HOURS
March 7th - October 30th
the Gardens will be open
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
CONTACT
Phone:
250-479-6162

Address:
505 Quayle Rd,
Victoria, BC V9E 2J7

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IN THIS ISSUE
September E-News
Horticulture Centre of the Pacific


News from the Gardens
Hydrangea Day - Sunday, September 18th
 
If you are planning to add another hydrangea (or two) (or three!) to your garden, come to our annual Hydrangea Day sale on September 18, 2016 from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Starting at 11:00 a.m., there will be a free lecture about Growing Hydrangeas in the Pacific Northwest from Carmen Varcoe, a retired Pacific Horticulture College Plant Identification instructor. Fall is the best time for planting; the warm soil helps the plants root quickly and the fall rains will nourish the hydrangea so that it is well-established in the spring. You can find some excellent information about growing hydrangeas by clicking here.

Admission to the Gardens is free all day. Hope to see you there and remember all plants purchased support the growth of the Gardens.

Happy Gardening!
Linda Petite, Head Gardener 
 
 
What Your Weeds Can Tell You
by: Linda Petite, Head Gardener
 

Wood Sorrel
Weeds aren't always our enemies!  If you observe them with care, they can tell us some things about the soil in our gardens.  Here's a short list as an example of some of the most common weeds:
 
Chickweed is an edible plant that flourishes in healthy, fertile soil with a pH of 6.2 to 7.0, particularly happy in cool, shaded areas. 
 
Clover probably indicates a low level of nitrogen in the soil.  Add some high-nitrogen fertilizer for a better balance of nutrients.
 
Crabgrass
Crabgrass indicates a lack of calcium and phosphorus and a very low pH level, but the soil may have high levels of magnesium, potassium and chlorine.
 
Dandelions usually show up in heavy, acidic or clay-like soils - but also in fertile soils as well!  The leaves are good in green salads and soups.
 
Thistle generally grows in soil that is poor and has low fertility -  such as sandy soil or clays. It may grow along with crabgrass and dandelions.
 
Wood sorrel shows up in soil that is both highly acidic and clay-like - which can be prevalent in our area. It's also good in soups and salads.
 
Yarrow grows in soil that is hot, dry and low in fertility.
 
Arts & Music 2017 in Review
by: Anne Kadwell, General Manager
Arts and Music 2016 was a huge success with 1,493 people in attendance, 43 vendors, 12 different musicians and an amazing enthusiastic volunteer team of 120!
 
Compliments were everywhere about how well the event was organized and how helpful and wonderful the HCP volunteers were. It was an environment of smiles, laughter, spending and dancing.
 
Artist Comments
"We really enjoyed being here and ALL STAFF AND  VOLUNTEERS WERE TERRIFIC"  
 " Everyone was so welcoming and helpful. Wonderful  to have volunteers to watch my table while I went to the washroom, etc."
 
Public Comments
  "What's not to like?" 
 "The vendors are fabulous"
 "Friendly staff and volunteers"
 "Loved the free parking and shuttle"
 "Enjoyed the combination of Artist and Nature"
 
The one ongoing comment was "bring back the smokies." Our team is working on that for 2017.
 
A NEW date for 2017 will be August 26th & 27. Due to summer weddings, we have had to push the dates to the end of August. I think this will work well as a "last weekend" of the summer event. 
 
Would you like to be a part of our Arts and Music team and enjoy the full-on energy of the event? We are looking for more people to sit on the committee as well as manage our "Smokies BBQ." If you would like to join, please let Cheri know. We have our first meeting in January. You can also email artsandmusic@hcp.ca for further suggestions and volunteer inquiries.
 
See you at Arts and Music 2017!

 
 
Apple Cider Inquiry
As many of you have also experienced, we have had a bumper crop of fruit on our trees in the Gardens. Many visitors have asked us how our fruit is used. Some of it is used for research here at the Gardens. Our volunteers will take some home in exchange for their many hours of hard work. As well, the restaurant-Charlotte & and Quail-uses a bit. We also sell fruit as a garden fundraiser (for reasonable prices!!), and some is even donated to those in need.

This year, as a special treat for our volunteers and visitors, we are hoping to press some into juice! Do you have a cider press we could borrow or know where we could find one? Please e-mail Linda at headgardener@hcp.ca.

 
 
Brian Minter - New Trends and the Changing Nature of Gardening 
There is a limited amount of tickets left for Brian Minter's talk at the Gardens at HCP this Thursday at 6:30 PM. Please call or drop in today to pick up your ticket for what is sure to be a wonderful event. Did you know he is bringing plants from his store at Minter Country Gardens? Cash only for his picks of rare and unusual species.

call: 250-479-6162

 
 
Giles' Jottings
 
After a couple of weeks of hot weather, the temperature has dropped and we have entered the season of  "mists and mellow fruitfulness" as Keats called it. And this does seem to be a special year for fruitfulness. We have had hardly any rain since March, yet trees and bushes are heavy with fruit. Take the plum trees in the orchard for example. Last Wednesday volunteers picked several buckets of plums and yet, only a couple of days later, with the help of a ladder to reach the higher branches, the trees still seemed blue with fruit.

