Gardenproud Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Tunbridge Wells’

2017 Gardenproud Show Garden opens at Corker’s

Friday, April 14th, 2017

“Contemplation” – A Quiet Space

a garden design by George Sykes of Gardenproud

Fighting our way through our busy lives it’s all too easy

to forget that it’s good to stop, enjoy some down time,

and clear our minds.

“Contemplation” has been designed by George Sykes (23) of

Gardenproud to provide that peaceful spot where we

can relax and reflect.

The Garden features a shallow pond leading to a

sanctuary,  sheltered by two English Oak arches where

you can seek refuge on a comfortable bespoke oak bench.

The stepping stones leading to and surface of the sanctuary

use Italian porcelain pavers.

Your eye is immediately drawn to the iron sculpture,

created by local artist Michael Hart, who designed this piece

specifically for the garden. The sculpture includes a series of vertical panels that have been forged by Michael to create a rippling pattern, echoing the

gentle calm of the shallow ponds surface.

Finally the planting both in the pond and around the garden has been provided by “How Green Nursery” and is designed to reflect the theme, enclose the sanctuary and reinforce the sense of calm. The theme is “white”

inspired Sissinghurst’s famous White Garden.

Plant List:

Pond –

Nymphaea Candida (Dwarf White Water Lily) – White cup shaped flowers with yellow stamens

Beds –

- Pittosporum tenuifolium – ‘Pompom’ – evergreen balls, c 450mm

- Stipa Lessingiana – Feather grass, a hardy perennial, c 750mm

- Allium Mount Everest – A beautiful cream, statuesque allium, May/June flowering

- Agapanthus Africanus Albus- White , July to September Flowering

- Zantedeschia Aethiopica – distinctive white flowers March – June

- Dryopteris Wallichiana – an outstandingly hardy fern, with upright stems covered in brown-black bristly hairs.

- Cornus Alba Elegantissima – Dogwood, flowering May/June, green variegated with white leaf

- Penstemon Pensham – Artic Fox, summer to autumn flowering

- Salvia Nemorosa – Lyrical- White flowering, early summer flowering perennial

- Spiraea Arguta – “Bridal Wreath” – Spring flowering shrub

- Aquilegia Vulgaris -”White Barlow” – c 900mm, spring/summer flowering

- Leucojum Gravetye  – “White snow drops” – spring flowering

- Astelia Chathamica – Silver Spear – Silver green long leaves reminiscent of phormiums, flowering late Spring

- Freesia- Wonderfully fragrant creamy white flowers in Spring

To view the garden in all its glory you can call into Corker’s new show gardens which open to the public from 14th April 2017.

For further information and help with your garden design

please contact Tim Sykes at Gardenproud on 07725 173820,

or email him at reallygardenproud@btinternet.com

Whether you are seeking a contemporary, or traditional solution

we are here to help you. Gardenproud have been established since 2007, and have designed and built many gardens in the Tunbridge Wells area.

We also have a garden maintenance division which has looked

after many properties locally.

We are based in nearby Matfield, Kent.

A Town Garden in Huntingdon Avenue

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

A collaboration between Gardenproud and local designer Micheal Taylor, to create a town garden in Huntingdon Avenue, Tunbridge Wells.

Huntingdon Avenue is set in the prestigious new Royal Wells Park development by Berkeley Homes. It comprises of a mix of medium and larger proportioned town houses and apartments. The town houses all benefit from small gardens adjoining terraces, leading off kitchen and dining areas.

The approach to Gardenproud came through a recommendation.

Our client had recently moved into the property from a nearby house and enjoyed her gardening. She therefore wanted to create an outdoor space that would provide an interesting vista from the house, with room to develop and maintain a planting scheme. The design needed to include a pond, a summerhouse, plus provide some screening from nearby buildings. It needed to include a patio area adjoining the kitchen, plus beds for planting.

Mike came up with an innovative concept, that maximised the use of the space and created interesting focal points. The team at Gardenproud then helped bring this to life with working drawings, turning the concept into a 3 dimensional space and adding attributes, including the mirrored monoliths, raised bed and pond features.

Client Mari Mason, commented…..

“I am delighted with the gorgeous garden that the team at Gardenproud have produced for me.

