July 14, 2014
Message from the Chair


Last week while at the HCP I was amazed at the buzz of activity. It was a beautiful sunny day and the garden was teaming with a busload of visitors, the patio at Nourish was full and people were leaving the gardens with arms full of plants they had bought. It was uplifting to see so many people enjoying the HCP experience!


The HCP has experienced a lot of change these past few years, and the past two months have seen a number of staff changes in the HCP's organization. In May, Jo Ann Braidwood retired after many years as the HCP's financial administrator. Jo Ann was instrumental in keeping our financial house in order and had an eagle eye for controlling costs. Jo Ann was truly dedicated to the HCP often putting in long hours to ensure that things ran smoothly. We wish Jo Ann well in her 'retirement' and I know we'll be seeing her around the gardens.


In June, Roger Charles retired after 6 years as the HCP's CEO. Roger was a catalyst for improving the efficiency and professionalism of the HCP's operations and reaching out to the community to build partnerships and increase community awareness of the HCP. Roger brought a strong strategic vision for the HCP's educational mission and under his leadership the HCP has reached out globally to enhance our international presence and reputation.


Roger's proudest achievement was the Couvelier Pavilion, completed just 3 years after fire destroyed the glasshouse and support buildings. Roger was a great example of a leader who was prepared to roll up his sleeves to do whatever needed to be done - whether chasing deer from the garden or cleaning out a blocked septic system! We wish Roger all the best in his future endeavours.


Laura Biggs, the College Administrator for the past 4 years is leaving in July for a great opportunity at the University of Victoria. Laura is very popular with our students as she is always available to listen to their concerns and provides endless encouragement. Laura has brought a professional level of discipline and organization to the operations of the College and it has been largely due to her efforts and commitment that the College runs so smoothly. We look forward to still seeing Laura around the HCP, as she will continue to teach at the College.


Lisa Ballinger, the Executive Director Operations, will be the senior manager at HCP until such time as the Board recruits a new CEO. In the meantime, Larry Phillips, the Vice Chair and I will be supporting Lisa and assuming some of the CEO's duties.


While it is always sad to say goodbye to long-term staff, we are pleased to welcome two new staff, Deborah Donahue, our new financial administrator and Reggie Illey, who will be taking on Laura's role at the College as well as working in the gardens. Debra and Reggie are already making their presence felt at the HCP and have become real assets to the HCP team.

HCP Resurfacing Parking Lot Project 

by Linda Petite, Head Gardener  


Once a year the IEOA participates in a project.  We accept applications from community groups, weigh the need against available resources, and pick the one that contributes most to community life.  All the labor and equipment is donated by our membership. Applicants are encouraged to secure funding for materials.


Projects give our members the opportunity to give back to the local areas that they live and work in every day.  They also provide an opportunity for members, who normally compete against each other, to all work towards the same goal.  Over the years our projects have helped to create a good sense of pride and camaraderie within the Association.


The IEOA Community Volunteer Project that was chosen for 2014 was the resurfacing of the parking lot at the Horticulture Centre of the Paci

fic.  On Saturday, June 28th members of the Island Equipment Owners Association provided the equipment and material needed to complete this one day project. 


Thank you to the following members who helped with this project:

  • Island Asphalt        13 loads of recycled asphalt product

                                           ( this product is 100% recycled asphalt grindings)

  • Argus Excavating                           Gravel Truck  
  • D L Van Triet Enterprises               Gravel Truck
  • Michell Excavating                          Gravel Truck
  • Excel Contracting                            Backhoe
  • Capital City Paving                           Grader
  • Saanichton Development                 Roller
  • Don Mann Excavating                      Equipment Move

Thank you to Adrian Woods, Saanichton Development, who coordinated this project and went the extra mile to get it done in record time.

Watering Correctly Saves Time, Money and Plants
by Linda Petite, Head Gardener


The heat of summer is here!

Remember the two cold snaps we had last winter, oh how we longed for summer...

The best time of day to water is early morning before the temperature begins to rise. This gives plants a good supply of water for the day aheadEarly morning usually means less wind,thus reduced evaporation. Avoid late evening watering to avoid fungal problems .For established plantings,deep,infrequent waterings are best (1 inch of water/week will do). Shallow,frequent watering leads to shallow root systems and high water loss through evaporation.
Containers and hanging baskets may need watering twice a day if exposed to full sun and wind. Whether you have an efficient automatic sprinkler system, oscillating sprinkler, soaker hose or hand water, choose the right time and watering device that best suits your garden's needs!!

Garden of the Month
by Frances Heisler, Veggie Group Volunteer


Welcome to the "Veggie Garden".


