This weekend we visited the Manchester Flower Show, part of the King Street Festival.
It was the first time the flower show has been held in 15 years so we weren’t expecting it to be very big but as Bear is absolutely gardening obsessed at the moment, particularly the tv show Garden Rescue, we were excited to pop along. Teddy was a bit disappointed that the ‘Rich Brother’s’, weren’t going to be there but was looking forward to getting some ideas for our own garden nonetheless. He’s not your average five year old.
We packed up a picnic (because we’re skint) and headed off, happy in the knowledge that the event was free and praying the clouds didn’t spill their contents over Manchester, making the day a wash-out.
The event itself was lovely. The clouds played their part, mostly, and the atmosphere up and down King Street was sunny and cheerful. A steel band played Daft Punk, a comedian scared and amused onlookers with a clever game of hangman and there were blooms as far as the eye could see. It was glorious.
Bunni and Bear couldn’t believe it. Being big flower and bee fans, there was so much for them to look at, touch or sniff. One of the stands had little fuzzy bees all over it which children were encouraged to take.
Local florist, Venus Flowers was giving away flowers at the top of King Street. It was such a kind act, everywhere you turned there was somebody with a free flower. Bear was chuffed to bits when the kind ladies handed him a geranium in a pot – since displayed proudly on his mud kitchen.
Further round, Bear made a bug hotel (for free) with help and guidance from a friendly and patient volunteer who explained what kind of creature would nest in each of the different sized holes, before presenting both children with a ‘save the bees’ sticker which they wore with pride.
The flowers and displays were stunning and gave my spirit a huge boost of joy. Cheese overload, sorry, but it’s true. The children couldn’t get over flowers spilling out of cars (like the one from the folks at Birdie Camper Van below) or winding their way around bicycles and bus stops.
The event was well laid out and felt like it had been given a lot of thought. There was a children’s area which was a good size and contained lots of old fashioned, wooden games and toys which went down a storm with my two. It was the perfect spot to allow them a bit more freedom while not having to worry about their safety.
It was busy but not overcrowded and it seemed that people were keen for it to succeed, I know I certainly am. I love any event which promotes the idea of protecting the environment and nature to children. It would be great if it could eventually sprawl across the city centre in the same way that the Christmas market does, filling the streets of Mancinia with peonies and ranunculus and of course, our beloved Manchester Bee.