Garden Hours from March 1, 2015:
9:00am -5:00pm daily


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. We also are looking for gallon size pots as well
 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 [email protected] with a view to forming an Art and Music Committee at HCP.

March E-news                                                
Horticulture Centre Of The Pacific                                                                                                                       March 15, 2015
Chair's Message

What a wonderful time of year to be at the HCP. Spring has arrived early Trees and shrubs are bursting with buds and leaves and thousands of bulbs are up, including fields of daffodils in the lower garden near the lake. 

Message To Volunteers

Note from Anne Kadwell

This year we are having a special event entwined with our AGM (Sunday, April 19th). We look forward to your attendance at this AGM - which will be short and sweet and during which we will be honoring some longstanding members.

Bob Clark also has a message

We are planning an afternoon of HCP nostalgia, complete with lots of "then and now" picture posters to be displayed on the walls of the Couvelier Pavilion. I have assembled 12 posters so far, with a few more to come. We would like to have as many of the various HCP gardens represented in the "then and now" format as possible.

It's time to blow our own horns about the gardens we are passionate about. Let's celebrate what we do at HCP! Come mingle, come tell stories - it's an afternoon of sharing.


April 1987

As everyone is doubtless aware, the spring plant sale this year will take place on April 25th and 26th. Back in 1987 it was held on May 10th - that being Mothers' Day that year. They advertised "some nice surprises" in the spring newsletter.

WCS and HCP partnership
By Linda Petite, Head Gardener

West Coast Seeds(WCS) have supplied seeds for several of our demonstration gardens.

The gardens growing their seeds are the Volunteer Veggie Garden, the Herb Garden, the Cutting Garden, and the Farm.

We have to provide feedback throughout the growing season from germination to harvest. This is an opportunity for the HCP to provide demonstration gardens of WCS seeds to Vancouver Island residents and visitors. 
This is an exciting partnership for us. Look for the WCS seed rack that is coming to our gift shop this month and buy your seeds here!

March to-Do List
By Linda Petite, Head Gardener

  • planting season has begun!
  • plant out greens and brassicas, but have the Reemay ready for extra cold nights
  • start tomato seeds indoors mid to late March
  • plant bare root fruit trees now
  • purchase and set out Mason Bee larvae to help with your fruit tree pollination
  • prune roses now
  • deadhead daffodils and tulips when flowers fade
March Plant of the Month
By Linda Petite, Head Gardener

Polygala chamaebuxus 'Kamniski' (Shrubby Milkwort)

  • evergreen mat-forming groundcover
  • fragrant, pea-like purple/yellow flowers profuse in winter-spring, re-blooms in summer
  • sun/part shade
  • acidic, well-drained soil
  • 8-inch height and 24-inch spread
  • folklore says cows that grazed on milkwort had increased milk production
  • an underutilized gem!
Hellebore Sunday, March 1
By Linda Petite, Head Gardener

The sun was out and there was a beehive of activity at the HCP. We had two classes taking place. There were also "Be A Tourist" visitors as well as the Hellebore shoppers, so parking was at a premium. Sales of Hellebores were brisk in the opening; all the unusual varieties sold out quickly.

Thanks to all the volunteers, staff and shoppers who helped make our first plant sale of the season a success. We hope to see you again at the
Spring Plant Sale (April 25-26), and stay tuned for our exciting new sale this fall - Hydrangea Day (date and time TBA).
Giles' News From the Garden

Now it's mid March and the plants are starting to burst out all over. Many excellent Pulmonarias are fully in flower, and the Daphne odora in the Winter Garden smell heavenly. The Hardy Plant group have been mulching all over their beds in front of Nourish, and the dark soil surface makes a fine contrast with the young greens of the burgeoning Euphorbias

The 2015 students are rapidly learning their new trade, and they are already making a great contribution to renovating and maintaining some of the un-curated gardens: the Bridal Beds, the Paeony beds, and the Mediterranean Garden. 

The polyhouses are extremely busy. Everyone is eagerly sowing seeds; plugs and bare root plants are arriving this week - all needing potting up. There is hardly an inch to spare on the tables. Fortunately, the weather is being very helpful. 

And now the Camellias in the Takata Garden and the Rhododendrons next door are beginning to produce their magnificent colours.

Spring is definitely here!

If you think you can tell us the name of this strange yellow flower, please send your information to the [email protected]. The most accurate naming of this plant gets the top prize!

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!

If you think you can tell us where this strange place is, please send your information to the [email protected]. We will publish your answer in the next issue of eNews.

Community Education Courses

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

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


New this Spring!

Date:  Saturday March 28, 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!



