Where: Manchester city centre
£: Most events are free
What is it?
This summer, Manchester becomes a garden city, from King Street to the Cathedral there will be fine food, flowers and a fête. Dig the City will have a whole array of green-fingered events including markets, workshops, public art, talks and a disco. Supported by the National Trust, the urban gardening festival hopes to inspire visitors as it transforms the city centre into a natural wonderland.
Horticultural highlights include a pop-up park and workshops with TV gardener Monty Don. There’ll also be a fine food market, the National Trust’s “50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾” campaign for kids, plant-swops, craft markets, an urban twist on a traditional country fair and stunning art by New York’s Jason Hackenworth.
Entitled Dance of the Honey Bee, Jason Hackenwerth’s creations will pay homage to the very symbol of Manchester, the bee (seven bees were incorporated into the city’s coat of arms in 1842, and the symbol has been in use ever since). Known for his outsized sculptures made from latex, Hackenwerth’s Dig the City sculptures will use vibrant warm yellow to bright green colour gradients and blush pinks and orange colours. The sculptures will use lights and sounds of birds to bring the pieces to life and will also move and shake as a performance.
A second set of sculptures will be created as the festival takes place, being installed to mark the second weekend of major events. The old sculptures will be released to roam the entire festival site and entice visitors to explore the possibilities of Dig the City.
New Cathedral Street will be renamed “Meadow Street” for the festival with five impressive show gardens to explore. The five gardens installed at the show include a vertical garden, balcony garden, a bee garden, and gardens for busy urbanites.