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

HCP Volunteers
you are Loved
and Needed! 

Our Annual Arts & Music Festival is
August 15 & 16. 
We are now recruiting volunteers for this amazing event. The perfect place to socialize while listening to music in the garden you love. 

Please email Cheri at [email protected]
and state if you have a specific area in which you would like to volunteer and time slots preferred. Cheri will contact you after July 1, 2015.

Save the date!
The 1st
Annual Volunteer BBQ
will be

September 16th,

All HCP volunteers are invited to a special afternoon BBQ just for you! Smokies, burgers, and salmon roasted by the HCP staff as a way to thank you all for volunteering at the HCP and Outerbridge Park. There will be games, prizes and maybe a speech or two. 

RSVP required by
September 7th, 2015. 
Please email [email protected] or let us know at the front desk.

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

With the 2015 Arts and Music in the Gardens right around the corner, we just had to share an update and let you be among the first to know what's new and exciting about HCP's most important fundraiser of the year!

So far more than 30 uniquely skilled artists are confirmed, and the roster of music talents is filling up quickly! With much gratitude, we thank many returning and some new participants. The event this year promises to have something for everyone.

New things on our 'menu' include new partnerships with de Vine Vineyards and Sea Cider. We are pleased to have them on site to offer visitors a Wine and Cider Tasting experience. As well, we are looking into expanding our food options, so stay tuned for updates!

As our memorable garden festival approaches (August 15th & 16th), we would like to encourage you to get involved. We need a great many volunteers and a great amount of word of mouth. Thank you in advance for sharing the event with your friends, family and colleagues - together we will ensure the 21st annual Arts & Music in the Gardens is something truly special for you and the greater community to enjoy.

Carol-Lynne Michaels
Event Coordinator

June Plant of the Month
By Linda Petite, Head Gardener

Corydalis lutea (Yellow Fumitory)

  • full sun/part shade - good drainage
  • 12-16 inch  height and spread
  • ferny mound of foliage
  • yellow locket-shaped flowers last for months
  • deer and rabbit resistant
  • thrives on neglect (and self-seeds readily!!!)

Giles' Jottings


Now the hot weather has arrived the gardens are bursting into life, but I hope we will have some rain this summer because the soil is already very dry.  Meanwhile, the sunshine and the warmth have brought so much of the garden into flower!

The roses all down the Rose Allee are a wonderful sight - all those colours and flower types blooming practically at the same time. And we are making progress in training the climbers over the decorative arches; the central arch is now covered completely with an attractive pink variety.

There are some spectacular irises flowering now, and the Phlomis and Sisyrinchiums in the drought -tolerant garden show an excellent contrast between their yellow flowers and their blue-grey foliage.

The students have been planting annuals into the two large beds below the rotunda and in the semi-circular beds around the gathering place.  We have some attractive supports for climbers this year. They are constructed of Miscanthus stems and, hopefully, the annual climbers - Eccremocarpus and Mina Lobata - will make a great show. We also successfully propagated some Passion Flower vines this year, so they should also mix in well. 

And this is the moment to take a look at the Black Elders; there is one in the Hardy Plants garden. Their enormous umbel-like flowers look marvellous against the deep mauve foliage.  In short, all the plants are putting on a great show!

Plants for sale!

This 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.)


Geranium x cantabrigiense 'Biokovo'


The Biokovo was voted perennial of the year for 2015, having had its origins in the Biokovo mountains of Croatia. Besides having masses of white flowers with pink centres, this groundcover's foliage has a spicy fragrance - which may account for the deer not caring for it. The foliage turns red in the fall.



Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'


This "Black Mondo Grass" is actually a purplish black. It has lavender flowers which are followed by black berries. Adds a nice contrast in either the garden or a container AND it's deer resistant.


Hemerocallis 'Crimson Pirate'


The common name for this flower may be Daylily (called that because each flower tends to last no more than 24 hours), but the clear red starry flowers with a yellow midrib are uncommonly attractive! the plants like full sun, are drought tolerant once established and attract hummers and butterflies. For some reason, they don't appear to be attractive to deer. 30-inch ht. and spread


News from the Vegetable Garden

Our new garden shed is now complete. Thanks to Paul Frost for all the work that he put into it. . . with a bit of help from other volunteers. Making choices for finishing details by committee led to some amusing conversations, but we all are happy with the finished product.Having seed donated by West Coast seeds was a real bonus this year. Everything that we planted in the greenhouse germinated. The radishes came up and did very well. Some of the other outdoor plantings did not fare so well. Warm conditions, lack of rain, a watering system that still needs more tweaking....these are all issues that we are still dealing with.

Another big issue that we are dealing with is the soil. We revamped the entire veggie garden two years ago, and it is taking a long time to build the soil back up. We now have club root in many of the beds, so we are seriously limiting the planting of brassicas. Some beds seem to have a huge population of slugs. 

Having listed the problems, we should mention that we are taking several steps to improve the soil. This included adding llama fertilizer, steer manure, peat moss, loads of leaf mulch, sand, and compost. The llama fertilizer is a new experiment, so we will report later how beneficial it was. 

Other than making real efforts to improve the soil, there is not much new in our planting. We are again trying sweet potatoes and tromboncino squash. We cleaned up a spot near the compost and put raspberry canes in that area. We have several pots now, some growing miniature tomato plants and others with a variety of things that are on trial. Some contain flowers that are just for fun; some because they are edible. We have grown quinoa for a few years and have it planted this year as well, but it does not produce a large crop and is very labor intensive to harvest...however, the plant is very showy. Summer is nearly here. We anticipate plentiful harvesting, and we invite you to come and visit our garden at any time.

