Hanging Baskets & Nursery

Victoria's trademark hanging baskets are a sign that summer has arrived.

Introduced in 1937, Victoria's hanging flower baskets are now a trademark recognized around the world. The baskets are placed on downtown lampposts every June, signaling the start of summer.

Nine different varieties of plants are used to make a Victoria sun basket, with a total of 25 plants included in each.

Today's sun basket includes Sapphire and Fountain Blue Lobelia; Ballerina White Gaura, Carpet Rose and White Petunias, Calliope Scarlet Fire Geraniums; Orange and Lemon Gem Tagetes; and Silver Falls Dichondra. 

City Parks staff have piloted a number of sun basket plants to determine which can best withstand warmer temperatures and bloom into early September. New plants introduced into the sun baskets include Gaura ‘Ballerina Series', Geranium Calliope ‘Scarlet Fire', Petunias ‘White Carpet and Rose Carpet,and Dichondra ‘Silver Falls', Tagetes Orange and Lemon Gem.
The City of Victoria's hanging flower baskets remain on lampposts until late September. After removal, the hardware is dismantled for re-use, and the plant material is composted.

Growing and Assembly

Plants for the baskets are grown in the City of Victoria's nursery, located in the southeast corner of Beacon Hill Park. In late April, a crew of six gardeners begins construction of approximately 1,350 hanging baskets. This process takes place over a four-week period.

After the baskets are made, they remain in the City's greenhouses for one week before being moved outside to acclimatize to the conditions they will encounter on the streets. In early June, the baskets are placed on the City's signature lampposts.


Parks staff water the hanging baskets every night throughout the summer, from 10:45 p.m. to 7:15 a.m. Trucks transport water in 2,250 litre tanks, and hand-held wands are used to water the flowers. Parks staff give each basket 6.5 litres of water containing a trace amount of fertilizer. Baskets in exposed areas are watered 6 - 7 times per week, whereas baskets in sheltered locations are watered 4 - 5 times per week, depending on the weather.

In addition, baskets are sampled weekly for moisture content, pH and soluble salt levels and appropriate corrective measures are taken, if required.

How to Make Your Own Sun Basket

To learn how to make your own flower hanging basket, view our hanging basket brochure. [PDF - 423 KB] 

Shade Baskets

Shade baskets were introduced in the 1990s. As the City's boulevard trees grew larger and cast more shade, it became apparent that an alternative to the 'traditional' sun basket was needed. Nursery staff decided to try Impatiens baskets with Rhodochition as a trailing plant. Trials continue today as new Impatiens varieties become available. Shade baskets have now expanded into new shade locations where sun baskets would never have reached their full potential.

In 2014, the shade baskets will feature Summer Wings Begonias instead of Impatiens due to a fungal disease known as Downy Mildew, which has struck Impatiens in the UK in 2003 and more recently in North America. 

History Snapshot

Introduced to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the City of Victoria's incorporation in 1937, Victoria's hanging flower baskets are now a trademark recognized around the world.
In 1936, City Parks Administrator Herb Warren was tasked with researching the prospect of placing hanging baskets on the streets of Victoria in celebration of the City's 75th anniversary of incorporation.  Basing his research on the moss-lined wire baskets in England, several hundred sun baskets were placed on city streets in the summer of 1937.
When Victoria's baskets were first introduced, the practice of hanging flower baskets in public areas was limited to a few European cities. Many of the plants used in those baskets would not have performed well in Victoria's climate. The original Victoria sun basket included miniature roses, fuchsias, begonias, petunias and geraniums.