Gardenproud Blog

Archive for May, 2012

Beating Drought Conditions in the Garden

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Planting under trees can be a nightmare, but successful schemes can be achieved here and in other dry conditions using water efficient leaky pipe systems in combination with an appropriate planting plan.

Fitting a flow reducer to the supply and a timed output will also help conserve water supplies and keep your plants alive. Covering the beds with a moisture absorbant mulch will also help nourish plants and give a slow release of water to the root structure.

Other situations in the garden may benefit from more simpler watering practices such as a watering can. Here an attractive water butt maybe erected (such as this mock terracotta urn) and linked to the rainwater downpipe system. You’d be amazed how much water even the smallest shed roof generates!

Elsewhere you may have situations in the garden where access to water is limited. Take this Vegetable Garden we recently designed. Here a smart design is supported by a rainwater fed tank that incorporates a pump so that water can be directed locally at raised beds. A design like this could also be adapted to include timed watering using leaky pipes.

With watering of gardens coming under more public scrutiny Gardenproud can help you create more efficient systems in your garden to enable you to enjoy its full potential and remain friends with your neighbours!

Call us for further details on 07725 173820

NEW driveway puts our project management to the test!

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Earlier this year we were invited to redesign a front garden in Tunbridge Wells. This included designing a new driveway, new raised beds, lawn areas, rockery, lighting and planting as well as moving the vehicle entranceway. And this all had to be designed, submitted for planning permission, approvals by Kent County Council and groundworks and planting completed for an important family occasion scheduled for April 2012!


Well I’m happy to say we took up the challenge and following a number of alternative design concepts settled on a treatment that would provide improved access to the house, greater levels of parking, privacy for the client and importantly enhance the presentation of the house. Because of its proximity to the kitchen the concept was subsequently developed to even include a potager garden that incorporated a whole host of fresh herbs to support the clients keen interest in cooking.

Tim Sykes, Gardenproud designer said. “This design doubled the size of the driveway, it improved access for vehicles, it created the opportunity for an enhanced planting scheme in front of the house, and it re-focused attention on the main entrance of the house. Given the planning constraints of moving crossovers it was pretty ambitious to achieve all this in the timescales. But our client was really helpful and keen to progress, so having received our approvals, and with the threat of severe weather we pressed on in March 2012, like mad!”

The old entrance was narrow and led to a parking area for just 2 cars.

Ground works began in March in ernest!

The new driveway shape was excavated, new soakaways and drainage installed and cabling for the new lighting was laid.

Things soon started to take shape with the bed and perimeter walls being erected.

A wider front entrance step was built to add stature and focus to the main doorway and provide a level base for planters.

With KCC approval we set about creating the new central entrance and crossover.

A beautiful new tarmac and flint impregnated driveway surface was laid.

Smart new oak entrance posts were fitted with lead copings and integral marker lights.

The lighting featured copper style fittings throughout, and sockets for trickle charge feeders for cars.

So having got everything in place we closed up the old driveway and pedestrian access points, then created new walls to match in with the existing pavement edging. The old driveway crossover was replaced by a new run of Tunbridge Wells brick pavers that reinstated the pedestrian pathway. New mature laurel bushes were planted in a dense formation to plug the gaps in the old hedge. You can’t see the join!

We then created a planting plan for the beds and new rockery area and got straight on with the ground preparation and planting…….

The potager garden starts to take shape with its combination of herbs, flowers and shrubs all set in a new rockery feature.

The two new front beds feature a number of key shrubs and perennials including Photinia (Red Robbin), Buxus (Box) Spirals, Pieris Japonica, Camelias, Box Balls, Dwarf Roses, Alliums and Peonies. The two planters feature Bay trees and lavender. It was just our luck half way through the project when SE Water announced their hosepipe ban! The watering cans came out. Then God stepped in and gave us plenty of rain! Thank you.

Suffice to say we finished the project with a week’s grace before the big family do!

So everybody was really pleased with the result, our project management, and that we and our grubby boots were nowhere to be seen!

Final comment from the client: “We are really delighted by the new front garden you have created. ┬áIt exceeds all our expectations.”

For further information about designing and landscaping your garden please contact Tim Sykes on 07725 173820.

Sister Company Houseproud Launch New Website

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Houseproud the sister company to Gardenproud have this week launched a new website.

You can see it at

Director, Sarah Sykes says, “we wanted to create a site that would provide customers and prospects with enhanced information about the breadth of services Houseproud could offer, together with a greater appreciation of the commitment we have to delivering consistent quality.”

Houseproud was established in 1999 by Sarah targeted at the discerning customer base she found to be living in and around the Tunbridge Wells area, “as the name suggests we are targeting customers who are house proud, but haven’t got the time or are unable to complete all the household chores themselves.”

Today Houseproud looks after over 200 properties and supports a growing army of cleaners and ironers. With its operation based in Tunbridge Wells, Houseproud cares for properties as wide afield as Sevenoaks, Lamberhurst, Brenchley, Groombridge and Crowborough. If offers regular household cleaning, ironing and special blitz cleans among it’s core services.

A special feature of the new website are Houseproud’s “Trade Secrets” section. This is hopefully a growing section that includes tips from cleaners vetted by Houseproud that will help people solve everyday cleaning challenges.

For further information you can contact Sarah on 07831 394422, or at