What Are Garden Bridges?

Elvis Elvis

Garden bridges are fun to walk over and take you back to a simple place in time.

The history of garden bridges dates back to ancient times with exotic examples from Japan and China. Japanese gardens are especially known for their ability to relate to the natural environment and their garden bridges are an important part of this.

There are examples of garden bridges from every culture with every kind of design. Many gardens today have decorative or functional garden bridges as a part of their beauty. There are many manufacturers who specialize in making standard kits to be assembled or custom designed and made to a particular taste.

Garden bridges come in many different shapes and sizes and are made from various materials. In wood they generally are made from:

  • Redwood,
  • Pine
  • Cedar
  • Douglas Fir

Garden bridges can be used for a variety of settings including:

  • As a foot bridge over a creek or pond.
  • A decorative accent through a flower garden.
  • A Japanese garden style bridge.

Spanning the Length:

When looking to buy or build a garden bridge you need to know the length of the actual span across the water or other space. One reason is that some manufacturers sell their bridges by actual footage instead of by the span it covers. In other words, an 8 foot bridge (because of the curve) will only cover a 6-1/2 foot span.

What Are Garden Bridges?

Quality Materials:

The quality of your garden bridge matters because it is out in the weather and usually near water. If your bridge is made of wood try to make sure it is weather & water resistant as well as sealed with stain or other product. It’s a good idea to make sure the hardware used such as bolts, screws, and washers are stainless steel. A second choice is galvanized or some other long-life coating on the hardware.

Assembly of Your Garden Bridge:

When buying a kit the ease of bridge assembly is important. Some manufacturers only require a few common tools to put theirs together. There is nothing more frustrating than to try and assemble something that is very hard and takes hours to do. Buy a kit that organizes their components with numbers, letters or colors so it is easy to follow the instructions and match up where parts go together.

Different Types of Bridges:

  • Japanese Garden Bridges
  • Moon or Drum Bridge
  • Log Bridge
  • Stone Slab Bridge
  • and Others…

Different Styles of Bridges:

Garden bridge manufacturers use various terminologies to describe their bridges. You can compare those, apples-to-apples, by viewing photos on their websites. Basic descriptions are:

  • Arched Bridge without Rails
  • 4 Post, Single Rail Bridge
  • 4 Post, Multi-Rail Bridge
  • 6 Post, Single Rail Bridge
  • And More.

Standard Bridge Lengths:

Most manufacturers have standard lengths they offer in their bridge kits. Many will also custom make your garden bridges as well. Standard lengths are:

  • 4 Ft.
  • 6 Ft.
  • 8 Ft.
  • 10 Ft.
  • 12 Ft.

Remember… depending on the manufacturer, an 8 Ft. bridge may only cover a 6-1/2 foot span. Know this when you are making the purchase so you can get the right length.