Selecting the Perfect Garden Bridge

Small garden bridges have become a popular way to ornament your backyard. They add a fanciful touch to any garden, and instantly change an average yard into a spectacular one.

Bridges have been used for thousands of year for crossing rugged terrain and bodies of water, dating to ancient times.  There are many different names by which bridges are known, including foot bridges, landscape bridges, ornamental bridges, oriental bridges, Japanese bridges, timber bridges, and garden bridges, to name a few.

Small garden bridges are usually slightly arched and most range between 5 and 20 feet long. A standard width is about 3 feet.

The most basic type of garden bridge is an arched or flat plank structure that does not have hand rails or side rails. Many ornamental bridges also have guard rails which are both decorative and functional. Some of these rails are made to prevent children from falling off the bridge, while others are purely for decoration.

Choosing the right bridge for your garden does not have to be a difficult task. First, think about the space you have in your yard and pick out where you think a bridge could best fit. Be sure to choose several areas, and then decide on which one is your favorite.

Next, you need to measure the distance you want your bridge to span. While measuring, be sure to measure the distance you want the bridge to traverse, not the arch length. It is much simpler to take an accurate measure of this length, and most companies will sell bridges based off the span, not the arch.

When picking out a bridge, it is important to choose one that is made of weather and water-resistant wood that is also sealed or stained wood. According to Robert Crosse, most small garden bridges are made of cedar, pressure-treated pine, redwood, teak, spruce or birch.

Some bridges have a steel frame with wooden planks. If you purchase a bridge like this, make sure that it only uses galvanized hardware and stainless steel.

If you are inexperienced at building, you should look for a bridge kit that is easily assembled and does not need many tools. Pick a set where the manufacturer numbers and labels each board, post and rail. Then, all you need to do to assemble it is match up the numbers and tighten the screws.

However, if you are a master Do-It-Yourselfer, you can always build the entire bridge by yourself. Most home improvement stores will sell garden bridge plans as well as bridge kits. Simply buy the materials you need according to the plan and follow the directions. This is a great way to add an attractive bridge to your backyard while enjoying a hobby at the same time.

 A small garden bridge can make your backyard infinitely more quaint and lovely. It also is functional for crossing rough terrain, streams, and small ponds. By following these few simple steps, you can ensure that you purchase the right bridge for your backyard.