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I have a long sloping garden from the house to a small wooded area. The previous fence fell down due to old age or so I thought! However since having a new fence put up a few years ago it has become evident that there is soil erosion as the metal posts are now at the edge of this vanishing land! 

I also thought that a gabion wall may improve sound-proofing from the nearby dual carriageway.

In addition to this problem the high hedges, surrounding tall trees and fencing mean the garden rarely gets full sunlight and I find it really difficult to get clothes dry unless its a baking hot day such as today.

I was wondering how expensive it would be to use gabions to both act as a retaining wall and to build up the level of the garden? 

How deep would I need to go to provide retentive properties? Would this be particularly difficult in a wooded area? 

If I was to use gabions could i somehow attach fencing to the outer wall to give extra security?

Could I then plant trees/shrubs on top of the gabions?  What depth of soil would I need to be able to plant for example rhododendrons? Would I have to effectively create raised beds to accommodate this? How much length of the garden would I effectively lose to build this barrier and to provide sufficient depth and width for planting of substantial shrubs?

Can gabions be built upon for example a summerhouse or used safely as a driveway?

I imagine it would not be too difficult to lay a lawn over gabions by gradually decreasing the stones within the gabions with a mesh such as that to prevent weed growth to retain the stones, gravel then top soil before finally turf.

If you had an outer circuit of gabions could you then build up the centre with hardcore, then gravel and top soil to effectively give a sunken area to the garden?

Can gabions have decking laid on top of them? 

How stable are gabions?

Any other ideas and suggestions please ???


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,806

    I think I would try concrete posts, with a concrete panel  at the bottom which could retain some soil, topped by a wooden panel.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • T7T7 Posts: 6

    Thank you.

    I know that would certainly be cheaper and probably less labour intensive but I would really like to raise the level of the garden by at least 1 to 1.5 metres. This would also allow me to effectively bury all the persistent weeds which have taken over the garden. I've tried for years to dig them up to no avail, but they just keep on coming up. In fact I'm probably just bringing more to the surface to take over each time I attempt to rid my garden of the blighters!

    I had also considered the gabions as an alternative to a retaining wall because they would inherently incorporate good drainage.


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,806

    For persistent weeds I would have  cut it down to a foot. Spray with glyphosate. Spray again in 3 weeks, and 3 weeks after that. That should sort them. Just burying a lot of weeds  will have no effect because their roots go down up to 20ft in some cases.

     If you have gabions, the bindweed will just grow through it.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • T7T7 Posts: 6

    There is a real combination of things which includes but is not limited to dandelions, stinging nettles, dock leaves etc and something sticky that I don't know what it is. I am a complete novice. I will definitely take on board the glyophosphate spray and do that regardless of what I eventually opt for. If I chose not to build up the level of the garden how long would the glyophosphate persist for before I could plant again?

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,806

    You can plant as soon as the weeds are cleared.  Glyphosate doesn't persist in the soil. So as soon as the plant has died down, fork out any debris and you should have a clean bed for planting in. You need to spray on a still day as any drift of spray will kill any tree or grass it hits. If you accidentally get it on something you want to keep, wash it well with a hosepipe. If it rains within 24 hours you will need to repeat.

    Paraquat and diquat will run through soil and can contaminate water courses. Sodium chlorate will persist in the soil for three years.

    It might not be immediate, in that you may need a few weeks for it to kill something, but it is the least damaging to soil,and best for taprooted weeds.

    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • T7T7 Posts: 6

    Thank you for all your advice. Glyphosate it is then.

    I nearly died of shock when I went into the back garden for the first time in months and was confronted by brambles, 4' high stinging nettles and weeds even rooted to the carpet I had used to cover half the garden, weeds I had uprooted growing on the concrete base - seems they are persistent and can grow in any situation, next time i'll make sure they go in the garden bin! 

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