Winter Hours
November 1st - February 28
10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Summer Hours
March 1st - October 31st
9:00 am - 5:00 pm


505 Quayle Rd,
Victoria, BC V9E 2J7

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January 2019 E-News
Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

News from the Gardens
Happy New Year
Deborah Donahue, General Manager
Happy New Year to all of our Members, Volunteers, Donors and Staff!
2018 was a year of maintenance and stewardship. We fixed roofs, buildings, fences and lighting, but even more so than the physical repairs, we worked diligently on remembering the past, thanking all of those that came before us and repairing any relationships that may have been overlooked.
So, as we move into 2019, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you each and every one for your time, your efforts and your support in making the Gardens the incredible and welcoming place it is.
I wish you to look forward to the upcoming year with confidence and courage, giving wings to your dreams! Live your life to the fullest extent and don't forget to try a different path every now and again. You never know what magic you might find.
Saanich Seedy Saturday 2019 
The Gardens at HCP is delighted to host the 4th Annual Saanich Seedy Saturday, presented by Haliburton Community Organic Farm! The event will take place on Saturday, January 12th 2019 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.
Enjoy quality vendors, an abundance of local certified organic seeds, children's activities and more. Don't miss this year's guest speaker, Dr Trevor Hancock Hon FFPH speaking on "Feeding A One Planet Region"! The presentation will be held in the Pacific Horticulture College classroom at 11:00am and again at 1:00pm.
Event admission is $8 at the door and includes admission to the Gardens -- the Winter Garden is particularly stunning this time of year! Please be advised that admission is cash only and there is no ATM onsite. Parking is complimentary but limited; carpooling is encouraged.
A New Year Brings New Seed Varieties
Linda Petite, Head Gardener
Happy New Year everyone!
The urge to change your life for the better is strongest in January, and seeds offer an affordable path to reinvention. Perusing seed catalogues is a favourite pastime of gardeners this time of year.
There are too many to mention, but here are a few that I plan to try and that may interest you as well.
Floret Flowers is a family farm out of Mount Vernon, WA
  • Pansy Rocco frill mix (fragrant and long stemmed, ideal for cutting)
  • Achillea Summer Berries
  • Tomato Chocolate Cherry
Baker Creek Seeds
You have to purchase their catalogue, but the info and photos are worth every penny.
  • Chinese Multicolor Spinach (look like Coleus and are heat and drought tolerant)
  • Giant Red Celery
  • Tomato Micro Tom
West Coast Seeds
Our local favourite that has revamped their website with a fresh new look.
  • Kabuli Chickpeas have attractive flowers. The pods can be steamed and eaten whole, or dry the peas
  • Wasabi Mustard greens
  • Red Oxheart tomatoes
Look for Linda at the Victoria Seedy Saturday on February 16th where she will be presenting a Starting Seeds Workshop. 
Wedding Awards Winner 
Thank you to everyone who contributed to our very successful 2018 wedding season. We're so happy to have WON the Best Outdoor Ceremony Venue category, Best Collaborative Styled Shoot, and were named a finalist for Best Unique Wedding Venue at the Vancouver Island Wedding Awards. 
Another big thank you to our summer Events Assistant Laura Bull, who has worn many hats so far in her short career in the wedding industry, most notably at FLEURtacious. Her floral experience was an unexpected gift this summer and has taught us to always have a stash of zip ties handy! We wish her all the best with her post-secondary education and can't wait to see where she turns her talent and energy next.
For more information about our awards, collaborators and award-winning photos please visit our feature blog post.
Arts & Music in the Gardens 
Call for Vendors 
Giles' Jottings    
In the pause between Christmas and New Year, when the gardens are closed, one's mind turns to what we are hoping to grow in 2019. And what better way to spend winter evenings than sitting in front of the fire leafing through seed catalogues  -  well they're mostly online these days I must admit but the pleasure is the same. I have several items on my wishlist, many of which I've tried before, but varieties and availability evolve year by year and searching for an old familiar friend often leads to discoveries of new introductions, claiming to be more floriferous or sweeter-scented or more vividly coloured than the original varieties.

Something I am looking for this year is varieties of solitary clematis, those low-growing non-climbing varieties of clematis. When I was living in Quebec I had a very attractive Clematis heracleifolia with dark blue flowers which grew to only about three feet in height. Not all varieties of C. heracleifolia remain reliably short and non-climbing but I think the species C. integrifolia are all non-climbing so I will start with those.

