Victoria blossoms in annual flower count

Capital celebrates blossoms in March despite weather

Standing in front of the Visitor Centre on the Inner Harbour

Standing in front of the Visitor Centre on the Inner Harbour

Maybe it was the cold weather snap delaying the early buds.

Or maybe, flower counters in the annual flower count were just more realistic estimators.

The results of 2011 count are in, and the tally is just a tiny fraction of the 21 billion blooms counted by volunteers in 2010. By contrast, this year’s weeklong count, ending Wednesday, produced a mere 260.5 million.

Victoria took top prize with a total of 138.9 million flowers, ousting Oak Bay from the flower throne. (Oak Bay dropped from 14 billion last year to 6.3 million this year).

Despite the relatively poor results, Victoria Mayor Dean Fortin saw through the storm clouds.

“Even with the recent blast of winter cold, our brave blossoms came peaking through to win the day,” he said.

Central Saanich and Saanich placed second and third.

rholmen@vicnews.com