The Lovely Garden Blog

Damp Proofed

Posted on 05/12/12, filed under Current Projects | No Comments

    Damp proof courses are one of those essential parts of any building project and existing house. I have just designed a garden in Cuckfield and the last landscapers or builders had laid a new patio over the top of the existing paver patio, and also over the top of the manhole inspection covers! We have subsequently found that the pavers were also laid over another older patio. All of these layers bumped up the height of the paving until it was just underneath the double doors leading out from the house and above the damp proof course. The DPC is a waterproof membrane between the ground and the floor of your house. It could be a rubberised material, slate in an older house or really old properties may have no DPC at all. The DPC serves an important purpose by preventing the ground water from rising, through capillary action, up into your house. By laying a patio up to or above the DPC, the water will breach the buidling and rise through any bricks or floors causing damp inside. Any good designer or builder will know that any new terrace must be at least two brick courses below the DPC. Even the new modern idea for a terrace that runs straight out level with the house can breach the DPC. Go above at your peril!

Hampton Court

Posted on 03/07/12, filed under Latest News | No Comments


It rained of course. Some of my best umbrellas have come from Hampton Court over the years. I was invited today by Landform Consultants to see the gardens they'd built – excellent work of course – and to visit the show. I had forgotten, after Chelsea, how nice it is to buy plants at the show itself. Somehow it felt completely different – I felt more involved, more attached to the whole process. I could look at plants that were wonderful and then source them at the end of the stand. I hadn't intended to buy a thing but struggled back to the car with all my cash gone and too much to carry. I certainly didn't follow my own advice to buy things in 9's. It was definitely one of everything and now I have new things in the greenhouse and the conservatory to admire and nurture. There seemed to be quite unusual plants there too. It reminded me of the plant fairs of old when I would get all excited about something special or rare. That hasn't happened to me for a long time. The Country Living tent was quite a girly affair. There seems to be more women together on a day out than you see at Chelsea. There are more men at Chelsea. I bought scarves and a cotton nightdress because I was caught up in that homely feel. It will probably be a duster one day.

Parham House Weekend

Posted on 02/07/12, filed under Current Projects, Latest News | No Comments


DIG FOR VICTORY!    Come and see us this weekend at The Parham Plant Weekend, Parham House in Sussex. We'll have a stand with a Dig For Victory Theme and will be dressing up as landgirls. It's been great fun, getting all the props and outfits together. Ebay has been a source of inspiration and we'll be left with gardens full of vintage watering cans and milking pails! The Plant Weekend has a great selection of nurseries selling plants, of course, and a tea tent serving cream teas. The borders at Parham are looking particularly lovely at the moment. The yellow border – which was never my favourite – has been replaced with a dreamy blue, grey and white border. The plants are all spilling over the edges of the path and look like the quintessential English herbaceous garden. My favourite part of Parham is the greenhouse, filled with scented plants and open at both ends with plumbago dripping from the walls in blue and whites. Come and say Hello – we're just by the entrance gate;  follow the sounds of Glenn Miller and Vera Lynn. If it's raining, we'll be huddled inside the pig sty that's doubling up as our Andersen shelter.