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29 May 2021 - 3 minutes

Your Bloomin’ Lovely Guide to the Manchester Flower Show

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Clean your phone cameras, ready those Insta captions, and pull out that floral dress – the Manchester Flower Show is back! From the 29th May till 6th June our city will exhibit even more colour than usual from some of the UK’s top petal perfectionists.

We’re already celebrating, bringing one-of-a-kind displays into our receptions at AXIS and Manhattan, courtesy of local florists Northern Lights. The AXIS feature is particularly inspired – a vivid, floating rain shower garden, symbolising the tough times we’re washing away. Whenever people walk downstairs or head back from work or a quick meetup, it’s the first thing they see. Touches like this make city centre life even more surprising.

But a floral welcome at home is just the start of what’s out there… Browse our guide to the main exhibits, drinkable delicacies and little extras behind the Manchester Flower Show in 2021.

Your floral display must-sees

Wherever you are in the city, the streets won’t look quite the same. Landmarks, squares and retail spaces are taking on completely new hues. If you want a highlights reel, pay these a visit:

  • St. Anne’s Square will feature a huge floral tribute to the Royal Horticulture Society, spelling out their initials in honour of the RHS Garden Bridgewater coming to Salford.
  • Local events designers, Decordia, are staging a water and bamboo display in St. Anne’s fountain too, inspired by Japanese cherry blossom.
  • A tribute to The Secret Garden, the famous children’s book written by Manchester author Frances Hodgson Burnett, will spread to the Kimpton Clocktower Hotel.
  • New Cathedral Street is about to curate 1960s technicolour, with plenty of nods to Andy Warhol and Peter Blake.
  • A pair of topiary creatures – a giraffe and baby elephant – are standing in Meadow Park.
  • The Whispering Wisteria will be a major conversation piece in Circle Square: over 500 wisteria strips have been laid over a gnarled tree, with tiny speakers playing snatches of speech.

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The cocktail trail

A great mixologist can make us believe that alcohol is not only healthy, but essential. During the Manchester Flower Show 2021, this argument gains more strength when you look at the two dozen or so bars adding special drinks for the occasion.

It’s a really delicious list of local legends. Try El Gato Negro’s Sicilian lemonade with Puerto de Indias strawberry gin, or an elderflower kick at Mr Thomas Chop House. Catalan restaurant, Tast Catala, is stirring Japanese whiskey with Midori melon liquor and ginger ale. You’ll have your work cut out around Spinningfields, Kings Street and Deansgate trying them all. Here’s a quick summary to keep your thirst up.

Offshoots to check out

While the main displays and one-off bar menus are big news, there’s more happening beneath our feet.

Grab your matt and comfies for Flower Power Yoga, a morning outdoor class in Angel Meadow Park on the 28th May which requests you “floralise yourself.” We appreciate the new word and encompassing perspective on what exercising in nature can do for us.

Meanwhile, Studiotech have linked up with Sutton Creative to install a light show above King Street. It’s a neat idea – you tweet your colour choice, and they make the illumination match. Lead a friend through and pretend you’re magic. “I just feel, inside, kind of canary yellow…” Then hit send in your pocket.

Speaking of Twitter, the Manchester Confucius Institute is planning to share flower and garden displays from Beijing. Every day for the duration of the festival, you’ll have titbits, insights and high definition photographs surrounding some of the most gorgeous flowers in the world.

Other than that, we’ll just be taking a few extra walks, letting our nose lead the way! Feel free to stop by our reception areas to see what we’ve done with our Manchester Flower Show tributes. It’s a brilliant time to live in our city!

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