March 7th - October 30th
the Gardens will be open
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

505 Quayle Rd,
Victoria, BC V9E 2J7

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

View on Instagram

April 2016 E-News
Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

News from the Gardens

Spring Plant Sale
April 23 & 24
9 am - 4 pm daily
Sanguisorba Little Angel
Potentilla Arc en Ciel
Geum Cocktails Cosmopolitan

Featuring thousands of plants propagated on  site from plants  in the HCP gardens
  • Some new plant introductions and unusual cultivars!
  • Experts on site to answer your gardening queries
  • Members recieve 10% discount on all purchases
Free admission to the gardens for everyone during sale days

Note: Plant availability list will be on our website ( w ww.hcp.ca ) one week prior to the sale. 
All funds raised from this plant sale support the maintenance and growth of our beautiful gardens.

Fergus Garrett at the HCP
Fergus Garrett and HCP Head Gardener Linda Petite
Diligent note taking in the 
Hardy Border

March 11th was an exciting day at the Gardens at HCP. The Hardy Plant Group, who maintain the Hardy Border section of the gardens, hosted Fergus Garrett, Head Gardener at Great Dixter House in England in the Couvelier Pavilion. Great Dixter was home to writer and gardening leader Christopher Lloyd. As a friend of Lloyd's, Garrett continues to manage Great Dixter in the same manner as his predecessor did. If you are interested in more information about Great Dixter, visit their website or check out one of Christopher Lloyd's books in our member library.

Forty people attended the workshop 'Maximizing your Border Impact with Bulbs' and the participants enjoyed themselves immensely. There was lots of great information, beautiful slides and an inventive demonstration that inspired everyone. Workshop participant and HCP instructor Diane Pierce commented, "I too often leave horticultural lectures and workshops with just a few lines of notes that I have written for myself. During the Fergus Garrett workshop, I wrote a full two pages of excellent facts and ideas."

Well done to the Hardy Plant Group for putting on such a marvelous event! 

Giles' Jottings
Magnolias are in their season now. The scented white one in the Rhododendron Garden,  M. zenii , has - sadly - already come and gone, but there are several glorious white  M.stellata in the gardens, flowering fiercely and abundantly.  
And although it is almost forgotten through familiarity, one can't help but notice that Pieris is at its best just now, with new young red leaves popping out on top like feathers and tumbling sprays of white flowers below.  I think I had associated yellow flowering plants more with fall until I looked around today and saw how many shades of  yellow there are in the garden at the moment. Forsythia is in full swing; the large specimen behind the Couvelier Pavilion is perhaps really a golden colour rather than true yellow. And another odd hue is the emerging buds of the Cornus mas, a yellow with maybe a hint of grey. But the Mahonia is truly yellow, a fresh acid yellow, so well set off by the shiny prickly dark leaves.

And then we have but to stand at the edge of the Gathering Place and look down across the slopes toward the lake where the full vibrant energy of yellow is trumpeted by the swaths of daffodils. What a show. How fortunate we are to be situated on an old daffodil farm. And in the constantly changing show in the Rhododendron Garden there is a rhodo just opening, a large-flowered variety, whose flowers are a most delicate shade of pastel yellow.

There are, of course, other colours: Camellias in flower in pinks and reds - there is a most delightful deep crimson variety just below the bridge in the Takata Garden.

The succession of spring bulbs is coming to a crescendo. We have had snowdrops and crocuses, Cyclamen and Scilla and the daffodils are in full bloom already. But the Trilliums are now beginning, both white and deep red varieties, and we can see the Solomon's Seal pushing up out of the ground. In the Native Garden there are  Fawn lilies/Erythronium, and now the Shooting Stars/Dodecatheon are popping out all over. And there is still Camas to come.

It is difficult not to be stirred by the renewal and re-growth of Spring. Plants live at their own speed. We are lucky enough to be present sometimes when they are showing their finest. In a big garden like the HCP there is always something emerging, something living, something reminding us of the magic and generosity of our natural environment.

An Eggscellent Easter Event
Eight princesses and dozens of mini-princesses, knights and ninjas took over the Gardens at HCP on Sunday March 26th. They danced, sang, sipped tea, posed for the royal photo booth and hunted for eggs in the Gardens! The volunteers in the Lily Garden were sure surprised. Thank you to Enchanted Fables, Four Frames Photo Booth and Tea and Scandal for a great event.

If you missed out - the Princesses will be back in the Couvelier Pavilion at a  Mother's Day Princess Tea Party to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Help Fill a Dream on May 8th from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm. There will be the photo booth from Four Frames again, as well as many other activities! For more information and tickets: contact@helpfilladream.com/ 250-382-3135

Wanted! Gently Used Gardening Tools
With over 100 active gardening volunteers working hard to prepare for spring we need the tools to get to the job done.

If you have an extra shovel or garden fork you no longer need, please drop it off at the Gardens at HCP front desk any day 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Only 'good used condition' or better will be accepted. 

