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Stunning and Affordable Gabion Planters Made in a Morning

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Gabion planters have been used for centuries to add interest to gardens and landscapes and they are surprisingly easy to make too. According to wiki they were first used by ancient Egyptians to protect the banks of the Nile and the word gabion is derived from the Latin word gabbione, which means “big cage”. Well that makes sense 😉 They’re usually filled with rocks or other organic stuff and I think they look stunning in the garden. We made these this weekend and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out.

How To Make Affordable Gabion Planters

In total, all three gabion planters took about 4 hours to make. All you need is some sturdy plastic coated wire mesh, cable ties, PVC pipe and a gazillion lots of pebbles. The pebbles need to be quite big so they don’t fall through the mesh.

You can’t make a big splash with a small pebbleClick To Tweet

Okay, so you might be thinking “What one earth do you need the PVC pipe for”. Once you add the pebbles, gabion planters can be quite heavy. Adding PVC pipe inside the planter makes it lighter and you don’t have to use as many pebbles 😉 The PVC pipe also helps create a stable core for the planter. We wanted the gabion planters to be different lengths to add some visual interest. After drawing a quick sketch to figure out how high we wanted the planters to be we cut the PVC pipe to fit inside the planters.

Hint: Keep the those left over pieces to make this gorgeous cable spool table or maybe this tall skinny little wine rack.

While, I did the easy drawing and sawing bits the hubby cleared the space where the planters would go and compacted the soil. If your ground is soft or muddy you’ll need create a concrete base for the planters to sit on. Fortunately we didn’t have to do that 😉 We embedded in the prepared area to a depth of about 15cm (6 inches).

Once the pipes were firmly squished into the soil we cut the wire mesh and built a round cage to fit around the pipes. To figure out how tall the cage should be we took the height of the pot that the plants were in and added the PVC pipe height plus a teeny bit for luck. We used cable ties to join the mesh together.

Filling the Gabion Planters

And then we started filling the cages with building rubble and pebbles. Soooooo many pebbles, ugh. I had all these plans of taking the black pebbles and doing some kind of funky design. I had these visions of a heart or wavy lines or something like that. That so didn’t happen. Nope, those pebbles just went in any way the fell. Building rubble can be used instead of pebbles to fill gaps. You just need to make sure that it’s not visible from the outside of the gabion planters and one brick equals about 10 pebbles. Now that’s a bargain!! While we filled the cages we used a half brick to smack the sides of the cage so the pebbles would smoosh together firmly.

When the pebbles were level with the pipe, the pot plant was balanced on top of the pipe before adding more pebbles and rubble. We decided to put Yucca’s inside the gabion planters. Don’t you just love Yuccas? They’re hardy, love the sun and don’t mind being ignored. If you’ve got a brown thumb, then these little babies are perfect. Just put them in a pot and leave them. The only time they need some love is when their old leaves turn brown.

I love the contrast between the pebbles and the wire coated mesh. So pretty.

Every little pebble in the stream believes itself to be a precious stoneClick To Tweet

The Yuccas add a touch of spiky gorgeousness. Just a word of warning their leaves are like mini swords. If you’re not into the spiky look, lavender or rosemary would also work. They both thrive is sunshine and dry soil and they’ll chase all those mosquitoes and pesky flies away too.

I love to hear what you think about the gabion planters. Is it something you would do in your garden? What would you plant in them? Oh and if you’d like to make something similar I’ve added some affiliate links below.  Disclosure: If you click on them, we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more crafty ideas to share with you 😉

Genova 700412 Schedule 40 Pvc Dwv Pipe, 4' X 2'
Mexican Beach Pebbles | 20 Pounds of Smooth Unpolished Stones | Hand-Picked, Premium Pebbles for Garden and Landscape Design | Buff, 1 Inch - 2 Inch
Sale Origin Point 312450 50-Foot x 24-Inch Gray Plastic Poultry Netting With 1-Inch Openings

As always wishing you a beautiful week filled with love and sunshine.

