The last stop on the Kitsap Peninsula tour with Evan and Vickie was Far Reaches Farm. A feeling of excitement always hits when driving into the place. Could it be that the drive is edged by a great border filled with gorgeous plants? Maybe it's that Kelly and Sue are incredibly knowledgeable plantspeople who are kind, down to earth and have a great sense of humor? Perhaps it's that the nursery is full of unusual and fun plants? How about the thrill of maybe seeing mama and baby killdeer? Could it be that it's a long drive and the porta potty is right next to the parking area? Most likely a mix of all of these.
Green roofed gazebo on the left. The Philadelphus microphyllus 'Charles Price' in bloom at the left of the border by the bog caught the noses of Evan and Vickie. What smells like grape soda? Fortunately, there were plants of this one for sale!
Having more shade than sun in my garden, I usually head for the shade houses on the left first and then head out to the sun loving pant tables.
Several years ago, I got a start of this aloe from Far Reaches. Mine has grown to rival the size of it's mama and I even got mine to turn brown by stressing it a bit and giving it sufficient sun. Look, mom is blooming!
Off to the shade garden to be awed! Did somebody spill the cinnamon on this rhododendron or does it just have gorgeous tomentum on the new growth?
Cardiocrinum giganteum blooms tower above our heads. I always think of Jack and the Beanstalk when these, after making lovely foliage for a few years, begin to send up their giant stalks lined with large leaves.
Monocarpic, they put on quite a show before dying and leaving gorgeous seed pods at the top and lots of little bulbs at the bottom. The bulbs should be separated and replanted fairly quickly.
Once you have these, you'll be hooked and want to add one or two each year so that you'll never be without blooms. They take three to seven years to bloom so advance planning is a good thing. Here in the PNW, mine have bloomed pretty reliably in three years from setting out the new bulbs. Far Reaches also has one of the only pink cardiocrinums to bloom in cultivation. (Or so they SAY; I always miss it's blooming.) My pal Alison bought a seedling of it so fingers are crossed!
I can never get enough of peony seed heads. I wonder what color show is in store when they open to reveal the seeds?
Who knew that Cole Porter liked plants?
Paris polyphylla var. yunnanensis is going on my list of plants to add to my garden!
I think that if I could only grow one group of plants it would be the podophyllums.
Acetea spicata (guessing) berries.
Seeing the foliage of Ajuga incise 'Bikun' is a delight. Seeing it covered in beautiful blue flowers is a special thrill.
Fatsia polycarpa 'Needham's Lace' or Edward Needham form. Fling attendees may remember seeing this plant at both Cistus Nursery and in the Danger Garden.
Combination of Cardiocrinum giganteum and Podophyllum delavayi - heavenly!
I have some lovely specimens of this in my own garden but seeing so many of them in the far reaches shade garden always causes me to swoon a bit. Now let's see, what should I rip out this year to make more space for these?
Iris ensata 'Foreign Intrigue'
Masterful planting of Eucomis to echo the glass leaf shapes in the bog.
Back out to the border by the drive, the fragrance of this Lonicera made me want to set up a tent and live beside it for a while.
A plant for Danger. Do you have this one D.G?
Podophyllums and Thalictrums two plants of which one can never have too many!
Here's an old friend. (My seedling of this one is now taking off like nobody's business and has thorns as lovely as mom's)
Although grown mostly for those thorns which resemble stained glass when the sun hits them, this also has sweet little white flowers.
"Oh my, you have lovely hips. What's your name?"
"Rosa sericea ssp. omeiensis f. pteracantha."
"Can I just call you Rose and perhaps buy you a drink, some nice compost tea or perhaps some liquid seaweed?"
"My friends call me Wingthorn and I'd only hurt you if we got close but that drink does sound good."
Also in the border is this dogwood putting on quite a show at the time of our visit.
Voila, the flowers are starting to pop open. Fun eh?
I'll never forget the giggles that spontaneously erupted when we were walking back to the plant mobile. Only fellow plant fanatics would understand the feeling of triumph after a day of plant shopping.
Looks like there's still lots of room for more plants!
Thanks again Evan and Vickie for such a fun day and bless you Sue and Kelly for providing a great fix for us plant junkies!