Friday, August 17, 2018

Visiting Far Reaches Farm, in Port Townsend, WA

The final stop on last Saturday's day of plant fun, with Peter and Alison, was Far Reaches Farm in Port Townsend, Washington — and no, you haven't missed my other posts, I rarely do things in order, they'll show up eventually.

While most of the PNW I-5 corridor — from Portland to Seattle — was enjoying the first cloudy, cool (under 80) day in several weeks (with sprinkles! .01" recorded in Portland), Port Townsend actually experienced downpours.

We were rained on in route and I joked that the skies would clear and the sun would come out once we pulled into the nursery, and what do you know, that's pretty much what happened.

Just moments after we arrived, I grabbed this Syneilesis, it's so different from the ones I currently grow (label: Syneilesis Sp. (as intermedia) DJHT12101 ex Taiwan), I had to have it.
Disporium nantouense, from a Crug Farm collection.
I took several photos of brightly colored Roscoea during our visit. I've tried, and failed, multiple times with this plant. Thus I adored them, and left them behind.
Sinopanax formosanus, Far Reaches is where my Sinopanax came from.
Saxifraga paniculata ‘Rosea’

So many plants...

Far Reaches has several crazy good Crocosmia.

Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpureum', tempting, but I passed.

Ha! This planting made me laugh. So much empty space...come on, cramscape!

I've signed up for the Far Reaches newsletter (you should too) and it's not uncommon to hear that a section of the nursery is off limits because some creature has decided to call it home (Killdeer come to mind). I have no idea what created this nest, but it was fun to see.

I asked about this exceptional thistle, but there were none currently available.

See what I meant about the rain?

Lily down.

This one caused me some confusion and I meant to ask Kelly or Sue about it. My eyes said Daphniphyllum, the label said Diplopanax stachyanthus

Anybody?

Diphylleia cymosa

OMG, so cute!

Relaxing in the sun...

The Outlaw, in his element.

In addition to the fabulous nursery keeping them busy Kelly and Sue recently formed Far Reaches Botanical Conservancy, which is "focused on introducing new plants to North America with attendant conservation and education. This is important work that is racing the clock as native ecosystems and key ornamental collections overseas are increasingly imperiled and your financial support is critical to continue to make this happen." (more here) Thank god someone (some pair?) is willing to take on this important work.

If my memory is correct this shelter was built thanks to the kindness ($) of a spouse of dedicated Far Reaches shopper. He needed a place to sit (out of the weather) while she shopped.

I think that's Kelly and Sue's homestead, as lovely as it is my camera was actually focused on the blooming Nolina. That's something you don't see every day.

Beautiful.

Eryngium maritimum

The Tetrapanax are lovely but wowsa!...

Check out that Schefflera delavayi!

Heading back to the nursery proper this stopped me in my tracks. The foliage says Lyonothamnus floribundus, but those huge blooms? And it can get cold up here in Port Townsend.

Could it be?

Heading into the greenhouse to pay I caught sight of another of the dogs. What a life!

Clethra aff. petelotii was my final temptation, but I managed to walk away.

So what did I bring home? Well that Syneilesis at the top of the post was my only purchase. But I'd done a little favor for Kelly and Sue awhile back, so Kelly tossed in a couple of plants. This interesting guy being one of them...

I do love me a plant that looks dead and this one almost fits that bill. Plus once I was home and researching it I discovered a few online photos that included translucent blue berries...

Kind of like these. Which belong to Coprosma brunnea which I feel in love with at the VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver BC way back in 2010. I will be thrilled if I see berries like that on my plant.

My other gifted treasure is this guy, Bupleurum angulosum. I knew nothing about it when I accepted it but a little research shows me it's got green flowers which means I am thrilled.

Here's the description from the Far Reaches website: "A quietly fun perennial that should be on every green flower afficionado's hit list.  Lance-shaped leaves and branched stems bearing dull yellow tiny button flowers arising from green buds and all surrounded by a prominent green collar.  Lovely green effect with plenty of structural detail.  Archibald collection from the Pyrenees/Cantabrian Mts.  Jim and Jenny Archibald were great plant hunters with a fabulous seed business and we have one of greenhouses named for them."

So that's our most wonderful outing to Far Reaches. If you're in the Portland area you'll want to come out to hear Kelly and Sue talk ("It’s All About the Plants") at the HPSO Fall PlantFest on September 15th...more info here (oh, and there's a plant sale afterward!).

Weather Diary, Aug 16: Hi 83, Low 61/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

32 comments:

  1. Rain! OMG, I didn't realize how much I've missed it until I saw your photos.

    Out of all the photos you showed, I only one have plant: Eryngium maritimum. But I treasure that one.

    Looking forward to hearing Kelly and Sue speak next month!

