France will always be the eternal source of garden-design inspiration. Villes et Villages Fleuris, a program that was organized in 1959 to develop urban green spaces, is responsible for France’s abundance of beautiful public and private gardens. Individual cities and villages compete to be awarded from one to four “flowers” that designate them as a “Town in Bloom” (Ville Fleuri). More than 3,500 communities in France’s 22 official regions have Ville Fleuri status, with 205 four-flower towns (look for identifying signs at the entrance to cities and villages). In addition to selecting sites based on the beauty of their parks and gardens, Villes et Villages Fleuris judges’ criteria also include contemporary issues such as biodiversity and eco-friendly gardens. Visit Alsace, the smallest region in France, credited for having the most “four-flower” designations among its picturesque towns along a network of scenic canals. (Pictured is the four-flower city of Eguisheim, which can be found on Alsace's "Wine Route".) villes-et-villages-fleuris.com
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