August 16, 2014
Message from the Chair


Fortune smiled on us this year, as the HCP's 20th Arts & Music in the Gardens had a glorious warm and sunny weekend. It was so warm at times, visitors were seeking shade, and the new Couvelier Pavillion was a favourite spot to sit have refreshments and cool down. Many people were convinced that the Pavilion was air conditioned, but it isn't. The high insulating value of the green roof, together with lots of cross ventilation provided a pleasant cool space on a hot day.

The feedback from visitors last weekend was very positive, with many people signing up for memberships and many lapsed members re-joining the HCP. People were very impressed with the Pavilion and asked if it is for rent. The answer is a resounding yes! The Pavilion is already a very popular venue for wedding, family events, and a meeting venue. So keep the HCP in mind when planning your next events and let all your friends know about this beautiful building.

As we all know, this has been a very warm, sunny summer with little rain. While wonderful for our visitors, it means a lot of hard work for Linda, our Head Gardener, her staff and our many dedicated volunteers. While our irrigation has improved immensely the past few years, there are still many areas that require constant hand watering in this hot, dry weather. Our thanks to the staff and volunteers who have worked so hard to keep the gardens looking so beautiful in this challenging weather. 

Garden of the Month
by Amanda Price, Volunteer Manager

The Cutting Garden

This year in the cutting garden at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific we planted more flowers that were friendly to the hot dry sunny location.

Betty Rhodes and myself planted amaranthus, anchusa azurea, salvia nemorosa caradonna among other flowers. The cutting garden is not a big area but you can grow a lot of cutting flowers in a relatively small area. Other flowers in the garden that do will in a hot dry sunny location include echinops, rudbeckia, sea lavender, lavender, scabiosa, and orach. The dahlia tubers pleasantly surprised us by coming back again this year. They were happy with the good drainage over the winter so did nicely. The dahlias in the cutting garden include Taratahi Ruby, Mingus Tony  and Ferncliff Copper. Sweet peas are a wonderful scent in a cutting garden. To keep them blooming as long as possible it's important to cut off all the flowers every few days. They like lots of moisture and rich soil. Sweet peas can be started inside in February or March, hardened off and planted out in April. They can also be started in the fall but slugs can be an issue in the winter months.



Other annuals that do well in a hot dry sunny location include sunflowers, cosmos, zinnias, statice and celosia. Branching sunflowers will give you more blooms per plant. They need to be pinched out to encourage more branching. Zinnias, cosmos, statice and celosia will bloom again when you cut them so they're good for a few weeks in the garden.


It is a pleasure to be able to grow your own cutting flowers. Wander out in the morning and pick some blooms and arrange them in a vase for your home.

Try growing some cutting flowers in your own garden. It is a never ending delight. Annuals, perennials, herbs, bulbs and woodies provide many wonderful possibilities for cutting.

Sincere thank you to Betty Rhodes for all her work in the cutting garden.

Respectfully submitted by Eiddwen Thomas, cut flower grower, Cartref Gardens


Amanda Price, Volunteer Manager 

Horticulture Centre of the Pacific 
505 Quayle Road 
Victoria, BC 
V9E 2J7 
T: 250-479-6162
F: 250-479-6047
Facebook: HCPacific 
Twitter: HCPacific

Plant of the month

by Linda Petite, Head Gardener


Lobelia tupa

- Campanulaceae family
- incredible giant perennial Lobelia from Chile
- full sun
- large rosettes of thick felted leaves
- bright red tubular flowers summer through fall
- 2m. height
- 90cm. spread
- propagate from seed or division

Linda Petite, Head Gardener
Horticulture Centre of the Pacific
505 Quayle Road
Victoria, BC
V9E 2J7
(250) 479-6136
Facebook: HCPacific
Twitter: HCPacific
August To-do-list
by Linda Petite, Head Gardener

- watering is still the main task if the weather stays dry
- harvest your veggies when ripe for peak flavor
- remove some leaves from your tomato plants for better sun
   penetration and air circulation to lessen chance of disease

- gather and save seeds from your favorite plants
- keep ponds and water features topped up
- summer prune your fruit trees
- sit back and enjoy the "lazy days of summer"

Linda Petite, Head Gardener
Horticulture Centre of the Pacific
505 Quayle Road
Victoria, BC
V9E 2J7
(250) 479-6136
Facebook: HCPacific
Twitter: HCPacific


Anyone who has hesitated to buy the perfect house because of the less-than-perfect overgrown garden, may want to have a look at "Rejuvenating a Garden" by Stephen Anderton.  This book will also be an inspiration to anyone who has a garden that is threatening to get out of control. (We don't, however, have a book in the library that talks about rejuvenating the gardener!)


There are still lots of books to pick up at bargain prices.  As a result of our downsizing, some of them will be very attractive to people with a particular interest in one or another aspect of gardening, such as plants suitable for shade or edible plants . . . or possibly just wanting some books that make pleasant reading when one wants relief from all the heavy issues of the day.


There are lots of magazines in the library that you are welcome to borrow - Fine Gardening, The American Gardener, and back issues of various other magazines.  (One publication we especially like is the RHS's The Garden; however, we have no recent issues and would welcome donations from RHS members. . . .)


We do adjust  our "open" hours occasionally, depending on availability of volunteers and needs of our student body.  However, there's always someone here on Wednesday mornings and Saturday mornings. On other days check at the office (250-479-6162) or the library (250-470-6273).  Or you are welcome to e-mail ahead of your visit to ask about availability of material on some subject of particular interest.  (We aim to make your horticultural ventures as painless as possible!)

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Horticulture Centre of the Pacific | (250) 479-6162 | |
505 Quayle Rd
Victoria BC, V9E 2J7

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