Last year I built a dry stacked tumble bluestone flowerbed. It took me a long time to fit it all and it looks great but I ran out of time to work on it.

New year and I want to finish it off. I've got about 39 feet of capping to do and it's cost prohibitive for me to spend 5 -800 for capping material. It definitely needs something. I thought about using a colored mortar or something Instead but I'm wondering what would work? The bluestone isn't a uniform depth.

Any ideas?enter image description hereenter image description here

  • Oh my goodness. This is incredible Chasester!! Absolutely beautiful. First thing you need to deal with is that soil ON the brick siding. Pull it back and install 2X12 PT lumber set away from your siding. This is a very big deal. Secondly, WAIT to cap this wall until you are able to afford the correct cap material. This is so BEAUTIFUL, lovely stone! This deserves a concrete cap that one can sit on, place pots upon. Do not fudge here. More important is the soil on your siding; doesn't matter...concrete foundation will be asphalted, brick and mortar you have to shield with PT lumber.
    – stormy
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 0:26
  • Chasester, this is one of the most beautiful garden walls I have seen. Whoa, you have done an amazing thing. Do not worry about the cap at this point. Worry about the siding of your home. NO soil should touch that brick and mortar. I know, I know sounds overwhelming, but NOW you are able to fix this. A home inspector will see this and reduce the value of your home. Have a basement or crawl space? This will cause major problems later on...maybe a few years, but try to sell this home and you will not get the value it should have.
    – stormy
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 0:49
  • Thank you. It's a split level ranch. We actually had water problems when the gutters had issues. Did water sealant on the cinder blocks on that inside wall when we renovated that bathroom. Fixed the gutters and the problem went away. With the roof overhang the flowerbed gets direct water about a foot or so in from the edge. I'm not sure how far down the bricks actually go, but it's about chest high to me if I'm standing on the driveway looking over it.
    – Chasester
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 10:57
  • I can spend the time this week to put in a 2x12 PT then fill in the bed and get some flowers in there to make it look better. I could glue the top row down if it'd make any difference but it hasn't moved at all even with my daughter walking on it. Can you link to some cement caps you are thinking about?
    – Chasester
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 11:03

1 Answer 1


You HAVE to tell us how you built this wall. Dry stack REAL rock is to die for. Do NOT cheapen what you have done with some...lame cap. What have you been looking at for garden wall caps? There are premade concrete wall caps that are 2'X 1'X 2" thick. Is this what you've cost?

That wall is priceless, if you've not done proper drainage and foundation of compacted gravel...I would redo the wall. Set on compacted gravel, figure the surcharge or reduce the surcharge behind that wall, add a perforated 4" pipe on gravel, at the bottom of your wall covered with landscape fabric, backfilled with drainrock then landscape fabric topped with 6" of soil. Try to slope away from the wall into a small swale between wall and slope. That will help to reduce surcharge...the amount of water the soil behind that wall can accumulate to put pressure on your wall. You could always do the drainage and foundation later. The cap is secured with mastic but won't stop taking the cap off if you need to reconstruct your wall. REAL STACKED STONE? Wonderful.

Wall caps HAVE to be concrete, 2" thick, finely troweled, uniform and be able to accept the top of a wall that is fairly straight and well matched with ledge stones? This is the beauty of a garden wall. This will make your true stone wall worth it's weight in gold. Serious!!

Pricing capstones for CMU walls as well as real stone walls was always amazingly inexpensive compared to the entire wall. To cheap out now would be a shame. I remember a $20 price per capstone at 2'X 1' X 2", uninstalled but not OUR price. What have YOU found? Do NOT even imagine to add color to the cap. Stay with light dove gray. Again trust me on this. I've done hundreds of projects with garden walls and THE ONLY way to go is dove gray! You will regret any color later. I am a Landscape Architect that KNOWS what is value in the landscape and what will be a waste of money. Send a picture, please! 40 feet of cap would be at the most, $400. How much was the stone you used, how high is your wall and is it straight or curved? That is a consideration. Still doable I've got alternatives...concrete wall caps

  • Thank you for taking the time. I dug out the old wood wall, and crushed stone tapped diwn. Before the stone. Used about 2 1/2 pallets of the stuff at a cost of about 1k in materials. Drainage had been good, I've watched it closely over the past year.
    – Chasester
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 21:54
  • About all the cap stuff I've seen at the local landscape supply is running about 17 a foot. I've looked at ep Henry, and a couple other manufactured ones available
    – Chasester
    Commented Apr 24, 2017 at 21:58

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