Gardenproud Blog

Archive for the ‘Garden Repairs’ Category

See Gardenproud on Instagram

Friday, January 29th, 2016

We’ve recently joined Instagram and have the grand total of 30 Followers!

So a long way to go yet.

We are trying to upload new photos everyday.

The above photo features Basil who is one of our regular ride-on drivers, it’s already got a like from would you believe John Deere!

If you are looking for great pictures to inspire your garden thinking, then look no further than Gardenproud. You can see us at www.instagram.com

If you haven’t already signed up you can download the app for i-phone (IOS) , Android, or Windows phone at the above, or visit your App Store on your phone.

Looking forward to having you as Followers soon!

Gardenproud Photo Highlights 2015

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

2015 was an excellent year for Gardenproud.

Lots of new projects for the landscaping division and some previous projects revisited and updated. Which is all good stuff as gardens evolve.

We went to Chelsea and gleaned inspiration from the latest designs, braved the weather and enjoyed the champagne. We’ve started designing and creating garden buildings as part of our landscaping offer. The Maintenance teams  worked extremely hard to cope with the new assignments, and new gardeners joined the team. We look forward to recruiting more team members in 2016.

It is with great sadness to report that Emmett Gilah, who was a regular member of the team, has unfortunately died. He was an industrious chap and good gardener and far too young to die. Our thoughts go out to his family. Thank you Emmett you will be sorely missed.

2015 was a big year for us, as we moved house. We haven’t moved for 16 years. So had forgotten just how stressy and time consuming the whole process is. Especially when you are also trying to run two businesses. So having beautified our last house and completely re-fashioned the garden, we now have a new garden. So watch this space!

Fortunately shortly after moving we had a holiday. Which was a real tonic. Sarah and I visited a number of gardens during our summer holiday. We went to Madeira, which was an eye opener. We went in August, but if you really want to see the flora, I suggest you go in April or May. But do go. It is a wonderful island and it benefits from a sub-tropical climate. Over the years it has had a strong British influence, so the planting is a bit a mixture between those we see in the UK and more tropical specimens. There is a very good book (which I bought) written by an Englishman, Gerald Luckhurst. He is a landscape architect and has designed and built many gardens on Madeira. Sounds like a rather good job!

Back home and back to work on our plans for the new house and various gardens.

So here we are already in 2016. A new house, a new garden, a greenhouse for the first time, some new possible avenues, new projects and new gardens. Oh yes, we’ve got a little more savvy on the media front – we are already on Facebook, we are now on Instagram! I think we have the grand total of 30 followers, so do look us up (my son claims to have 1400)!  I don’t believe him.

See us at www.instagram.com

Enough said, 2016 looks busy, I’d better stop writing and get on with it!

It’s February already, so what’s going on in the garden?

Friday, February 7th, 2014

It’s February and it seems like we are getting a similar dose of  weather to January, with a mixture of rain, sunshine and low temperatures. At the point of writing there’s no promise of snow, although cold air above Scandinavia may move southward and bring with it a colder spell.

So I’m afraid you need to wrap up warm in the garden, plus watch the weather forecast for frosts and keep your less hardy shrubs wrapped in fleeces.

The RHS provide a really useful list of jobs for you to consider in February. This covers work you can be getting on with, both in and out of doors:

  1. Prepare vegetable seed beds, and sow some vegetables under cover
  2. Protect blossom on apricots, nectarines and peaches
  3. Net fruit and vegetable crops to keep the birds off
  4. Prune winter-flowering shrubs that have finished flowering
  5. Divide bulbs such as snowdrops, and plant those that need planting “ in the green”
  6. Prune Wisteria
  7. Prune hardy evergreen hedges and renovate overgrown deciduous hedges
  8. Prune any climbers in conservatories or greenhouses
  9. Cut back ornamental grasses left uncut over winter

Other things to be considering….

-       Cut back any dead foliage you’ve left over the winter period

-       Prune back Hydrangeas to their new shoots

-       Prepare the borders for planting

If the weather starts to improve you may find it’s necessary to cut the lawn, although don’t cut it too short, and avoid going on the lawn if it remains sodden. One job you can do is to tidy up the edges as this will help reduce your tasks for March.

