November 1st - March 31st 
the Gardens will be open
10:00 am - 4:00 pm

505 Quayle Rd,
Victoria, BC V9E 2J7

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November E-News
Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

News from the Gardens
Best Outdoor  Wedding Venue Winner

We are so excited to announce that the Gardens at HCP won 'Best Outdoor Venue' at the Vancouver Island Wedding Awards on November 2nd at the Fairmont Empress. This is the fourth annual Vancouver Island Wedding Awards and the event has grown steadily. There were so many entries this year that the website crashed - it was stiff competition!  The panel of judges weigh all entries "blindly", which means they don't know the venues until the judging is complete. We were honoured when we found out we were their top choice for what is also known as the 'Good Thing We Got That Tent Award'.  It is clear why so many couple choose the Gardens for their special day.

Dana Gage and Julie Bull accepted this award on behalf of the Gardens encouraged everyone to come visit, and thanked our amazing volunteers for making the Gardens such a great place to tie the knot! 

Weddings at the Gardens at HCP are almost sold out for summer 2017 but if you know someone looking for a weekday, low season, or 2018 wedding please encourage them to call and book soon. Contact us at 250-479-6162 or events@hcp.ca.
Message from the Director & the Board
It has been a very busy year at the HCP with many new projects, events, and activities taking place. The Pavilion was booked with at least one or two weddings every summer weekend. New fun family workshops are gaining momentum, Community Education has some amazing niche workshops that are gaining in popularity, and the Pacific Horticulture College is working with our head gardener to implement a new educational permaculture site. These are only a few of the many projects our enthusiastic dream team has been working on which have been supported by everyone's generous donations and memberships.
This growth comes with operational costs. While we are finding new ways to generate income for the HCP, the reality is that everything to run our not-for-profit is costing more. In these winter months, revenue generated from tourism dwindles, and we have limited cash flow to cover our operational costs until the spring. We know that the HCP usually only has a spring donation drive; however, we would like to ask for your assistance now.
Being a not-for-profit organization, we rely on the kindness and commitment of others to keep us viable and growing. This comes in many ways. Some volunteer their time, while others are able to provide a financial contribution. If you are able to financially contribute at this time towards our operations, it would be appreciated. Buying an HCP membership, enrolling in a Community Education course, or shopping for a Christmas present in our gift shop are all ways to contribute. Any of these will allow us to keep the Gardens operating during the winter months.
The HCP team loves what we do and where we do it. Members and visitors love it too as they come back again and recommend it to others. We are bursting to bloom and just need some assistance from those who love the Gardens as much as we do.
Thank you for your ongoing support and devotion to the HCP.
Anne Kadwell                                                Larry Phillips
General Manager                                          HCP Board Chair


Layering Bulbs in Pots
by: Linda Petite, Head Gardener

By choosing bulbs that bloom at different times, you can create continuous blooms for several weeks. 

1. Choose a container that is both wide and deep enough - a 12 to 14 inch pot will hold 3 layers of bulbs. Good drainage is necessary or your bulbs will rot.
2. Add potting soil to the bottom of the pot, then plant your first layer of bulbs, such as late narcissus or tulips. Cover those with soil before adding another layer.

3. Next, plant mid-season tulips or hyacinths and cover with soil.

4. Your top layer will be early-blooming bulbs such as crocus, muscari or scilla.  Cover with soil.

5. You can overplant the top with winter pansies or primula. (The bulbs will poke through in the spring.)

6. Place container outside.
If you want to get the most out of your bulbs, then layer them! For some great visuals check out the International Flower Bulb Centre website.
Gentle  Yoga  and Meditation 
with Sarah Kinsley

Join us for a gentle class of y oga  and meditation at the Gardens on November 13th at 9:30 am.  The gardens provide a tranquil space to slow down and practice the art of being in the moment.  The combination of y oga  and nature is a dynamic duo.  One of nature's gifts is its inherent ability to relax our nervous systems, allowing us to rest and heal.  No experience is necessary and beginners are welcome.  Please wear comfortable clothes and bring a y oga  mat and blanket. 

$10 Members
$15 Non-Members

Call 250-479-6162 to register.
Special Membership Offer
Yes, it's that time of year again folks. With the holiday rush upon us, the Gardens at HCP is a great place to slow down, enjoy a walk, take a class or enjoy a lovely meal with friends and family at the  Charlotte & the Quail .
In the spirit of giving, we are offering a special 'buy one, get the second half-off' membership deal from now until our last public day on December 18thThis offer is applicable on all one-year new and renewing memberships. This offer does not apply if you purchase online. If you want to take advantage of this offer and your membership does not expire yet, we will add a year to the date it currently expires. 
Give a gift that will last a year. Memberships include discounts on our Community Education classes, plant sales, and the gift shop, and now Charlotte & the Quail is offering a special customer loyalty card to all Gardens at HCP Members. Stop in the gift shop while you are here over the next while. We have a great selection of useful, unique gifts including honey from our gardens, tools, bird feeders, and a lovely selection of items made by local artists.