Arts & Music
We have set the date for our 22nd annual Arts & Music Festival and planning is well underway - August 6 & 7, 2016. If you have never attended this great event, it is two days of up to 50 artists throughout the gardens as well as three stages featuring local musicians. There will be yummy food on hand - the gelato is worth the cost of admission alone!

Artist registration is coming in very quickly, but we still have a few spots. If you know anyone who might be interested, please let them know to get their application in quickly. The form can be downloaded here.

AGM - Save the Date
HCP's Annual General Meeting  will be 
Sunday May 29th, 2016.   Watch the Gardens at HCP website for further details and your e-mail inbox for packages prior to the meeting.
We didn't have many replies to our March Whatzit - possibly because everyone is getting too busy in their respective gardens (as well as volunteering in the HCP gardens!). However, Nancy identified it as a Cornus mas, or more commonly called Cornelian cherry. She has one in her garden on Saturna Island.
Our Whatzit got Tom inspired to remind us how many Cornus shrubs and trees there are:

flowering ones (mas, florida, nuttali), shrubby ones for bark interest (sericea, alba 'Sibirica', etc), tree forms (alternifolia - the  Pagoda dogwood has a fabulous form), and not to forget the tiny bunchberry (canadensis). The characteristic of all of them is that the veins of the leaves turn up to run parallel to the main vein.

See if you can tell us whatzit below?  Send your answer to  enews@hcp.ca

March was a sad month at the Gardens at HCP as we lost two of our supporters and builders, Rick Senkler and Joan South.

Rick Senkler was a long-time friend of the HCP and has been a volunteer for more than 10 years. Rick helped out with his BBQ skills during our Arts & Music Festivals, contributed his accounting expertise as a member of our Finance Committee and most recently joined our Board of Directors. He will be missed by his wife, his family and us. 

Joan South was an early member of the HCP.  She was a long time volunteer, serving as Past President of the Horticulture Centre as well as the Principal of the College. Through many roles and a firm but loving hand she provided direction and guidance to a young organization. Another particular concern in those days was the need for a collection of books that could be  referred   to for information - and inspiration! - by the volunteer gardeners. And so there emerged a small library in what is now used as an office, thanks to Joan's efforts.
Pacific Horticulture College

College Update
Our full-time students have been here for almost 3 months now and have already acquired some impressive skills! They have completed three of their courses - Botany, Pruning, and Communication & Supervision Skills. In addition to their ongoing weekly Plant ID and Practical Skills classes, they have been introduced to subjects as diverse as Small Engine Mechanics, Irrigation, Drainage, Ethnobotany, Mason Bees, and Vegetable Growing. Heather grower David Wilson gave an introduction to heathers this week, and the students learned how to use heathers and companion plants for container plantings. Under David's guidance, the class also pruned, fertilized and mulched our heather beds - the garden looks beautiful, come and take a look when you get the chance!

The students have also started their weekly Partnership Rotations, where they work with our HCP volunteers in the Partnership Gardens on Wednesday mornings - a great opportunity to gain some additional skills and knowledge, and to connect with the greater HCP garden community.

Upcoming Workshops

To Register: Call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca

Garden Mosaic Workshop - Stepping Stones with Trish Collins
Three Sessions: April 17, 24 & May 1
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

Join us for this 3-part, fun workshop with Trish Collins of Duck Soup Mosaics. The workshop features basic lessons in the design, construction and finishing of your own weatherproof, decorative 12" stepping stone. Choose from a variety of designs created to suit the materials, level of experience, working time, and produce a great result! All materials are provided and participants will receive a basic tool kit to take home.

Members $160
Non Members $175
To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information. www.hcp.ca/events. Please note cut off for registration is Sunday April 10th by 4 PM.

Grow your own Oyster Mushrooms 
with Danielle Stevenson
Wednesday, April 20 
6:00 - 8:30 PM
This workshop will offer an introduction to the amazing world of mushrooms and cover what you need to know to grow your own mushrooms at home. We'll each inoculate a gallon bucket of oyster mushrooms to take home. Learning to grow mushrooms is a great way to grow your own food and medicine! Oyster mushrooms are a good source of protein, B vitamins, Vitamin D, iron and minerals, and have been shown to lower cholesterol and inhibit cancers.  Instructor Danielle Stevenson is a fungi enthusiast with 4 years of mushroom cultivation experience and a owner of D.I.Y. Fungi.
Members $45.00 per session
Non-Members $50.00 per session

To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information.

Growing Medicinal Mushrooms 
with Danielle Stevenson
Wednesday, April 27 
6:00 - 8:30 PM
This workshop will offer an introduction to the amazing world of medicinal mushrooms and how to grow your own. We'll explore the nutritional and medicinal properties of Reishi, Turkey Tail, Lion's Mane, Maitake, Shiitake and Oyster mushrooms, and how to prepare them in cooking, teas, broths, capsules and tinctures. 