Turf can be laid provided that the soil is not too wet or frosty. If you have to carry this out then work from planks to avoid localized compacting and creating an uneven surface. Whatever you do, avoid walking on the new surface for a number of weeks to allow the root structure to establish.

When preparing the beds look at the soil conditions and consider improving these. For example given the heavy rains of December and January you may have noticed a drainage problem. If you have heavy soil work in some organic matter and horticultural grit to help improve the nutrients and drainage.

Mixing in a deep layer of organic matter helps to condition the soil, can help suppress weed growth, protect plants from fluctuations in temperature, and

retain moisture during the warmer months.

Last month we talked about garden repairs. If the dreadful weather we’ve all experienced hasn’t allowed you into the garden yet, then don’t forget to get these projects out of the way before the growing season! So this includes broken fences, damaged shed roofs, rotten pathway gravel board edges, plus compost and raised bed repairs.

Talking of repairs. During these more dormant periods it’s also worth tidying out the shed, and clearing out any broken tools that can’t be fixed, broken pots etc. Also remember to have serviced any power tools including the mower, hedge trimmer, strimmer and blower. Always ask your repairer to sharpen the blades, or replace them in the case of a heavily utilised mower. If you haven’t used the tools for a while it’s worth remembering that the fuel can go stale, so when you take any items in for servicing ask them to refresh this.

Flowers to look out for in February include; Snowdrops, Hellebores, Violets, Winter Jasmine and of course those early Daffs.

Please do let me have your thoughts and contributions.  Also feel free to fire any gardening questions at me and I’ll do my best to answer these for you in the next edition. This is my email address    reallygardenproud@btinternet.com

I hope you enjoy February in your garden.

Best wishes

Tim Sykes, 07725 173820

Windy New Year brings havoc to Tunbridge Wells

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Winter Garden Repair Service

If the storms in October and leading up to Christmas weren’t enough, the bad weather has continued to reek havoc in Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding countryside.

Even last night another tree in our road – a Scots Pine fell foul of the winds. I was stopped by one of my tree surgeon colleagues who was trying to reduce the tree so that it didn’t collapse onto a nearby house. Part of the problem is that we have had a period of sustained rain, so the ground is very wet and soft, added to this trees have taken a pounding over a number of weeks, so are likely to be less secure. Strong gusts can therefore uproot them.

Many customers are reporting broken fences, garden walls, gates and garden buildings damaged by falling debris and trees.

Fortunately most of the big oaks had shed their leaves before the latest storms. So from what we can see, the trees that have been badly affected by the recent weather, are predominantly evergreen, with conifers, scots pines and cedars among the major casualties.

Just as we were leaving for a Christmas break the storms wipped up on December 23rd and by the morning a fresh crop of  trees had become victims of the high winds. We had a narrow escape ourselves, as a tall pine next door uprooted itself and came crashing down on their front garden, narrowly missing their house. A lovely Christmas present for our neighbour.

If you have any tree, or collateral damage from the storms then call us today, on 07725 173820.

At Gardenproud we offer a full Winter Garden Repair Service. It might be a broken fence panel, or post, a shed roof that needs re-surfacing, a garden wall that needs rebuilding, a patio or paths that need re-pointing, just call us on the above number and we will be happy to provide an estimate.

Happy New Year – Happy New Garden

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

I can feel a wave of enthusiasm for the garden as 2014 is finally upon us!

Lots of plans for our garden, including sprucing up the rear garden beds, tackling a wall of ivy, which has been beckoning for sometime and repairing the gravel board edges to our pathways.

It’s a good time to tackle the latter two items right now!  In fact, if you have any repairs you need to carry out in the garden, eg. broken fences, shed roof replacement, pathways, new composting systems, new trellising etc., it’s an excellent opportunity to get these out of the way.

We also have some plans for our front garden this year.

After some design and hard landscaping undertaken during 2013, we now want to turn our attention to planting up the front garden.

We made a lot of progress last year……

From this……

To this…….

There’s still a little bit of hard landscaping to finish, which we will endeavor to complete in January and February.

Then it’s onto the planting plan. I’ve already prepared some outline plans for this and we replanted a section of the beech hedge in November ( using bare root beech hedging plants from English Woodlands, with Miracle Grow planting compost).