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    1. Funny I wasn't particularly happy to see it. Maybe if I knew it was actually watering the garden at home (it wasn't) I would have felt differently.

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  2. Far Reaches is a magical place and even more so when sharing it with treasured friends. Fear not, the very Roscoea you photographed is now happily growing in a large pot in my garden and you can come visit it whenever you want. They always vanish after a few years in the ground here (they emerge late and plants that do that sometimes get forgotten and walked on or dug up when cramscaping.) but I've had success in pots. Nice nest find! I missed it. Lyonothamnus floribundus in bloom caught my eye too and I asked Kelly about it. He said that they don't do anything special with it. My own specimen is a bit larger than theirs but has never bloomed. Have you seen any blooming in Portland? Can't wait to see if your new coprosma grows cool berries like the ones you posted!

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    1. Thanks for the Lyonothamnus floribundus confirmation, I've never seen one bloom. I flirt with the idea of one (or two) as a street tree replacement but I've been told their hardiness is questionable.

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  3. I love their descriptions. I have a Sept. order in with them and am hoping a couple of my lusts become available soon to add to the list. That Synelisis is gorgeous. I need to see if it is hardy here. I have two (!!) Diphylleia cymosa in different locations and both are very unhappy. I need to move them but I am having trouble figuring out what they really want. They hang on but never flower or look that good. Thanks for the tour. I love that nursery (or at least their online shop) and always enjoy seeing what it looks like to visitors.

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    1. I love knowing you order from them and their plants are in your Wisconsin garden. Hope you get to visit in person someday.

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  4. Like Gerhard, I had a hard time getting beyond the rain but it's a wonderful nursery. You are SO lucky to have such great places within commutable distance.

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    1. Is 3 hours and 40 minutes commutable distance? Well, I guess I did get there by car...

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  5. I've tried Roscoea and killed it too, don't know why. I planted three of that rosy Saxifrage this spring, I hope they thrive. They have the sweetest red flowers. I also bought two of that Cirsium from them at the Hardy Plant Study weekend, I'm waiting for fall to get them in the ground. It's probably good you didn't buy any, they like water (and we know how stingy you are with that), plus it leaves more for me. Did you happen to see Pam's post about the border at Kew that had a huge swath of them? Fabulous!

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    1. I am stingy with water in the front garden, but the back garden gets plenty. Then again I would probably plant this in the front garden...

      I didn't see Pam's post... I must find it now!

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  6. I don't see how you resisted that Clethra. I even had to look up this plant to make sure it wouldn't survive here. slobber...

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  7. Ha, I fell for that Synelisis as well on my last visit. Great nursery.

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    1. Good to know it's powers are strong.

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  8. Every gardener has at least one quirk/obsession/foible that makes sense to nobody else (or just a select few), and yours is the dead-looking plant thing. And maybe Syneilesis too it sounds like. :)

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    1. I'm with you on the dead-plant thing, but I think the appeal of Synelisis is far reaching (see above).

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  9. Oh I enjoyed this visit--it's been so many years since I visited Far Reaches (in fact the same year as my first visit to The Danger Garden) and I feel a deep need for a WA road trip. In the meantime I have PDX to look forward to.

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    1. Too bad you can't do both this September. Although Kelly and Sue will be bringing plants to sell at PlantFest. I'm sure they'll bring requests too, if you email them in advance.

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  10. A lot of plants I don't know anything about. Particularly striking is Eryngium maritimum: it's magnificent.

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    1. It is! I wish mine looked that good.

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  11. Love the Oak leave variety of hardy Schefflera delavayi. Such an amazing nursery!

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  12. Kelly & Sue have often done seminars at Joy Creek. They always bring a nice selection of plants to sell but nothing like the range you show here. They're great showmen too, so their presentation at the fall sale should be well worth catching.

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    1. Indeed! I've attended at least one of those talks and it was a great time.

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    2. could you tell it was me? (ricki) the only way i have found to leave a comment here is as 'anonymous' and i sometimes forget to identify myself

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    3. I suspected, with the mention of JC, that it was either you or Anna. And yes, that's why I leave the anon option, because I want to hear from you!

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  13. It looks more like Diplopanax than Daphniphyllum.

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    1. You're in the know then! I am not familiar with Diplopanax at all. Guess I've got some learning to do.

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  14. So many wonderful plants, what a way to have with friends. The Coprosma is very cool.

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    1. I'm lucky to have friends all over the West Coast!

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  15. Wow! They really did get rain! Ah, how I'd love some of that right now. Far Reaches is such an incredible nursery. I really should make my trips there more frequent than every...4 years? Five? Too long. I adore the blue berries of Coprosma brunnea that I've seen in photos. Coprosma rugosa looks like a good one, too!

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    1. I wish they were easier to visit, and I'd be there more often. My last visit was in 2013, so you've got me beat with 4 years, tied with 5.

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