When building a new dry stone wall it is often surprising how much stone is needed. Partly this is due to the stacking effect of building a wall. It is always gratifying to see a great pile of stone decrease in volume as it gets condensed into the tightly packed structure of a wall. When a new wall or feature is created in an existing garden, protecting the existing features from the large volumes of stone being transported, moved, and worked can be a challenge. In the picture below you can see the use of boards, planks and tarpaulin to reduce the impact to the lawn. The stone in the picture is about 10 tonnes in weight and will be enough to build a small section of garden wall.
One of the great things about dry stone walls is their value as wildlife habitat. When a wall gets older it can accumulate all manner of plants and lichens. Dry stone walls are good for this as gaps can get filled with soil particularly where the wall is retaining an earth bank where moisture can flow through. The flora is quite different depending on the geology of the stone from which the wall is being built. In this sandstone wall in Yorkshire you can see Woundwort, Sweet Woodruff, Foxglove and Teasel are all able to grow in and around the wall itself.
This project involved the creation of a level path across a steeply sloping garden in order to make the garden more accessible and generally make it a more enjoyable place to be. The path is at the lower end of the garden and is amongst more dense shaded woodland foliage. We started by creating two low retaining walls to accommodate the path and then built up the path finally finishing it with a layer of self healing clay gravel. The finished look is rustic and the path will accumulate ferns and other woodland plants whilst still providing a functional walkway to a sunken patio.