Victoria's Local Land Trust

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    We conserve nature on south Vancouver Island

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  • 14 Aug
    Fieldwork Fridays 11:00 AM to 05:00 PM

     Stewardship Volunteer Crew needed Starting August 7, the Stewardship Team will be operating Fieldwork

  • 15 Aug
    Ice Cream Member's Social 03:00 PM to 06:00 PM

    “HAT Ice Cream Social” at the Gardens at HCP UPDATE: Registration for this event is now full (as

  • 21 Aug
    Fieldwork Fridays 11:00 AM to 05:00 PM

     Stewardship Volunteer Crew needed Starting August 7, the Stewardship Team will be operating Fieldwork

  • 28 Aug
    Fieldwork Fridays 11:00 AM to 05:00 PM

     Stewardship Volunteer Crew needed Starting August 7, the Stewardship Team will be operating Fieldwork

  • 29 Aug
    Habitat Restoration Day in Sooke 10:00 AM to 02:00 PM

    Where:  Sooke, BC -  privately owned conservation land Time:  10-2pm   Please Register Here:  

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News & Events

Catch up on everything new with HAT and find out about upcoming workshops, volunteer opportunities, and presentations.


The latest from HAT

Where we post all our updates & events

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Focal Species

Western Screech Owl

Our Western Screech Owls need their habitat protected. Find out how you can help.

Focus on Species

Western Screech Owls

These little owls need your help.

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Where we work

South Vancouver Island

On South Vancouver Island & the Southern Gulf Islands HAT works with people to care for nature..

Mission Area

A Local Land Trust

HAT's work is on south Vancouver Island.

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by Richard Hebda

Botanical scents are everywhere these days - in shampoos, in soaps, in air fresheners. Yet there is still little that matches the delicious fragrance of a plant in the garden on a warm, sunny day. One of our most beautiful native shrubs, Mock Orange (Philadelphus lewisii), provides gardeners with a wonderful orange-like scent, and much more.

Loose, elongate clusters of snow-white flowers appear at the end of the branches from late May to July, depending on the shrub’s lo­cation. Greenish sepals surround the petals, and a mass of yellow-tipped stamens punctuates the display. The greenish four-chambered pistil in the middle of each flower matures into a dry, dark-brown pointed capsule.

Gardeners have long prized mock orange for its showy flowers and exotic scent. David Douglas, the famed botanical explorer of our region, brought it to European gardens in 1825. In your garden, choose a site in full sun and soil of normal fertility. Try it in the shrub border, as a lawn specimen or at the edge of a woodland patch. Combine this shrub with other native species, such as Nootka Rose (Rosa nutkana), Ocean Spray (Holodiscus discolor) and Snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), into a wildlife-friendly, people-resistant hedge. Power-line right-of-ways are suitable sites because of the mock orange’s modest height.

Mock Orange is widely available from garden centres and nurseries, and it germinates readily from seed. For a wild effect, you can scatter seeds over the site where you would like the plant to grow, and let nature take over. Seeds sown in flats in the fall germinate readily in the spring. Mock Orange roots easily from cut­tings taken in mid-July and treated with a hormone. To establish Mock Orange on a dry, rocky site, mulch and water it well for a year or two.

It’s hard to imagine a better native shrub for wild or tame gardens in our region. The dense intertwined branches of mock orange are even ideal for bird nests. Bushtits hang their small pouches among the branch­es, while other birds assemble more conventional nests in the crotches of the stems. With its attractive blooms and intoxicating fragrance, mock orange will serve you and your local bird life well for many years.


Backyard Nature

No matter how much, or how little, space you have, you can make a space for nature

Gardening with Native Plants

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Become a HAT Habitat Steward

Let others know that you care for nature

Pollinator Stewardship

How to bee kind in your garden

Invasive Plants in Your Garden

Get rid of the worst ones for good

shooting star flower

Top 10 Native Plants

Easy to care for and beautiful too

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Sedum in a container


Native plant can thrive in containers, perfect for decks or small spaces

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Swallowtail Butterfly

Butterfly Gardening

Attract butterflies by planting native species

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Oak Leaves

Oak Leaves

Use your oak leaves to create wildflower spaces

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Amphibians & Roads

Too many amphibians die on roads. Do you know a spot where frogs, toads, or newts are regularly killed on the roadside? Tell us about it!

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