Author: Dana

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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Herb Garden

This garden takes you on a delightful and educational journey. The garden contains five distinct sections, each laid out to provide the visitor with species information and planting interest. This garden incorporates design elements from monastery and cloister gardens of medieval Europe to pre-Christian household gardens. A dry stone wall at the south end is constructed to deflect cool winds (which can do more damage to plants then cool temperatures). When you visit, touch the rosemary, thyme and lavender and be transported by their fragrances. In spite of the problem free characteristic of most herbs, this is not a low maintenance garden....

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Hardy Fuchsia Garden

A collection of hardy Fuchsias that grow well in our climate. Fuchsias are easy to care for plants that are pruned in the spring after the last of the hard frosts and will flower from late-spring/early summer until the first hard frost in fall. A formal geometric style provides pattern and structure. Styrax japonicus trees provide the partial shade required for many Fuchsia...

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The Urban Garden

Demonstrates organic principles and sustainable practices in an environmentally-friendly setting. Demonstrates what a homeowner can do on a small urban lot. The history of the potager and of kitchen gardens and victory gardens during the war, show that the reintroduction of urban food production is a viable and sustainable alternative to shipping food from far...

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The Farm Garden

Located in the lower field. The vegetable garden is where the technicians and the public learn how to grow many types of produce and  gardening techniques suitable for year-round harvesting. They learn companion planting, crop rotation, organic methods of pest and disease control and the use of beneficial insects. It is in full sun and Drip irrigation is...

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The Cutting Garden

From Spring to Autumn, from seed to bouquet, a riot of colors and scents create a stunning floral display. Flowers are used to create the gorgeous bouquets that can be found outside the front...

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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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Upcoming HCP Events

By Donation MondayNovember 20|Recurring Event (See all)One event on January 1, 1970 at 12:00amOne event on October 16, 2017 at 12:00amOne event on November 20, 2017 at 12:00amLevel 3 Program StartsNovember 20 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pmPro-D Day CampNovember 24 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm|Recurring Event (See all)One event on November 24, 2017 at 9:00amOne event on February 23, 2018 at 9:00amOne event on April 20, 2018 at 9:00amWreath Making WorkshopsNovember 25 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm|Recurring Event (See all)One event on November 25, 2017 at 1:00pmOne event on November 26, 2017 at 10:00amOne event on November 26, 2017 at 1:00pmOne event on December 2, 2017 at 10:00amOne event on December 2, 2017 at 1:00pmOne event on December 3, 2017 at 10:00amOne event on December 3, 2017 at 1:00pmOne event on December 9, 2017 at 10:00amOne event on December 9, 2017 at 1:00pmOne event on December 10, 2017 at 10:00amOne event on December 10, 2017 at 1:00pmRed Seal Exam Prep CourseNovember 25 @ 12:00 pm - 4:00...

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Volunteering

Why Volunteer at the HCP? We have some exciting new vacancies for garden volunteers for 2017. Email us at [email protected] for more information. Become part of a close-knit group of volunteers and experience some of these great benefits: • Learn from gardening mentor • Gain landscaping work experience • Share your knowledge • Make new friends • Spend time in a beautiful space • Get fit & keep fit • Contribute to conservation • Interact with other gardeners • Fun social events Volunteer as a Gardener Volunteers work with staff to keep our gardens attractive and maintain our plant collections. Some volunteers...

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Donate To HCP

Help Us Grow Why does HCP need your support? The Gardens at HCP are unique, enchanting, well-loved, and nurtured—truly a “hands on” garden experience. Much of the creation and maintenance of the gardens has been carried out by teams of volunteers, providing experiences rich in mentorship, camaraderie, and healthy outdoor exercise. HCP continues to reach out and assist with horticultural initiatives within the larger community. The Pacific Horticulture College educations industry horticulturists, HCP partners with Saanich in upgrading and maintaining Outerbridge Park, and our Community Education is always current with gardening and environmental trends. In 2016, the Gardens see...

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Conservation Park

Free to the public, this 100 acre site includes second growth Douglas Fir surrounding wetlands, walking and cycling trails, and a bird watching platform near the Interurban car park. For about 20 years, efforts have been underway to restore and maintain this area in a condition similar to its historical state with facilities for low impact human visits. Ongoing forest restoration includes endangered Garry Oak habitat and edible native...

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Bonsai Garden

Created in 2014, with over 60 bonsai trees on display. Bonsai is a Japanese phrase meaning “plant in a tray. It includes many styles of miniaturized tree arrangements and containers that work together as a unified whole to present an artistic representation of mature trees. The collection is very diverse and has many trees native to Vancouver Island on display (including Mountain hemlock, Douglas fir, White spruce, Ponderosa pine, Yellow cedar, Western Red cedar, and Shore pine). There are also many exotic trees include Japanese maple, Ginkgo, Chinese elm, Pyracantha, Japanese larch, Hornbeam, Beech, Hinoki cypress, Japanese black pine, and Shimpaku...

