Hello and well done, Véronique, for being so kind as to represent the green spaces team in this guide for us… What is the “Ville Fleurie” (“Floral Town”) label?

The label was created to help develop tourism. Originally, it was based on floral displays only. Now, many other criteria have been added to its requirements: environment and activities, for example.

Why are you aiming to achieve a fourth flower?

The fourth flower is a form of recognition, like a Michelin star awarded to a chef. In recent years, the image of Calais has been damaged because of the stories about the migrants here. Yet Calais has many other attributes and this label should help us to show another image of the city in order to attract tourists again. What’s more, the city is a candidate for the national “City of Art and History” label, and the fourth flower could help us to earn this second distinction.

What improvements have been made to try and earn this additional flower?

Many improvements have been made, but the main ones are the redevelopment of Risban fort, the new municipal campsite, the Tudor garden, the Charles de Gaulle/Churchill statue in Richelieu Park, improvements to floral displays in the city centre with annual themes, and standardisation of street furniture with a special focus on lace.

How many people are working to make the city of Calais more visually attractive?

Just over 80. But you also have to include the work integration associations, which help us a lot.

How are the themes for the displays defined, and who defines them? Do you know the theme for 2018 yet?

The theme is defined according to an overall activity plan for the city, for example in 2017 the theme was “Calais switches to UK time”. We use the theme as a basis for preparing creations and adapting the plant displays. For now, we don’t yet know the theme for 2018… It will be a surprise for our visitors!

Is there a flower or plant that you like to plant or admire the most? Are there any conflicts between your preferences and the weather conditions?

No, for us, all flowers are beautiful, we enjoy showcasing them. The local climate is an obstacle but it’s also what enables each region to have its own distinctive features.


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