A bit of wall construction

Whilst I haven’t had much time in the garden over the past few weeks due to the weather and a sick cat that time has been quite productive.  There is of course a lot of tidying up that needs to be done, weeding etc but I needed to have something which would give me more instant gratification so I have decided to tackle a project that’s been on my mind for a while.

The border with the cherry tree slopes quite steeply to the path and I have struggled for years to make this area work.  The plants I want to plant here are generally small alpine type plants which benefit from the drainage and the sunshine but they get lost in the border so I needed some definition something to set them against.  Given that we live on the side of the Malvern hills and dig up Malvern stone (granite) all the time we have a reasonable supply of stone so it seems sensible to use it to create a sort of retaining wall.

The construction started off fairly well but dry stone walling is an art form that I have little practice off and it seems to me that its very much a matter of luck as to whether you can find stones that fit together or not. You need fairly flat stones at the bottom to rest the next layers on but many of the stones we have are anything but flat so there is a lot of fiddling around and carrying stones back and forth trying to make it work. Also there are only so many of the larger stones and I am finding that the stones are getting smaller and when I stand back and look from a distance the wall seems to go lower.  I think there are some more stones further up the garden which I might be able to use but it is what it is and it has allowed me to reduce the slope and the plants have a nice foil to grow against.

I’m hoping to use some of the gaps between stones for succulents and maybe lewisias or auriculas.

All told though I am pleased with the change and hopefully there will be enough stone to get to the far end of the border but if not I will have to come up with some sort of artistic way to make a shorter wall look intentional!

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. bcparkison says:

    Now I do know that rocks can be a problem in a garden but boy..I would love to have some of those. I love rock walls.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      We are lucky, they would cost a fortune to buy

  2. I have a wall similar to yours. I hope to add another foot onto its height soon. Yours is lovely.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Many thanks

  3. You have done a great job. I love to see plants tumbling over walls. Our dry stone walls in our Scottish garden fill up quickly with ferns – but you can have too many ferns, believe me, and they take over. I have just cleared the wall again and hope to plant something vigorous and tumbling as a change from the endless ferns!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      I’m hoping the get the wall to the far end of the border which is more shady as I want to plant ferns there but I will take your warning into account!

  4. Oh that is looking good Helen. Malvern stone is most attractive. Sorry to hear that your feline companion has been under the weather and hope that it is just a temporary blip.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Thanks Anna. She has something akin to a stroke the other week and was paralysed in her back legs. She is on the mend but still not use of left back foot which is a worry but we will continue to hope

  5. From the sounds of it, you will find more stones in due course, but in the meantime – yes, the little wall makes a great foil for the plants.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Thanks

  6. tonytomeo says:

    The stones that I used for my wall were the sandstone that fell into the road and needed to be removed anyway. It also made a nice floor for the shower inside a redwood stump.

  7. Ann Mackay says:

    Your wall looks great – and you’ve given me the idea to try something a bit lower to stabilize a slope in my garden – thanks! 🙂 (I even have the stone already!)

  8. Cathy says:

    Oh well done Helen – what a difference it is making already. If it is anythng like our garden you will have a mossy covering on them in no time (but perhaps granite is not porous enough to support moss…?)

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