Garden Hours from April 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

April E-news                                                
Horticulture Centre Of The Pacific                                                                                                                       April 14, 2015
Notice of AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific will take place at 1 pm on Sunday, May  3, 2015, in the Couvelier Pavilion.  All members are encouraged to attend. 



Following the meeting, Bob Clarke will stage a "Then and Now" historical display in the Couvelier Pavilion. There will be a dozen 4' X 4' picture and information boards arranged around the interior of the building.  Old stories from HCP pioneers will be welcome. Come and celebrate our interesting past!

Please keep an eye on the HCP website ( for your entire AGM package


Click here for availability list

April Plant of the Month
By Linda Petite, Head Gardener

Paeonia mlokosewitschii 'Molly the Witch' Peony

  • hardy herbaceous perennial
  • new growth is rhubarb red in early spring, foliage tinged purple matures to blue/green and back to reddish/orange in the fall
  • huge rounded single pale yellow fragrant flowers in spring .1m.htx1m.spr.
  • full sun/good drainage
  • deer and rabbit resistant
  • showy seed pods in fall
  • propagate by division or seed
  • a mature plant can have 50 or more blooms!
April to-Do List
By Linda Petite, Head Gardener

  • continue to add organic matter to planting beds
  • time to tidy, weed, fertilize and watch for pests in the garden
  • rake, top-dress and seed lawns as necessary
  • plant cool weather veggies and flowers
  • deadhead bulbs, fertilize after blooming and leave foliage on to die back naturally
  • plant your summer-blooming lilies and glads - still too early for Dahlias
  • time to plant all small fruits and, remember most do well in containers
  • harden-off transplants in a cold frame
  • don't forget to come to our Spring Plant Sale April 25-26 to support the gardens!!
Garden of the Month
By Jean Forrest

Native Plant Garden

Spring comes early to the Native Plant garden. With our Mediterranean climate of wet winters and dry summers, most of our native flowers bloom in spring and are dormant by July. The blossoms of Indian plum (Oemleria cerasiformis), gummy gooseberry (Ribes lobbii) and satin flower (Olsynium douglasii) have been and gone.
Now the second wave of bloom is underway, with fawn lilies (Erythronium oregonum, E. revolutum), camas (Camassia quamash, C. leichtlinii), chocolate lilies (Fritillaria affinis), sea blush (Plectritis congesta), shooting star (Dodecatheon hendersonii), skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanum) and red-flowering currant (Ribes sanguinium) in flower.
Trillium (Trillium ovatum) and coast penstemon (Penstemon serrulatus) will soon emerge.
By Jean Forrest

Have you noticed that the Native Plant Garden has gone batty? If you've seen a black box high above the chain link fence in the far corner of the garden, you're looking at the bat box installed by HAT biologist Christian Engelstoft last month.
HAT, (Habitat Acquisition Trust) is a regional land trust working to help people understand and care for nature. HAT's South Vancouver Island Community Bat Program is gathering information about the distribution of bats and what species occur in our region.
Why should we care about bats? They are an important part of natural pest control - a little brown bat can eat up to 1000 mosquitoes in an hour. Unfortunately, "White-nosed syndrome" is causing the decline of bats in eastern North America and is expected to arrive in western Canada. So identifying and monitoring bat colonies is important.
Why a bat house? In natural settings bats would roost in wildlife trees, which are dead or dying trees whose hollow middles, flaking bark and insect-riddled wood provide important habitat for bats and birds. Bat houses, like bird houses, provide roosts in areas where little natural habitat remains.