Made with love by a Crafty Mix

 

 

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Categories:   DIY Tutorials, Quick & Easy Crafts

Comments

  • Posted: September 24, 2018 03:52

    Eliza

    Looks great! Wondered if after getting everything in place - what about grouting the rocks while covered with wire? Have grouted several projects in the past. Living in Alabama, (USA) we frequently have heat around 100 degrees. I would appreciate your ideas on this.
    • Posted: September 24, 2018 04:33

      acraftymix

      I don't think that would be a problem at all Eliza and it would look really pretty too, almost like a stone pillar ruin. You would probably need to put a few smaller rocks into the bigger gaps between the rocks so the grout or cement can set properly. I would definitely try it and would love to see how yours turns out 🙂
  • Posted: June 22, 2018 05:24

    wendyDIY

    So pretty! I love the design of this Gabion planters when I saw it at first sight!Thank you for sharing this impressive DIY tutorial!
    • Posted: June 24, 2018 06:11

      acraftymix

      Thanks so much Wendy 🙂
  • Posted: May 17, 2017 05:39

    Leanna

    Hey Michelle: You solved a problem for me with this post. I want a pot that is big and heavy enough to hold a pole that I can hang baskets from. The purchased ones here were near $100 way beyond what I can pay. This is a wonderful work around. Pinning and will show hubs tomorrow. Thanks a million for the share.
    • Posted: May 17, 2017 08:05

      acraftymix

      Oh that's great Leanna, I'm so glad it helped
  • Posted: May 8, 2017 12:00

    Gabi

    I've seen something similar in Greece, and I fell in love with them! They are not so hard to make, and have an amazing effect on the decor... And looking closer to that mesh gave me an idea for a new DIY project. I have some mesh, I have some pebbles... I should go to work! Thank you for the inspiration, Michelle! :)
    • Posted: May 8, 2017 15:40

      acraftymix

      I can't wait to see what you come up with Gabi, it's going to be amazing <3
  • Posted: May 4, 2017 10:47

    Alexis @ Chemistry Cachet

    This looks absolutely amazing! Love this idea, sharing and pinning!
    • Posted: May 4, 2017 12:44

      acraftymix

      Thanks so much Alexis, I'm glad you like them
  • Posted: April 20, 2017 01:03

    Schilly Construction Inc.

    Love how these turned out. Great idea using three different heights for them.
    • Posted: April 20, 2017 08:05

      acraftymix

      Thank you so much, I'm so glad you like them. We wanted to up the interest factor just a bit so it made sense at the time to make them different hieghts
  • Posted: April 16, 2017 07:52

    Cristina

    It looks amazing. It has some kind of exotic touch! Pinning it, it's a wonderful project!
    • Posted: April 16, 2017 16:34

      acraftymix

      Thank you Cristina :D
  • Posted: April 15, 2017 14:11

    Marie|The Interior Frugalista

    These are fabulous, Michelle - just love them with the bamboo fence as a backdrop behind them too!
    • Posted: April 16, 2017 05:04

      acraftymix

      Awww thanks Marie, those bamboo fences hide our workshop area clutter from the garden. They always make me think of the little beach pubs in Mozambique
  • Posted: April 14, 2017 20:43

    Carolann

    Wow, what an amazing idea! I never saw or heard of them before. I will have to see if I can do even just one! They look stunning in your garden!
    • Posted: April 15, 2017 09:06

      acraftymix

      Oh that's great Carolann, I'm glad you like them and hope you get to make one at least ;-)
  • Posted: April 14, 2017 16:21

    jodie

    I love this idea!! What a great way to get some verticalness (is that a word?) outside!! Jodie www.jtouchofstyle.com
    • Posted: April 15, 2017 09:03

      acraftymix

      I'll go with verticalness Jodie, that's a good word ;-)
  • Posted: April 14, 2017 14:06

    Gina

    I would totally use these in my garden! I just don't have one at the moment and moving one of these things from place to place in my apartment sounds very heavy. But, these planters are so gorgeous! Well, done Michelle! I think if I had some I would probably do some cacti. They grow really well in my region and it's okay if I forget about them for a while. ;) Maybe I'll do some of these planters once I have a permanent yard. They really are so gorgeous and eye catching!
    • Posted: April 14, 2017 14:19

      acraftymix

      One day soon, you'll have a homestead ;-) and I agree with you the contrast of the hard rocks against the prickly cacti would look so stunning Gina.
  • Posted: April 14, 2017 00:26

