The Norwegian Mountain Wall

Since Bangsbo is a part of one of the Nordic countries (i.e., Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Iceland), we consider it an important educational undertaking to show elements of the flora of ‘Norden’. It was therefore decided, to build a 40-meter-long and 3-meter-high wall of Norwegian stone across the steepest slope of The Botanical Area.

Work was started in the autumn of 2012; first looking for rocks of the right colour and shape to represent a mountain cliff face. A local gardening firm contacted a quarry near Larvik in Norway, that already exported stone for coastal defence in Denmark. The rocks selected were of a dark-grey basaltic with a specific gravity of 3.35. Large machines were needed to build this feature since the chosen rocks weighed between 1 and 5 tons. 250 tons of stone was ordered and delivered, and the work started on building The Norwegian Mountain Wall in the beginning of January 2013.

After a preliminary sorting of the available rocks, excavation was begun on the slope where the wall was to be built. It was important to preserve the view from the upper-level, above the wall, down towards the lower-lying parts of the garden. Construction started with the base of the wall, along its whole length, using the largest and most regularly-formed rocks, all the time trying to maintain a natural expression by avoiding any straight lines.

Working with the stone was both exciting and demanding but was made considerably easier by a special attachment to the excavator that was able to turn and rotate individual rocks as desired. To give the wall a more massive look, as seen from the upper-level, an extra row of rock was placed behind those uppermost in the wall; this second, undulating, row of rocks enabled planting of low bushes right up to the edge of the wall. In order that the whole effect should be as authentic as possible, most of the plants were imported from Norway, with exception of some of the tree species.

Images from The Norwegian Mountain Wall