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New Garden For St John’s Gardens

Natalie Davies visits a blooming lovely green space for the city

Published on August 15th 2011.


New Garden For St John’s Gardens

DANIELA CORAY’S gold medal winning garden from the RHS Show Tatton Park opened in St John’s Gardens last week after being relocated to Castlefield. The young designer, originally from Virginia, graduated from Falmouth University with a Garden Design degree last year and is extremely happy to present her first garden to Manchester.

“Completely transformed, beautiful, tranquil and important for wildlife”


The opportunity to bring the garden to the city arose after Daniela contacted Mandy North of Greater Manchester Ecology Unit and local Bio-Diversity officer, Dave Barlow, to see if there were any way they could find room for her design. The group identified St John’s Garden as a prime space, and gained joint funding from Manchester City Council and CityCo for the go-ahead.

Dsc06290The work has been completed by Daniela and her two contactors over three days, with several local residents and volunteers offering a helping hand. The garden will remain a permanent feature at St John’s - offering a welcome green space to the city centre and a community area for residents who will continue to maintain the area. Daniela also hopes the garden will act as an “educational space and outdoor classroom” for local school children and those visiting the nearby MOSI, as well as an opportunity for those who do not have gardens at home.

Both residents and council members had plenty of positive things to say about the space at the opening. Councillor Mike Amesbury for Culture and Leisure added that Daniela’s work “enhances [St John’s Park] further and will give pleasure to Mancunians for generations to come”.

Dave Barlow also said the park is now “completely transformed, beautiful, tranquil and important for wildlife” which he hoped would help “promote and raise awareness of bio-diversity in the city centre.”

Dsc06292Resident Anna Bliss said she was “happy to have it. People use the park already and this makes it extra special.” She also added locals “hadn’t made enough of this space” previously and it would now give them something to shout about.

Daniela plans to visit the garden each season and see how the residents are maintaining the space. As Dave Barlow said to the volunteers today, “Just remember, wearing that t-shirt means you look after the garden forever.”

St John's Gardens is located off Lower Byrom Street in the city centre close to MOSI - Museum of Science and Industry.

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HowieAugust 16th 2011.

That's great news but why does Parsonage Gardens remain so unloved? The centre piece is a monument to climate-changists with a forlorn palm tree patently wishing for balmier climes surrounded by scrubby plants that, again, don't seem happy with their lot. Can we please accept that Manchester isn't in the tropics and replant with something that might like the climate here?

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