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


505 Quayle Rd,
Victoria, BC V9E 2J7

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April 2019 E-News
Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

News from the Gardens
2019 Spring Plant Sale 
One of our biggest fundraisers is our Spring Plant Sale. Over 80% of our plants are propagated in-house from plants growing in the gardens and unusual varieties donated by volunteers.
Winter arrived in February and stayed longer than we had hoped. The polyhouse being unheated, meant the loss of some "tenders" and slower spring growth for the survivors, but the last few weeks of sun has really pushed them along. Our availability list will be on line next week.
Admission to the gardens is always free during plant sales. Victoria Master Gardeners, staff, volunteers and Pacific Horticulture College students will be available to answer questions.
Looking forward to seeing you at the 2019 Spring Plant Sale!
Linda Petite, Head Gardener 
Earth Day in the Gardens  
What better place to celebrate the planet we call home than in a garden?

Meet and interact with earth-minded community groups, nonprofit organizations, green businesses and more at this, "enviro expo for all things eco!" Admission is free and includes access to our nine acres of demonstration gardens to inspire you, as well as interactive children's activities to engage the next generation of environmental stewards.

In addition to meeting and interacting with organizations at their booths, we'll have some extra fun elements!
  • Interact with live critters from the Victoria Bug Zoo and feathered friends from Rent The Chicken!
  • Get answers to all your plant and gardening questions from the Victoria Master Gardener Association!
  • Hourly door prize draws from Butterfly Gardens, Nezza Naturals, Zero Waste Emporium, Whole Foods, and more!
11:00am Presentation: "Creating Frog-Friendly Spaces in your Backyard or Garden"

Did you know Saanich is home to 8 different amphibian species? We invite you to an exciting workshop with Paige Erickson-McGee, Stewardship Coordinator with HAT, to learn more about our local amphibian critters and how to create and enhance ideal habitat elements and native plants for frogs and other native wildlife such as food sources, shelter, and nutrients. There will be a 30-minute presentation in the main event space followed by a 15-minute walk in the gardens.

1:00pm Presentation: "Pollinators and the Importance of Habitat and Native Plants"

Join Jenny Lotz, Staff Ecologist and Outreach Coordinator from Pollinator Partnership, on an educational walk through our Native Plants Garden and 3 Bs (Birds Bees Butterflies) Garden! You'll learn about pollinators, basic bee identification, and the importance of habitat and native plants. Please meet outside at the Pollinator Partnership booth to join this 30-minute walk 'n' talk.

Parking is complimentary but limited; please carpool or use alternative transportation if possible! If the lot is full, we ask that you respect our residential neighbours by using the overflow angle parking along Quayle Rd.

The Gardens at HCP acknowledge and thank the W̱SÁNEĆ people (Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tsawout, Tseycum) on whose unceded territory we live, learn, and teach. We respect our traditional hosts and honour their welcome and graciousness to everyone who seeks knowledge here.
Suggestion Request   
We need some creative input !
These plain wooden boxes are in the entrance rotunda and need to stay there as a barrier , BUT
it is very hot and sunny location and it is difficult to keep plants alive . So. . .   what can we do?
Please send your ideas to [email protected]  
Pet Portraits at the HCP 
Pets looking to spoil their moms with the perfect Mother's Day gift need look no further. A professional photograph of their beloved fur baby is the ideal gift for any pet mom. 
Professional pet photographer Kirsten Young will be at the HCP on Sunday, May 12, between 10am - 2pm doing pet portrait sessions. The best part is that the funds raised will go to a good cause. Kirsten will be donating all proceeds to Albert, the resident HCP cat. Albert has a serious heart condition and funds raised will go towards his medication and care. 
Photographs will be in a studio set up with a floral theme. The cost is $75 for a 15 minute session with Kirsten and one 8 x 10 print. Larger sizes and additional prints can be ordered afterwards.
After a glamorous photo shoot, pets and moms can take a delightful leashed walk through the Gardens and enjoy the spring blooms. Please don't forget to stop at the front office for a treat. We always love to meet your furry family members.
To book a session with Kirsten, please visit her website for more information
Giles' Jottings    
Euphorbia characias
At last we are beginning to feel warm again and plants are responding. They are obviously as impatient as we are, pushing up out of the ground and bursting into flower at impressive speed. Already the lower fields surrounding Viaduct Flats are full of daffodils ( Narcissus spp.) in many shades. Forsythia bushes dotted about the gardens glow vividly golden and numerous spurges ( Euphorbia characias) add that tint on the green side of yellow. This is the bountiful season when there are new colours springing up everywhere.

