Visitors to Butchart Gardens will see many more flowers in bloom than usual at this time of year. An early spring in Victoria will result in a successful Flower Count

Visitors to Butchart Gardens will see many more flowers in bloom than usual at this time of year. An early spring in Victoria will result in a successful Flower Count

The trick to counting flowers

The Victoria Flower Count starts March 5. An expert from Butchart Gardens offers tips for counting blooms.

An important part of participating in the Victoria Flower Count is knowing how to count blossoms on the trees and bushes that line our streets and gardens.

The Victoria Flower Count has basic guidelines on flowercount.com on how to estimate the number of blooms on small, medium and large trees and heather bushes.

We spoke with Rick Los, director of horticulture at Butchart Gardens for clarification on the dimensions of the trees and bushes.

A small tree, up to 15 feet tall, full of blossoms, is estimated to have about 250,000 blossoms. A medium tree is between 15 and 30 feet tall with 500,000 blossoms, while a large tree is over 30 feet tall with 750,000 blossoms.

A small heather bush is around two feet by two feet with 500 blossoms, while a medium heather bush is around three feet by three feet and has roughly 1,000 blossoms. A large heather bush, over three feet by three feet has around 2,000 blossoms.

Flowering plants such as rhododendrons and camellias can probably be counted individually, said Los.

“I think the biggest tip I have, is it’s all in fun,” he said. “Don’t be too particular, and underestimate more than overestimate.”

He expects this year’s Flower Count to blow all other years out of the water.

“We’re definitely seeing a lot of early blooms all over, and things just completely a couple weeks ahead,” said Los. “We’ve never seen so much in bloom here at Butchart this early in the year.”

The Victoria Flower Count runs from March 5 to 11. For more information, please go online to flowercount.com.