Time:   9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Cost: $25 Members, Non Members


Start Date: Saturday April 11, 2015

Honeysuckle Rib Basket

Instructor: Joan Carrigan


This is a traditional European style basket used for centuries as a household gathering and storage basket. This version will have a honeysuckle vine handle giving it an organic shape. A selection of dyed reed as well as a variety of natural materials will be on hand to create your individual basket. We will discuss the gathering and preparation of the natural materials and participants will learn
how to make their own cordage from plant materials. This basket is suitable for all levels.


Time:  9:30 am - 5:00 pm

Cost:   $120 Members, $145 Non Members


Date: Saturday April 18

Silk Merino Cobweb Felted Scarf Workshop

Instructor: Jenny Hildebrand


In this one day, project-oriented workshop, students will explore felt making 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 felt making experience required.  The techniques learned in this class are applicable to all felt projects. All materials supplied.


Time:  10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Cost:  $140 Members, $160 Non Members


Date: Saturday October 17

Nuno Felted Shawl

Instructor: Jenny Hildebrand


Nuno felting is a technique when loose fibre is hand melded with fabric. During this workshop, students will design and create an elegant shawl from iridescent silk, super soft merino wool and natural tussah silk fibre. The shawl features a felted loop for easy wear and is adorned with a nuno felted flower. No previous felt-making experience is required and the techniques learned in class are applicable to all felt projects. When registering, please specify your colour preference of either iridescent red or grey. All materials supplied.


Time:  10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Cost:  $140 Members, $160 Non Members


Here and There


One of our regular volunteers had a 90th birthday on March 2nd. It was celebrated the following Wednesday morning at coffee time, and most of the volunteers on duty that morning turned up to help eat birthday cake and recount some of their working-with-Trevor experiences during the past nearly two decades.

The occasion reminded us how beneficial volunteering can be for the retired set. Particularly volunteering at a place like the HCP, there are endless challenges and opportunities to learn new skills. It is probably fair to say that volunteers in the gardens often end up doing jobs with which they had no previous experience. There's a camaraderie that develops from sharing challenges and learning new skills together. These are the things that keep people young and fit!


When you are going through files and boxes - possibly labelled "HCP" and containing old minutes, photos, and newsletters - don't throw them out!
Due to The Fire and storage problems generally these past years, we are lacking photos, names of past volunteers, some issues of our newsletter, and so on.
In short, we have lost bits of our history that we would dearly love to recover. Please drop off anything you find that might possibly be of interest at the HCP office or the library.


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.


One of our newer volunteers is Lynn Collicutt. She moved to the area from Winnipeg recently. We all were thrilled to learn that she had been awarded the Stevenson Award recently by the Manitoba Horticulture Association.  

This was given in recognition of her significant contribution to horticulture in Manitoba, especially the development of new plant cultivars.  She was particularly thrilled herself on discovering she was the first woman to have received the award. 

What makes 10* HCP people so happy?

If you guessed from the number of wine glasses it was viniculture, you would be wrong.

It was an informally-organized group of polyhouse, lily, winter garden, and construction volunteers, plus one teacher and Head Gardener who went to Seattle for the annual Northwest Flower and Garden Show, February 11/12. 

We had two blissful days, even though 'my' favourite demonstration garden did not win the gold medal. But 21 lectures each day on the latest in the world of horticulture by international experts in plant development, design, garden aesthetics, writers and even artists - not to mention the bulb, seed and plant sellers, and producers/manufacturers of everything imaginable for a garden - made for some great and, as you can see, happy discussions at the end of each super day.

*Actually, there were eleven, including one who was escaping the rigours of Edmonton, but she loves/volunteering in The Gardens, too, when visiting Vancouver Island.
Mariev Wade

A discussion arose in the library the other day about Gertrude Jekyll - the rose, that is. It's a lovely pale pink colour, we discovered, though almost red in cool weather. Even its buds are pretty. They mature into an almost perfect - quite large - rosette.

What we learned from discussion and reading is that it has a particularly powerful fragrance, which apparently comes from its parent, the Portland Rose. In fact, the scent is so powerful that it has been grown commercially in Britain to produce perfume.

This and other interesting bits of rose lore can be found in David Austin's 'Old Rose' and 'English Roses'.

You currently receive email and other electronic messages from The Gardens at HCPWe don't want you to miss out on your opportunity to receive important news and announcements Canada's anit-spam legislation requires us to obtain your consent so that you can continue to receive these message from us. At some point, you 'opted in' to receive Enews communication and provided your name and email address thereby giving us your "Expressed Consent". But the choice is always yours whether to want to Stay Connected or Not.

Do you want to stay on our mailing list? If you don't wish to receive our communication, we have a SafeUnsubscribe link at the bottom of every email (including this email). 

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