In the autumn, as part of the the commemoration of the start of World War 1, the city planted 1000s upon 1000s of snowdrops in the city’s parks and gardens. The snowdrop, being the first flower to bloom after the winter is seen as a symbol of hope so it was appropriate to plant them as a symbol for the coming of peace after a war. 

At the moment they are all blooming. They look at bit thin on the ground at the moment because single bulbs were planted but over the years they will multiply and spread to form a dense white carpet in late winter. These ones were in the gardens surrounding Manchester Cathedral.

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And these were in St John’s Gardens, a garden created by the demolition of St. John’s Church many years ago when the city centre spread and commercial buildings replaced the houses that were there. Things grow well in these gardens, possibly because of the 1000s upon 1000s of former Mancunians who were buried in the church yard and are still there. Something the office workers probably don’t think about when they sit on the grass enjoying their al fresco lunches in the summer months!

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The rather grim, grey, 60s office block in the background has its days numbered. It, together with another equally unprepossessing building behind it are destined for demolition. It will be replaced by another glass and steel office tower connecting Spinningfields to the new St. John’s Quarter being built around the former Granada TV Studios that have decamped to Media City. Behind the cross, in the distance, seven apartment towers are planned to line the banks of the river. People are saying it will make St. John’s Gardens look like Central Park. I think that’s pushing it a bit but we will see.   

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