Winter Hours: November 1st - February 29th / 10 am - 4 pm

Summer Hours: March 1st - October 31st / 9 am - 5 pm

505 Quayle Road / 250-479-6162 /

Hellebore Sunday

We know Spring has truly arrived when it is Hellebore Sunday!

Hellebores provide winter color to the garden and, best of all, the deer won't eat them! The sale starts at noon, so get in line early as we sell out quickly.

Admission to the gardens is free during plant sales so be sure to make time for a walk through the Doris Page Winter Garden currently showcasing winter beauty.

- Linda Petite, Head Gardener

Doris Page Winter Garden

As an Albertan, I used to scoff at the phrase “winter interest,” but when I moved to the Island and started volunteering at HCP there was really only one garden I was interested in: the Doris Page Winter Garden. It has everything I’ve been denied most of my life: grand old witch hazels lighting up the gloom, carpets of hellebores in every shade, waves of snowdrops that are followed by winter aconites, Iris reticulata, crocus, erythronium, daffodils, species tulips… and this show goes on for months, from December straight through to May or June. Truthfully, it is six months of spring!

On a drizzly day, of which we’ve had many this year, the colours of the winter garden appear particularly vibrant. Of course, we have old standbys like red, green and orange-stemmed dogwoods. But what sticks in my mind are the beautiful scarlet leaves of Itea virginica (Virginia sweetspire), set against a backdrop of a towering Cupressus macrocarpa ‘Goldcrest’ (Monterey cypress). In other seasons I would find this colour combination gauche, but in winter I suspend judgment and enjoy all the undiluted colour I can find. The eye easily catches on the shocking blue berries of Dichroa febrifuga, a growing carpet of yellow primroses, elongating black willow catkins, intensely patterned white and green leaves of arums, the plummy purple foliage of Loropetalum chinense, and the spidery orange flowers of Hamamelis ‘Jelena’ (witch hazel).

Yet, I can’t help but tell you that the Winter Garden comes most alive on a sunny, warm day in February or March. Take one step down any of our paths and you will be hit by waves of scent. Two of my all-time favourite garden scents are only available right now: the refreshing citrusy-jasmine of winter-flowering honeysuckles and the richly floral perfume of Chimonanthus praecox. Neither shrub have much to recommend them in summer and yet I can't imagine winter without them. Scent is subjective though, so perhaps you might prefer the witch hazels, Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’, sweet box or one of the many types of daphne. Soon our azaras will begin to flower, smelling distinctly of chocolate, and the Magnolia stellata buds will shed their fuzzy casings to add their own delicate fragrance. When the snowdrops all open you can catch their lightly sweet scent, and compare it to the deeper grape juice notes of Iris reticulata and Iris unguicularis.

As you become more attuned to our quiet woodland space, you will notice the sounds of busy hummingbirds in the yellow Mahonia flowers, the early pollinators in the camellias, the frog that often spends time near our birdbath.There are tiny blooms everywhere, waiting for you to find them, from pink Cyclamen coum, to the starry Cornus mas just about to burst. More flowers appear every week! We hope you will join us in appreciating the many pleasures of the Doris Page Winter Garden throughout this season.

by: Amy Sanderson,Doris Page Winter Garden Volunteer.

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Gift Shop Update

Spring has sprung in the HCP gift shop, with dozens of fresh new items to help stave off the winter blues. Have you seen the newer, bigger, West Coast Seeds rack yet?

Here is a sneak peek at some items we're most excited about this spring!

Forever the perfect hostess or housewarming gift (ideally wrapped around a bottle of wine), these colourful tea towels will bring a bit of the garden into the kitchen. Select patterns have matching dishes available too!

Left your tools out in the rain or in a snow bank? Treat yourself to a fresh new pair before the sun comes out and the real work begins!

Our glittery clip-on birds were a hit for the holiday season, and we're excited to now offer pretty pastel birdies for all your spring wreaths and Easter arrangements. More Easter goodies will be added closer to April, assuming Albert doesn't get to them first.

