Mortared Stone Wall

This simple stone wall does more than divide a garden or mark boundaries -- it lends romance to a backyard.
Getting Started

A simple stone wall.


A stone wall makes a statement that is at once both casual and stately. It has an aura of permanence, giving a timeless quality to even the newest landscaping. Stone is one of the most durable building materials.

Choose stones that blend well together in color and texture. You should get a good variety of sizes. You can use uncut rubble (pictured here), semidressed stone (roughly cut into rectangular shapes), or ashlar (stone that is carefully squared and trimmed). A mortar wall must be built on a firm foundation, or its joints will crack. Dig a trench about 6 inches wider than your wall. It must be deeper than the frost line, or at least 12 inches deep for a 3-foot-high wall. Tamp the gravel in the bottom of the trench, and pour at least 8 inches of concrete. Top off the concrete 2 inches below grade. Have the stone delivered as close to your building site as possible. Allow plenty of time for the project. Stone work is a matter of continual trial and error, testing to see which combination of stones works best.

What You Need:

  • Stone
  • Mortar
  • Concrete
  • Gravel

Continued on page 2:  Instructions