Author: Dana

Visit the Gardens at HCP

So many reasons to visit the Gardens at HCP this summer and the experts agree! The Gardens at HCP staff and front desk volunteers always have a smile when you arrive and will help you navigate our meandering pathways to maximize the enjoyment of your visit. Whether you are a dedicated Gardener who would appreciate the rare plants and garden design, a local looking for inspirations for your West Coast Garden and all the possibilities, or you simply appreciate the beauty that surrounds you, the Gardens at HCP is a wonderful place to come. This spring, the Gardens at...

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Landscape Design Opportunity for Your Home

Landscape Design Student Project Application for the Pacific Horticulture College Each year, PHC students work with members of The Horticulture Centre of the Pacific and the public who are willing to offer their properties as landscape design student projects. If your property is chosen, three or four PHC students will be assigned to your property to consult, design and present their individual designs to the property owners. Please note that the project does not include the actual installation of a design in your garden. The Landscape Design Instructor will review all applications and will contact the short-listed properties to...

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A guest blog from Charlotte & the Quail, our wonderful on-site restaurant. Winter hours will be Wednesday – Friday 11 – 3 & Saturday – Sunday 9 – 3. Our special little place is reemerging from a winter slumber and our team is excited to start creating in the kitchen once again!  Our pantry goods started budding last year with a few of our favourite menu staples available for you to purchase – 2017 is the year pantry shop will bloom.  We will share the progress with you as it takes shape! With the chill still in the air,...

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2017 Hardy Plant Study Weekend

The Victoria Hardy Plant group is a partner group of the Gardens at HCP, we often see them on Tuesdays working in our Hardy-Border Garden. We are excited to announce The Victoria Hardy Plant Group is hosting a Study Weekend June 23-25, 2017. Please share this exciting event with your gardening friends. Registration begins February 1, 2017 and typically sells out very quickly. The fee for the weekend is $190 Cdn with an additional amount for optional lunches and an optional Saturday social event. All of the information is on our website at...

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Job Postings Closed

Thank you to all applicants.    The response has been outstanding. Interviews of qualified candidates will take place over the next several weeks. Only those with relevant several years experience will be selected for interviews.  The Office Manager is responsible for the effective and efficient operations of the day to day operations of the HCP office. He/she will work within a team of staff and volunteers; ensuring sound administrative policies, systems and practices; effectively managing the HCP’s infrastructure; and providing excellent visitor services. The full job description for the Office Manager can be found here,. The Event Coordinator is responsible...

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Gardens Closed Until January 3rd, 2017

The Gardens at HCP are now closed until January 3rd. It’s been icy and snowy here and we are very concerned about people falling on the hidden ice on pathways. Staff will keep the office open for inquiries and gift shop purchases 10 am – 4 pm until December 18th. We even have a few reindeer kits and wreaths left for sale. Charlotte and the Quail is open until December 18th as well for yummy food and beautiful views into the Gardens. Have a warm & cozy holiday season and we will see you in 2017. – The Gardens...

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Leaves in the Garden

I personally love the first big fall raking session! It feels so satisfying to rake leaves from my cherry, plum, and apple trees into big piles, let my kids jump in, and then put them on my raised beds. It feels like I am putting my garden to bed for the winter and it’s great to see the garlic peak through before too long. My mother is a wonderful gardener and her blueberry patch has a phenomenal output. She swears it’s because she puts so many fall leaves over the roots giving them loads of nutrients and protecting them....

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Four Great Squash Recipes

Fall … a time of falling leaves, cooler nights … and squash. LOTS of squash!!! Growing up on a squash farm, my mother would add squash to almost every recipe she made. Despite complaints, squash was thrown into chocolate cakes, pasta, hot chocolate, stir-fries, you name it. As a child I never truly understood her obsession with the vegetable, but now I can never get enough of it! Packed with nutrients, squash is an easy thing to incorporate into any meal. Whether your favourite is spaghetti or butternut, there’s no end to the possibilities of what you can do...

