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Gold Standards For MCR Urban Gardening

Winners of the first ever Dig the City Gardening awards announced

Published on August 5th 2014.

Gold Standards For MCR Urban Gardening

MEDALS were awarded to the urban gardeners exhibiting their show gardens at Manchester’s Dig the City, sponsored by NCP, from 2-10 of August.

"Urban gardens present unique challenges to gardeners and it’s very exciting to see these garden designs brought to life.”

Judged by famed gardener Rachel de Thame and the National Trust's city gardener, Sean Harkin, 18 show gardens have been challenged to create gardens for a small urban space.

Successful entries have come from professional and amateur gardeners, community gardening groups and businesses. 

Judge Rachel de Thame said, "We've been overwhelmed by the calibre and creativity of the show gardens. Urban gardens present unique challenges to gardeners and it’s very exciting to see these garden designs brought to life.”

The garden voted “Best in Show” was Hulme Community Garden Centre’s edible tunnel which impressed judges with its attention to detail and use of vertical growing. The judges applauded the garden’s high quality finish, planting within raised beds and the “simple but clever” connection to the Hulme arch.

Ordsall Hall’s heritage garden was a close runner up, drawing on its Tudor history and showcasing growing methods for heritage vegetables.

The remaining 6 ‘grow anywhere’ gardens will be judged by TV gardener Diarmuid Gavin on Saturday 9 August.

Ordsall HallOrdsall Hall


Dreamscape Gardens City Garden category – Silver Gilt

Dreamscape and Liam Curtin have teamed up to create a double show garden that appears to shrink in size and extend into infinity, with three perspective-altering viewing holes. The garden itself is a clever mix of urban balconies and patios.

Hulme Community Garden Centre City Garden category – Gold and ‘Best in Show’

Hulme Community Garden Centre created a living, breathing and edible tunnel through which you can walk. The footprint was made even smaller through the use of recycled or sustainably produced materials and companion planting eliminates the need for pesticides.

Manchester City Council City Garden categories – Silver Gilt

A Bee’s Journey, by Manchester City Council, depicts the path a bee takes from the hive– through a display that represents the different seasons. The Bee Roads to Manchester highlights bee decline through beehives and the creation of a nectar-rich ‘highway’ of plants and flowers in between.

Growing in the City, Bridge College & Manchester Mind City Garden category – Silver Gilt

This collaborative show garden – created by Growing in the CityBridge College Together Trust and Manchester Mind –is based around an eco-friendly bus stop, complete with green roof, vertical growing and edible walls. This installation shows how growing your own food has powerful, positive impact on local communities.

Urban Green City Garden category - Silver

Urban Green’s show garden transforms a disused space in the city centre, revealing its regeneration potential – both during the festival and in the long term. The location of this secret show garden will be revealed closer to the festival; join Dig the City's mailing list to be the first to find out more.

Ordsall Hall City Garden category - Gold

Ordsall Hall, a Tudor manor house in Salford, is the only garden in the North West that actively grows and conserves traditional English vegetables. This garden draws on the hall’s history and showcases heritage vegetables. Ordsall Hall gardener, Lindsay Berry, will be speaking at Dig.

Muse Developments & Broomhead Homemade City Grow & Eat categories - Bronze

Inspired by Vimto Gardens, Muse Developments, working with designers Tony and Aprille Broomhead has come up with a design that plays on the idea of discovering Vimto’s secret ingredient. The result is a garden heady with the scent of local herbs.

Tatton Park City Garden category – Silver Gilt

Created with the help of the Japanese Garden Society, Tatton Park’s garden is a Karensansui or ‘dry landscape’ garden where gravel represents water, while rock forms depict mountains. The abstract nature of the garden lends itself to meditation.

Square Roots City Garden category - Gold

Square Roots’s show garden for this year’s festival sums up its biodiversity focus perfectly: it is a low maintenance, space-saving town house plot filled with fruit, wild flowers - and two boxes that when opened reveal sun loungers and a hot tub.

Reaseheath College/Wythenshawe Community Housing Group City Garden category - Silver

This garden incorporated innovative approaches to sustainable edible growing including hydroponics, aquaponics and sculptural features to celebrate ‘Real Food Wythenshawe’, a project which encourages local residents to grow their own food.

Frog Flowers, City Garden category – Gold

(For his two installations in St Ann’s Square and Manchester Arndale)

St Ann’s Square installation: 
David Jayet-Laraffe of Frog Flowers created a display in St. Ann’s Square inspired by Manchester’s connections to the cotton bud and which also references some of the city’s other buildings.

Manchester Arndale installation:

The shopping centre has commissioned David Jayet-Laraffe to create a runway-worthy garden display around a giant pair of red stilettos in Exchange Court.

 Follow @digthecitymcr on Twitter for festival updates.

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