Longtime Horticultural Centre of the Pacific volunteer Bob Clarke displays 12 boards charting the history of Glendale Gardens and the HCP

Horticultural Centre of the Pacific volunteer puts on history exhibition

Bob Clarke also founded Japanese gardens in early 1990s

Bob Clarke has captured a visual history of the gardens at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific with an insider’s perspective, but he hopes plenty of outsiders see it.

Clarke has arranged a dozen billboards with photos old and new, and with hand-typed histories.  They’re on display everyday this week, until Saturday (May 9), in the HCP pavilion, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“The original plans for HCP were grandiose with an entry way off of Interurban that would wind up the hill, and with a great building to greet people, but the economic recession of 1981 changed all that,” Clarke said.

The 83-year-old brought about $2,500 worth of funds and a truck full of motivation when he told HCP co-founder and former president Bill Kempster that he wanted to install a new Japanese garden on the grounds.

“Coming in with money made it easy for (the HCP) to say yes,” Clarke recalled.

He started the Japanese garden around 1990 and has curated it ever since. During that time, it’s remained self-sufficient, thanks in part to his own fundraising and the efforts of his volunteers, one who has put as much as $25,000 of his own money into the gardens, Clarke said.

“There are a lot of tales to tell about this place, a lot of hard work that’s gone into it,” he added.

The idea for the history boards, which stand about four feet wide and four feet tall, came from their discovery.

“The (HCP) carpenter made them and I uncovered them in storage, I never knew they existed.”

Upon seeing them, Clarke’s skill as a professional sign-maker took hold.

“The first time I ever came here was to sell Kempster a wood-carved sign that still exists here,” Clarke said. “This has been a fun collaboration people should come and see. I’ll have to return a lot of the photos as they’re from personal collections, so I’m not sure when we’ll have it out again.”




Just Posted

Sidney Museum donates 60,000 Lego bricks to local schools

Sidney, Deep Cove, ḰELSET, Brentwood, Keating and Cordova Bay elementary schools get Lego avalanche

Victoria City Council approves inclusionary housing policy

After years of back and forth, the policy will be ratified in two weeks

Filipino Heritage Month event takes over Centennial Square

Dancing, music and food highlight Mabuhay Day celebration in Victoria

West Shore residents report finding anti-SOGI 123 flyers in mailboxes

SD62 trustee Ravi Parmar says the flyers are ‘garbage’

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

B.C. bus driver loses case to get job back after texting while driving full bus

An arbitator ruled that Tim Wesman’s phone usage was a “a reckless disregard for public safety”

Most Read