Gabion Walls for Gardens

Gabion walls have been used by structural engineers and the military since ancient times, and they're gaining popularity today for use in residential retaining walls and as garden features. The term 'gabion' comes from the Italian word for 'big cage,' which is an appropriate description for the wall's outer structural component.

Originally, gabion retaining walls were made of willow woven into basket-like cages filled with rock. Today's versions are based on the same simple and effective concept, but the cages are built of durable, reinforced steel mesh that's designed to last for decades.

Soil health and erosion prevention are just a few of the benefits gabions provide in the garden. They also serve as built-in shade and create ventilation for plants in hot climates.

Gabion Retaining Wall Construction Basics

The strong galvanized or steel-like mesh panels modern gabion walls are made of are secured together using ring fasteners or spiral binders. Gabion retaining walls consist of no foundation due to their capability to adjust to the surrounding physical environment in which they are placed.   

Crushed or recycled concrete and rock are low-cost fillings that can be used, but other more aesthetically pleasing materials can also be used to create a focal point in the garden. For a unique look, fill cages with items like decorative bottles, stacked stone or wooden logs. However, an engineer or landscape architect should verify the filler you're planning to use is heavy and dense enough to withstand the load and stress of the intended application.

Attractive and Inventive Ways to Use Gabion Walls for Gardens

Gabion walls are versatile in terms of how you choose to display and use them within your garden. You can easily incorporate lighting, plants and water features or add a series of walls to create a terraced garden. Gabions can be used in other ways as well, such as garden steps, freestanding planters, bench and table bases, or even as fire pits.