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With a frieze wall, stable enclosures can be created in dry construction, which can be used primarily in the garden. With our instructions, you can build the wall in a short time.

In a nutshell

  • A frieze wall is a dry stone wall that is mainly used for enclosures
  • It consists of earth, boulders and boulders
  • The stones are neither connected nor grouted with mortar
  • As a rule, a stone wall is built on both sides
  • The top of the wall is suitable for planting


Frisian walls have a long tradition in northern Germany. The art of wall building consists above all in layering the stones on top of each other in such a way that a stable structure can be created. Today the wall is primarily used for garden design. For example, it can be used as:

  • Area divider between different garden areas
  • delimitation of a kitchen garden
  • Border of a barbecue or party area to the rest of the garden
  • Delimitation of a terrace

Nothing has changed in the construction or construction to this day. You need the following materials to build a frieze wall:

  • unprocessed, as large as possible stones (boulders, natural stones)
  • gravel
  • soil
  • plant
Source: I, Southgeist, Oldenswort friesenwall, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

Shovels and a wheelbarrow are also essential tools. A rubber mallet is usually helpful for tapping the stones.


Each Friesenwall consists of a core of gravel or sand and a stone wall on each side. A layer of soil is applied to the top of the wall, which can then be planted. The graphic shows the structure schematically. It is also possible to omit one of the two stone walls. The structure can then be built more quickly, but usually does not achieve the stability it would have with two stone walls.

Notice: A Frisian Wall is typically wider than it is high. The two stone walls on the sides are not parallel to each other, but run slightly towards each other.

To provide additional stability, a foundation is highly recommended. However, this does not have to be cast in concrete. It is sufficient to dig out the base area a little and then fill it with gravel.

Tip: The area of the foundation should be slightly larger than the floor area of the wall.


Before you can start building the wall, it is highly recommended to plan the dimensions and position of the structure exactly. In particular, you should think about width, length and height. In order not to appear too bulky, the wall should under no circumstances exceed a height of 80 centimeters. A height of 50 to 60 centimeters is usually sufficient for a clear border. Based on the respective height, the width then moves in a range from 50 to 100 centimeters. It also makes sense to draw up a plan sketch in order to be able to determine how the stone boundary harmonises with other design elements in the garden. It is also important that you think about where an access point might have to be inserted right from the planning stage.

Source: Hajotthu 14:41, 11 May 2010 (CEST), KeitumFriesenhaus1784, edited by Plantopedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

Instructions for construction

When building the wall, it is a good idea to always keep the schematic structure in mind. In addition, you should always be aware that you are working with non-standard materials, which in most cases do not automatically go together. Instructions for construction therefore inevitably have their limits. There are many things you simply have to try out for yourself.

build foundation

First, a stable foundation must be built. To do this, you first dig an opening or trench in the ground. For walls that do not exceed a height of 40 centimeters, a depth of ten centimeters is sufficient; for higher walls, the depth should be around 40 centimetres. The bottom of the trench is then compacted with a rammer. Finally, the opening is evenly filled with gravel up to just below the ground surface.

build wall base

The second step is to build the wall base. This is understood to mean the first row of stones of the two walls. Stones that are as wide as possible must be used here. They should have a large area to lie down on. In doing so, it is of great importance to place them at an angle downwards to the ground or gravel surface. It is already clear here that there is a lot of fiddling involved in building the stone walls. You just have to try again and again to see which stone is best. Once the two base rows have been erected, the space in between is immediately filled with gravel.

Tip: When building the first row of the stone wall, a taut cord near the ground is helpful. You can orientate yourself on it as a kind of outer boundary in order to achieve a reasonably straight line.

add more stone rows

Once the basis has been laid, you can start building the next rows step by step. It plays a very important role that the stones are offset and come to rest well on the lower stones. Continuous joints must be avoided under all circumstances in order not to jeopardize the stability of the entire construction. Again, the rows of stones should slope toward the bottom or toward the center. In this way it can be ensured that the respective stone wall is slightly inclined overall. The individual stones should always have a firm hold. You have to tinker and try again. The art of building the Friesenwall clearly lies in the careful layering of the stones. Of course, new gravel has to be refilled after each row of stones has been erected.

Lay out the final row

The last or top row of stones represents something like the crown of the wall. To be more precise: it forms the edge of the crowning. Here you should rather use small stones. Even if they no longer have to carry a new row of stones, you should still make sure that they are seated as tightly as possible. The danger is great that you loosen individual stones with a careless jostle. The inner space between the two walls is no longer filled with gravel in the last row, but with soil.

Cross-section of a Frisian wall


The soil used should be able to store water as well as possible, so it may well have a certain proportion of clay. With the exact composition, however, they have to be based on the plants that are to be cultivated there. It is important to note that these plants must be able to cope well with both sun and wind. The reason for this is its exposed location. Therefore, it makes sense if the soil can store water. Which plants you choose for the greening of the wall crown is otherwise up to you.


At the end of these short instructions, we would like to briefly refer to the joints in the respective stone wall. As I said: A Friesenwall is a dry wall. Consequently, you don't have to grout either. The entire structure is also designed to keep the joints free. For example, they provide shelter for insects. But of course it is possible to put some soil in the joints. Then, sooner or later, plants will also settle here, as can be seen in the graphic. This usually happens through the usual flight of seeds. Instructions for joint planting are definitely not necessary. Nature will conquer the Friesenwall bit by bit. This is also part of the attraction of this building.

frequently asked Questions

Where do you get the stones you need?

In the past, stones were actually primarily used that the farmers regularly found in their fields. Hence the term boulders. It's naturally more difficult today - especially if you're not a farmer. Most of the time you have no choice but to buy the stones. You can get the right material, for example, from a garden store or from a quarry.

Can a Frisian Wall be built from just sand or gravel?

That is of course possible. Sand and gravel play an important role in wall construction. However, one should keep in mind that sand and gravel alone make planting difficult. For the top layer, fertile soil is definitely needed.

Does the self-built wall really withstand wind and weather?

Yes, this is usually the case. Wind itself is not a danger to the structure anyway. Rain or a heavy rain event could be more problematic. When it rains, there is always the possibility that the soil in the core of the wall will become very soft and be washed away. To prevent this from happening, the top of the wall is planted as densely as possible. The roots of the plants then also stabilize the soil.

What type of garden are frieze walls suitable for?

So-called natural gardens are ideal. The visual originality of the wall then harmonizes perfectly with the remaining design elements.

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