Far Reaches Farm is “a plant geek’s fantasy” which becomes evident the moment you pull into the parking lot. When you are getting out of the car you quickly recognize that this experience will be unlike any retail nursery you have visited. When I was the first to arrive on Easter morning I was greeted by Kelly who apologized for not being a retailer and was then happy to spend 25 minutes with me showing the range of Trillium’s offered because that was my interest and going back through the lineage of each species, it was a thoroughly rewarding experience. The staff as a whole had this same extensive knowledge of all things plants. The quality of the plants, the rare treasures, and the knowledge of the staff is unsurpassed by any nursery I have been to in Washington. In fact over the past several years this nursery has become western Washington’s premier source for rare and interesting botanical treasures. If you compare this nursery to the Washington Park Arboretum which covers over 200 acres, and holds 4,000 species of plants you will find The Far Reaches Farm has 6,000 plant species on its property. The proprietors are Kelly Dodson and Sue Milliken who frequently travel abroad on botanical expeditions bringing back various specimens. They are also actively engaged in an often overlooked practice that is just as important; that is, the preservation and propagation of a wide variety of plant introductions old and new that have excellent value in Northwest garden yet have still never caught on in general nursery commerce, remaining very scarce. There is such a broad variety of unique plants that deserve a chance in our gardens, and here you can find many of them in one place.
In addition to the extensive outdoor sales area and two or three sales greenhouses, Far Reaches also has well-established display beds full of interesting plants, including some of their unique collections, and also featuring a pond with a newly planted bog garden, a and a green-roof gazebo. A major highlight is the shade garden, which is spread out underneath a grand-scale classic lath house; it is packed full of very special and unique shade perennials, ferns, and shrubs.
The nursery is easy to find, but hours vary so you will want to check their web site before heading out; or better yet you can subscribe to their newsletter. Check out the reviews that primarily speak to their online outlet.
Far Reaches Farm (Map)
Sue Milliken & Kelly Dodson are the owners
1818 Hastings Avenue,
Port Townsend, WA98368
You will take the Washington State Ferry form Edmonds to Kingston (30 minute Crossing). Far Reaches Farm is in Port Townsend which is 39 miles north of Kingston (Map). Port Townsend is a wonderful spot to have breakfast or lunch in a restaurant on the water. This is part of the enjoyment of this trip.