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Manchester Flower Show is back – here’s what to look forward to

Among the floral cityscape, visitors can expect secret gardens, light sculptures, floral tributes to the NHS and al fresco food and drink

Manchester’s first public event of the year, The Manchester Flower Show, takes place this month signalling the start of summer with a city-centre wide takeover of flowers and urban blooms. 

Arguably Manchester’s most Instagrammable event, The Manchester Flower Show is back from Saturday 29th May – Sunday 6th June and bigger than ever before.

Dozens of landmark buildings, shop windows, doorways, balconies, statues and fountains will all be going floral for the nine-day festival, organised by CityCo and Manchester BID.

Among the floral cityscape, visitors can expect secret gardens, huge topiary beasts, light sculptures, floral tributes to the NHS and keyworkers, alongside lots of al fresco food and drink, including The Manchester Flower Show Cocktail Trail.

Highlights of this year’s Manchester Flower Show include the following.

Heroes at St Ann’s Square

Designed by Donna Rhodes, this tribute to the NHS features all blue flowers and plants at the base of the Boer War Memorial in St Ann’s Square and asks us to reflect on our heroes and how we celebrate them.

Celebrating the Royal Horticultural Society at St Ann’s Square

Celebrating the much-anticipated opening of RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford and the return of the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park this summer, the RHS’s fabulously floral iconic letters will be appearing in St Ann’s Square, offering the perfect backdrop for selfies.

Garden of Statues at St Ann’s Square

Don’t miss FROG Flowers’ design around the Richard Cobden statue in St Ann’s Square, inspired by Parisian parks, their grand monuments and leafy surroundings with a vibrant Mancunian twist.

Cherry Blossom Fountain at St Ann’s Square

The tranquillity of Japanese horticulture comes to Manchester with designer Decordia’s water and bamboo display punctuated by the beautiful weeping bows of Japan’s national flower – the cherry blossom.

Hobbies in Lockdown at St Ann’s Square

This series of floral displays take their lead from the hobbies many of us took up to fill those hours during lockdown. Created by Natural Fleur by Carla expect a clever display using upcycled materials including bike wheels, umbrellas, old work-out gear and a guitar.

The Secret Garden, St Ann’s Square and Kimpton Clocktower Hotel

Inspired by the famous children’s book by Frances Hodgson Burnett and the walled gardens of Britain’s stately homes, a rusting, disused electricity sub-station becomes a delightful secret garden with a 10-foot blossom tree. Handcrafted by Giraffe Flowers in association with Kimpton Clocktower Hotel, this is a great one for families and leads onto a second garden across the city at Kimpton Clocktower Hotel.

Knitted Trees, Market Street

Knitting up a storm, check out Market Street’s yarn bombed trees, outside Marks and Spencer, courtesy of Yarn Addicts of Manchester, Manchester in Stitches and Park Range Yarn Bombers.

Flower Power at New Cathedral Street

Inspired by the swinging sixties, pop artists Warhol, Robert Indiana, Robert Wessellmann, Peter Blake and the psychedelic art movement, the city’s New Cathedral Street will be an explosion of colour. 

50 years of St Ann’s Hospice on King Street

Celebrating its 50th birthday, St Ann’s Hospice’s installation of 50 Forget-me-nots blowing in the wind conjures up a sense of the care, love, peace and support provided by the hospice to those with life-limiting illnesses and their families.

Seed of Change on King Street

Immerse yourself in this floral light sculpture created by Studiotech and Sutton Creative showcasing artwork by Venture Arts.

Bee Here and Celebrate at Manchester Cathedral

To celebrate the 600th anniversary of Manchester Cathedral, volunteers of the Volition Community charity have created this beautiful display of pollen-rich perennials which promises to feed bees and butterflies for years to come.

Live the Wild Life at Meadowside at Angel Meadow Park

A must for families, the city centre’s biggest green space will be taken over by two huge topiary beasts! Head to Angel Meadow Park (just five minutes’ walk from Cathedral Gardens) to find a leafy, life-sized giraffe and baby elephant.

Floral Takeover at Stevenson Square

Blossoming doorways and floral displays at NOHO, Dusk till Pawn, Foundation Coffee and Fred Aldous transform Stevenson Square.

Whispering Wisteria at Circle Square, Oxford Road

This wonderfully romantic tree sculpture draped with 500 pieces of wisteria is a sight to behold. But listen close, enmeshed in its branches are tiny speakers which emit the sounds of the community in and around Bruntwood SciTech’s Circle Square.

Cocktail trail

Additional venues and areas across the city centre including Exchange Square, First Street, Manchester Arndale, Selfridges, Corn Exchange, Spinningfields, Science and Industry Museum, the Whitworth, Circle Square, Manchester Craft & Design Centre, Ducie Street Warehouse, Deansgate Square, The Royal Exchange, and Great Northern Warehouse will also come into bloom for the festival. 

Visitors can also enjoy a tipple with floral inspired cocktails as part of The Manchester Flower Show Cocktail Trail along with al fresco dining at a whole host of city centre bars and restaurants, including 20 Stories, ATOMECA, Canto, Cloud 23, Dakota Hotel Manchester, El Gato, Peru Perdu, Qbic Manchester Hotel, Tast Catala, The Graduate Bar at Hyatt Hotels Manchester and The Lowry Hotel

The Manchester Flower Show runs from Saturday 29th May – Sunday 6th June. Click here for a full guide to what’s on at each venue. To find out more on bars and restaurants participating in The Manchester Flower Show Cocktail Trail click here.

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