Garden Hours:
March – October / 9:00am – 5:00pm every day

505 Quayle Rd Victoria, BC V9E 2J7
Ph: (250) 479-6162
Connecting People with Plants since 1979
Fall Plant Sale
by: Linda Petite, Head Gardener

Fall is the perfect time for planting. We have lots of new stock, propagated this spring and ready to plant out.
All plants reduced by 25%, with further reductions in our Bargain Bin. As always admission is free during plant sales.

Come early for best selection. Master Gardeners will be available to answer your questions. All proceeds raised from the plant sale support the development of our not-for-profit teaching gardens. Gates will open at 9 am and the sale will run until 4 pm. Click HERE to download the availability list.

See you soon!
Arts & Music in the Gardens - A Fantastic Success!
The staff and I would like to give a huge thank-you to everyone that joined us for the 25 th Anniversary of Arts & Music on August 10 th and 11th. It was a terrific weekend and we had a record number of just under 2,200 people attend despite the sun being a bit shy on Saturday! We raised over $30,000 and had 191 new members join us.
Many thanks to our 115 volunteers, without whom we could not run this event, and the HCP staff: Megan and Cheri – who had us so organized it felt flawless and easy; Linda, Giles and Ryan – for the Gardens looking the best ever and Linda and Ryan for their BBQ Prowess; Laura – The Concession Master – even with a leaky tent!; Jessica – Musician Conductor Extraordinaire; Lucia – for being everywhere at once!; Nikki – for her front office calm; Paula and Nikita – for putting smiles on the children’s faces; and Callum - for jumping in anywhere that was needed. Well done everyone, YOU ROCK!
40th Anniversary
November 7th, 2019 marks 40 years for the Gardens at HCP! 

The 40th anniversary of the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific is a celebration of the achievements the Gardens at HCP has made and the beautiful botanical demonstration garden we have become.

The Gardens opened in 1979 with a prominent vision in mind, to have a public demonstration garden and centre for horticultural education, celebrating the importance of plants in a sustainable world. Stay tuned for more celebration details...

Wedding Season Report
With 41 weddings behind us and just 8 fall weddings remaining, 2019 has been our busiest and most successful wedding season so far, with 2020 bookings coming on strong!

Aside from being an important revenue stream, hosting weddings allows us to welcome an additional 3000+ guests each year from all over the world who may not have otherwise heard of The Gardens at HCP. Many wedding clients and their guests return to visit the gardens or become Members after the wedding.

Not wanting to relax too much after being named Vancouver Island's Best Outdoor Ceremony Venue (at the Vancouver Island Wedding Industry Awards last fall), The Gardens at HCP made several important upgrades to our wedding facilities this year:

In January, shade blinds were installed in the Couvelier Pavilion. This has been most appreciated by our meeting clients, but wedding clients enjoy disguising the rear gravel area. We also added dimmer switches to the pendant lighting, so things can get romantic when it's time to dance!

In May, local wedding planner Borrowed + Blue Events donated a stunning wooden arbour for our ceremony site, designed to complement the cedar Pavilion while standing up to the elements. This gives couples one fewer thing to worry about when designing and setting up their day.

In July, we were able to upgrade our old plastic garden chairs to white resin folding chairs! Always on a budget, we were thrilled to hear from our friends at Global Tents when they discovered another event company in BC that was downsizing, so we were able to get the chairs used at a discount. The new-to-us chairs bring us up to date with industry standards and modern styles.

If you or a loved one are thinking of tying the knot, we'd love to host you. Visit our booth at the Dream Wedding Show this Sunday, September 22nd or email to check out available dates.
Dividing Perennials
If any of you folks have some overgrown clumps of perennials that you intend to divide this fall, please let me know if you have some extras. We could use them to pot up and sell in next year's Spring Plant Sale. (We are looking for such perennials as Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Campanula, Alchemilla alpina, Astilbe, etc.)
Please contact me if you have any extra divisions:
Giles Jottings
So this is an interesting time of the year, early September, when it is no longer high summer yet summer is not quite over and we can feel the hints of fall yet it is not really properly begun. Late summer blooms mix with early fall berries. Cosmos and Sedum, Alstroemeria and Aconitum can be seen at the same time as rosehips ( Rosa spp.) and crabapples ( Malus ), Cyclamen and Lords and Ladies ( Arum maculatum ).

