Dr. Helmcken loved tending the family garden throughout his long live. In his memoirs, he described his passion for gardening in the 1850s:"At this time I was a great gardener - worked hard - up at 5 or 6 o'clock digging & c. Indians cleared out the stumps and so forth - grew our own vegetables & c. In process of time the land was got into some sort of shape - and I planted with sods the grass plot as it now stands."
The Helmcken garden originally extended down to Belleville Street. The Helmckens and their next-door neighbours, the Douglas family, favored English daisies, nasturtiums, dahlias, honeysuckle, lilacs and forget-me-nots. They bought flowers imported in pots from California or grew them from European seed.
Dr. Helmcken in his garden, c. 1915. City of Victoria Archives PR252-7166.