As its name suggests, Middle Bridge crosses the water race close to the middle of the property. It must have been walked over and wheeled over a million times since first constructed. Cat and dog paws, gardening boots, even bare feet have all left their imprints.
Rusty the New Puppy on Middle Bridge
When Rusty the red border collie puppy first arrived, he learnt in no time where Middle Bridge led to (though he did fall off into the water during a lapse in concentration). What a sweet, fluffy little thing he was back then!
When Non-Gardening Partner first brought home the huge off-cuts of wooden power poles I didn't give the bridge they were to become much thought. The area over the water race was still being cleared, and there were no borders dug. The trees over there were huge - two rows of noisy twenty year-old gums. It was early days in my garden developments.
Middle Bridge - Early Days
I decided that the bridge should be reasonably central, near the big flax. I stood on the back lawn, pointed vaguely, and that was that. Middle Bridge went in very quickly, with four people pulling the big beams into place over the water race. Planks were nailed to form the 'floor'.
Early Days - Middle Border Foliage
The first path leading from Middle Bridge was designed by the original Moosey dog, Taj-dog. He turned sharp right and snuffled his way along the water's edge, giving me the idea of building a Dog-Path there. Later another Dog-Path was built to the left to wind its way around the established flax bush and along the water's edge. Over the years as the flaxes doubled in size this path suffered several alterations in route.
Humans needed access from the bridge to the grass beyond, and so Middle Path with its stone edges was built to wind around two existing Viburnums and out of sight towards the fence. The new trees in Middle Border are growing well, giving the area a woodland ambience. Each year more and more dappled shade is created in here, and any original surviving sun-lovers have had to shift out.
Summer 2003 on Middle Bridge
One of my very first plantings over Middle Bridge was a green and gold flax called Yellow Wave, which I carefully dug in by the old fence post. I also added some white verbenas and tussocks to trail over the stones.
Middle Bridge, Looking Upstream
These plantings still exist, though now much, much larger. Just recently I've just had to remover the ferns from either end, to make the bridge 'passable'.
Solid and Strong
Middle Bridge is a very basic solid structure. In winter frosts it cannot be traversed until mid-morning, by which time the winter sun (which, of course, shines every single day) has thawed any slippery ice.
Cats on Middle Bridge
It may be a bare and boring design, but Middle Bridge is a most successful bridge, and is enjoyed equally by cats, dogs and people. And The Head Gardener (me) has only fallen off it once, while trying to bounce an over-loaded wheelbarrow off the end. Oops!