Dig the City, is the early August urban gardening festival.
Portable grass, fresh herbs, and delicate flowers are scattered all over the city from Deansgate to Picadilly Gardens, and on Cathedral street.
Dig the city
It's not just potted plants and wild lavender on sale however, arts and crafts have jumped on the back end of the garden event; we found hand-carved wooden bowls, wooden wind catchers, reinforced rubber gardening gloves, a portable air-assisted mini BBQ, and other gardening paraphernalia.
Goods on sale range from £1.50 for a small pot of pepper plants, to £3.00 for the more impressive looking mint varieties (spear and peppermint).
Alongside the garden stuffs were food vans and bars offering street food. Streatza's wood fired oven pizza were wafting the scent of basil, garlic and baking dough our way, which was hard to resist.
The dig the city event had a very much grow your own vibe; there is clearly a movement towards more economical, .self-sufficient living, and Manchester City Council is giving it the thumbs up. It wasn't just locals who visited the celebration. We heard Liverpudlian, Welsh and more Southern accents; 'GROW' clearly isn't just for Northeners.
The festival seemed to reach past green-fingered folk. Young and old were flocking to the event because of the numerous musical artists who were playing both acoustically with their guitars, and on the mini stage, singing their hearts out.
In front of the Pimms stand we watched a three man band perform in a most casual manner; sitting on plastic chairs, in the shade of the trees, and laughing during the breaks of each song, it was a fresh example of the organic nature behind the event. Oh and, their voices were brilliant, their singing, effortless.
The mini barbecues were rather tempting; at £110 you can take away a brightly coloured mini barbecue. I wouldn't say they're cheap, and living in the UK, Manchester especially, we don't have the weather for it, but if you're an avid barbecue-r, then why not buy?
With free, live music, pop-up bars, and plenty of leafy stuff to satisfy the keen and curious gardener, Dig the city, is actually quite fun. There is a week left to enjoy all the subsequent events, so there's still time to buy that Indian mint.
I wouldn't say I'm a massive nature-fan; bugs, and soil do not bode well with my aversion to dirt. However, living a more sustainable life by making a few changes such as growing my own herbs, I am in favour of.