Volunteers Rone, Netta, Sheila, Paul, Larry. Lillian, Margaret, Lorna, Audrey, Jamie and Frances get great pleasure nurturing all sorts of produce and relationships in the HCP vegetable garden. With gratitude to Wes-Tech, the recent installation of drip irrigation has been terrific, reducing the times that the volunteers had to come into the garden to water the beds during the hot summer months. Also, the application of wood chips to the pathways has greatly reduced weeding and maintenance allowing us to focus more on those raised beds built by our awesome students. We are currently in the process of building a sturdy garden shed to store the fertilizers, remay cloth , tools, ties and all the other bits and pieces required to grow delicious vegetables.  It is always interesting to try out new varieties and with early work in the poly house we get the opportunity to propagate a wonderful assortment. Any surplus produce is shared with the other volunteers and the restaurant Nourish is looking into buying some as well to help make them truly local.


Due to the rotation of our crops, labeling is not always apparent but we do have a chalk board that we update to let everyone know what we have been doing in the garden.


Please feel free to come in for a wander but be sure to close the gate when you leave because we are not the only creatures who enjoy fresh veggies.

The Valley Tour

Thursday July 24th

For our next adventure we are staying on the island- no need for a pre-dawn start! We are going up into the Cowichan Valley for a perfect while-away summer day!


We will leave Victoria at 9 am and head to Duncan and a guided tour of Alderlea Farm; a cutting edge biodynamic community garden that supplies produce to 200 local families. Then it will be a slight zig zag back to Merridale Ciderworks for a private guided tour of the cellars and gardens, a tasting and a 4-course gourmet lunch. A slight nap will be possible as we then make our way to Averill Creek Winery for a guided tour and another tasting. If all this goes to plan we will have just enough time to stop off in Cowichan Bay for an ice cream cone!


Everything is included in the cost of $120.00 (except for extra beverages and the ice cream cone)


Email Jane Tice at communityed@hcp.ca or call the main office directly at 250-479-6162 if you would like to join us.


Some people say that they can just check things they need to know by "googling." But as a certain gentleman in the USA said a couple of years ago,  "You don't know the unknowns, and then there are the unknown unknowns". . .  or words to this effect.  In other words, it's difficult to look up unknowns!

 So. . . let us help you.


Tell us about your particular interest(s) in the general field of horticulture or in a particular related subject (library@hcp.ca)  Once we have your name and contact information, we can then be on the alert for new books or articles that might be interesting and/or useful to you. (Just last week we chanced on a story about rhodos and another about bees. We happened to be able to forward the rhodo story but had no contact for "bee people.")




There are some excellent reference books available in our library (to be perused on site). For instance, there's the Timber Press Guide to Gardening in the Pacific Northwest. This is typical of the sort of book you might want to consider buying for your personal collection. Or you may prefer to set aside a few minutes now and then to make use of the copy in the HCP library. Some other titles on the Reference Shelf include:  Conifers: The Illustrated Encyclopedia; Rick Darke's Encyclopedia of Grasses; and the Fern Grower's Manual.



We have a good number of books for sale - two whole shelves full, in fact.  Some are golden oldies; others are recent publications for which we simply don't have room. This is your chance to get a good book a great price before the best deals are gone! 

Arts & Music in the Gardens 2014

Mark your calendars...this year's Arts & Music event is Saturday and Sunday August 9 and 10 from 11am to 5pm.  Check out the website for more details!
Harvesting Natives Berries
Sunday July 27th 1-4
It's berry season at The Garden at HCP. Come out for a walk around The Native Plant Garden to sharpen your berry plant identification skills with Katherine Harding from The WildFoods Experience, and then head into The Western Woods to get a taste of those little red, black or blue treasures while learning interesting facts about berries, the plants that produce them, and the animals they support! Participants will take home a small container (8oz) they can use to gather wild berries as we go along, for an extra snack later on. Dress for a hike please!


HCP Members $25.00 Non-HCP Members $35.00


Volunteer for:


Positions required:

  • Venue preparation
  • Parking and Traffic Management
  • Artist, Musician and Vintage Car Liaisons
  • Food and Beverage Helpers
  • Admissions
  • Plant Sales
  • Survey/Evaluation Takers
  • Venue Management (roaming cleaners)
  • Strong lifters


3-4 hours shifts on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Please email us with your preferred shift and task to volunteers@hcp.ca

The breeze, the trees, the honey bees - All volunteers!
Juliet Carinreap

In June volunteers, board members, and staff gathering to honour the contributions of the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific volunteers. 



Without our volunteers' commitment and dedication to gardening, the library and office, tours and events,  HCP would not have the wonderful  gardens we all enjoy year round.

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Horticulture Centre of the Pacific | (250) 479-6162 | news@hcp.ca | http://www.hcp.ca
505 Quayle Rd
Victoria BC, V9E 2J7

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