So many spring flowers are now showing - anemones ( Anemone blanda) in lilac and white, pink Camellias, and blue grape hyacinths ( Muscari armeniacum). Aubrietas tumble over walls in pinks and blues and primulas seem to have no limit to the colours they can display.

Over the last week and a half I have been particularly enjoying the rapid comings and goings of the different magnolias in the Rhododendron Garden. There are several that have grown into tall trees, appearing over even the largest rhododendrons. The first of these to bud was the white Magnolia zenii but no
Magnolia stellata
sooner had it opened than the petals seemed to be already falling. It was followed by Magnolia sprengeri 'Eric Savill' nearby, whose large flowers are a gorgeous deep red and then over toward the Zen garden Magnolia dawsoniana 'Barbara Cook' has opened up in a delicate shade of pink and, as yet, it is still fully in bloom. These wonderful specimens seem rather brief in their flowering but now they have been followed by the better-known and longer-lasting white Magnolia stellata. There are several of these throughout the gardens; they are not so tall but they produce a lot more flowers. At the top of the Winter garden there is a marvellous example, standing in full display over the remaining hellebores and crocuses. And there are two more in the Bridal Beds, competing with two equally beautiful Spiraea arguta for which can be more dazzlingly white.
WANTED! Terra cotta planters for succulent dish gardens.
Please email [email protected] 
Bottle Depot 
One more way to support The Gardens! We have an account at the Bottle Depot!
Our account name is: The Gardens at HCP
How to donate on this account :
The Gardens at HCP
Please advise the cashiers at the beginning of the transaction that you would like to donate the bottles onto our account. Please note: Your friends / family / co-workers etc who will be donating to this account must only reference this account by account name and not by any account numbers that may be found on some of the account transaction receipts. Each depot will have a different account number for your account. 
You can donate at any of the Bottle Depot Branches: 4261 Glanford Ave, 655 Queens Ave, 3961 Quadra St
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'
This month's 'Picture of the Month' comes from Susan MacWilliam. She says "I took this photo of the Willow in March. As we were walking past the tree I could hear it humming with the sound of bees.  
Do you   have a great shot from your visit to the Gardens at HCP. Send your submission with a short description to [email protected]  for an upcoming 'Picture of the Month'.   
Pacific Horticulture College
For more information on registration, please call the office 250-479-6162 or email [email protected]
With sunshine and a growing garden, March was a busy month! Students were busy completing courses in Botany and Pruning, starting Landscape Design and Soils and also keeping up with Plant ID. As part of Special Topics in Horticulture, students were introduced to the topics of Apiculture and Ethnobotany - check out the HCP blog to learn more. Other classes included an introduction to Business Practices (to be continued in the fall) and hands-on experience in Irrigation and Drainage. Meanwhile in Practical Skills, equipment training on mowers, line trimmers and blowers has commenced along with mulching garden beds, spring pruning and other general garden bed maintenance.    
While it seems like the 2019 program just started, PHC is now accepting applications for the 2020 Landscape Horticulture Certificate program. Curious to know more? Join us for an information session on June 3rd!
Additionally, PHC is offering Part-Time Level 1 Apprenticeship training starting in August 2019. This program allows you to pursue Horticulture training while also working full-time. For more information on this program, please see our website here .  
Coming up:
Part-Time Level 1 Apprenticeship Training  
  • August 7, 2019 to December 18, 2019
  • Application deadline is July 22, 2019
PHC Information Session
  • June 3, 2019 at 6 pm
  • Call HCP to Register
For more information on our programs, please contact Pacific Horticulture College at [email protected] or call  250-479-6162 .
Youth Programs
Upcoming Workshops
Call to Register for Programs: 250-479-6162
Kid's Garden Club
Once a month we meet for seasonal gardening activities in our very own Junior Master Gardener Garden Plot! Our growing season starts early, and there is always lots to do!! When the weather is not quite ideal, we can work indoors to start seeds, learn to propagate plants, plan our home gardens, build trellising, and lots more. When the weather cooperates, we spend every minute creating garden beds, amending soil, mulching, planting, weeding, staking, and watering! These are great skills to get your garden enthusiast growing their own food at home. There are lots of take homes, from seeds to plants and harvests whenever available.
Club Dates: 9:30 am - 11:30 am (Saturdays 2019 - May 4, June 1, Sept 7, Oct 5, Nov 2, Dec 7)
Cost: $10/2 hr session
Ages: All ages welcome! Children under 5 need to be with a supervising/participating adult
Dates: April 12, May 10 2019
Times: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Cost: $38/child
Ages: 5 ½ years - 12 years
Registration: register at HCP office (250-479-6162)
These precious plants have a story to tell. They have been created over many decades, originally in China and Japan. Learn about this amazing history and art form with our local Bonsai expert Mark Paterson in our beautiful Bonsai Garden at HCP. Then begin the process of creating your own bonsai to take home. Plants for bonsai are provided. Bring along your own garden gloves if you prefer (some will be available).
Date: Saturday, May 4 2019
Time: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Cost: $30/Youth
Ages: 8 years - 16 years
Registration: register at HCP office (250-479-6162) 
For further information, please contact: [email protected] 
Call to register: 250-479-6162
Upcoming Workshops
Willow Chair Workshop
with Andrew Kent
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.
Sunday, April 14th 
9:00 am - 5 pm
Sunday, May 26  
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
HCP Members $250
Non Members $275
To register call: 250-479-6162 
Getting Started with Backyard Beekeeping   
with Gordon Mackay 
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.

