stone walls to nowhere

julescap(z6 NE)October 11, 2006

I'm in the process of planting a woodlands garden in my front yard. I like the the idea of having small stone wall(s) as hardscape. Anyone ever build any randomish stone walls for no real purpose? I'm thinking maybe about 4 ft long,2.5' to 3' high. Julie

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Never made any myself but if the walls are not mortared they will make good wildlife habitat. The property I work on has old farmer walls that add some charm and wildlife habitat.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 7:18AM
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waplummer(Z5 NY)

Are you so perfectly flat that you have to build them free standing? They would look a bit peculiar not being integrated into the landscape.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 8:29PM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

Try making them look like crumbling ruins with uneven height or gaps.

Or build the wall between two shrubs or bordering a berm.

Just try to avoid having a 4ft wall freestanding in the middle of nowhere.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2006 at 10:02PM
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oakleif(z6 AR)

I live in the very rocky ozark mnts. All of my raised beds are formed by rocks and i have two free standing 3 and1/2 ft. tall by abt 10 to 15ft.long. Have iris and daylilies along one side and virginia creeper along the wall with ferns,hosta,violets along the other side, North side. my whole flower garden is a series of curving paths with mostly raised beds The rocks i used for the walls were flatish rocks with the top rocks
most any shape. I made my garden with materials available and to simply what appealed to me. :) I also have a few angel statues around. The walls have been up abt 15 yrs now.
good luck with your wall.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 11:34PM
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cypsavant(z5/6 Ontario)

Here in eastern Ontario, we have a lot of old stone fencerows, mostly created when the land was cleared by the pioneers. Our own farm has several, and they support a lot of interesting plant growth and provide habitat for small mammals and snakes. Over the years, sugar maple, oak, elm and sundry other trees have grown up protected by grazing cattle from the rocks. In the spring, trout lily and great masses of spring beauty (claytonia) line the edges of these stone rows.
I've built a few small scale versions closer to the house in my woodland garden and in my sun gardens...we have lots of beautiful lichen covered granite fieldstone in various piles on the property (mostly glacial in origin, so they're nicely rounded) We also have some really neat sandstone and a white marble (the nearby hamlet of Marble Rock attests to that) that I've built some beds and walls out cactus and yuccas are in one built of really weathered sandstone...the stuff looks like swiss cheese it's so full of holes.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 1:43AM
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julescap(z6 NE)

Thanks to all of you for giving me some great ideas and for confirming that I'm not out of my mind! Does anyone have any pictures of their walls? Julie

    Bookmark   October 16, 2006 at 6:15AM
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Hard to see the scale but that wall is chest high on me. So the wall itself is about 3 1/2 feet to 4 ft. high from ground level.

I'm also loaded with old stone walls. New England has rocks. I've since moved and took most of those plants with me. New bed isn't nearly as cool but it will get there slowly. I actually have a much neater spot in mind but have to do some clearing first. Have a huge barn foundation built into the bank that is entirely fieldstone and granite blocks. Still sound and has steps and a few little levels. Be a great little picnic table spot. Just have to keep whacking away at my to do list. Get there one of these days

    Bookmark   November 11, 2006 at 5:28AM
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I love rocky structures, I have some beds that are made of rocks, but don't really have enough here for walls, but would be stacking if I did. Check out the gardening with stone forum you will find a lot of interesting stuff there. Check out this dry stack stone wall in the grand teatons. I love the way they used the flatter rocks in different directions.;view=1&page=&sort_order=&albumsperpage=&navfolderid=2006#

    Bookmark   December 21, 2006 at 11:04AM
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foolyap(z5 MA)

Check out this dry stack stone wall in the grand teatons. I love the way they used the flatter rocks in different directions.

Unfortunately, that's a passworded URL. :-(


    Bookmark   December 23, 2006 at 11:21AM
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The link is to the mother of all stone walls to nowhere.

Here is a link that might be useful: Storm King Wall

    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 9:50AM
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starfyre(z8 wa)

Actually it's not nuts! Random ruin walls are cool, if plants are landscaped around them so that the wall looks like its always been there, it will inspire imaginative speculation of what could have been there ions before you moved in... But the landscaping around it will be key for making it work.

I've considered recreating the kelfling ruins from "the dark crystal" in my "woodland." Haven't figured out the logistics of it all yet, but it has two intricate carved but crumbling walls, covered in vines and surrounded by overgrown plants. I figure if the walls were put at the end of my "woodland" with a sandpit in the bottom and surrounded by the shrubs and ferns it would make a cool and unique little play area/hideaway for my boys who are both very starwars/sci fi oriented, and my girls who love all things Brian Froud.

And I type "woodland" with the "" because it's really just a space of lawn at the back of my property that I've ringed with dogwoods and redbuds and a lot of native shrubs and ferns and 2 vine teepees so that the kids have a nice sheltered area to play in. I'm in the process of adding a pond to it all. It creates a play space that's hidden, so you can hear the kids but can't see them even if you tried - which was important since we have a sociopathic neighbor with a penchant for little kids...

here's what my ruins will look like once I figure out how to build them....

    Bookmark   March 7, 2007 at 12:43PM
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There are some random, old stone walls in our woods----going to nowhere! I have never touched them, because I love the way they look---I would say, go for it! Molly

    Bookmark   March 24, 2007 at 9:12AM
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It took me a long time to gather the courage to build my first dry-stack stone wall. Once over that hurdle, I haven't stopped! They are really easy from an engineering standpoint. I use a shovel to scoop a level trench the width of the base then alternate the direction of each course of stones. The base needs to be quite a bit wider than the top. Just make sure each stone is completely stable before you place the next one. It is like putting a puzzle together to make a strong fit.

Most of my walls were built to terrace back-filled planting beds so I always lean the walls into the slope for more stability. I am worried that I've created habitat for rattlers, but so far there's been lots of grateful lizards diving for cover from the kitties.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 4:14PM
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