Over the last few weeks – in our “other life” travelling with young Americans through Europe – we have criss-crossed the continent from Nice to Dublin, Rome to Budapest, Athens to Paris. During my travels I attuned my eyes to look more closely at the dry stone walls which divide the European countryside or retain terraces. This is all in the hope that it will give me some inspiration for the reconstruction of our garden wall at Les Sarziers.
Here is the ultimate craftmanship of wall building at Delphi, the Polygonal wall of 548 BC.
As Arlebosc is far from being the navel of the universe, this wall would look a bit out of place. Maybe the type of wall seen in Ireland (below) would do better for our garden. The gaps are there to avoid the wall being blown over by gusts of wind, or – as the locals say – to allow the cows to check that the grass is not greener on the other side.
Here is another Irish wall just a few miles away. This looks more like the challenge we have to deal with in the Ardèche. There is no stone of the same size and shape.
In the Ardèche we may do things upside down, but I believe we are still the best stone wall builders. Here is an example just below the church in Arlebosc.
Learned anything? I am not sure.