collection of this Solomon's Seal from the Cangshan in Yunnan. This has narrow leaflets arrayed in tiers with small bell-shaped pale white flowers overlaid in a dusky wash and which are clustered near the leaf bases which later become red-orange fruit bunched like small grapes. This keys to P. kingianum in the Flora of China but likes the rich color and flower size of classic kingianum. Lots of research be done on this genus so we'll get a name on this before too long. Surprisingly sun tolerant given enough water. In our lath house shade garden which is fairly bright, this has become quite impressive in the last few years making a bamboo-like clump of herbaceous stems to 7'-8' which makes us very happy.
4" Band Pot One of the most intensely colored Juliana type Primroses out there. This puts on a no-holds barred display of shrieking magenta flowers that is a celebration of pigment with no apologies. The rich color sets it apart from all others. Tolerates full sun if given enough water but looks better given some relief from afternoon sun. Very tough and a good clumper. Our plant came from Rice Creek Garden in Minneapolis years ago so that gives some clue as to hardiness. It also came under the name of 'Lois Lutz' which we have sold it as for a number of years including this year on our online store here. Thanks to the American Primrose Society show people down in Portland for pointing out the error of our ways.
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.
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.
Gallon Pot A bizarre antler-like sport of the common Yew found oddly enough we were told on the grounds of the insane asylum in Holland for which it is named. This is one crazy plant. (sorry) Open strikingly architectural growth habit with such strict attention to lines and form as to be almost compulsive. Very unYew-like and more like some odd dendritic Podocarpus. The first one I saw was at the Platt Garden in Portland and it was very appealing in a strangely handsome way and I remain intrigued to this day. I'm just now realizing why Sue sometimes calls me her "little Amersfoort" - it's because I'm strangely handsome and not because I teeter on the edge of reality - what a relief!
Large Band Pot Pot Turkish/Bulgarian/Georgian member of the Borage family with panicles of blue flowers from unfurling fiddlehead clusters of buds just as the leaves emerge in early spring. The leaves are pretty big and form a dense cover. This is a very tough plant tolerating short term serious dry abuse although best in good soil with adequate moisture. We tolerate short term periods of being dry ourselves and personally find it abusive so while the Trachystemon can take some dry, it is much happier if it doesn't have to. Great at shading out weeds. Probably deer resistant as they have never munched it here but we try hard not to have them munch at all.
4" Pot White Velvet Spiderwort. This gets great cobwebby silver-white foliage with light purple flowers nestled in the leaf axils. Likes it on the drier side thank goodness and is far hardier than we thought. This overwintered in the ground outside at plant maestro Brian McLaughlin's garden just down the road at 10 degrees one winter "although I mulched it" he hastened to add. The biggest issue for us is not so much the cold but adequate winter drainage because we can get some rain. It resents water-logging but is really quite easy and just very eye-catching as it looks more house plant the garden plant.
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?