A young student of John Stubbs elementary counts cherry blossoms in Colwood. The students were key to the city winning the Best Blooming Community crown once again.

A young student of John Stubbs elementary counts cherry blossoms in Colwood. The students were key to the city winning the Best Blooming Community crown once again.

Colwood defends blooms title

Schoolkids help West Shore city lead Victoria Flower Count once again

Instead of just smelling them, sometimes you have to stop and count the roses, and every other blooming thing.

For the second year in a row, the City of Colwood put the petals to the metal, winning the Bloomingest Community award in the 39th Annual Flower Count.

While snow affected last year’s count of 1.4 billion blooms, this year’s tally came in at 17.2 billion thanks to the milder winter and warmer weather the region has experienced.

Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton was quick to credit an elementary school teacher at John Stubbs Memorial School for bringing home the bouquet.

“Mr. Laurie had the students in his class take it on as a class project,” she said. “Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins said they were going to win it this year, but Mr. Laurie’s class came through, with some help from a few secret weapons.”

Oak Bay placed second, while Esquimalt wound up in third place.

The event, sponsored by Tourism Victoria,  helps showcase the Capital Region as Canada’s winter playground, said Paul Nursey, president and CEO of Tourism Victoria.

“Engagement on social media was quite high this year and there were some really stunning photos of plum and early cherry blossoms put out there,” Nursey said in a media release on Monday announcing the winners.

The record for the highest Flower Count blossomed in 2010, when 21 billion blooms were recorded.

This year’s flower count drew website visitors from across Canada and 26 U.S. states. More details at flowercount.ca.

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