The Manchester Flower Festival: City Centre Floral Trail Announced

2nd May 2023


Long weekend of floral festivities lined-up to celebrate the late May bank holiday weekend.

Signalling the start of summer in the city – The Manchester Flower Festival – returns this month and will be celebrating all things ‘Manchester’ across the city centre.

Taking place over the late May Bank Holiday weekend (Friday 26th – Monday 29th May 2023), the free festival, organised annually by Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District, will be a fabulous floral spectacle, featuring a ‘Manchester in Flowers’ floral trail plus lots of al fresco dining, live music and family entertainment.

Now in its fifth year, the event attracts tens of thousands of visitors, bringing fun, floral frivolity, and lots of Instagrammable moments to the city centre.

What’s On

Celebrating the rich culture and history of the city, the ‘Manchester in Flowers’ Floral Trail will wind its way through the city’s shopping streets, featuring 10 professionally designed pop-up gardens.

Visitors can also expect to see lots of other installations and green displays across the city, including a Vimto mini garden and wheelbarrow gardens taking inspiration from Roman Manchester and the city’s football teams as well as floral displays blooming from shop windows and doorways.

Gardening greats, The RHS and National Trust will both feature at the festival, with an opportunity to pose with the RHS floral green wall and find out more about RHS Garden Bridgewater and the new RHS Grow App. While the National Trust team will be on hand to chat about the first year of their new ‘Sky Park’ for the city – Castlefield Viaduct.

New Cathedral Street will be home to the Floral Marquee which is new for 2023. The marquee will be a gallery of beautiful floral displays from local florists.

Inspiring a new generation of urban gardeners, Manchester’s The Cloud Gardener will be taking to the Main Stage in Exchange Square 11am on Sunday as one of the daily garden talks on the main stage which will also feature live music and a line-up of Manchester’s top DJs.

Hosting the world’s smallest spritz bar, Harvey Nichols will be teaming up with Grey Goose at this year’s event, with a camionette on New Cathedral Street offering intimate complimentary cocktail masterclasses.

After the success of last year, Selfridges Exchange Square and The Manchester Flower Festival are teaming up to host ‘Flower Festival on The Square’, which will feature the event’s main stage, outdoor bar and street food.

Also head to St Ann’s Square where you’ll find pop up restaurants from multi-award-winning chef and restaurateur Simon Shaw, showcasing food and drink from the city’s much loved El Gato Negro, Habas, and Canto restaurants, alongside a pop up flower, art and craft market.

Venture outside the festival zone where, once again, the city’s venues, public spaces and businesses are supporting the festival with their own newly commissioned gardens and displays making up the Manchester Flower Festival Fringe.

The Manchester Flower Festival Trail

Turing’s Sunflowers
By Manchester Arndale and Filthy Luker
Location: Manchester Arndale

Head to Manchester Arndale to discover a stunning and unique display of giant inflatable sunflower sculptures, created by renowned artist behind the Halloween in the City MCR Monsters, Filthy Luker.

Baby Bloom
By La Beau Fleurs Ltd
Location: The Floral Marquee on New Cathedral Street

Taking inspiration from Williams and Kilburn who invented the first stored computer system, right here in Manchester in 1948, the Baby Bloom installation will be bold and imposing, featuring an explosion of colour.

Suffragette City
By The Manchester Flower Festival and Sarah Hayes, Twig Twisters
Location: St Ann’s Square, M2 7DH

Inspired by Emmeline Pankhurst and the Women’s Suffrage movement, this design features plants in the purple, green and white Suffragette colours (including lavender and thyme) and has willow figures created by Twig Twisters, depicting protest scenes as their centre piece.

The Cotton Bud & Its Meadow
By Frog Flowers
Location: The Fountain, St Ann’s Square

Highlighting the importance of wildflower meadows, the Cotton Bud Fountain in St Ann’s Square, which represents the county flower of Manchester, will become a real focal point at this year’s celebrations.

The Hive
By Citiblooms Ltd
Location: St Ann’s Square

Manchester became a ‘hive of activity’ during the Industrial Revolution and homed thousands of ‘worker bees’. The Hive will be a unique structure offering an abundance of natural beauty through biophilia and flowers.

LGBTQ+ Phonebox
By Frog Flowers
Location: Corner of King Street and Deansgate

Featuring a red phonebox filled with beautiful flowers in the tones of the LGBTQIA+ progress flag, this installation will sit on the corner of King Street and Deansgate – a street that has a historical link to LGBTQIA+ rights in the city.

The Town Hall Clock
By Decordia
Location: Corner of King Street and Cross Street, outside Diesel

Whilst the refurbishments are underway, Decordia have created this stunning piece to pay homage to the city’s beautiful Town Hall clock. The design has been created to remind us of the grand neo-gothic architecture of the Town Hall.

The Rain Garden
By Caroline Dowsett and Ardwick Climate Action
Location: King Street

How can we be a better architect for nature at home? The Rain Garden looks to engage people in this thought. As you journey through, the micro-garden uses clever planning that aids nature will also feature a garden shed, painted by Manchester based artist, Caroline Dowsett.

Hilda Ogden
By The Royal Exchange Manchester
Location: Royal Exchange Arcade

Celebrate the iconic, much-loved Coronation Street character, Hilda Ogden, in her iconic head scarf, curlers and tabard. The garden includes a mosaic of fresh flowers with orchids, craspedia, thistles, Limonium and chrysanthemums.

The Grassienda
By Blossom Mcr
Location: King Street

A garden themed around Manchester’s iconic Hacienda nightclub. A green garden of the unexpected, industrial and a place of happiness and love for all.

Additional venues and areas across the city centre including First Street, NOMA, Great Northern Warehouse, Science and Industry Museum, Printworks, The Bridgewater Hall and Afflecks, will also come into bloom as part of The Manchester Flower Fringe Festival.

More Information

For more media information, please contact Anoushka Done or Hannah Curry at ECHO on 07732 846650 or email /

Notes to Editors

Manchester City Centre Business Improvement District

BIDs are defined geographical areas where businesses work together and invest in agreed services, initiatives, and special events, and are financed by a levy made based on rateable value. They operate in most cities and towns across the UK.

Manchester BID, which is managed by The City Centre Management Company, CityCo, was successful in securing a third, five-year term, in December 2022 and began the new term on 1st April 2023.

In its new term, the BID brings together 600 businesses including retail, hospitality, and offices, spanning Deansgate, King Street, Cross Street, St Ann’s Square, Market Street, New Cathedral Street, Manchester Arndale, Spring Gardens, Fountain Street and more.

In recent years, the BID has played an instrumental role in the city’s recovery post-Covid and brings businesses together with key authorities including Manchester City Council, Marketing Manchester, Transport for Greater Manchester, and Greater Manchester Police.

Work is delivered around four themes: Attracting Visitors, Environment, Community, and ESG.