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A natural stone wall is a wall that can be built from different stones, but is often made of sandstone or carved limestone. Which stones are selected depends on the taste of the land owner. However, natural stones are always irregular stones that were not produced in a factory.
A natural stone wall can be constructed with or without a cement bed, depending on the purpose for which it is intended.
- as a drywall well suited for the subsequent greening
- as a brick wall to demarcation
Masonry stone wall with foundation
A bricked natural stone wall is often used to surround paths, terraces or as a neighboring border. As such a wall, it should of course be robust and stable, so both a foundation is necessary as well as the "gluing" with mortar. These materials are needed for the construction of a natural stone wall:
- Utensils for the production of cement
- Tools for digging
- one part Portland cement plus five to six parts gravel-sand mixture
- the gravel should have a different grain size in a well-balanced mixture
Only after the trench for the foundation has been completely excavated, the concrete is touched. The finished cement can be filled into a wheelbarrow and, with its help, poured into the trench. Here it is carefully distributed and then pressed firmly with a rammer. With a long spirit level, it should be checked whether the surface level is even. As long as the concrete is still soft, an imbalance can be regulated by additional refilling of concrete or by further pounding.
Tip: Finished concrete mixes not only make work easier, they also guarantee strength.
For the walling of the natural stone wall mortar is needed, which can also be either mixed or bought as a ready mix. The same advantages apply to precast concrete, but special care should be taken to buy frost-proof mortar suitable for outdoor use. Another important note is the indication that the mortar must be suitable for the use of natural stone.
Construction of natural stone wall with mortar
Once the foundation has hardened sufficiently, the construction of the natural stone wall can begin. Of course you should have timely selected and ordered the stones in advance. They are delivered on pallets and are usually shrink-wrapped so you can buy them a while in advance.
If the natural stone wall is to be built in front of the terrace or as a bed enclosure, most garden owners will need a single-row walling. For the rear or lateral delimitation a board sheathing is made. Mortar is also filled between the boarding and the bricks. However, free-standing natural stone walls must be made by two rows of walls.
Tip: Plan space for storage of natural stones.
The guide line now shows the ideal line along which natural stones are placed. On the foundation a sufficiently thick layer of mortar is given. In this mortar comes the first layer of stones. The inserted stones are set to the outer edge and checked with the spirit level. With a special hammer, they are aligned in their position, so that they then "dead straight" lie. In the joints and the board wall also mortar is filled and distributed neatly with the joint iron. Thereafter, the second and each further row stones is placed, this should be done with offset to the lower row, until the desired height is reached.
If the natural stone wall is erected to demarcate a terrace or a slope, a second parallel row of natural stones is placed after the height that goes beyond the slope or the terrace.The natural stone wall gets its upper conclusion by a clean layer of mortar or by a conclusion of flat stones.
Dry wall made of natural stones
A dry stone wall made of natural stone is not only faster than a masonry variant, it also has a different purpose. It is especially popular with rustic stones, which represent an ecological value for the garden. For example, dry stone walls are used by insects as a nesting site, but other animals such as lizards or slow-moving snakes also feel very comfortable in this habitat. A drywall is not used to form a protective wall. For a drywall you need:
- natural stones
- hand tool
Tip: Uneven stones should be placed in a continuous transverse joint.
A continuous transverse joint provides stability when the stones have different sizes. Depending on the region, the stones that occur there typically can also be used, such as greywacke, slate or limestone.
Setting up the natural stone wall as a drywall
In the drywall no deep concrete bed is needed and no mortar processed between the joints. The foundation is in this case only 40 cm deep and is created according to the following criteria:
- 40 cm deep and the width should correspond to one third of the wall height
- Fill in and compact 30 cm deep gravel layer
- on it a 5-10 cm thick layer of sand
The joints between the stones are filled with sand. If the joints are wider, even small stones can be interposed. With the rubber hammer, the stones are tapped, thus the sand is also compacted. Between the wall and the underlying slope there is a layer of gravel or sand, then the second row of stones can be put on. If the plants are already integrated into the wall, this is more gentle for their roots.
Tip: insert anchor stones at regular intervals (cross-bricks long stones).
Such stones protrude into the slope behind the drywall and give stability to the wall. The drywall is continued to build up to the desired height and repeatedly refilled from the back. The last layer should be filled with topsoil. If the upper stone of the wall is made with flat stones, you can sit down later, put flower boxes on it, etc.
Worth knowing about natural stone walls soon
Natural stones are not only beautiful, you can also use them in the garden useful. Natural stone walls are a popular element in any garden, especially if the garden has a slope. The natural stone walls can also be greened at will, so you also provide some color. But before you start creating, there are a few things to consider:
- If possible, the stones should be made of the same material. For example, sandstone, boulders or slate.
- The shapes of the stones are not so important. The more different shapes the stones have, the more natural and beautiful the wall will be when finished.
- The stones are then sized and wedged together. This not only provides an interesting look, but also increases the stability of the wall.
- If you like to experiment, you can also mix Vertical with Horizontal. Especially from shale, so interesting, lively walls.
Between the stones, when the wall is up, you can plant flowers that do not mind dryness. There is a large selection of drywall plants that do well on dry stone walls to provide a splash of color. These include blue cubs, house root, hornwort, various Alyssum species, Dalmatian bell, stonecrop, saxifrage and many other plants that are also found in the rock gardens.They hardly need earth to feel good and they hardly need water. They spread over large areas within a short time, making them ideal for natural stone walls.