September 16, 2014
Message from the Chair


As many of you may have heard, this is turning out to be a challenging year for the HCP, especially financially. This is our first year of operation with the new Couvelier Pavilion and we are going through a steep learning curve on how to effectively market and manage such a facility. It's fair to say we were overly optimistic on how quickly we could build awareness and ramp up revenue. Revenues from the Pavilion are far below our budget projections, which has forced the Board to take some difficult decisions to reduce expenses while we develop and implement new marketing strategies and plans.

Unfortunately, we have had to let several staff members go, which is always a difficult decision, given that we have a small, tight knit team. In addition, operating expenses have been pared to the bone and a number of initiatives are underway to increase our revenues for the remainder of the year. While we believe these actions will go a long way to resolve our financial challenges this year, we need to also focus on long-term solutions. We need to grow sustainable revenues and while keeping a tight hold on expenses for the foreseeable future, to ensure we can reduce our debt and build financial resiliency.

The Board is taking a very active role in addressing these problems. As Chair, I am assuming the role of acting CEO to allow our marketing director, Lisa Ballinger to spend more time marketing and less on operations. A Marketing Committee under the leadership of Board director, Steve Kleinschmidt, has been established which is bringing together a group of experienced marketing and communications advisors to revamp our marketing approach to all aspects of the HCP's business - College, community education, gardens and Pavilion. Hayley Rosenburg of Nourish is an integral part of that effort. The Board has also formed an Education Committee to assist in the recruitment of a new College Director this fall and develop a strategy to grow the College and all our educational offerings.

I am working closely with Saanich Councillor Vic Derman who sits on our Board as the liaison with the Municipality of Saanich. Vic is helping us explore ways for Saanich to assist us in a number of ways, including improving road signage and helping with drainage issues in our parking lot. Most importantly, we are seeking ways for the Municipality of Saanich to extend the payment timeline for our loan, which would make a big difference to our financial situation. Saanich has been very understanding and supportive in helping the HCP address our financial challenges.

Under the leadership of Board member, Ed Chwyl, we will be launching a fall fundraising campaign to our existing supporters as well as to potential large supporters in the community at large. Lisa Ballinger will be launching a new corporate sponsorship program to attract businesses to sponsor aspects of the HCP's business in exchange for recognitions such as naming rights.

Last but not least, we are working with our loyal, dedicated volunteers to find opportunities for volunteers to undertake some activities, which we need assistance with, such as:

* Administrative office tasks,

* Fundraising support activities,

* Newsletter support,

* Volunteer coordination,

* Membership processing and follow-up, and

* Facility maintenance tasks.

While this is a challenging time, I am inspired by the level of support we are receiving from our staff, volunteers, members, supporters, the Board and Saanich and our collective desire to solve these problems as a team.

Thanks to all of you, and stay tuned, as we will keep everyone informed of our progress.


(Submitted by Ron Cox, Board Chairman)

Country Hoedown


We are having an old fashioned; feet 'stompn' 'Country Hoedown' and we want you to celebrate with us! Tickets are now on sale. There are only 100 of them for $100 each so call the HCP office at 250-479-6162 to save your seat! Round up some friends for a table of eight. This is the second annual fundraising Gala Event at the HCP and we are going to have a fun time, country style. Get out your cowboy hats and boots to help us raise money to support the ongoing programs at the gardens. You will enjoy great food; a great live band; silent auction items from our generous donors and sponsors and some surprises. 

So far we have Island Culinary Services making sure we have a meal fit for cowboys and cowgirls; Clint Hanson and his band for the that 'foot stompn' music; gift baskets; golf packages; jewelry; books and hotel venue getaways; just to name a few. If you want to make a donation, we would love to add it to the mix. Horses welcome! 

Hoedown Time: Saturday, September 27, 2014
Venue: Couvelier Pavilion, HCP, 505 Quayle Road
Time: 6 PM to 10 PM
We hope to see you there!
Message from the College


*    We are currently accepting applications for the 2015 Full-Time
Landscape Horticulture Certificate Program! 
Here's how to apply:

Contact the College office for more information:
(250) 479-3210 or

*    Next part-time course is Turf management starting Wednesday
September 24. 
Dates: September 24, 27, October 1, 4, 8, 15, 18, 22
Days and Times: Wednesdays 6-9pm and Saturdays 9am-12pm
Instructor: Brian Youell
Tuition: $240

*    Pesticide Applicator's Courses and Exams this fall:

Saturday September 20 and Sunday September 21, 9am to 4:30pm
Exam Monday September 21, 6:00 to 9:00pm

Saturday November 22 and Sunday November 23, 9:00am to 4:30pm
Exam Monday November 24, 6:00 to 9:00pm
Cost for the course is $400 which includes the exam fees and three required

Contact or (250) 479-3210 to sign up.


