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

505 Quayle Rd,
Victoria, BC V9E 2J7

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August E-News
Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

News from the Gardens
Arts & Music in the Gardens


Arts & Music in the Gardens 2016!
With Arts & Music in the Gardens only a few days away, here are a few helpful tips to help you enjoy your time with us!
  • Members have free access to Arts & Music in the Gardens. Please note that the Guest Passes that come with your annual membership are not valid this weekend.
  • Accessible parking is available on-site.
  • For an easy parking experience, please use the free shuttle service from the Vancouver Island Tech Park.
  • Dogs on leashes are welcome in the Gardens, however they will not be allowed on the shuttles. Please plan accordingly.
  • Mosi's Bakery will be on side and a food truck both days. As well, gelato will be available as a nice treat. Bring your appetite!
  • The CRD Water Cart will be on site to re-fill your reusable water bottles.
  • Our air-conditioned Couvelier Pavilion will host a bar featuring BC wines and Category 12 beer.
  • Please visit our library for our annual new and used Book Sale.
While there will be many beautiful artisan pieces to admire and purchase, please visit us in our gift shop. We have handy handmade baskets or reusable shopping bags for sale that you can use to carry all your treasures from the artisan booths. Our gift shop also features many local artists, unique garden tools, and gift items.  Pick up your tickets for our Brian Minter talk on Thursday, September 15th while you are there! 



We are looking forward to hosting a variety of talented local musicians and artists. It will be a magical weekend. 
Charlotte and the Quail Summer Hours
If you are looking for a unique idea to entertain your summer house guests Charlotte and the Quail is now open every day and is licensed! The hours are Monday to Friday 11 am - 4 pm and Weekends 9 am - 4 pm. 

Their ever-changing, delicious menu is sure to impress and you can top it off with a walk around the Gardens. What a perfect summer afternoon!

Plant Sale Summer Selection
by: Linda Petite, Head Gardener
We have our Plant Sale area fully stocked for the Arts and Music weekend and knowledgeable volunteers and Master Gardeners will be onsite to answer your questions Gardeners love perennials for their endless variety, hardiness and ease with which you can propagate more.  When selecting the "right" plant, consider location (light conditions), colour, ultimate size and time of bloom.    A few favorites available include:  Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola', Gaura lindheimeri, Verbena bonariensis, Agapanthus (blue and white), Perovskia 'Crazy Blue' and Agastache 'Summer Glow' . Come check them out - the combination of artists, musicians and gardens equals great pleasure!!

Back to Reality - Guided Meditation
Saturday, August 27th
9:00 AM

As summer ends and you will soon be heading back to school, work, or just the busyness of your days, take a moment to come into the Gardens and refresh . Angela Stark will lead a guided meditation as you listen to the water and birds. The session will be from 45 to 60 minutes long. Admission to the Gardens is included in your fee so feel free to resume your peaceful experience in the quiet of the Gardens.
$18 for members / $20 for non-members
Space is limited, so please call the office at 250-479-6162 or email events@hcp.ca to reserve your spot. Drop-ins are welcome but are dependent on availability.

Giles' Jottings
August has arrived in a blaze of sunshine. The last week has been one hot day after another. It is nice to finally get some really warm weather after a fairly variable year. The grass has remained green until now,  but the heat is beginning to dry it out to the familiar yellow of late summer.

The gardens are active and busy, weddings and events coming thick and fast. Although the seasons have seemed to come early this year, we still have a pleasing range of colour throughout the gardens. In fact, the most colourful area of the gardens right now is probably the Cuttings Garden with its wide range of annuals from which gorgeous bouquets are made each week and put on sale up by the office. The neighbouring orchard trees and those down the hill are thick with fruit; apples and pears, figs and quinces, are all ripening and weighing down the branches of the trees.

Another fruit in abundance this year is the deep blue grapes of Mahonia. The bushes have been thick with berries for several weeks and, although I had read that they are bitter-tasting, I ate some recently and found them not nearly so bad as I had expected. According to traditional use, they are good for intestinal health when eaten or have some anti-fungal properties if applied externally. They are indeed sour-tasting but I would not say they were especially bitter; they do, however, contain many quite large seeds. Perhaps we should try germinating some in the polyhouses.

The Bridal Beds have responded well to the re-planting we did in the spring and everything is filling out and flowering in abundance. The Mediterranean Garden beds have looked particularly well this summer with great shows of Rosemary and Brachyglottis and Euphorbias and Hemerocallis. We introduced two large Dracaena early in the summer, and they have both settled in well and made a good structural contribution to the plantings. And now the Fuchsia Garden is coming into its prime, flowers of pink and red and white and magenta covering all the bushes in vivid colour.

