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James David's Stonework

Martha Stewart Living Television

Landscape designer James David was drawn to the western hills around Austin, Texas, because they were entirely different from the flat terrain of his native Louisiana. Once he arrived and began designing his garden, he discovered a wealth of natural limestone in the area that he used to create walls, paths, and decorations.

Limestone comes in a range of colors and densities, so James utilizes different types depending on what he's building. To create one of his walls, he quarries the stone in big, boxy chunks, cutting it into a perfect rectangle with a saw and masonry blade. Once the stone assumes its shape, it's textured with a hammer. As the stones are stacked, a mortar made from two parts sand and one part masonry mix is used to bind them. After the wall is assembled, the stones are meticulously checked to ensure they're level, enabling the structure to stand for centuries to come.