One of the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific's founding fathers has died.
Murray Matheson was our first president. Being a geographer with the provincial government at the time the HCP was being established, he was appointed as the provincial representative for a two-year term. A natural choice, considering gardening was one of his particular interests. Subsequently, he was elected at the inaugural meeting of the HCP in 1984 to act as their President and he served in that role for a year.
Giles' jottings

Now, the beginning of April, is one of those moments that really cheers the heart. Suddenly this week, a whole host of different plants are beginning to bloom, and all sorts of shrubs and perennials are putting out new green growth. And, furthermore, we have had several nice sunny days in which to enjoy it all. 
The sculpted Cotoneaster on the right as you approach the bridge at the entrance to the Takata garden is covered in pale new leaves. The Rhododendron Garden, despite being a few weeks ahead of its normal cycle, is a picture! Several different rhododendrons have burst into flower this week to add to the couple that were already out, and most of the later ones already have swollen buds just about to open. 
A walk through this area is stunning and, on the other side of the path in the Fusion Garden, the Trilliums have also awakened. The Solomon's Seal won't be long; they are already stretching their stems. And I do enjoy seeing the bright red berries that light up the Aucuba bushes. At the bottom of the Winter Garden there is a lovely display of Ajuga. I tend to think of Ajuga as a bit of a dull ground cover but right now, when they are at their peak of flowering, the vivid purple flower spikes are really impressive. 
Tulips are making a tremendous show. There's a nice mauve and yellow bicolour variety at the foot of the steps from the rotunda, and a nice patch of three separate varieties opposite the Heather Garden. 
With the sun coming out, we have been opening up the watering systems and organizing hoses around the gardens. Let's just hope it doesn't get quite so dry as it did last year. (Though I wouldn't complain about the sunshine.) And, speaking of sunshine, the bright yellow flowers of Caltha palustris make a real splashes just now, blooming in clumps down along the Takata garden stream.

Highlights from Rafe Mooney's annual report

In 2009, a wallflower planting resulted in the diminishment of Eranthis hyemalis 'Winter aconite' in a highly visible section of  bed D. The wallflowers were subsequently removed, but the damage remained. In October 2013, 200 E. hyemalis tubers were planted in this area to restore the presence of this winter garden favourite. As well, additional Cyclamen coum 'Winter cyclamen' plants and Galanthus elwesii 'Giant snowdrop' bulbs were planted in the garden to increase winter blooming bulbs and tuberous perennials. We also planted three new Gaultheria mucronata shrubs in bed K, including a male plant in order to increase the presence of winter berries.


If you think you can tell us the name of this flower, please send your information to the 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!


The gift shop is returning to the HCP - opening in time for the AGM on May 3rd.

Already in stock: 


West Coast Seeds, Kama Soap from Saltspring Island - and the much-loved Handy Hoops, a plant support made for Victoria gardener by Victoria Gardeners.


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, May 16, 



If you have visited the Gardens at HCP, you will have seen an amazing selection of these art pieces - our Bonsai collection! Join Mark Paterson (and his team) for an introduction to the world of bonsai! Learn about the fundamentals of this ancient art form in a tutorial and tour in the Bonsai Garden at HCP. Then learn about the care and potting of a real specimen to take home as you start the journey of creating your own bonsai. No experience required!


Time:  9:30 am - 1:00 pm

Cost:   $35 Members, $45 Non Members


Date: Saturday, June 6



Enjoy a walk through UVic's Finnerty Gardens with HCP instructor Diane Pierce.  We'll learn about many of the admirable trees which enhance this wonderful garden. 


Time:  1:00 - 4:00 PM

Cost:  $35 Members, $45 Non Members

Here and There



Reggie is overseeing the landscape upgrade behind the Couvelier Pavilion


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.


When the sun goes down, plants that were things of beauty during the day usually become nothing but shadows as night falls and fireflies appear on the scene to liven things up. Molecular biologist Alexander Krichevsky got the idea that it would be nice if he could make plants glow like fireflies.


It is reported in the March edition of Discover that Krichevsky has actually been able to add a firefly's luciferase gene to tobacco plant cells. It took a bit of engineering, but he now has tobacco plants that will glow - albeit weakly - in the evening hours. They don't rival the light of the fireflies yet, but it is claimed the day is coming. . . .


Perhaps one of these nights in the future the HCP gardens will have plants that flash on and off like giant fireflies and no deer, rabbit or Canada goose will dare venture anywhere near! (Well, we can dream, can't we?)

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