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


505 Quayle Rd,
Victoria, BC V9E 2J7

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July 2019 E-News
Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

News from the Gardens
Arts & Music in the Gardens 
The Gardens at HCP is excited to host the 25th Annual Arts & Music in the Gardens on August 10th and 11th, 2019. This incredible weekend showcases 3 stages of live music and over 50 local artists, vendors, and exhibitors, all nestled in 9 acres of award-winning gardens. The full event program will be available August 1st at 
Arts & Music in the Gardens is our marquee fundraiser and all proceeds are dedicated to the development of The Gardens at HCP -- named 'Canadian Garden of the Year' at the 2017 Garden Tourism Awards! 2019 also marks the 40th anniversary of the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific - 40 years of connecting people to plants!
As always, admission is free for HCP Members. Check that little green card in your wallet to see if your membership has expired, and if so, renew before August 10th to save time at the gate. (Those who renew or purchase new memberships at the event will have their $10 admission reimbursed.) 
The Victoria Master Gardener Association will be onsite to answer all of your plant and gardening questions -- conveniently next to our plant sale!
This event is not possible without the time and talents of over 100 volunteers. Volunteers receive free admission to the event on the day of their shift along with free goodies and refreshments. Please email Cheri at to sign up!
Our regular parking lot is reserved for dropoffs, bicycles, and vehicles with a Parking Permit for People with Disabilities. All other vehicles, please take advantage of the free field parking on Beaver Rd where there will be volunteers to guide you, or angle parking along the fenced side of Quayle Rd.
We are currently taking a wait list for artists and musicians. Please email Megan at for more information.
As a charity, HCP has depended on the support and generosity of others for the past 40 years to help us make a difference. The maintenance of our gardens is funded through our memberships as well as donations, sponsorships and grants, and income from our gardens through admissions, plant sales, events and weddings. Even though much of the creation and maintenance of the gardens has been carried out by teams of hardworking and cherished volunteers, there is still the large financial commitment of caring for 9 acres of curated gardens.
Your donations provide essential support and your generosity has helped us complete the following:
  • Irrigation upgrade in the Children's Garden
  • Inner deer fencing
  • New wrought-iron Front Gate
  • Equipment upgrades and maintenance
Thank-you so much for your continued support, we couldn't do it without you!
We are currently raising funds to update the outer deer fencing, please visit: to donate today.
Introducing Ryan Barton  
by: Linda Petite, Head Gardener
Ryan is a graduate of the Pacific Horticulture College, class of 2018, who joined us this spring as the part- time assistant gardener. He fills the rest of his working hours tending to personal clients through his business, Viking Queen Gardens.
Ryan originally came to Victoria - with a brief stop in Kelowna - from his hometown of Halifax. He has since fallen quite in love with Vancouver Island and has declared it his forever home. He discovered his passion for plants on an utter whim of wanting to change careers and has not looked back in almost two years. What drew him in the most was the idea of creating edible gardens for urban dwellers, and he has since discovered a love for aquatic and tropical plants.
Ryan has developed something of a reputation around the Gardens of HCP for always being spotted with a flower tucked behind his ear while plugging away in the Mediterranean Garden.
When you see Ryan, stop and say "hi." We are very fortunate to have him as part of our team!
2019 Picnic Nights 
The Gardens at HCP is extending our hours every second Wednesday night beginning June 5 for our annual Picnic Nights. We encourage families and friends to come and enjoy a lovely picnic on our grounds. Admission is by donation between 5 and 8 pm. Bring your own dinner and find a bench or lawn to enjoy your meal while enjoying the sounds of a local musician.  
Local arts vendors will be on site and you can browse through their selection of goods or visit the Master Gardener booth with your garden-related questions. The musician for July 31 is violinist, Marjorie Cullerne. Marjorie who plays fiddle, Celtic, gypsy and light classical. In addition to the Victoria Master Gardener Association, we are going to have three vendors onsite: Florabella Fine Art Prints, Ink & Ivory and Driftwood D├ęcor. Our plant sale area has a lovely selection of plants propagated by our volunteers from our garden and you might find a leafy friend to take home with you.
If you would like to explore your creative talents during picnic night, consider signing up for a Paint and Picnic class with local artist Rose Cowles. Classes run from 5:30pm - 7:30pm. No experience required, all levels welcome, but spaces are limited. Call us to register and hold your spot - 250 479 6162. This is a great activity to do as a group.
The event will be posted on Facebook, so please share among your friends. We encourage you to bring your sketch book, guitar, outdoor games - it will be a wonderful evening. 
2019 remaining Picnic Dates 
Wednesdays, 5pm - 8pm  
July 17
July 31
August 14
August 28
2019 Saanich Fair 
by: Linda Petite, Head Gardener
This year the Saanich Fair is August 31-September 2. 2015 was the first year we submitted entries. Both our volunteers and students took part that year, and we took home several ribbons - including 1st prize for the largest beet! We have been entering every year since and always get a ribbon or two.
So all you volunteers and students growing veggies or flowers, start thinking about what you want to enter! Deadline for entries is August 14. Pick up or download your Saanich Fair booklet and entry form soon. We are looking forward to adding more ribbons to our "winners board."
HCP Volunteer Remembered 
Jean Forrest (September 4, 1935 - June 26, 2019)
 Jean gave more than 20 years of vision and plant knowledge while developing the Native Plant Demonstration Garden (NPDG) at the HCP. Logs and rocks were all part of the plan to make a natural area for everyone to enjoy and learn from.
Jean was the founding member of the Native Plant Study Group and a keen propagator of ferns and trillium. In addition, there was always time to discuss the latest book read, play attended or opera enjoyed.
Jean, you are missed, and we thank you.
Ruth Keogh, NPDG volunteer
Thank You to our City University Volunteers  
Farewell and thank you to our City University students from Hong Kong (Hei, Steven, Dennis, Kate, Rita, and Stephen)for their volunteering time with us at HCP.
These 6 individuals spent 5 weeks and 15 hours with Paula as part of their English Speaking program abroad. During their time at HCP, they participated in tomato planting in the Farm Garden hoop house with Giles, increased their environmental awareness in the Conservation area, and helped prepare the JMG Garden beds for upcoming summer camps and workshops. They valued their time learning about plants, growing edibles and eating fresh from the garden, while becoming more confident with their conversational English skills . We ended our time together with an invitation for their host families to join us for Picnic in the Garden on July 3. They are safely back in Hong Kong, some having completed their degrees and moving into the workforce. Suffice it to say that Tuesday afternoons at HCP will not be the same without their smiles and helping hands.
May E-News Update 
by: Linda Petite, Head Gardener
I asked our readers for suggestions on what to do with the rotunda planters. Well, here are pictures of the before and after.   
They are now lovely seats for all to enjoy. Thank you all for your suggestions and to volunteers Lonnie, Peter, Dave and Jock for making it happen!
Giles' Jottings    
The weather at the tail end of June and into the beginning of July has been rather cloudy and grey. It may not be quite the best of summer weather but it suits us very well. Working all day in the hot sun can be very tiring; these cooler conditions are much more agreeable to work in and reduce the need for extra watering. Also there is no doubt that propagation is more successful. Taking cuttings can be a delicate operation; once you have snipped a piece of stem away from the mother plant it has no means of support other than the care you can provide. So on a hot sunny day this tiny rootless stem can quickly wilt, collapse and die. Ideally it would like a shadey damp spot that will help maintain its water pressure while it learns to grow new roots. Yet even big commercial operations can find it difficult to provide the perfect environment twenty-four hours a day. Here at the HCP I'm always glad when the cooler grey days give our cuttings a better chance of survival.

