Which European city that you've visited has the best flowers, the loveliest gardens, botanic gardens and hanging baskets? The best-pruned flowerbeds, or the most wildly extravagant mixing of city and country? From the mediterranean blooms of Italy to the famous tulips of the Netherlands, there's no shortage of options for the most flowery city in the continent.
Or is it ... Birmingham?
We have long cultural memories, so many of us still tend to associate Brum with Cadbury's and a sort of grim industrialism. But the city's nomination in the Entente Florale competition suggests that things really are changing around Birmingham way.
But with Dresden and Zagreb among the competitors, as well as Ireland's Ballincollig, Italy's Spello, the Netherland's Weert, Belgium's Sint Niklaas, Austria's Kufstein, Hungary's Hévíz and Slovenia's Bled, there is stiff competition to be faced if Birmingham is to be crowned flower capital of Europe for 2013.
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