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

May E-news                                                
Horticulture Centre Of The Pacific                                                                                                                          May 15, 2015
2015 Annual General Meeting

The HCP's 2015 AGM was held on Sunday, May 3rd. It was very well attended this year, in part due to the 'Then and Now' display of the HCP's history prepared by Bob Clarke. Ron Cox, Board Chair, provided an overview of the challenges and achievements of 2014, including the obtaining of international botanic garden status, implementation of two plant research partnerships, the installation of a new greenhouse to house the cactus and succulent collection, and the recruitment of Anne Kadwell as College Director and General Manager.

HCP Treasurer, Gordon Gunn, explained the reasons for the financial loss in 2014 and the actions the Board has taken to move to a surplus in 2015.

Three retiring board members, Simon Wade, Brian Russell and Laurie hardy were thanked for their hard work and contribution to the HCP. Seven new board members were elected: Steve Kleinschmidt, Noah Violini, Stephanie Holmes, Ian Duncan, Rob DeGros, Lynn Bastien and Rick Senkler.

Finally, two long-time members and volunteers, Laurie Hardy and Robin Allen, were awarded Life Memberships for their outstanding contributions to the HCP.

Giles' Jottings

We are now into the second week of May and, with the days getting warmer and sunnier, irrigation becomes more and more important. The students have completed an excellent project: installing a complete new irrigation system in the grass garden. This will allow us to make progress renovating the whole area beneath the orchard.

We have had many international visitors to the Garden this last week, having come initially to tour the rhododendrons, but also making many admiring comments about the HCP gardens in general. 

New spring seedlings in the polyhouses have mostly been potted up now and, in the next few weeks, we will be planting out annuals in the garden beds. 

What flowers are looking striking right now? Well, there are oriental poppies, giant blue alliums, and many varieties of columbine. The Solomon's Seals are just finishing, while the Kniphofias are starting and, of course, Camus are everywhere.

Signage in The Gardens

There was great excitement at The Gardens on Tuesday, April 28, when a group of Master Gardeners and garden curators placed plant labels in the Hardy Borders. This project, a partnership between the Victoria Master Gardener Association and HCP, began in 2014 when botanical garden status was announced for HCP. 


At that time a dedicated group of MG's and MG's-in-training took on the job of producing plant labels for The Gardens, starting with the Hardy Borders.  Many questions were raised by the group about formatting and placement of plant labels, and time was spent creating a working procedure to facilitate the long- term nature of this project. A good list of plants in the perennial beds was supplied by Diane Pierce and her team of gardeners.


All plants on the list (over 250) were verified for spelling and correct botanical nomenclature. Only then did work begin in earnest, and the last sunny Tuesday of April saw them go into the garden beds.The MG Team is looking forward to beginning work on the Takata Japanese Garden next - and looking forward to another celebration when that is completed!


Adele Weir, Victoria Master Gardeners
May Plant of the Month
By Linda Petite, Head Gardener

Zantedeschia aethiopica (Calla Lily)

  • clump forming perennial
  • continuous flowers of large pure white spathes with a yellow spadix May-August
  • 2-3 and spread
  • full to part sun
  • Araceae family, native to Southern Africa
Plants for sale!

This new feature in our eNews is to let members know of some plants that are currently for sale at HCP. They will be chosen somewhat at random each month. (Some will have been propagated from specimens currently growing on the premises.)


Lysimachia atropurpurea 'Beaujolais'


This plant has finally been obtained after a 2-year wait! It has grey-green foliage, and its burgundy-purple flowers that bloom all summer are attractive to butterflies.  It can tolerate moist conditions.  

2ft. high X 3ft. spread



Gillenia trifoliata


A perennial that is a multi-season performer! It has star-shaped white flowers from late spring to fall that  are then followed by attractive seed heads and foliage that turns red. Grows in sun/shade.

3-4 ft. high x 3ft. or so spread  



Sidalcea  'Brilliant'


This Hollyhock cousin has rosy pink flowers all summer that attract  butterflies and hummingbirds

 It grows in full/part sun and performs well as a cut flower - and some claim it's even deer resistant.

2ft. high x 2 ft. or so spread


Photography at HCP

The Gardens at HCP will be hosting our first mini photography session on Saturday, May 23!
Local professional photographers, Juliana of Spark & Whimsy Photography and Courtney of Courtney Hawkins Photography, will be here taking family portraits on that date.
Each session costs $150 and will be approximately 30 minutes. You will receive 10 digital images within three weeks.
Secure your spot by calling the Gardens at 250-479-6162 or e-mailing [email protected]. Admission is included in your session, so you are welcome to bring a picnic and enjoy the Gardens at your leisure before or after your photography session.
Bonsai demo

Please come and join the Vancouver Island Bonsai Society for an Azalea styling demo by guest bonsai artist David Rowe in the HCP Classroom on June 6, 2015, 10 am to 12 noon.
David has been practicing the art of bonsai for over 35 years. He has given workshops across Canada and the USA and is a past editor of the American Bonsai Society Journal. He is a past president of the Toronto Bonsai Society and is a founding and active member of the Arrowsmith Bonsai Society in Qualicum Beach. He is also a member of the Vancouver Island Bonsai Society.
As this is a no-charge demonstration. However, space is limited in the Classroom, so please register for the event by calling the HCP at 250-479-6162.

If you think you can tell us the name of this 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

Still some spots left for an "Intro to Bonsai" on Saturday, May 16, from 9:30am - 1pm.
Learn to take care of your own specimen at home.

$70 for HCP members - $85 for non-members


We have a couple of books in the library that are truly things of beauty! One is called Seeds: Time Capsules of Life; the second is Fruit: Edible, inedible, incredible. So far, you are thinking that the titles are all very well but this doesn't sound like your idea of a relaxing read. Well, they weren't actually designed to be that sort of read as a matter of fact. For one thing, they are rather large books and probably need to be put on a table for easy access to their contents. Still not sounding attractive, are they? Let me assure you, however, simply by opening either one of them to the first couple of pages, you will become positively entranced with the unusually attractive photographs of seeds and fruit. The pictures reveal details you never before knew existed! Folks of an artistic bent and those who are scientifically inclined are finding these books particularly useful. So take a chance one day and turn a few pages in either one of these fascinating volumes.

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