Tim has worked closely with Mike and me, interpreting our design and adding beautiful touches of his own. Throughout the project he has been sensitive to my wishes, and has made changes as needed.

The team working in the garden were wonderful, always cheerful and a pleasure to have around, despite working through some of the most unpleasant December and January weather.

The workmanship throughout is of the very highest standard with attention to every detail. I thoroughly recommend the whole Gardenproud team, and I am certain they will create your dream garden, as they have mine.”

For further information about this garden and our work in Huntingdon Avenue, or a copy of our case study brochure, please contact Tim Sykes on 07725 173820, or via email at reallygardenproud@btinternet.com

See Gardenproud on Instagram

Friday, January 29th, 2016

We’ve recently joined Instagram and have the grand total of 30 Followers!

So a long way to go yet.

We are trying to upload new photos everyday.

The above photo features Basil who is one of our regular ride-on drivers, it’s already got a like from would you believe John Deere!

If you are looking for great pictures to inspire your garden thinking, then look no further than Gardenproud. You can see us at www.instagram.com

If you haven’t already signed up you can download the app for i-phone (IOS) , Android, or Windows phone at the above, or visit your App Store on your phone.

Looking forward to having you as Followers soon!

Gardenproud Photo Highlights 2015

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

2015 was an excellent year for Gardenproud.

Lots of new projects for the landscaping division and some previous projects revisited and updated. Which is all good stuff as gardens evolve.

We went to Chelsea and gleaned inspiration from the latest designs, braved the weather and enjoyed the champagne. We’ve started designing and creating garden buildings as part of our landscaping offer. The Maintenance teams  worked extremely hard to cope with the new assignments, and new gardeners joined the team. We look forward to recruiting more team members in 2016.

It is with great sadness to report that Emmett Gilah, who was a regular member of the team, has unfortunately died. He was an industrious chap and good gardener and far too young to die. Our thoughts go out to his family. Thank you Emmett you will be sorely missed.

2015 was a big year for us, as we moved house. We haven’t moved for 16 years. So had forgotten just how stressy and time consuming the whole process is. Especially when you are also trying to run two businesses. So having beautified our last house and completely re-fashioned the garden, we now have a new garden. So watch this space!

Fortunately shortly after moving we had a holiday. Which was a real tonic. Sarah and I visited a number of gardens during our summer holiday. We went to Madeira, which was an eye opener. We went in August, but if you really want to see the flora, I suggest you go in April or May. But do go. It is a wonderful island and it benefits from a sub-tropical climate. Over the years it has had a strong British influence, so the planting is a bit a mixture between those we see in the UK and more tropical specimens. There is a very good book (which I bought) written by an Englishman, Gerald Luckhurst. He is a landscape architect and has designed and built many gardens on Madeira. Sounds like a rather good job!

Back home and back to work on our plans for the new house and various gardens.

So here we are already in 2016. A new house, a new garden, a greenhouse for the first time, some new possible avenues, new projects and new gardens. Oh yes, we’ve got a little more savvy on the media front – we are already on Facebook, we are now on Instagram! I think we have the grand total of 30 followers, so do look us up (my son claims to have 1400)!  I don’t believe him.

See us at www.instagram.com

Enough said, 2016 looks busy, I’d better stop writing and get on with it!

Your Gardening Questions -1

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

- Do you have any advice about pruning wisterias?

Wisteria should be pruned twice a year Jan/Feb and July/August. With winter pruning you can cut back to within 2-3 buds of the main plant structure.

In the summer prune back the whippy shoots, tie back plant into trellis, cutting back to c 5 buds from main structure. With older plants you can cut back further, removing areas where the plant over hangs windows and twist around drain pipes. For further advice see RHS website.


- What is the best way to deal with bulbs once they are over?

Dead head the flower heads after they have bloomed, then leave the plants. The main strategy here is to allow the plants to put it’s energy back into the bulb for next years growth. After a while the stem and leaves will turn brown, then you can cut back and trim off the dead foliage.

- We have recently had a large tree removed from a bank in our garden. Do you have any suggestions for a shrub to replace this?