The apple trees beside the Cuttings Garden are so heavily loaded with fruit that branches are close to breaking.
Considering the dryness of our summer, I can only assume it was a very warm spring and pollinating insects must have been out in full force.
 
The grapes on the fence of the Veggie Garden are sweet and delicious, and the gardens are filled with bright red rosehips. There is St. John's Wort in the Hardy Gardens covered with berries, and in the Winter Garden there is Cornus 'Issa Minar' with berries of a startling scarlet.
 
Also, in the Doris Page Garden there is a beautiful carpet of early pink cyclamen in flower. Ironweed  (Vernonia) is blooming now in the Hardies, and Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium) is flowering in several places around the gardens.
 
The Fuchsias are at their best - whites, pinks, reds and blues brightening up the bushes.  Leycesteria is also still in flower with its hanging purple pagodas and, as the days pass, the heads of Sedum are colouring up, leading us onward into Fall.
 
Summer 2016
 
Summer 2016 was a busy and wonderful time at the Gardens at HCP. Our wedding season started in April and will continue until October, many back-to-back with a couple elopements sprinkled in for good measure. One highlight was the day Lisa and Dillon Takata celebrated their marriage. You may recognize that Takata is the name of our Japanese Gardens and Dillon is part of the family our Gardens honours. It was great seeing these wonderful people celebrate with their friends and family with a tribute to their ancestry - from decorative details to the tea ceremony preceding the wedding. There certainly was no shortage of originality 
this summer at all our weddings here - from morning tea parties to pig roasts.

Recently the Gardens hosted a photoshoot for local designer Ola Dubois - with photos by Spark & Whimsy Photography, hair and make-up by Sharon Rai and models from Coultish Management. It was a fabulous collaborative effort! Keep an eye on our blog this month for more great images! We love seeing the Gardens used for so many different purposes and can't wait to see what's next. 

 
 
Whatzit?
 
We had quite a few answers to August's Whatzit.  Some were right on the money and said it was a Melothria scabra "Mouse melon" or "Cucamelon. " Zoe, Kathy, Linda, and Dale get the top marks this time!  (Tom recognized it as a Melothria but hesitated to define it further.)  They are tasty little veggies, like a cucumber with a hint of lime.
 
Some thought it was just a summer squash, perhaps a baby gourd, a Mexican sour gherkin, a kind of Passiflora, or maybe even a manroot (Marah oreganus). We think we know why that last name came to mind because a manroot was discovered recently in our HCP gardens.  

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
 
 
Things are progressing fast for our full-time students, and they are about to start their first work experience week with host employers off site.
 
Here at the HCP, the class celebrated harvest time and the end of their Veggie course with head gardener Linda Petite by starting up our cob oven and preparing a pizza lunch with produce they grew in the garden.
 
They also entered some of their harvest at the Saanich Fair and received a 'Special Mention' for their Patty Pan squash and their Bumble Bee cherry tomatoes!

On a more academic note, the Turfgrass Management course is well underway, and the students have been assigned residential properties for their final landscape design project. It's always amazing to see how much they have learned when they apply their knowledge and skills to a final project of this scope.
 
Upcoming College Courses and Events:
 
College Information Session
September 19, 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!
http://hcp.ca/event/college-information-session-2/
 
Red Seal Preparation Workshop
November 5, 2016, 1:00 - 4:30 PM
For those out there in the industry who have enough work hours to challenge the Interprovincial Red Seal Exam in Landscape Horticulture, we are offering a workshop this fall 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:
http://hcp.ca/event/red-seal-preparation-workshop/
 
Level 4 Apprentice Training Course
November 21, 2016 - January 13, 2017
We will be offering a full-time Level 4 course this winter - registration will be open soon. Please check back here if you are interested. The application form will be uploaded as soon as registration is open:
http://hcp.ca/level-3-4-apprentice-technical-training/
Students who have already completed Level 3 with us will be notified by email.
 
 
Youth Programs

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

Gardens at HCP Youth Programs 2016
 
Junior Master Gardener Kids Club
Learn lots of hands-on gardening and other nature activities while having a ton of fun in this once a month all ages club!

Dates: 
September 10 - Garden C lean up, harvesting, growing fall/winter veggies,  drying herbs, tea brewing  
October 8 - Planting garlic, harvesting, mulching for winter protection, scarecrow making.
November 12 -  Prepping the garden for winter, composting with worms, garden weaving.
December 10 - Winter garden check in, harvest fall veggies, gift making with garden material.

Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Cost: $10 for 1 session, or $35 for 4 sessions
Ages: all ages, children under 5 years accompanied by an adult please!
For registration, please call the HCP office at  250-479-6162.

Wonder of Watercolour
Explore fall through the wonderful world of watercolours using garden inspiration with washes and dry brush techniques! Artist Anisa Newell, will conduct a garden tour and workshop on site at HCP.

Date:  October 8 
Time:  1:00 - 3:00 PM 
Cost:  $35 
Ages: 8-12 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

Small Trees for the Urban Garden
with Diane Pierce 
 
Sunday, September 18th 
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
 
Learn to choose trees that will complement your garden and not outgrow their space. This workshop will be a guided walk through the Gardens at HCP with Diane Pierce, college instructor and plant expert. Diane will point out introduced and native trees which are well suited to the urban garden and which add colour and contrast. After the walk, participants will spend time in the classroom learning specifics about small trees which they can then apply to their own plans for their garden.
 
 
Members $25.00 per session
Non-Members $35.00 per session
 
To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information.



Introduction to Garden Design
with Patty Brown 
 
Mondays 6:30 AM - 9:00 PM:
Sept 19th, Sept 26th, Oct 3rd, Oct 17th, Oct 24th, Oct 31st, Nov 7th
Saturday Field Trips 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM:
Oct 22nd, Oct 29th
  
This 9-session course with PHC instructor Patty Brown is designed for the homeowner and for those with an interest in landscape design. Students will learn to draft and design a residential landscape plan to scale. Two field trips will be used to look at existing landscapes and plant choices. Topics covered will include design principles and processes, garden styles, site analysis, plants as design elements and landscape materials. For the practical side of this course it is ideal to have a project or area to design so to apply and practice each step. 
 
Members $250.00 per session
Non-Members $295.00 per session
 
To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information.



Grow your own Oyster Mushrooms
with Danielle Stevenson
 
Saturday, September 24th 
1:00 PM - 4:00 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.



The Art of Bonsai - Winter Care
with Mark Paterson
 
Saturday, September 24th 
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
 
Come learn the art of bonsai with Mark Paterson, President of the Vancouver Island Bonsai Society. This is the third of a three-part series and can be taken on its own.
Bonsai, and with most plants, can use a little extra love late in the year. 

Come to class to trim and refine your bonsai that has been growing all year.  If you need to create a bonsai or repot your
bonsai, we can do that in this class too.  But we will focus on how the choices about your plant that you have made over the year will result in some specific winter care requirements.  

Members $35.00 per session
Non-Members $45.00 per session
 
To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information.



Advanced Soils for the Home Gardener
with Christina Nikolic
 
Sunday, September 25th 
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
 
Moving past the basics, instructor Christina Nikolic from the Organic Gardener's Pantry will provide participants with additional tools for determining soil health. Get a step-by-step understanding of how to manage your soil holistically. Learn about soil tests and when they can be beneficial. Balanced soil nutrition including fertilizer choices, biostimulants and microbial inoculants will be covered in this workshop. Learn about weeds, pest and diseases and how they can be indicators of soil health. Participants will leave with a good understanding of soil management for their own home garden.
 
*Note that this workshop has a prerequisite. Participants must have taken Soil Basics for Home Gardeners Workshop on June 5th in order to enroll for this class. 

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.



Getting Started with Backyard Beekeeping
with Gordon Mackey
 
Sunday, October 2nd 
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
 
Have you ever wanted to start keeping bees but didn't know where to start? Would you like to see improved fruit production in your garden along with the potential of having your own honey? Learn the basics of beekeeping with Gordon Mackay.

In this workshop we will cover the basics of how to start your first colony. We will look at the various parts of the hive and what is involved in setting up and maintaining your colony in your first year. We will talk about some of the potential challenges and ways to mitigate these. The favourite plants that honey bees are attracted to will also be covered. 

Members $25.00 per session
Non-Members $35.00 per session
 
To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information.



Fall Maintenance for the Garden
with Jane Tice
 
Sunday, October 2nd 
1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
 
A little classroom time and lot of garden time for this fall class. Participants will learn how a little work now can save a lot of work later. Jane Tice will share her garden maintenance secrets including how to keep the garden interesting through the winter. This is a popular class and space is limited, so register soon to avoid disappointment.
 

Members $25.00 per session
Non-Members $35.00 per session
 
To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information.



Willow Chair Workshop
with Andrew Kent
 
Sunday, October 9th 
9:00 PM - 5:00 PM
 
Join artisan Andrew Kent from The Willow Way for this full-day workshop.  In one day, with Andrew Kent's expert instruction, you can make and take home your own Classic Willow Club Chair. This is a great introduction to rustic building. All tools and materials will be provided. Dress appropriately and bring a packed lunch. 

