The Royal Horticultural Society is to celebrate the "gardening boom" taking place in cities by hosting the UK’s first entirely indoor flower show in Manchester in 2024.
The RHS Urban Show, which will be hosted at Manchester’s Depot Mayfield in April 2024, will be aimed at people in urban areas with little to no outdoor space. It aims to reach a new generation of gardeners who have previously been put off by a lack of urban opportunity.
The charity which also organises the Chelsea Flower Show, said it wanted the RHS Urban Show at Depot Mayfield in Manchester, a disused rail station, to inspire urbanites to grow plants both indoors and outside.
The RHS hopes to transform it “into an urban grower’s paradise full of small-space gardening inspiration” with an industrial, indoor, city centre location and immersive experience designed for those who live in cities.
Helena Pettit, director of gardens and shows at the RHS, said: “In recent years there’s been a real gardening boom and we now have more younger people who live in cities growing plants.”
“There is so much great work already happening across the city to make it greener and we are excited to help support this growing movement. We want to get even more people living in the UK’s second-largest city inspired to grow plants and connect to the natural world.
“There is so much great work already happening across [Manchester] to make it greener and we are excited to help support this growing movement. We want to get even more people living in the UK's second-largest city inspired to grow plants and connect to the natural world.
"With over 80% of the UK population living in towns and cities, the new show will enable more urban dwellers to garden, especially where access to green spaces can be limited."
Over recent years, Manchester has committed to creating more green space in its urban areas. The National Trust created Castlefield Viaduct, a disused railway viaduct transformed into a “sky park” and last year the first new city centre public park for 100 years was opened at Mayfield. Plus, the RHS itself opened RHS Bridgewater in Salford in 2021.
This very different spin on a traditional flower show echoes the work of the city to promote biodiversity and green spaces in urban areas. It also supports a trend amongst flower shows to make them more inclusive, opening up gardening for anyone, anywhere.
The RHS Urban Show will be held from 18–21 April 2024 at Depot Mayfield, Manchester.