Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Monday, April 9, 2012

DIY Gabion Globes for $20

I wanted some rounded shapes out in the gravel garden, for contrast against the gabion towers. I'm planning to put some of the cement globes in the new garden that I made this past winter. But I also really liked the gabion globe that I found pictures of on the internet here. But I couldn't find anywhere that sold them, so I decided to make my own. Recently on Pinterest I've been seeing pins of a succulent-filled globe made out of two hanging baskets filled with soil and wired together (you can find out how to make that here), and it triggered a thought -- I could make gabions out of the same thing!

So I bought two cheapo hanging baskets at Fred Meyer for $9.99 each. These are pretty simple ones. They had plenty of others that had pretty leaf designs and such on them, but I needed to get the simple ones that had a hole in the bottom that I could fit my hand through. (Also, as I discovered while I was filling them later, the wires were flexible enough to be slightly pushed apart to fit rocks that were a little too big for the hole.)

I removed the coir liners and the hanging chains. I found some bendable wire in my craft stash (labeled tin copper 20 gauge), and placed the two now empty baskets together, with the wires lined up, and began wiring them together.

When I was finished I had this. BTW, I didn't need the needle-nose pliers to bend the wire, I just needed the cutting blade on it to cut the wire when I was done. I could easily bend the wire with just my fingers.

Next -- out to the garden to find rocks to fill it! Believe me, I have plenty. I am always unearthing rocks every time I dig a hole to put a plant in the ground.

As you can see, I actually made two! I used my trusty little wire basket to gather rocks around the garden.

I dropped rocks through the hole, and then reached in to re-position them. Sometimes, if a rock was just a little too big to fit through the hole, I found I could squeeze it through the wires if I pushed hard enough. As I filled the gabions, I lined the sides with the larger rocks, and then filled the center with smaller rocks that were small enough to fall out, but didn't because the larger rocks lining the sides kept them in. (Hope that makes sense).

See the smaller rocks in the center?

Here they are, out in the garden, all filled up. The cement globe has a hole in it, for a little Sempervivum and some of its chicks.

Under a Trachycarpus.

I think I may make a third, and put it elsewhere in the gravel garden (which, in case you're wondering, doesn't have any gravel mulch yet).


  1. Wow, Alison, this is wonderful. You are so dang talented and crafty and I just LOVE rocks.

  2. You'd probably laugh at someone like me...I had to go 'rock shopping' the other day, and actually BUY rocks for the garden! Ours are all mudstone here, and they crumble. I love these gabions. So amazingly simple, but I never would have dreamed of making one like this in a million of years...I'm simply not that creative!

  3. What a really great idea!! I've seen those hanging baskets at craft stores before (like Joanne's) for really cheap. I think they look really good where you put them. One of this houses previous owners hauled tons of river rock in, which we moved to our backyard. I now just go rock shopping in our back corner when I need them.

  4. Great idea! I have an idea too, the middle section with soil, while still keeping rocks on the outside area, and plant succulents in them.

  5. I'm doing that this summer! Love them!

  6. Great idea! What kind of plant can go in it?


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