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, September 8, 2016

Far Reaches Farm Part Two

Join me as we continue our stroll through the horticultural wonderland of Far Reaches Farm.

Berberis jamesiana dripping with fruit which turns bright salmon later in the season.  It looked pretty spectacular already and fortunately there were a few on the tables for sale.

I'm guessing that this is  Clematis tibetana subsp. vernayi - Black Form.  "This Steve Hootman collection from China is one of the most asked-for plant in our gardens.  A tremendous number of small nodding closed lantern-like flowers adorn the plant most of the summer.  Why would you want a clematis with small flowers that scarcely open? Because they are BLACK! The long flowering period allows the flowers to mingle with the silken shimmering seed heads which is a show sublime.  A superb introduction.  One of our favorite minor features of interest with this plant is watching the bumblebees forcing their way inside the flowers."

The sunny bog.

Always nice to see our native Xerophyllum tenax.

Hey look, they're adding a new pond and waterfall near the house.

An Eryngium bloom.  Looks like 'Big Blue' to me. but may be another variety. 

Crocosmia looking especially happy.

Peony seed pod. 

Kelly knew that I wouldn't remember Lapageria rosea (even though Evan has posted about his several times) so he kept repeating, "The national flower of Chile."  Bless his heart.  I swear that next time I get to go into the greenhouse with Kelly that notebook and pen will be in my pocket! 

You know it's a great plant if you can't decide if you like the flowers or foliage better. Tremacron aurantiaca

"Is that sizemoreae?"  the begonia lover whose specimen croaked squealed.  Yes indeed it was, the very one that Dan Hinkley found and there were some rooted cuttings.  I hate to be that person who begs to buy plants but sometimes one's lust gets the best of one.   Look at the great texture of those leaves!  The picture doesn't adequately show how wonderfully hairy they are.

Hey kids, look at all of those seedlings of Sinopanax formosana or formosanus depending on whose tag you read.  Anyway, those who've drooled over the large specimen at Windcliff  will be delighted to know that there were some of these on the sales tables as well.  I would have snapped one up had I not just begged to buy a cutting from Mr. Hinkley earlier in the day.

Doryopteris pedata.  Danger keeps saying that ferns are the new succulents.  Works for me as I've always loved them.

This shy little flower is that of a rare vine whose name I've forgotten. 

After our walk through the greenhouses, it was back to the tables to admire more flora.

Now that I've looked at more images of Lomatia ferruginea, I wish that I'd thrown it in my cart. Perhaps a return trip is in order. 

Gentiana cephalantha var. cephalantha  "Distinctive perennial likely either G, dendrologi or G. officinalis.  Thriving in a grazed grassy bank in an vast area of ecological malpractice and abuse in Sichuan.  We considered this a mercy collection.  More curious than beautiful, big evergreen vaguely tropical leaves and clustered pale whitish flowers."  Gotta love that description!
Thanks Kelly and Sue for creating such a marvelous garden and nursery for us all to enjoy and thank you especially for the tour of your greenhouses.  It's always a thrill for me.


  1. It's so cool that you got a behind the scenes tour! What a bummer that your "looks dead" Begonia actually died. Mine has been finicky about being taken out of the greenhouse, and about being over-watered. It has finally bounced back this year, but I think I'm just going to find a spot it likes in the greenhouse and leave it there permanently.

  2. I chuckled envisioning a bee wiggling it's way into the black clematis. I hope it can find it's way out... the Doryopteris pedata is beautiful; online they called it digit fern and pointed out it "develops baby plants at the tips of its fronds". Now that is convenient!

  3. Oh man! I'd forgotten all about that Clematis tibetana subsp. vernayi - Black Form...damn! And wow, Doryopteris pedata - I guess I NEED that one too.

  4. Plant lust plant lust plant lust! The Berberis in the first photo....want...must have...thanks for the tour, Peter.

  5. Love the gardens there. Wishing we had places like that around here. So I'm guessing you got the cutting from the formosanus. btw...You know I got my new header idea from yours, it's fun and always makes me smile seeing it.

  6. Just one wowza shot after another. My want list is getting dangerously long.

  7. What I need is a tiny vacation house (preferably with a good bit of land attached) in the PNW...

  8. If I plant that 'Black Form' with 'Orange Peel'... oooh. Lots of really cool and unusual (to me at least) stuff here!

  9. What a great garden...and photo tour. I love the Clematis tibetana subsp. vernayi, I wonder if I could get it to grow here? So many lovely blooms.

  10. Could the mystery flower/vine be a codonopsis? And what a great begonia your sizemoreae is. I remember the huge fanfare when Thompson & Morgan got ahold of seeds of lapageria decades ago, and I may have even tried the seeds once. So much fun following you around nurseries, Peter.


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