A few grey days with spatterings of rain have been welcome. Most of the grass has dried to yellow and, in the absence of mowing, Queen Anne’s Lace ( Daucus carota ) has sprung up everywhere. It is very similar in appearance to Cow Parsley ( Anthriscus sylvestris ) a plant now considered an invasive weed in several states of the U.S. Having difficulty distinguishing the two, I looked them up and find that, though their flowers are indeed very alike, their leaves are sufficiently different to identify them. Those of Queen Anne’s Lace are much more finely divided and lacy; those of cow parsley are more fern-like.

In the gardens the Rose Allee has been superb this year and continues to put out lots of blooms, helped, no doubt, by assiduous dead-heading by the students. This year we have been trying to better identify all the many varieties we have and the Master Gardeners are currently making up new signs. One I especially like is an apricot-pink variety called Rosa ‘About Face’. And speaking of roses, on the lower south edge of the Hardy Borders there is a delicious combination of a pink rose and a pale blue clematis; though I’m not sure if my photo quite captures the sweetness of their association.

Summer is slipping away but everywhere in the gardens there are fleeting moments of beauty that hold one for an instant, colour and light and life bringing joy to the everyday.
Why Charities Matter
by Deborah Donahue , General Manager
Many of you may or may not be aware, that the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific is a registered charity and September the 5 th celebrated the International Day of Charity. With the rain yesterday, I was able to catch up on some of my reading and came across the September Digest of Canada Helps. In it was an article by the President and CEO of Canada Helps, Marina Glogovac, in which she shared her thoughts on why charities matter   (please follow the link) and how our lives have been touched by a charity in one way or another. I found the article extremely heartening in the knowledge that the HCP is not alone in the challenges we face. However, I sincerely believe we are more fortunate than many other charities thanks to the people – staff, volunteers, members and donors all of whom have chosen the Gardens as the place to give of themselves, whether by time, finances, or heart. My deepest gratitude to you all.
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 Drive
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
College News
August brought the start of a new program at PHC, the Part-Time Level 1 Apprenticeship program! There are 10 students in this program who will be studying with us until mid-December. We welcome the part-time students to PHC and hope they are enjoying the program so far. 

For the full-time students, August was a full month of classes including Plant Health, the Pesticide Applicator Certificate course, Sustainable Food Production, Landscape Design, Introduction to Permaculture and a Special Topics class on Fruit Culture. In Practical Skills, students did an amazing job preparing the gardens for HCP’s annual Arts and Music fundraiser – the gardens looked fantastic! A big thanks to the students who also volunteered at the event. In September and early October, students are participating in their 2 weeks of Work Experience. Their host employers range from Saanich Parks and Rec to Salt Spring Seeds to Butchart Gardens. We are grateful to all of the hosts for taking on our students for this valuable experience.

For current happenings, alumni and current student profiles and more, follow PHC @pacifichorticulturecollege on our Facebook and Instagram pages!

Multiple program options are now open and accepting applications. See below for more information!

Coming up:

PHC Information Session for the 2020 Landscape Horticulture Certification Program
  • MOVED to Wednesday, September 25th from 6 – 7   pm
  • Register at or drop in!

