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

505 Quayle Rd,
Victoria, BC V9E 2J7

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July E-News
Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

News from the Gardens
Oral History Project 
by: Cheri Le Brun, Volunteer Coordinator 
Wendy Littlefield, is a new arrival in Victoria from Chicago who loves gardens and the people who make them.

After her first visit to HCP she inquired about volunteering and Cheri Le Brun, our volunteer coordinator, identified the need to have someon e collect an oral history through interviewing long term volunteers.

Wendy enthusiastically took on this task and will be coming to the Gardens on a weekly basis from now until November to hear people's stories of their involvement with HCP. If you would like to share your stories with us through Wendy, please get in touch with Cheri via email -
Partnership Spotlight 
The Horticulture Centre of the Pacific (HCP) and the British Columbia Iris Society (BCIS) have established a new ongoing partnership that fulfills the mutually compatible mandates of the two organizations. The HCP and the BCIS agree to work as partners and seek opportunities to collaborate on the provision of enriched horticulture education to our community and support of public gardens.
The purpose of the new Iris garden is to promote the knowledge and use of plants from the genus Iris and its close relatives to the general public.  
Organized in 2006, the purposes of the BCIS are:
  • To promote the use of the genus Iris in gardens though out British Columbia
  • To demonstrate Iris that grow well in the Pacific Northwest
  • To encourage and educate the public to learn about growing Irises
To learn more about membership to the BCIS, please visit their website.  
The HCP offers a 25% discount off an annual membership with a current membership to the BC Iris Society.
Events Update
by: Megan Stacey, Events Manager 
Photography: Myrtle & Moss
"How are you doing?" "Tired, but good!"

If you ran into me at any point over this past month, that's probably the answer you received. June has been a whirlwind -- I'm still not quite sure how I managed to pack 32 bookings into 30 days! Between nine weddings and several meetings, tour groups, celebrations of life, picnics and photo shoots, I feel like my to-do list has included the words "set up..." every day.

Bookings for 2019 are well underway, with nearly all the summer Saturdays booked for weddings already! If you or someone you know is interested in booking an event, please reach out via email to We'd be delighted to host your family or business' event.

In an effort to spend more time outside the office and Couvelier Pavilion, I was thrilled to represent the HCP at Car Free YYJ. It was a beautiful day downtown filled with great food and music. It's always enjoyable meeting new people and telling them all about what the HCP offers, but the current members and students who said hi at the booth were a treat too! Thanks for bringing your familiar faces out to the event.

As always, we appreciate our Members' efforts to check in at the front office upon arrival. This helps us make sure everyone is aware of events going on in the Gardens -- ones to attend and ones to avoid! Thank you for respecting the privacy of our guests as their celebrate their families' special occasions.
Hebes - Practical and Sophisticated
by: Linda Petite, Head Gardener
Native to New Zealand, Hebe species can be found growing in a wide range of habitats from sea level to alpine regions.
All Hebes are evergreen and come in a variety of foliage colours.
Hebes are often overlooked in the nurseries unless they are flowering.
Here is a checklist to decide if a Hebe is the correct plant for your garden:
  • full- to part-sun and well-drained soil
  • compact, low-maintenance evergreens
  • grow in mixed borders, containers or as hedging
  • drought tolerant once established
  • long-lasting summer blooms
  • easily clipped - annual pruning keeps plants bushy
  • year-round interest
Some varieties that we sell in our Plant Sale area include:
       Hebe 'Patty's Purple'   Hebe 'Raspberry Ripple'   Hebe cupressoides

Needed - One Gallon Pots!
The Gardens at HCP gardening staff is looking for one gallon pots.  If you have any extra please drop them off in the main office.
Arts & Music in the Gardens  
Vendors and Volunteers Needed!
This August the Gardens at HCP will host the 24th annual Arts and Music in the Gardens festival . The event will be have local musicians, up to 50 artists, plant sales, artisanal foods, floral arts and more. Last year we had over 100 amazing volunteers contributing to its success. We invite you to join us this year as a volunteer and be part of the behind the scenes fun. We start recruiting volunteers as early as June for this event. Volunteer shifts are typically 3 - 4 hours long August 24 (event set up), 25 or 26.
There are many volunteer positions available including concessions, admissions, site assistants, traffic control and more. Volunteers get free admission for the whole weekend.  
If you would like to volunteer or need more information, please email Cheri Le Brun - Help us to spread the word by sharing this with your friends, family, and community. We hope to see you there!
Giles' Jottings    
The last few weeks at the HCP we have been trying to combat the increasing numbers of deer that are managing to get through the outer deer fence, separating the Western Woods from the polyhouses. We have seen several deer, both large and small, amongst the bramble thickets around the service yard and in the long grass of the Western Swale.

During the last two weeks volunteers and garden staff have been patching and mending the holes that have appeared in the outer fence and, when enough people are available, we have tried to drive those deer remaining out through one of the exterior gates. But deer are not very biddable. As soon as you chase them they race away at great speed or else they hunker down in the undergrowth, making themselves equally difficult to find.

As we patch more holes, by which we suppose they are getting in, the question arises as to whether they can jump over the fence. Unfortunately it was confirmed last week that the fence is not an insurmountable barrier. While we were chasing a small deer it found itself cornered up against the fence and, with no hesitation, it bounced straight up and over, a height of nine feet or more.

