The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

All about a very old bridge...


Some members have expressed an interest in the very old bridge over the stream in our garden. It is a bit like a tunnel as it curves round for about 15’ for one end to the other. It was the only access to the house until our predecessors built a wooden one at the other end of the garden.

It is built of stone and this is one end of it. The arches are quite shallow and we watch anxiously when there is heavy rain, as the stream rises alarmingly quickly. Fortunately,it goes back down equally fast! On top of the bridge at this end is a scree bed.

The soil is very shallow but quite a number of plants don’t seem to mind that. At the other end of the bridge there is another shallow arch.

The walls contain the stream. One side belongs to our neighbours and the bank is on our side. Clearing the bank here and replanting has been on my list of projects for a while.

And now, as I’ve finished the previous project (making curves round the front lawn) I have actually started on the bank! My husband made a small paved platform for me to climb onto – and a small set of wooden steps which are put away when they are not in use. I would not be able to climb down without this assistance. Henry does, though! He jumps down and runs up and down – barking! Needless to say, when I started digging this afternoon, he was shut indoors!

Well, it is very hard work – there are nettles, brambles, large tufts of grass and other unknown deep-rooted weeds. I’ve cleared about a metre-and-a-half so far – and no, I didn’t fall in (quite). I am not sure how much of the bank I shall be able to clear, I’d like to do all of it, but this would take ages. I have some Lythrum salicaria (Purple Loosestrife) plants I grew from seed last year and they are shooting happily in their pots, more than ready to be planted. This is one from the bank on the other side of the bridge.

I shall have fun tracking down more plants that enjoy the very damp conditions – they’ll have to be fast growers, though, with long, strong roots – so that they don’t get washed away after heavy rain! So now you know about the old bridge in my garden!

More blog posts by spritzhenry

Previous post: Sexy Curves?

Next post: Little pretty flowers in shady places.



thank you for that, how intereting that it once was the only access to your house. will look forward to seeing it all planted up.

23 Apr, 2008


Thank You for sharing this! Your commitment and effort always leave me in awe!

23 Apr, 2008


Looks a huge garden from your pics Spritz and assume there must be quite an age to your property.Reminds me of those little bridges to properties in the Slaughter villages.Charming .

24 Apr, 2008


Spritz your little bridge is very enchanting I wonder if there is a troll hiding underneath it? although truth be told if there is one he must be of the dwarf variety! ;o)

I'm sure after all your hard work you bank-side will look very nice indeed and I look forward in seeing how it turns out.Take care on that mud wouldn't want you to have a splash.Hel xxx.

24 Apr, 2008


The wooden one is what I call the 'troll bridge' because of the Billy Goats Gruff story! My grandson (apart from Henry) is the only one who has been through the tunnel. He took some persuading....and even he had to bend in half! Yes, Bonkers, The house is 500 years old - obviously we have no idea how old the bridge is! We have two-thirds of an acre - and I love it all! I am going to don wellies for the next digging session as I kept slipping down the bank yesterday...Wait for the SPLASH! Thank you, David. It keeps me fit and active, and I love caring for it - that's what retirement does for you!

24 Apr, 2008


You are very lucky to have such a lovely place to live, thanks for telling us about the bridge!

24 Apr, 2008


You are very lucky to have these wet boggy conditions naturally occuring in this lovely space. I have been looking at bog and damp loving plants and the amount that are around is amazing and so colourful. My favorite is ligularia, some have daisy flowers and some yellow rocket spikes.
Maybe I should come and live under your bridge, when I'm cross my hubby always says 'lets go and find you a bridge to live under' I think I would pick yours!!

24 Apr, 2008


You are very welcome, Andrea! I have already got Ligularia 'the Rocket' on my want-list for the bank...we saw it at RHS Rosemoor. I'll be perusing the Plantfinder soon!

24 Apr, 2008


Hi Spritz,
How about a Gunnera alongside the stream and a Ligularia 'Desdemona' ?
Best wishes,
Grenville and Alan.

24 Apr, 2008

Add a comment

Recent posts by spritzhenry