Thursday, December 4, 2014

A dry stone wall is what it is

There isn’t a property that can’t be improved by adding a dry stone wall. The thing is, it doesn’t have to be a 'retaining wall'. It can be any number of other structures.

Stones can serve many purposes other than just holding back dirt. There are countless things that can be done building only with stones, fitting them together in the dry stone method. The more you work with them, the more you discover what can be done, or more importantly, what stones can do.

A dry laid wall, made only of stones (without using mortar) doesn’t have to ‘do’ anything at all. It can just be what it is - a free-standing structure that merely looks beautiful, the way a tree or a sculpture or a flower garden does. 

This is not just ‘decoration’. The walls I am talking about are not 'ornamentation'. Veneered stonework by contrast is basically only for 'show'. The stones are all held in place in most veneers to look pretty without regard for their inherent structural value.  

A well built dry stone wall will always have a more genuinely pleasing 'form'. This is because the wall inherently has cohesive 'function' (the stones in it have been utilized structurally) 

This functionality can be extended to include purpose, as the proper walling method is combined with good design to create a formal or rustic feeling on any property. The dry laid elements can be whimsical installations, artistic expressions or have more specific applications. 

A wall feature can be set into the garden to enhance it, or partially built around it, to give a feeling of enclosure. Even a small section of wall can create the sense wholeness or expansiveness. A wall can inspire our imagination, or suggest to us a different time period, or some far away place - a place we have seen before perhaps, or one we have not yet visited.


  1. John, I agree a Dry Stone Wall is beautiful and adds character to any setting. Have a Merry Christmas.

  2. A thing of beauty and a joy for almost ever.