About the VHS

The Victoria Horticultural Society started life as “The Victoria and District Cottage Gardeners Mutual Improvement Association” in January 1921. The name was changed to “The Victoria & District Gardeners‘ Association” in January 1922 and, finally, to the “Victoria Horticultural Society” in December 1927.

The focus of the Society has always been to disseminate hands-on information about gardening successfully in Victoria; hence our motto “Share What You Know, Show What You Grow”.

The first in a long line of monthly newsletters, Garden Hints, began in October 1930. Over the years the newsletter matured from a simple typewritten document into a multipage, full-colour magazine format. An almost-complete archive of these newsletters, which contains a wealth of fascinating information, is available to members in text-searchable form.

The VHS Flower and Vegetable shows were a mainstay of the organization for many years and attracted a large audience. The first of these was held in July 1924 and they continued into the 1990s; in some years there were as many as five shows!

Another extremely popular event was the Spring Garden Festival (or “Spring Fling”), which ran for a number of years. A precursor of today’s “Open Gardens,” this event was much more formal, befitting the times. It was so successful that the Province of British Columbia used to promote it in their tourism publications!

The VHS, and its members, have been instrumental in forming, supporting and funding many organizations in the community over the years, including the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific (“HCP”), Abkhazi Gardens and the rehabilitation of the gardens at Government House. Many of the gardening groups still in existence today began as sub-groups of the VHS. Since 1990 the VHS has also offered support, in the form of bursaries, to horticultural students at Camosun College and the HCP’s Pacific Horticulture College, and continues to support the HCP’s Doris Page Winter garden with an annual endowment.

The history of the VHS truly is the history of gardening in Victoria. Join today and be part of our future.

For more information, contact us at info@vichortsociety.org .


The VHS is a non-profit organization whose objectives are:

  • To collect and diffuse information on all topics relating to horticulture;
  • To stimulate the knowledge and love of horticulture; and
  • To cooperate and/or affiliate with other horticultural organizations.

Our Meetings

We meet on the First Tuesday of each month (except January and August) at the Garth Homer Centre, 813 Darwin Ave, Saanich. (Extra parking at Saanich Municipal Hall parking lot.)

If we have a pre-meeting workshop scheduled, it will begin at 6:30 pm

The main meeting begins at 8:00 pm, and includes:

      • A presentation by our featured speaker
      • A lucky draw for donated plants and other prizes
      • A Parlour Show

You can also:

      • Shop for bargains at the Plant Stall
      • Visit the Library
      • Socialize and meet new gardeners
      • Get answers to specific questions about plants or gardening from a Master Gardener.

Non-members are welcome at any of our meetings. A drop-in fee (normally $5) gives entry for the entire evening, and will be applied towards the annual Membership Fee if you join that evening.

Special Meetings:

  • December is our annual potluck celebration – an opportunity to socialize with our enthusiastic member-gardeners.

VHS Specialty Groups:


Miscellaneous Documents: