The Spring Flower Count in the AGGV Collection

We are so fortunate that Spring comes earlier to Victoria than most parts of Canada! Come March, it’s time to head outdoors to enjoy all the beautiful sights and fragrances that our garden city has to offer. The Greater Victoria Flower Count takes place in early March and is a light-hearted annual contest organized by The Butchart Gardens and Destination Greater Victoria. At the Art Gallery, we too have a flower count from our vast art collection. How many varieties can you name in the artworks in this article? Take our quiz and scroll down to the end for the answers!

1. (Image above) Hint: Known as the ‘flower of wealth and honour’, it is a popular motif in Chinese art. Image credit: Zhao Hui (Chinese) | Untitled (Flowers) | 20th century | coloured ink on paper | Gift of Andy Lou (SC1016)

2. Hint: Its sweet scent makes it a favourite base for many floral perfume bouquets.

Lady Patricia Ramsay | British, late 19th-early 20th century | oil on canvas | Gift of Mrs. F. Maud Brown (1955.016.001)

3. Hint: These flowers herald the coming of the Lunar New Year in Chinese culture. Special ceramic pots were designed in the early Song dynasty for displaying these blooms.

Lu Hongnian (Chinese, 1914-?) | Untitled – Flowers and Rocks | 20th century | ink and colour on paper | Gift of Brian McElney (2001.002.153)

4. Hint: These flowers are a few favourites found in the English-style gardens found throughout Greater Victoria.

Richard Ciccimarra (Canadian, 1924-1973) | Flower Study | not dated | watercolour on paper | Gift of Mr. Mrs. J. Hewett (1973.061.001)

5. Hint: The floral emblem of British Columbia.

Bruno Bobak (Canadian, 1923-2012) | not dated | print | Gift of Harold Mortimer Lamb (1957.018.001)

6. Hint: A flower that welcomes spring, its name is derived from the Latin word that means “dove-like”.

Gyosui (Japanese, 20th century) | Two Sparrows and Flower | 20th century | woodblock print | Gift of Judith Patt (2015.032.005)

7. Hint: Dendrobium, Phaleonopsis, Singapore, Cattleya, Mokara – these are just a few types of this flower. There are over 25,000 species of this flower found throughout the world!

Feng Linlang (Chinese, b. 1946) | (Flowers) and Chicks | 20th century | ink and watercolour on paper | Gift of Brian McElney (2001.002.117)

8. Hint: Traditionally the flower symbolizing autumn, this Chinese blossom is also enjoyed for its health-giving properties, and is often used to make tea.

Chen Hengke (Chinese, 1876-1922) | Untitled (Album of Flower, Fruits and Vegetables) | 20th century | ink and watercolour on paper | Gift of Brian McElney (1995.050.031.006)

9. Hint: These perennial flowers are part of a drought-tolerant plant that is native to the hot and dry parts of the Americas and the Caribbean.

Katherine McEwen (British, 1875-1957) | Flower Stem | 20th century | charcoal, pastel on paper | Gift of the Artist (1993.021.004)

Answers: 1. Peony | 2. Magnolia | 3. Narcissus | 4. Foxglove, Tiger lily, Lavender | 5. Dogwood | 6. Mountain Columbine | 7. Orchid | 8. Chrysanthemum | 9. Yucca