Vancouver Island Seminar

Friday, June 1, 2007 to Saturday, June 9, 2007
Vancouver Island (British Columbia)
Beginner Seminar
2007 Vancouver Island DSWAC Dry Stone Wall Seminars
The Dry Stone Walling Workshops in British Columbia this spring were a great success.

Article in the Victorian Times

'The Horticulture Center of the Pacific Wall' and the 'Westport Wall' were built over the course of three 2-day workshops held in June of 2007. Over 30 participants; landscapers, horticulture students and instructors joined forces to construct the two walls learning much of the basics of the dry stone walling technique.

'The Horticulture Center of the Pacific Wall', a type of Scottish dry stayne dyke built right in Glendale Gardens in Saanich BC Many skids of flat various sized basalt stone donated by Island Stone. 

The shapes were still very challenging to wrk with as the stone doesn't lend itself to shaping or splitting. The wall which extends the length of the spacious walkway between the greenhouse and the front gardens compliments the beautiful surroundings and seems to introduce an element of time and place. 

Glendale Gardens is well worth a visit as there is so much see as you stroll around. There are lovely japanese gardens, quaint bridges, herb and alpine gardens and an extensive display of flora material which creates a feast for the senses. 

'The Westport Wall' This lovely dry stone wall made from large chunks of irregular granite blasted from a building site near Esquimalt on Vancouver Island seems to blend into the fabric of the local BC landscape. Its proportions and crisp straight sides and top, though fairly difficult to maintain because of the lack of discernible planes or faces on the individual rocks, gives this wall a surprisingly elegant and unified appearance. 

Walls of this kind are satisfying to look at because the randomness and awkward shape of the material is cleverly woven into one flowing wall-shaped whole. Somehow the spaces between the stones does not look haphazard at all , instead the whole network of relationships between the stones establishes a look of connectivity and 'rightness"
The students working with this relatively inexpensive stone did very well and were very enthusiastic about working with a material that 
1. is local and which is procured with little or no damage to the environment
2. would perhaps be wastefully discarded by the wayside
3. does not involve inefficient long-range trucking or unnecessary exporting of foreign stone
4. does not require the use of industrial concrete products.
Let's hope suppliers of this material are considerate enough not to jack up the price, just because a viable dry stone solution has been found for how it can be used.
Thanks to Robyn and Dean R. for making the Dry Stone Walling Across Canada's venture to the Pacific so productive.