Garden Hours Until February 1, 2015:
10:00am -3:00pm Monday-Friday 9:00am - 4:00pm Sat & Sunday
 Please note we are CLOSED for the Holidays
 Dec 14, 2014 - Jan 12, 2015

Dreams and needs

We are dreaming of a nice big glass greenhouse

We need gravel for the paths

December E-news                                                
Horticulture Centre Of The Pacific                                                                                                                  December 15, 2014
Chair's Message

2014 was a momentous year at the HCP. We were tested with many challenges. It is a great testament to the strength and resiliency of our organization that as a team we successfully stepped up to those challenges, and we are looking forward to 2015 with renewed optimism.

December to-Do List
By Linda Petite, Head Gardener

  • empty and store terra cotta pottery to prevent cracks
  • drain hoses and watering cans
  • clean, repair and store garden tools in a dry place
  • continue to feed the birds and make sure there is plenty of water in the bird bath
  • check that greenhouse heaters are working
  • water houseplants less often and keep them away from direct heat
  • treat yourself to a favorite holiday houseplant ( Poinsettia, Christmas Cactus, Amaryllis and Cyclamen)
  • sit back and enjoy some down time in the garden!


A note sent to Linda by Bruce McCallum a few days ago (being reprinted here because we all agree with Bruce's sentiments!): Yesterday morning, since I needed a walk, I made " the rounds" of HCP ("Rounds" being a naval expression used to describe a walking tour of an area to assess it for readiness, cleanliness, or general acceptability), and I want to tell you how impressed I was with the entire gardens and area. You have done wonders for the place since becoming Head Gardener. After a brief absence from my volunteer activities, where one is normally focussed on one or two areas, seeing the whole on a bright sunny morning really highlights your accomplishments. Thinking back on the various hurdles, such as the entire irrigation system - along with a number of gardens - being totally uprooted for the new building's sewage system, the loss of a polyhouse roof, and various conflicts from other activities and organizations, as well as managerial developments, I have to say you have worked hard and achieved much. I realize that the volunteers do much in their respective areas of activity, but your influence over those activities is so apparent. I hope that senior management and the Board appreciate the challenges that you have had to overcome to bring HCP to its present outstanding state. Well done, Linda!!
December Plant of the Month
By Linda Petite, Head Gardener

Ilex verticillata (Winterberry)

  • deciduous native holly from eastern Canada south to Georgia
  • full to part sun
  • grows in wet soils beside bogs and streams/erosion control and wetlands stabilization
  • dioecious so both male and female plants are needed for pollination
  • spring blooms/fruits on new wood so prune in late winter
  • vivid red berries are ideal for holiday arrangements and loved by birds
Pruning Hellebores: 3 Simple Rules
By Rafe Mooney, Curator, Doris Page Winter Garden

In the past few weeks, those of you travelling down the main path to the Takata Garden may have noticed the Winter Garden crew clearing wide swaths of plant matter. No, we aren't battling an invasive weed or preparing for a new horticultural installation; we're just winter pruning our hellebores. As you know, we have lots and lots of hellebores - so many, in fact, that it usually takes at least four to five Wednesdays, from late fall to early winter, to complete this task each year.


If you think you can tell us the name of this odd yellow thing, please send your information to the [email protected]. We will publish your answer in the next issue of eNews.

Also, if anyone has a picture of any mysterious, unusual or just plain weird plant or fungus that you think other HCP members might find interesting, send it along to the library. It may qualify for a prominent position in a future eNews!
Report from the College

Graduating Class 2014
Our full-time students graduated from the Landscape Horticulture Certificate program in November. Congratulations to a wonderful class: Anthony Botrakoff, Olivia Cass, Suzanne Clary, Eva Ellis, Kreston Ferris, Mandy Gingrich, Veryan Graham, Jessica Jang, Kristina MacPhee, Evannia Miciak, Gregory Pap, Steve Rhodes, Jesse Short, Chris Warnock, Cassandra Webb, and Monique Zimmer!
If you are considering hiring one of them as a gardener, please email [email protected] and ask for the Graduate List 2014.

