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How to Make an Arched Walkway
A covered walkway can increase privacy and mystery in a garden and provides a great opportunity to grow climbing roses or another climber. Give plenty of thought as to how such as prominent garden feature will fit in with the rest of the garden. What size, shape, material and size should it be? Do you want to walk side by side with someone or not; this determines the width of the path and overhead structures. Wooden pergola kits are available or you can buy metal arch kits and space them along a path. This workshop shows you how to make your own. An all timber pergola is easier than one with brick piers with timber crossbars, although if your bricklaying skills are reasonable the latter looks impressive in a large garden. When designing your own pergola, aim for a width of between 1.2m to 2m, an upright every 2m and a height at least 2.1m , more if you are planning to grow climbers like wisteria with hanging blooms. Choose wood that is either naturally durable like western red cedar or has been pressure-impregnated with preservative.
you will need
Pegs and string; builder’s square; 10cm square timber posts, a means of anchoring the posts to the ground ie metal spikes or rubble plus concrete; ladder; wood for the crossbeams and rafters, a thickness of 10cm x 5cm is fine, add at least 40cm to the length of each to allow for an overhang of 20cm either side; spirit level; galvanised brackets, screws and nails; screwdriver, drill, saw, hammer; wood stain, brush.
Mark out where the upright posts are going using pegs and string. Check any right angles with a builder’s square. Where each post will go, either knock in a metal fencing spike, dig a hole and fill with rubble then concrete around the post or fix a post holder depending on which anchoring method you have chosen. If using a metal spike it must be inserted upright in the ground. Insert the post making sure it is square and level. Leave concreted posts for a couple of days before fixing the crossbeams.
On top of your posts crossbeams will be fixed across the path and rafters along the sides, making a square. They are most neatly joined with notched joints. The pieces of timber need to be cut to length. Saw off the ends at an angle for a tapered overhang. Put the pieces together on the lawn and cut notches in the top of crossbeams and the bottom of rafters, ready to be joined. Pre-drill any holes for screws.
Get some help to lift the crossbeams up to the top of the posts, position them so there is an equal overhang at each end. Use T-shaped metal brackets and screws to secure the crossbeams to the uprights. Set the rafters over the crossbeams, the notched joints will hold them in place but you can also secure them with nails.
Paint the structure with at least two layers of garden woodstain - wood above ground is unlikely to rot but many woodstains offer protection from disfiguring surface moulds and algae. When the wood is dry, fix supporting wires to the uprights and crossbeams using screw-in vine-eyes.
Lay the path through the walkway, or this can have been done before. See Workshops: How to Lay a Gravel Path and How to Lay a Brick Path.
Plant climbers on the outside of the walkway, at least 23cm away from the uprights. Guide and train the young stems to the wires. Water the plants in well.
Fix the uprights firmly into the ground
Put the crossbeams securely in place
Trellis side panels will support your plants
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Other Building and Laying Articles
   Adding an edge to a patio        Bricking edge to path
   Building a BBQ as a feature        Building a pergola
   Building an arbour        Building an arch
   Constructing a wooden fence        Installing a decking tile patio
   Installing a fountain        Installing a mowing strip
   Installing a watering system        Installing trellis
   Laying a slab patio        Laying a square paver path
   Making timber edged borders        Making a fruit cage
   Making a gravel path        Making a mini-cloche
   Making a paved or brick path        Making a raised bed
   Making a shallow rill or canal        Making a simple wall
   Making a wall fountain or spout        Making a wig-wam support
   Making an arched walkway        Making an obelisk.
   Making and using a polytunnel        Making trellis
   Planning for a greenhouse        Ponds with a flexible sheet
   Ponds with prefab liners        Supporting climbers

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