Summer Hours
March 1st - October 31st
9:00 am - 5:00 pm

505 Quayle Rd,
Victoria, BC V9E 2J7

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September E-News
Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

News from the Gardens
Fall Plant Sale 
by: Linda Petite 
Fall is the perfect time for planting! For one day only we will be offering lots of unusual plants that have been propagated from the HCP gardens.
All plants will be reduced by 25%, and the Hardy Fuchsia and Lilies will be 2 for 1.
As always, admission to the gardens is free during plant sales. It is worth attending, not just for the bargains, but also for access to the garden knowledge you get from chatting with our volunteers, staff and students.
Hope to see you there!
Partnership Spotlight 
Charlotte & the Quail {and their sister company Nourish} are launching a Loyalty Card!  They are offering a 15% discount for the month of September to the   HCP Students, Staff, Members and Volunteers.  You can purchase the card at C&Q, with your HCP member card or online on their website { } using ILOVEHCP as the discount code.
Beyond this offering, C&Q will also be offering a weekly lunch special to all the Volunteers every Wednesday and to Students and Staff on Thursdays! Specials will be posted on the Volunteer Board each week. You will need to verify your HCP connection, so we will create volunteer and student cards - similar to the membership cards for this purpose.

For all the details of the loyalty card program, hop on over to their website:
Arts & Music in the Gardens Report
by: Deborah Donahue, General Manager 
This years'  A&M Festival was a huge success!  

Many thanks to all of the staff and volunteers who worked so tirelessly to ensure this event ran smoothly. 

We welcomed more than 2000 visitors through our gates, including 277 members.  

The music was fabulous, with some notable groups being Rae Vinyl, the Bankes Brothers and of course Mufaro Marimba!

One indicator of a successful festival is great food and we brought it! We had our famous BBQ'd smokies back this year, sandwiches from Mosi's, tasty muffins and cookies from the Sidney Bakery and new this year was the Cold Comfort ice cream truck!

Thanks so much to Maria for the use of her field and to the VI Wave soccer team for their wonderful help with the parking. It makes such a big difference to the "community" feel of the event to be able to join others walking down the road to the gardens.
We would also like to give a huge standing ovation and round of applause and our thanks to Jo Ann Braidwood for her many many hours being this years' A&M Coordinator.
See everyone next year for our 25th!!
The Veggie Garden's Harvest
by: the Veggie Garden Volunteers
It is harvest season in the Veggie Garden and it so enjoyable for us to see the fruits of our labours. With the now two years of cold springs vaulting into hot summers, it has been a challenge to put out the correct plantings at the right time. Our spinach and lettuces have tended to bolt or go bitter, and the broad beans did poorly in the cold wet, but now the tomatoes, peppers, zucchinis, onions, beets and beans are all doing well.
The "three sisters" plantings that we have worked on for the last two years are looking good. The corn is growing, the beans are climbing up the corn, and the squash is surrounding the bed and providing coverage... a very satisfying project.
We have been taking the majority of our production to Charlotte and the Quail as the chef there has always been so grateful to be able to add locally grown produce to her menu, but with this harvest season upon us the cart may turn up at coffee time with tasty things to share with members!

Giles' Jottings    
So Arts and Music has come and gone and August has slipped into September. The mornings now start cool and damp though usually warming up by midday. But still we have had no rain.

In the gardens there are purples and reds in abundance and fruits and berries are ripening on many different plants. The Fuchsia Garden is spectacular, every variety competing to impress with their vivid reds and pinks.

Verbena bonariensis is maintaining its striking purple coloration in clumps all around the gardens and in the Hardy beds there are purple Monkshood (Aconitum) standing tall above the surrounding plants. Sedums are coloring up as the days shorten and in the Rhodo Garden there are turtleheads (Chelone) also showing their seasonal colour.

As Fall approaches we have apples and pears ripening, plums, quinces (Cydonia) and elderberries (Sambucus). And perhaps less noticeable but hidden amongst the foliage there are hazelnuts in the Herb Garden and fruits developing on Styrax and Weeping Pear ( Pyrus salicifolia), Witchhazel ( Hamamelis) and Cornelian Cherry ( Cornus officinalis).

So many plants making the most of the last hot days of summer.
We are still looking for more people who have been involved with the Gardens at HCP for some time to contribute to our Oral History project. If you would like to share your stories with us please get in touch with Cheri via email -
Membership Reminder 
Check out that bright green Gardens at HCP membership card to see if it has expired!