The Hostas and Hydrangeas in the stream-bed of the Takata garden look especially lovely, their pastel colours blending with the abundant greenery. But it is also at this time that we need to cut things back a little, allowing visitors to pass along all the paths without getting snagged by overhanging branches. This coming weekend we must be at our best for the Arts and Music Festival and volunteers, students and garden staff will be mowing and trimming and pruning to have everything looking its best. It will be a busy week and we are hoping for the best possible weather to show off the gardens to all the visitors.

Please do come, bring friends and family, and enjoy the arts, the crafts and the music in the gardens.
Picnic Night - August 31st
We are so pleased that Brad Prevedoros, a favourite at our Arts & Music Festival, will also be sharing his talents at our final Picnic Night of the summer. It will be a peaceful evening with music in the Gardens, Master Gardeners on hand to answer any of your gardening questions and Mosi Bakery to provide picnic meals (ordered ahead). Come and spend a lovely evening with family and friends in the Gardens at HCP.

Introducing the latest addition in our social media networks, the Gardens at HCP have officially launched our very own Snapchat account! Snapchat is a great way to share "in the moment" photos and videos with your friends and family members. It's personal in the sense that you can choose to send your images to just one or two people, or you can send it to all the people in your friends list. Snapchat also gives you the ability to send messages or doodles along with your photos.
We wanted to start a Snapchat account so all of our visitors can see the "behind the scenes" beauty the staf,f volunteers and visitors get to witness on a daily occasion. Whether it's gardening with Horticultural College students or checking in at your favourite HCP event, we want you to keep you connected.
Not just for the kids anymore, many business are finding Snapchat a great way to share their story. If you don't have a snapchat account, once you download the app onto your phone or tablet, check out this step-by-step guide to getting started:   https://support.snapchat.com/en-US/a/getting-started1
Follow us on Snapchat at: hcpgardens or scan the yellow square above  

It's not too early...


July's Whatzit? wasn't familiar to many people, although it's considered native to all of Canada, including the Yukon and Northwest Territories. However, Judy and Tom did identify it as a Pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea). Julia didn't get the right answer, but she gets top marks for writing such a nice letter!
As a bit of additional information, Tom mentioned that this plant is "dioecious" (literally meaning two houses) and the male and female flowers are on different plants - as opposed to "monoecious."  (A couple of great words to impress our garden visitors!)
Pearly everlasting can grow to up to nearly a metre tall and can eventually bush out equally as wide. The clusters of white flowers have yellow centres and bloom for many weeks from mid-summer through to early fall. The leaves are long and narrow with a silvery hue, thanks to the fine hairs that cover its leaves and stems.
If you're interested in drought-tolerant plants and you want something a little different, consider Anaphalis margaritacea. Its unique appearance and tolerance for poor soil could make it the perfect choice for many gardens.
As for human use, pearly everlasting is popular for dried flower arrangements. Cut the stems before the flowers fully open and hang upside down for several weeks. It has also been used medicinally for treating bruises, sprains, swellings, and even bronchitis!

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

Pacific Horticulture College
For more information on registration please call the office 250-479-6162 or e-mail collegeadmin@hcp.ca.
What's New at the College
Our students have returned from their well-deserved summer break and started their Plant Health course, learning about insects, pests and diseases, and integrated pest management. They have also adopted a few of our theme gardens here at the HCP, and will be in charge of maintaining them until the end of their program in November. Next time you are visiting, watch out for the first changes, and see if you notice a difference in some of the gardens!

And if you have been wondering about the lumber wrap on the slope of our orchard - this is the first evidence of our Permaculture project, and the tarps are there to kill off the grass for the installation of our future HCP Food Forest.
Upcoming college courses and events:

College Information Session on September 19th, 6:00 PM
Our next info session for the 2017 Landscape Horticulture Certificate Program is on September 19. If you are considering a career in horticulture, or if you know someone who does, this is where you can get all the necessary information!
Pesticide Applicator Course and Exam (Landscape General Category):
Monday, August 15, and Monday, August 22, 2016, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Exam: Thursday, August 25, 9:00 AM - 12:15 PM
For more information click here

Youth Programs

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

Gardens at HCP Youth Programs 2016
Join us on the Tuesday listed below for ... STORIES IN THE SHADE & NATURE AROUND US!
STORIES IN THE SHADE is a bi-weekly story time designed around a theme that explores subjects such as gardens, bugs, and nature through stories and a related craft. This program is designed for the younger ages (2+), although older children are welcome to attend with their younger siblings.  
Time: 10:00 am - 10:45 am     Date: August 16

NATURE AROUND US is a Walk & Talk session for children 5+ geared to the exploration of Native Plants, Beneficials and Sustainability. Participants will tour a few of the gardens at HCP as they discover more about the natural world around them.
Time: 11:00 am - 11:45 am     Date: August 16

Children must be accompanied by an adult who has paid garden admission or is a member. Please reserve your spot for both of these programs by calling the Office at HCP 250-479-6162    

Children's Workshops

TEA TIME! is an introduction to the ancient art of making tea for children, including plant identification, growing, harvesting, and preparing flowers, leaves, and herbs to brew. Participants will host their own tea party to explore the various tastes and scents of herbal tea making. Then we will finish by packaging up our own sample tea brews to take home.

