April 1st - October 31st 
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Winter Hours
November 1st - March 30
10:00 am - 3 pm

505 Quayle Rd,
Victoria, BC V9E 2J7

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October E-News
Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

News from the Gardens
The Golden Spruce 
On Wednesday, October 4th, we welcomed a new plant into the Gardens. It originated as a cutting taken from the original in Haida Gwaii in 1964 by Jim Kinghorn, who was at the time a Forester with the Canadian Forest Service. His daughter Sharon and son Russ donated it to the Gardens.
It is now located in a lovely setting below the Native Plant Garden, where it should feel right at home!
A special thanks to Sharon and Russ; Harold Perepalkin (Sunrise Machinery) for digging up the spruce from Sharon's backyard and transporting it here; Ernest Swanson, a Haida artist; and Vicki Sanders, Saanich Municipal Councillor.
It is an honour to have an important part of BC history in the Gardens at HCP.

Plant Sale Recap  
by: Linda Petite, Head Gardener
Saturday, September 30, was the date of our annual Fall Plant Sale. It was well attended as usual.
HCP Plant Sales are always worth attending, not just for the unusual plants, but also for the access to garden knowledge you get from chatting to our volunteers, students and staff.
Setting up the display is time consuming, all plants having to be put in alphabetical order. An availability list is put on our website ahead of time. Thanks Deb, volunteers and students for assisting with this!
The 25% off the prices of all plants continues until the end of October.
Harvest Festival  
The annual HARVEST FESTIVAL is a fun and educational event for families. This year we will be featuring face painting, yarn bombing, pumpkin carving, slug races, and exhibits featuring species at risk. Spaces are limited so please register early to avoid disappointment.  
Date: Saturday October 28, 2017
Time: 9:30 am - 11:30 am
Ages: Suited to children 3+ years of age (All children must be accompanied by an adult)  
Cost: $15/family   
Pre-register by phoning HCP at 250-479-6162

Green Powered Gardeners, Vote for Us!   Help the HCP secure a need grant. 
The HCP applied for a grant through the Aviva Community Fund to upgrade our lawn maintenance equipment from gas-powered to rechargeable battery-powered equipment. Part of our grant application also includes the construction of two solar-powered sheds: one to charge up the equipment and one to pump groundwater for irrigation at the Urban Garden. These changes at HCP present an opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint and share a passion for environmental stewardship with students, volunteers, members, and visitors. Implementing these changes would go a long way to improve the sustainability of HCP, and we are asking for your support to make it happen. Anyone registered with the Aviva Community Fund can vote for ideas during the Voting Round which begins TODAY October 10, 2017 at 12:00 noon Eastern Standard Time (ET) and ends on October 19, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (ET).

Here is the link to our idea page: and here is the page to register with the Aviva Community Fund: 
Once registered, you can vote up to 18 times! Please vote often, and help spread the word! The process to vote takes approximately 20 seconds! 

Plants Wanted   
Do you have any overcrowded perennials that need dividing?
We are looking for the following to pot up and sell :

1. Libertia peregrinans
2. Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'
3. Rudbeckia 'Goldstrum'

please email
Robyn H. was the only person to identify our September Whatzit challenge! It is, in fact, something commonly called a "Firecracker vine" or "Spanish flag." On doing a bit of checking, we find that there's apparently a difference of opinion as to whether it's an Ipomoea lobata or a Mina lobata. However, everyone agrees that it's a member of the Convolvulaceae family and a native of Brazil. And, as far as the hummingbirds are concerned, this half-hardy annual vine is a real winner!
We are replacing our 'Whatzit' column and wanted to show you special images of the Gardens at HCP. Do you have a great shot from your last visit?
Send your submission with a short description to  
Pacific Horticulture College
For more information on registration, please call the office 250-479-6162 or email
The calm before the storm: PHC is preparing for its busiest time of year with the full-time foundation students graduating in November, the part-time Level 4 class graduating and writing their Red Seal examination in December, and the full-time Level 3 program starting in November. Currently, the full-time students are busy with their second week of work experience placements. Here is some student feedback from their first work experience week in September:
"Yes, I really enjoyed my work experience. The gardens are full of variety and so I got to know some interesting plant material. Managed to impart my knowledge on a few specific plants that my supervisor did not know. Also had to answer questions from the public, which was nerve wracking but felt I did O.K." - Jacqui, at Finnerty Gardens at University of Victoria
On interesting things learned during work experience: "Principles of designing a yard in the most sustainable way possible. I learned about more edible plants. Learned about way more beneficial and useful plants." - Jess, at Hatchet and Seed
"Yes, I enjoyed my work experience, lots of good knowledgeable people I got to work with. I learned about annuals, perennials and uses of vegetables in common landscape uses. I felt like my knowledge and skills were up to the industry standards." - Peter, at Saanich Parks and Recreation
"I loved my week with Eiddwen - she explained each task clearly and efficiently. I feel like I made a great connection with her. I learned about flower arranging, learned about how to harvest flowers and also visited various florists." - Abigail, at Cartref Gardens
Additionally, PHC enjoyed a cozy 30th anniversary celebration with recent and past graduates - a huge thank you to everyone who came out!
Upcoming Courses - Click on Titles for Links 
Offered on October 14 and 15, with the exam on the 16. For more information on schedule and costs, please see the website. Space still available.
Starting on November 20, 2017 and ending on January 12, 2018. The holiday break is from December 15 to January 2. A great way to further your career and continue learning.
Considering a career in horticulture? The deadline to apply for the certificate program is November 1, 2017.

