City of Victoria recaptures flower count crown

The number of blossoms explodes again in Greater Victoria

Coun. Shellie Gudgeon wears the sash for the City of Victoria

Never mind that the counting method is rather unscientific.

The fact residents around the Capital Region tallied more than two billion blossoms in the 2012 Victoria Flower Count gives tourism promoters their annual pre-spring ammunition to sell the area to potential visitors.

“It allows us to talk about our weather before anyone else,” said Tourism Victoria executive member Helen Welch, who helped unveil the final tally Thursday at the Victoria Conference Centre. “It’s a selling feature, the fact we have a mild climate.”

John Espley, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce board chair, got a little dig in himself at folks in colder climes.

“We plant flowers in the winter,” he said. “Try to do that in Edmonton or Nova Scotia.”

In the community challenge, the City of Victoria hung onto its crown, with city blossom counters identifying 731,226,432 in all.

The regionwide total was far from the record of 21 billion counted in 2010, but was well ahead of the 260 million counted last year, during a chilly winter.

The count began in 1976, as part of a chamber promotion called Victorian Days. In a related tourism stunt, fresh daffodils were sent to media outlets on the prairies and Central Canada.

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