Thursday, March 12, 2009

Don't Try This At Home

We got more rain. The river is up, but staying nicely within its banks where it belongs. The garden is wet.This afternoon when the sun came out, Ed headed back to his wall . The stone down by the cherry tree is particularly gnarly. No matter how many times I have seen a wall appear using these misshapen and round stones, I still don't know how he does it. I need flat stones to build a wall and even then...

Working a wall like this is a combination of weight lifting and jigsaw puzzles. Ed finds it wonderful fun. It was a delightful afternoon to be outside. The geese are making plenty of noise. I'm sure I heard a bluebird. I saw one this morning sitting on top of the nest box in the rain. I mostly walked around checking to see how well the bulbs are coming up. There will be much to do when things dry off a bit. These early March days spent outside are really a bonus . My snow drops , glory of the snow, and Dutch iris are beginning to grow. Most years they come up through the snow. There's still time for that.

6 comments:

Michelle said...

Oh my back is aching just looking at all that stone that has to be moved around! What lovely work Ed does.

Janet said...

More power to you for getting that done. Stone work is lovely...when it is done.

petka said...

I look at how Ed built a wall. They are two walls in the middle and small stones. A foundation? Ed digs foundations? Yes - how deep foundations?

Ed said...

Water under a wall when the ground freezes is the cause of trouble. Here we are on a deep glacial gravel deposit so no water ever collects under our walls. If your soil retains water, you will have to give it a way to drain away from the wall. The foundation needs to be deep enough to give the water a way to drain. If you see a stone wall as a structure in motion, you can build it so it moves and stays in place. Each outer wall is built with the stones slanted toward the center of the wall. Any stone that tries to fall will fall into the center of the wall where the stone on the opposite wall will hold it in place. If a stone is placed so that it can fall out of the wall, in time it will fall out. I hope this answers your question. If it does not, please give me another chance.

petka said...

Ed, thank you for your reply. Your basis is the rest of the iceberg, I understand. My walls are based on the slope, the slope is a lot of gravel and clay, so I do shallow foundations. In the summer I want to build a wall in the garden, in free space, without a slope. The garden is wet. I think about drainage and deep foundations.

Becky said...

A foundation below the depth of frozen ground is a major job. It might be less digging to make a way to drain the water. A rubble stone filled trench might be an easier way to get rid of the water. If that is not an option, I would try to build so that the wall can flex and settle as a unit. A uniform rubble stone foundation that is a little wider than the wall could work. When winter comes the foundation and the wall would both heave but remain intact. A deep foundation is a lot of work. I would try a shallow foundation first. Good luck!