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Despite cold, Victoria flower count tops one billion

Greater Victoria didn’t let a bit of snow get in the way of the 38th annual flower count.
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Colwood led the rankings in the annual flower count for the third straight year, with 13.4 billion blooms.

Greater Victoria didn’t let a bit of snow get in the way of the 38th annual flower count.

Despite a blast of winter and lower-than-usual temperatures, residents still ventured outside to count a record 1,392,393,203 blooms, beating last year’s count of roughly 750 million. The count started Feb. 25 and ended Tuesday.

Students of a school in Colwood counted more than one billion blooms, making that municipality the winner of the “bloomingest community.”

Last year’s winner, Victoria, was second and the Saanich third.

“The annual flower count is a fantastic way to highlight the beautiful setting we live in,” said Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton.

“Thanks to everyone who boasted about their blossoms this year — especially our young students at École John Stubbs for taking pride in their community.”

Grade 5 students from the school enlisted family and friends to help count blossoms at Royal Roads University.

“While we talk about this being a light-hearted promotion, the message to much of Canada and the United States is clear: We are Canada’s tropics in the winter,” said Graham Bell of Butchart Gardens, this year’s chief organizer of the count.