Full-Time Landscape Horticulture Certificate Program 2020
  • January 20, 2020 to November 16, 2020
  • Application deadline is November 1, 2019

Full-Time Level 3* and 4 Landscape Horticulturist Apprenticeship Training Programs 
  • November 18, 2019 to January 10, 2020
  • Application deadline is November 5, 2019

*Note: This is PHC's LAST offering of the current Level 3 before the curriculum changes in 2020. Apprentices who have completed Levels 1 and 2 are encouraged to finish their training before the curriculum changes take place, otherwise gap training or additional on-the-job training may be required.*

For more information on our programs , please contact PHC at  or call  250-479-6162 .
Youth Programs
For a full list visit our website:
To register for any program please call: 250-479-6162
Eco Crafts

We are becoming more aware of how our actions impact our planet. By starting with little changes at home, we can make a difference! In this workshop we will explore ways to reuse household items and use natural materials to save on waste while making great personal products to use at home and school. We will use fabric, beeswax, herbs, and other materials. Participants are asked to bring along an old tee shirt to make their first item, an upcycled shopping tote for take-aways.
DATE:Saturday, October 6
AGES: 7-14 years

Fun with Flowers Series

This is the time of year that our gardens are full of beautiful flowers. Learn to dry, pound, arrange and create with them to preserve their natural beauty and even their scent! Each week participants will be introduced to a new technique and create a take-away they will be proud to show. This is an opportunity to learn about plants and craft with them.
DATES: Sundays, September 15(drying & pressing), September 22 (flower pounding), September 29 (arranging with fresh) 
FEES: $55/3 week series or $20/1 week
AGES: 7-12 years
TIMES: 1:00 – 3:00 pm

Miniature Garden Series

What is it about miniature gardens that intrigues us? Is it the adorable tiny plants we choose to nestle into interesting and unusual containers…vintage, upcycled, or made? This workshop series will include a weekly project to create a fairy, alpine, succulent and terrarium garden. If you love miniatures of all kinds, give this garden series a try! 
DATES: Saturdays, September 28 (fairy), October 5 (alpine), October 12 (succulent), October 19 (terrarium)
FEES: $85/4 week series or $ 25/1 week
AGES: 7-14 years
TIMES: 1:30 – 3:30 pm


Have you ever picnicked with a frog? Watched a pair of mallard ducks float quietly down the stream while feeding? Snacked on a fairy garden ground cover? These and more experiences await you in our gardens during Pro D Day Camps this fall. Over the past weeks we have seen natures influence of the gardens in these and many other ways. Join me for a day of gardening, exploration, garden crafts and more in The Gardens at HCP.
Dates: Monday, September 23; Friday, October 25; Friday, November 22, 2019
Friday, February 24; Monday, April 27; Friday, May 15, 2020
Times: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Fee: $38/child
Ages: 5.5 years (school age) – 12 years

Garden Club is an open concept learning opportunity for children and youth of all ages who enjoy gardening and exploring the out of doors. Each month we meet to a assess our plot and participate in seasonable gardening with lots of hands-on activities. Our tasks range from creating Lasagna Gardens and container planters to seeding, weeding, and mulching. There is no end to the possibilities!
Club Dates: 9:45 am – 11:45 am (Saturdays 2019 – Mar 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 6 need to be with a supervising/participating adult
Community Education
For a full list of our Community Education workshops , click here .
“Abundance" Painting Workshop
Saturday, October 26 & Sunday, October 27 - 9:30am - 4:30pm
Instructor: Rose Cowles

Join local artist and instructor for a two day painting workshop. Participants will get messy and express gratitude on Canvas with Rose’s playful guidance. Use all your favourite colours while exploring various painting techniques with acrylics and collage. All materials are included. Moderate painting skills are ideal for optimum enjoyment.
$275 per person

Call 250 479 6162 to register

Master Gardener Registration Open

January to May 2020
Thursdays 6pm - 9 pm & Sundays 9am - 12 noon
Lifelong learning is at the heart of the Victoria Master Gardener Association, the idea that no one can possibly know it all; that there is no shame in saying “I don’t know but I know who to ask”. Amazing gardeners here at the HCP say it all the time. The thing is you have to start somewhere and the Master Gardener Program is the place. You will learn current, reliable home gardening basics – the framework to pin everything else to. You will also learn how to look it up, who to ask and how to share that knowledge of sound, environmentally responsible gardening practices with the community.