Remember, HCP Members get a 10% discount all gift shop purchases! See you soon.

Forty Years and Still Growing

For 40 years people from all over the Greater Victoria area and British Columbia have enjoyed the evolution and achievements of HCP. Please help ‘Keep our Flowers Blooming’ at the Gardens by joining the staff and volunteers in celebrating our 40 years of achievements by giving a gift of $40 or more.

  • Your gift of $40 will buy one week of coffee and cookies for our incredible volunteers!
  • Your gift of $140 will buy one truckload of Gravel – ¾ Drain Rock so we are able to maintain our pathways.
  • Your gift of $340 will pay for one month of recycling – as we work harder and harder to minimize our garbage and help reduce, reuse and recycle!
Donate to our 40th Anniversary appeal by visiting our website.

Spring Cleaning? Recycle! Reuse! Reduce!

 Wanted for our propagation volunteers:  

Vinyl blinds (for labelling plants) and  4- inch plastic pots

Support the Gardens at HCP

One more way to support The Gardens! We have an account at the Bottle Depot!
Our account name is: The Gardens at HCP
How to donate on this account: The Gardens at HCP
Please advise the cashiers at the beginning of the transaction that you would like to donate the bottles onto our account. Please note: Your friends / family / co-workers etc who will be donating to this account must only reference this account by account name and not by any account numbers that may be found on some of the account transaction receipts. Each depot will have a different account number for your account.
You can donate at any of the Bottle Depot Branches: 4261 Glanford Ave, 655 Queens Ave, 3961 Quadra St

Giles Jottings

What can I say ? Rain, rain and more rain. Work in the gardens has become dominated by it or perhaps I should say it is being held up by it. The longer it goes on the more the paths get washed out and stepping into the beds does more harm than good.

But on the bright side the reservoirs and underground aquifers must be filling up again after a very long period of semi-drought. And all our giant trees must be breathing enormous sighs of relief as the water infiltrates deeper and deeper and reaches their longest roots.

Looking round the gardens some plants seem to be thriving despite the less than ideal conditions. Bulbs everywhere are showing their green tips above the earth. There are two groups of these I am especially anticipating; in the new Iris Garden they have planted many dwarf bulbous irises and these, I think, flower early creating an effect said to be reminiscent of butterflies hovering close to the ground. And the Doris Page volunteers have re-planted the bed below their gazebo, including over 2000 new bulbs. It should be quite a sight.

In the Lily Garden colour is being provided by the blooms of Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ and Winter Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima). Witch Hazels (Hamamelis spp.) in the Winter Garden survived the snowfall and continue to glow yellow and orange. Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) and hellebores are everywhere  -  in fact the perhaps less appreciated Helleborus foetidus are looking particularly handsome. Winter aconites (Eranthis hyemalis) provide bright spots of yellow and spring crocuses are just beginning to open.

Finally, to mention what is for me a new discovery, I think many of us struggle to find something different to plant in areas of dry shade. Well, tucked into just such a hidden spot in the Hardy Beds, is a plant new to me, Chrysoplenium macrophyllum,  the Giant Golden Saxifrage. They are, I think, recently planted and apparently will flower through the winter and spring but they look like healthy plants and I am keen to see how they develop.

Pacific Horticulture College

Welcome to the new group of full-time Foundation Program students who started on January 20th! The students are now settling into the routine of Plant ID quizzes, Practical Skills and Botany classes. The first couple of weeks included a First Aid class, WHMIS training, introductions to HCP staff and volunteers and plenty of garden tours! They also had their first Special Topics in Horticulture class: stay tuned for an upcoming student blog post on the HCP website.

The part-time Level 2 students are just finishing up their Botany class and about to start their Pruning course. They have also been busy on Saturdays learning about Tools and Equipment.  We are happy to have such a great group of committed part-time students!

Also happening in February is the Victoria Seedy Saturday on February 15th and the NorthWest Flower and Garden Show in Seattle, WA from February 26th to March 1st. Stop and say hi to PHC / HCP staff at those events!

