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Wilmslow Express - - CITY LIFE LOCAL -

AN­CH­ESTER’S lost gar­dens are bloom­ing back into life this spring in a ma­jor new in­stal­la­tion at Manch­ester Art Gallery.

The Na­tional Trust has spruced up the Mosley Street gallery with lush dis­plays of plants and flow­ers in an homage to the city’s green spa­ces of yes­ter­year, in­clud­ing Old Traf­ford’s Royal Botan­i­cal Gar­dens and Belle Vue Zoo­log­i­cal Gar­dens.

Vis­i­tors will be greeted by a mag­i­cal dis­play of or­chids in­side the stair­well, be­fore wan­der­ing through to dis­cover re­minders of the boun­ti­ful or­chards that oc­cu­pied Shude­hill in 1753, where the city’s main bus in­ter­change now stands.

Other parts of the in­stal­la­tion will re­call the pala­tial glasshouses and grounds of the Royal Botan­i­cal Gar­dens at Old Traf­ford, which wel­comed 4.75 mil­lion vis­i­tors to cel­e­brate Queen Vic­to­ria’s Golden Ju­bilee in 1887.

Belle Vue Zoo­log­i­cal gar­dens will also be re­dis­cov­ered, which many Mancunians will re­mem­ber be­fore its clo­sure in 1977.

Na­tional Trust gar­dener in res­i­dence Sean Harkin, who led the project, said: “The Lost Gar­dens will evolve over the course of the year and re­flect the changes to the sea­sons.

“Plants have been se­lected to give the true sense of what it would have felt like in each of the gar­dens and we have com­mis­sioned hand­painted old signs sim­i­lar to the ones peo­ple would have seen at Belle Vue and the Royal Botan­i­cal Gar­dens.

“Vis­i­tors will be amazed by the sheer scale of the in­stal­la­tion and will be able to en­joy the sights and smells of the plants, re­lax amid the fo­liage and find them­selves a world away from the hus­tle and bus­tle of to­day’s Manch­ester.”

The Lost Gar­dens of Manch­ester is on view now un­til the end of Oc­to­ber, when it will close with a dis­play of pump­kins for Hal­lowe’en.

Maria Bal­shaw, direc­tor of Manch­ester City Gal­leries and The Whit­worth, said: “We are de­lighted to be part­ner­ing the Na­tional Trust who have pro­duced this spec­tac­u­lar project.

“This ex­cep­tional

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