Members $225.00 per session
Non-Members $250.00 per session
 
To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information.



Composting Basics
with the Compost Education Centre
 
Sunday, October 15th  
1:00 - 2:30 PM

The Compost Education Centre has been teaching children and adults how to compost and grow their own food for over 20 years. In this workshop participants will learn the basics of composting  and discover which composting system will be best suited to them.


Members $15.00 per session
Non-Members $20.00 per session
 
To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information.



Mushroom Companions to the Farm & Garden
with Danielle Stevenson
 
Sunday, October 16th 
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
 
Learn about mushrooms with Danielle of D.I.Y. Fungi. She highlights edible and medicinal mushrooms which can be grown in spaces you can't otherwise use for growing things, or can be companion planted in your gardens and orchards to boost plant growth and build healthy soil ecosystems. We'll walk through how to make a mushroom bed, mushroom pathways and logs, companion plant within your veggie beds, and discuss the important role of mycorhizal fungi in the garden and orchard.

Members $35.00 per session
Non-Members $45.00 per session
 
To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information.



Herbs to Beat the Winter Blues
with Lily Fawn
 
Sunday, October 23rd 
1:00 AM - 3:30 PM
 
 
Learn the gentle approach to caring for yourself and reducing stress with Lily Fawn, owner and creator of Earth's Herbal Products. As we transition from the warm to the cold seasons, it is a good time to check in with yourself and offer up a supportive treatment for the nervous system. Learn about specific herbs, aromatherapy, different kinds of nervines "what are they" and more. Create your own tea ritual for relaxation. Make your own - and take home - tinctures, oils and teas.

Members $55.00 per session
Non-Members $65.00 per session
 
To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information.



Growing Medicinal Mushrooms
with Danielle Stevenson
 
Monday, October 26th 
6:00 PM - 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.



Bean Pot Basket Workshop
with Joan Carrigan
 
Saturday, October 29th 
9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
 
Learn the traditional art of basket weaving with Joan Carrigan. Participants will create this attractive bean pot basket with swing handle. It is a traditional splint woven basket with a twined base. This basket has an old world feel but it's rounded shape and size is classic and perfect for everyday storing and displaying.
Basket weaving classes a creative and social experience with participants enjoy each others company while learning this beautiful art form. 

Members $115.00 per session
Non-Members $135.00 per session
 
To sign up call 250 479 6162 or email communityed@hcp.ca for more information.



Permaculture Basics
with the Compost Education Centre
 
Saturday, October 29th 
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
 
The Compost Education Centre has been teaching children and adults how to compost and grow their own food for over 20 years. Permaculture is a sustainable design theory modeled on natural ecosystems.  This workshop touches on permaculture history, ethics and principles, and scale-able ways to apply the theory to your garden and home.
 
Members $15 per session
Non-Members $20.00 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:
Sept. 17, Oct. 15, Nov. 19 and Dec. 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

Spotlight on the Volunteers
 
Every Wednesday we have 60 or more garden volunteers working, rain or shine. We have two great hospitality volunteers - both named Bev - who serve coffee and cookies during the morning break. They are fondly known as "little Bev" and "tall Bev" or the "Beveridge Bevs." 
 
Little Bev (Bev Tandberg) has been serving our volunteers for 25 years. Prior to that, she was a Grade 2 teacher at James Bay Elementary. When she started volunteering in hospitality, we did not even have a dishwasher. She remembers there being around 30 volunteers on Wednesdays in those days. 
 
Tall Bev (Bev Adamson) has been with us since 2012. Bev actually wears many hats. She has helped in the office, and is ready to lend a hand whenever the staff ask for help. She also collects refundable bottles and exchanges them for cash to add to our volunteer cookie fund. Much to our delight, Tall Bev's grandson, Quinn, has been helping his gran with this chore for the past two years. He also helps out with hospitality during Summer Break. Quinn has started Grade 6 at Royal Oak Middle School. When he is not volunteering, he loves to read, build with Lego and spend time in nature with his Grandmother. 
 
 
The Bookend
 
Our "bookend" this month is by Ketzel Levine, who refers to herself as "the Doyenne of Dirt."  Her book is called Plant This!   There are 100 plants reviewed, most of them chosen for ease to grow in USDA Zone 8. For some gardeners in our area, that's getting close to the danger zone; but I see Choisya and Epimedium in the list, as well as Trachycarpus and Camellia, so there are obviously going to be some plants we can grow here without much trouble.
 
The plants are subdivided into the four seasons and each plant also shows "the facts:"  botanical name, pronunciation, common name, basic needs, worst enemy, and best advice. . . .good practical stuff! What readers will enjoy particularly, however, is Ketzel Levine's writing style - the lady adds humour and personal knowledge to every page , making this a book to be read for enjoyment as well as enlightenment. (And the illustrations are nice, too.)