For current happenings, alumni and current student profiles and more, follow PHC @ pacifichorticulturecollege on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

Coming up:

Integrated Pest Management Course (Landscape General Category)

· March 3rd and 10th, exam on the 13th

·  Please call HCP to register

Integrated Pest Management Course (Landscape General Category)

· April 4th and 5th, exam on the 6th

· Please call HCP to register

Please note that custom IPM courses are available for groups. Please contact PHC for more information:

Youth Programs


This MONTHLY program takes participants through the growing season from seed starting through the various plant uses for food, self-care, art, and seasonal décor. There is always something to taste, observe, build and weed while gardening and we do it all together!! This program is a great way to provide extra outdoors time for those who love gardening and there are always seeds, plants and other created items to share for use in your home or gardens. Sign up for the 6 sessions and receive a kids garden hand tool and knee pads!

DATES: Saturdays - March 14, April 11, May 9, June 13, September 12, October 10

TIME: 9:30 – 11:30 am

AGES: 3 – 12 years

FEE: $75/6 sessions or $15/2 hr monthly session

Monthly Topics: March – seed starting, April – transplants, May – summer crops, June – succession planning, September – harvesting, October – winter crops


These Pro-D Day Camps are filled with garden activities both in and out of the garden. We use sustainable practices to grow our own food and flower crops throughout the year. The campers learn to prepare, plan, plant, harvest, and maintain a garden while including native pollinators and building awareness of the ecosystems that support our project. This hands-on camp is a good introduction for those wanting to grow their own food at home or further develop their skills for existing home and school gardens.

DATES: Monday, April 27, 2020 / Friday, May 15, 2020

TIME: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

AGES: 5 + years – 12 years (school age)

FEE: $38/day

*Register in advance of the workshop by calling 250-479-6162 or online by clicking here.

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Community Education Workshops

Grow Your Own Way Wellness Journey

Sundays - 2:00pm - 4:00pm

March 15, April 19, May 17, June 14
Instructor: Marnie Dangerfield

This program is designed to allow you time in nature.... to slow down, pause, refresh and connect to your inner wisdom. There will be wellness practices led throughout,in a beautiful garden setting. The vision is for you to go through the year and connect to the seasons, to nature and to build community and connection with like-minded people. We will practice awareness/mindfulness, gratitude, compassion, kindness, journaling and intentional creativity®️ (among other things). The goal is to increase your overall well-being with new wellness habits. We'll focus on decreasing stress while increasing joy.

$45 per session for HCP Members & Non Members

Click Here to Register Online

Call 250-479-6162 to register by phone or drop by the Gardens!

Cannabis Basics for the Home Grower

Saturday - February 22 - 10:00am - 1:00pm

(additional dates February 29th & March 14th)

Instructor: Jo Wyld

Learn the basics of growing Cannabis for personal use with college instructor, Jo Wyld. This workshop will cover cannabis species and strains, how cannabis is used, starting from seed or clone, considerations and methods for growing outdoors or indoors, common pests and disease, harvesting and relevant legislation.

HCP Members $60 / Non-Members $65

Click here to Register Online

Call 250-479-6162 to register by phone or drop by the Gardens!

Pruning Ornamental Plants Workshop

Tuesdays - February 18 & 25 - 6:30pm - 9:00pm

Saturday Field Trip - February 29 - 9:00am - 12:00pm

Instructor: Patty Brown

Gain an understanding of how and why plants respond to pruning. This workshop will help you get the results you want with any plant in your garden. Patty Brown, Pacific Horticulture College instructor, will take you through the steps, theory and techniques of pruning. The workshop consists of two lectures and one hands on session to practice what you’ve learnt.

HCP Members $95 / Non Members $115

Click Here to Register Online

Call 250-479-6162 to register by phone or drop by the Gardens!

