Sunday, December 3, 2017

Over the hump.

We’re presently wrapping up a satisfyingly large-scale walling project in a small town along the St Lawrence River. The wall is an impressive six feet high and will eventually have sedum and thyme growing along the top. It curves and undulates along the property line (opposite the coachhouse) and ends up joining up with a high privacy fence, towards the front of the main house. 

There is this massive underground continent of granite known by geologists as the Frontenac Arch in this area, and it extends down from Ontario into much of New York State. 

At one point on the property the wall goes over a large moss covered hump of this bedrock breaching out of the lawn. The place where the stones in the wall arch up and over the rounded bedrock has turned out to be one of the most interesting details I have had the pleasure of constructing. I always enjoy working with natural materials in natural settings - no machinery or power tools - but I felt even more privileged to be building this wall, not just on the earth, but right on top of the visible crust of the Canadian Shield. 

The planet has allowed me the rare opportunity to leave stone upon stone, permanently arching over this bisected arc-shaped outcropping, which originally formed below the surface somewhere in the ancient geological past.

The collaboration of waller and natural materials doesn’t get any better than this.