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A Garden for all Occasions

We love that the Garden is used in so many ways. From future horticulturists learning their trade to weddings where couples begin their lives together here, there is always something going on.  When we talk to people in the community we find that the Gardens mean different things to many people – perhaps their child attended one of our Junior Master Gardener Camps at Spring Break or they brought their Mother here to take a Wreath Making class at Christmas time. We really do have a special place for everyone. As a small not-for-profit, our staff certainly knows about...

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Tips & Tricks for your Wedding

As a new employee at the HCP, nothing could have prepared me for the excitement that this summer would bring. Tasked with helping out with events, there’s something new and exciting to see and do every day. One thing I particularly enjoyed this summer was helping out with weddings. The hustle and bustle each wedding brought was a highlight in my week. Whether it was an outdoor reception, or indoor banquet, whether the wedding colours were pink or blue, each wedding was truly unique. It was amazing to see how the gardens transformed into a couple’s vision, and even...

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Looking Back at Arts & Music

The Gardens were alive and buzzing this past weekend with over 50 local artists and musicians showcasing their talent to the Gardens’ many visitors. With 1500 people touring through the variety of different displays as well as all the gardens, Arts and Music was a huge success! After the event is over, one of the highlights for the staff is going through all the feedback and reviews submitted by the visitors, artists and musicians. So much hard work is put into this event throughout the year, and it’s extremely helpful for us to hear about our successes and opportunities...

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Propagating Succulents

Succulents: natures gift to the “low maintenance gardener”. Here at the HCP we’re in love with these no fuss, easy – to – grow plants. Whether they’re creeping along the rock borders or planted perfectly in a pot, with so many colours and varieties, it’s impossible to choose a favourite. One way you can bring these pretty plants into your own home/garden is by propagating them! Propagating a succulent simply means that by taking a cutting of a leaf or a stem off an already developed plant and providing it with the right conditions, you can create an entirely new succulent....

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Plant Identification with Diane Pierce

After a thoroughly enjoyable Plant Identification class, I found myself wondering how the instructor, Diane Pierce remembers so much about the subject. The obvious answer is that she loves plants and gardening. The best part is that her enthusiasm is quite infectious and I know I will be back for my monthly installment of knowledge and inspiration. I loved learning about plants that occur in unusual forms. For example, Clematis recta which is an upright form, quite different from the vine form of Clematis that we all know.  Another curious plant is Hebe ochracea ‘James Stirling’. This little Hebe...

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Garlic Scapes

Have you tried them yet? These long unnoticed early harvests from your hardneck garlic are tasty and people are starting to catch on! To harvest, cut the long curling tendrils a few weeks before garlic bulbs are ready. Depending on how hot and sunny your garden is most scapes are ready for harvest in Victoria, BC right now in mid-June. Although they look prettier don’t let them curl too much or they won’t be as tender. One post I read said that harvesting the scapes before they bloom will also help you get a bigger garlic bulb. Pictured above...

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The Gardens at HCP is Hiring – Summer Students

The Gardens at HCP is hiring three summer students. Please see below for position and application descriptions: Position 1: Gardens Assistant The Gardens at HCP is a public garden and place of learning in Saanich. The HCP is a not-for-profit society focused on the provision of horticulture education and the development and maintenance of 104 acres of educational gardens and conservation lands.  We are currently looking for a secondary or post-secondary student to help fill the summer employment position of Gardens Assistant from June 27 – August 26th, Sunday to Thursday from 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM. The successful...

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Honey Bees at the HCP

The Gardens at HCP is a place teeming with life, both flora, and fauna. Besides the humans working hard there are a plethora of critters a visitor may encounter during their visit. Last year, a student found a week-old hummingbird that we were able to reconnect with her mother, bunnies are often shooed away from the edibles, the quail bustle from bush to bush, and we have partnered with Habitat Acquisition Trust to introduce more endangered painted turtles into the Conservation area off Interurban. But where would we “bee” without the many different bees who zip around the Gardens...

