Andrew Duffels and Kirsten Longbottom stand in front of a hibiscus shrub, they’re dedicated horticulturists for the District of Saanich, tending daily to the municipal hall’s lush garden. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

Andrew Duffels and Kirsten Longbottom stand in front of a hibiscus shrub, they’re dedicated horticulturists for the District of Saanich, tending daily to the municipal hall’s lush garden. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

Saanich’s sub-Mediterranean climate an ideal place for tropical and Mediterranean plantlife

Greater Victoria has one of the mildest climates in Canada, according to horticulture expert

The fact that southern Vancouver Island is located in a temperate, sub-Mediterranean climate zone might come as a surprise to many Greater Victoria residents, according to Andrew Duffels, one of Saanich’s staff horticulturists dedicated to maintaining and cultivating the lush garden around municipal hall.

Victoria is one of the mildest climates in Canada, explained Duffels, resulting in ideal growing climates for a variety of Mediterranean and tropical plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees.

The southern part of the Island also has the capacity to grow some tropical flowers, such as hibiscus, its genus name being hibiscus syriacus.

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Other tropical and Mediterranean plants are grown in Saanich such as pink silk tree, canna lilies, alocasia or elephant ear, tree fern, and many more.

Kirsten Longbottom, a parks worker and Red Seal horticulturist, said that she loves living in a climate where she can work outside year-round. “It is just so good for your mental health.”

Both Longbottom and Duffels encourage residents to stop by municipal hall to admire the lush vegetation and lively tropical flowers before this year’s first frost.


Do you have a story tip? Email: megan.atkinsbaker@saanichnews.com.

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