Gardenproud Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Garden Design’

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.

A Contemporary Garden in Mayfield

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

A short while ago we were lucky enough to be handed the challenge that a lot of landscapers would relish. A blank canvas. Well nearly. A new contemporary housing development close to Tunbridge Wells that didn’t offer it’s customers a ready made garden solution. So music to our ears!

The garden had a very poor quality lawn that ran into a clay slope featuring a number of decaying trees. One redeeming feature was the stunning view that led across fields to woodland and hills beyond and this was something the customer wanted to enhance. In addition to this our client wanted to create a level lawned area their growing family could enjoy, plus an adult/entertaining area that would allow them to enjoy the sun and the view.

We created a series of design options for the client that achieved their goals and worked with the contemporary nature of the house. This was a joint design exercise between Gardenproud designers Tim Sykes and Paula Beresford.

Our first task was to gain permission to undertake some urgent tree works, which was duly approved. Then we set upon tweaking the landscape to provide the client with their level lawn area, and to enhance the garden shape which would allow us to progress the rest of our scheme.

The upper garden has as its focal point a beautiful oak tree, sitting in the centre of a new oval lawn. Bordering it’s sides are herbacious borders with two stunning zinc coated garden benches facing each other.

A circular tree bench surrounds the oak tree.

To take account of the drop in levels and to reflect the curves of the tree seat and oval lawn, a curved wall was created with two flights of steps leading to a lower, less formal garden area.

This lower garden flows into the woodland below and will feature planting that integrates with the more natural surroundings beyond. The lower garden is also the setting for a decking entertainment area and woodland pathways leading to a lower circular platform. These lower pathways and platform use a bark surface, again designed to merge with the woodland environment.

The decking surface floats on a subframe which appears almost at ground level, but is two steps below the upper pathway.

A new curved sleeper wall creates an interesting addition to the decking surface and supports a narrow side bed.

The decking surface leads to two stepped bark pathways that lead to a lower platform.

Pre-planting the whole scheme is really starting to come together and already represents a dramatic transformation to suit the contemporary surroundings….

The finished result is stunning and we hope will give the client many years enjoyment. We look forward to the next stage which will involve the planting scheme.

For further details of Gardenproud’s design capability and landscaping services please contact Tim Sykes on 07725 173820

Music drives her passion for Garden Design!

Thursday, December 6th, 2012


Paula Beresford has recently joined the Gardenproud Design Team.

“Paula brings a fresh perspective to our work, I’m particularly keen to harness her talents in developing a more contemporary style for a number of our clients”, comments Gardenproud Director Tim Sykes.

Paula’s career started as a Contracts Manager in Local Government. This gave her an excellent grounding in project management and real insight into the client/supplier relationship.

After a number of years working on Government contracts, she decided it was time to change gear and follow her heart.

She wanted to fuse her love of gardens with her passion for the Arts.

So Paula signed herself up for a BA (Hons) Garden Design at Hadlow College and Greenwich University, which she passed with flying colours!

She has subsequently worked with several landscaping companies designing and project managing garden projects, both domestic and commercial. Her past work has included contemporary garden designs such as these……..

Always creative, Paula earlier dabbled in Interior design and made blinds, soft furnishings and glass Terrariums.

She also plays the piano, having taken lessons between the ages of 5 and 40!

“Whilst having piano lessons, my teacher used to get me to explain what I could see and feel whilst hearing or playing a piece of music, and it was invariably a beautiful landscape, sometimes rolling hills or water, but sometimes it would be an intimate courtyard garden or a small space. I often play music when I design gardens as it gives me inspiration, particularly classical pieces by composers such as Rachmaninov and Beethoven. I feel that there is a real connection between sound and the landscape and love to create this with water or the rustling of grasses in the wind, which give garden spaces another dimension.

My parents have lived in Spain for years and so I have had plenty of experience working in a Mediterranean garden, and understanding the different requirements for the plants. They seem to grow in rock hard soil that we would not even consider trying to plant, and they have flowers virtually all year, it is incredible.”

As part of her degree, Paula studied Historic Garden conservation and the History and Philosophy of Garden Design which gave her a real understanding of how the various styles of gardens have evolved over the centuries.

“Which other Degree course would have given me the opportunity to visit Tate Modern and Versailles, see VanGoghs at the Kroller-Muller museum and wander around Parc Citroen in Paris, to broaden my understanding of all aspects of art and design, the use of colour, materials and scale?”

