Budding total tops 3.9 billion

If you need a little “end of winter” getaway and don’t have the time or money to really go south, consider the old Canadian standby of Victoria, British Columbia. Residents of Canada’s little bit of Britain (with a much better climate) spent last week counting 3,923,384,760 flowers in their gardens and parks. Meanwhile, the rest of us were, at best, looking through seed catalogues or watching the Weather Channel in the dark.

Victoria’s flower totals were gathered via the telephone and Internet and by the end of the 24th Annual Flower Count Week on February 26, the last bloom had been recorded at Flower Count Headquarters. Amazingly, organizers of the event credit record-setting sunshine for this year’s total.

“We’ve been enjoying great spring weather for the past few weeks,” exclaimed Heather Jeliazkov of Tourism Victoria, “but even our Flower Count Committee was surprised by the huge number of flowers counted this year. Where else in Canada can you find so many flowers in February?”

Indeed. The 24th Annual Flower Count was held February 21-26 and involved hundreds of dedicated residents. Orchestrated by the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Victoria, theo-called “tongue-in-cheek promotion” boosts awareness of Victoria’s mild winter climate, and raises funds for Victoria-area long term care hospitals. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Airfares within Canada are still reasonable, and you can’t count the number of flowers in Victoria.