Linda's suggestion: Garlic scrapes


  • don't let those curly shoots go to waste - pick and eat now!
  • flavour is a cross between garlic and scallions
  • eat fresh, steam, saute, grill or pickle - ENJOY!!!
  • cut to force the energy into bigger bulbs


One of our members tells us that their black bamboos (Phyllostachys nigra) are "blooming."

They are, in fact, in the process of going to seed and will ultimately die. It used to be said that bamboos of the same variety will die all over the world at the same time.

That is now been believed to be nothing more than an old wives' tale. (Why wives of any age should be blamed for promulgating non-scientific information is a subject for another time and place.) 

At any rate, we would be interested to learn if, in fact, there are other black bamboo stands in the Victoria area that are beginning to look rather "seedy" these days.

Here's a Whatzit? that was contributed by a friend of HCP, taken in the autumn 2 or 3 years ago.

Send your best guess as to what it is to [email protected]. Last month's WHATZIT?" (Click here)

Please note, however, that we don't just want the common name(s) for this one - we're after the fancy scientific one!

Good luck!
Answer to last month's Wherezit?

Sadly, there wasn't a single reply to our "Wherezit?" last month. That's probably because so few members have found their way to the Cottage in recent times - and therefore have also failed to discover the treasure trove of gardening and landscaping books inside.

That's a corner of the front porch you can see on the left. Thanks to the efforts of last year's students, the garden has been re-landscaped. Earlier this spring there was a particularly attractive display of tulips and a matching azalea to the left of the entrance.

Work is currently in progress behind the cottage as the "work crew" have nearly completed construction of a state-of-the-art storage shed!
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 summer. . . check them out!


Date: Thursday, June 18 

EAT YOUR WEEDS...REALLY!   (Youth friendly)

Katherine Harding


Bask in the sights and smells of the beautiful Gardens at HCP in the glory of June with Katherine Harding of The Wildfoods Experience. This time you won't be admiring the perfectly planted and maintained flowers but instead examining the creepy, sneaky under story of weeds which are a gardener's endless frustration. Those weeds have a story to tell and taste sensations to offer! Learn how to listen to what the weeds are telling you about your soil, and find out which ones are good to eat. Surprisingly, many weeds were originally brought over as food for animals and people and continue to be incredibly nutritious and grow whether you want them too or not!


Time:  9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Cost:   $25 Members, $35 Non Members


Date: Sunday, June 28 


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


Date: Saturday, July 11 


Ryan Senachel (ITA BC Certified Climbing Arborist, Tree Risk Assessment Qualification)


Pruning fruit trees during summer provides a clear view of the overall leaf and fruit density to make informed maintenance decisions for the good of the fruit crop, the tree health, and the tree structure. Emphasis is on practical exercises during this workshop, focusing on assessment and planning of pruning of fruit trees mid-way through the growing season. Basic pruning experience is recommended, and secateurs (bypass pruners) are required for participation in the practical exercises. Join Ryan in the Gardens at HCP and learn how to prune your fruit trees to maximize health and production.


Time:  9:00 am - 12:00 noon

Cost:   $45 Members, $60 Non Members



Hand-papermaking and the art of Chigiri-e

This two-in-one full-day workshop includes a morning session learning the basics of papermaking and an afternoon session exploring Chigiri-e, a collage technique dating from the Heian period of Japanese history. Handmade paper is used for the creation of beautiful images that have the effect of water-color.
Upcoming Youth Programs for Summer

Paper Play

A 3-hour workshop where kids will learn about the art of papermaking. We will learn where paper comes from, explore the gardens for materials, and make lots of paper!

Stories in the Shade

Join us for a story and craft ... more info coming soon!
The Gardens at HCP - perfect settings for meditation

From June 16th through to September 1st the Gardens at HCP will be hosting Meditation in the Gardens. Starting at 5:30 every Tuesday evening through the summer, Angela Strank will lead a group in a healing meditation, using guided visualization. The sessions will take place at a different location in the Gardens each week.
Meditation can help improve your quality of life by giving you the tools for healing, raising self-awareness, more relaxation, building energy, and better focus. The fresh air, natural setting, and sounds of birds and water will add to the experience after a busy day at work, running errands, and day-to-day demands.

Each session will be $18 for members and $20 for non-members. Please bring something comfortable to sit on. You are welcome to come early and bring your dinner as a picnic.

For more information about Angela and these sessions, please click here. For any other questions, please e-mail Dana at [email protected] or call 250-479-6162


From time to time when we are looking through our magazine collection in the HCP library, we chance upon some really neat ideas for gardeners. A recent example could be for people who have large pots that they find difficult to turn in order to pick off dry leaves/bugs, or perhaps to help the potted plants get better light. Wheeled stands aren't always the perfect solution.

The idea we read about suggested obtaining a saucer just a bit larger than the pot and then covering the bottom of it with florists' marbles. They act like ball bearings and can be easily cleaned at the end of the season with a vinegar solution. A suggestion in another magazine (Fine Gardening) was concerned with the issue of saucers overflowing onto decks. The solution was to use a length of 1/4-inch hosing (the kind generally used for low-pressure watering systems). Drill a 1/4-inch hole in the side of a saucer, insert the hose through the hole, and stick the other end over the edge of the deck. ( A bit of silicone will prevent leakage.) Obviously these two ideas could be combined in some situations.

Let us know if these ideas were helpful - or if you would like us to be on the lookout for solutions to some other issues you are experiencing in your garden. ([email protected])

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