Method of Watering
According to Mr. W. H. Warren, Park Administrator, "the baskets are maintained by one man with a right-hand tank truck powered by a take-off gear from the truck's motor. He waters the baskets during the hours of 11 P.M. to 7:30 A.M., six days a week, as he drives along the curb with an aluminum pipe wand shaped like a shepherd's crook. Liquid fertilizer is supplied every two or three weeks in the form of a three pound ammophos (16-20-0) per gallon tank."
To make watering more effective, a two-inch strip of galvanized iron runs around the top of each basket inside the moss and above the soil level. This prevents loss of water over the sides. To conserve moisture, a size thirty-four tin wash basin, treated with roofing cement on the inside and always kept full of water, is attached to the bottom. Baskets are prepared in the greenhouse in April and displayed on the lampposts from early June to early October. The cost for each including the basket, pan, plants and labor, is $10.00, plus $6.00 each for maintenance. Five other British Columbia cities have followed Victoria's
lead, Nanimo, Vancouver, New Westminster, Kelowna and Vernon. Olympia, Washington, has also set up baskets and recently, Everett, in the same state had a favorable showing for the first time.
Window-Box Competition in Montreal
In the United States and Canada, many organizations sponsor window-box contests to stimulate interest in this simple and effective method of making cities more attractive. The Window Box Competition of Montreal, Canada, is conducted by Mr. Henry Teuscher, Curator of the Montreal Botanical Garden. Every spring, from March to April, the Botanical Garden offers three lectures on window-box gardening in which students prepare and plant at least one box.
According to Mr. Teuscher: "The Window Box Competition has been active for about fifteen years and is still going strong. In the beginning, we had up to one thousand entries, but most so inferior they could not be considered for prizes. Only one hundred prizes were given, and the prize winning boxes were so superior they established high standards. In consequence, only those registered who really had good boxes and so had a chance to get a prize. During the last few years we have rarely had more than 250 entries, but these really were the best in the city."
Four silver trophies comprise the donated awards given each year to the owners of the best boxes, and if an entrant receives a trophy for three successive years, he is entitled to keep it. This has happened several times. A bouquet of roses or other flowers is also presented to each of the first four winners, while ninety-six others are given pots of house plants. Mr. Teuscher has a sum of $300.00 to spend on this project, and this covers the expenses of judges and secretarial help.