About the Groundwork Garden

The Groundwork Garden demonstrates how nature can be used in urban spaces to help make the city more resilient. By slowing the flow of rain water, we can reduce flood risk and by planting the right tree and flower species we can benefit wildlife, providing food sources and homes for them to live.

The Groundwork Garden is made up of hexagonal planters each showing what can be achieved even in small places, these include:

  • Woodland/orchard area – showcasing fruit trees perennial plants that that grow well in urban gardens. These are surrounded by and insect homes, mini ponds and bird feeders.
  • Wild flower meadow area containing 41 different wildflower species supplied by Burry Hill Landscape Supplies that provide a nectar source for butterflies, bees, moths and hoverflies throughout the spring, summer and autumn.
  • Pollinator pockets – a selection of specific plants which are good for bees and butterflies.

Who’s been involved in the garden’s creation?
  • Our team supported pupils from Manchester Communication Academy to create bug hotels, bird feeders and mini ponds which feature in the garden
  • Our team supported a group of young people from YPAC in Collyhurst to design some positivity pebbles which will act as decoration in the garden
  • Urban Rangers, employed through the Resilient River Valleys project, built the hexagonal structures and planted the tress and shrubs
  • The Ranger learnt new skills throughout the project, including basic garden design skills and understanding what plants benefit wildlife

What are we doing with the garden after the Flower Show?

After the show the community elements will be returned to the communities who helped build them:

  • Manchester Communication Academy will use the bug hotels in their Forest School area
  • The hexagonal planters, wildflowers, planting and trees will be reused in the Resilient River Valleys urban housing sites in Burnage and Wythenshawe

What inspiration can you take from the garden?

Plant wildflowers

Let you grass grow

Build a bug hotel

Planting List

Orchard planters:

  • Apple Tree – Malus James Grieve
  • Cherry Tree – Prunus A Lapins
  • Pear Tree – Pyrus Conference
  • Ferns
  • Hosta albopita
  • Hosta Patriot
  • Sarcococca Purple Gem
  • Primula vulgaris

Wildlife friendly planters:

  • Bergenia Cordiflora Purpurea
  • Bergenia cordifolia
  • Ergieron karvinskianus
  • Geranium sanguineum
  • Geum Fiery tempest
  • Geum Scarlet tempest
  • Hebe calendonia
  • Lavender Hidcotte
  • Leucanthemum Cloud Strarus
  • Lupin gallery rose (pink)
  • Lupin gallery yellow
  • Primula Vulgaris
  • Primula vulgaris
  • Rose – Your Beautiful (pink)
  • Rose ‘Arthur Bell’ (yellow)
  • Salvia caradonna
  • Salvia nemrosa
  • Salvia officinalis ‘Purpurascens’

Wildflower meadow:

Birds and Bees wildflower mat provided by Burry Hill Landscape supplies.

It contains a mix of 41 native British wildflowers including field poppies, purple loosestrife, red companion and white clover.


The Resilient River Valleys project is a partnership project between 3 environmental charities – Groundwork Greater Manchester, City of Trees, and the Mersey Rivers Trust.

The project focuses on delivering nature-based solutions (such as planting trees, creating wildflower meadows and installing leady dams) for climate mitigation and adaptation in Manchester’s River valleys and urban green spaces. The project has the support of 3 local authorities and 4 housing providers, and is delivered across 27 different sites primarily in North Manchester, Burnage, and Wythenshawe.

The project is made possible thanks to funding from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund, with the three charities awarded a grant of £1,024,000. The project is one of ninety nature projects across England to be awarded a grant from the Government’s £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund, which was created to boost green jobs and support nature to recover, and is a key part of the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan to kick-start nature recovery and tackle climate change.