Volunteer Opportunities

- Construction Crew
  Assisting with staining the Couvelier

Committee Members for Hoedown Event
  6pm to 11pm Saturday, September 27th
  Helping with organizing and getting
  auction items for example.
  Please contact Lisa at

- Membership table volunteer
  Maple Day Wednesday, September 24th

- Conservation Park Volunteers needed
  Invasive plant removal, path making, native plant restoration

- Outerbridge Park Volunteers
  General gardening

- Help with wood working for garden benches

Please email for more information or to sign up.

A much needed donation
by Linda Petite,Head Gardener 

Next time you come into our main parking lot,park inside the lines! Paul Skalenda,Fine Line Road Marking Ltd.donated his time and equipment to paint us parking lines. Long story short,his wife Linda was an Artist at Arts and Music and when Jane saw his business truck in the parking lot,she pounced on him. I contacted him after Arts to set up a time and on Thursday 11 September he came out and did the job! Thank You Paul(and Jane). Now we won't need the HCP Parking Police on patrol on volunteer Wednesday.
by:Linda Petite,Head Gardener 

Rudbeckia subtomentosa 'Henry Eilers'

  • Asteraceae family
  • clump forming perennial
  • unique finely quilled golden petals with dark dome centers
  • foliage has slight vanilla scent
  • 1-2m.heightx1m.spread
  • blooms July-October
  • full/part sun
  • tolerate:deer,drought and heat
  • division by clumps
  • herbaceous borders and good companion for Ornamental Grasses
Hot Tomalis


Ian Duncan, the HCP Volunteer water system guy, and his wife Anne won 3 firsts for their tomatoes at this years Saanich Fall Fair:


-Best Roma style tomato for Viva Italia.

-Which also won Best In Show for open grown tomatoes.

-Which also won Best Exhibit for vegetables displayed in the fair.


The seed is from WestCoast Seeds. Ian and Anne had these in the freezer, as left over seed from 5 years ago. Surprisingly all 24 seeds germinated, and the plants filled three of our beds.


As you can see from the photo of Ian in the garden, they grow in raised beds, with micro sprayers on automatic timers for watering. Each plant gets a 6' spiral tomato stake (Lee Valley) to support the growing plant.


The beds are prepped each spring with an organic fertilizer mix. Each plant also gets a tomato fertilizer stick (Jobes Fertilizer Spikes). The Marigolds are used as a natural insect repellent. 


Each tomato bed has a rain shelter to protect from the 'Late Blight' carried in our rain that can devastate the crop. The shelters also work as a heat sink. ( White 3/4" pvc irrigation tubing and connectors (Wes-Tech Irrigation Supply) ,heavy poly, and u-clips (Lee Valley)to hold on the poly.


Oh, Anne's carrots, in the 4th raised bed, won 2nd prize. Only bested by Michell Farms.


HCP is a vibrant member of the Saanich peninsula community. Our upper Veggie gardeners and our lower Farm gardeners and those gardens with flowers should consider entering our HCP veggies/flowers in next years fall fair.


You will get to show the results of your seasons hard work. You and HCP may get a ribbon or two. HCP will benefit from having the public see our name and produce at the fair. Who knows, we may get more members or additional volunteers. Plus, it's lots of fun!

Greater Victoria Green Team


The Greater Victoria Green Team is a brand new and exciting regional wide environmental volunteer program that connects volunteers to a range of environmental and restoration projects throughout Victoria. We get together and remove invasive plants, plant native plants and trees, and clean up shorelines in Municipal, Regional and Provincial parks. We also harvest and prepare vegetables at non-profit educational farms. It's a great way to: make a tangible impact on the environment; meet like-minded people; learn about the environmental issues facing parks; learn to become a leader and work as a team; gain volunteer hours; get your hands dirty and have fun! No experience is necessary. Instruction, tools, gloves and refreshments are provided.

If you need more information please email

You can also find us on Twitter



Introduction to Garden Design
Mondays 6:30 - 9 pm Sept.15, 9/22, 9/29, 10/6, 10/18- field trip, 10/20, 10/25- field trip, 10/27, 11/3

This 9-session course with PHC instructor Patty Brown is designed for the homeowner and for those with an interest in landscape design. Students will learn to draft and design a residential landscape plan to scale. Two field trips will be used to look at existing landscapes and plant choices. Topics included will be: Design principles & the design process, discussion on garden styles, site analysis & considerations, concept planning, how to choose plants, types of materials available including hardscape. Skills learned & practiced: basic landscape design graphics, drafting & preparation of a landscape plan including plant details, practice with some basic drafting tools, using plants as design elements, basic material & tools will be required.
HCP Members $250.00
Non-HCP Members $350.00
Introduction to DynaSCAPE
Computer Assisted Design CAD for Landscapes with Manon Tremblay
Mondays: 6 pm to 9 pm Sept. 15th, 22nd, 29th, Oct. 6th, 20th, 27th, Nov. 3rd, 10th, 17th & 24th

