Cultivating Community: The RHS Urban Show Blooms in Manchester

Manchester, renowned for its vibrant culture and industrial heritage, welcomes a new kind of spectacle this weekend: The RHS Urban Show. Departing from traditional outdoor showcases, this innovative plant show takes root within the cavernous expanse of Depot Mayfield, a former railway warehouse now transformed into a hub of cultural and community activity.

At the helm of this venture is Lex Falleyn, the RHS Show Manager, who champions the growing movement of urban gardening and its profound connection to wellbeing and sustainable living. Embracing the ethos that "if you care for a plant, you are a gardener," Falleyn underscores the show's mission to reach a diverse audience, particularly those residing in urban spaces.

“It’s a movement that already exists, we’re tapping into the scene that’s emerging here in Manchester, and around the country.”

The significance of urban greening cannot be understated, especially in a city where 83% of the population resides amidst concrete and steel. With projections indicating a rise in urbanization and climate shifts looming on the horizon, initiatives like the RHS Urban Show serve as beacons of hope, offering practical solutions and inspiration for greener, more resilient communities.

From the lush greenery adorning rooftop gardens to the cool shade provided by urban trees, the benefits of urban greening extend far beyond aesthetics. Research underscores its role in reducing energy consumption, mitigating air pollution, fostering social cohesion, and enhancing physical and mental wellbeing.

Against this backdrop, the RHS Urban Show emerges as a celebration of ingenuity and creativity, showcasing innovative gardening and design solutions tailored for urban dwellers. Anchored by Depot Mayfield's industrial charm, the show transforms the space into a green oasis, where visitors can explore interactive exhibits, attend expert talks, and glean practical advice for cultivating their own urban sanctuaries.

Hosting the Talks Stage is none other than Michael Perry, known affectionately as Mr. Plant Geek, whose horticultural expertise and infectious enthusiasm promise to captivate audiences. From discussions on indoor gardening to tips for creating thriving green spaces on a budget, the show offers something for novices and seasoned gardeners alike.

Depot Mayfield, with its rich history and adaptive reuse, serves as a fitting backdrop for the RHS Urban Show. Situated amidst the bustling streets of Manchester and adjacent to the city's newest park, the venue embodies the spirit of regeneration and community revitalization.

As Helena Pettit, RHS Director of Shows and Gardens, aptly puts it, the show aims to inspire a new generation of urban gardeners and foster a deeper connection to the natural world. By bringing gardening to the heart of the city, the RHS Urban Show not only educates and entertains but also empowers individuals to become stewards of their environment.

In partnership with Mad About Land Gardenwear, the show promises to be a vibrant celebration of all things green, offering visitors a glimpse into the transformative power of plants. So, as April approaches, mark your calendars and join us in Manchester as we cultivate community, one plant at a time, at the RHS Urban Show.