Friends of Government House Gardens Society

Victoria, British Columbia



2016 Perennial Plant Sale

poster for 2016 plant sale

View our plant catalogue on YouTube:

Plant Sale:

Tuesdays and Thursdays
9:00 am to noon
June, July and August
Government House Plant Nursery
next to the Tea Room

Come garden with us! 

Orientation for new Garden Volunteers will be held on Thursday, March 31, 2016, at 10am in Government House.

For further information contact Nairn at 250-744-4019 or

“A Well-managed Lea”

Dr. Nancy Turner speaking to the Friends in the Maclure Room at Government House.

On the afternoon of March 3rd, Dr. Nancy Turner, a world renowned enthobiologist, delivered the first of this spring’s lectures to the Friends. Entitled “A Well-managed Lea”: First Peoples, Plants and the History of Victoria, Dr. Turner started the story with James Douglas’ mistaken observation upon his arrival to the island in 1841 that it was a “natural” landscape with plenty of potential for development. In fact, what he observed was a very sophisticated environment managed sustainably by the Lekwungen and other Straits Salish peoples to provide a variety of foods, medicines and building materials from more than 150 plants.

Dr. Turner and Her Honour, Judith Guichon, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia who attended the lecture.

The lecture proceeded to detail just a few of the critical plants and complex processes used to cultivate and use them. Dr. Turner concluded by telling the well attended event that the Government House gardens remains a refugia for many of the culturally important species that are now quite rare, but played a critical role in the life of the First Nations of Vancouver Island.

This and the future lectures in the Friends Talks 2014 series was made possible by an energetic team of Friends volunteers consisting of Angela Newton, Susan Bartol-Drinker and Lynn Heenan assisted by Eileen Edgar’s phone team and Catherine Spencer distributing e-mails to the membership. Many thanks to Penny Tennenhouse and Jerymy Brownridge for the photographs and to Valerie Murray for her initial contact to Dr. Turner.

Dr. Turner being thanked with a small gift from the Friends by Valerie Murray, Horticultural Advisor to the Friends.
Dr. Turner being thanked with a small gift by Valerie Murray, Horticultural Advisor to the Friends.

Summer Serenade 2013

The Friends of Government House Singers invite you to a Summer
Serenade, June 2013.

Summer Serenade

First Plant Sale of the Season

The first Plant Sale of the season was held by the Nursery Group on May 14th featuring a wide selection of Bryan Taylor’s beloved Heathers, singly and in kits of nine plants. Also on offer were Peruvian Lilies, Hostas, Orange Geums and Japanese Maples. An enthusiastic line-up was on hand for the starting gun and almost $1000 was raised for the Friends.

An interesting and unusual collection of perennials will be offered at upcoming sales through the summer and fall. Watch for announcements on the timing of future sales.

May 2013

Heather Sale

Christmas Concert and Sing-a-Long 2012

Annual General Meeting 2012

The Friends held their Annual General Meeting at Government House on November 5, 2012.  The Honourable Judith Guichon, sworn-in as British Columbia’s 29th Lieutenant Governor on November 2, 2012,  accompanied by His Honour Bruno Mailloux, was kind enough to open the meeting and express an interest in learning more about the Government House gardens.   The first garden walk-about with the Lieutenant Governor was held shortly thereafter.

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