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

Last call for Arts and Music Volunteers from Cheri!

We still urgently need some volunteers for Arts and Music - in particular, Beverage Servers (Sunday 16th), Event Set Up (Friday 14th), and Parking (Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th). Please consider volunteering and inviting friends and family to volunteer too. If you are already volunteering, consider doing another shift. We really need your help! (Remember volunteers get free entry for the entire event.)

*** Arts and Music Volunteers will be entered in a draw***

*Draw Prizes*
  • Free one-year membership or membership renewal
  • Linda Gilkeson's Book - Backyard Bounty
  • Hori Hori Weeding Tool
  • Gardening Gloves
Please email me asap at [email protected]
to sign up.

August E-news                                                
Horticulture Centre Of The Pacific                                                                                                                       August 13, 2015

Top Five Tips for a great Arts & Music in the Gardens Festival
1. Parking for the festival has changed as the usual field on Beaver Road is not available for parking this year
  • We are now offering a FREE SHUTTLE SERVICE from Vancouver Island Tech Park (East Lot) right to the entrance of the Gardens at HCP. Shuttles will be leaving every half hour starting at 10:30 am on Saturday.
  • Smaller parking lots will be accessible along Quayle Road with short walks to the site.
  • There will be a children's area during the Arts and Music event and also a story time each day in the Pavilion - Kit Pearson the storyteller on Saturday and Helen Stewart on Sunday.  

  • Disability, young family, and cyclist parking can be found in the main lot at 505 Quayle Road.
  • Ride your bike and receive $1 off admission into the festival. 
2. Water: Don't forget the CRD will have a water station here. Bring a re-fillable water bottle and help us make this a "green" event.
3. Rover & Fifi: Dogs on leash are very welcome in the Gardens. However, absolutely no dogs are to be left in cars. The SPCA will be on hand to answer any questions.
4. Tickets: Pre-purchase tickets online or at the HCP office. Save money and avoid the line ups - it's a win-win! Tickets at the door are $12 general, $9 students/seniors, kids are free.
  • Bring your member card! HCP Membership passes cover your Arts & Music admission but guest passes do not apply.

5. Let's thank the helpers! Arts & Music in the Gardens is the biggest fundraising event for the Gardens at HCP of the year. All of the food trucks, De Vine Vineyards and Sea Cider are donating a portion of their profits back to the Gardens. Musicians are donating their time, so please support our buskers. Dozens of volunteers assist us with set-up, display, hospitality, admissions, parking and more.  Please support those who are helping the Gardens at HCP, a not-for-profit teaching garden and horticulture college.
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.)

Rudbeckia subtomentosa
'Henry Eilers'(Sweet Coneflower)

The foliage has a sweet scent of vanilla, thus its common name. It is native to Midwest states down to Texas, so this herbaceous perennial can be considered able to survive low temperatures.

Its unusual flowers have brown dome centers with yellow rays that are rolled, not flat. It blooms from mid summer to fall. It attracts butterflies, and is deer resistant and drought tolerant - simply just another winner for any garden!
Belamcanda chinensis (Blackberry Lily)

B. chinensis is a cousin of the Bearded Iris. 

The cup-shaped orange flowers with red dots appear from July to September. The vivid blooms emerge from clumps of sword-shaped leaves.

Even the seed pods are of interest, revealing clusters of black seeds. They attract butterflies and are drought tolerant - an important consideration if we're to have more dry summers!
Crocosmia 'Emberglow'(red)  C.'Sunglow'(yellow)

Crocosmias are cousins of the Gladioli crowd, with similar green sword-shaped leaves. 

The funnel-shaped flowers put in their appearance in mid to late summer - when they can certainly make a statement with their vivid colours. Three things going for them besides good looks: they are deer resistant, attract butterflies and are drought tolerant.

We have had an interesting note from Jennifer re her experience with black bamboos.

She has had a similar story to one we have heard previously:  Unknown source of original plant, which was subsequently split into three clumps, all of which went to seed last season. 

Two of the dying plants were dug out last year, but the third was left alone (due to husband's lack of interest in further digging!) The clump left alone has recovered this year, so Jennifer's recommendation is to keep the bamboo watered and wait for a year to see what happens.


We aren't presenting a Whatzit? challenge this month because it is anticipated that everyone will be too busy at the Arts and Music event to give it the necessary attention.  In the meantime, you might enjoy searching out the two July challenges in the HCP gardens: Calycanthus raulstonii and Datisca canadina.  In case you are wondering, no one got the correct answers for these two.  Although we like to help people discover new plants, maybe we got a bit carried away with these two!
By the way, Members, do feel free to send us your suggestion for a Whatzit? for the September eNews.

Click to enlarge!

DID YOU KNOW . . . .?

One of our HCP members (Nancy B.) mentioned the fact that FLAX is being grown on the Peninsula. You might be interested in checking out this website:
The flax will probably be used by the "Flax to Linen" group (a group some of us hadn't heard of previously - our members do so many interesting and diverse things!)

Picnic in August

In August, for one evening only, the Gardens at HCP will be extending our open hours to invite you to come down for a Picnic in the GardensBring along your picnic basket, a blanket, family, friends, and/or lawn games, and take this opportunity to explore the Gardens in the cool of the evening. 
This special evening - Wednesday, August 26th, 2015 - is co-presented by our 2015 media sponsor, CTV. They will be bringing along some of their media personalities to say hello to you and to enjoy the Gardens at HCP as well. Perhaps you can challenge your favourite media personality to a game of croquet!
Entrance  by donation,  free for members.              Picnic hours:  5 - 8 pm 

Annual Volunteer BBQ

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

Wednesday, September 16th2015 

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.

Christmas in Pavilion

The Gardens at HCP and Food For Thought Catering can't wait for the 2015 Christmas season; we have already started getting ready!
To make your holidays as easy as possible, we have partnered for the 2015 Holiday Season in order to offer you a one-stop party spot for your company's Christmas Party. Your package includes mouthwatering food from one of Victoria's best catering companies in a unique venue that is central to Victoria, the Westshore and the Saanich Peninsula. Included in your package are tables, chairs, linens, plates, cutlery, free parking, an audio-visual system, and a memorable evening. 
Food for Thought has put together two succulent menus sure to impress your colleagues or clients - a traditional Christmas Buffet and a Cocktail Menu. Bar service can be added, and the team is ready to help make your event planning a pleasurable and easy process.
For more information call Dana at 250-479-6162 or e-mail at [email protected]

Community Education

To register for the following Community Education Programs, please call  250 479 6162 or email [email protected]

Date: September 26th
Small Trees for the Urban Garden

Admire at close hand many of the introduced and native trees which add contrast to the HCP's grounds. HCP instructor Diane Pierce will guide a walk about the gardens and then in the classroom will share specifics about the smaller trees which are far more suited to our home gardens.

Time:  1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
HCP Members $25
Non-Members $35

Date: Sundays, starting January 2016 
Year Round Harvest

Registration for this popular workshop is now open for 2016. Sign up soon to secure your place. The mild winters of Coastal British Columbia make it possible to grow and harvest vegetables all year round. In 10 sessions, Linda Gilkeson will cover from seeds to harvest for large and small urban gardens.

Time: 1:15 pm to 5:15 pm
HCP Members: 10 sessions $525.00
Non-HCP Members $735.00

Date: August 22nd, October 17th, December 5th 
Plant Identification and Culture Workshops

These are ongoing drop-in classes with Diane Pierce. Learn 25 new plants - Latin and common names - descriptions, cultural requirements, general maintenance and landscape uses.

Time: 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
HCP Members: $45.00 per session
Non-HCP Members $35.00 per session
Summer Youth Program

Date: August 11th 
Stories in the Shade

Wondering what to do with your preschoolers this summer? Plan to visit The Gardens at HCP on this Tuesday in August for a Free fun story and craft time. Bring a snack along or plan to picnic and make a morning of it!

Time:  10am - 10:45am
(Free story and craft drop in, 2+ years)

Date: Tuesday, August 11th 

Register your child(ren)  for some creative time to explore nature through gardening activities and crafts. There will be different garden activity and art creation each day.
(Pre-Registration, 5+ years) 

Time:  1 pm - 3 pm
Cost:   - $10/child

Date: August 10-14 

The Gardens at HCP are a wonderful place to get inspired! Children love to explore the many pathways and hunt for natural materials, then use those for their creations. There will be something special to bring home each day. (Pre-Registration, 5+ years) 

Time:  9 am - 12 noon
Cost:   - $100/5 days, (Family rate available) $25/day

Please see our website for more fun activities happening this summer!

The grand-daddy of all volunteers at HCP is, of course, Bill Kempster. Sadly, his health hasn't been great lately and so he is in hospital at the moment. However, he's expecting to get his strength back and (he has told Bob Clarke) intends to break 100 - four years from now. Apparently, he's even enjoying the hospital food and, Bob reports, Bill's sense of humour is intact.
It's that cheery optimistic outlook that enabled him to carry the HCP over some difficult times in our early days. He was a "doer." When one reads through old minutes and newsletters, he was often mentioned as having just tackled another project.
And so we all wish him improved health - and may he reach his latest goal!

Saanich Fair 2015  ( September 5 - 7)
Cheri, Volunteer Coordinator

Ian has kindly dropped off some Saanich Fair prize lists. I will put them in the lunch room for you to browse through. Curators, please consider entering products from your garden in the Horticulture section of the contest.We have outstanding gardens here at the HCP and I am sure we could easily take home a few prizes. Entry forms are inside the prize list booklet.

Bottle Drive

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the bottle drive. We had an excellent response, and Bev had a big load to take to the depot. (For those who missed the original notice, the proceeds from the bottle drive are to go toward the purchase of cookies for the hardworking Wednesday and Saturday volunteers.) Please keep collecting your refundable bottles and cans - but please don't bring them to the gardens until we announce the next date.

Ethnobotany Botany Volunteer Group Looking for New Members

A new volunteer group has formed at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific (HCP), and they are looking for a few additional people who are interested working on ethnobotany development in the HCP Gardens and Conservation Park.  The group works on a wide variety of tasks, but they all have the common theme of dealing with plants that have - or have had in the past - practical uses for humans.  Most of the plants simply have edible parts, but some are medicinal and some have practical uses such as providing material for weaving.  All of the plants are native to the Coastal Douglas-fir (CDF) region in which we live. 


We're grateful to Sue Gunnarson for donating a recent copy of  Michael Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants - their identification, ornamental characteristics, culture, propagation and uses.

Michael Girr is recognizedasthe ultimate authority on trees and shrubs for landscapes. He and his wife devoted many years to collating and updating information to which we now have such easy access.  From Abelias to Ziziphus jujua, there's something in this book for everyone!  

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