Berberis is  a large shrub with deep red foliage and all round year colour. The variety – Berberis “Superba” has beautiful purple colouring. It is a vigorous, deciduous shrub. With new bronze red growth, yellow-orange flowers in the Spring then red berries in the Autumn. It can be used as an individual shrub, or hedge. It contrasts well with green hedge plants and adjoining shrubs. It will grow to 2-3m in height.

For further information, or to ask any further questions please contact Tim Sykes at Gardenproud, you can contact him by email at info@reallygardenproud.com

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

Eridge Horse Trials 2014

Monday, July 7th, 2014

A couple of weeks ago we trialled a little experiment.

Can we make a show garden in 2 days?

The Eridge Horse trials was beckoning. This has in the past been an international event attracting intermediate riders across a 3 part course including dressage, show jumping and cross country.

For further information about events see  South Eastern Equestrian Services at www.seesltd.com

The Event is set in the delightful grounds of the Eridge Estate, owned by the Marquess of Abergavenny.

The horse riding fraternity are of key interest to us, as are the residents of Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding countryside, so what better way than create a lovely garden for all the visitors to the show to enjoy!

A very generous Tim Nolan, who incidentally organises the Trials with his mum, helped give us a big enough space and prominent enough position, to put us in front of our audience.

Thanks Tim!

So the test was on. A design was needed. Equipment, materials and plants were required. A design in hand and a couple of conversations later, and Tate Fencing and The Flower Pot Nursery, both based in Tunbridge Wells were on-board.

A BIG thank you to both of you!

The concept looked like this….

Essentially the show garden/stand revolved around a centre-piece – a nice (quintessentially English) open marquee, bordered by matching trellis panels and cottage garden borders. As a real crowd puller two giant terracotta pots contained two beautiful Ilex Crenata’s.

The Planting Plan included:

- A palette of Purples, Blues, Whites, Pinks and Lilacs

- Plants including……

Agapanthus

Verbena Bonariensis

Euonymous

Hydrangea Macrophylla

Echinacea Southern Belle

Lava Terra Barnsley

Lavender Augustifolia Edelweiss

Delphinium Highlander

Veronica First Glory

Veronica Fascination

Veronica Spicata

Achilliea Millefolium

Ceanothus Burkwoodii

Persicaria Superbum

Buxus

Thalictrum Delavayi Splendide

Geranium Orion

Cosmos

Stachys Lanata Byzantia

Campanula Lectiflora

Cistus Dansereaui

Salvia Amistad

Salvia Caradonna

Salvia Patens

Nepeta x Faassenii

Stokesia Laevis

With the plans under our arms we started to gather all the materials then set upon setting up the stand on the Thursday before the Show. We had 2 days to turn this into a reality……

We hope you like the finished result.

The whole experience was inexpensive, thoroughly enjoyable and created a surprisingly healthy list of enquiries, including cementing some good relationships with trusted suppliers.

So we’ll do it again!

For further information about our design, build and garden maintenance services contact Tim Sykes on 07725 173820, or at Gardenproud.

A 4 Day Garden make-over

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

A recent Gardenproud project involved redesigning an area of a garden to a tight budget.

The area was once a garden pond with steps leading up to a raised terrace surrounding the pond.

The pond had been removed for some time and a rather disorganized bed had replaced it with the peculiar phenomenon of the steps leading into it.

Gardenproud were asked to create a concept that would be dramatic but low maintenance.

All this needed to be reviewed as part of the design concept.

Various ideas were presented.

The Gardenproud team decided that the steps could be incorporated and that central to their idea should be the steps leading into a dry river bed that appeared to lead to a focal point.

The Dry River bed was constructed using a Cotswold stone base with feature rocks and succulents planted at strategic spots.

The Dry River contrasted with its banks, which feature a box ball vista on one side and a concentration of beautiful white Agapanthus on the other bank.

“The idea of the box balls is to allow them to grow and merge into each other, ultimately creating a cloud effect”, comments Tim Sykes

The finished results look stunning, and all created by the Gardenproud team in 4 days!

Client commented,

“We are delighted with the result and thought Daniel and Ricky were brilliant.”

What more can we say….

For further information about Gardenproud’s design and landscaping capability please contact Tim Sykes on 07725 173820.

