Wednesday, May 19, 2010

building a dry-stacked stone wall - phase one

I smile to myself when I think of the first dry-stacked stone wall I needed to be re-stacked a year later. But that's how one learns! Stone walls add lots of character to the landscape, define a bed or a space and give the eye a resting place. An outdoor 'room' can be created merely by using a stone wall...the imagination is the limit! This is an example of a created 'room.'

The 'before-we-moved-here' yard was a gentle, almost unnoticable slope that I took advantage of to create the fish/lily pond on the other side of the stone wall. The yard is level on the other side - I used the dirt from the pond and bringing more in to fill the top of the bed. The other side looks like this...
Before I go into a tutorial, let me explain what 'dry-stacking' is. Dry-stacking is 'stacking' or placing one rock on another without using any mortar or concrete to hold it in place.

There are several advantages to do them this way...
They can be taken apart easily.
YOU can do it instead of hiring some one!
Especially if the stones are picked up beside the road,
or from a farmer who laughs at you
for WANTING stone when they THROW them away!
Really, REALLY cheap-o!

Disadvantages to dry-stacking...
They fall apart.
Height is limited; they are unsafe if too high.


To the right of our driveway is a smallish bank that I had quickly turned into a shrub bed due to the nuisance of mowing it. Over time, the dirt and mulch kept getting washed away into the grass, especially during hard rains so that it looked like this...
exposing the roots of my lovely lime-light hydrangeas. And the moles were having a heyday in digging into the side of the bank.
Here are several 'before' pictures of the bank...
Sorry, girls, this is a long post, so... be continued!

....happy gardening!



shawn smucker said...

wow, the finished product looks awesome esther! glad to see you are staying busy in your garden...all the best! shawn

Esther@fleurcottage said...

thanks,'s my first love! :)

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