Sunday, April 14th
9:00 pm - 12:00 pm
HCP Members $25
Non Members $35
To register, call 250 479 6162
Willow Woven Trays   
with Joan Carrigan 
Willow is highly valued as a basket making material. We will begin with a discussion about how to grow, harvest and prepare willow for weaving. Different types of trays will be explored including tension and rib style trays. This course offers an introduction to working with willow and your finished work is certain to become favourite center pieces for serving or displaying your fresh produce. Our basketry workshops are popular. Should the class be sold out when you call, please put your name on the waiting list as we may run a second class with enough interest.
Tools to Bring: sharp secateurs/pruners, an old towel.

Saturday, May 4th
9:30 pm - 4:30 pm
HCP Members $120
Non Members $140
To register, call 250 479 6162
Cannabis Basics for the Home Grower 
with Jo Wyld
Learn the basics of growing Cannabis for personal use with college instructor, Jo Wyld. This workshop will cover cannabis species and strains, how cannabis is used, starting from seed or clone, considerations and methods for growing outdoors or indoors, common pests and disease, harvesting and relevant legislation. 

Saturday, May 18th
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
HCP Members $60
Non Members $65
To register, call 250 479 6162
Introduction to Garden Design  
with Patty Brown 
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.

Tuesdays Classes:  
May 28, June 4, 11, 18, 25, July 9, 16
6:30pm - 9:00 pm: 
Saturday Field Trips:  
June 23, July 6
9:30am - 12:00pm 

HCP Members $250
Non-Members $295

To register, call 250 479 6162
Plant Identification and Culture 2019
with Diane Pierce
  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.
 April 13, May 25 and June 15 
1:00 - 4:00 pm
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
Magazine publishers generally get quite inspired as spring arrives. They then publish lots of articles about the latest fashions in plants and landscaping . . . along with tantalizing photos, of course. Most of us enjoy the pictures but have to reconcile ourselves to living with the inspirations from past years that are already growing in our gardens. . . with varying degrees of success, it must be admitted.  
As there is so much emphasis each year on new plants and ideas, we often wish we had access to the older issues of magazines so we could check on what we should be doing with yesteryear's inspirations that don't seem to be thriving. (Or at least they don't seem to be quite living up to the illustrations we vaguely remember!) Of course, it's inevitable that we threw out the very publications we now wish to have another look at.  
Your HCP Library can help you! We have saved and cataloged a number of publications. For instance, we have copies of The Garden (from the Royal Hort) going 'way back; Fine Gardening (nearly all the issues from the beginning); The Plantsman (for the more serious among us who want to know simply everything about particular plants); and The American Gardener (published by the American Horticultural Society).
The Gardener for the Prairies has been one of those publications that West Coasters tended to turn away from with a condescending air. . . though it has always been well written. However, it has now morphed into The Gardener for Canadian Climates, so now ALL Canadians may want to take another look at it.
The magazines mentioned are only those for which we have the most complete collections. We have also attempted to create a data base of plant names and other items from these collections. It's on our library computer, which you might like to check out one day. Or you might like to have us send you a digital version that could be perused at your leisure.
At any rate, this is food for thought should the weather cause you to be housebound for a couple of days!
During the plant sale, check out the great variety of books for sale in the Library!
The Gardens at HCP library is open:
9 am - 1 pm on Wednesdays
10 am - 1 pm on Saturdays
For more information please contact [email protected] 
In case you missed last month's Bookend, you can find it here.