Children go green at Manchester’s urban gardening event Dig the City, transforming city into potted paradise

By Amelia Goswell

Young families are encouraged to get green-fingered this week with a series of free children’s gardening workshops to celebrate the second year of Dig the City, an urban gardening event, at Manchester’s Arndale Centre.

Mini Dig runs until Friday August in Halle Square, which will bloom to life as it is transformed into a potted paradise, helped by gardening specialists, Blooming Balconies, who will be creating a display of bright wheelbarrows to dazzle anyone with a keen green eye.

Mini Dig is a fun introduction to gardening for kiddies and involves decorating a small pot and planting a sunflower seed to take home with them.

David Allinson, centre director at Manchester Arndale said: “We are pleased to support Dig the City for the second year running with this fun, summer activity which is perfect for children during the school holidays.

“Dig the City urban gardening festival celebrates Manchester in full bloom and it gives visitors to our great city the perfect opportunity to get a taste for the countryside, without even having to leave the confines of the streets.”

The short craft and gardening workshops will run from 12-6pm and are aimed at children aged from 3-12 years.

Mini diggers can also follow an exciting trail game: collecting a free stamp card from the Mini Dig workshop and visiting five participating retailers (Ryman, The Entertainer, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Disney and Early Learning Centre) to get a stamp from each to collect an exclusive Disney Planes bumper prize pack.

Spanning the city’s shopping district from King Street through to St Ann’s Square, New Cathedral Street, Exchange Square and Manchester Cathedral, Dig the City will feature fine food, flowers, a forest of 70 trees and an urban twist on a country fete as it transforms the area into a horticultural paradise.

Highlights include talks by with BBC Gardener’s World presenters Monty Don and Rachel de Thame and Channel 4’s The City Gardener Matt James.

For more information on the Mini Dig visit, or find out about Dig the City at

Image courtesy of rumpleteaser via Flickr, with thanks.

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