On 1 May, Moscow’s only flower clock will start ticking in Victory Park on Poklonnaya Gora. To decorate the clock, more than 12,000 violets are to be planted. The clock face will be made of flowers and will be part of a single landscape composition together with a flowerbed reading Moskva (Moscow).
In total, 12,719 violets – blue, white and yellow – are to appear at the Victory Park entrance, with the total planting area covering over 180 square metres.
The violets are to be planted in flowerbeds next week. The flower clock’s water-proof mechanism is located in the ground under the bedding. It makes the two hands rotate: an hour hand, which is 3.5 metres long, and a minute hand, which is 4.5 metres long. In the winter period, the clock station, the face frame, the hands, and the mechanism are dismantled. Then the clock undergoes maintenance work (cleaning off the dirt, lubricating the axles, etc.). The flowerbed is covered with colourful decorative wood chips in wintertime. In April, the clock is re-checked, lubricated, and assembled; then, a new flower clock is planted.
“The clock hands have already been installed. On 29 April, during a community spring clean-up (subbotnik), we are planning to plant all the flowers on the clock face and on the Moskva flowerbed. The clock is to be launched on the night of 30 April-1 May,” the Victory Park press centre said. “The clock numbers and contour are illuminated; thanks to a reflective coating on the clock hands, you can see the time 24 hours a day. The floral Moskva can also be seen in the dark.”
Violets will decorate Poklonnaya Gora till mid-June. Once they have finished blooming, the violets are to be replaced by 17,000 begonias, which will please the eye till mid-October. To decorate the clock face, 7,500 pink and white evergreen begonias will be planted, along with red begonias whose leaves have a maroon tint. Unlike the flower clock, the Moskva flowerbed will become monochrome in June: over 10,000 red begonias will be used to decorate it. The slope will also be adorned with decorative-deciduous plants such as Kochia and Alternanthera ficoidea subshrubs.
The flower clock and the Moskva flowerbed have served as decorative elements of Poklonnaya Gora since July 2001. After its launch, the clock made the Russian Guinness Book of Records as the biggest clock. The average letter height in the Moskva flowerbed is about 6.9 metres. The clock face measures 11 metres in diameter. To compare, the chiming clock on the Kremlin’s Spasskaya Tower is just over six metres in diameter.