DynaSCAPE is a step-by-step course to develop skills

* Introduction to CAD
 and expertise in drafting and designing with the CAD system. This 10 week course will be an intensive introduction and is designed for students who have completed Level 2 and will cover:
* Using basic CAD drafting tools
* Using basic CAD editing tools
* Working with library figures
* Automated plant labels and plant lists
* Adding dimensions to plans
* Adding Raster images
* Tracing a lot plan
* Customizing global settings
* Shortcuts and tips
Students are required to purchase a student version of v6; the cost is included and will be operable to 12 months. $550.00 Please note that a &75.00 deposit is required to secure a place in this course.
Garden Basics for the Fall
Saturday September 20th 9 am to 12

As with any profession, those who do something for a living usually know all the short cuts and the best of the do's and don'ts. Maintenance gardener Jane Tice can show you how to make the most of your garden time and will cover fall clean up and pruning; roses, including pruning techniques; division, relocation, (& removal) of perennials; winter protection. With a little help you can make your garden the best it can be with a minimum of work. The class will include a garden tour to look at some of the material covered.
HCP Member $25.00
Non-HCP Member $35.00
Organic Weed Management
Sunday September 21st 9 am to 12

If you are a responsible gardener trying to move away from the use of herbicides but unwilling to cede precious space and resources to unwanted plants, PHC instructor Manon Tremblay can help. She will teach you how to identify most common weeds and discover what they are telling you about the growing conditions of a specific site. You will learn about weeds as soil indicators and how to develop organic management techniques to remediate conditions, thereby beginning the steps needed to control the weeds. She will also touch on invasive species and review the steps involved in land remediation and how native habitats can be restored.
HCP Members $25.00
Non-HCP Members $35.00
Edible Native Plants
Sunday September 21th 1 pm - 4 pm

The BC Coastal Ecosystem is one of the richest in the world. PHC instructor Manon Tremblay will cover how to harvest and prepare our natural bounty, including how to dry berries and which roots and foliage will make a lovely tea. She will briefly review material covered in the first session; how to identify native plants and their edible parts on a plant ID walk; design principles of a low maintenance, native edible garden that will benefit and attract wildlife to your garden.
HCP Members $25.00
Non-HCP Members $35.00
National Tree Day
Sept 24th 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

Trevor Coey (Bartlett Tree Experts) - will set up a table and do Q & A and give out the Vine Maple seedlings Brian Russell (Russell Nursery) - will set up a table also do Q & A and have Russell Nursery information on hand Todd Carnahan (Habitat Acquisition Trust) will give a talk on native shrubs and bushes
Garden Art: Heron Workshop
September 27th & 28th

Placing art in the garden will give it a whole new sophisticated look. In this 2-day workshop, artist Kathryn Fudge, will show you how to turn an old t-shirt, tin foil and glue into a fabulous work of long-lasting art; we will supply everything but the t-shirt. Wear old clothes and a pair of gloves for this intimate recycle! $235.00 including all materials provided
Combining Drawing with Collage
Saturday September 27th 1 pm to 4 pm

Helen Stewart is an artist, printmaker and storyteller. In this class she will teach you how to use your treasured photographs to create a unique piece of artwork. The lesson will explain the basic technique of collage combined with drawing. Bring photographs photocopied onto ordinary paper and small sharp scissors. The class will be held in Helen's studio in her beautiful heritage home surrounded by her glorious gardens. $40.00 including supplies
Design a Deer Resistant Garden
Sunday September 28th 1 pm-3 pm

There is no need to feel defeated when it comes to keeping deer at bay. Jeff de Jong has 5 methods that will make your garden a beautiful space without ringing the deer dinner bell. Explore the garden design techniques and plant material that will keep your landscape looking wonderful all year.
HCP Members $25.00
Non-HCP Members $35.00
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To book the Couvelier pavilion for meetings, weddings, special events or memorials please contact 
Check out our community ed postings  and on line calendar for upcoming classes or email
College are currently accepting applications for 2015 year for more information please contact 250-479-3210 or email

Thank you to all who helped make our Fall Plant Sale a Success!

Don't forget
3rd Thursday
of every month
free garden entrance!
Horticulture Centre of the Pacific | (250) 479-6162 | |
505 Quayle Rd
Victoria BC, V9E 2J7

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