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Landscape Design with a Fieldstone Wall

by Jeffrey Anderson, All About Lawns Columnist

You have lots of options when building a wall in your yard, but it's hard to beat the warm, yet substantial, look of a field stone wall. It's also difficult to build a wall more capable of standing up to the test of time as the old field stone walls that still dot the New England countryside. Field stone walls aren't just durable and attractive, they're also fairly easy to build. And, with a little labor, the materials can be free.

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Installing a Field Stone Wall in Your Landscape Design

One of the reasons you'll find so many stone walls in New England is because farmers needed somewhere to put the rocks they pulled from their fields. The University of Connecticut provides a good article on the history of New England's stone walls. Gather your stones the same way the New England farmers did; you may not have many rocks on your property, but you might have nearby fields or construction sites. The owners would be more than happy to allow you to haul away some rocks. Just remember to take a wheelbarrow with you as large rocks can be fairly heavy.

Putting Together a Puzzle in your Yard

Adding the wall to your landscape design is like putting together a puzzle. Stoneyard.com offers some good tips for building your wall, but here are a few to get you started:

  • Place the first row a little below grade
  • Put larger stones at the bottom
  • Dry stacking without mortar may last longer
  • Stone retaining walls should allow for drainage
  • Taller walls should have wider bases

Add a bit of Colonial America to your landscape design by building a field stone wall around your garden or backyard play area.


About the Author
Jeffrey Anderson has a Degree in English from V.M.I. and served as an officer in the Marine Corps. He worked in Residential and Commercial construction management for 25 years before retiring to write full time.

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