How to Build a Gabion Plant Stand

Contain a stack of small stones with a tomato cage for a planter pedestal with a decorative flair. Place a pot on top for a sturdy, elevated plant stand.

The art of the gabion—a metal cage that holds stones—has been growing in popularity in the United States. Long used in Europe and Australia, gabions form table and bench supports, modern retaining walls, fire pits, and planters. For our twist on a gabion, we used three sturdy wire tomato cages, fieldstones, and a round paver for a top. You can trim the assembled cage to your desired height or use wire peony cages if you want a shorter plant stand. With a few cuts and a few stones, you will have a trendy, durable stand that creates vertical interest in the garden. To save money, use stones from your yard or buy small river stones in bulk from a quarry. Other possible toppers include a weathered wood slice, metal tray, or scrap of slate. This planter takes only about an hour to make but can last years in your garden.

For a more refined look—or to add color—fill the gabion with stainless-steel garden globes. You can find globe sets with various sphere sizes online or at nurseries. The globes last for years and can be used for future projects.

  • Working Time 45 Minutes
  • Start to Finish 45 Minutes
  • Difficulty         Projects Kind of Easy
  • Involves Cutting Wire

What you need

Tools

  • Protective eye gear and gloves
  • Bolt cutter

Materials

  • Three 4-foot-tall heavy-gauge wire tomato cages
  • 16-gauge stainless-steel wire
  • 250 pounds of 6- to 8-inch fieldstones
  • 10-inch-diameter paver
  • Planted container

How to do it

Step 1 Nest Cages

Invert the three cages and nest them. Turn each cage to create even grid openings. Wrap 4-inch lengths of wire at a few intersections around the cages to secure the gabion together.

Step 2 Cut Off Cage Legs

Wearing eye protection and gloves, use a bolt cutter to nip all the spiked anchor legs. Trim the legs to be even with the top ring. Even cuts will help ensure that the planter top stays level and sturdy.

Step 3 Fill Cage and Top With Paver

Set the gabion cage in place and fill with fieldstones. Drop the largest stones in first and arrange smaller rocks to fill the space without large gaps. Center a paver on top and place a planted container on the paver.

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