Manchester’s Dig the City announces show gardens for city centre


Dreamscape garden

A secret garden, hot tubs, eco-friendly bus stops, edible tunnels and heritage vegetables are amongst the entries approved for the UK’s biggest free urban gardening festival.

Judged by BBC gardener Rachel de Thame and the National Trust’s city gardener, Sean Harkin, sixteen gardens, designed for small urban spaces, will be on show at Manchester’s Dig the City in August.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the calibre and creativity of the show gardens. It will be awesome to see them all on the city centre streets from 2 August,” said Rachel de Thame commenting on the designs.

Last year’s winners, Dreamscape Gardens, will be returning to the festival with a  “visual illusions of space” garden, with prism and fish eye viewing holes, designed to appear both to shrink and go on to infinity.

Organisers are delighted that Tatton Park and the Japanese Garden Society are presenting a traditional Karensansui or ‘dry landscape’ garden with gravel representing water, the sea or rapids swirling around islands and rock forms depicting mountains.

The event will also see the City Council’s bee-friendly gardens; St. Ann’s Square fountain transformed into a flower installation; a sound garden made from recycled materials created by the Bridgewater Hall, with ‘junk musician’, Saul Eisenberg; Manchester School of Art’s village fete with vegetables crafted from wool, thread and clay; and Muse Development’s Vimto garden based on the City’s most iconic beverage.

Joining TV’s gardening expert Rachel de Thame at the nine day event is celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin.  Both will offer talks on urban gardening and landscape design – from simple digging to grand statements, and inspiration from around the globe.

Dig the City runs from 2-10 August and is free; however some talks and special events are ticketed.  For a timetable and ticket information, visit Would-be volunteers can also find information at this address.

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