(City of Victoria / Facebook)

The annual roll out of Victoria’s trademark hanging baskets has begun, marking the unofficial start to summer in B.C.’s capital.

As of June 10, City of Victoria crews began installing about 1,300 hanging baskets on downtown lamp posts featuring flowers grown at the Beacon Hill Park nursery.

Once the baskets are assembled they remain inside the Beacon Hill Park greenhouses for one week, before being moved outside to become acclimatized. When fully grown, the hanging baskets can weigh over 20 kilograms (approximately 45 pounds).

First introduced in 1937, Victoria’s hanging flower baskets are now recognized around the world.

Each year Parks staff create both sun and shade baskets to ensure the flowers thrive in their chosen location.

507 shade baskets will contain 18 plants each, with red and pink Dragon Wing Begonias, which are adaptable and have a high heat/drought tolerance.

785 sun baskets sun baskets contain 25 plants of nine different varieties, including Lobelia, Geranium and Petunia, which do well in full sunlight.

The baskets remain on lamp posts until late September. After removal, the hardware is dismantled for reuse and the plant material is composted in the Beacon Hill Park Maintenance Yard.

The City of Victoria recently announced their project to grow food plants to combat food insecurity during COVID-19 pandemic, and stated that the city will be planting 20 per cent fewer hanging baskets around Victoria this year as a result of the funding necessary for that project.

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