Drystone Retaining Wall: Downtown Asheville

retaining wall

Springtime wall

I built this drystone retaining wall a couple of years ago, just outside of downtown Asheville. I like to visit it when I can and I have been working in that neighborhood lately (more updates to follow.) My friend Betty Sharpless, owner of Good Help Landscaping, maintains the site and is responsible for these beautiful irises. The wall is made of a variety of sandstones from Tennessee and Virginia with some Pennsylvania bluestone thrown in for fun. See more pictures of this wall here.

Benefits of a Drystone Retaining Wall

A well-crafted drystone retaining wall will have a smaller carbon footprint and will outlast a similarly sited mortared wall. Here are some of the other advantages of drystone masonry:

  • Flexible, moves rather than breaks in response to outside stresses
  • Drains water effectively, preventing build up of hydrostatic pressure, the force that pushes over mortared walls
  • Doesn’t require concrete footings or slabs or block wall backing
  • Weathers better and lasts longer
  • Easier to repair work or reuse the stone at a later date
  • Requires no waterproofing
  • Looks more natural in the landscape

Read more about drystone here.