A lady in my native plant club recently asked about building her some gabion walled garden beds. I promptly replied that it would not be a problem, just let me go to my truck and get a pad and a tape measure. When I got to the truck I immediately called Lyn and asked her to Google gabions and tell me what they are, what they are used for, and any other pertinent information. She gave a me a quick run down on them and I went back acting like I was in the know on gabions. Oh yeah, technology saved my butt.
Christine is the editor for our news letter and is very savvy, native plant wise. She is also pretty savvy in the realm of garden design and construction. She realized she had a drainage and wash problem between her house and her neighbors. It was the side that had the air conditioner and a neighbor that really likes his carpet grass and is not too enamored by native plants. So there were some problems to over come.
Christine is British, or Scottish, or Welshish or something. So as not to insult any one I just refer to them as from over yonder. Well, as any one who knows any thing about gardening will tell you, the people from over yonder really know gardening. And she is one of those. Christine gardens with a larger percentage of natives than just about any one I know. She is one of my go to people when I have questions about native plants and where I want to put them in the garden. Well, when she started talking gabions for walls for beds and fixing drainage problems at the same time, I was all for this project.
She knows that they would not be for every body as tastes differ. But for her and for this application, they would be perfect. There was to be two walls, 12" tall and 12" wide that would make the sides to a long narrow raised be. Toward the end, one would curve out and then back in to make a larger area that would stop rain water from washing the side yard out. After seeing her design and drawings, I knew she had it down pat perfect and all I needed to do was start building.
I knew the job wasn't going to be easy as welded wire panels are a booger to deal with. I build a lot of horse stalls and cattle fences out of them and you know going in that they are tough to work with and there will always be blood spilled. It's just a matter of how much. I was able to get all 13 pieces built with out too much of the red stuff on the ground. This is the last piece and the hardest piece, as it is horse shoe shaped.
I dropped by a few days later and she was almost through filling them with rocks. Yeah, the woman is a work horse and I say that as the highest of compliments.
A couple more days and she was through. It really looked good and I could really see how it was going to fix her drainage problems and make beds all at the same time. She already had plants in it, all natives of course.
I stopped by to see her the other day and was surprised to see that she and her husband had completely wiped clean the front yard and had redone it with new walk ways, new beds and of course a lot of new plants almost all of them natives. It was simply stunning and they were only half way through with the project.
These are the kind of people that I respect most as gardeners. They have a dream or idea, they plan, they scheme, they plan the costs......then they just do it, and do most of it them selves. Truly admirable. You can see more of these types of people on so many of the garden blogs that I visit. I invite you check out as many as you can. So many ideas, so little time.