The word gabion comes from an Italian word meaning large cage. A gabion wall is essentially a retaining wall created by filling such a cage with rocks or another substance. These walls have been used as far back as the early 19th century and are still used to today for large-scale civil engineering projects. But they can be used for much smaller-scale projects as well, and many neighborhoods are using them to great effect not only to beautify the area but to make better use of otherwise challenging terrain.
How Can a Neighborhood Use a Gabion Wall?
There are two ways that you can use a gabion wall in residential landscaping. You can use it for functional purposes, as you would a retaining wall, and you can use it for aesthetical purposes. Of course, this does not have to be an either-or proposition, and some people choose gabion walls for necessary retaining walls specifically because of the distinct appearance that they create. There are practically endless options, but let’s have a look at four ways in which you might use them.
1. Accent Walls
Gabion can be used as an accent wall practically anywhere you want to create a visual or practical division. You can use it to divide areas of different grades, but you aren’t limited to that. Consider that outdoor rooms, such as kitchens, are a popular trend, and gabion make for great outdoor walls too.
2. Integrating Landscape Features with Nature
When hardscaping, there is often a need to marry those manmade elements to the more landscape or even natural elements. Many designers are cleverly using gabion walls to blend one in to the other in a manner that appears seamless.
3. Tiered Planting
Using gabion walls for tiered planting of any kind creates a very contemporary look. The tiering even allows you to mix and match flowers chosen for looks and veggies chosen to eat. This works quite well in a sloped environment, but you can create the same effect artificially as well.
4. Tiered Slopes for Landscape Design
If you have sloped areas of land, then gabion walls are a great way to make areas more usable and easier to maintain. They can run alongside curved driveways or create a demarcation between one property that is at higher or lower grade than another.
The National Association of Landscape Professionals held a recent presentation in which it showcased residential gabion walls. It was really the landscape industry that first began moving beyond the gabion wall as just as retaining wall for commercial and residential spaces. Today, landscapers and homeowners are being more creative than ever, and you can find many great examples of this scattered across the Internet.