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Drought Tolerant Garden

The changing climate has necessitated a need to alter our watering practices. Exposed to full sunlight, all plants are chosen to provide long seasons of interest & light watering requirements (once established). Plants include cacti, succulents, hardy prairie plants, and mediterranean herbs. In addition plants normally associated with more moist conditions such as Achillea (Yarrow), Belamcanda chinensis (Blackberry lily), and Diascia, have been included for experimental purposes. This garden demonstrates a variety of plants that tolerate hot and dry summer conditions. One of the challenges for a drought tolerant garden in Victoria will be to foster plants that can survive with...

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Heather Garden

A demonstration of Heathers and companion plants that grow on a windy, sunny slope. “Heather Drifts”, which simulate vast moorland covered with heathers. A “river” of summer-flowering varieties flows down through all three beds. Different varieties of heather provide blossom colour for nine months of the year, and foliage colours of some varieties are striking year-round. Peak flower color is February-April and July-September. On a sunny spring day visitors are struck by the sight and sound of all the bees foraging among the flowers, grateful for nectar at a time when food is...

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Lily Garden

This garden is devoted primarily to the genus Lilium and demonstrates different varieties of asiatic hybrids, trumpet hybrids, and oriental lilies, in a wide range of sizes and colours. It includes lily cultivars from all divisions and many species are represented, many hundreds of bulbs in total. Companion plants include many other genera, including a wide variety of Iris and other perennials, to provide interest year round. May-August is the peak bloom period, the garden then being magnificent with dramatic blooms, luscious scents and exuberant growth typical of Lilium. Another highlight of the garden is the mimosa tree Albizia...

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Mediterranean Garden

Features plants found in the different regions of the world where Mediterranean gardens flourish: South Africa, California, the Mediterranean Basin, Central Chile, South Africa, and South Western Australia. Victoria has a modified Mediterranean climate ( hot/dry summers, and very wet winters), drainage is key to the survival of these gardens. Several plants found in this garden must be lifted prior to winter and stored in order for them to survive, as they are not hardy in this climate. Foliage, colour and texture are key elements of this display. A  garden that is pleasing to the eye as well as drought tolerant and...

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The Children’s Garden

This garden offers a mixture of experiences with features to touch, smell and explore. With vegetable beds changing with the seasons, children can help weed, sample lettuce, broccoli, and peas, and learn about the different aspects of these plants. Children can seek out the Sempervivum salamander, the living Thyme bench, the kid-size arbor, and slate patio with...

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Mixed Borders Garden

Today’s major design trend is a mixed border garden, because it can provide year round interest in smaller home gardens using a combination of plants that: horticulturally belong together, look as if they belong together, and fit in with their surroundings.  Special attention is given to the relationships among foliage texture, plant size, bloom time, and hot or cool colour use. Architecturally, the trees and shrubs create a secluded valley that one walks within. This is one of our most popular gardens showcasing unique...

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Native Plant Garden

A natural setting designed so that plants, indigenous to the Pacific Northwest, can be seen growing in an actively cultivated area as well as in a natural setting. Only 20 native species were on site when the garden was started in 1999.  There are now over 100 species. The 1,630 square metre (0.4 acre) garden is located in a typical lower Vancouver Island setting featuring rocky outcrops, Garry oak, Douglas-fir and spring flowering bulbs such as camas, shooting stars,  fawn lilies. It also provides a natural habitat for both flora and  fauna. The volunteers who maintain this area also participate in...

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Ornamental Grass Garden

Color and size, texture and growth habit add a graceful structural element to this garden. Planted as background, accent plants, screens or edging, grasses add movement and sound to the landscape. Naturalized perennials among the grasses, as well as woody plants, add interest in all seasons. Low-maintenance, drought-tolerant and deer-resistant Ornamental grasses deserve a spot in every...

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Takata Japanese Garden / Zen Garden

Named for the Takata family who owned and operated a Japanese garden in Esquimalt from 1907-1942. When they were forced to leave Victoria they gave many plants to their Gorge neighbours including 2 Japanese maple now over 100 years old that were transplanted here in 2008 as a gift from one of those neighbours on the Gorge. This garden was designed to recreate the unique components of traditional Japanese “stroll gardens” with the focus on understatement and simplicity. Design features include: Moon viewing bridge made in a traditional, minimalist Japanese style is a popular spot for wedding photos due to...

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Upper Veggie Garden

This garden demonstrates the variety of vegetables that can be grown in our climate year round. It includes herbs, small fruits and many flowering plants – some are edible and some are there simply because they grow independently of care. The raised beds provide better drainage and allow the soil to warm up quickly in the spring. An environmentally-friendly and organically-grown...

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