Rock walls: Beautiful and functional
July 12, 2015
Exploring Western Oregon’s spectacular outdoors inspires our work. This scene along the Middle Fork of the Willamette caught our eye recently. Mother Nature builds stone walls like no other!
As in the wild, in the garden there is nothing like natural stone to bring a sense of enduring strength and patterned beauty. Our dry stack rock walls bring this unique character to many of the gardens we have created over the years. Topped with clumping Autumn Moor grass (Sesleria autumnalis) or with a wild looking cover crop of buckwheat, the dry-stack basalt walls in this garden sing.
Hand crafted stone walls are each a work of art created through a relationship of the mason’s skill and the stone’s natural character. Great patterns emerge in the constructed details.
Stone retaining walls are not only good to look at. They also serve to transform sloped garden spaces into usable terraces. A big curving path leads up from the home’s back door to a view of these smartly built walls that combine brown basalt from the site with locally quarried gray basalt rock.
The young plants are successfully establishing themselves in the newly created level planting bed at the top of this garden.
Retaining walls create level areas for an arbor-covered patio and for a broad bed at the studio foundation in this garden.
In this example, the extremely sloped back yard had a failing concrete block wall. We re-constructed the block wall after adding a strong stone wall lower down the slope. Now a sweet little hidden seating area can be accessed down the sandstone stairs. A previously unusable slope made into something special.
This great little wall at the street front of this homes’ property makes extended use of the small front yard. Now flowering plantings welcome wildlife and admiring glances.
This, our most recently constructed stone wall, replaced a weedy slope that the homeowners had to look at after their circular driveway was built. We’ve been told that the homeowner is so happy with the wall that he has enjoyed relaxing after work gazing at it’s patterns. We are glad the dogs like it too!