Chelsea Garden will promote Greater Manchester

A debut show garden offering a fresh perspective on post-industrial cities through several rich and progressive themes, will highlight the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester at the 2019 RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The Manchester Garden, designed by Exterior Architecture, for sponsors Marketing Manchester, will point to the reinvention of Greater Manchester, its resilience and its adaptability. It will aim to raise important questions about how cities manage urban green infrastructure in the face of climate change, rising temperatures and more frequent weather extremes.

The garden will feature notable talking points that Mancunians will be familiar with: ten trees to represent the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester; a water feature telling the story of the region’s waterways; a commissioned sculpture that showcases the journey from one-time Cottonpolis to the home of the wonder material that is graphene; and a paved area created with beautiful local sandstone, appropriately named after a founding city elder, Sir Joseph Whitworth.

The garden will also be designed to be no waste and will utilise largely re-used materials. Elements will be relocated back to Greater Manchester after the event with the help of Manchester’s very own City of Trees initiative, so that planting, sculpture, trees and paving can be integrated into new or existing external spaces.

Sheona Southern, Managing Director of Marketing Manchester points out that Greater Manchester is a pioneering city-region that is currently facing one of the most pronounced and exciting periods of change in its very colourful modern history: “In partnership we’ve spent the best part of a decade and a half working to create a new narrative about the city-region; a long-term project that is now being realised nationally and internationally in terms of city attractiveness and success,” she said. “So what better way to announce this reinvention to the world, than to take the story of Manchester to one of the country’s most well-respected and prestigious events.”

Sheona adds that not only is the area striving to be a green city, they also have the biggest garden project in Europe coming up in the next few years in the shape of Salford’s RHS Bridgewater: “It’s beyond time then, that we present something bold and beautiful to the world to tackle head-on some of the tired assumptions and pre-conceptions about our wonderful post-industrial modern city,” she said.

Jonathan Miley, Director at Exterior Architecture added that being involved in the creation of this garden gives a fantastic opportunity to affirm their commitment to Manchester and the city region: “As landscape architects, we see the natural environment as a key component of our urban centres. Our design reflects the innovative way in which landscape intertwines with the places in which we work, live and play.”

Jonathan and his team are very much looking forward to supporting Manchester in delivering this exciting and high-profile project for the city region at the Chelsea Flower Show and creating a lasting legacy by relocating elements of the garden after the show within Greater Manchester.

Challenging the norms of urban green infrastructure

Inspiration for the garden comes from a desire to challenge the norms of urban green infrastructure and create planting proposals that maximise the benefits of green spaces within towns and cities, including adaptive and resilient planting. The show garden will immerse visitors in the story of green space within cities and of an awakening from a post-industrial torpor. A stunning commissioned sculpture that showcases a journey from one-time cottonopolis to the home of the wonder material that is graphene will span across the planted narrative areas. A paved area crated with beautiful local sandstone, appropriately named after  Sir Joseph Whitworth, will provide a space to gather.

Trees specified for tomorrow’s climate will include zelkova (Zelkova serrata), planes (Platanus x acerifolia), honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos f.inermis) and White Mulberry (Morus alba).

The garden will feature in the Space to Grow Category at the show which runs from 21st May to 25th May 2019.

Picture credits: All images ©Exterior Architecture/Marketing Manchester.