Manchester: you've given us an Irish Festival, a Jazz Festival, an International Festival, a Histories Festival, and now you've given us our very own Urban Garden and Flower Festival, AND we're still only in July with so much more to look forward to. All this week Manchester City Centre has been celebrating the 'Dig the City Urban Garden Festival' with the main event taking place inside Manchester Cathedral where over 30,000 flowers have been on display in stunning and incredibly creative floral displays taking visitors through Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons', down the stairs to visit Eliza in 'My Fair Lady', across the room for a taste of 'Brown Sugar' and finishing up at 'Wonderwall.' Make sense?
The photo to the left is a section from one of my favourite arrangements, 'Singing in the Rain' (Radcliffe Floral Art Group)
Manchester Cathedral during Dig the City
To the right is 'Brown Sugar', in the Rock & Roll, Pop section of the Cathedral (Hale Barnes Flower Club)
To the left is a section of the stunning 'Madam Butterfly' arrangement from the 'Timeline of Composers' section (St Mary's, Prestwich).
Beautifully positioned in the Cathedral, 'Walk Through the Fire' really does make you stop and look. Another favourite of mine (Bolton Floral Art Group).
'Singing in the Rain'
Great to see The Corn Exchange, now back to using its historic name, taking part in the floral festivities of Dig the City this week...
The building's atrium floor was transformed into a Mad Hatter's tea party display from that well known classic, Alice in Wonderland. A large round table was scattered with vintage mismatched china teacups and cake stands adorned with soft lemon and dusky pink roses, peonies and sweet peas. The table was surrounded with baskets of flowers, classic books open on aged pages waiting to be read. As a sucker for afternoon tea I thought the display was simple yet elegant and a very creative way to take part in Dig the City.
As someone who feels passionately about people having access to green and open spaces in urban areas, it's great to see that an event like Dig the City has generated so much interest. We need some big things to happen in this city before I will be saying how wonderful and green Manchester is, but getting people (and more importantly children and young people) interested in gardens, flowers and plants and growing your own food is a good place to start. I hope Dig the City will become a permanent feature in Manchester's summer events calender. Congratulations to everyone involved!