Welcome to our Head Gardener’s Journal

In this monthly column, we will share technical aspects of our work and also keep you up to date about ongoing projects. If there is any topic you might want to hear more about, please ask during your next visit!

Building a New Bridge in the Stroll Garden

The upper and lower ponds in our Stroll Garden are connected by a small waterfall under a bridge built from slabs. The original bridge was made from Somerset Lias stone, which was used for stepping-stones throughout the Stroll Garden.

Original bridge

Initially, the bridge was only occasionally used as a crossing with the main “traffic” passing over the stepping stones. Over the past two years, however, the bridge has developed into an accessible alternative for our visitors to those that have earned the nickname “Steps of Doom”. Unfortunately, the bridge could not sustain the impact of the dramatic increase in the number of crossings, and, consequently, one of the two slabs cracked. We decided not to repair the structure, but rebuild it using more substantial slabs of the same rock used in the adjacent Rockery. 

First, the ponds were partially drained, and the original slabs removed to expose the substructure of the bridge onto which the new slabs were going to be laid.

Substructure of the Stroll Garden bridge.​

The slabs were moved using a small digger and carefully transported to the waterfall across boards which required all the skill of our resident landscaper, Joe.

Lifting and positioning of the massive new slabs.

The new slabs were bedded in using cement mortar, and the edges backfilled with soil. The new bridge is much stronger than before, and we have no doubts that it will provide a safe crossing for thousands of visitors!

The new bridge is ready​​​​