505 Quayle Road / 250-479-6162 / www.hcp.ca

Welcome Back

Our gates are open exclusively for you – our fabulous Donors and Members!

Please read the safety protocols outlined below prior to coming to the Gardens. We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of you and your families and our staff and their families, but we need your help by maintaining physical distancing.  Please stay at least 6ft/2m from others and avoid touching any surfaces.  Thank-you.

*Please note that you are visiting the Gardens at HCP at your own risk*

We have implemented a series of steps to ensure everyone’s safety while visiting the Gardens.

1. If you or anyone in your “bubble” are exhibiting any cold or flu systems, or have within the last 14 days, please stay home.

2. Visitors must maintain PHYSICAL DISTANCING of 2m/6ft at all times.  When on the pathways, please keep to the right on the larger paths, and choose a different path if you come upon someone on the tighter ones.

3. During this time, we ask that the Gardens be a “No-touch” zone. We have sanitizer at the entrance that everyone is encouraged to use both upon entering and exiting the gardens.

4. Our benches throughout the gardens will remain open, but will not be disinfected so please use at your own risk.

5. If you have a mask or other personal protective equipment, you are welcome to use it.

6. Children and pets MUST remain directly at your side at all times.

7. We will be open Thursdays to Sundays from 10am to 4pm.

8. Our plant sale area is open! No more than 3 people at a time please.

9. Please show your membership card through the window at the office.  If you need to renew your membership, please do so at https://hcp.z2systems.com/np/clients/hcp/membershipJoin.jsp. If you have renewed/joined online, we can prepare cards for you to pick up on your way out. We are hoping to keep contactless as much as possible and are only accepting debit and credit cards at this time.

Please be patient with us as we navigate through these challenging times. Gardens will be re-opening for everyone on June 18th. Thursday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Online Plant Sale Recap

By: Linda Petite, Head Gardener

Last month we moved our much-anticipated Spring Plant Sale to an online format, and the response was amazing!

I want to thank staff and volunteers for helping out with scheduling pick ups, pulling orders and loading the plants into people's cars. Everyone worked together to make the sale run smoothly.

Thank you all for supporting us by purchasing online.

I look forward to seeing you again in the gardens when we re-open.

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Thank You Volunteers!

A big thank-you to our volunteers who were able to come in during the Covid-19 closure. Our volunteers have been faithfully maintaining their areas so the Gardens would be looking beautiful for our re-opening. Social distancing, smaller groups and no volunteer cookies are just a few of the new volunteer protocols to ensure a safe environment for everyone. We also thank those volunteers who would love to be here, but are staying home to keep themselves and loved ones out of harm's way. Their sacrifice has made it possible for their peers to continue the work in their absence. We look forward to seeing all of our wonderful volunteers back again when it is safe to do so.

- Cheri le Brun, Volunteer Coordinator

Love Isn't Cancelled

    To say that the 2020 wedding season is looking different than expected would be an understatement. Aside from the obvious lifestyle changes we're all experiencing right now, the most dramatic for me has been having a weekend off!

    Weddings and special events are a major revenue stream for The Gardens at HCP, and with most events rescheduling for 2021 or cancelling entirely, it's been a relief and a blessing to welcome couples who still want an intimate, elopement-style ceremony nestled in the gardens this spring.
    Following the advice of the BC CDC, couples are welcome to share their vows with a marriage commissioner (or officiant, or celebrant, or clergy member) and two witnesses. For some couples, selecting just two witnesses from their friends and family is an impossible task, so they ask their photographer and me to step in instead! This is my eighth year in the wedding industry, and as someone who's used to hiding in the background during the ceremony or running off to do finishing touches for the reception, it's been a mind-blowing honour to stick around and truly witness their commitment -- from two metres away, of course. What better time to take the promise of  "in sickness and in health" to heart?

    If you or someone you know has had to cancel or postpone their wedding celebration, but still wants to get married this summer, please give them my email (events@hcp.ca) so we can discuss how beautiful a tiny garden ceremony can be.

Remember: Love Isn't Cancelled!

