100 photos of landscaping applications and material selection

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The name “gabion” came to us from the Italian language. In literal translation, the word “gabbia” means “cage”. Gabions are volumetric structures made of metal mesh filled with stone. Their history goes back to the XVII century. Originally, they were boxes made of vines, inside which earth and cobblestones were poured.

Such a homemade redoubt protected soldiers from enemy bullets and shells. In the twentieth century, builders noticed the product and adapted it to strengthen the banks of rivers.

Nowadays gabions are known as a decorative element in the arrangement of a country site.

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Ideas for use.

Gabions in landscape design are an example of an inexpensive but stylish means of expression. With their help it is possible to realize the most daring ideas. Designers have developed a lot of options for landscaping with gabion constructions.


Note a few ideas:

Site zoning. Thanks to its mobility and flexibility, the mesh frame can be shaped in different ways. High gabion in the form of a curb is a proven method of dividing the total garden space into separate functional zones.

Strengthening the slopes of the reservoir from erosion. Relevant for owners of farms near rivers, lakes, as well as for those who have their own decorative pond. Under the influence of wind and water the soil is gradually destroyed.

To prevent erosion of the coastal soil will help gabions installed along the perimeter of the reservoir. To prevent the structure from disintegrating, each block is connected to the previous one with a wire. Stairs adjacent to the water source can also be made with gabions.

Gabion Fence. If during the construction work a lot of waste has accumulated (broken bricks, crumbs of stone or concrete), do not get rid of them. Use them as filler for the fence.

The advantage of such a fence – long life, environmental friendliness, ease of installation. For greater aesthetics in the space between the stones planted climbing plants.


Decorating green spaces. Gabion can be used to create a base for a planter or a flower bed. Stones perfectly emphasize the fragility and delicacy of plants.

Figures and architectural elements. Gabion cages are a good base for garden benches, table tops, braziers and hearths, gazebo walls.

The photo selection of gabions below shows finished design solutions.

Gabions: types and materials

In terms of appearance, gabion structures are classified into 3 types:

Box gabions (another name “Jumbo”) are made in the form of a container with a width of 1-2 m, a height of 0,5-1 m. The length of the product is from 2 to 6 m. To increase the rigidity inside the box there are special partitions made of mesh, separated from each other by a distance of up to 1 m. Scope of use – retaining, delimiting elements, fences.

Reno mattress-type gabions are structurally similar to box-type gabions. All the same rectangular shape, but flatter and more modest in size. The height of the element does not exceed 30 cm. Several hundred years ago, these structures saved the inhabitants.

Bologna from the floods, for which they received their second name after the river of the same name. To this day, they are used for cladding slopes and dams.


A cylindrical gabion looks like a hollow mesh frame with a cross section of up to 0.95 m, 2-4 m long. It is made by stitching from a roll. For stuffing, a hole is left at one end (sack-shaped variety) or a window along the side of the cylinder.

The main parts of any type of product are the metal mesh and the filler. Mesh for gabions must be strong, because its main task is to maintain the integrity of the entire structure.

Fulfillment of this requirement is ensured by the use of steel wire with a diameter of 2-8 mm. It is mandatory to apply anticorrosive zinc or PVC coating on the surface.

According to the mesh manufacturing technology used, all gabions are subdivided into welded or woven by the double-torsion method. Welded gabions have rectangular or square cells formed by welded bars at the intersections.

Their main advantage is reliability, less deformation. Devices with intertwined wire withstand less stress. Visually, they can be recognized by the hexagonal cells resembling bee honeycombs.

When choosing stones for gabions, consider the functional purpose of the structure. For reinforcing frames you need hard rocks – granite, concrete.

If it is supposed to decorate the site, then suitable material will be fragments of glass, wooden spokes, tiles, cones. In any case, the filler should be larger than the size of the cell by 30-40%. And when operating a gabion under water, the difference should be at least 50%.

A little trick that will save the budget from significant spending: line the visible faces of the gabion with stone, and fill the core with sand. This will cut the cost of the installation several times over.

Gabions with your own hands

To reduce the time of work, you can buy ready-made gabion constructions. But in some cases, they do not fit the dimensions. The way out will be own construction of metal frames.

To begin with, you need to stock up on tools and materials, among them:

  • Metal mesh;
  • Staples or wire spirals for attaching adjacent box walls;
  • Steel pins for fixing the gabion in the soil;
  • Geotextile;
  • Bracing for screeding the sides of the structure;
  • Filler;
  • Pliers, tire iron, hand protection gloves.


All consumables are purchased with a 10-15% reserve. Before installation, check the availability of everything you need according to the list. The absence of even one thing can cause a decrease in the speed of installation. For welded gabions, you will additionally need a welding machine and its accessories.

Step-by-step instructions for making gabions

Measurement of the area on which the object will be installed. A scheme or drawing with the main dimensions of the structure is made.

The site for the gabion is prepared. If necessary, the ground is cleaned from vegetation, leveled and tamped. To prevent the structure from overgrowing with grass, you can put a geotextile or black film under it.

The metal mesh is cut according to the drawing. For a boxed product the following parts should be obtained: bottom, 4 side panels and a lid.

Each part of the frame is assembled together with spiral wire or staples. At this stage, one of the sides must necessarily be open to fill the box with stones. For rigidity, the construction can be reinforced with partitions made of mesh.

Installation of gabion in the ground is carried out with the help of pins, anchors, stakes, which are attached to the box with clamps or hardware.


The box is filled with stones up to half. The biggest of them are put on the bottom and the front fronts, and smaller fillers are placed in the middle. To prevent the little things from falling through the gaps of large stones, geotextile is used. Opposite sides tighten special cables – straps. They are passed through every 4-5 cells of the grid and are used to prevent deformation of the box. After that, the gabion is filled in completely.

The last step is to mount the cover and fix it to the walls with wire or staples.

The use of gabion structures is justified in terms of creating a unique relief on the site. Thanks to these simple devices it is possible to obtain elevations or depressions, to decorate flowerbeds. Gabion does not require care. Every year it becomes stronger, because the soil fills all the gaps and voids.

Photo of gabions.




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