Gardens in Miniature Series

Part 1 - Hypertufa Troughs - March 7 - 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Part 2 - Crevice Gardens and Alpines - April 18 - 9 am - 12 pm

Part 3 - Japanese Style Miniature Gardens - May 2 - 9 am - 12 pm

Instructors: Mark Paterson and Gordon Mackay

Learn how to create a miniature living garden in a container. The series will cover everything from selecting containers, plants, hardscape elements and maintenance.

In Part 1 you will create your own container in Hypertufa containers. Hypertufa is a concrete substitute that looks just like concrete but weighs much less, making it easier to transport and perfect for miniature gardens. Participants will go through the process of creating the forms, mixing the materials, and setting the trough. Due to the curing period, participants will collect their creations at a later date. Participants will create two troughs approximately 12 x 12 inches in size. They will be planting their miniature gardens into them in part 2 & 3 of the series. Once the skill has been learned, participants may go home to create many more hypertufa containers.

Part 2 will cover crevice gardens and alpines. Participants will learn how to incorporate rocks in their design with Gordon Mackay.

Part 3 will cover Japanese style miniature landscapes with bonsai expert, Mark Patterson.

At the end of the series, participants will have two miniature gardens planted in containers they created and the knowledge to go home and create more. They will also know how to select the right plants and how to care for and maintain their gardens.
HCP Members - $65/Class or $170 for the Series

Non Members - $75/Class or $195 for the Series

Click Here to Register Online

Call 250-479-6162 to register by phone or drop by the Gardens!

The Backyard Orchard Workshop
Saturdays - March 7 & 14 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Instructor: Ryan Senechal

This workshop is for those serious about cultivating fruit and nuts in an urban space. Ryan Senechal will cover: selection of cultivars, planting, staking & training, soil, nutrients & watering, pruning, plant health & cultural controls, grafting & propagation. The focus will be on apple, cherry, pear, plum, peach, kiwi, Carpathian walnut, butternut, hazelnut, fig, blueberry & raspberry.

HCP Members $90 / Non-Members $110

Click Here to Register Online

Call 250-479-6162 to register by phone or drop by the Gardens!

Cedar Bark Pouch Workshop
Saturday - March 14 - 9:30am - 4:30pm
Instructor: Joan Carrigan

Come weave a beautiful individualized small pouch with plant materials harvested from the Pacific Northwest. I use my pouch to hold my cell phone so make sure you bring yours with you. We will begin with a discussion on how to respectfully harvest materials followed by a hands-on demonstration of how to prepare the materials including cedar bark, willow bark and sedge. Participants can design their pouch using different weave patterns presented which include a variety of plaiting, twining and twill variations. This course is good for beginners as well as experienced weavers.
HCP Members $120 / Non Members $140

Click Here to Register Online

Call 250-479-6162 to register by phone or drop by the Gardens!

Willow Bark Point Pouch
Sunday - March 15 - 9:30am - 4:30pm
Instructor: Joan Carrigan
Willow bark is a lovely material for basket weaving and this project is a perfect way to show it off. We will be weaving this unique shaped pouch/purse which is also beautiful to hang on the wall. We will incorporate other locally harvested materials such as sedges and Cedar bark and explore techniques such as plaiting and twining variations. Discussion and demonstrations will cover how to harvest and prepare these locally foraged materials.
HCP Members $120 / Non Members $140

Click Here to Register Online

Call 250-479-6162 to register by phone or drop by the Gardens!

Introduction to Forest Bathing
Saturday - March 21 - 10:00am - 12:00pm
Peter Hehl and Kelly Kiss

Come join Peter Hehl and Kelly Kiss, ANFT Certified Forest & Nature Therapy Guides, to discover “Forest Bathing”, what it is, along with its health and wellness benefits. We will start off with a one-hour discussion, followed by a one-hour forest therapy walk.

