If you are considering adding a bridge to your garden pond, it’s worth taking the time to really think about the various elements involved. Whether you have a small or huge pond, a bridge adds an extra touch of elegance to your garden.
For safety and the welfare of your fish and plants, empty the pond before you start. This is a good chance to clean out any waste from the bottom of the pond and remove or trim any dead or overgrown plants. A pond vacuum or even a simple net is perfect for this job, and ensures a clean healthy pond when the job is finished. An empty pond also means it’s much easier to access all areas of it during the construction process.
The easiest bridge to create is the flat bridge. This is one you can do yourself with some good planning and the right materials.
Install secure wood or steel fixing posts in to the ground using concrete for the best finish. It’s important that concrete doesn’t get into your pond, as it will add toxins and lime into the pond. If you have a large pond, you will need another fixing post in the centre, for added support. This is why it is ideal to empty the pond first.
Creating a frame work between the posts means you can then simply position the timber across, nailing in securely as you go. Of course having your own detailed plan is ideal as you can follow your own design. You can add rails for added support and décor, or just go for a simple foot bridge.
For a pond bridge you can use any treated timber. Using treated wood means it will remain water resistant, avoiding any splits or weak spots in the wood. Treated railway sleepers are a great material to use, as they not only look good and are of course environmentally friendly, but they are also very strong and durable.
An arched bridge is more complex, and unless you have fantastic joinery skills, it’s probably best to leave it to the experts. The arched section needs to be properly fitted, to avoid bowing and breaking. An arched construction adds height as well as interest and when properly installed can look fantastic, creating a real focal piece in your garden.
A quick search on the internet brings up a whole host of ready-made bridges to suit all tastes and pockets. Many companies also include installation, so you can be sure of the best possible finish and a guarantee. However, you can of course design your own, using recycled materials or new to suit your own taste.
Add Some Finishing Touches
Once the bridge is in place, add some further touches that will ensure it really looks the part. You can leave the wood in its natural state (albeit treated) or painted. A water feature or pond lighting set up from Swell UK will also draw the eye and really enhance the look of your garden.
A water fall feature would be ideal, as it can be attached to the bridge for the required height. Easy to install or maintain, this creates a tranquil sheet of water which cascades back into your pond. A lighting system also highlights the look of your new bridge, as many can be angled to highlight certain areas – perfect when you are entertaining, whether it’s a summer barbecue or a winter party.
Plants are also a great way to ensure a bridge is incorporated in to the pond and surrounding space. Encouraging them to grow up and around or simply on either side of the bridge looks natural and professional.
Before you decide on the style of bridge you want, have a think about whether you want a bridge that can be walked across, or just a decorative touch. This will impact on the materials and construction required, so it’s a good idea to do as much research as possible before you begin.