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Intermediate Rock Fence, Or Retention Wall, Known As A Gabion Wall

  • Machine Type:
    Other Machine
    Biological computer or brain. Hands. About 60-80 bucks... one single iota of artistic vision:D
    Machine Time:
    6-8 hours
    Bit or Laser Size:
    Standard landscaping rocks. Make sure to use the horizontal squares not the diamonds. Our eyes make the regular squares disappear easier.
    Feeds & Speeds:
    Attach the zip or twist-ties and staples real tight, pound the stakes deep, buy some extra, and be creative with yours!
    A printout of this material list.

    A highlighter to highlight directions and cut out any unneeded extra.

    2 foot wooden garden stakes (3 for permanency), the are usually about 1.5 inches wide and a half inch deep. Get the nicer ones made from solid pine, they need to be able to take some staples.

    1 full can of heavy duty spraypaint (I used the white rustoleum that has the primer mixed in)

    Four or five bags of regular palm sized landscaping rocks. (color of your choosing)

    A heavy rubber mallet.

    2 bags of pea gravel or sand.

    Heavy duty staple gun (like one for tacking signs on telephone poles)

    Heavy duty staples...

    A large roll of zip tie (found in garden or nursery sections). 240 feet perhaps... I'd say 160 maybe, that depends.

    One 24 inch tall roll of 12x12mm (or 1/2×1/2 inch) spaced (square pattern) chicken wire fencing 50 feet long (or however much you need). The diamond mesh is more distracting to the eyes and stretches more.

    Heavy duty tin snips or wire cutters (or cutting wheel, if you are so lucky to own one).

    Time and patience.

    (Optional: rubber pond liner or landscaping fabric and mortar cement or grout).

    How to build an affordable and sturdy decorative rock wall or landscape bordering
    (height, depth, colors, and shapes may vary)

    Mine's 10 inch tall to make a garden bed and hold the vegetables, but a 4 or 6 inch one would be perfect for a sidewalk or landscape border.
    Additionally, the wall is just thick enough that you could put landscaping lights right in it (So they dont til or get covered in mud, it adds a great effect). I like the white, but if I did it again I'd just do 6 inches or so and maybe multicolor it.

    FB_IMG_1533184155032.jpg Yes... I pulled all the weeds put of it since this last take:)


    1. Mark out an area on the lawn, against a fence, along a sidewalk, or have it stand
    alone around a tree or as a planter... Space the posts no greater than 2-3 feet really (If done real tight could go 4-5 feet)...
    2. Dig or rake over designated area for the fence and clear a path (6 inch wide).

    3. Place in position and make pole positions by pounding with a soft mallet or digging (make sure to buy extra posts). For mine, I took a metal post to break up the clay underneath and tunnel into the ground first.

    4. Sink the posts into the ground (spraypaint to match rocks if needed) at least half way, 12 inches deep (cement if you'd like, however, it will support most if it's own weight and things like this dont blow over easily).

    5. Cover bottom with sand or pea gravel path at least a half inch thick to level and prevent vegetation, and also to allow a path for the mower. (I'd go an inch, because it all sinks and washes away after a point).

    6. Measure around the posts, get a fence length, and cut out the length and height you want.

    (Take a break)

    7. Attach the inside fence first, stapling its portion to each stake, face the pointy edge down of course. Make it taught and work with the side that wants to curl, not against.
    Remember to not get the hexagonal mesh because they'll stretch; It is made cheaper and less symmetrical (so more ugly). Here's an example.


    8. Important: When tying twist ties, use two extra stakes as spacers to hold the two chicken wire layers together, ensuring all the ties are kept equidistant.

    9. Move two spacers (extra posts) to either side each tie and pull the fencing tight to them and twist toward the back side or inside of the fence.

    The top 1/4 or 1/3 rows can be left undone to make it easier to fill, just dont fill above the last ties on top until they're in place.

    10. Before or after attaching the front sides mesh, cover it with twist ties, spacing each and every 3 inches apart left to right,
    and 2.5 inches up and down between rows.

    I suggest stitching every other row inward 1.5 inches with the ties, and staggering each of the columns, making a straight line and inch or so on either side of each post to the lowest rung along the bottom (and top) especially - the top comes last same as the bottom, The pattern looks like this:
    (without the mesh, ties = *).


    * * * * * **[ P
    ]** * * * *
    ..* * * * * *[ o ]* * * * * *
    * * * * * **[ S ]** * * * *

    ..* * * * * *[ T ]* * * * * *
    * * * * * **[ . ]** * * * * * * *

    3 inches apart on the ties (*), 2.5 inches apart unless they run into posts. (Using the spacers, easiest way is to fold the ties in half, stick the 2 ends through point facing self, twist on the back or inside of wall. Snip when completely finished filling.
    Should be tied off the same length, having used the the extra posts as spacers. If any are missing, it will deform a little.

