Highlights of RHS Urban Show 2024

See all the best bits from the show at Depot Mayfield Manchester

The RHS Urban Show filled Manchester’s Depot Mayfield with flora over four days. Focussing on gardening and green spaces in towns and cities, the show addressed challenges and offered solutions, as well as providing plenty of design and plant inspiration. 

Content cubes

Rainwater Capture by Leon Davis
Six spaces dedicated to different areas of urban gardening. Beginner Buddies designed by Andrew Simpson with four local youth LGBTQ+ groups championed easy to care for houseplants to get people started on their plant parent journey. Urban Shade designed by Conal Mcguire created a desirable solution to the low-light problem faced my many town and city gardeners. Garage Gardening by Jack’s Patch housed shelves of microgreens and mushroom cabinets. It’s ‘grow your own’ as you’ve never seen it before. How to Grow Your Own by University of Manchester Botanical Grounds was packed full of propagation, edibles and ornamentals side by side. Biodiverse Containers by Beth Chatto’s Plants and Gardens applies the designer’s Right Plant, Right Place ethos to a wildlife patio garden. Rainwater Capture by Leon Davis explored how to harvest, save and manage rainwater in a small urban garden to reduce flooding and integrate sustainable irrigation.
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Urban forest

Nathan Webster on his RHS Urban Forest
Nathan Webster brought the woodland management skills that earned him Young Designer of the Year at RHS Tatton Park, to the city. Lights by Kris O’Brine from Event Concept recreated the practice of felling 10% of trees to provide light to the forest floor, encouraging a healthy layer of under planting to thrive. The journey through the exhibit was accompanied by an urban soundscape: birdsong mixed with traffic and chatter, with the natural sounds gradually overtaking as you move deeper into the woodland.


Robot dogs

Robot dog at RHS Urban Show 2024

The stars of the show were Ellie and Ellmo, the robot dogs of The Wider Web exhibit from designers Kenny Wilding-Raybould, Yve Metcalfe-Tyrrell and Jake Gibson Shaw-Sutton. The mechanical pups analyse soil to help with efficient growing practices, one of the many ways technology can be applied to provide solutions for agriculture.

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Mad boxes

Mad About Land Gardenwear's meadow boxes

The headline sponsors of the show Mad About Land – Gardenwear pulled out all the stops for their installation. Cardboard boxes filled with mini-meadows, especially grown on the Madresfield Estate stacked up to create an Aztec garden, representative of urban structures such as the Trellick Tower in London, essentially a tessellated wildflower meadow. Each box in the tower is compostable and visitors on the last day of the show were asked to take a box home to reduce waste. Mad also created the incredible Arts and Crafts print floral projections that illuminated both their installation and the entrance lobby. Bob Sheard, co-founder of Mad About Land says: The projections are an homage to the urban architecture of Depot Mayfield. We believe the benefits of gardening should be available to everyone, and we can reap those benefits, not just from large spaces, but also from smaller gardens.


24 Hour Planting People designed by Amanda GrimesPop culture planting

One of the first sights of the show was Amanda Grime’s Pop Culture Planting beds. Visitors were shown two Manchester themed planting arrangements, each in the three stages of development to represent the evolution of a garden. Punk Rockery, harked back to the infamous Sex Pistols performance in Manchester in 1976, which became known as The Gig That Changed the World. 24 Hour Party People was influenced by the ‘Madchester’ music scene of the 80s and early 90s centred around the city’s Haçienda nightclub.

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Happy Houseplants

Bagshot School Allotment
Indoor plants were everywhere at the RHS Urban Show with beautiful displays for every level of experience, from reliable low-maintenance to exotic, specialist plants. Incorporating both was the vast Happy Houseplants with GrowTropicals display. Three ‘houses’ displayed galleries of plants like natural works of art, to show how houseplants, just like garden plants, should be matched with their growing space.

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RHS City Spaces: Cloudscapes

East-facing balcony of the CloudscapesJason Williams (aka The Cloud Gardener) curated several gardens in the Cloudscapes feature. Four balconies showed what can be done in north, south, east and west facing aspects. A shady patio was transformed into a relaxing haven with crops woven through ornamentals. A community garden served as an example to urban developers and a call for them to take a whole new approach to communal green spaces.

Shop the show

Shoppers at RHS Urban ShowMany of the beautiful displays of houseplants at the show came from the specialist exhibitors who brought the buzz to Depot Mayfield. Stands showcased the latest garden technologies, tools and new exotic plants along with expert growing advice. Everything you need to create and care for your urban garden could be found at the show with ‘shopportunities’ round every corner. When a break was needed, visitors could rest their feet and have a relaxing drink or delicious snack in the RHS MEN Pub Garden, or at one of the many food courts.


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See the exhibitors at the 2024 RHS Urban Show

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.