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New city centre garden for Manchester

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credit: edwin.11

Manchester is to get its first city centre children’s play area thanks to a new garden being created next to its cathedral.

The Victoria Street garden, which will re-use materials from RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2012 centrepiece, the Urban Oasis garden designed by Chris Beardshaw, will also include allotment-style grow boxes for local residents and businesses, a temporary cathedral building and chalets for community events.

The play area will feature a sandpit and wooden apparatus such as balancing beams and stepping posts.

Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester City Council’s City Centre spokesperson, said: “Manchester is full of underused pockets of space, many of which have already been innovatively transformed for the public to enjoy. This play area is another example of how we can be creative with our public spaces and bring life to a quiet corner of the city centre.”

The project is the sixth in the Manchester Garden City Scheme, which aims to bring nature back to the city centre, to encourage gardening and sustainable eating and to create a 21st century garden city.

The scheme began with the Piccadilly Basin canal-side initiative which incorporates wild flower planting to attract butterflies, bees and dragonflies and vegetable grow boxes managed by residents.

It also includes Manchester’s first urban orchard. The garden, designed by Daniela Coray, RHS Young National Designer of the Year 2011, was transplanted from the RHS Flower Show in Tatton Park to St. John’s Gardens to be cared for by the local community. The design incorporates a grid of twelve crab apple trees underplanted with Viper’s Bugloss, Ox-Eye Daisies and Red Campion.

The Manchester Garden City Scheme is led by city centre management  company CityCo, design agency BDP and Groundwork.

Mancunians can also get involved– a community event is being planned with local gardening groups and businesses to plant new flowers and shrubs for spring and summer. Anyone wanting to help can email gardencity@cityco.com.

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