Members $50.00 per session
Non-Members $60.00 per session

To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information.

Special Opportunity...

Foraging Workshop & Lunch 
with  Chef Castro Boateng & foraging guide Lance Staples
Sunday, April 30 or Saturday, May 7
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

This is not your average picnic! Join us for a unique foraging adventure at the Gardens at HCP. The group will spend a couple of hours gathering wild local edibles while learning about foraging from guide Lance Staples. After their foraging adventure, the group will feast on a three course meal using foraged ingredients prepared by Chef Castro Boateng. All this in the beautiful garden setting at the HCP. 
Castro Boateng- With over 16 years of professional culinary experience, Castro has integrated his love for creative art and food into a successful fine catering business in Victoria BC. Known for high end corporate events, weddings, private dining, foraging tours, cooking classes, consulting services and food styling - Executive Chef Castro Boateng is pleased to share his passion for unique fine dining experiences.
Lance Staples- Our expert foraging guide. Lance has been supplying his foraged foods to local restaurants and catering companies for four years. His passion for the BC wildlife is contagious!

All Participants $99
To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information. www.hcp.ca/events

The Art of Herbal Tea Blends
with Lily Fawn
Wednesday, May 4
6:00 - 9:00 PM and
Sunday , May 8
1:00 - 4:00 PM
Welcome to The Art Of Herbal Tea Blends. This class is designed to give you the foundation of information that will allow you to begin your journey through the wonderful world of herbal teas.  Herbalist and teacher, Lily Fawn, has been studying the art of blending herbs and teas since 1992.  She is fun and full of innovative ideas.
This exciting two day class will include information about the history of tea parties, different types of tea, tea talk and terminology, health benefits of herbal teas, how to make your own tea blends and so much more.  You will get to take home your own tea creation and each class will be offered complimentary "high tea", snack. Please alert us of any dangerous food allergies (like nuts), bring your own mason jar and note book / journal. We look forward to sharing the adventures of herbal teas with you.

Members $75.00 per session
Non-Members $85.00 per session

To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information.

Mother & Daughter Soap Making Workshop with Grace Wolf
Sunday, May 8 
12:30 - 3:30 PM
This is the perfect Mother's Day gift!  A gift of creative time together in a spectacular garden setting and delightful handmade natural soaps to take home. This is a special Mother's Day class for moms and their adult daughters or sons. Join Grace Wolfe, from Hands Together Traveling Soap Co., who will guide your pair in creating waste-free, vegan, cold-process soap on Mother's Day. Each pair takes home a box of soap to share and to nurture your skin as you remember your day together. A portion of the profits will be donated to a local charity. We look forward to sharing a special Mother's Day with you!
Members $90.00 per session
Non-Members $95.00 per session

To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information.

Plant Identification and Culture 2016
with Diane Pierce

Saturday, April 7 
Saturday, May 21 (Finnerty Gardens Trip)
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Learn all about plants with Diane Pierce, expert gardener, designer and writer. Diane will introduce you to 25 new plants in each session. You will learn Latin and common names, plant descriptions, cultural requirements, general maintenance and landscape uses. This is an ongoing course and can be joined at any time, all year long, one Saturday a month.
HCP Members $35.00 per session
or $350 for 12 sessions
Non-Members $45.00 per session
or $450 for 12 sessions

To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information.

Also coming in May: 'Composting Basics' & 
'Cob Bench Building Workshop'
To Register for classes call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca


Volunteer Spotlight
Recently a few Gardens at HCP staff took a tour of Outerbridge Park. This Saanich Park is operated as a partnership between the municipality of Saanich and the Gardens at HCP.
Founded by JoAnne Outerbridge, a horticulturist from the United States, this was once her private garden known locally as "Shangri-la Bird and Nature Sanctuary". Today a small group of volunteers work tirelessly to restore, maintain and cultivate this beautiful space. It's an accessible park, perfect for nature lovers of all abilities. We encourage you to visit and see all the work that has been done.

For mini biographies of the Outerbridge team click here.
The Bookend
In case your garden is more or less under control, you might now be thinking it needs some added touch - perhaps a little meandering path, or maybe a bench where you could sit in the shade when the work is all done.

Although we have a number of DIY books in our library at HCP, there is one that is particularly well done, with good colour photographs and watercolour line drawings. The author of "Simple Garden Projects," David Stevens, gives us practical, no-nonsense advice on ways to plan and improve our gardens as well as instructions on how to build some projects.

Stevens first tells us something about the basic elements of garden design and how to assess what we have to work with. Then the reader can casually browse the rest of the book or go straight to one of the four main sections that may be of particular interest:  Paths and patios, Seating sense, Decorative dividers, and Water features.

There are easy-to-follow diagrams and explanatory text that will get you well on your way to creating something that will give you bragging rights for years to come!