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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Visiting Far Reaches Farm

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. 
 
 Didja know that the pink parts are not petals but bracts, modified leaves, that protect the actual blooms at their junction?  Keep an eye on the alien-looking thing in the middle.

Still watching?

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!  

29 comments:

  1. What fun that others got to ride in and stuff the plant mobile to the gills! I can well understand the giggles. Far Reaches is such a special place.

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    1. The plant mobile does feel a little guilty seeing other people; had to convince it that you were cool with the whole open relationship thing.

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  2. That is an awesome haul of plants! The lonicera is crazy floriferous - I do not think I have ever seen one so dense with flowers.

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    1. It was a great haul! For some reason the loniceras are blooming like nobody's business this summer.

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  3. I love the Far reaches shade plants, If I had more shade I would have had so many of those plants. I think I have a plan for more shade …next year.

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    1. More shade? Sounds exciting; can't wait to see how you accomplish it!

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  4. My Internet was acting up so I couldn't see half of your pictures, just a little black x, but what I saw was beautiful. This nursery is one of my favorite mail order nurseries. A little while back a person who post on the PNW Palm and Exotic Gardening section of the Cloud Forest forum got a behind the scenes tour of the place. He reported seeing several other Schefflera species beside the two they are selling. Did you happen to see any?

    John (Aberdeen)

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    1. One of the fun parts of visiting the nursery in person is that sometimes if it's slow, Kelly will give us a tour of some of the back greenhouses. I did see some other Scheffleras back there but they aren't selling them until they have sufficient numbers. It'll be exciting to see their future offerings!

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  5. I've never been to Far Reaches but you've reignited my determination to get there. Thank you!

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    1. My pleasure indeed, Heather! So many great nurseries to visit out that way! The Heronswood fall sale is September 6 so maybe you could come up for that event and hit the other nurseries as well!

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  6. Seems like everyone has a carload of plants. The other day I looked from my rearview mirror and was amused to see a bunch of diaphanous plants riding in the passenger seat of the car behind me. I hope the driver was equally amused to see the cleome peeking out the back window of my car!

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    1. Seeing someone with a carload of plants always makes me smile! Kindred spirits and all.

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  7. Oh yes, I clearly need to return to Far Reaches soon! I do not have that fabulous thistley plant, but I should.

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    1. It's always a good time to visit Far Reaches!

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  8. It is such a GOOD feeling, when the car is stuffed with plants like that. Love it. And I'm with you about Thalictrums, but those ladies with the scary thorns... well be careful Peter.

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    1. Thanks for your concern linniew. I've been hurt before and I'll be hurt again. It's all part of loving those thorny characters.

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  9. I should have guessed that you would have some polished pickup lines to lure unsuspecting beauties into your garden.

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    1. Sometimes a little romance is more enjoyable than just grabbing them by their pots.

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  10. What a haul! Loved it all.
    (No poetry intended.)
    Learned a lot about the dogwood, by the way.

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    1. I was curious about the dogwood when I started looking at their centers so found the information on the interweb. Glad you enjoyed the haul!

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  11. There's so much to like in this place, I don't even know where to start. Oh and that boot, there's still lots of space there for more plants!

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    1. It's a great place! Next time we do a fling in the PNW, perhaps we'll get to visit this nursery! Always enough space for more plants !

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  12. The colour of that Iris is spectacular, a great visit to the nursery too.

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    1. It was very eye catching and almost came home with me but I already have lots of them.

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  13. Looks like a good day hunting and gathering! Lucky plants going to a good home!

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    1. It was a great day hunting and gathering! Plants going to three good homes! Evan has already planted his variegated Davidia!

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  14. Fremontodendron in the back seat looks dangerous... Any (human) casualties?

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    1. All escaped the plant mobile unscathed!

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  15. You certainly had a good day, so many plants in the boot of the car, you were certainly tempted!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.