Memberships are a great value and include:
  • Free Admission all year to the Gardens
  • Guest passes and any additional guests for a discounted rate
  • 10% off on plants and purchases in the Gift Shop
  • Discounts on Community Education programs
  • Free Admission into the Arts & Music in the Gardens festival
  • 10% discounts at select plant centres throughout Victoria
  • Free admission to participating gardens in the American Horticultural Society 
  • Our monthly E-Newsletter
Membership at the Gardens at HCP supports youth programming, horticulture student development, supplies, plants for garden improvement, and our volunteers.

You can purchase your membership today by stopping in the office, calling 250-479-6162 or clicking here.    
'Picture of the Month'
Thank you to Layla Munger for this month's 'Picture of the Month' Submission.
"I took this photo whilst standing in my favourite place to photograph the hummingbirds. Whilst waiting I noticed something green and was very surprised after zooming in to see a little tree frog. First time I have seen one :) Such a variety of things to see and photograph at the gardens."
Do you have a great shot from your visit to the Gardens at HCP?
Send your submission with a short description to  for an upcoming 'Picture of the Month'. 
Pacific Horticulture College
For more information on registration, please call the office 250-479-6162 or email
With only a couple of months left in the program, students are in the home stretch of the 10 month program here at PHC. September classes continue with Plant ID, Practical Skills, Plant Health and Introduction to Permaculture. The Landscape Design class is focused on the students' major project: a residential landscape design project which includes interviewing the client,  surveying the project site and working their way towards a final design that meets the client's needs. We are excited to see the hard work of the end results! The students also have their first Work Experience in the second week of September. Work experience hosts include Saanich Parks and Recreation, Salt Spring Seeds, Saanich Organics, Dr. Sun Yat Sen Gardens, University of Victoria, Bartlett Tree Experts and Applied BioNomics, among others. A huge thanks to the hosts for participating in the student learning process.
 Applications continue to arrive for the 2019 program - there are only a few spots still available! The college staff is busy interviewing candidates for the program and meeting future horticulturalists. If you know anyone who is possibly interested in the 2019 horticulture program, please contact the college at
Coming up:
2019 Landscape Horticulture Certificate Program Information Session on Monday, September 24th from 6 - 7 pm
·         Interested to learn more about the horticulture program? Come to our information session, and also meet instructors and past students.
Pesticide Applicator License Course (Landscape General Category)
·         October 27th and 28th, exam on the 29th  
·         Please call HCP to register
Full-Time Level 3 Apprenticeship Training (November 19, 2018 to January 11, 2019)
·        Application deadline is November 5, 2018.
Full-Time Level 4 Apprenticeship Training (November 19, 2018 to January 11, 2019)
·        Application deadline is November 5, 2018
For more information on our programs, please contact PHC at or call  250-479-6162 .
Youth Programs
Upcoming Workshops
Call to Register for Programs: 250-479-6162
Stories in the Garden
Join us at the gardens for our bi-weekly storytime designed for our youngest gardeners. Each program centres around a theme that explores subjects such as gardens, pollinators, vegetable growing, and other environmental themes through stories, garden activities and related crafts. Children under 5 must be accompanied by an adult. For further information, please contact:
Dates: September 17, October 1, October 15, April 29, May 13, May 27
Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Cost: $5/child,  free admission for an accompanying adult
Ages: 2+ years (designed for younger children, however, siblings are welcome)
Call to register: 250-479-6162
Harvest Festival
Our annual Harvest Festival is a fun way to enjoy the season with family-friendly activities for all ages. There will be pumpkins, seasonal games, activities, special guests and the beautiful gardens to explore.
*Pre-registration is required*
Date: Saturday, October 27, 2018
Time: 10:00am - 2:00pm
Cost: $15/family (Family includes up to 3 children, $5 per additional child)
Age: All ages
To register please call: 250-479-6162
Upcoming Workshops

Houseplant Care 101
with Sarah Scott 
Sunday, September 23   
1:00 - 3:00 pm  
This crash course on houseplant care will get you one step closer to an indoor jungle! Learn how to care for various tropicals, succulents and tillandsias, how to choose the right plant, proper watering techniques, soil health, repotting, fertilizing, plant stress and pests, troubleshooting and more! This engaging, hands-on workshop will leave you feeling confident and competent. Attendees will get a copy of Houseplants 101- Your Plants Will Love You e-guide and choose a succulent to pot and take home! Bring a notebook and your questions!
HCP Members $55
Non-Members $60
To register, call 250 479 6162

