Villes et Villages Fleuris – origin
Villes et Villages Fleuris label was created in 1959 to promote the redevelopment of green spaces in France.
It has since been awarded to more than 4,000 municipalities.
This initiative of flowering towns and villages, however, took shape in the 1920s.
By then the railway lines were extended and connected Paris not only to large cities, but also to towns and villages.
It therefore became essential to improve the appearance of the many train stations that were built all around the country.
The Touring Club de France organized a competition in order to encourage station masters and local hotel owners to flower their buildings to welcome holiday makers and tourists.
This operation known as Villages Coquets was interrupted when WWII broke out in 1939.
By 1950, the country had re-bounced.
The Touring Club of France therefore collaborated with the magazine Rustica to set up a second operation to revive and promote tourism.
Les Routes Fleuries (Flowered Roads) was at the origin of the label Villes et Villages Fleuris, which was created in 1959 by the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Tourism.
The Comité National pour le Fleurissement de la France has managed the Villes et Villages Fleuris since 1972.
This committee was renamed Conseil National des Villes et Villages Fleuris (CNVVF) in 2001.
Villes et Villages Fleuris label
The contest Villes et Villages Fleuris is free; there is indeed no registration fee nor annual subscription.
It is open to all French municipalities.
The label is equally awarded to large cities, towns and small villages.
It indeed aims at improving the quality of living of the populations and promoting tourism via the creation of green spaces developed in the respect of the environment and biodiversity.
All residents, local businesses and public buildings are involved in obtaining and retaining the label.
You’ll come across houses’ balconies and window boxes, colourful hedges, roundabouts, flower beds along the sidewalks and hanging baskets adorning streetlights.
They all one thing is common: they crumble under cascades of flowers!
The towns and villages that were awarded the label are, however, subject to an annual inspection from the CNVVF.
The jury is composed of horticulturists, nurserymen and tourism professionals.
How to know if a town or village was awarded the label?
Look for the sign Villes et Villages Fleuris placed near the town’s entrance sign.
It represents red flowers against a yellow background.
The number of flowers is similar to the Stars awarded to restaurants.
Therefore, the more, the better!
The first 3 Flowers are awarded by the region.
The 4th Flower or Fleur d’Or – Golden Flower is the highest distinction and is awarded by the Conseil National des Villes et Villages Fleuris.