For several years now you can see in many gardens and houses wire mesh filled with stones. This special form of a boundary to the neighboring property or just as an interesting decoration in the garden and front yard, is called gabions. They come in many shapes, although the most popular is the rectangular shape, with which the gabions function like a wall.
Now the stone baskets are quite practical, but the drab gray on gray of the stones is not necessarily a treat for every eye. Want to breathe freshness, color and life into your gabions? Then you should plant the gabions. Find out why planted gabions are not only pretty, but also important and which plants you can use for them in our guide.
Why you should plant gabions
What was once only spotted as a sound barrier along highways has now found its way into many people’s garden designs. The wire baskets filled with stones of all kinds, called gabions, are extremely popular. They are practical, quicker to erect than a wall and provide perfect privacy protection.
However, while the drab stone accumulations are a modern visual contrast, they don’t offer much variety to the eye of the beholder. Moreover, they are anything but a suitable habitat for our plant and animal life. By planting gabions, you can put an end to the monotony for people and animals, and still not have to give up the inexpensive and simple boundary and decorative option. And there is another reason why you should plant gabions – the plants and their roots make the whole construction even more stable. Imagine you are not just sitting on a gray pile of stones (because gabions are definitely available as benches and chairs in the garden) but you are comfortably lying on a bed full of flowers, leaves and vines!
Which plants are suitable for gabions?
Which plants you can use for your gabions depends on how you want to green the stone baskets. Do you want just the crown to shine with beautiful blooms? Or do you want the sides to glow with a fresh green?
For side planting, climbing plants and rock garden plants are especially great choices. They are usually very frugal and quickly settle in on the barren stone wall. Saxifrage, houseleek or wall plants such as heather carnation, gentian, broom, bergenia or the pearl basket are ideally suited for planting on the side walls of the gabions. If you want beautiful vines to grow along your gabions, go for ivy, clematis or roses. Your gabion will be especially bee-friendly if you greet it with climbing hydrangea.
If you want to plant the crown of your gabion, make sure to use plants that love the warmth. Remember that in most cases the gabion, like a raised bed, is exposed to direct sunlight. Otherwise, there are few limits to your imagination and preferences. A sea of flowers of lavender, daffodils, daisies or asters will give your garden or front yard a real eye-catcher. Only from the third year on you can use medium and low yielding plants. Stonecrop, girl’s eye, primroses, azaleas or ribbon flowers look beautiful and survive even a harsh winter.
Wire netting is also wonderful for fruits, vegetables and herbs. You simply can not pass by a few delicious saw strawberries, fresh parsley, rosemary and chives.
Tips for planting gabions
If you want to plant your gabions, you need to consider a few things not only when choosing plants, but also with the gabions themselves.
- If you want to plant the sides of the gabions, fill the spaces between the stones with some soil. Then place the plants there.
- If you only plant the top, i.e. the crown of the gabions, the wire baskets will not be completely filled with stones. If they are, remove some, because you need space for a layer of soil. By the way, your gabion does not need a lid if you plant it on top.
- There are also ready-made gabion raised beds if you like it more practical and simple. They have an inner and an outer wire basket. The outer one is filled with rocks, and the inner one is lined with fleece and filled with soil.
- If you want to buy gabions, and you already know that you want to plant them, then look for special gabions for planting. They come without lids and have a fleece that can be used to line the sides.
Green stone baskets – simply more beautiful in the garden.
As our brief tips on planting gabions have shown, it’s not that hard to turn a gray stone wall or block of stone in the garden into a founding and flourishing oasis. With a few simple steps and a few simple plants it is already done. So you not only set a visual eye-catcher in the garden or in front of the front door, but also invite many useful insects such as our bees to a treat. And where insects cavort, birds are also not far away. The song of our native chirping birds comes free of charge!