Another plant I am interested to try growing is chicory. I am intrigued by the recent research into 'gut microbiomes' that suggest chicory's high inulin content makes it an excellent pre-biotic, helping maintain gut health. I know chicory (
Cichorium intybus) as a tall sky-blue wildflower; it grew everywhere in Quebec. And not far from where we lived there was a farm where they specialised in forcing chicory roots in the dark to produce pale 'chicons' of endive. Roots can also be roasted to make an interesting coffee substitute. But Linda recently pointed out to me that there are easily grown varieties of frizzy lettuce-like chicory. They can be harvested small, as in mesclun, or as a full-grown head. There are plenty of different varieties to try. I'm excited already.
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'
Thank you our Volunteer Coordinator Cheri for this month's 'Picture of the Month'.
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
It's been a busy winter as PHC is running both Level 3 and Level 4 apprenticeship programs. Both programs wrap up on January 11th - they are a great group of students and best of luck on your exams!
On January 14th, PHC welcomes our incoming 2019 Landscape Horticulture Certificate Program students! We look forward to welcoming a new full class of eager future horticulturists.   
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 .  
A big thank you to all of the PHC instructors and HCP staff for support and enthusiasm during the 2018 year. PHC is grateful to be surrounded by such a great community!
Coming up:
Part-Time Level 1 Apprenticeship Training  
  • August to December 2019
Pesticide Applicator Certificate Course (Landscape General Category)
  • February 23rd and 24th, exam on the 25th
  • To register please call the Gardens at HCP at 250-479-6162
For more information on our programs, please contact Pacific Horticulture College at 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- March 2, April 6, 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
For further information, please contact: 
Call to register: 250-479-6162
Gardens come in all shapes and sizes. Learn about the needs of plants for these indoor mini gardens. What better place to grow them than in an upcycled glass container. Bring along a glass bowl, vase, jar or other container and see what you can create for your room. (Containers up to 20 cm in size).  
Date: Saturday, February 23, 2019   
Time: 9:30 am - 11:00 am 
Ages: 6+ years 
Fee:  $15/child
Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle! In our zero waste workshop we explore different ways we can make a positive impact on our environment in our everyday lives! Through different crafts such as beeswax reusable food wrap, recycled paper gift cards and T-Shirt tote bags we turn old into new and learn about how small changes can make a big difference in the world around us!
Date : Saturday February 23, 2019
Time : 1:00 pm -3:00 pm
Ages : 5+ Years
Fee : $20/child
Pro-D Day Camp
February 22nd .  
February is a good time to get started with our food garden. Let's explore the garden tasks (both inside and out)
to help us grow our best food crops while reusing and recycling what we have. Learn to make your own pots, make an easy garden with yard and household waste, and take home seeds and upcycled creations to use. This day will be filled with seed starting, planting, and creating, with a mindfulness to our environment.
Times: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Cost: $38/child
Ages: 5 ½ years - 12 years
Registration: register at HCP office (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, February 3
9:00 am - 5 pm
HCP Members $250
Non Members $275
To register call: 250-479-6162 
Pine Needle Basketry 
with Joan Carrigan 
Learn to make a pine needle coiled basket using waxed linen thread as the stitching material. We will explore different ways of starting pine needle baskets and stitches such as plain and V-stitch patterns. Each participant can design their own basket working on ways to shape and create pattern with stitches and colour threads. Joan will have extra long California pine needles for you to use but she will talk about gathering and preparing local varieties of pine needles and other natural materials suitable for this diverse basketry technique. 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: scissors with a sharp point (like embroidery scissors), an old tea towel or hand towel, tapestry needle size #20.
Saturday, February 9 
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
HCP Members $120
Non Members $140
To register call: 250-479-6162 
Foraging Winter Food Plants  
with Latifa Pelletier-Ahmed
This workshop will focus on winter food plants. Learn how to identify, and prepare native and introduced species that are edible during the winter. The health benefits of eating wild food and sustainable harvesting practices will also be highlighted. There will be a demonstration on how to prepare a locally harvested item. Weather permitting we will observe edible plants during a short walk around the garden.
Saturday, February 9  
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
HCP Members $30
Non Members $35
To register call: 250-479-6162 
Pruning Ornamental Plants   
with Patty Brown 
Gain an understanding of how and why plants respond to pruning. This workshop will help you get the results you want with any plant in your garden. Patty Brown, Pacific Horticultural College instructor will take you through the steps, theory and techniques of pruning. The workshop consists of two lectures and one hands on session to practice what you've learnt.
Monday, February 25 - 6:30 - 9:00 pm  
Wednesday, February 27 - 6:30 - 9:00 pm
Saturday, March 2 - 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
HCP Members $95
Non Members $115
To register call: 250-479-6162 
The Backyard Orchard Workshop   
with Ryan Senechal 
This workshop is for those serious about cultivating fruit and nuts in an urban space. Ryan Senechal will cover: selection of cultivars, planting, staking & training, soil, nutrients & watering, pruning, plant health & cultural controls, grafting & propagation. The focus will be on apple, cherry, pear, plum, peach, kiwi, Carpathian walnut, butternut, hazelnut, fig, blueberry & raspberry.

Saturdays, March 2 & 9
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
HCP Members $90
Non Members $110
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.
Jan 26, Feb 16 and March 16
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
Some of us are gardeners because we simply enjoy it. For others it's a way to save money by growing their own food. For still others it's a way to make a living.
A couple of books were donated to our library recently that may prove to be of interest to all varieties of gardeners. One is "Gardening for Pleasure: A guide to the Amateur in the Fruit, Vegetable, and Flower Garden" by Peter Henderson. (Just so you know, this book is actually a reprint of a book originally published in 1883.)
The second book, also by Peter Henderson, is called "Gardening for Profit." In the introduction, Mr. Henderson is said to have been the "great grandfather of truck farming in America." He was actually born in Scotland but emigrated to America as a youth, spending his farming and writing life in New Jersey.
On glancing through some of the advice he passes on to his readers, one is struck by how much he came to know from experience - and how much we can still profit from what he has passed along to us. It seems that every few generations we have to rediscover so much that had already been known in the past but came to be regarded as "old fashioned ideas."
At any rate, gardeners will be fascinated by such passages as the one about planting out young strawberry plants in mid August and being careful to mulch them properly so that none will be lost due to the likelihood there will be no rain for the next month. (No fancy irrigation back in those days!)
"Gardening for Pleasure" includes directions for growing plants in greenhouses, conservatories, and even in windows. There's hardly a page that isn't interesting for one reason or another, with our patient teacher covering everything from the culture of veggies to the design of greenhouses and the heating thereof.
Just a couple of good reads while we sit out the winter months by the fire and prepare for action in the springtime!
The Gardens at HCP library is open:
9 am - 1 pm on Wednesdays
10 am - 1 pm on Saturdays
For more information please contact