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The RHS is bringing its first large scale indoor show to Manchester

Be inspired to connect to nature and create your own urban paradise

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RHS / Depot Mayfield

The Royal Horticultural Society’s inaugural Urban Show is coming to Depot Mayfield, in Manchester city centre, this month.

Marking the RHS’s first large scale, indoor show, as it celebrates 220 years of enriching people’s lives through horticulture, the event will explore the cutting-edge of modern gardening. 

The event, taking place April 18th – 21st, will explore the growing urban gardening movement, aiming to inspire more and more people to take to their backyards, balconies and patios, and create a paradise that welcomes local wildlife and for people to enjoy.

RHS / Depot Mayfield

The show is set to include a seven-garden vision for a greener city to vertical structures for awkward urban spaces, the secret to growing happy houseplants and a horticultural exhibit celebrating the heyday of the Manchester scene’s Hacienda days.

Major exhibits include RHS City Spaces: Cloudscape by Manchester Cloud Gardener Jason Williams, who challenges horticultural retailers, local authorities and developers to rethink the ways in which they interact with communities with a vision of how to make our towns and cities greener. 

Designed through a collaborative process involving students on Manchester Metropolitan University’s Rise programme and Notcutts Garden Centre, the exhibit brings together four balconies each facing north, south, east and west with a maximum budget of £500, a north-facing shaded rented patio, an urban farm and a communal garden.

RHS / Depot Mayfield

Williams said that RHS City Spaces: Cloudscape addresses different residents’ needs, microclimates and pay brackets. 

He added: “The concept as a whole is an ambitious blueprint of how we can bring a city together. 

“These are not show gardens, they are learning exhibits designed to teach residents, local authorities, retail and developers how we can all improve to make our towns and cities greener.”

RHS / Depot Mayfield

Four-time RHS Chelsea Flower Show medal-winners GrowTropicals reveal the secret to which houseplants are best suited to your home’s unique environment. 

Their exhibit featuring dozens of plants – from the rare to the exotic – covers everything from the best shade-loving plants for north-facing rooms, thirstier varieties ideal for humid sports or sun-worshippers which love sunny windowsills.

Midlands-based designer Amanda Grimes brings her exhibit, Pop Culture Planting: Punk Rockery, the New Wave and 24-Hour Party Planting, a two-part installation set over three years showing a design at the time of planting, one year on and two years on.

RHS / Depot Mayfield

Her aim is to give new and inexperienced gardeners the confidence and inspiration to ‘just go for it’ by showing visitors what they can expect as a garden develops naturally over time, even with poor soil or rubble.

She said: “Punk Rockery hits Manchester in the same way the Sex Pistols did in June 1976, though possibly with less swearing and a bigger audience. 

“That now-legendary gig was the spark that lit the touch paper of the whole Manchester New Wave music scene which included the Buzzcocks, Joy Division/New Order, The Fall, Magazine, The Smiths and Factory Records, and went on to inspire so many more.”

RHS / Depot Mayfield

“The installation is named in honour of all that creativity which was, and still is, uniquely Mancunian,” continues Ms Grimes.

“24-Hour Party Planting is a celebration of Manchester’s thriving nightlife, restaurant and entertainment scene. It references the Happy Mondays’ track of the same name, and with it the hedonistic days of the Hacienda. 

“It traces that legacy through to 2024 and the incredibly diverse, vibrant and endlessly creative energy of the Gay Village, Northern Quarter, Salford and beyond.”

RHS / Depot Mayfield

The RHS Urban Show, sponsored by Mad About Land, also debuts ‘content cubes’ for gardeners with small spaces, including RHS Flower Show Tatton Park 2023’s People’s Choice and gold medal-winner Conal McGuire’s Urban Shade which utilises modular ‘grow frames’ offering a creative, versatile and eco-friendly solution for growing in awkward urban spaces which can be reconfigured in different ways. 

A programme of talks also takes place touching upon subjects from cut flowers to juggling plant life with work and family life.

A host of shopping opportunities will be on offer, from a variety of indoor and outdoor plants suitable for urban growers to a new clothing range by Mad About Land, as well as pots and macramé. 

RHS / Depot Mayfield

RHS-run workshops including how to make your own terrariums will also take place, while free guided tours of Mayfield Park will also be available for guests to hear from designers and architects about the regeneration of the area.

Lex Falleyn, show manager for the RHS Urban Show, said: “Urban Gardening is diverse and dynamic and the inaugural RHS Urban Show is an exciting opportunity to explore the important role gardening plays in greening up cities.

