Gardenproud Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Garden Lighting’

18 Fresh Gardenproud Ideas for 2018

Friday, December 15th, 2017

From planting ideas, to complete garden transformations, Gardenproud can help you realise your dream.

A beautifully crafted oak pergola

A planting scheme for your summer bulbs

A new composite decking platform

A rear terrace revamp

A contemporary pond

A kitchen garden water supply

A lakeside lounge area

A knot garden

A trellis feature

A new lawn surface

A stunning quiet area surrounded by calm water

Lighting effects that will enlighten you

Cedar clad garden buildings

Entertainment areas to impress the neighbours

A new water feature

A courtyard garden

A chill out spot

Or just a nice new planting scheme.

Whatever your plans for the garden, let us help inspire you in 2018.

Established 10 years ago we help design, build and maintain many gardens throughout Kent and East Sussex.

For further information and a free consultation contact Tim Sykes on 07725 173820, or email us at reallygardenproud@btinternet.com

Also see our Show Garden at Corker’s, Paddock Wood.

Magnificent! I don’t need to go to Chelsea now!

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

What a lovely thought!

But that was our dear client’s reaction was when she returned from holiday recently.

She found her Tunbridge Wells town garden transformed from the grass bank it was, to the contemporary space that she can now enjoy with her friends and family.

The new garden was designed by Tim Sykes from Gardenproud. A modern and tranquil space with interesting features and terraced planting, plus entertaining and relaxing areas designed to mask the natural topography, and create the illusion of a much larger garden than the town location affords.

“The basic design concept uses a series of offset rectangles, that both interact and interrupt each other, plus are layered. This helps create different points of focus and different compartments within the garden, ” comments Tim.

Even the rather swish terraced pond reflects the concept.

So does the bespoke pergola that now frames the pastel blue painted Lutyens bench.

First things first, the terrace was enlarged, so that it now accommodates a large table and chairs for at least 8 people in two possible locations.

Cedar strip panelling was used to help accentuate features and create vertical blocks.

The grassed area features two offset oblongs that leads the eye round to an interesting mirror.

This feature reflects the terraced planted up platforms on the opposite side of the garden.

Here is planted what will become a grouping of buxus balls that will eventually merge to form a cloud formation.

“The terraced pond was a labour of love!” states Sykes. “We wanted to create a slate clad vision that contrasted with the adjoining cedar and oak materials. But slate was potentially a problem from a frost perspective, so we eventually went down a route that used  slate coloured and textured porcelain tiles. A lot of research later and we found the perfect finish. Thank goodness!”

A textured slate strip forms the basis of the outer walls, and a riven traditional slate tile is used as the copings.

The whole garden, including the workings of the pond, all run off a clever wireless remote control system that has become the hallmark of Gardenproud gardens. “These days it’s important to be able to use the outdoor space in the evenings as well. So we try wherever possible to incorporate lighting with schemes and create zones that can be illuminated in isolation, as well as fountains and other water features that can be remotely controlled. It can all contribute to some quite dramatic results, and reasonably green too as they employ LED low wattage fittings, or bulbs. “

The planting plan also played a major role in this garden. A colour palette featuring blue, lilac, purple, white and of course various hues of green was featured throughout. Gigantic lilac alliums helped create a linking theme between different areas, bamboo columns form the basis of what will become the rear wall of the garden, a salix half standard tree links with planting of euonymous, salvias are repeated in different places in contrasting colours. Miscanthus sinesis flamingo sits among giant verbena bonariensis. Beautiful white agapanthus frame the black steel obelisk that tops the upper terraces. And behind this a wall of white jasmine will adorn the trellis background.

Two beautiful wisteria will eventually trail over the contemporary pergola. A border of lavender softens the link of the pond with the lower terrace.

Anyway, whilst our client may not feel she needs fresh inspiration from our Chelsea peers, I always do!

So I’m looking forward to my trip tomorrow to London to the Chelsea Flower Show 2014.

I’ll see what I can pick up and incorporate in our thinking for 2015!

