Landscaping With Wire Mesh Crates
When to Start: Autumn
At Its Best: Summer
Time to Complete: 3-4 days
- flagstones or stones of your choice
- wooden box or foam cube
- thick nylon pantyhose
- topsoil or soil-based mix
- composted organic matter
- all-purpose granular fertilizer
Stack the Crates
This garden is made from gabions stacked together to create the structure and surface. Simply fill them with flagstones and set them on the soil, checking that they are level — dig out or add soil beneath them as necessary. Leave spaces for planting. Fill more gabions and place them on the foundation level to create stepping stones and seats, and leave a few empty to produce an exciting layered effect.
Make Leafy Gabions
To make the planted crates, place a wooden box or block of foam in the center of a gabion. Then fill up the legs of some thick nylon pantyhose with moist soil, tie the ends and pack them around the sides and top of the gabion. Cut holes in the pantyhose, and plant baby's tears into the holes. Keep well watered. The plants will soon spread to fill out the crates.
Plant the Beds
In the gaps between the gabions, fill the planting beds with a soil-based mix. Work in organic matter, such as garden compost, to increase water retention for these moisture-loving plants. Plant the birch trees in late autumn and the other plants in early spring. Keep well watered for the first year, and during dry spells.
You can fill your gabions with almost anything, from used bottles to wood offcuts. If you are building a new garden, look around the site for fillers, such as bricks, pebbles and rocks.
Used beer bottles (Image 1), bricks and clay garden edging (Image 2), and layers of small logs, pebbles and slate (Image 3) all work well as fillers.