Drystone walling is a method of stone construction without the use of mortar to bind the stones together. It is popular in landscape designs as it allows the design to adopt the shapes of the stones and stay true to the material. It is a sustainable method as it uses naturally occurring stones that are widely available and also environmental friendly since no cement is used thus eliminating any form of pollution.
A dry wall can be used to create a boundary and separate two different areas in a property. A good example is like a garden boundary. It not only defines the space but it is also aesthetically pleasing. The stones vary in shape and size, even color allowing a more dynamic and unique design. Traditionally agricultural boundary walls were built with dry stones to help with retention of livestock.
Dry stones walling can also be used to construct vertical terraces. They can act as retaining walls thus can be used to protect against soil erosion. In the early days they were built as two walls separately leaving a hollow space in between to allow passage and access to other spaces. The two walls were connected by a long flat slab. This method can be used to define passageways and separate the transitioning space from the surrounding vegetation.
Steps can be created by proper laying of the stones. They should be properly layered in a way such that each piece fit perfectly to create a smooth surface, in order to avoid someone slipping when walking on them. They can also be laid out in areas where there is a lot of mud when it rains so as to provide a safe pathway.
Embankment and Wind Breakers
Drystone walling can act as an embankment. This will help in preventing river overflow by allowing passage of water at a controlled rate from the hollow spaces. The dry stone wall also acts as wind breakers as they have spaces in between the stones increasing porosity thus reducing the wind force.
Sculptures and Bridges
Traditionally, they were used in making of sculptures and also bridges. Right now with the technology advancement and modern forms of transport, there are a lot of factors to be considered in terms of building viable bridges, and metal and other construction materials are now preferred over stone. When it comes to sculptures, dry stone is still a viable option.
It is clear that the dry stone walling is still of great importance even with a number of things like wire fencing taking over when it comes to defining boundaries. There is still an appreciation to the art and skill of the dry stone walling construction especially in landscape design.
The method is still very efficient in the design world as people are becoming more aware of the need for sustainable designs. In such an ecosystem, the dry stone walling is very beneficial considering it is durable, natural and also locally available in most places. To top it, it is far much better looking in comparisons to other forms like wooden fencing.