We also planted four gorgeous trees, two Prunus Cerasifera Nigra ( a dark red leaved flowering Cherry ) – very pretty.

Photo: with thanks to RHS.

Plus, two Liquidambar Styraciflua (Sweet Gum). These trees resemble large acers, and have bright green maple like leaves that turn a striking orange/red and purple in the Autumn.

Photo: with thanks to RHS.

We’ve made a start on the planting, but we need to finish this off, otherwise my name will be mud!

So watch this space!

Apart from getting the garden into good shape, January is a great time to gain some inspiration and make plans.

If you are a keen gardener you may like to consider taking out a subscription with RHS for their monthly magazine – The Garden. It’s £4.25 an issue, but well worth it!

In the January issue, Tim Upson puts a spotlight on some of the less well –known plants that look great in the winter garden. These include Ribes Laurifolium, Edgeworthia Chrysantha, Cornus Officinalis, and my favourite –Rhododendron Dauricum. This latter plant is semi evergreen with small leaves, tinged purple in Winter. It has beautiful, white funnel shaped flowers that appear late Winter. Further information about The Garden magazine can be found at www.rhs.org.uk

Another publication I find inspiring is The Garden Design Journal, published by The Society of Garden Designers. You can Google more about it at www.sgd.org.uk

One of the article’s I spied in their January edition is the preparation for Capability Brown’s 300th birthday celebrations in 2016. You can see more about these at a new website that’s just been launched

www.capabilitybrown.org With over 100 surviving examples of his work you can visit, it’s well worth signing up to the website’s advance news and updates for the celebrations.

In the meantime, if you are looking for inspiration in the winter garden, here are a few places you could visit:

Anglesey Abbey, Cambridgeshire www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Audley End, Essex www.english-heritage.org.uk

Painshill Landscape Garden, Surrey www.painshill.co.uk

Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent www.forestry.gov.uk/bedgebury

Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Enjoy January in the garden and Happy New Year!

For further information contact Tim Sykes at Gardenproud, on 07725 173820

Happy New Year from View

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

View is the quarterly update from Gardenproud on what’s new in the garden.

The new 2014 edition is out now. You can order a copy in the post, or via email. Just send an email request to info@reallygardenproud.com

In this quarter’s edition are Gardening Tips, 2013 Highlights from Gardenproud, some ideas for Window Boxes, details of our latest Equipment updates – of special interest to the demands of larger gardens, our latest recruit, and news of our latest Design Projects.

One Bath Crescent to be proud of….

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
We had the good fortune to visit our relatives in Bath this weekend and what a pleasant surprise to see their new garden terrace. They live in a large delightful stone house in a village setting  just outside the City. The house is surrounded by a walled garden which is mainly laid to lawn with herbacious borders, fruit trees and a large vegetable garden (which must be Phase 2 of the garden refurb they have just embarked on).
When we first saw the garden some years ago, the levels were strange. You used to walk out of the rear kitchen door to be confronted by a high wall and a flight of steps. The rear of the house was consequently rather gloomy and garden although nice was unwelcoming.
Well that’s all changed now. Thanks to the foresight of our relatives and a rather clever design the rear of the house has been transformed. Some 30 tons of soil were dug out to create the space for a smart new terraced area. This has been designed in a crescent shape with planting terraces and steps leading up the garden beyond. Suddenly light is reaching the rear of the house, you can see the garden, you are in the garden amongst the fauna, it’s wonderful.
Thanks to the rise in temperature this weekend we were able to sit out on the new terrace and take it all in.
We were supping our G&T’s before Sunday lunch on the nicely weathered teak table, among the beautiful late flowering plants in the lower beds. The planting scheme was designed by Darren Joseph of Daisy-Rose Gardeners in Bath, and what a nice job they have made of it. My favourites include the verbena bonariensis and euphorbia, they are just stunning.
Other features include the distressed urns that adorn the local stone clad walls, and a rather cute ceramic pelican that has a great provenance.
The terrace surface is paved in Welsh stone and I can appreciate why. It has a softer riven effect to indian sandstone and works really well with the local stone walls.
If you live in Bath then why not contact Darren at Daisy-Rose Gardeners www.daisyrosegardeners.co.uk
Alternatively for further information about this article, or Gardenproud please  contact Tim Sykes at 07725 173820

7.4m Brits are too ashamed to use their Gardens

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Some of you will have read the article in the Daily Mail. It’s almost unbelievable but maybe true!

