Garden Walls

Stone Garden WallsGarden Walls are an excellent addition to any garden. They add structure and points of interest to your garden. All garden walls perform some useful function. Using walls for raised beds for planting, for erosion control, or to better utilize unused space, are just three examples of how walls provide a practical function.

The first thing you should do is to evaluate your garden for the addition of walls. Do you need to control erosion, or terrace a hillside to better utilize an area of your yard or garden that is just a slope with no practical purpose? Many elements can be combined to enhance this previously unused space, and transform that area of your property from difficult, or unusable, into a very desirable addition. Not to mention adding significant value to the home. Use your imagination to envision how your garden walls will look, and don’t forget accessibility. Adding stairs to your wall project will greatly enhance the usefulness of the walls you build.

There are several materials that can be used to construct your garden walls. Stone is a wonderful way to enhance your project by adding structure with a natural look. Or you may prefer cast concrete blocks, which come in a variety of color, size, and texture, for you project. Wood beams is another alternative for garden walls, but be aware that wood in contact with the soil is highly prone to rote, even if it is treated to protect it from the elements. Pick the material for your walls carefully, because they will be with you for a long time.

Garden WallConstruction of walls is very straight forward. The first type of construction we will look at is mortar less construction. In this type of construction the material used is simply stacked one on top of the other, paying particular attention to not allow vertical joints to line up one above the other. In other words, you want to stagger the joints for each row from the previous one as much as possible. This provides a good interlocking which adds strength and longevity to your wall. Free stacked stone is a good example of a mortar less construction technique that is very durable. Examples of free stacked stone walls can be found still intact after centuries of performing their intended function. Cast concrete blocks intended for landscaping walls, and landscaping beams fall into this category as well.

The other option is using concrete and mortar construction. Mortared stone walls provide a very permanent wall. Proper construction of these walls consist of using concrete and stone in the construction of the wall, and mortar for the spaces on the walls face and top. This type of construction is very ridged and does not allow for movement of the material used, usually stone, block, or brick.

Wall foundation is very important no matter which type of construction you decide to use. Due to weather conditions, winter versus summer, the ground may freeze, depending on your location. The general rule is that you want to prepare the foundation of the wall below the frost line. The frost line is the depth at which the ground freezes in mid winter. You need your wall foundation to extend 6 to 8 inches below this depth and on compacted, hard, ground. This will protect your walls from ground upheaval in freezing temperatures. This is especially important if you are constructing concrete and mortar type walls, which will crack if the foundation is not properly laid at the correct depth. Mortar less walls are more flexible to these conditions, usually returning to their original position when the ground thaws. The manufactures of landscaping block provide instructions for laying their foundation when using this type of material for your walls. Read their free pamphlets, which can be found where the product is sold, so you understand how deep to place the foundation and how it is installed.

If you need advice on building and placement of garden walls, you can consult a landscape designer to assist you in your project. Or try Landscape Design – Do It Yourself to help plan your project. There is a lot of free content you can use for your project.

Have fun with your Home Improvement Project.