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Bringing a Touch of the Orient to Your Back Garden
When you think of garden bridges, you may typically think of oriental gardens. You aren’t wrong, but this isn’t the only style of garden to boast bridges nowadays and they aren’t to be limited to covering koi carp ponds. The garden bridge is a feature that is becoming increasingly popular in gardens worldwide, not only for their practical purposes but also for how attractive they look. Some garden bridges can be as small as 3 feet in width, and range from 5 feet up to as long as 20 feet in length depending on where they are being used. This enables them to not only be used in large gardens with a specific function but also in very small gardens with not much room. They are often placed over small streams, ponds or gravel/uneven ground and allow users to access a part of a garden beyond a stream or river. Another advantage of garden bridges is that they can be used in order to provide wheelchair access to otherwise inaccessible areas of a private or public garden. After all, no one knows who will visit his or her garden when it is first being designed.
Garden bridges range from being very simple, straight flat structures to arched panelled bridges with wooden or rope handrails and decorative posts. This allows the owner of the garden to further customise their garden and design it to match the rest of their furniture and décor. Of course, it is possible to stain or varnish a wooden bridge to achieve a different shade of wood to compliment its surroundings. Popular shades of garden bridge are dark green, red cedar and pine.
The garden bridge placed outdoors will often be covering moving water. This means that it should be pre-treated approximately every two years in order to ensure that the wood doesn’t weaken or rot after constant and regular exposure to moisture and splashing from streams or rain. A good material for a garden bridge to be crafter from is red cedar wood as it has few water conducting vessels within its grain, meaning it is protected against water damage.
Additionally, garden bridges are not only decorative features but also a functioning support and must be strong enough to hold the weight of one or more humans. They are available as either fully made bridges or flat packs to suit your preferences and typically take no longer the three hours to complete.
Note that a masonry arch is proven to be a very strong structure, becoming stronger with the more weight it is exposed to. Obviously, a wooden arch does not hold such impressively strong qualities but it certainly has an advantage over a flat bridge structure. Also, an arch structure allows fast-flowing water to pass underneath the bridge with less chance of it splashing up onto the wood than a bridge that is flat.
To further improve the strength and safety of a garden bridge, they are built to slightly overlap the edges of the area you are covering. This removes any danger of the bridge sinking into the sides or slipping.