Garden Hours Until March 1, 2015:
10:00am -3:00pm Monday-Friday 9:00am - 4:00pm Sat & Sunday


5.5 inch jumbo plastic square pots. Please look around your yard and in your shed and bring me your unwanted pots. We need them for potting on our perennials and shrubs. NO other size needed.....
 Thank You!
Linda Petite, Head Gardener

Dreams and needs

We are dreaming of a nice big glass greenhouse

We need gravel for the paths

Would members who have an interest in art and/or music please contact Anne at with a view to forming an Art and Music Committee at HCP.

February E-news                                                
Horticulture Centre Of The Pacific                                                                                                                  February 15, 2015

Early Days of HCP

The first newsletter issued by the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific was published in September 1983.  In that edition editor Alan Batey announced that the Honourable Hugh Curtis, then Minister of Finance in the B.C. legislature, would be officially opening "the gardens" on September 7th at 7 pm

Tips for Growing hellebores in the Pacific Northwest
By Linda Petite, Head Gardener

Hellebores need full sun to partial shade; a site in deciduous shade that offers bright light in the winter months and protection from the summer sun can be the most successful. Hellebores are mostly sold as shade plants but are by no means shade loving; they will tolerate shady conditions but will exhibit fewer blooms and sparser growth if in deep shade. Shelter evergreen types of hellebores from drying winds during winter if they are not covered by snow. Plant near a windbreak or cover with conifer boughs for protection as the foliage can suffer leaf burn in extreme cold.

Click on the picture!

February Plant of the Month
By Linda Petite, Head Gardener

Helleborus x nigercors'Honeyhill Joy'

  • a hybrid of H.niger and H.argutifolius from the Honeyhill Farms
  • masses of large out-facing cream -centered white flowers that have a green tinge as they age
  • low evergreen clumps of shiny blue-tinged foliage
  • x 60cm.spr.
  • part shade/blooms winter-early spring
  • deer resistant
  • a much sought after variety!
Rebuilding of the Ethnobotany Trail at the HCP
By Linda Petite, Head Gardener

  • this project includes designing and building the Ethnobotany Trail
  • planting and propagating Native plant material for restoration projects
  • invasive species removal
  • riparian restoration
  • educational events/workshops
  • I have asked Hoke Holcomb to help me with this project-welcome back Hoke!!
  • the PHC students,volunteers and staff will take part in this project commencing in mid March 2015
  • Click here for the map of the proposed new Ethnobotany Trail Plan
Propagators at work!
By Giles Collins

We have a new group of volunteers coming in on Friday mornings to assist Delphia's Wednesday morning group with propagating plants. It was felt that not enough of the rarer plants in the Gardens were being made available to buyers at our spring and fall plant sales so, last October, the Friday propagators began to identify and propagate interesting varieties of plants from the Gardens.



If you think you can tell us the name of this small spiky flower, please send your information to the 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!
Community Education Courses

To register for the following Community Education Programs, please e-mail us at
Our Community Education program will be offering some great courses this winter. . . check them out!

Date:  Saturday February 21, 2015

Plant Identification & Culture

Instructor: Diane Pierce

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

Time: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

(Jan 24, Feb 21, Mar 21, Apr 18, May 23, June 20, Jul 18, Aug 22, Sept 19, Oct 17, Nov 21, Dec 5, 2015)

Cost: $420 for 12 sessions or $40/session Members /  $540 for 12 sessions or $49/session Non Member

First Time at HCP!

Date:Saturday February 28, 2015

Open Weave Garlic Basket

Instructor: Joan Carrigan

If you have always wondered about basket making, but never had the chance to try it, this is fun one to make! Join Joan for a full day of creating your own freeform sculptural baskets using Open Weave techniques to shape and create these creations. You will have the opportunity to complete 2 baskets. Start with a wall hanging basket traditionally designed for storing garlic. Then play with shape and pattern design in a larger free-standing basket.

[About Joan]

Joan Carrigan was first drawn to the natural beauty of Basketry during her travels in the South Pacific.  Upon her return, she attended her first Basketry Conference and her passion for this art form has continued to grow over the years. The use of natural materials in basketry has always appealed to her and a great deal of her inspiration comes from nature and the characteristics of the materials she works with.

Time:  9:30 - 4:30

Cost:   $120 Members, $145 Non-Members

Start Date: Monday March 02 (03, 07)

Pruning Techniques

Instructor: Patty Brown

An understanding of how and why plants respond to pruning will help you get the results you want with any plant in your garden. Pruning is used to control size, increase fruit production, and to correct damage from pests, disease and weather. In this 3 session course, Patty will teach theory in 2 in-class sessions and theory in a practicum in the gardens.

