greentapestry : More From 'Dig The City'

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

More From 'Dig The City'


Following on from today's earlier post a few words about our visit yesterday to 'Dig The City'  in Manchester. Described as an urban garden festival this is on from the 3rd - 11th August offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy some special one off events, talks, workshops as well as shopping. The majority of what is on offer is free although some of the talks have been priced at a modest £5. Considering that speakers have included such well known figures such as Monty Don, Rachel de Tame and Matt James this is excellent value.

I must admit that I rarely venture into Manchester as I find the city city so busy and overwhelming, but the festival hub and most of the activities were situated in the relatively tranquil area around Manchester Cathedral. If my memory serves me there was a smaller event under 'The Dig City' banner last year but I think it was mainly focused on flower arranging and it was staged in the cathedral. The cathedral is closed at the moment as a green heating system is being installed but there was plenty going on outside.

We stood and looked up at the specially created forest in Exchange Square ~


Here some 70 trees formed what is described as a 'pop up woodland'. They are destined to be planted permanently in a regeneration project taking place in the heart of the city.

Manchester City Council's entry into the bedding class competition at July's RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park had been recreated in front of the cathedral ~


Shame about the left out railings which were slightly distracting. The entry won a gold medal at Tatton and best in its class.


We liked these figures ~




Just round the corner local projects including children and young people's groups had planted up these large containers ~



Whilst there was some more unusual container planting too ~


There were a few show gardens including this most clever optical illusion ~


The planting is real but the lower part of the cityscape including the canal is a huge photograph.


Here I liked the planting but was not so sure about the chairs ~



Craning our necks to admire the giant latex balloons, the work of American artist Jason Hackenwerth. I think that these were giant bees buzzing high in the skies ~



If you are in striking distance of Manchester this week it's certainly worth a visit. There are still some great speakers and workshops to come. Unfortunately these were thin on the ground yesterday so our we were left with time on our hands to do other things. There are various activities for children too - we did not get to see her but Peppa Pig was around yesterday. The social media coverage of the festival both in the lead up and now that the festival is on has been great with regular input from @digthecity on Twitter. In fact some of the established garden shows and festivals could benefit from looking at both the 'Dig The City' Twitter feed and website. I was also most impressed with the almost instant email response after making an enquiry.

A couple of suggestions where there is room for improvement :
It would have been great if the event had a presence at the railway station i.e. in our case Manchester Picaddilly handing out information especially that vital map. This was an ideal chance to catch people coming into the city who may not have known about the festival.
Secondly and a source of major disappointment to me - there was only one outlet in the horticultural market that sold plants! 

Congratulations to all those involved in putting this festival together and hoping that it becomes a fixed date in the calendar. 

PS Despite the grey skies and Manchester's well know reputation for the wet stuff there was no rain during the day.

20 comments:

  1. Only goes to show how important it is to green our cities: such joy, amazing colours and planting. Wish all big cities would look like this...I love the bird (crane?) in his nest :)

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    1. With you all the way on greening our cities Annette and not just for one week of the year only. The bird was a most fine creature indeed :)

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  2. Wow, the place looks buzzing! And I really like their bedding display with its blue colour scheme and Agaves central to the bed, rightfully deserving its gold medal!

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    1. Yes guys there was quite a bit going on and hopefully if it becomes an annual event it will get bigger and better with time. The bedding display made quite a visual impact and the attention to detail in the planting scheme was immaculate.

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  3. What a great event to attend, and I'm pleased to see that local projects including children and young people have been involved in it too. I love the man taking a bath, perhaps I could do something similar with the old bath on my plot, though on second thoughts, where would I grow my carrots then?

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    1. I liked the bath planter too Jo. Would have been happy to take it home with me.

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  4. This is fantastic, a complete opposite to how I remember Manchester from years ago! So good to see that they are taking " greening the cities " seriously. Loved the winning garden from Tatton Park, so good that it was used again.

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    1. Sadly Manchester does not look like that all the year round Pauline but events like that can only encourage more planting and greening in our cities. It was good to see the recycled Tatton show garden which got a bigger audience than it otherwise would have had.

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  5. I had to laugh, Anna, when you told me the view I commented on yesterday was an optical illusion!! Very clever! The pop-up forest is such a lovely idea - and good of course that the trees are being used elsewhere afterwards (if they can't be used within the city centre, that is)

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    1. Glad that you laughed Cathy - I felt slightly guilty for fooling people with my previous post :) It was good to read in the festival blurb that the trees will have a permanent home in Manchester.

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  6. That optical illusion really got me - didn't even notice it the other day! Good to have such a festival and hope it gets more publicity next time.

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    1. Tricked you too Cathy :) Hoping that there is a next time.

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  7. Wonderful. I wonder if I can persuade TNG to let me plant up the bath we will be "liberating" in due course, rather than having it as a wetsuit washing area... And I love the planted up filing cabinet, and I just happen to have one that will be going spare soon. Wonder how quickly it would rust if left outside permanently though, someone would probably love it if I put it on Freecycle. Anyway, a really lively set of images, put a big smile in my face.

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    1. Glad to have put a smile on your face Cathy. These planters look great on a sunny day but you do wonder about the practicalities. I loved the filing cabinet but I think that rust would soon rear its head in the damp north west but maybe that could could be part of the charm.

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  8. I would have also been really disappointed with only one plant vendor. I do like those American balloons. :) And that photograph of the city, It was so realistic! Wow. Nice job.

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    1. One plant vendor was the absolute pits Grace :( Good to see the art work created by one of your countrymen. He mounted a fresh display in the week which must have taken him some man hours to create.

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  9. Absolutely brilliant seeing Manchester like this! Gutted I can't make it over! Thanks for sharing the photos! :)

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  10. Sorry you were unable to make it over the Pennines Anna - maybe next year? :)

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    1. If they do it next year then definitely! :)

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  11. amazing interesting subjent thank you

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.