Simple Garden Swing
Oh, for the simplicity of a garden swing. We are so used to the familiar garden statues, hanging baskets, and other garden decorations but the swing seems to have been forgotten as an essential garden or yard fixture. You cannot get a better way of relaxing than swaying on a swing, enjoying the fresh air and the feel of the outdoors.
There’s nothing to beat the gentle sway of a swing, it’s the perfect way to relieve the stresses of the day. Building a swing is simplicity itself. A small piece of stout wood for a seat plus some good rope is all you need to build a swing that will last for many years. That is, provided you have a nice large mature tree to hang the swing from.
Single Garden Swing
A basic one-person swing seat will have to have 4 holes bored into it at the corners to allow for the ropes. Alternatively, substitute an old tire or a large log for the seat. The ropes will be attached to the upper branches of a suitable tree. The connection at the branch should be wider than the width of the seat as this will help with stability, otherwise, the swing might twist during motion.
The ropes should have a high breaking strain, I found nylon ropes were the best and are long life. I used four half-inch nylon ropes for this swing picture. Manila or sisal ropes can also be used effectively but check periodically to make sure that they are still intact as they may rot.
Outdoor Garden Swings
You have to be aware of the weather conditions of your location and make allowances for the protection of your swing. A yearly inspection is required on all the rope knots and the seat (if wooden) should be treated with a preserving varnish or some such protection. With a tree swing, you depend upon the leafy canopy for protection. With tree-less swings there are protective covers suitable, mainly consisting of a gazebo-like structure. This enables you to cover the entire swing and thus protect it from the elements, thereby enhancing the garden decor.
Single Rope Tree Swing
A single-rope, the single-seat swing would need a good thick rope of at least one inch in diameter. The seat is circular (about 15 inches) with the rope hole dead center. The higher you mount this rope the more dangerous the swing becomes as it has such a large sweep in every direction. Great care is needed and this is not my favorite swing especially if young children are nearby and could wander into the ‘sway’ area.
Other Swing Types
A 3-seater swing is available and is constructed from high-strength steel tube framing which makes it extremely robust and durable. A canopy consisting of quick-drying material is included as part of the swing. The swing seat is made from the same fabric to minimize long periods of inaction following a downpour. The deluxe version comes complete with net curtains, seat cushions, and a vented roof section. A 2-seater version of the swing is available too.
Many swings such as this one can be delivered in a flat pack and can be easily assembled. The arbor swing uses pine wood which is treated to withstand sun and rain. To preserve swing timber will need annual routine maintenance. Outdoor lighting or spotlights can be installed to illuminate.
Porch swings can be set up quite easily by attaching brackets to the overhead supports. Special springs (available in kits) can be pressed and fitted to the overhead timber to aid suspension and prevent wear and tear. Make sure of the strength capacity of the springs you choose as each spring must have a weight strain of at least 500 pounds.
Advice on Swing Seating
The swing seat should be level and capable of adjustable height to enable different age groups to use the swing. The best way to access the correct height is for the person swinging to be just about able to reach the ground with their feet. For a tree swing, the branch selected is important. It must be strong/sturdy and high enough to be clear of the main tree trunk.
Avoid Cheap Garden Swings
Always opt for quality thus ensuring a safe playtime and do avoid buying cheap garden swings. Mountings and anchors may not reach the desired regulatory standard on inferior goods so be aware that cheap isn’t always best. Make sure that there’s enough space for swinging without any obstruction, especially with a garden hammock swing, or you might suffer a back injury.
Also, ensure that the seat cannot swing against the trunk itself or a nearby garden statue. Make sure that the rope cannot slip on the branch thus causing the position of the swing path to alter course. Lastly, enjoy your garden swing and be safe.