“We’ve chosen to work with a wide range of gardeners, from award-winning designers to community groups to enthusiasts who juggle gardening with day-to-day life. We hope this will bring a balance of relevant yet realistic advice to get people growing.”

Tickets for the event start from £17.85 (plus booking fee). To purchase a ticket, click HERE.

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New makers market with everything from dog accessories to house plants and jewellery coming to Manchester

Get this one in your diary!

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Supplied

A brand new makers market is coming to Manchester this late May Bank Holiday weekend, with something for everyone.

Taking place at New Jackson – a new urban neighbourhood located at the southern gateway to the city – Manchester Made Market will be held on Saturday May 25th and Sunday May 26th.

Over the two days you’ll be able to browse a selection of local artisanal traders and small businesses from across the region.

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There’ll be everything, from food produce, homewares, crafts and creations to dog accessories, house plants, jewellery and homemade soap.

Among the traders will be Manchester and Cheshire-based florist and floral artists Dot & Flora, graphic artist Ablott MCR selling music prints, HGT with crochet fashion and homeware designs, and artisan candlemakers Leaves and Prickles.

Elsewhere, there will be essential oils and other treatments from Grounded Wellness, permanent jewellery from Sealed Links, and desserts from Cake With Heart.

Supplied


There will be plenty of street food options to keep you topped up while you shop, including The Wild Grill, Food Sorcery, Salvi’s and new favourite Medlock Canteen.


Neighbourhood Brew will be supplying some great drinks as well.

Supported by Renaker, the market is free, but you can upgrade your experience with a limited, free VIP ticket with access to the dedicated bar area.

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Manchester Flower Festival returns with tributes to Sarah Harding and Caroline Aherne

It’s taking place later this month!

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The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

The legendary Manchester Flower Festival is returning to our city later this month, complete with pop-ups, installations and tributes to some local icons.

Taking place over the late May Bank Holiday, the event will be headlined by its ‘Floral Trail’.

This year’s theme is Manchester Icons, with a host of names past and present being honoured in flower form, including the late comedy legend Caroline Aherne, pop star Sarah Harding and suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Collaborating with Manchester illustrator Stanley Chow, floral designer Liv Woodward will create a portrait of Caroline Aherne at the Floral Marquee on New Cathedral Street, using sustainably sourced plants and flowers.

Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding will be remembered in a ‘tribute garden’, sponsored by the AO Arena, with visitors able to donate to the Sarah Harding Breast Cancer Appeal by scanning the QR code at the display.

The homage to Pankhurst has been created by female-led Decordia, featuring an ornate wooden Manchester Town Hall-inspired planter with sashes, posters and colourful icons, alongside a wicker figure of the suffragette herself.

This can be found at the corner of Cross Street and King Street, adorned with purple, green and white plants – the colours of the suffragette movement.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Other local legends will also be honoured with their own installations, including Happy Mondays vocalist Rowetta and iconic Manchester brewery Boddingtons .

Fringe events will be taking place too, at locations including Northern Quarter art shop Fred Aldous, The Bridgewater Hall, the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel and the National Trust’s Castlefield Viaduct.

Selfridges Exchange Square, El Gato Negro, Tast Catala, Franco Manca, Grand Pacific Manchester and Urban Playground will also be taking part, with alfresco dining, festival-related dishes and cocktails.

The Vain Photography / Manchester Flower Festival

Now in its seventh year, the Flower Festival, which is put together by Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District, attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, with live entertainment, workshops, and arts and crafts markets.

It all happens from May 24th to May 27th – head over to the website HERE to find more information.

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Billie Eilish announces FOUR Manchester shows as part of world tour

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Billie Eilish / Instagram & Co-op Live

Pop star Billie Eilish is coming to Manchester, with four dates confirmed at the new Co-op Live arena.

The Grammy and Oscar-winning pop icon will be playing Manchester’s newest arena on July 19th, 20th, 22nd and 23rd, 2025.

The dates are part of a full world tour taking place next year, in the wake of Hit Me Hard And Soft, her fourth studio album which is due out on May 17th.

The full UK dates:

  • 7 July 2025 – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
  • 8 July 2025 – OVO Hydro, Glasgow
  • 10 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 11 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 13 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 14 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 16 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 17 July 2025 – The O2, London
  • 19 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 20 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 22 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester
  • 23 July 2025 – Co-op Live, Manchester


Presale tickets go live tomorrow, Tuesday April 30th, at 12pm and are exclusive for Co-op members only.

To become a Co-op member, click HERE, and enjoy exclusive benefits.

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