Gathering Basket
with Joan Carrigan 
Saturday, September 29th   
9:30 pm - 4:30 pm  
Learn to create a very sturdy rectangular splint woven basket with a wood handle. It has an attractive check weave pattern and is a basket ready to be put to use. Great for shopping, garden produce, garden tools, storage etc. This course is perfect for beginners. Please bring a pair of sharp sturdy scissors, measuring tape, 10-12 clothes pins, an old towel, a knife for carving, and a ruler.
HCP Members $120
Non-Members $140
To register, call 250 479 6162

Art of Bonsai - Winter Care
with Mark Paterson 
Saturday, September 29th   
9:00 pm - 12:00 pm  
Come and learn the art of bonsai with Mark Paterson, President of the Vancouver Island Bonsai Society. This is the third section of a three part series that may be taken independently. With Mark`s expert instruction, you will learn to maintain and care for your bonsai throughout the winter season. Bonsai, like most plants, can use a little extra love and care late in the year. You will learn to trim and refine your bonsai while learning about specific winter care requirements. If you need to re pot your tree, we may do that as well. Please bring your own bonsai or suitable small shrub.
HCP Members $35
Non-Members $45
To register, call 250 479 6162

The Art of Bonsai - Advanced Class
with Mark Paterson 
Saturday, October 6th    
9:00 pm - 12:00 pm  
Do you have a bonsai tree and are not sure what to do with it? You are not alone! Join Mark Paterson and learn to trim your tree and create a 2-year plan for your bonsai so you can understand the yearly rhythms of the art and get the most out of your tree. Learn the whys and hows of bonsai techniques and when to apply them to your tree specifically. We will help you work on your tree throughout the class and teach you new techniques to keep your tree healthy and beautiful. You will learn from Mark Paterson's expert instructions on maintaining your own tree and from witnessing methods and procedures applied to your classmate's trees as well.
HCP Members $40
Non Members $45
To register, call 250 479 6162

Willow Chair Workshop
with Andrew Kent 
Sunday, October 7th     
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 Bent Willow Rustic Chair. This is a great introduction to rustic building. Learn how to make a square frame from pieces of alder & work with different sizes of willow to create your chair. All tools will be provided.
HCP Members $250
Non Members $275
To register, call 250 479 6162

Advanced Pruning
with Ryan Senechal 
Saturday October 6 & 13     
9:00 pm - 12:00 pm  
Are you a hands-on gardener hesitant to prune small trees and shrubs in fear of injuring or undesirably altering them? This course with certified arborist Ryan Senechal will give you the skills you need to successfully prune your garden. In 2 sessions, basic pruning techniques and advanced strategies will be reviewed and applied to teach you how to achieve desirable structure, reduced maintenance & long term plant health in your garden. Your confidence and comfort will grow as you observe, learn, and practice proper pruning techniques and common mistakes to avoid. This is an outdoor workshop, please dress accordingly and bring your secateurs, all other equipment will be supplied!
HCP Members $90
Non Members $110
To register, call 250 479 6162

Plant Identification and Culture 2018
with Diane Pierce
September 15, October 20 and November 17  
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 come into the office.

The Bookend
This may not be the time of the year that you typically think of seeds.... but perhaps it should be! For one thing, gardeners usually have seeds left over from spring planting, and they must see to it that those sees are stored properly (dry, cool, etc.). 
This can be, also, a very good time to consider where you might obtain FREE seeds! Have a look around your garden and check out what plants may have quit blooming and have offsprings to deliver into your thrifty hands.  
Our library has a number of books about the subject. . . and some books that include a description of the growth habits of particular plants. An older book,- "Plant Propagation," has a chapter called "Collecting and Cleaning Seeds" that looks like a promising place to start. But then there's "The New Seed-Starters Handbook," published by Rodale Press (which is an indication that it's been written by organic gardening enthusiasts).  
Another one is called simply "Seeds - the ultimate guide to growing successfully from seed." We have more than one copy of this one in the library because it's full of both good and succinct information and super pictures.
These are just a sampling that were pulled from the shelves at random. We haven't even mentioned the possibility of other methods of propagation, such as taking cuttings, rootings, etc. That gets us into a broad and fascinating subject which we will leave for another day.
When you have a free Wednesday or Saturday morning, drop around to the HCP library and check some of the fascinating information that is available.
We want to help you become totally prepared for the start of the 2019 growing season!