And I have the impression that the plants in the gardens also appreciate this milder weather. The upper gardens are looking particularly splendid. The Hardy Plant beds are filled to overflowing with mature perennials; I am especially fond of the deep crimson Knautia macedonica, a plant I have grown in several different gardens over the years. The Birds, Bees and Butterflies garden is looking its best and the newly renovated Drought Tolerant Garden is not to be missed. Set into the pale gravel are a whole range of exciting and colourful plants, multicoloured California poppies (Eschscholzia californica), Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia), woolly rock rose (Halimium lasianthum) and many interesting Salvias. Especially fine are a green bottlebrush (Callistemon viridiflorus) and a striking Gaillardia 'Arizona Red Shades'.
This is definitely a great year for flowers.
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.    
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
'Picture of the Month'
This month's 'Picture of the Month' comes from our Pacific Horticulture College students.   
Creativity , hard-work and dedication! What else can we say!? 
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
June was a whirlwind month, full of major project submissions in Landscape Design, Soils and Plant ID. For Special Topics in Horticulture, students were introduced to Organic Landcare and also Environmental Stewardship - check out the HCP blog for more information. We also had a fun pizza potluck lunch using the cob oven. Now halfway through the program, students are on their well-deserved two weeks of summer holidays! We look forward to the second term with this great group of students, and wish them a restful and enjoyable break.
For current happenings, alumni and current student profiles and more, follow PHC @pacifichorticulturecollege on our new Facebook and Instagram pages!
Multiple program options are now open and accepting applications: part time or full time training. See below for more information.
Coming up:
Part-Time Level 1 Apprenticeship Training
Full-Time Level 3 and 4 Landscape Horticulturist Apprenticeship Training Programs
  • November 18, 2019 to  January 10, 2020
  • Application deadline is November 5, 2019
Full-Time Landscape Horticulture Certificate Program 2020
  •  January 20, 2020 to November 16, 2020
  •  Application deadline is November 1, 2019
For more information on any  of our programs, please contact Pacific Horticulture College at or call  250-479-6162 .
Youth Programs
Youth Program - Upcoming Workshops
Call to Register for Programs: 250-479-6162
Tea Making for Kids
Join us for a kid-friendly introduction to the art of tea making! Participants will host their own tea party as we explore a variety of garden plants, fruits and berries to create herbal teas. We will finish by packaging up our own sample tea brews to take home.
Date:   July 18
Time:  10:00 - 11:30 am
 6+ years
Spa Time
Using fresh and dried herbs right from the gardens along with essential oils, participants will learn how to create their very own spa essentials to take home and enjoy. It's amazing what combining a few garden and household materials can create!
Date:   August 1
Time:  1:00 - 2:30
 6+ years
Join us for our bi-weekly story time designed for young children. Each program centers around a theme that explores subjects such as gardens, pollinators, vegetable growing and other environmental themes through stories and garden activities. Bring along your snack and I will provide the story blanket. Children under 5 must be accompanied by an adult. *See the next session of our Stories in the Shade summer story time beginning July 2019.
Tuesdays, July 30 and August 13 
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)
For further information, please contact: 
Call to register: 250-479-6162
Upcoming Workshops
Registration Now Open!  
Registration for both of the Gardens at HCP's signature programs opened July 15th.
Master Gardeners combine a passion for gardening and the dedication to share their knowledge with the community. The course is taught at the HCP by a Pacific Horticulture College instructors and Master Gardeners and consists of 26 3-hour sessions that combine classroom instruction, home study, hands-on practicum, assignments and in-class projects.
For more information please visit our website here:
Acclaimed author Linda Gilkeson will teach participants how to make the most of our mild Pacific Northwest weather and grow healthy veggies 365 days a year! No matter how large or how small your garden is, you will learn how to make the most of it.  
For full course details please visit: 