Reconnect with yourself and nature through a mindful walk in the beautiful Gardens at HCP. Peter and Kelly will offer you a unique “forest bathing” experience, an “immersion” into the space of trees, plants and the beings of the forest and gardens. Forest therapy is inspired by the Japanese practice of Shinrin-Yoku, or forest bathing. Shinrin-Yoku means to “bathe in the atmosphere of the forest” and is a term that was originally used by the Japanese government in the 1980’s, to describe the practice of spending time in nature to soak up its health benefits. If practiced regularly, “forest bathing” may improve your health, wellness and happiness! After a walk, participants have noticed that they feel calmer, more peaceful and more relaxed.

During a guided walk, Peter and Kelly will offer you a series of “invitations” or suggestions, to help you to slow down and connect with your senses. You are then invited to do what feels comfortable to you. They merely hold the space for the deepening and connection to happen. The forest is the therapist, and we are the guides. Moving slowly over a gentle landscape, the practice of forest therapy is accessible to people of all fitness levels, ages and abilities. All guided forest therapy walks are then concluded with a final gathering, where we share tea brewed with local plants, and a light healthy snack. For more information please see website at:

Talk Only – 10:00am – 11:00am – $5.00

Walk & Talk – 11:00am – 12:00pm – $45.00

Spring Walk Dates:

April 11, May 9, June 13, July 11, August 8

Click Here to Register Online

Call 250-479-6162 to register by phone or drop by the Gardens!

The Herbal Kitchen - Cooking With Wild Edibles Workshop

Saturday - March 21 - 1pm - 4pm

Instructor: Lily Fawn

Come spend the afternoon learning to find and identify medicinal edible herbs. Wild plants are nutritious, tasty and a great way to increase your health and cut your grocery bill. In this workshop you will learn about the many delicious, healthy and nutritionally-packed wild edible, medicinal plants that are yours for the picking! This class will focus on healthy edible weeds that grow all around us. You will learn how to identify and harvest these tasty edibles, as well as several different ways to prepare them. Take home recipes and enjoy a wild edible meal prepared during class.

HCP Members $55 / Non Members $65

Click Here to Register Online

Call 250-479-6162 to register by phone or drop by the Gardens!

Floral Mobile Workshop
Sunday - March 22 - 9:00am - 11:30am

Instructor: Linda Rambaud

Learn about combining texture and colour to create a floral mobile. Your mobile can be hung indoors or outdoors. Over time the flowers and foliage will dry and you will be left with a beautiful dried arrangement.

Registration closes March 9.

HCP Members $90 / Non-Members $100

Click Here to Register Online

Call 250-479-6162 to register by phone or drop by the Gardens!

Advanced Pruning Workshop
Saturdays - March 21 & 28 - 9:00am - 12:00pm

Instructor: Ryan Senechal

If you are a hands-on gardener hesitant to prune small trees and shrubs for fear of injuring or undesirably altering the appearance, this course with certified arborist Ryan Senechal is designed to give you the skills you need. In 2 sessions, basic pruning techniques will be reviewed and applied to advanced pruning strategies to encourage desirable structure, reduced maintenance & long term plant health. Your confidence and comfort will grow as you observe and practice field examples of pruning successes and common mistakes. This course will be outside, please dress accordingly and bring your secateurs. All other equipment will be supplied. Class size will be limited to ensure individual instruction.

HCP Members $90 / Non-Members $110

Click Here to Register Online

Call 250-479-6162 to register by phone or drop by the Gardens!

Plant Identification & Culture Workshops

One Saturday a month 1pm - 4pm

March 21, April 18, May 23 (Field Trip - please pre-register), June 20, July 18, August 15 (Field Trip - please pre-register), September 19, October 17, November 21, December 5

Instructor: Diane Pierce

Learn all about plants with Diane Pierce, expert gardener, designer and writer. Diane will introduce you to 25 new plants in each session. You will learn Latin & common names, plant descriptions, cultural requirements, general maintenance and landscape uses. This is an ongoing course & can be joined at any time, all year long, one Saturday a month.

HCP Members $35.00 per session

or $350 for 12 sessions

Non-Members $45.00 per session

or $450 for 12 sessions

Click here to Register Online

Call 250-479-6162 to register by phone or drop by the Gardens!

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