For more information or to register about any of the above programs, please contact PHC at  or call at 
PHC Alumni Profile
Name: Lisa Robertson
Graduation Year: Part-Time Foundation Program in 2010-2011, Part-Time Level 3 and 4 in 2012
Current Occupation/Employer:
Manager at Lochside Nursery in Central Saanich
How did the program help you achieve your career goals?
The level 4 certification was certainly instrumental in helping me to gain the position of manager of a whole sale nursery and to be an effective/relevant leader.
How did the program affect your approach to horticulture?
The program helped to fill in some blanks in my general horticultural knowledge and taught me best practices and proper cultural habits (IPM).
What were your favourite aspects of the program?
I really enjoyed interacting and exchanging ideas with other like-minded people and I always love learning new things. The small class sizes and practical learning exercises were some of my favourite parts of the courses, as were the professionalism and openness of the instructors. Many of my classmates and instructors have become close personal friends. The fact that the courses that I participated in were part-time was really important to me as they were easy to fit into my busy work and personal schedule.
Why would you recommend this program to others?
I recommend this program because it provides an in depth and relevant course of study in horticulture that will teach or enhance prior knowledge to anybody wanting to make a career in horticulture.
Youth Programs
Fall Programs 
Join us Friday, October 20 in the Gardens at HCP for our Professional Development Day Camp. This fun and active garden program is modeled after our popular JMG Garden Camps held during Spring and Summer Break. The program features lots of seasonal gardening activities, like garlic planting and harvesting of fall vegetables, nature weaving and more to keep the most avid young gardeners growing!
Time: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Ages:   5-12 years
Cost:   $38/child
Pre-register by phoning HCP at 250-479-6162

Spotlight on Volunteers

To Apply to be a Garden or Office Volunteer e-mail Cheri at 
Volunteer Highlights 
It's been a busy summer for our volunteers at the HCP.  The Volunteer Appreciation Barbecue held this September was a perfect opportunity for volunteers and staff to come together and celebrate some of their highlights and achievements. There are enough achievements to fill an entire newsletter, but we will share just a small sampling of highlights with you below. 
This Summer the Ethnobotany volunteers focused their energies on creating the new Waterfont Ethnobotany Trail. The first step was to prepare the site for heavy equipment work. Many people generously donated their time to the project, including HCP volunteers, Red Leaf volunteers from Japan and staff from Carreiro the Studio in Victoria.  The groups second major effort was to create a creek system that deals with drainage from several up-slope gardens and serves as a water source. We hope that visitors to the Gardens will enjoy discovering this new trail and see how it evolves in the Spring and Summer next year. Many thanks go to Aline  Fowlow who donated funds toward the work on the trail in memory of her late husband Norman.
The Veggie Garden volunteers are harvesting some fantastic edibles this year. Their garden is a joy to visit and is a great way to get ideas on what to plant in our own food gardens. This year, the group reports that their Lemon Cucumbers and Chard did exceptionally well. Their 3 Sisters crop of Corn, Beans and Squash also produced a good harvest. We were not surprised when their Wala Wala onions took a first prize at the Saanich Fair this year! 
Our Construction Crew tackled some big projects this Summer. This group loves a challenge! Their newest member Robert Korsten jumped right in to get things done. The group replaced  shingles on the Library Cottage this Summer and are working on replacing the stairs leading to our portable classroom. We are confident that they will somehow squeeze in another project or two before the Winter arrives. 
We appreciate each and every volunteer, their positive attitudes and infectious enthusiasm! It has been a good and productive Summer at The Gardens!
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank to Butchart Gardens, Victoria Butterfly Gardens, Russell`s Nursery and Garden Works for their generous door prize donations for our volunteer appreciation BBQ.
Upcoming Workshops

Kombucha Workshop   
with Kristy and Mark MacKenzie-Moore 
Saturday, October 14 
1:00 am - 3:30 pm 
Is there an inner brewmaster hiding in you? This half day course in the art of kombucha tea will instruct you on the proper mixing ratios and techniques to brew your own kombucha. We will explore kombucha with all of our senses. You will get to sample and learn to make primary and secondary fermented kombucha. By the end of the workshop you will be sent home with everything you need for your very own personal kombucha brewing. Please bring a 1 litre glass canning jar with lid and a small notebook and pencil. 
Members $25
Non-Members $30
To sign up, call 250-479-6162 or come into the office.

Willow Chair Workshop 
with Andrew Kent 
Sunday October 15th 
9:00 am - 5:00 pm 
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.
Members $250  
Non-Members $275
To sign up, call 250-479-6162 or come into the office.