For further information about Paula’s work and for a free design consultation contact Tim Sykes on 07725 173820.

A Walled Garden in the Centre of Tunbridge Wells

Sunday, August 5th, 2012

We are particularly proud of our most recent garden accomplishment.

This is a delightful walled garden in the centre of Tunbridge Wells which has been given a fresh perspective.

You enter the garden via a gate in the wall. This reveals a beautiful victorian mews house situated along one side and the rear of the garden. It incorporates a large conservatory which has become a key feature of the daytime living space for the retired couple who live in the house. So they spend large chunks of the day looking out onto the garden.

The only problem was that the garden was created before the conservatory extension and thus was poorly configured both in terms of planting, lines of sight and access. Over the years a lot of money had been spent on plants and our clients were keen to retain key specimens. In addition the wife was confined to a wheelchair so improving access was a serious consideration.

So an interesting challenge and potentially a very rewarding outcome.

We created a design that re-orientated the garden, incorporating points of focus and a planting design that lined up with the viewing point of the conservatory. It included a new enlarged courtyard area outside the conservatory and main house entrance. The central planting area was re-designed to incorporate pathways with connecting ramps, a central water feature and garden bench.

Existing plants were replanted in a more logical fashion to enhance views and work alongside a number additional feature plants that were included to help enhance the structure of the new garden. A new enlarged border was created along one flank of the garden this was replanted with a lot of the larger plants moved from the old central bed.

The client is delighted with the finished result and not surprisingly is spending a lot more time enjoying the views.

They commented, “Tim Sykes of Gardenproud immediately saw how to improve our established garden without losing the character of it, something we wanted to protect. He gave us a plan and a costing and we went ahead. All went as predicted with the work being done to a high standard by a very happy team, one we enjoyed having around. We have no hesitation in recommending Gardenproud as a company able to deliver a quality job.” - Stuart and Celia Rankin, Thimble Mews, Camden Park.

For further information please contact Tim Sykes 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.

New Signs To Look Out For!

Friday, March 9th, 2012

If you see this sign around Tunbridge Wells or indeed Kent then you know we’ve designed a new garden and are working on creating a fresh landscape!

If you are looking for some new ideas for your garden then do talk to us first. We are happy to provide a range of concepts for a very competitive price!

So what are you waiting for?

Contact Tim Sykes today on 07725 173820, or at info@reallygardenproud.com

2012 – Happy New Garden!

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Happy New Year to you all from Gardenproud.

There’s nothing quite like a beautiful garden in full bloom to lift the spirits!

And as we all sit watching The News at Ten and listen to the threat of a double-dip recession we all need something to hang onto.

Well for just £250, plus the dreaded VAT( I’m sorry according to George Osborne this isn’t likely to be coming down yet) we can make you feel better and hopefully inspire you onto greater things!

That’s all it costs for Gardenproud to provide a series of concepts demonstrating how you can transform your garden. It maybe that you just want a fresh look at your planting, or a new terrace designed, or a vegetable garden, or the kids are getting bigger and you need to re-think the front driveway, or maybe you’ve bucked the trend and just moved into a new house and the whole garden needs a re-think. Whatever your desires we have the experience and expertise to help you realise your dream.

Don’t leave it till the tulips come out, call us now and be sure to have a much improved view by the Spring.

For a FREE consultation call Tim Sykes on 07725 173820 today, or email us at info@reallygardenproud.com

Will 2011 be the year to invest in your garden?

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Well if 2010 was anything to go by the answer is yes.

Whilst house prices remained depressed in 2010 latest trends point towards improving access to mortgages and loans, particularly for home owners with or buying properties valued in excess of £500,000.

This could help stimulate sales at the top end of the market.

Apart from the enjoyment you can gain from a beautiful garden, a nicely designed and maintained one can help create a great first impression to potential buyers.  And research consistently shows that house price values or the marketability of a property can be increased significantly when you have an attractive garden.

If you are contemplating a project for 2011 then talk to us first, and from as little as £500 we can help you develop design concepts from which a project can be progressed.

We also have ground working teams who can carry out any hard landscaping and plants men on tap who can help with the soft landscaping.

Whether it’s a new space for the barbecue, a patio, a decking area, a water feature or a children’s play area you are looking for, or a complete garden re-design, call Tim Sykes on 07725 173820, or contact us at info@reallygardenproud.com