Date:  Friday, August 19     
Time:   10:00 am - 12:00 noon    Cost:  $15/person     Ages:  5+ years

**For registration, please contact the HCP office at 250-479-6162 or for more information visit:  http://hcp.ca/youth-programs/. 

Upcoming Workshops

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

Year Round Harvest for the Urban Garden 2017 - Registration Open
with Linda Gilkeson
Linda Gilkeson, local author, speaker and entomologist will share her knowledge and expertise for local growing conditions. Linda will cover from seeds to harvest for large and small urban gardens one Sunday per month from January to October. 

Members $525.00 for 10 sessions
Non-Members $735.00 for 10 session

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

Master Gardener 2017 - Registration Open
Lifelong learning is at the heart of the Victoria Master Gardener Association. You will learn current, reliable home gardening basics - the framework to pin everything else to. The series consists of 26 3-hour sessions that combine classroom instruction, home study, hands-on practicum, assignments and in-class projects. 

Course Fee: $650 - includes books and handouts.

To register call 250-479-6162.

Flower Arranging for your Special Event 
with Eiddwen Thomas
Come and join us for a creative floral experience. Participants will have the opportunity to design and create their own natural arrangements under the expert guidance and instruction of Eiddwen Thomas, local floral designer and flower farmer. This course will feature locally grown flowers, foliage, grasses and ornamentals as much as possible.
This workshop is ideal for those wanting to do their own floral arrangements for weddings or special events. It is a great opportunity to exchange ideas with others who are wanting to do the same.  All materials are included in the class fee. 

Large arrangements - August 14th, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Members $110
Non-Members $125
To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information.

Soil Basics 
with Christina Nikolic 
Sunday, September 11th 
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
What kind of soil do you have in your garden? How can you improve your soil health? If figuring out how to care for your soil seems like a complex and daunting task, then this workshop is for you.

Instructor Christina Nikolic of the Organic Gardener's Pantry will teach you how to determine the soil types and how they function. You will learn about organic matter and living organisms in the soil and how these impact plant health. You will also be introduced to safe and simple fertilizers and amendments to improve your soil health. The home gardener will leave with the basic knowledge and resources to make the best of the soil conditions in their own gardens.

Participants will have the option to sign up for Advanced Soils on September 25th. 
Members $30.00 per session
Non-Members $35.00 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

Saturdays July 16 & August 27
1:00 - 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.
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.

To Register for classes call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca

The Bookend
Spreading leafy trees provide welcome relief from the hot sun in the summer. Houses with trees that have been cleverly planted to provide shade from the hot summer sun are often sought-after real estate. And then, of course, there are trees that provide food - sometimes as well as shelter. Evergreens are valuable for protecting us from winter winds. . . or nosey neighbours!
But all this is from the point of view of humans; trees have a life too! In fact, we are only just beginning to realize that there is more going on underground than we had previously imagined.  The more humans learn about the trees, the more some of us have become concerned about the effects of climate change and how quickly some species may be able - or not able - to adapt to changes in their environments.
Bill Gates recently recommended a book (which we do not have in our library yet ...hint!), called `The Man who Planted Trees,` by Jim Robbins. It tells of a man who has taken it upon himself to clone or save seeds from all the biggest and best of each species he can find so that the trees at greatest risk will not be lost forever should they succumb to unfavourable conditions.
Most of us are not likely to become that dedicated to preserving trees, but it might be a darn good idea to pay more attention to the ones we see around us. And we might find it particularly rewarding to read up on their characteristics and needs so that we might help keep them healthy.
In our library at HCP, we have a fine selection of books to help you identify trees that are growing in this area as well as interesting specimens that grow in other countries. There is also information to help you choose the most appropriate trees for planting on your property. Coincidentally, there's a TED talk available that tells of research being done by a B.C. forester. You can access her talk here.
Come to the HCP library one warm morning this summer on a Wednesday or Saturday. . . where you can browse in comfort in the shade of the big fig tree!
Library Summer Hours are Wednesdays 9 am - 1 pm & Saturdays 10 am - 1 pm.