    Tara

    These are such a beautiful addition to your garden, Michelle! I love the different colors of the pebbles!
    • Posted: April 14, 2017 14:20

      acraftymix

      Thank you so much Tara, one day I'll try doing the whole pebble pattern thing, but for now I'm happy with how they turned out
  • Posted: April 13, 2017 23:02

    Pili

    They look amazing, of course I'd love them in my garden. I would need Mary's shore to collect hundreds of pebbles because I already have some chicken wire (would it work too?) I didn't know about the yuccas, they seem like my kind of plant.
    • Posted: April 14, 2017 14:23

      acraftymix

      Chicken wire will definitely work Pili, you just need to make sure it's galvanized so it doesn't rust and you might need to fold it double depending on how tall you want your gabions. And I'm loving your idea of going to visit Mary to get the pebbles ;-)
  • Posted: April 13, 2017 21:45

    Sadhna Grover

    These planters are so cute, I thought it is too difficult to make but you explained so nicely that a person like me, who has no knowledge of gardening can even understand how to make it. The idea of putting PVC pic in the middle is a great idea, pebbles inside the wire cage look so cute.
    • Posted: April 14, 2017 14:24

      acraftymix

      They're the easiest things to make, the most difficult bit was probably adding the pebbles in the cage. I'm glad you like them Sadhna
  • Posted: April 13, 2017 17:29

    Mary - the boondocks blog

    Michelle I have the same exact plants. Those are the only ones, along with aloe vera that manage to survive on my balcony. What you did here is really clever. The plants have height and an interesting look on the bottom. I love the look of the stones!
    • Posted: April 14, 2017 14:28

      acraftymix

      Aren't they just awesome as easy care focus plants? Thank you Mary, I'm glad you like the gabion planters
  • Posted: April 12, 2017 22:04

    Keri

    Michelle, I think these planters are awesome!! Yes I would definitely want some of these in my garden or around the house, maybe next year. ;) I like the Yuccas too and that sound just perfect for my brown thumb, lavender sounds wonderful too. Another fantastic project and thanks for sharing the tutorial!!
    • Posted: April 13, 2017 07:02

      acraftymix

      I'm really glad you like the gabion planters Keri ;-) Both the Yucca and Lavendar are so easy to look after too and make beautiful accent plants
  • Posted: April 11, 2017 19:37

    Linda at Mixed Kreations

    What a great idea! I have never heard of gabions, but love them. Growing yuccas in a pot is probably the best way to grow them, never thought of that. I've only had them in the ground and they do get out of hand, and a pain to dig up.
    • Posted: April 12, 2017 06:44

      acraftymix

      Yeah they's beautiful but do tend to take over a bit. We have a ginormous one in our front garden that's slowly pushing over a wall. I'm dreading the day that we'll have to take her out. Thanks for your lovely comment Linda
  • Posted: April 11, 2017 18:42

    Katrin

    Ok, I need you in my garden asap! Like asap! This is a fantastic idea to have the plants up high, cause our naughty bunnies just nibble on everything, so that would be a great solution! And I have two of those yukkas, I love them, because they don't mind me ignoring them and just stay pretty anyways, lol! One was too low and well, the stem is the only thing that is left, because the bunnies even love these leaves, lol! Anyway, I love this idea Michelle, it looks so pretty and really gives the garden a lovely vibe!!
    • Posted: April 12, 2017 06:42

      acraftymix

      I'm jumping on the plane right now Katrin, I've got to meet your bunnies :D They make the most amazing pets, when they're not destroying the garden.
  • Posted: April 11, 2017 12:56

    Angie ~ ambient wares

    I've never heard of gabions but, they're gorgeous and so substantial looking! We used to have 1 Yucca in our yard we had to pull out for something else and I can attest to the sharpness ;) Love how they turned out, Michelle. Pinned & sharing
    • Posted: April 11, 2017 14:29

      acraftymix

      Oops ouch that must have hurt Angie. I love Yuccas but prefer them in pots where they can'ts get too out of hand and their flowers are so beautiful too. I'm so glad you like the gabions ;-)
  • Posted: April 10, 2017 21:40

    Laurie

    What a fantastic idea! So easy too! These would cost an absolute fortune to buy here in London. I might/will be trying this. Great tip and good instructions. Thank you! www.vanityandmestyle.com
    • Posted: April 11, 2017 08:03

      acraftymix

      Thank you so much Laurie and you're right, even in South Africa they're quite pricey if you buy them

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