A Rare Plant Specialty Nurseryin Port Townsend Washington
Sue Milliken & Kelly Dodson, proprietors
What's New at The Farm - March 29 2014
It is finally going to happen. We are going to be open for retail here at the nursery starting April 4 & 5 from 10-4. We are calling this our usual "soft opening" because we won't be fully stocked by any means but we are cleaning and labeling like mad. The gardens are still in their winter cleanup and editing phase but are coming together. 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 A killer plant in our border we got from UBC wrongly ID'd as T. uchiyamae. It happens even to the best. We were showing Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones from Crug Farm in Wales our planting of this in our border awhile back and we all were admiring the 8' purplish stems holding billowing clouds of lavender-pink-yellow flowers when we noticed Bleddyn wasn't sharing in the appreciation. Once he said that Thalictrum uchiyamae was a small plant a foot or so tall, we understood his confusion. It could not have been a more polar opposite! Always good to be humbled before such botanical heavyweights. ("No, wait! We really do know something about plants! Hey! Where are you going? Come back!" Just a little personal recurring nightmare of ours.) We all agreed with him that it was a fine example of Thalictrum rochebrunianum!
Large Band Pot Absolute rock hardy jewel from Lebanon and Syria. Well. it's rock hardy here anyway - we know that means something entirely different in Minot. This is perfect for our area as it is winter growing and summer dormant so our Mediterranean dry summers feels a lot like home to it. Surprisingly, it has been very tolerant of being watered all the time while dormant so it is more cosmopolitan than one might guess its geography. Blooms in late spring with lots of lavender-blue flowers on stems up to 18" and after flowering it disappears until Fall. Not often available and we have the inimitable John Flintoff to thank for sharing this with us.
4" Pot Chilean Guava. Our mama plant is loaded with fruit in the greenhouse right now and after eating some, we're questioning why we are selling any instead of keeping them to lavish ourselves in personal extravagance. If we were just two miles down the road by the shore we would grow these outside but here in the relative Siberia of the Quimper Peninsula Steppe, we dasn't take the chance. One of the perfect evergreen shrubs for mild climates, this has shiny aromatic leaves giving olfactory testimony to its inclusion in the Myrtle family. Nice white flowers followed by ruby flavorful fruit the size of average Blueberries and all on a broadly columnar plant to 8' tall. If this was hardier, it would be ubiquitous. As it is, it is worth coddling in cooler climes and personally we are going to throw down some Chilean Guava on our foodie friends come Christmas. Brought Ullucus tuberosus tip salad to Thanksgiving and now for something Ugni. Walking the razor's edge of foodism with an MC Hammer You Can't Touch This. The best thing about bringing an Ugni dish to Christmas dinner? It'll be the best Ugni anyone has ever had. Nemo in The Matrix not in black but in white Chef holding a plate of Ugni ala Far Reaches in one hand and reaching out and beckoning "Bring it, foodies" with the other. Oh yeah, so doing the Ugni.
Large Band Pot Smashing yellow Crocosmia with small but multitudinous flared open flowers. A good clumper with nice vigor. Often we favor the larger flowers but this puts on such a good display of a nice yellow (there are bad yellows) that it is impossible not like this one. It was among the top sellers of our Crocosmias here at the nursery last year and it is because it has that special something. There is much confusion in the trade with a half dozen different but similar cultivars and we have to confess that we are as confused as anyone. We have sold this for years as Crocosmia 'Citronella' but now think we have 'Golden Fleece' based on Goldblatt, Manning and Dunlop who state that the the true 'Citronella' gets 3'-4' tall and this is quite compact at 28"-30". 'Golden Fleece' was introduced in 1993 but no one knows who the breeder was so add murky origins to the melange of mystery.
4" Band Pot This is one of the unsung workhorses in our garden. So it's high time to treat it to a well-deserved and long overdue song. C'mon now - get your hoodies on and lets rap it out::
A peerless performer that is first to bloom
this repels the gray cloudy doom
that passes for spring in the Northwest
which usually feels like an inquest.
I'm telling it true - this gots da power
often you see no foliage - covered by flowers.
Grow this in sun or shade
you feel like you got it made
Word up, yo and listen to my rap
or you'll miss the secret of mulching with cow crap.
Drop a dime bag of moo, the first one's free
You'll see why it makes everything look so pretty.
Copyright 2011. Lyrics and music by C-rapper.
4" Pot Alternate-leaved Golden Saxifrage. Love it when customers share interesting plants with us which is how we came by this little goody. This is pretty much circumarboreal in the northern hemisphere where it is often found in rock outcrops in moist areas. Nice rounded evergreen leaves and umbels of yellow flowers in spring. This is going to work nicely as a small scale groundcover in a moist lightly shaded spot. It grows in some pretty northern cold areas with a distinctly continental climate so good and hardy.
Quart Pot A lesser-known cousin to the better-known Iris unguicularis. This is a Turkish species and while it blooms a bit later than it's famed cousin, is still early enough to be immensely gratifying plus it has hands down far more attractive evergreen foliage than I. unguicularis. We had a flower or two this past December but expect it to really kick in when March roll around. The flowers are held down in the foliage and often this foliage is cut pack prior to flowering so the blooms can be enjoyed unencumbered. We've never gotten around to do that and our enjoyment has not been diminished one whit Easy with drainage and will take some summer dry. We've found the foliage looks better in part shade and actually grow this in our shade garden.
Quart Pot Exceptional deciduous ground cover with solid dark green leaves for the shade garden or partly sunny spot. Early spring pink tinged blue flowers appear with abandon before the leaves emerge. Portland garden designer and author Lucy Hardiman told us there is nothing like this for underplanting Corylopsis pauciflora with its complementary soft yellow bells. Thrives in a heavy moist soil and neither asks for nor receives any extra attention beyond the bare minimum from us.