April 1 to September 30: 8 am - 8 pm
October 1 to March 31: 9 am - 4:30 pm
Admission Free for Members, $5 for Non-Members.
Guests accompanying HCP members pay only $2.00 admission to gardens.
Added to JGarden:
Located near Victoria's Gorge Waterway. Recently restored.
This is a much larger facility than just the Japanese garden. There are several specialty gardens here including roses, herbs, a winter garden, rhododendron garden, heather garden and dahlia trial garden. The HCP is located north of the City of Victoria, near Victoria's Gorge Waterway in Saanich, near Elk Lake, just off West Saanich Rd (17A).
The Japanese garden at HCP was built with the support of the Takata Japanese Garden Society. The president at the time, Bob Clarke, has since become the curator and design coordinator. Volunteers help to maintain the garden by gathering on Wednesday and Saturday for work sessions. The garden includes two large ponds with a connecting stream, an arched bridge, a yatsu-hashi (zig-zag) bridge, an entrance gate, stone lanterns, and plant material.
The Japanese garden has been so successful that the HCP is recently finished a karesansui dry garden on a nearby 40' x 60' plot. A tea garden is being planned next.
Donations may also be sent to Zen Garden Fund, c/o H.C.P.
History (from the web site)
The Horticulture Centre of the Pacific was created in 1979 when the province of British Columbia issued a "Certificate of Incorporation" No. S15136 to a group of 25 citizens from Victoria who had applied for permission to create a not-for-profit society with the following aims:
To create The Pacific Demonstration Garden to promote demonstrations and education for gardeners.
To create The Pacific Horticultural Training Centre to provide various theoretical and practical training for employees in the field of horticulture.
To create The Pacific Horticultural Centre including Canada Hall to provide an internal forum for cultural exchange.
An initial grant of $75,000 was used to commission a study of the feasibility of the project. The resulting report concluded that the concept was financially viable, and recommended a parcel of Crown Lands in Saanich as a suitable site. Armed with this information the board of directors of the newly created organization made a presentation to the Provincial Government asking for a grant of Crown Lands in Saanich as well as a direct grant of $250,000 as seed money. At the same time a fund-raising campaign was begun for the estimated $5 million which would be required to launch the project, using the prospect of government support as an incentive for corporate donors. By 1982 it was clear that the provincial government was unwilling to provide both land and money, offering instead a long-term lease at a nominal charge and no grant of money. This situation, combined with a recession, made fund-raising very difficult and continued development of the Centre was uncertain.
Meanwhile, memberships in the society were being sold and a cadre of committed volunteers was busy clearing the site and mapping out prospective gardens. Over the next few years gardens were developed using donated services and labour from supporters in the community. During this period a noteworthy development was the creation of the Doris Page Winter Garden with active support of the Victoria Horticultural Society. This garden has continued to develop and is now a featured attraction at HCP with more than 500 examples of plant material suitable for a winter garden in this climatic zone (8). More recent developments are the Takata Japanese Garden and the establishment of an internationally recognized trail garden for dahlias. Many other specialty gardens (heather, rhododendron, herb and fuchsia, for example) have been created.
With help from much of the local gardening community, the gardens are continuing to expand. Currently HCP, with a membership of about 1300, operates a training school for maintenance gardeners, maintains about 15 acres of demonstration
A Pair of Stones
Two chunks of gray-green stone,
their shapes grotesque and unsightly,
wholly unfit for practical uses --
ordinary people despise them, leave them untouched.
Formed in the time of primal chaos,
they took their place at the mouth of Lake Taihu,
ten thousand ages resting by the lakeshore,
in one morning coming into my hands!
Pole-bearers have brought them to my prefectural office
where I wash and scrub away mud and stains.
The hollows are black, deeply scarred in mist,
crevices green with the rich hue of moss.
Aged dragons coiled to form their feet,
old swords stuck in for the crown,
I suddenly wonder if they didn't plummet from Heaven,
so different from anything in this human realm!
One will do to prop up my lute,
one to be a reservoir for my wine.
The tip of one shoots up several yards,
the other has a hollow, will hold a gallon of liquid!
My five-stringed instrument leaning on the left one,
my single wine cup set on the right,
I'll dip from the hollowed cask and it will never go dry,
though drunkenness long since has toppled me over.
Every person has something he loves,
and things all yearn for a companion.
More and more I fear that gatherings of the young
no longer will welcome a white-haired gentleman.
I turn my head, ask this pair of stones
if they'd consent to keep an old man company.
And though the stones are powerless to speak,
they agree that we three should be friends.