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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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June 2019 E-News
Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

News from the Gardens
Welcome & Come On In! 
The Horticulture Centre of the Pacific is enjoying a beautiful new view into the Gardens, thanks to our amazing donors, Ruby and Jack! When the glass house burnt down in 2011, the metal gate was destroyed and a wooden replacement gate that we re-purposed from another area of the garden was used. As with most non-profits, we needed to raise the funds to replace it, and that happened this spring! In addition to the new gate, we can attribute the new grass in the Gathering Place and the much-needed maintenance of the Moon Bridge and Zigzag Bridge in the Takata Garden to Ruby and Jack. Their generosity and support have been key to the success of the gardens. We cannot thank you enough!
Thanks to our Wednesday Special Project volunteers - Ian, Lonnie, and Peter - for installation and Robert for painting!
As many of you know, HCP relies on philanthropic contributions every year. Our Annual Fundraising Appeal, Keep the Flowers Blooming is now underway as we reach out to our community to help us meet our funding priorities. Thank you so much if you have already supported us this year. Your ongoing support is vital to our success.
For more information on our areas of greatest need or to see our other fundraising initiatives, please visit our website .
To donate please download the form by clicking here.
The Horticulture Centre of the Pacific's mandate is "Connecting People with Plants".  This is made possible thanks to the ongoing generous support of our donors. Thank you!
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 onsite and you can browse through their selection of goods or visit the Master Gardener booth with your garden related questions. The musician for June 19th is Chick Wagon. In addition to the Victoria Master Gardener Association, we are going to have three vendors onsite: Aviv's Happy Crafts, Ink & Ivory, Pixels & Paint. 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 (some classes are already sold-out). 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, please share among your friends. We encourage you to bring your sketch book, guitar, outdoor games - it will be a wonderful evening. 
2019 Picnic Dates 
Wednesdays, 5pm - 8pm 
June 19
July 3
July 17
July 31
August 14
August 28
Volunteers Needed! 
We have some opportunities for great people wanting to contribute to the Gardens through volunteering. Volunteering helps you to get outdoors, keep active and meet other volunteers who love gardening. 
The Cut Flower Garden is recruiting a volunteer to fill the Lead Steward position in 2020. A seasoned mentor will be there to guide and train the volunteer in their role. If you are interested in growing cut flowers and want a hands-on learning opportunity, this might be a great fit for you. Wednesday mornings - 9am - noon.
Our Herb Garden is recruiting a volunteer gardener to join their small team. The ideal candidate would have an interest in growing a broad range of herbs and some knowledge of plant maintenance and gardening principles. Wednesday mornings - 9am - noon.
A great opportunity for beginners is to join our Wednesday Crew. This group works alongside a staff member on any area that needs the most help. While there is going to be a lot of weeding tasks in this group, you will get to work under the guidance of a staff member and experience different areas of the garden. 
Other areas needing volunteers include, the Winter Garden, Native Plant Garden and Japanese Garden. Please email for more information.
Hardy Fuchsias Return Year After Year 
by: Linda Petite, Head Gardener
Living in the Pacific Northwest, our climate puts few limits on the Fuchsias we can choose to grow. Our Hardy Fuchsia plants are propagated in house and are available in our plant sale area. They require well-drained soil, full to part sun, bloom spring until frost, they are favourites of hummingbirds and are deer resistant. Both single and double flowered varieties are available, and they can be grown in both containers and garden beds. 

Come visit our Hardy Fuchsia display garden to see how they grow and visit the Northwest Fuchsia Society website for growing tips.   The British Fuchsia Society is also a good reference.
Welcome to our UVic International students from Hong Kong! These students will be volunteering in the Gardens through the month of June.
HCP was invited to participate in an International program for students this year. The students are from City University in Hong Kong, looking for an opportunity to study English abroad while experiencing new and exciting opportunities. These students are in Canada studying English at UVic most days with a selection of field trips and an opportunity to select a volunteer program to enhance their time abroad. Six students are volunteering with us in the gardens between June 4 and July 3, doing a variety of tasks. Week one, following their volunteer orientation, they assisted in the planting up of the Head Gardeners Hoop House in the Farm Garden. Week two ended in the gardens at the Volunteer Appreciation Picnic, enjoying their first picnic, games, music and lots of good conversation! 
Giles' Jottings    
We are surely now in the best part of the year. We have had both rainy days and sunny ones and as yet the temperature has remained comfortable, light breezes keeping us cool as we work. Plants are looking vigorous, profiting from the great growing conditions, and we can enjoy so many varieties as they open their coloured faces to the sun.

A few weeks ago the Wisteria pergola above the Zen Garden was in full flower and it was a sight to behold; the hanging lilac racemes convey such a sense of glorious abundance. Then in mid-May, when I reminded myself to go and take a photo, I found the blooms were already finished. Somewhat disappointed, I couldn't help reflecting on the brief lives of so many flowers. No sooner do they open than they are gone again. It seems they hardly give us enough time to fully enjoy their extraordinary colours and forms and scents. And yet is that not an integral part of their charm? Their ephemerality gives us a brief moment of joy and then the poignancy of their disappearance catches at our hearts.

And, conversely, maybe we value less those flowers that bloom for weeks on end. Shasta daisies  (Leucanthemum x superbum) and Nootka roses (Rosa nutkana) are everywhere in the wilder parts of the garden; they seem to flower for most of the summer but we tend to think of them as 'just weeds'.