King Charles Summer Fete – Plants Stall Blossoms

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

By Tim Sykes,

Well it’s time to enjoy The King Charles the Martyr Summer Fete!

Along with Richard Still gardener supremo at King Charles I ran the plant stall today (Saturday 15th June). Here’s Richard pictured with the famous Tunbridge Wells Town Crier who opened the Fete.

We thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Our stall was set amongst the flourishing gardens at the Church Hall, tended with loving care by Richard.

We were lucky enough to have a whole host of plants donated to us by members of the congregation. Salvias, Courgettes, Geraniums, Cosmos, Japanese Blood Grass, Bamboo, Squash and Ophiopogon were among the wide range of species on sale.

A box of assorted French Marigolds

Some beautiful Red Salvias.

It was a really successful event enjoyed by all.

We look forward to next years event.

For further information about events at King Charles the Martyr check out their website at www.kcmtw.org/

A Japanese Oasis in Tunbridge Wells

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

About a year ago we were invited by a Tunbridge Wells resident to take a look at their garden. It had seen better times and the land was heavily terraced with a considerable rise in levels.

But it had real potential and at one time some thought had been given to the design and the terracing of the garden, albeit things were held together with loose rocks and old pathways and steps were crumbling.

There were a number of rather nice tree specimens including a couple of Acers and interesting Conifers. Elsewhere there were some overgrown Rhododendrons and a Camelia. An old bench sat on a grassy embankment at the top of the garden, commanding superb views of Tunbridge Wells.

The client filled us in on their brief for the garden which included a proper base for the seat at the top of the garden, revisiting the combination of steps, terraces and planting areas, a larger rear terrace outside the dining room, and another entertainment area mid garden. It would also be necessary to build in a watering system, and choose planting that was relatively low maintenance.

Armed with the brief earlier this year we set to designing and renovating the garden, from it’s old tired state to a vibrant new oasis.

Tim Sykes commented, “the combination of the terracing, rocks and the plants set the old creative juices flowing and inspired us to think of an oriental theme for the garden!”

Our vision for the garden was inspired by the Japanese, such as those at Chinzan-so, in Tokyo, and the Japanese Gardens in Portland, Oregon.

“I adore the combination of colours and contrasting themes you find in Japanese gardens in particular the use of red (my favourite colour) to paint bridges and benches”, comments Sykes.

“To draw the eye and as a real feature we designed the new garden to incorporate a gloss red Lutyens bench set against a backdrop of a similarly crafted dense green hedge.”

The client loved our ideas and this summer commissioned Gardenproud to redesign and landscape the whole of the rear garden.

The design incorporated an upper sitting area and rockery, a series of lower pathways, steps and terraces, a large circular mid terrace, then further steps leading down to a lower patio area and the house. It included some perimeter lighting and a water irrigation system. Trellising helped to camouflage an otherwise unattractive shed and unify the design of the lower patio.

Many tons of new Sandstone Rocks have been brought in to create new rockery walls and new flights of steps. The use of Indian Sandstone pavers has been augmented with interesting stone patterns to create new features.

The use of rustic posts and handrails at key points in the garden, helps visitors climb the terraces, but just like the planting their juxtaposition deliberately takes the eye on a journey up the garden to that gorgeous red bench!

A planting plan was created that would help emphasise the Japanese theme and included Tree Ferns, Acers of contrasting colours, Camelias, Phormiums, Buxus Balls, Azaleas, Magnolias and Dwarf Conifers.

An ingenious water butt now makes best use of the rain water that runs off the shed roof.

Along the way a lot of other more mundane things had to be addressed! Including an enhanced drainage system, renewing boundary fences, new foundations for steps, a fair amount of earth moving (by hand), a lot of lifting ( so much lifting it’s unreal)! We painted the benches, then repainted the benches ( we can advise you which famous brands not use on outdoor benches)!

But the finished result looks reasonably faithful to the concept, and the client is delighted with his new oriental oasis.

Let’s hope we have a nicer Summer next year and our client and his friends can really enjoy this unique garden.

If you’d like to find out more about this garden or would welcome a fresh new theme for your garden in 2013 contact Tim Sykes at Gardenproud on 07725 173820.