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The first floral clock was invented by John McHattie of Edinburgh Parks and was first planted up in the spring of 1903 in West Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh. In that year it had only an hour hand but a minute hand was added the following year. It was soon imitated across the United Kingdom and later throughout the world.
In Edinburgh the clock mechanism is set inside the plinth of the statue to Allan Ramsay adjacent and lasted until 1936. It was constructed by local clockmaker Messrs James Ritchie and Sons Ltd, originally using salvaged parts from Elie Parish Church in Fife.
Most have the mechanism set in the ground under the flowerbed, which is then planted to visually appear as a clock face with moving arms which may also hold bedding plants.
The only flower clock with two faces moved by the same system is located in Zacatlán, Puebla, Mexico. It has two faces, each five meters in diameter. It was manufacturated by Relojes Centenario, a local manufacturer.
- "Floral Clock". http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/directory_record/144819/floral_clock. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
- Monuments and Statues of Edinburgh, Michael T.R.B. Turnbull (Chambers) p.5
- Brent Elliott, 'Floral Clock', Oxford Companion to Gardens, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1986
- Clifford-Smith, Silas; 'Floral Clocks', Oxford Companion to Australian Gardens, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Australia 2002
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