Wreaths For Sale - Starting November 26

Drop by in late November and pick up a gorgeous wreath made with greens from the Gardens at HCP by our Head Gardener and helpers.
Harvest Hoot


On October 29th we welcomed 26 families to a sold-out Halloween program: a Harvest Hoot. Educational stations, crafts, pumpkin carving, a real owl, and fun activities. Thank you to everyone who came out and to our amazing volunteer helpers! We are already looking forward to next year.
Giles' Jottings
Giles is on a 6-month sabbatical at his family farm in the UK. His jottings will bring us to a garden far away.

With the start of November we are beginning to get more wintry weather. Two nights ago we had our first frost, and the temperature has remained around 5 deg C for several days.

Yet it's surprising to see the flowers that continue to bloom, seemingly oblivious of the falling temperatures. Many hydrangeas ( principally  H. macrophylla ) are still flowering, generally blue in this area with our rocky acid soil. There are fuchsias still covered in flowers and the odd rose still hanging on, too. And in the admittedly somewhat sheltered kitchen garden we have snapdragons ( Antirrhinum majus) and dahlias, chrysanthemums and gaillardias, all still producing flowers, seemingly unaffected by the cold. Not to mention the ubiquitous Verbena bonariensis - I'm betting on those to last the longest of all.
In this high rainfall area it is the greenery that is so striking. This region is characterized by traditional dry stone walls, criss-crossing the mountainsides, many standing 500 years and more. But in many places the oldest have become infiltrated and increasingly covered with mosses and lichens, ferns and stonecrop ( Sedum); unfortunately, in the end they may bring the walls down. But nowadays there is a renewed interest in renovating and rebuilding these ancient structures, and we can allow both stone and plant to live in harmony.
I must not forget to mention that the acid soil here provides ideal conditions for great numbers of rhododendrons to grow wild across the hills and in the woods and it is now that their season begins, the first petals starting to emerge from their swelling buds. Those here on the farm are a delicate shade of lilac.
Red & White Day


A whole lot of rain didn't scare away our volunteers from helping us plant 1000 red & white tulip bulbs in anticipation of Canada's 150th Anniversary. Thank you to the Canadian Garden Council for choosing for one of the 150 gardens across Canada out of 400 who applied! We look forward to sharing this beautiful display with you in the spring.
There were lots of e-mails regarding last month's Whatzit?  Most of them recognized the mystery flower as an Abutilon. . . but after that things got a little difficult.  Mostly, we agreed that the flower was a member of the Malvaceae family. Some said it is an Abutilon pictum - which is correct.  Its common names, however, range from Redvein abutilon and Red Vein Mallow to Redvein flowering maple and Chinese lantern.
Some did mention Abutilon 'Tiger eye,' which our Whatzit certainly resembles but, in comparing pictures of the two, it would appear that the 'Tiger eye' is more "chubby." (Now there's a new scientific description for you!)
Fran said it reminds her of a Christmas ornament. . . which it certainly does. Because it is somewhat tender in the Victoria area, Maureen commented that it's usually grown as an annual. Carolyn mentioned that she has seen quite a few around the area this year. That, and the number of e-mails we received on the subject, would seem to indicate that the Abutilon is on its way to being a very popular plant  in many gardens in the future.

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.

The countdown is on for our full-time students - this is their last full week of classes, and they will be graduating on November 18. 

One of their last projects, under Rob DeGros' instruction, was the installation of a rock border and boxwood hedge in front of the entrance ramp. They are also building wooden benches for visitors to sit and enjoy a view of the gardens and the rotunda.

They also finished and presented their final residential garden design projects, which will be displayed in the Couvelier Pavilion at graduation.

It has been a great year, and we hope our graduates will move on to interesting and successful careers in horticulture!

Upcoming College Courses and Events: 

Pesticide Applicator Course and Exam (Landscape General Category):
December 10+11, 2016, 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Exam: Monday, December 12, 6-9 pm
For more information see: http://hcp.ca/pesticide-training-courses/

Red Seal Preparation Workshop
January 7, 2017, 12:30 - 4:30 pm
For those out there in the industry who are looking to challenge the Interprovincial Red Seal Exam in Landscape Horticulture, we are offering a workshop to help you prepare for the exam. Instructor Egan Davis will give you an overview of what to expect and how to study.
For more information please see:

Landscape Horticulture Certificate Program 2017
Our next full-time program starts on January 16, 2017. Spaces are filling up, but we do have a few remaining seats. If you are interested, check out http://hcp.ca/horticulture-certificate-program/, or contact Reggie at collegeadmin@hcp.ca.

