St Mary’s Way was built as an inner ring road through Rawtenstall’s historic past. 30 years later it was a dirty, litter-and-weed infested mess. Civic Pride took it on in 2009, creating a neat shrub and lawned area. In 2012, major works by United Utilities totally wrecked the whole area!
Civic Pride seized the opportunity to create something stunning! We negotiated with United Utilities who gave us a generous grant for the task. Unfortunately, 12 hours before tons of soil and plants were due to arrive, our contractor pulled out! Frantic phone calls and some very late-night working got the plan completed on schedule. Phew!
The aim was for low-maintenance all-year colour using a complementary variety of shrubs including hydrangea and choisya which are now maturing beautifully. A lone volunteer has since added annuals, perennials and bulbs, plus species such as variegated laurel and lavender rescued from our seasonal barrier baskets.
This is now a fabulous garden in the most unpromising of locations. We need to keep shrubs neatly trimmed and fertilised and to add more colour with bulbs and bedding-out plants in season – plus many hours of weeding!
We want to emphasise that here is a town which cares. This colourful oasis is being created amidst the noise and bustle of modern life, soothing the souls of the many thousands who, daily use this major artery.