Consequently it is hard to know where best to put our efforts. It is suggested that a brightly coloured cord stretched along the tops of the fence posts will discourage their leaping over; we are starting to try this. But recently, despite all our efforts, we have not gone a single day without seeing one of those inquisitive brown heads appearing above the bushes.
Does anyone have any useful suggestions ?
Picnic Nights Are Back 
The Gardens at HCP's summer picnic series is back! Enjoy the magic of the Gardens with cooler temperatures and magical evening light. Admission by donation and live music starts at 5:00pm, with the evening wrapping up at 8:00pm. There are benches throughout the Gardens, but you may prefer to bring your own camp chair or blankets. 

Bring your own picnic or order take-out from Charlotte & The Quail to enjoy. Please note that The Gardens at HCP are not licensed and alcohol is not permitted on the grounds, but our friends at Charlotte & The Quail would be delighted to serve you beer, wine and cider inside the restaurant or on their patio! Reservations strongly encouraged.
'Picture of the Month'
Thank you to Ryan B. for this month's 'Picture of the Month' Submission.
The water lilies are such a magical part of the entrance into the Gardens, you never know if you will see a little frog swimming in their shade.
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
After completing the Soils course, Landscape Design project and Plant ID cards, PHC students have successfully finished their first term and are happily on their well-deserved two week summer break! We wish them rest and summer sunshine.
When classes begin again on July 16th, students will jump into a Plant Health course and summer pruning classes (both ornamental and fruit tree). There will also be a few off-site classes to other locations such as Butchart Gardens, Butterfly Gardens and Eurosia Farms.
In addition to student news, PHC would like to formally welcome new Practical Skills instructors: Heidi Hitchcock, Jo Wyld and Scott Nicol. We are excited to have you join the PHC team!
  Meanwhile, applications are coming in for the 2019 program - the program is already half full! 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:
BC Pesticide Applicator Certificate
·    Monday, August 13 and Monday, August 20, 2018 from 9 am - 4:30 pm 
·    Exam on Friday, August 24, 2018 from 9 am to 12 pm
 ·   Please contact the college for more information
2019 Landscape Horticulture Certificate Program Information Session  
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.
Full-Time Level 4 Apprenticeship Training  
(November 19, 2018 to January 11, 2019)
Full-Time Level 3 Apprenticeship Training (dates to be determined)
·          Interested in taking the Level 3 program this winter? Please contact the college for more information!
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
J oin us on these Tuesdays for ... STORIES IN THE SHADE & NATURE AROUND US!   
STORIES IN THE SHADE is a bi-weekly story time design ed around a theme that explores subjects such as gardens, bugs, and nature through stories and related crafts. Children under 5 years must be accompanied by an adult.
Date Tuesdays, July 3, 17, 31, and August 14
10:00 am - 10:45 am      
Cost: $5/child, free admission for an accompanying adult                   
Ages:2+ years (designed for younger children, however, siblings are welcome)
NATURE AROUND US is a Walk & Talk session geared to the exploration of plants, insects and diversity in the gardens. Participants will tour the gardens at HCP as they discover more about the natural world around them.
Date Tuesdays, July 3, 17, 31, and August 14
Time: 11:00 am - 11:45 am
Cost: $5/child, free admission for an accompanying adult      
Ages: 5+ years (designed for older children, however, younger siblings are welcome)
Please reserve your spot for both of these programs by calling the Office at HCP 250-479-6162              
So much of the life of a garden is microscopic. Even within the plants, pollen is unique to a species. Looking at different leaves and petals under a microscope will give the artist in you much inspiration. Leaf litter has a whole ecosystem of its own. Come and explore the microscopic world of the garden. Each participant will be provided with a bag containing a loupe, a specimen box and a pipette to take home.
                  Date: Thursday, July 19                                     Time: 1:00 - 3:30 pm      Cost:       $20/child, free admission for an accompanying adult   Age: 7+ years
Explore the amazing world of plants, how they grow and what you need to know to build and maintain your own miniature indoor garden. Participants are invited to bring along a glass container to transform (a great upcycle activity with an open glass container 20cm or less). Plants and other materials will be provided. Parents/guardians are welcome to stay and participate.
       Date: Tuesday, July 17       Time: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm       Cost: $15/person       Ages: 6+ years
Are you looking for ways to create your own Fairy Garden outdoors and furnishing it or to increase an existing garden. Join us for this creative activity time to build chairs, ladders, and other furnishings for your wee garden inhabitants. Use them in an existing garden or learn to create one or more garden rooms with them. Explore plants, natural materials and methods to create a whimsical setting in your garden or in containers. Parents/guardians are welcome to stay and participate.
       Date: Tuesday, July 31  Time: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm       Cost: $15/person       Ages: 6+ years

Upcoming Workshops

Registration for the Master Gardener Program and the Year Round Harvest Program will open on July 7. These classes fill up quickly, so call right away if you would like to hold a space. Those on the list will have the first option to register. Call 250 479 6162 to go on the list. Visit our website for more information.

Summer Fruit Tree Pruning
with Ryan Senechal 
Saturday, July 14    
9:00 am - 12:00 pm  
In this three hour workshop, certified arborist Ryan Senechal will provide an introductory summer fruit tree pruning instruction. Practical application is encouraged during the workshop.  Learn how this traditional approach to pruning can reduce the burden of dormant season pruning as well as provide you with higher quality fruit. Secateurs are encouraged.
HCP Members $45
Non-Members $55
To register, call 250 479 6162

Plant Identification and Culture 2018
with Diane Pierce
 June 16, July 21  and August 18 
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
There will be no Bookend this issue of the eNews as our HCP librarians are taking a break. The Bookend will be appearing in the next issue - probably with news of what we've been reading during our summer break.
In the meantime, perhaps YOU will have discovered an interesting book you would like to tell us about. Send along a note to  We would enjoy hearing from you!