Take some time to smell downtown’s begonias.

Every spring and summer, enthusiastic city employees beautify the core with hundreds of beautiful hanging baskets and this summer is no exception.

According to Maggie Thompson, of the city’s parks department, there are currently 136 baskets in Prince’s Island Park, 130 along the promenade (from Sien Lok to 10 Street), and 38 in Eau Claire Market.

More can be found at Olympic Plaza, Municipal Plaza, East Village, and along Stephen Avenue.

“It adds brightness, colour and vibrancy to the urban setting,” she said. “They are a wonderful photo opportunity for visitors and residents alike. We receive many positive comments on them.”

Baskets are funded by several city departments and by organizations, such as Calgary Municipal Land Corp. and the Downtown Business Association, but city staff design and plant the baskets, explained Thompson.

A typical 24-inch wire and burlap-lined basket, including materials and upkeep, costs about $135, said Thompson, adding that wire frames and chains are reused to keep prices down.

The top three plants are trademark varieties of petunias, dragon wing begonias and non-stop tuberous begonias, Thompson added.