    11. After the following steps spray paint the fence poles and visible edge of the ties first to mimic or clash well before adding more color with the rocks and camoflauge the mesh on the posts (Ex: If you want to black or brown, or if green isn't dark enough to blend well, spray the fence so much just one spritz at each of the zip ties to turn them whatever color as well as the posts (of course, I could have tried buying white kitchen zipties:)).

    (Take another break)

    12. Staple the front mesh to the first post (connect the ends or tie to fence like I did here).
    FB_IMG_1533177544787.jpg Pardon the dog.

    13. Staple to the next post (now it's starting to take shape).

    14. Repeat steps 12 and 13 until finished. Reinforce the fence directly along either side of the post.

    FB_IMG_1533177551682.jpg (as you can see, part of a section is bowed from missing twist-ties... Attaching ties ahead of time and doing one section at a time will correct any of the wobbliness).

    15. Dampen ground for the first layer to fill the rocks in starting solid at the bottom. Like a broken game of plinko, it can seem time consuming (some sticking here, or there but not any more as if the fence were to stretch or swell in spots... I had to scoop them out more than once to add more ties.
    Using one of the extra posts, use the flat or blunt end to tamp the stones down and the pointed end to manipulate the rocks, getting them to settle nice and tight. The fence should hold itself straight, but stil stretch and bend a little until it's settled, so keep the process going:

    Shake, add rocks, tamp, repeat until finished (or half way up then twist the rest of the ties and go at it again).

    "Here's what each section should look like as you move along"


    16. Fill bottom with dirt, seeds, or a couple ready made plants. I did not fill mine full, however, we did the compost thing.:).

    17. Make sure yours are better and more decorative than mine, impress spouse, or attract potential mates, friends, and neighbors...

    18.(Optional) The inside can be lined with rubber pond liner or landscaping fabric. One also could add landscaping fabric under the garden bed... I chose not to afford it. It held up about 1/4 full of dirt, but any more wouldn't have worked.
    I composted leaves and pretty much all of my food waste in it for 1 year before planting, also several gallons of Hickory nuts and shells from a tree above to give it a good base and depth.

    The fence 'lost' rocks because I took some shortcuts and didnt add enough twist-ties, and there's a little one who likes to throw rocks over the fence:/. As we can see however, it's tight enough that the dirt is not leaking out or through it. The sections that had all 3x3 did not deform at all:)

    19. Sit back, relax, and enjoy for 30 seconds at least. The wire looks invisible... Yay.

    Multicolored river stones would definitely blend nice as well, and could be made to match planters.

    It looks like fancy cement work or something to have them standing up and definitely puzzles many people at first glance, until they step closer or I explain it.
    I've heard a few times things like, "Oooooh, well how about that! Very clever", and usually say something about not seeing the wire..
    And that's the point darn it, to make an optical----to garnish and fish for compliments! Lol, j/k. Who am I talking to!? Haha, nvm. :)."

    Take it easy...
    It's still ALLL good!!!

    Since installation the wall has taken quite a few hits actually, the dog and his cord , a couple large tree branches, a number of basketball bounces...
    lt's fairly easy to repair, cheap, sturdy, and has been low maintenance other than some weeds wanting to grow in it and humungous branches during a freak storm. After settling completely, it barely budged.

    Everything's possible. :)

    Thank you. ☝️

    Here's another couple of examples for ideas. Totally works though just dont short ANY of the zip or twist-tie spacing. (do one full section 1st to test it out).

    Since I noted my mistakes and better method, I hope for more people to make theirs taller, sturdier, tighter, more colorful, more creative, and more appealing! :)


    A Chinese company mass produces Gabions, gets it wrong on the whole visually appealing aspect.. These must be reusable

    This will be my next type of one or modified at some point!

    Mine again - The first at least. It gives off a nice glow at night, and I can barely see the weeds there!

    Happy Landscaping and machining!

    Good luck,

    20180729_192611.jpg FB_IMG_1533177551682.jpg FB_IMG_1533177544787.jpg FB_IMG_1533177570314.jpg FB_IMG_1533184155032.jpg 61YVQaunXnL._AC_SY400_.jpg 20180802_015659.jpg q-what-holds-this-planter-up-is-it-rebar-and-where-can-i-get-instruc.jpg Hot-Sell-Hexagonal-Gabion-Box-Basket.jpg 20180729_192607.jpg FB_IMG_1533207807274.jpg shopping.jpg 20180611_203954.jpg

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  1. Mark Carew
    Very cool project! thank you for sharing :thumbsup:
  2. Tracy Ranson
    Will this work with my rock and weed garden? I am trying to not let my wife see this because it will just be another thing she will add to my to do list. Nice work :)
      Mark Carew likes this.
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