Upcoming courses at HCP

Landscape Horticulture Certificate Program 2015
There are a few seats left for our next full-time program, starting January 19 and ending November 17, 2015. 
Please contact our college director, Anne Kadwell, if you are interested at [email protected], or check out the information about the program on our website:

Pesticide Applicator's Courses and Exams - Spring 2015 
Saturday, February 28, and Sunday, March 1, 9am to 4:30pm
Exam: Monday, March 2, 6:00 to 9:00pm
Saturday, March 28, and Sunday, March 29, 9:00am to 4:30pm Exam: Monday March 30, 6:00 to 9:00pm
Cost for the course is $400, which includes the exam fees and three required textbooks.
Contact [email protected] or call (250) 479-6162 to sign up.
Youth Programs continue to develop at HCP!
by Paula McCormick

What youth programs? you ask. Did you know that for the past 10 years the HCP has hosted (and owned the license in Canada) for the Junior Master Gardener Program (JMG)? Once held as half-day camps each summer, it has grown to a full-day camp during spring and summer vacations.

In addition to our JMG camps, we also host Birthday Parties in the gardens, conduct school tours as well as Home School Learning programs, teacher trainings, provide classroom support at local schools, host a children's garden club, and offer a series of family learning programs and youth interest activities.

One very recent partnership has linked HCP with Colquitz Middle School. In November, three classes travelled to the Gardens by public transit to learn how to create "Lasagna Gardens. (More classes will be visiting in January to complete this project.) Why is this so special? This opportunity was made possible through a grant that funds the travel and programming at HCP. So next time you visit the gardens, check out the JMG Garden (next to the Farm Garden) and see what the Grade 6-8 students were up to!
Community Education Courses

To register for the following Community Education Programs (to give as a gift, or register during our holiday closure), please e-mail us at [email protected]

Silk Merino Cobweb Felted Scarf
Saturday, January 17th 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

In this one-day, project-oriented workshop, students will explore feltmaking through the creation of a shimmering black and white cobweb felted scarf. Cobweb felting produces a lightweight fabric with an elegant drape.

The super-soft merino wool and silk Jenny Hildebrand will provide for this class will result in an exceptionally soft and luxurious scarf. No previous feltmaking experience required.

The techniques learned in this class are applicable to all felt projects. All materials included. Jenny requests that students bring: Two (bath size) towels per person and your favourite scissors or rubber gloves (labelled).

Registration fee Members/$140, Non-Members/$160 (materials included)
Plant Identification and Culture
January 24, 2015, is the next session (1:00pm - 4:00pm)

Throughout the year, on one Saturday each month, Diane Pierce introduces students to 25 new plants: Latin and common names, plant descriptions, cultural requirements, general maintenance and landscape uses. This course is perfect for new, experienced, or new-to-Victoria gardeners. This is an on-going course and can be joined at any time.

HCP Members $420 for 12 courses ($35/session when you sign up for the year); otherwise $40/session (if you pay one at a time)
Non-Members $50/session
Year Round Harvest: Winter Gardening on the West Coast
2015 Session starts January 18 (1:15pm -5:15pm)

In 10 sessions (one per month) local gardener and author, Linda Gilkeson, will cover the year in gardening - from seeds to harvest - for large and small urban gardens. Bring your gardening questions to each monthly session for discussion and learn techniques for growing healthy, organic food for you and your family. No experience required, and lots of information and tips to help develop your best gardening practices!

Members $450 for 10 sessions
Non-Members $630 for 10 sessions

As nearly everyone is aware by now, HCP is officially a "Botanic Garden." Botanic gardens have been around for a good many years - some a good deal longer than our gardens at HCP. There's a book in our library that tells some of the history of botanic gardens. It's called The Garden of Eden - The Botanic Garden and the Re-Creation of Paradise. The author, John Prest, takes the reader back to the days when the New World was being discovered and, most particularly, a glorious variety of new plant life was being introduced into Europe.

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