UPDATED AUGUST 2021: Our volunteer tour guides are now welcoming groups of fully vaccinated residents of Vancouver Island, with a maximum group size of 6.
Groups from outside Vancouver Island may book a self-guided visit (no tour guide). All group bookings are subject to change or cancellation depending on provincial health orders.
The majority of our individual and group visitors enjoy a self-guided exploration of our property, but guided tours are available for those wishing to see the gardens through the eyes of an expert. Tours are led by volunteers from the Victoria Master Gardener Association and cover the highlights of The Gardens at HCP, the history of the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific, practical advice for gardeners in similar climates, upcoming events, and more.
The cost is $25 per tour guide plus $6 discounted admission per participant (regular admission is $12 for adults or $9 for seniors and students). There is no admission charge for the group leader or bus driver. Each guide can take up to 6 people.
Tours generally last 45-60 minutes, depending on the level of discussion and mobility of the group. We recommend scheduling a bit of extra time for your group to visit our gift shop, grab a drink or a bite to eat at Charlotte and the Quail, or wander the gardens on their own. Plants are available for sale from late April through October, however we are unable to provide phytosanitary certificates for visitors wanting to bring plants or seeds across the US border.
Guided tours must be requested a minimum of 2 weeks in advance (preferably 4-6 weeks) in order for us to schedule our volunteer tour guides. To schedule a guided tour, please email [email protected] with the following information:
– Date of visit and desired timeline
– Number of participants and desired number of guides (1 guide per 6 participants)
– Any particular areas of interest (i.e. seasonal blooms, drought tolerant gardens, deer-resistant plants, container gardening, etc.)
– Level of plant/gardening knowledge in the group (i.e. beginner, experienced, expert)
– Where tour participants are from, so that guides can use appropriate plant names
– Whether any participants have limited mobility (i.e. scooter, wheelchair, walker, cane, needing extra time or breaks)
Please note that garden pathways are made of loose gravel and have varying inclines and widths. Guests using scooters, wheelchairs, or walkers may require extra time or assistance in certain areas and may be shown alternate pathways to avoid steps. There are plenty of convenient benches throughout the gardens to take a break or rest if needed.
Photos courtesy of Jesse Holland, Spark & Whimsy, Tonya Maree, and other local talents.