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, September 22
9:00 am - 5:00 pm 
HCP Members $250
Non-Members: $275 
To sign up, call 250-479-6162 or come into the office.

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 , September 28
9:30 am - 5:00 pm 
HCP Members $120
Non-Members: $140
To sign up, call 250-479-6162 or come into the office.

Cut Your Own Cut Flower Garden - Fall 
with Eiddwen Thomas 
Eiddwen Thomas, floral designer and owner of Cartref Gardens will teach participants about flowers, grasses, herbs, and foliage for making gorgeous fall arrangements Find out about fall clean up and soil preparation for next year. Learn what bulbs and plants you can plant now for colour in your garden in the spring, such as tulips, narcissus, and other gorgeous spring bulbs.
Saturday , September 28
11:00 am - 2:00 pm 
HCP Members $55
Non-Members: $60
To sign up, call 250-479-6162 or come into the office.

Willow Hoop Rib Basket 
with Joan Carrigan 
This is a variation of an oval rib basket which has 2 built-in side handles often called a potato basket. We will be using willow for the hoop and a combination of dyed reed and seagrass for the weaving. This is a lovely storage and display basket perfect for the kitchen or holding craft supplies. 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: sturdy scissors (like kitchen scissors), an old towel, spray bottle.
Sunday , September 29
9:30 am - 4:30 pm 
HCP Members $120 
Non-Members: $140
To sign up, call 250-479-6162 or come into the office.

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.
  July 20 , August 17  and Sept 14 
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
While chatting with a local gardener recently, we came to the realization that it can take a few seasons of trial and error before we get the hang of gardening in this part of the world, BUT it does pay off big time when we finally get to eat the veggies we planted, or see visitors are impressed with a colourful display of flowers.  
One of the things to be learned by newcomers to the Victoria area, and/or first-time gardeners generally, is that the growing conditions vary a good deal depending on where your garden plot is. For instance, is it sheltered from the prevailing winds? Or maybe it's sheltered by your neighbour's 60-foot trees and so that part of your plot isn't so hot for growing roses . . .  
Whatever your situation, there's a book for it! For instance, should you have quite a bit of shade, you might turn to a book we have in our library called "An Encyclopedia of Shade Perennials," which would solve the problem of having that neighbor with the tall trees. On the other hand, if you should happen to want to grow some plants for food, a reasonably shady spot is great for growing lettuce but, In order to produce a more well-rounded diet, you may want to check out "Garden Secrets" or "Vegetables of Canada."  
If the siting of your garden is no problem and you have improved the soil to the point everything is thriving, you will probably be unable to control a temptation to try growing things in the winter (if only to annoy friends and family in the rest of the country!) Should that be the case, have a look at "Winter Gardening in the Maritime Northwest." And then there's Adrian Bloom's "Year-Round Garden" for further inspiration. There's also "The Northwest Cottage Garden," but that one may be so comprehensive that it will take a good part of the winter to digest it all!
A final note: Keep a notebook of all the plants that tweaked your interest this summer, and then spend a rainy autumn morning in our library finding the facts you need to get planting next spring.
The Gardens at HCP library is open:
9 am - 1 pm on Wednesdays
10 am - 1 pm on Saturdays
For more information please contact 
In case you missed last month's Bookend, you can find it here.