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A Call Out for an Artist, Designer, Architect, Creative

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We are a community garden in South Manchester looking for an artist or other creative to help us design & construct an area for a library of medicinal plants - this could be a large single structure &/or a series of smaller containers, surfaces & markers across the site. We are particularly interested in designs that consider how people come together in the garden and how easily people can tend any plants. The botanical library of medicinal plants is to house up to 80 plants from seedlings to more established foliage.

Fallowfield Secret Garden

Fallowfield Secret Garden is located on Wilbraham Road in South Manchester. Run by volunteers since 2006 FSG uses gardening as a means to foster social support structures, providing individuals, families & small groups with outdoor space & shared growing, landscaping & maintenance responsibilities. Prior to covid the garden hosted a regular outdoor playgroup encouraging free play in nature. FSG has further hosted working groups from large companies (network rail, BT) who undertake gardening tasks for team building. Supported by One Manchester & Manchester City Council Neighbourhood Investment Fund FSG is a vital local community space that we are looking to rejuvenate post covid with the addition of the library of medicinal plants.

Read more about the garden here
Follow us on Instagram @fallowfieldsecretgarden

We have received Art Council England National Lottery Project Funding to commission an artist to work with us on the design & construction of a new area of medicinal plants. We have separate funding for the plants & would encourage any applicants to further engage in this aspect of the project. The garden currently contains a number of mature plants associated with medicinal uses that could be incorporated into any design, including 6 Ginko Biloba trees, large areas of herbs (sage, lavender, thyme, lemon balm, mint ect.), roses, raspberry canes, comfrey, Hawthorn, lilac trees & bull rushes. We will be compiling an index of plants on site throughout the period of the commission.
We will be holding open mornings for anyone interested in the commission on

  • Sunday 21st November 12.30 - 3pm
  • Sunday 5th December 12.30 - 3pm

Please come & visit the site & talk to the volunteers

The commission

We can offer a fee of £1500 for the design & installation of the planting structure.
A materials budget of £500 plus use of any materials currently in the garden – this includes large amounts of wood, bricks, glass & other recyclable items. We have a policy of no plastics on site & recycle & repurpose as much material as possible.
We can support the construction & installation of the commissioned design.

The commissioned artist would be expected to:

  • Commit to working with Secret Garden volunteers over the planning & installation of their proposed work.
  • Deliver one or more workshops for the local community in the garden around an aspect of their planting design.
  • Complete the construction of the proposed design by the end of March 2022 ready for spring planting.

We will shortlist applicants from the call out for an interview on Saturday 18th December. We can cover travel expenses for shortlisted artists.

We aim to make a final decision by Wednesday 22nd December.

Key Dates

We will be holding open mornings at the garden for anyone interested in the commission on 

  • Sunday 21st November 12.30 - 3pm
  • Sunday 5th December 12.30 – 3pm

Please come & visit the site & talk to the volunteers

  • 5pm 18th December deadline for proposals
  • 15th January 2021 Interviews for shortlisted artists at Fallowfield Secret Garden
  • 22nd January (at the latest) interviewees notified of decision & artist commissioned.

How to apply

Applications can be written, or an audio / video submission. If applying via audio/video please host externally (e.g vimeo) remembering to password protect it & send a link in an email to with the subject line Botanical Library
Please send us no more than –

  • 500 words describing how you would approach the design, for instance with regards to aspects of materials, scale, durability and function of any structure.
  • 5 images that help demonstrate your ideas (sketch and/or mood board)
  • 3 images of previous works.
  • Some information on you and your previous experiences that you feel are relevant for the project (no more than 500 words).
  • A contact email address & telephone number.

We accept applications from any creative & you do not need to have prior experience of garden design or formal arts training.

Email applications to by 5pm on 18th December

You are welcome to email Laura for any further information about the project & visiting the garden.