Recent research reveals that an amazing 7.4million Brits never spend time in their courtyard or back garden. That’s 12 percent of us. 40% say it’s in a real state with weeds, poorly cared for plants etc. So a rather embarrassing place!

More than 25% of householders admit to finding mowing the lawn or planting flowers more difficult than doing a spot of DIY.

Well if this describes your experience then look no further!

Apart from helping you look after your garden on a regular basis we can turn that weed ridden wasteland back into a garden you’ll be proud of and enjoy.

We have a dedicated GARDEN BLITZ team, plus a team of regular gardeners who can take on the regular maintenance task.

Costs start from as little as £13.00 + VAT per hour

So if you live in Kent contact Tim Sykes at Gardenproud on 07725 173820 for a free estimate.

So Spring is nearly with us. What’s going on in the garden?

Monday, March 18th, 2013

By Tim Sykes – March 2013

As we approach Spring the bulbs start bursting through and for many of us this is the signal to focus on getting the garden sorted for the Summer.

In reality looking after the garden is a year round thing. But after the dreariness of the winter those daffs coming into bloom are a great moral booster and really help to re-engage us!

Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party” – Robin Williams

I can’t believe it, it’s March already and 2 months have passed since the festivities of Christmas and the New Year.

If we are all agreed it’s time to party, what should we be focusing on in the garden?

-       If you haven’t got the mower serviced yet you need to get it seen to, just getting the blades sharpened will help ensure that you achieve a nice cut.

-       You need to prune the roses before the buds burst into growth.

-       If you’ve got any patches of lawn that are looking sad then now’s the time to sow some fresh seed and apply a dressing, or re-turf sections.

-       If you haven’t already done so then prepare your borders, removing any old weed growth and dead foliage and apply a mulch or well-rotted manure. This will help add nourishment and suppress fresh weed growth.

-       Prune back any climbers such as clematis before they get going.

-       Choose and plant out your Summer bulbs and sow the seeds of your herb garden (in particular Basil, Coriander and Parsley).

-       Plant out any new perennials.

-       If you have a fruit section in your garden then now’s the time to plant the raspberries and strawberries.

These are just some of tasks that spring to mind, but please let me have your thoughts and contributions.  Also feel free to fire any gardening questions at me and I’ll do my best to answer these for you in the next edition. This is my email address    reallygardenproud@btinternet.com

Flowers to look out for in March include; Daffodils, Primrose, Hellebores,  Cyclamen,  Crocus,  Hyacinths, Dwarf Tulips, Violets and of course Bergenia Cordifolia (Elephant’s Ears).

Enjoy the awakening of your garden this March.

For further information about Gardenproud’s design, landscaping or garden maintenance services please contact Tim Sykes on 07725 173820, or at info@reallygardenproud.com

February – What’s going on in the garden?

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

So what’s going on in the garden right now? Here are a few tips……

- Wrap up warm!
- Watch the weather forecast for frosts and keep your less hardy shrubs wrapped in fleeces
- Cut back ornamental grasses
- Prune back shoots on Hydrangeas
- Prepare the borders for planting
- Consider aerating the lawn late February
- Get your power tools and mower serviced
- Order the Summer bulbs


Probably one of the simplest but most effective demonstrations of the value of lawn aeration.

It’s at times like this that we can also see the impact of the Autumn and Winter months on the garden. The lack of foliage often draws our attention to problems that need addressing. It might be a broken fence panel or post, a shed roof that needs resurfacing, a patio or terrace that needs repointing, broken walls, lawn edging, decking surfaces that require cleaning and recoating, pathway and driveway repairs, or broken garden or water features.

Now, while the garden is still relatively dormant, is the best time to address these issues.

Flowers to look out for in February include; Snowdrops, Hellebores, Violets, Winter Jasmine and of course those early Daffs.

I hope you enjoy February in your garden.