Call 250 479 6162 to register

Visit our website for more information.
Grow Your Own Cut Garden - Fall

Saturday, September 28 - 11:00am - 2:00pm
Instructor: 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.

HCP Members $55
Non Members $60

Call 250 479 6162 to register

Willow Hoop Rib Basket

Sunday, September 29 - 9:30am - 4:30pm
Instructor: 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.

HCP Members $120
Non Members $140

Call 250 479 6162 to register
Advanced Pruning

Saturday, October 5 & 12 - 9:00am - 12:00pm
Instructor: Ryan Senechal
Are you a hands-on gardener hesitant to prune small trees and shrubs in fear of injuring or undesirably altering them? This course with certified arborist Ryan Senechal will give you the skills you need to successfully prune your garden. In 2 sessions, basic pruning techniques and advanced strategies will be reviewed and applied to teach you how to achieve desirable structure, reduced maintenance & long term plant health in your garden. Your confidence and comfort will grow as you observe, learn, and practice proper pruning techniques and common mistakes to avoid. This is an outdoor workshop, please dress accordingly and bring your secateurs, all other equipment will be supplied.

HCP Members $90/Non Members $110

Call 250 479 6162 to register
Backyard Beekeeping - The First Year

Sunday, October 6 - 9:00am - 12:00pm
Instructor: Gordon Mackay

The interest and popularity of this wonderful craft is increasing every year. It is very important to become familiarised with the hive and the honey bee before you get your bees to maximize your chances of success. This workshop will focus on the beginner beekeeper who is planning on setting up a hive in the spring, or for those that have had bees for a year.
We will cover the basics of getting started, equipment required, dealing with potential pest (yes we will be talking about those pesky Varroa mites!) and disease problems in the hive along with looking at some favourite honey bee plants.We will also cover some tips on how to get your bees ready for winter. There will be lots of opportunities to ask questions throughout the class and time will be left at the end for further questions too.

HCP Members $25/Non Members $35

To register, call 250 479 6162
Introduction to Forest Bathing

Sunday, October 12 - 10:00am - 1:00pm
Instructor: Peter Hehl and Kelly Kiss

Come join Peter Hehl and Kelly Kiss, ANFT Certified Forest & Nature Therapy Guides, to discover “Forest Bathing”, what it is, along with its health and wellness benefits. The experience starts off with a one-hour discussion, followed by a two-hour forest therapy walk.
Reconnect with yourself and nature through a mindful walk in the beautiful Gardens at HCP. Peter and Kelly will offer you a unique "forest bathing" experience, an “immersion” into the space of trees, plants and the beings of the forest and gardens. For more details please visit this event listing on our website:
Talk Only - 10:00am - 11:00am - $5.00
Walk & Talk - 10:00am - 1:00pm - $40.00

Call 250 479 6162 to register
Herbal Tincture-Making Workshop

Saturday, October 19 - 10:00am - 1:00pm
Instructor: Lily Fawn
An herbal tincture is a very effective form of extracting the medicine from plants. It has a much longer shelf life than an infusion, decoction or oil and can be stored in your cupboard for years. Herbalist, Lily Fawn, shares the secrets of herbal tincture making. Participants will gain confidence in basic medicine making skills and learn both folklore tincture making and standardized methods. Participants take home all medicines made in class including a fresh plant tincture made with a herb of their choice. This session will also offer an informative introduction to a materia medica of the herbs used in the class and receive a detailed handbook outlining all the information covered in class. All supplies are included.

