A Crafty Boulder Wall

After opening up their back yard to accommodate a new deck, patio and future hot tub, some wall construction was in order.  This home is located in the country, and the the field stone pictured here occurs naturally in the area, so it fit the bill nicely. We always like to use materials that  are native to the area if we can.

On walls of this size, I like to use stones that are consistent  in size and install them with the flat side out. Although it takes longer to construct, I it gives the wall a more “hand crafted”, quality look.

The wall is backed by a thick layer of felt-like material , which both keeps the soil from settling and the face of the wall clean. Behind the felt is a 12″ layer of gravel that drains the water to prevent water pressure from building up (possibly pushing the wall out), and down to a drain tile  that empties out at the end of the wall and flows downhill, away from the house.

Before


After

Tone Down a High Front Porch

A low flagstone wall enclosing a raised planting bed seemed to be a natural fit as I considered options for for front of this home. The  height of the front porch and concrete steps leading up to it made the front entrance look heavy and imposing, and needed some toning down. The lower wall comes out 6-7 feet beyond the steps to help push them visually back, helping to minimize their size. We chose to leave the
existing flowering crab, which gave us a chance to leave it on the lower level and have its own small space. We also integrated two large flat stones into the wall to add some  points of interest. A magnolia on the far corner of the house helps balance off the crab tree. Because of the raised grade, we found it necessary to install window wells as needed for the basement windows. The area under the crabapple and along the driveway will be planted with low ground covers