Backing onto woodland, the verge was a mass of brambles and weeds, covered in HGV tracks resulting in a rutted, muddy mess. Hardly an inspiring goodbye as visitors left the town, more like a sad farewell. This layby is regularly used by cars, vans and lorries as a convenient resting place before setting off for the motorway network.
Having just left a cared for town with attractive gardens we felt it was important to maintain this image by creating an attractive and colourful garden before the mile-long drive along the well-kept spur road.
The initial hard graft was a team effort whilst the black and white marker posts were purchased and commissioned by us to discourage vehicles from driving over the grass. The site was then maintained successfully for about three years by a secret gardener who unfortunately had to relinquish it to make more time for other commitments. It is now back under the care of the Thursday crew who have also arranged for compost bins to be installed, to maximise the recycling opportunities.
The fence needs regular attention but on the other side of it there are prospects for planting primroses, hostas and hellebores to extend the colour, texture and interest into the woodland itself. The introduction of insect friendly plants will encourage birds and bats to what we intend to be a colourful and interesting plot.
We want those who use the layby to leave with a positive feeling about Rawtenstall and its many gardens. If it also brightens the day for those who drive by on their daily commute, the hard work will not have been in vain.