by: Megan Stacey

Image: Jesse Holland Photography

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

    It was sad to have to close the Gardens just as spring was getting underway but now we are into May, summer is bursting out and we are intending to re-open very soon.
    There are so many lovely plants flowering now that it is hard to know which ones to mention first. The Rhododendron Garden is of course in full display with an impressively wide range of coloured blooms. If you stand at the top of the Native Garden you can get a marvellous overview, looking down over the varied shapes and shades of all the rhodos. Next door to that the Takata Garden is coming to life; standing on the Moon Bridge you get a wonderful perspective over all the plants that grow the length of the stream bed. There are camellias in whites and reds that are just coming to the end of their season but the crimson flowers of the candelabra primulas ( Primula beesiana ) are a striking replacement, mature hostas in a whole range of leaf colours mix with emerging astilbes and the several japanese maples ( Acer japonicum ) have now covered themselves in their fresh new dark purple foliage.
    Walk up the steps to the Bonsai Garden and to your immediate left the Oregon Ash (Fraxinus latifolia), with its new flush of pale leaves, is also flowering with pretty white tassels.
Working mostly within the gardens I actually rarely find myself at the front entrance but I was out there this week and it is looking very attractive. Three large paeonies are blooming, a simple golden yellow-flowered Paeonia lutea, a double-flowered variety in pale pastel yellow and another deep red specimen. The carpet of Pacific Coast Irises is in full flower, as are two large Libertia grandiflora, and the Azara serrata, now a considerable-sized tree, is covered in orange ball-shaped blossoms. Interestingly this is at the very same time as the Buddleia globosa in the 3B’s garden is flowering with its own very similar globular orange flowers.
    Each year there seem to be plants that have a particularly noteworthy season, whether for their abundance or even sometimes for their unusual absence but this year I cannot help commenting on the extraordinary vigour and variety of wild columbines ( Aquilegia spp.). There are usually one or two of the somewhat dull dark purple variety but this year columbines are suddenly everywhere and not only the purple ones. There are whites and blues and purples, singles and doubles, and an impressive range of different shades from palest pink to deepest reds.
    Helianthemums ( rock-roses ) are flowering in reds and oranges in the Drought Tolerant Garden and the Heather Garden, there are deep blue Camas in the Native Garden and, if you look carefully, there are vivid purple and white Pleione bulbs (Pleione formosana) hiding beneath larger plants in the Winter Garden.

Keep the Flowers Blooming

Generosity takes many forms, whether it’s volunteer work, in-kind donations or financial contributions.

On March 18th, the gardens, along with the rest of the province, followed the direction of our Health Authorities and closed the gardens.  Since then, we have had to cancel all of our community education classes, youth programs, weddings and events.  As most of you know, these along with the PHC, are our main income streams and are integral to the annual operating costs of the gardens.

We are doing everything possible to recover as much of that lost revenue as possible by trying new revenue ideas, including our on-line plant sale and on-line gift shop, both with appointments for pick up.  By Thursday, May 21st , our plants will have been relocated up to the new onsite plant sale area, thanks to the efforts of Linda, Giles, Emily, a few of our amazing volunteers and any staff that have a spare moment! Please note: we are going to be continuing with the on-line gift shop until further notice.

I personally would like to thank all of you so very much for your support with our on-line system. Thanks to you, we have had great success with our Spring Plant sales, membership renewals and monetary donations, all of which are integral contributions to our annual budget.

If you are able to donate, please go to: https://hcp.z2systems.com/np/clients/hcp/donation.jsp?campaign=1&

Once again, thank-you!

See you on Thursday!

Deborah Donahue,  General Manager

Welcome Emily Drolet - Our New Assistant Gardener

Emily started working here at HCP the end of March 2020. However, due to COVID-19, the gardens were closed to the public, and our college students began doing their classes online. As a result, Emily then took on the work of 18 students! Lucky for us, Emily knew the gardens well and so it was a smooth transition to our garden team!

A passion for floristry and a desire to work outdoors led Emily to her attending the Pacific Horticulture College originally. She graduated from the Foundations Program in 2016 and then launched into a career in the industry. She returned to the College over the following winters to achieve her Red Seal and to assist with teaching pruning techniques to new students.

Now Emily has returned to us once again, this time as the Assistant Gardener. She is delighted to be part of the team, and we all are happy to have her with us!

Pacific Horticulture College

Pacific Horticulture College students are busy keeping up with their online coursework, and we look forward to seeing our students in person again when possible!

PHC is now accepting applications for the 2021 program starting in January 2021. To learn more about the 2021 program and a career in horticulture, contact collegeadmin@hcp.ca.

If you are interested in the Level 1 Landscape Horticulture Apprenticeship program (different than the full time certificate program) either in person or online, please contact collegeadmin@hcp.ca or visit https://hcp.ca/parttime1-2/ to learn more about this program option. 

Stay healthy everyone!

Membership Reminder

Check out that bright green 'Gardens at HCP' membership card to see if it has expired!

Memberships are a great value and include:
  • Free Admission all year to the Gardens
  • Guest passes and any additional guests for a discounted rate
  • 10% off on plants and purchases in the Gift Shop
  • Discounts on Community Education programs
  • Free Admission into the Arts & Music in the Gardens festival
  • 10% discounts at select plant centres throughout Victoria
  • Free admission to participating gardens in the American Horticultural Society
  • Our monthly E-Newsletter
Membership at the Gardens at HCP supports youth programming, horticulture student development, supplies, plants for garden improvement, and our volunteers.

You can purchase your membership today by calling 250-479-6162 or clicking here.

To access your HCP account:

We moved to a new database system that will allow you (members and past workshop registrants)to manage your account online. This includes updating contact information, renewing your membership, registering for workshops, making donations and more.

To access your account and set up your login and password, click here; this will direct you to the following page.

Enter your email address and then check your email, including the spam filters.

Click on the link in the email from Deb Donahue.

When you click on the link you will see this page - Set Login/Password

Your account with HCP will open.

To navigate, use the dropdown menu in the far right hand corner 'What Would You Like To Do?'.

These are your options. Please be sure to logout at the end of your session. We appreciate your continued support.

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