Gold Standard Gardening: Dig the City Show Garden Medals Announced

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Dig the City medals have been awarded to the urban gardeners exhibiting their show gardens at Manchester’s Dig the City festival, which is sponsored by NCP. The festival takes over the city centre streets until 6th August.

Judged by celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin and the National Trust’s City Gardener in Residence, Sean Harkin, 22 gardens are greening up Manchester city centre’s shopping district. Specially designed and created for Dig the City, the gardens have had to embrace and solve the challenges of gardening in a small urban space, and all have been vying for Gold, Silver Gilt, Silver and Bronze medals.

7 Gold, 8 Silver Gilt and 7 Silver medals were awarded to the gardens and successful entries have come from both professional and amateur gardeners, community gardening groups and businesses.

Judge Diarmuid Gavin said; “We’ve been overwhelmed by the calibre and creativity of the show gardens. Urban gardens present unique challenges to gardeners and it’s very exciting to see these garden designs brought to life.”

Gold medals were awarded to the Real Food Wythenshawe Community Housing Group, The Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Playful Garden (which will be re-homed at the Hospital), Kew Garden’s ‘Grow Wild’ Garden, Dreamscape Gardens, Andy Walker’s Bee Garden and Hulme Community Garden Centre.

Anna Harvey from Turton Tower Kitchen Garden Group, which won the coveted Best In Show award said; “I was stunned and absolutely thrilled on behalf of all the volunteers. All the planting was from our kitchen garden at Turton Tower. It was a lot of work, but we all really enjoyed the experience. In the end, the plants did their stuff and the garden, entirely scavenged of seeds and a material was a huge success.”

Turton Tower created a sensory garden, with plants selected for their scent, sound, texture and colour, but made entirely from materials scavenged from their kitchen garden – as well as from friends, family and neighbours – to show how inexpensive good gardening can be. Climbing plants scale a lamppost and scavenged containers ranging from tin baths to handbags contain bright herbaceous plants, colourful vegetables and grasses.

The full awards list:


1. Ashton Hydroponics and AutoPot – SILVER
2. The Landscape Institute North West – SILVER
3. Chorlton Post Box Café – SILVER GILT
4. Coronation Street The Tour and Manchester City Council – SILVER
5. Dreamscape Gardens – GOLD
6. Geoff Fisher – SILVER GILT
7. Grow Wild – A project by Kew Gardens – GOLD
8. Hulme Community Garden Centre – GOLD
9. Incredible Edible Salford – SILVER GILT
10. Pendleton Together and Planit-IE LLP – SILVER GILT
11. Real Food, Wythenshawe Community Housing Group – GOLD
12. Sow The City – SILVER
13. Sue Jeffries Garden Advice and Training – GOLD
14. Walker Landscape Design – GOLD
15. Turton Tower Kitchen Garden Group – BEST IN SHOW


16. Venessa Scott, University of Salford – SILVER
17. Imperial War Museum North – SILVER
18. Gorgeous Gorse Hill – SILVER GILT
19. Anita Mattioni – University of Salford – SILVER
20. Cabbages and Nettles – SILVER GILT
21. The Moss Cider Project – SILVER
22. Reaseheath College – SILVER GILT

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