27 Jul Rock Walls add character
Now that we’re midway through summer and your yard is at the “maintenance only” stage, you have time to reflect on the overall appearance of your property. Is something missing? Something that might add distinction and character, while being unique enough that it’s not a copy of your neighbor’s landscaping? How about a real rock wall.
Rock walls were and are quite common in Europe, so naturally they began appearing in New England in Colonial times. Farmers clearing their new fields of rocks led to the natural stacking of the rocks at the field’s edge – hence the rock wall. Farmers also utilized taller and more substantial rock walls to keep in their livestock, and fence out their neighbor’s.
Today we can purchase rocks (we prefer Pennsylvania field stone) on a pallet for about $250. That will give you about 25′-30′ of a 9″ high rock wall. Two pallets, about $500, will give you enough rocks to outline a sufficient sized flower bed. Here’s how we do it:
We separate the rocks on the pallets into large, medium and small. We outline in spray paint our intended bed, then bring in a yard of topsoil. First we lay down the largest rocks on the bottom layer, then the medium rocks on the second layer, and finally the smallest rocks on top. On hands and knees, we tuck soil into backside of the rocks to sturdy the wall. Then the remainder of the topsoil is raked out, mulch is added on top of that, and the bed is ready for planting of your favorite shrubs and flowers. Wasn’t that easy?!!!