Organizers of this year’s Dig the City are giving away half a million seeds to grow a new ‘Dig Garden’ in central Manchester.

To celebrate the return of the UK’s biggest urban gardening festival, which will take place from Friday 31 July – Thursday 6 August, Dig the City has collaborated with celebrity gardener Sarah Raven to get the city growing. 


Nelson Beaumont Laurencia, Dig the City Producer says “Dig the City is all about celebrating summer in the city, so what better way to get started than to grow your own garden party?”


“Gardeners should bring their blooms back on the first weekend of the festival and help us grow a garden right in the heart of the city. You’ll be in with a chance to win good things from the city centre’s top shops. If keen gardeners would like to bring any other flowers or plants to join our Dig Garden they would be most welcome!” 


Sarah Raven said “Dig the City is a fantastic summer festival, and I love the idea of a garden filled with flowers grown by a thousand locals. We’re giving away a mixture of cornflowers, poppies, lace flowers and cosmos, so the garden will be wonderfully bright and colourful.”


The 1000 free packets of seeds will be given away from Selfridges, Jigsaw, LK Bennett, Molton Brown and Barclays in the city centre over the May bank holiday. Gardeners can check for growing tips and send progress reports to @digthecitymcr #diggarden. Gardeners should bring their blooms back to the Dig the City Information Point in St Ann’s Square over the first weekend of the festival – Friday – Sunday. 


Dig the City is devised and delivered by CityCo, on behalf of the Heart of Manchester Business Improvement District (BID), a consortium of over 380 city centre retailers.

 Speaking about the Dig Garden, Chair of the BID, Jane Sharrocks said “Dig the City is not only about gardening and growing, but encouraging locals to take time to relax and spend time in the city centre. We hope the new garden will make Manchester a lovelier place to shop and enjoy all our great city has to offer.” 


For more information about Grow Your Own Garden Party and where to get your seeds, go to and follow @digthecitymcr on Twitter.


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