For further information about Garden Design contact Tim Sykes at Gardenproud on 07725 173820, or via email info@reallygardenproud.com


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.

Creating an extra room in the Garden

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

A town garden can sometimes signal limited space and here the design task can be to create an environment that is both appealing and has practical attributes.

Just the challenge Gardenproud were looking for when they were asked recently to transform a modest garden in the centre of Tunbridge Wells.

The house is an attractive victorian property that has been extended in a complimentary but modern fashion. A key feature is an orangery extension incorporating a floor to ceiling gabled window.

Patio doors from the extension led onto a small decking terrace/pathway. This had an interesting wave feature that was to become a design cue for the work in the garden.

Elsewhere the garden looked overgrown and dark. A thick outcrop of shrubs, ivy and brambles disguised an attractive rear wall. This overgrown area encroached on what available space there was.

It also just happened to be the sunniest spot of the garden!

The client wanted to brighten up the garden, increase the perception of space, enjoy the sunlight and importantly use the garden more often for entertaining etc.

The Gardenproud team designed a concept that built on the attributes of the lower terrace and created a larger new upper terrace that would benefit from maximum sunlight, new planting areas along the borders and new pathways. They then rebuilt the old lower terrace in new materials.

Many of the old shrubs were temporarily removed and will be replaced by a new planting scheme early 2012. Other shrubs and small trees were pruned so as to remove dead foliage and also open up the garden.

The victorian pavers from the old pathways were cleaned and reused as part of the new scheme.

To help improve privacy and give the garden a more attractive backdrop trellising was erected along the neighbour borders.

As a focal point and to help increase the perception of space and light Gardenproud designed a large mirror to go on the rear wall. This was made locally by Masson Joinery in hardwood. “We designed the mirror to reflect the architecture of the client’s orangery,” commented Gardenproud’s Tim Sykes.

A lighting scheme was designed so as to provide atmospheric colour and shape to the garden at night. It additionally enables outdoor entertaining and illuminates the connecting pathways. This was installed by local electricians Bright Spark. Ingeniously the whole system is operated from a remote controlled switching point in the kitchen/dining area.

One of the key challenges for the team was dealing with the logistics of working in a confined space, including organising deliveries, storing materials, creating work areas and removing waste.

“Parking is also a massive challenge to any tradesman in places like Tunbridge Wells, with the need to drop off and collect equipment and regularly monitor progress. Anyway we managed to overcome these difficulties and have learn’t a lot from the experience,” says Tim Sykes.

The end result speaks for itself and most importantly Sonya our client is delighted with her new garden and looks forward to enjoying it in 2012.

“The garden looks fantastic! We’re very pleased with it and really like the mirror.”

From just £250Gardenproud can provide you with a series of concepts demonstrating how you can transform your garden space.

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

A walled garden in the centre of Tunbridge Wells

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Challenge

Revive and re-integrate 2 gardens previously separated and more recently damaged by extensive building works.

Update a space previously the domain of 2 teenage boys into a multi-purpose garden with a bias towards adults.

Include a water feature to help combat local traffic noise.

Incorporate entertaining areas and extend the use of the garden beyond daylight.

Create focal points and improve the privacy of the area.


Solution

Gardenproud designed a garden to harmonise with a new orangery and surrounding terraces. This included creating a series of pathways to integrate the two gardens, designed in a pattern to dramatise the footprint of the house and it’s new extension.

A mediterrenean style pond and fountain were incorporated, creating a point of focus and soothing background noise. Trellis was used to unify the gardens and extend the privacy afforded by the walls.

A central seating area featured a handmade Edwardian bench and 2 unusual urns. Spot and back lighting was built in to create subtle light effects against wall panels and behind trellising – all switched via a remote from inside the new orangery.

A decking entertaining area was incorporated and a folly in the shape of an intriguing doorway made sense of some victorian steps that led nowhere. All the beds were redesigned and replanted and finally the lawn area was relayed.

Phase 2 is to redesign the front garden!

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