Hopi Style Wicker Tray Workshop 
with Joan Carrigan 
  Saturday, October 21st 
9:30 am - 4:30 pm 
Learn the art of basket weaving with Joan Carrigan, experienced instructor and artist. In this workshop, we will be weaving a beautiful tray inspired by the Hopi trays of the Southwest. The unique start and the sturdy structure with colour and pattern options, offer the participant the opportunity to complete a unique functional and decorative platter. We will be using dyed reed and raffia to make this basket. Please bring sharp scissors, an old towel, spray bottle, awl, and measuring tape.
Members $120  
Non-Members $140
To sign up, call 250-479-6162 or come into the office.

Pop-Up Mushroom Workshop  
with Shannon Berch 

Tuesday - Mid October or Early November
Enjoy a walk with mushroom expert, Shannon Berch. Shannon has a PhD in Mycology and is the founding member of the South Vancouver Island Mycological Society and the Truffle Association of BC. If you are interested in joining the walk call the office at 250 479 6162 to add your name to the interest list. We will contact those on the interest list when mushrooms are fruiting and the walk is a go. Mushroom fruiting can be somewhat unpredictable, so Shannon will be monitoring the pathways and trails at the HCP to determine when they are ready. The mushroom walk will be held on a Tuesday in mid to late October or early November. The cost is $30 per participant to be paid when the date is confirmed. All proceeds to the Ethnobotany Trail at the HCP.
$30 per participant   
To sign up, call 250-479-6162 or come into the office.

Twining a Bowl with Rush and Sedge Workshop 
with Joan Carrigan 
    Sunday, November 5
9:30 am - 4:30 pm 
Learn the art of basket weaving with Joan Carrigan, experienced instructor and artist. Soft materials such as rush, sedge and flower leaves offer the basket maker a beautiful material for fine twining. In this workshop, we will be weaving a small bowl employing a plaited base, variations of twining for the sides and lovely rolled border. This is a traditional European basket material which we have plenty of access to here in the Pacific Northwest. Please bring scissors, measuring tape, ruler, spray bottle, an old towel, and crochet hook #5ish.
Members $120  
Non-Members $140
To sign up, call 250-479-6162 or come into the office.

Fish and Food - Aquaponics Workshop 
with Mark MaKenzie-Moore  
    Saturday, November 18
10:00 am - 2:00 pm 
Explore the possibilities of soil-less growing with Mark MacKenzie-Moore. Do you have a small space, decent exposure, but no room to plant veggies? Aquaponics is your answer. Using just goldfish water and a 5 gallon bucket you will learn how to grow vegetables without soil by building your own self contained system. We will also discuss different system designs, materials and where to purchase them, and how it all fits together. Note, cordless drills will be used during this course. Please bring a notebook and pencil, as well as work gloves if desired.
Members/Non-Members $35
To sign up, call 250-479-6162 or come into the office.

Wreath Making & Holiday Classes 
Wreath Making is a popular event at the Gardens at HCP - these classes start in November and sell out every year. Registration is open so call today if you are interested!  
Keep your eye out on the e-news in November and our website calendar for more holiday classes and a full list of wreath making dates.
To sign up, call 250-479-6162 or come into the office.

Plant Identification and Culture 2017
with Diane Pierce
Nov 18 and Dec 2 
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
If you happen to have asparagus growing in your garden, do you know how to control the asparagus beetles? Well, according to the Manual of Injurious Insects and Methods of Prevention by E. A. Ormerod (published in 1890), all you have to do is go to the section "Food Crops," where you will find that "Asparagus" is the first crop listed (because it starts with "A," of course) . Under "Prevention and Remedies" we can then read the following: " Dipping the infested shoots in a mixture of half a pound of soft soap, a quarter of a pound of flower of sulphur, and about the same quantity of soot, well mixed together in a pail of warm water. . ."
There are further instructions re "application" but, moving on quickly to "C," we find listed the cabbage aphis (Cabbage Green Fly), otherwise known as Aphis brassica. We are then told that drenching the infested plants with soap suds is practicable as it kills the young Aphides. However, "Syringing with an infusion of tobacco mixed with limewater has been found very useful and the following mixture is also stated to be serviceable: Four ounces of quassia boiled for ten minutes in a gallon of water, and a piece of soft soap about four ounces in weight then added; and the mixture syringed over the plants."
Wireworms get a number of pages. Treatments here vary according to the crop being under attack. For instance, "soot and also guano have been found to stop the mischief in bad attacks on oats. The soot was applied at the rate of sixteen bushels per acre, the guano at the rate of two hundredweight, 'all in a pouring rain.' "
This will probably be sufficient evidence to convince readers that there's more than enough information in some older books to keep us challenged and bemused for some time - far more interesting that just getting the latest facts and figures off the internet! And when we're browsing older books, we may even discover that some now-forgotten methods of controlling infestations and diseases of plants are worth further consideration. Do come in to our HCP library for a browse one day, whether or not there's a "pouring rain!"

Library Hours: 
Wednesday - 9:00 to 12:00
Saturday - 10:00 to 1:00