Then again, to counter my own argument, some of my favourite cultivated plants flower on and on. Peruvian lilies (Alstroemeria x hybrida) have a long flowering period and those in the Hardy beds are a particularly lovely strawberry red colour. The drawback of alstroemerias is their invasiveness; if you're not careful their soft little roots can spread throughout a bed and they're not easy to eliminate.

 Yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia punctata) also illuminates our borders for much longer than many other perennials. Happy in almost any soil or situation ( except full shade ) they bring us the brightness of the Mediterranean from May to July.

  Rhododendrons unfortunately are approaching the end of their flowering season now but, before they go, I would like to mention one that has only recently opened. Rhododendron 'Tortoise Shell', close to the Takata entrance, gives us a late reminder of the spectacular range of colours rhododendrons can offer. The blooms are a quite unusual shade, somewhere between red and rose; they catch my eye each time I turn the corner.
Thank you for your generous support.
As a charity, HCP depends on the support and generosity of others 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 with 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!
Visit to donate today.
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 Layla Munger. 
"I took a photograph of a butterfly that I had seen at your gardens on May 18, 2019. It was feeding and resting on a hedge with white flowers, just past the heather plants. As I was unable to ID it, I sent the photo to the Royal BC Museum and one of the staff from the Natural History Museum has ID'd it as a male Propertius Duskywing Butterfly. This is a species at risk in BC and at federal level.

As per their suggestion, I have completed the relevant online form to the Ministry of Environment, with a photo, location details etc. " 
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
The month of May kept PHC students busy with Soils classes, Plant ID quizzes and field trips, and Practical Skills checklists and testing. Introductions to various topics such as Rhododendrons, Dry Stone Wall Techniques and Organic Landcare were covered in the Special Topics in Horticulture class. Check out the HCP blog to read more.
Partnership Rotations with the HCP Volunteers finished at the end of May. From Stuart Maclean, 2019 PHC Student:
It is difficult to pick one individual aspect from the experience of the partnership rotations to be the best. Whether it was being able to work and learn alongside the volunteers who have years upon years of experience, or the community that we got to witness and be a part of at coffee breaks, all of it was a tremendous learning experience. Personally, it helped me find new areas of interest to learn about and strengthened my desire to know more and ask questions about things I thought I knew.
For glimpses of daily happenings and upcoming events, 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:
Pesticide Applicator Certificate Course
  • ·  June 26, 27, 28 (exam)
  • ·  Call HCP to register
Part-Time Level 1 Apprenticeship Training (click for more information) 
  • ·         August 7, 2019 to December 18, 2019
  • ·         Application deadline is July 22, 2019
Full-Time Level 3 and Level 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
Herb Creations
  Herbs can be used in so many different ways! Together we will learn about plants known as herbs and transform them from the garden into crafts and goods that participants can take home.
Date:  July 2
Time:  1:00 - 2:30 pm
  6+ years
Fairy Gardens
These gardens are fun to create ... even parents enjoy mak ing them and here is a chance to participate with your child in a mini garden making session! We will make these take-home gardens for outdoor use, using some natural materials gathered from the garden. Adults are welcome to stay or drop off. *All materials are provided.*
Date:   July 4
Time: 10:00 - 11:30 am
 6+ years
Terrarium Gardens for Kids
Gardens come in all shapes and sizes. Get creative as you learn about the needs of little plants for indoors, and 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! (containers up to 20 cm in size)
Date:   July 4
Time:  1:00 - 2:30 pm
  6+ years
Eco Crafts
Do you ever wonder how to reduce, reuse, and repurpose household items into new products? Bring along an old tee shirt to make a fabric tote bag to take your goods home in. Then create some amazing other items using household items.
Date: July 16
Time:  1:00 - 2:30 pm
Ages: 6+ years
Fee:   $15/child
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:   July 18
Time:  1:00 - 2:30
 6+ years
Join us for our bi-weekly story time designed for young children. Each program centres 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.
    Monday, May 13, May 27 and June 10 Should be Tuesday, July 2, 16, 30, 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
Summer Fruit Tree Pruning    
with Ryan Senechal  
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.

Saturday, July 20
9:00 am - 12:00 pm
HCP Members $45
Non Members $55
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.
 June 15, July 20 and August 17 
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
We probably haven't stopped very often to consider that gardening is essentially a planning and working for the future. . . .what we plant and nurture today will be reaped somewhere down the road when the crop is harvested. And, after harvest time, we likely think about cover crops to preserve the topsoil and then possibly start the process of studying seed catalogs and other sources to discover what might be planted in the spring. 
But we don't always just consider our immediate garden plots. As we become more in tune with the seasons and the creatures that inhabit the fields and woods around us, we might begin to take an interest in such topics as ecological restoration, or biodiversity, etc. etc.
Even if we plan to just grow a few plants in our own small yard, we need to consider what is suitable for the site esthetically, practically. . . and neighbourly! There's a cute story in a book picked at random from our library shelves that tells the story of a fellow who decided to plant only native plants in his garden. The neighbours had a suspicion that he was planting nothing but weeds, so he got a lot of labels with Latin names on them and stuck one beside each plant (even though they didn't necessarily have any relation to the plants beside which they were placed) . The neighbours were impressed with the Latin, and that was the end of the negativity!
The book containing this story - and numerous others - is called "Tending the Earth - A Gardener's Manifesto." The back of the book has "an action alphabet," several pages of additional notes, and even a source list if readers want to delve deeper into some topic or other. The author, Lorraine Johnson, has written a number of gardening/plant books. If they all are as informative and well written as this one, we look forward to some more good reading one day soon!
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.