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Spring Plant Sale

One of the biggest weekends of the Gardens at HCP year is upon us! Our Spring Plant Sale is the biggest annual fundraiser for the development and maintenance of the Gardens. Over 80% of the plants  for sale have been propagated in-house using plants from our grounds, as well as interesting varieties donated by our volunteers. It is a not-to-be-missed event for dedicated gardeners in Victoria. With only three staff who work in the Gardens, the funds raised support the over 100 volunteers who come on a weekly basis to give their time and energy, including a group who...

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Volunteer Week

With volunteer week approaching next week, April 10 -16th, we would like to take this opportunity to say a big THANK YOU to the many, many volunteers who help at the Gardens at HCP. We could go on about their hard work in the gardens, the invaluable help and friendly faces in the offices, or even that we look forward to the new faces that our Arts & Music Festival brings in but, instead, we asked our volunteers WHY they volunteer. Here are a few of the responses: I volunteer for the cookies It’s fun & I get to...

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Albert

  We wanted to introduce you to our Manager of Mice and Night Watchman, Albert. Albert came to us one year ago from a staff member’s home. As a Maine Coone cross we are anxious to see how big he will grow. He started off a little bit shy but bit by bit we coaxed him out. Before long he was a part of our HCP family. HCP cats are a long tradition – no doubt some of the readers will remember Sam and Sophie who used to reside here. Today Albert spends his days sleeping in staff offices,...

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Fergus Garrett at the Gardens at HCP

Our first official blog post is an exciting one! Today we hosted the renowned Head Gardener of Great Dixter House in the United Kingdom, Fergus Garrett. Great Dixter is the family home of gardener and garden writer Christopher Lloyd with a historic house and expansive gardens. Visit  http://www.greatdixter.co.uk to see this wonderful garden. We have Christopher Lloyd’s books in our library, e-mail [email protected] for more information. A group of lucky participants listened to Mr. Garrett’s presentation about bulbs today and we are sure they enjoyed his presentation. The talk was organized by the Hardy Plant Group. Our Couvelier Pavilion...

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Ann’s Garden

Created as a cottage-style garden in memory of Barbara Ann Jardine (1923-1991). A mixture of old-fashioned flowering shrubs and perennials, spring bulbs, self-seeding annuals, and biennials create an informal, colourful, three-season garden.  Plants include Primula, Narcissus, Tulipa  and Myosotis in the spring; Clematis Montana ‘Pink Perfection’ climbing up into the Douglas Firs for a spectacular early summer display; Hydrangea, Gaura, Geranium, Helenium in the summer; and Anemone japonica and Sedum spectabile for fall...

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Birds, Bees & Butterflies Garden (The 3B’s)

This garden was created to demonstrate a variety of plants that attract Birds, Bees and Butterflies to a backyard garden. A mixture of nectar- and pollen-rich plants throughout the seasons include early spring Crocus, summer-blooming Monarda and Echinacea, fall-blooming Asters and winter-blooming...

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Bonsai Garden

Created in 2014, with over 60 bonsai trees on display. It is the only outdoor Bonsai garden in Western Canada and the second largest in all of Canada. The collection is very diverse and has many trees native to Vancouver Island on display. A great display of the art of bonsai in a tranquil environment – a place to relax and enjoy a sunny...

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Doris Page Winter Garden

Dedicated to horticulturist Doris Page, who was credited with bringing Hellebores to Vancouver Island and for showing that Victoria is one of the few places in Canada where you can garden year round. Winter visitors will see several varieties of Hellebore and spring bulbs in bloom as well as enjoy the sweet scents of Sarcococca, Daphne odora, Lonicera and Chimonanthus...

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Drought Tolerant Garden

The changing climate has necessitated a need to alter our watering practices   This garden demonstrates a variety of plants that tolerate hot and dry summer...

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