Manchester Snowdrop City

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To mark the centenary of the First World War we worked with local volunteers, community groups and schools to plant 100,000 snowdrop bulbs in green spaces across in Manchester in September 2014. Snowdrops were planted on soldiers’ graves during the war to make them less bleak.

A symbol of hope and peace during the conflict, the commemorative flowers bloomed across the city for the first time in February 2015. They will leave a lasting legacy when they flower each year and should produce even more spectacular displays as they multiply for the enjoyment of people who visit, work and live in Manchester.

‘Every year famous outdoor sites in Manchester will turn a sea of white as the carpets of snowdrops bloom,’ said our urban gardener Sean Harkin, who has led the project. ‘The snowdrop is so fragile in appearance and with white being the colour of peace we thought it would be a good emblem to commemorate the First World War.’

Dramatic snowdrops installation accompanies project

A war-themed installation featuring snowdrops growing out of an imitation First World War bunker was also created outside the entrance and inside the foyer of Manchester Art Gallery to showcase the snowdrop planting project.

The display led visitors to an exhibition of Stanley Spencer paintings on loan from Sandham Memorial Chapel which ran until 1 March 2015. The ‘Heaven in a Hell of War’ exhibition was the first time that the visionary paintings had been this far north.

You can see the snowdrops that were planted around the city in the following locations:

  • Angel Meadows
  • Manchester Cathedral
  • Manchester Science Park
  • Manchester University (University Place)
  • Parsonage Gardens
  • Sackville Gardens
  • St John's Gardens
  • The Northern Quarter

Or download a map of the locations (pdf).

If you'd like more information about the Manchester Snowdrop City project please email our urban gardener Sean Harkin or keep in touch with him on Facebook and Twitter.