Gabions are presented here as a subsection of exposed masonry. Learn here how you can trellis your plants on a gabion wall. Supportive information can be found in our sections: Ideas / Objects / Walls.


Gabions-- from the Italian 'Gabionne,' meaning 'metal cage'-- are special dry stone walls in which the stones- rather than lying in a friction-locked and formal manner as with a normal stone wall- are held in place by metal mesh baskets. These cuboid-shaped stone-filled baskets can then be stacked on top of each other as large 'building blocks.' In this way, high walls can be created very affordably, e.g., for embankment construction along motorways, etc.. The baskets are usually made of galvanised steel wire.

Greening of Gabions

The metal mesh latticing of gabion baskets makes them an instantly compatible surface for most climbers, depending on the plant type and its growth habit. However, you can expect corrosion of the wire mesh to be significantly higher when plants are covering it. This depends, of course, also on the microclimate and the frequency of rain or watering. High air humidity and lack of wind would then also slow down the drying after rain, accelerating corrosion. Generally speaking, rust is not formed until after thirty years but under the vegetation of climbing plants, it takes ten years with gabion. Using stainless steel wire gabions would be your primary prevention for rust formation.

Mounting cable systems on the wire basket

Wire rope trellises can be secured both on the face and top of gabion baskets, directly to the mesh- either between or above two gabions. To prevent galvanic action (and accelerated corrosion), the wire baskets of the gabion should ideally be made out of stainless steel. If this is not possible, direct contact of both metals (galvanised gabion and stainless steel trellis systems) should be prevented. You can run the wire rope through UV-resistant tubing or insert rubber strip around the stainless steel at the contact points to prevent contact.

Mounting cable systems directly into the stones

In exceptional cases, it may be better to fasten a wire rope trellis directly to the gabion stone, i.e. if a certain gap is required between the plants and the stones to control mildew. Plants like grapevine, roses, and clematis hybrids will benefit from reduced heat stress in direct sunlight and develop a higher resistance to fungal diseases. If you decide to use this method, cement ('cake') several stones together -- with composite mortar pressed into the joints -- to form a larger, more stable stone block. Our light and medium kits can then be mounted, again with expansion-free anchoring (i.e. by bonding with composite mortar). Hammer drills, universal drills, and percussion drills (like our SB 77777) are all suitable.