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
4" Pot Bottlebrush. Fun and very hardy selection that has willowy and twisting branchlets sporting 2" light yellow flower brushes on the branch tips all pointing willy-nilly for a wild Medusal effect. Length of bloom is longer on older plants so it is true that some things get better with age. I feel that way about Sue and another month o the diet, she'll feel the same about me.. Happy in nearly any soil and happiest with regular water. Not deer fodder.
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.
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.
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.
4" Pot A jolly plant indeed introduced by Heronswood from Sichuan. This has evergreen foliage springing from new growth that looks to be a bamboo until it leafs out. Small creamy white flowers in early summer and blue-black fruit held well into winter if the cold doesn't knock back the 6' + stems. Cut back old stems in spring if you were lucky enough to have a mild winter and it remained evergreen.
Large Band Pot Our collection from NW Yunnan of this very showy Meadow Rue. Nicely colored stems and attractive foliage with the large-for-a-Thalictrum lavender-pink flowers. A first rate perennial and proving to be a very good garden plant in both our sunny garden as well as in our shade garden. It's a lankier in the shade appreciates staking but still blooms well. (MD97110 = Milliken-Dodson and it was the 110th seed collection in 1997.)
Large Band Pot This is a fine Meadow Rue and one we have long grown and so can testify that it is durable, easy and very pretty. We first saw this species in Yunnan in 1997 and have had a soft spot for it ever since. Fine textured foliage like a graceful Columbine and light plum colored stems 3'-5' tall holding individually large pinkish flowers. We grow this both in full sun and in our shade garden and the early summer bloom is just a great textural addition.
Large Band Pots Rare and elusive in commerce, this is a denizen of the New Jersey Pine Barrens and moist areas along the Eastern Seaboard. When in flower, it always strikes us as looking more extra-terrestrial than a product of our own earthly evolution. Bizarre pink cones of small packed flowers studded with blue anthers are just a giggle. Rich moist soil in some shade. This is Federally listed as endangered and threatened. Our plant was received many years ago from the Rhododendron Species Botanic Garden who grew it from seed and we have propagated it like mad here at the nursery so our conscience is clear.