Time:  6:30 pm - 9:00 pm (Mon/Tues)    9:00 am - 12:00 noon (Sat)

Cost:   $100 Members, $125 Non Members

Date: Sunday March 07, 2015

Spring Garden Maintenance

Instructor: Jane Tice

Professional gardener Jane Tice will cover general spring maintenance and pruning basics including roses, climbing/tea and flowering shrubs, and vines. Following the classroom session, the class will go into the gardens to find examples of the material covered.

Time:  9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Cost:  $25 Members, $35 Non-Members

New this Spring!

Date:  Sunday March 08, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Wild Spring Salads ... and other early season foods!

with Katherine Harding 

Are you craving some spring salads but the garden just isn't producing yet? Come out for a walk around the HCP's beautiful gardens and woods to see what spring greens are already well on their way!

Learn tips and tricks to identify the wild salad bar all around you and practice harvesting skills that promote plant growth and abundance. After learning and gathering greens we will finish this course by heading back to the Centre to wash and prepare our greens for a group salad. Dressing options will be a classic balsamic vinaigrette, or a wild dressing made completely from items gathered from our local woods! Bring a small plastic or fabric bag, bowl, fork and scissors to get in on the harvesting action!

[About Katherine]

Katherine Harding is a wild foods enthusiast and the sole proprietor of The Wild Foods Experience, a company geared towards teaching people about sustainability, wild foods, and the ecosystems they inhabit. Her knowledge of plants comes from her work as a Garry Oak Recovery Technician for Parks Canada, her diploma in Environmental Technology, her work as a gardener and a lot of time hanging out with ethno botany literature. Currently she forages a large part of her diet both in her neighbourhood and out in the forest, and enjoys experimenting with recipes in her kitchen. Katherine enjoys teaching about wild foods through workshops in the Victoria area.

Time:   9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Cost: $25 Members, Non Members

Date: Sunday March 22 & May 03, 2015

Willow Chair Workshop

Instructor: Andrew Kent

In one day, with Andrew's expert instruction, you can make and take home your very own Bent Willow Rustic Chair. This is a great introduction to rustic building.

Work with a friend or alone to create your own piece.

Time:  9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Cost:  $250 Members, $275 Non-Members
Here and There


The word "permaculture" was originally coined by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the mid 1970s when they were looking for a way to describe a new approach to landscape design. Their design principles, according to Holmgren, included an "integrated, evolving system of perennial or self-perpetuating plant and animal species useful to man." They described this new ideology in books, such as Permaculture One: A perennial agriculture for human settlements and The Basics of Permaculture Design.

Victoria's Spring Flower Show
(as described in the the March 1938 edition of Northwest Gardens - cost 10 cents)

The eight-day garden party, unique and annual contribution by Victoria, B. C., to springtime gaiety on the Pacific Coast, is scheduled this year from Wednesday, May 4, to Wednesday, May 11, inclusive. 

Sponsored by the management of the Empress Hotel and held under the auspices of the Vancouver Island Horticultural Association, a committee composed of members of the last named organization is now preparing a very up to the minute list of gardens which visitors, who number hundreds, will enjoy. This list will include not only all the well known estates such as Lady Barnard's in Esquimalt, Mr. and Mrs. R. P. Butchard's (sic) world-known Buenvenuto (sic), and the lovely gardens belonging to Senator R. H. and Mrs. Barnard, Mrs. W. C. Nicol, wife of a late lieutenant governor of British Columbia, Mr. and Mrs. Will Pemberton, Mrs. Biggarstaff Wilson and dozens more, but will include gardens of new comers to Victoria. Among them will be those belong to Dr. T. A. Rickart, world known mining expert, and Mrs. Rickart, who live in one of the Old World homes of Esquimalt, and that of Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Tysoe of Gordon Head.

Family Day

The "here" this week was a successful Family Day arranged by Paula McCormick and assisted by Brian McCutcheon and Linda Petite. Some sixty people came to enjoy time in the gardens, in spite of the uncertain weather. The children got to plant some flowers and play in the childrens' area. And some of the adults were quite taken with everything they saw - never having been in the gardens at HCP before!

New bridge in the Takata Garden!

HERE in the Takata Garden, Willem has built a new bridge!

Report from College

Welcome Class of 2015!

We have 17 new full-time students in the Landscape Horticulture Certificate Program. They have started their Botany class and have learned their first five plants in Plant ID - 400 more to come! Gwyn and Evelyn, the Practical Skills instructors, have introduced the class to their first gardening skills; they have been busy weeding pathways, putting down new gravel around the Rotunda, and working in the polyhouses. We are looking forward to seeing them acquire many more skills as the year progresses!


Organic gardening on a grand scale can be experienced second hand! One of our members has kindly donated to our library a copy of The Elements of Organic Gardening - Highgrove, Clarence House, Birkhall. Our host on this tour of Highgrove and his other residences is HRH Prince Charles himself.

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