Monday, 6 May 2013

Greening The Gabion


It was last May when the gabion project got underway and now a year later one of the finishing touches has been achieved. The wall itself was completed some time ago - the above photo shows but a section. The gabion wall was built after the land it is sited on had been cleared and raised. Originally the area sloped down rather alarmingly towards a small stream and was uncultivated. Now we have a clearly defined boundary and have reclaimed some land. The wall is is bigger than I envisaged and has looked rather grey and bleak during the winter. We had decided though to plant up the top with something green. Eventually the decision was made to go for sedums but we have been waiting for spring to order the sedums and then plant them. Preparation for planting began last Wednesday, when 'trays' of chicken wire lined with weed membrane were constructed to sit on top of the walls. Early on Friday morning 4 tons of top soil arrived, followed later on by a delivery of a special planting mix together with 99 sedums. As with all the best laid plans of mice and men, I had arranged to meet a friend for lunch and then had food shopping to do, so had to leave him to toil on his own. The above photo shows what the wall was looking like when I left the house. This is what I came home to :


Special planting mixture and 99 sedums all in place! It will take a while for it all to knit together and form a carpet, which will hopefully cloak not only the top of the wall but which will also then start to tumble down over the edge. However just that little bit of green has made a huge difference. Discussion on the rest of the area goes on and has proved to be rather a contentious issue. Himself seeing it as a car parking space whilst I see it as a planting place. After all there is only one driver in the household and we do have a garage. The debate goes on but in the meantime I have gained some extra planting space at the base of part of the wall. This has involved removing some of our sad mossy excuse for a lawn but no tears here. 

In the evening himself sat down to a well deserved pint then he started to worry. "What if a bird takes a fancy to the sedum for nesting material and flies off with it in its beak?" he asked. I was not able to reassure him that there was no likelihood of this. Then the wind started to rise with a vengeance and as the night wore on he envisaged the sedums flying off into the stratosphere. My idea of hairpins to keep them in place was scorned so I suggested that perhaps he should mount an overnight vigil. Needless to say he did not and needless to say that when we did a sedum count come morning all 99 were present and correct.

12 comments:

  1. Your gabion walls are magnificent! They look so good against the backdrop of trees and I'm sure they'll look even better once the sedums have spread. I'll vote for planting space over car parking space anyday :-)

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  2. It looks fabulous, and it'll only look better when the sedums have settled in. You can't possibly use all that lovely space for parking, I vote for plants.

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  3. The wall looks fantastic and so do the sedums. When they have all grown and come together and seeded into your wall, it will be amazing! I think any gardener would want the space for planting over car parking any day!!

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  4. Hi Anna, fab idea to plant the gabions with sedum! Just hope your top soil came from a reptable soil as I'm struggle with billions of weed since getting mine. Looking forward to seeing the babes settle in...they certainly soften the effect of the wall. Happy gardening!

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  5. Wow! I must go back and look at the original project in your earlier posts. What an undertaking! I shall have to try and work out the lie of your land somehow, but it certainl seems as if you are getting this bit tamed. Shifting 4 tons of top soil is a job and a half in itself, and Himself has done you proud. Did you consider having timber slates on the lower one, for sitting and for pots? And why 99 sedums - not quite a round number, is it? Parking v. planting...hmmm, let me think..... ;)

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  6. Wow, I like that a lot! It's going to look even better in time. Great work guys :)

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  7. Looks good Anna and it's only going to get better. Plus you have a ready maid sedum 'mine' once established. You can simply pull pieces out and plant them elsewhere.

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  8. I think it looks fabulous - so contemporary but so in keeping with its surroundings some how. And all that space. A huge congratulations.

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  9. It looks great Anna - you could also plant some other plants in the gabions themselves, so you have even more planting space!

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  10. I love your gabions Anna and the sedums will look wonderful once they've had a bit of growing time.

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  11. It all looks very promising; I adore sedums and have a friend who grows the most lovely combinations. She's always popping them into little corners and they take well. I imagine that your walls will eventually be filled with all sorts of lovely plants, Anna. In the meantime, I'd claim some of the 'parking' space for pots!

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  12. I love your gabion wall Anna, and the sedums (wind and birds allowing) will start the greening process really well. I hope the balance between parking area and planting area swings in your favour!

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.