HCP Members $55 /Non Members $65

Call 250 479 6162 to register

Urban Forestry

Sunday, October 20 - 9:00am - 1:00pm
Instructor: Ryan Senechal
Participants will be introduced to urban tree and urban forest planning and management, and also collection of urban tree data. Ryan will also cover an introduction to tree protection and preservation bylaws, tree risk management, and strategies to sustainably improve canopy cover
This course will introduce the following skills:
-Basic field collection of urban forest data (Genus and species, tree measurement, condition assessment, critical root zone, location)
-Use of tools and references to collect and analyze field data (GPS, GIS, diameter tape, linear tape, laser rangefinder, spreadsheet, iTree Design, tree ID references)
-Understanding regional Urban Forest management trends
The course is part indoor, part outdoor. Please dress appropriately for the weather.
HCP Members $50 /Non Members $60

Call 250 479 6162 to register

Willow Chair Workshop

Sunday, October 20 9 am - 5 pm
Instructor: Andrew Kent

J oin 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.

HCP Members $250 /Non Members $275

Call 250 479 6162 to register

Mason Bee Maintenance

Saturday, October 20
1:00 - 3:00 pm
This informative class with Mason Bee expert, Tom Leahy. Tom will cover all you need to know to keep your mason bee cocoons healthy. Many people start out with great enthusiasm in the Spring, but in the Fall they are not quite sure what to do with the cocoons. If you have cocoons, bring them along and get the job done with Tom’s guidance. If you don’t have your own cocoons, don’t worry, we will have plenty for you to practice with. Tom will cover how to harvest the cocoons from various homes including wooden or plastic trays, cardboard, bamboo or paper tubes and drilled holes. After that the group will clean the cocoons and homes. Tom will also cover how to overwinter cocoons to help with their survival for the Spring. Leave with the job done and confidence about taking care of your bees. Time permitting, Tom will cover additional care topics and participant questions.

HCP Members $20 /Non Members $25

Call 250 479 6162 to register

Plant Identification

With Diane Pierce
One Saturday a month 1pm – 4pm

October 26, November 16 & December 7
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 & common names, plant descriptions, cultural requirements, general maintenance and landscape uses. This is an ongoing course & can be joined at any time, all year long, one Saturday a month. 

HCP Members $35.00 per session or $350 for 12 sessions

Non-Members $45.00 per session or $450 for 12 sessions.

To register, call 250 479 6162
The Bookend
Gardening can be a lot of work. . . or it can be an adventure. It can be a chore. . . or it can be a challenge.

 Perhaps the difference between those who find gardening a drudgery and those who find it an adventure is the degree of tolerance each has for taking risks. For instance, are you inclined to stick to the tried-and-true plants that don’t take either research ahead of time or a lot of care once they’re up and blooming?  Or are you fascinated by plants that might be borderline hardy but would make a great statement if they should survive your less-than-perfect environment?
This may well be one of those times in the history of gardening when we would be well advised to venture outside our comfort zone by trying something new. Even those who are devoted to “native” plants recognize that, with changing climatic conditions pretty much everywhere, what was once an easily-grown native plant last year may well be doomed to extinction in our area within a short time.

An HCP member has recommended that we have a look at “The Explorer’s Garden – Rare and Unusual Perennials” by Daniel J. Hinkley. In the introduction to the book, Hinkley cautions us about assigning “zones” to plants. (“All zone 8 gardens are not created equal.”) The introduction to this book is, in fact, a good read for all would-be gardeners as it gives us some sound advice re hardiness, when to prune (or not!), microclimates, drainage, and so on.

Some of the information in the "explorer's garden" re origins of plants can be downright spellbinding! For instance, check out Omphalodea cappadocica ‘Starry Eyes.’ Apparently, efforts to produce it by tissue culture resulted in what the author chooses to call “Blurry Eyes.” But we might like to find an O. c. ‘Anthea Bloom.’
 Or maybe an Angelica would make a statement to impress even our anti-gardening neighbours . . . !
Those of us who planted "challenging" items in the past - out of either rebelliousness or ignorance - can sit back now and enjoy some of our triumphs (the failures being already recycled!). So do a bit of dreaming this summer and, come fall, a bit of digging. The result could be some lovely and unique additions to your garden for us all to enjoy in years to come!

Wednesdays 9 am – 1 pm Saturdays 10 am – 1 pm
To contact us, telephone (during volunteer hours) 250-479-6273, or email any time.
Gardens at HCP |