Sunday, 3 July 2016

Gabions












Are you looking for something different for your garden landscape design? Maybe you should think about contacting a professional to install a gabion.  A gabion is a cage, cylinder, or box filled with rocks, concrete, or sometimes sand and soil for use in civil engineering, road building, military applications and landscaping.
 You have most likely seen them on the sides of underpasses, around construction zones or along waterways.  Gabions have actually been around for thousands of years, were made of wicker and were primarily used as defence mechanisms during wartime.  With the evolution of the gabion, they are now made out of coated, galvanized or stainless steel to keep the shape of the structure and to ensure its longevity.  Quite recently gabions have made a resurgence in the landscape design world, in both functional and aesthetic applications.
With gabions you need to keep in mind that the stones have to be bigger than the mesh openings.  The stone can be either rounded boulders and large pebbles or angular broken stone but if you don’t have access to stone, or it’s not appropriate, you can also reuse broken concrete, old pavers, bricks, glass and tiles. Whatever your fill material is, the wall is very textured and dominating. Keep that in mind when choosing adjacent surfaces and plants, as smooth surfaces from large unit pavers, poured pavement, or lawn will look better than busy small unit pavers. Soft, weeping grass or clipped plants are also a perfect counterbalance to the hardness of the stone. If the walls are low, then it’s the top of the wall that matters most, so keep that in mind when you’re packing the rocks, and save the best and most interesting pieces until last.
Gabions can be incorporated in your landscape in various ways –
·       Retaining walls
·       Fencing and screens
·       Gabion sculptures
·       Furniture/ benches
·       Water features, waterfalls and ponds
·       Flowerbeds
·       Outdoor lights
A well-constructed gabion wall can provide an intimate and reflective area offering sound proofing, privacy and beauty. There are many design options available to the landscape architect: the type of wall can be low with rock hugging plants trailed over the top of the gabion wall, or the wall can be built with curves or sharp angles.
Once you have decided to opt for a gabion wall, the logical question for the filling material comes to mind. What is the best material for filling your gabion wall? How to choose the stones? You can use different types of stones and rocks and even combine them. Yes, rocks and stones are the most typical fillers for gabions as they meet the criteria for durability, longevity, and stability.
When the gabion wall is meant as a decorative element, you can choose the filler as per its aesthetic value. Such decorative walls can be filled with lighter, less dense rock, wood logs, river rocks, gravel, colourful glass, shells, pieces of brick or pottery, pine cones or straw. You can also combine different materials if you wish.
Pros and cons –
Aesthetic:  Gabions have a tendency to texturally tie into their natural surroundings, giving them their aesthetic appeal.
Installation:  By not requiring a foundation, it can be a cost effective solution to a backyard issue you may have.
Permanence:  The materials filling the gabion are permeable which lends to its longevity, as well as the cage itself being intrinsically durable and resilient.
Environmentally Friendly:  Gabions can be filled with recycled materials such as concrete or rock that is waste from construction projects, which would reduce landfill and fuel consumption.

Cons
Style:  Not every home is a cohesive fit for a gabion feature.
Size:  Gabions take up ample space because of their bulk, which is needed to perform as a load bearing structure.  Gabions are not particularly suited for smaller backyards.
Unexpected Guests:  Bugs and small animals may find their way into the gaps of the fill and set up shop.
Gabions can transform your home into a sophisticated abode your family would surely love!

Sukhmani
Interior and Landscape Designer


4 comments:

  1. Looks like your mind is full of such ideas..
    So brilliant and fresh..

    ReplyDelete
  2. Looks like your mind is full of such ideas..
    So brilliant and fresh..

    ReplyDelete
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