Gardenproud Blog

Archive for June, 2011

Hey! Protect your eyes in the garden!

Monday, June 27th, 2011

And save 10% on a new pair of Sunglasses thanks to Gardenproud.

Summer is here and whether you are sunbathing, barbecuing or gardening looking after your eyes is critical.

As my optician recently reminded me, protecting your eyes against prolonged exposure to strong sunlight is pretty sensible. Particularly if you want to reduce the risk of cataracts, damage to eyelids, or even temporary blindness caused through sunburn to the cornea. For further information about the risks see

Well the solution is simple. Wear sunglasses!

If you are sunbathing then pose away in your trendy designer specs! But if you’re in the thick of it, digging away in a rose bed, you’ll need something a bit more durable that can take the odd knock when you walk into a tree branch!

There are some good options here:

Oakley are re-knowned for their range of tough sunglasses that sports people the world over have adopted. They have a wide range from lighter models to heavy framed sunglasses. They also offer a good after-sales service so if there is an accident you can get your sunglasses repaired, including lens replacement.  Expect to pay between £60 – £150.

Another great option are Maul Jim sunglasses that are much lighter concept with polarized lenses coming as standard, so the clarity is superb. Maul Jim produce a wide range of styles to suit most tastes. Expect to pay around £100.

Ok, so where in Tunbridge Wells do you go?

There’s the perfect place.  Star Sunglasses. You’ll find them in Ely Court, just as you walk into the Victoria Place shopping centre from Camden Road.

They’ve got a terrific range of sunglasses, so there’s something to suit everybody.

And as a special offer to Gardenproud Customers there’s an exclusive 10% discount.

Just quote FLYSTAR when you buy online at

Or call into the shop and quote the above code.

Enjoy the sun in your garden!

Feast your eyes on Marle Place this summer!

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

We recently visited Marle Place Gardens.

These are situated in Brenchley, near Tunbridge Wells in Kent.

Marle Place is a privately owned garden, first created in 1890 which features 10 acres of formal planting, plus further less formal areas including an orchard and woodlands.

Situated close to Scotney and Sissinghurst Castles. Marle Place was Winner of the Kent Wildlife Gardens Gold Award in 2009.

The gardens have been beautifully designed as a series of rooms and tree lined avenues. These are all set on a south east facing slope which flows into woodland.

The planting has been well thought through and when we visited the colours were just amazing.

As their website explains, “In the spring there is a mass of blossom and bulbs, followed in the summer by old-fashioned roses and scented, borders. A dazzling display of autumn colour ends the season.”

There are lots of other features to enjoy including a Victorian Gazebo, Edwardian rockery, and an Italianate Walled Garden.

If you like orchids you’ll love the restored C19th greenhouse which is full of unusual species.

The gardens have also been influenced from around the world including the use of statues and urns, plus a bamboo plantation, a pretty allium pasture and the bog garden with its exotic gunnera.

You can see more about Marle Place including opening times and directions at

So if you haven’t been there already put this on your list to visit this summer.

Marle Place

The House

Marle Place - Formal Pond

Formal Pond

Marle Place - Stained Glass

Victorian Gazebo

Marle Place - Horse

Horse Sculpture

Marle Place - Statue


Marle Place - Tulips

Tulip Border

Marle Place

Kitchen Garden

Marle Place - Urn

Urn Sculpture

Panamanian thoughts for Summer Gardens

Monday, June 6th, 2011

As summer approaches our thoughts turn to long sunny days, barbecues and bright, colourful borders.

Well in Panama it’s like this quite a lot!

A couple of years ago, to coincide with a special birthday we were treated to a super holiday with our dear friends from Panama City.

Like many residents they have houses in the City and at the Beach. So 2 gardens!

The garden in the City is currently undergoing a renovation program. Not a quick process in Panama!

The house is built in a contemporary style with high ceilings and large windows. It is surrounded by a good sized garden area ( by Tunbridge Wells standards) which is mainly laid to lawn with tall trees and a few shrubs. Beyond a tall walled boundary the garden backs straight onto the jungle! The combination of this plus the trees in the garden create a rather shady space, so the plan is to open this up so as to encourage more light into the space, add some hard landscaping and a water feature, as well as to revolutionise the planting. I tried to offer our services but I’m up against 2 very creative types who know better! So no freeby trips yet!

Anyway they have recently completed a redesign of their beach house garden so I asked them to share some pictures with us. The beach house is situated in a private park along the Pacific coastline. The Park is well designed and landscaped and you can see this will evolve into a really attractive habitat. Into their garden they have installed a delightful infinity swimming pool. The garden is built around this and backs onto a small lake from whence the odd aligator has been known to appear!

Panama has a great range of flowers. The combination of wet and sunny climate serves to encourage a miriad of plants. From beautiful Orchids like the Holy Ghost Orchid, to a surprising selection  of Roses, Lilies, Carnations and of course the Hibiscus and Parrot Flowers.

The Hibiscus is seen everywhere and appears in many varieties, and Helicanioa Psittacorum (often known as Parrot Flower) pops its colourful head up in many gardens and even wild in the jungle.

You can grow Hibiscus in the UK, you tend to see more of them adorning conservatories, but it is possible to buy more hardy varieties, for more tips see

I love Parrot Flowers, and they too can be grown in the UK in a frost free sheltered spot. They tend to like loamy or sandy soil and benefit from regular feeding, but a moist and well drained soil. They will thrive in a greenhouse or orangery.

Do contact us if you require any more information.