Gardenproud Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Driveways’

New Look at Gardenproud!

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

The new Gardenproud brochure is printed and available for you to see.

It features some of the highlights from our recent Landscaping projects.

To get your copy, or for more information about our

Design, Construction or Maintenance services,

just contact us at info@reallygardenproud.com

or, call Tim Sykes on 07725 173820

Transforming the frontage of a Tunbridge Wells town house

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

By Tim Sykes – 10th August 2014

This front of house in one of Tunbridge Wells sought after parks has been recently transformed by Gardenproud. The solution included reconfiguring the entrance, some new outer and inner brick walls, a new stone driveway, painted benches, raised beds and some beautiful topiary.

The new frontage allows the occupants to park up to six cars, whilst still maintaining nice planted borders, so an attractive welcome to the house.

Key to the design was reconfiguring the property entrance from the side to centre.

This allows cars to enter and park on either side without vehicles blocking entrance and exits. Moving the entrance to the centre has also aligned this to the front door of the house, helping create a more dramatic impression of the house.

The portico of the house used to sit on a small concrete curved stone base, this was removed and replaced by a much wider Yorkstone paved area. This helps give the front door more gravitas.

The curved dwarf wall borders follow a similar pattern to the external walls which feature sandstone keystones. “This was a feature of the original walls which we liked and wanted to retain”, comments Tim Sykes from Gardenproud.

The original engraved facing stone has been cleaned up and re-fitted to the new gate piers. As have the finials and capitals from the old gate openings.

The old conifer that used to sit in front of the house became a casualty of the scheme ( a matching conifer that sat on the opposite side of the house came down in the great storm of 1987 smashing into the house). The two trees have been replaced by four new ones, two beautiful liquidambar styraciflua. And two prunus nigras.

Two Luytens benches were cleaned up and painted the same colour as the house, then planned into the landscaping that would ultimately sit either side of the portico.

Topiary borders are a feature of the above landscaping. These include large box balls and cones that have been planted into raised platforms, designed so that the platforms ultimately disappear into the hedging so that it looks like the spheres and cones rise up out of the border hedges. The latest photographs and light trim of the buxus show that the idea is already starting to take effect.

For further information about driveways, transforming the front of your house, and garden design contact Tim Sykes at Gardenproud on 07725 173820

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

Winter Garden Repair Service

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

It’s at times like this that we can 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.

These are just a few of the many tasks that you may be facing in the garden that are beyond the remit of your gardener, but nevertheless need attention.

The Gardenproud Landscaping Team are here to help. If you are interested we’d welcome the opportunity to call and discuss any particular tasks you would like addressed, or undertake a review of your garden and provide a list of potential repairs that might deserve consideration.

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

If you would like us to help then please contact Tim Sykes on 07725 173820

Have you got long shingle driveways or pathways on your land?

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Gardenproud have just invested in a new piece of equipment for those long shingle pathways.

A number of our clients have long shingle pathways and driveways which need regular maintenance.

Todate the only way of handling this has been to have a number of gardeners armed with rakes and shovels working their way down the pathways. This can be a long labourious task and can obviously be expensive.

Well we now have a rather simple looking machine that attaches to our 3 point hitch on the rear of our tractor. It’s called a land leveller – some describe it as a land plane. This is lowered behind the tractor and dragged behind the machine.

The land leveller cuts into the pathway and lifts the loose shingle, depositing back on the pathway and creating a clean level surface. Surface weeds are also loosened so that they can more easily be disposed of. The device is also useful if you are planning on topping up the shingle.

Gardenproud decided to start with a land leveller that was 48” wide, this means that both smaller pathways and wider driveway expanses can be attacked with one machine.

Tim Sykes comments, “ the jury is out on whether we need a bigger machine, but we are hoping that the impact of this versus the rake is so significant that maintenance turn-around on pathways will be much improved.”

“The leveller also doubles up as a useful tool (in combination with a rotovator) for levelling large expanses of soil for laying new lawns. It is also a clever device for lifting surface rocks and stones. So I can see this coming in useful on the next big turfing project we take on,” comments Tim.

If you have any pathways or driveways with loose shingle or gravel that need attention contact Tim Sykes at Gardenproud 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!

NO PRESSURE!

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.  It exceeds all our expectations.”

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