Youth Programs

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

Upcoming Programs
Rain or shine our Kids Garden Club meets for outdoor & indoor gardening activities April through December. The next class is Saturday, November 12th, 10 am  - 12:00 pm, $10 per session. Call the Gardens at 250-479-6162 to register.


This half-day camp is designed for children who enjoy making things. It features a balance of outdoor garden  exploration, collection, and inspiration, with indoor crafting. Children create fun-to-make garden arts and crafts, using natural 
materials, upcycled items, and their own two hands! These creations are well suited for seasonal gift giving and personal enjoyment.

DATE: daily December 19-23
TIME: 9:00 am - 12:00 noon
DRESS: for the seasonal weather
AGE: 5 - 11 years
COST: $95/child

*Register by calling our HCP office at 250-479-6162. If you have any questions about this or other Youth/School Programs, please contact youthprograms@hcp.ca

Upcoming Workshops

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

Bark Woven Pouch Workshop
with Joan Carrigan (new date)
Saturday, November 19th 
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Learn the traditional art of basket weaving with Joan Carrigan. Joan is a skilled basket weaver and teaches both locally and in Europe.  

This technique of woven pouch is like weaving a magic trick and is super fun to create. Participants will explore 2 scales in this technique, a large pouch woven with willow bark strips and a small pouch woven with cedar bark and waxed linen thread. The large pouch can be used as a wall basket or a purse with a strap attached and the small basket can be made into a necklace or a tiny treasure basket. Discussion will cover how to harvest and prepare tree barks.

Members $115 per session
Non-Members $135 per session
To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information.

Handmade Herbal Gifts
with Lily Fawn
Saturday, November 26th 
12:00 - 3:00 p,
The best gifts are the ones we make ourselves. Treat your friends and family this Christmas with homemade gifts, all natural, healthy and made with love.  In this workshop we will make delicious winter immune boosting herbal vinegar, aromatic holiday room spray, herbal ointment and a holiday spice tea blend. 

Lily will share herbal tips and tricks and where to source ingredients, how best to use winter herbs, the benefits of medicinal herbs used, practical demonstrations and hands-on participation in making your own products. You will get to take home your creations.

HCP Members $60
Non Members $65
To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information.

Wreath Making Workshops
with Finlay Nicolson
Saturdays November 26th  & 27th
and Saturday, December 3rd & Sunday, December 4th 
10:00 am - 12:00 pm or 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Choose from one of eight possible sessions.

Finlay Nicolson, HCP graduate and college instructor, will show you how to create beautiful, decorative Christmas wreaths. The wreaths will contain an assortment of evergreens, berries, cones and bows. These wreaths will look great and last on your front door throughout the festive season! This is a great workshop for groups of friends and families. 

Participants should bring garden gloves and secateurs/shears to class. Limited spots remain - sign up soon!

Members $35 
Non-Members $45.00 
To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information.

Reindeer Workshop
with Lonnie Paton
Saturday, December 10 th 
1:00 - 4:00 pm 
Bring your little elves to Santa's workshop! This is a great activity for children, families, grandparents and adults too! Participants receive a reindeer kit and then set about creating their own Rudolph with guidance from instructor Lonnie Paton. This is a drop-in class and space is limited. Spots are given on a first-come, first-serve basis, so come early and enjoy a walk in the gardens before class. 

$20 per Reindeer/Drop in Only/Limited Spaces

Festive Table Centrepiece Workshop
with Patty Brown
Sunday, December 11 th 
10:00 am - 12:00 pm or 1:00 - 3:00 pm 
Garden and floral designer Patty Brown will teach you how to create an exquisite holiday centerpiece using fresh greens and natural materials that will become the focus of conversation, not just decoration. You will learn about the tools, supplies and floral products required to create your own arrangement in this hands-on workshop. Take home a one-of-a-kind centerpiece that will last for weeks with minimal care. Bring secateurs (hand pruners). All other materials supplied.

Members: $25
Non-Members: $35

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

Plant Identification and Culture 2016
with Diane Pierce
November 19th and December 3rd
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
"The Gardener's Atlas" is a delightful source of information about the origins of many of our favourite plants. They've originated in many countries on this side of the equator - and not so many south of the equator except for South Africa and other countries that have climates similar to ours and/or elevations with temperate temperatures. 
The author of the Atlas, Dr. John Grimshaw, has supplied us with maps that show the origins of many plant families. Along with the maps are stories about many of our favourites: the Lily family, the Orchid family, and so on.
A quick glance at the Rose family section reveals only one rose that originated in North America - the Rosa rugosa. The Rosa banksiae came from China back in the late 1700s, thanks to Sir Joseph Banks, the plant explorer. We HCP members know that Fuchsias originated in South America. Fuchsia magellanica came to us all the way from southern Chile, down there it can grow to 5m high!
Check out the Atlas in our library one of these days - or possibly you'd also like to go exploring with Sir Joseph Banks. There's a good book about him in the library, too.