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Dig The City 2014: Full Programme Announced

Rachel De Thame and Diarmuid Gavin head up MCR urban gardening festival

Published on July 23rd 2014.

Dig The City 2014: Full Programme Announced

DIG THE CITY returns to Manchester city centre this summer from Saturday 2 to Sunday 10 August 2014.

There'll be a packed programme of talks and workshops designed to turn inspiration into gardening reality. From headline speakers and TV experts, Diarmuid Gavin and Rachel de Thame, to guerilla gardening and making the most of an urban space.

For nine days the UK's biggest urban gardening festival will be greening over the city streets from Manchester Cathedral through Exchange Square, down New Cathedral Street onto the festival hub at St Ann's Square, finishing with a flurry on King Street.

They'll be gardening ideas, flower markets, pop-up picnics, show gardens, TV experts, masterclasses, arts, crafts, fêtes, music, food, drink, dogs and bees.

Forming the centre piece of the festival are sixteen show gardens installed across the city’s shopping streets.

Dig The CityDig The City

This year’s entries range from a one-off floral display in St. Ann’s Square from celebrated local florist David Jayet-Laraffe of Frog Flowers, to Tatton Park’s Japanese meditative garden, and a sound garden by Bridgewater Hall made entirely from recycled junk.

Manchester City Council showcases two show gardens this year, both a boon for nectar-loving insects, and Tudor manor house Ordsall Hall gives a taste of heritage veg with provenance stretching back centuries.

The gardens will be judged at the start of the festival by a team led by BBC Gardener’s World expert, Rachel de Thame and Manchester’s National Trust gardener in residence, Sean Harkin. Show gardens here.

Alongside the show gardens, there'll be a packed programme of talks and workshops designed to turn inspiration into gardening reality. From headline speakers and TV experts, Diarmuid Gavin and Rachel de Thame, to guerilla gardening and making the most of an urban space. Full calendar of talks and workshops here.

Rachel De ThameRachel De Thame

The festival is not only for the green-fingered, it's also about squeezing as much merriment from the summer as possible. Visitors can listen to music at the Dig the City Bandstand, party at the Dig the City Disco, or big band into the dark hours during the Dig the City Band Night. More here.

Go gawp at massive veg with Manchester's Women's Institute in the Urban Fete, or coo at blow dried dogs at the RSPCA dog show. Get expert opinion on your heirlooms when BBC Two's The Great Antiques Map of Britain comes to St Ann’s Square on Tuesday 5 August, or watch one of the great British horror films of all time, The Wicker Man: The Final Cut, as you’ve never seen it before – in smell-o-vision with Scratch & Sniff Cinema.

On the food and drink front, there'll be Harvey Nichols Summer Garden Bar on New Cathedral Street, Holler’s Real Ale Bar at the St Ann’s Square Festival Hub and The King Street Gardens alfresco bar.

You can purchase a picnic basket and blanket from Proper Tea and dine outside in the gardens surrounding Manchester Cathedral, while Yo Sushi will have pop-up sushi belt and live sushi slicing at Tatton Park’s Japanese Garden. Food and drink info here.

Dig the CityDig The City

There's plenty for the nippers too, with over 25 activities designed specifically for families, ranging from the National Trust treehouse with ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’, den-building, giant garden games, a mini city farm complete with live animals and the glorious return of Peppa Pig. Best of all, everything is FREE. Kids stuff here.

Last year's event saw over one million visitors enjoy the show gardens, leading the festival to a Commendation at the 2013 UK Event Awards and Gold at the 2013 RHS Britain in Bloom Awards.

For the full list of what's going on at Dig the City visit here.


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5 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Kevin PeelJuly 24th 2014.

I can't wait for this!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 24th 2014.

And that is of interest to who?

AnonymousAugust 10th 2014.

that was rather impolite. I can't wait for this either!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 10th 2014.

it's already been and gone

AnonymousAugust 10th 2014.

sorry. I'm not very good at grammar. Its still rather impolite though.

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