Manchester’s first entry at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, inspired by the themes of adaptability and resilience, has been awarded Silver.
The Manchester Garden has been designed for Marketing Manchester by landscape architects Exterior Architecture. It offers a fresh perspective on post-industrial cities, highlighting the reinvention of Greater Manchester whilst raising important questions about how cities manage urban green infrastructure in the face of climate change, rising temperatures and weather extremes.
Spanning across a structure that incorporates urban, parkland, remediation and sustainable drainage system (SuDS) planting is a stunning sculpture by Manchester artist Liam Hopkins that showcases the importance of materials to the region, from one-time ‘cottonpolis’ to the home of potentially world-changing graphene.
The Manchester Garden has a space to gather together, in a paved area, supplied by Hardscape, created with beautiful local hexagonal-shaped Whitworth Sandstone, appropriately named after a founding city elder, Sir Joseph Whitworth, and a water feature that tells the story of the region’s major waterways; how they pumped life into the city, helped it grow and made it possible for its industries to thrive.
The choice of planting around an undulating white sculpture, pools of water and the Whitworth Sandstone hexagonal blocks, in reference to the Manchester bee, tells how the city of Manchester is now Britain’s leader in “future-proofing” urban environments through various schemes.
Ten trees – representative of the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester – are plane, pine, hazel, dawn redwood, locust and mountain ash; all specified for tomorrow’s climate in partnership with Manchester’s very own City of Trees initiative, which aims to plant a tree for every resident, within a generation.
The Manchester Garden offers the city – and RHS Chelsea Flower Show visitors – with a planting palette that can future-proof our built environment.
The garden has been designed to be no waste with plants and trees returning to parks and outdoor spaces across the region, as well as being gifted to volunteers from several Manchester-based Friends of Parks groups.
One of the main benefactors of plants will be the garden at Wythenshawe Hall which is set to reopen in autumn following restoration after an arson attack in 2016.
Check out the RHS Back to Nature Garden too – Designed by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge with Andree Davies and the Landscape Institute’s President Adam White who is also at RHS Chelsea to kick off the Landscape Institute’s 90th anniversary celebrations!