Friday, December 29, 2017

The lath house is done!

Today is the fifth anniversary of my blog.  In 5 years, I've published more than 850 posts, registered over 725,000 views, and have been honored to receive more than 9200 comments (not including my own).  Created to record the changes in my garden, connect with other gardeners, and share my love of plants and gardens with like-minded people, my blog has chronicled myriad projects, including several this year, such as my succulent bed renovation and the creation of my pocket succulent garden.  However, as the construction of my lath (shade) house was the project I was the most excited about, I'm pleased to share coverage of the project in my anniversary post.  Although I "consulted" on the project, the lath house is really my husband's handiwork.  He started it in mid-November and worked on it off and on through December 28th, when he installed the final touch in the form of two window boxes.

Here's the final product, viewed from different angles.

View looking down (and west) from the main level of the garden on the south side

View looking south from the dirt path that runs parallel to the street

Wider view looking the same direction from the street itself

Rear view of the structure from the street outside our neighbor's driveway (As previously reported, the oleander hedge that formerly blocked the area from view was removed in early November and we collaborated on installation of Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Silver Sheen' to fill the gap but coverage is still spare.)


Here's a recap of the project:

My husband set the footings for the lath house on November 16th and laid the floor of cement pavers on November 21st

The wall structure was under construction on December 1st and my husband had begun painstakingly staining each individual piece of lath to protect it from the weather

The walls, with lath in place, went up December 4th and 5th (with help from our neighbor across the street)

My husband said the pitched roof was going to be a challenge and it was.  He had to measure and cut each piece of lath to varied lengths.  Completion of the roof took almost 2 weeks.

The door was an easier job, completed December 20th.  He even bought me fancy doorknobs.  (You can see an inadvertent selfie of me in the brass fixture.)  My husband also installed a finial on the top of the roof.

The shelf supports went in on December 21st, at which point I "modified" the project specs to include a second level of shelves above head height to increase the space available for plants.  The shelves themselves were installed over the next 2 days.

My husband was worried that wooden window boxes would quickly rot.  I ordered plastic liners and he constructed 4-sided boxes supported by a metal brace to allow drainage without rotting a wood base.

He even made me a step stool so I can water pots on the upper level overhead without lifting them down.  It's heavy and takes up a lot of room but I'm not going to tell him that.


Now that you've seen the outside of the lath house, come on in!

There's not much on the shelves yet but I did move my orchids inside

Until I can decide what else to plant around the pavers, I put in more of my old standby, creeping thyme, which can take a bit of shade

My local garden center got in a whole shipment of different varieties of ferns from Monterey Bay Nursery this week so I couldn't pass up bringing some home for try-outs 

As you can see, there's a lot of empty shelf area at the moment but I want to be thoughtful about what I add as space is limited.  We'll see how long my circumspection lasts!  I'm planning an outing to one of my favorite nurseries soon.

Thanks to all of you who read my blog, whether or not you comment.  I do enjoy hearing from each and every one of you when you do, though!


All material © 2012-2017 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

44 comments:

  1. That lath house is a work of art, your husband should be proud of it. No wonder that roof gave him fits, it looks complicated, and it's so pretty. Oh goodness, I'm so happy for you! Can't wait to see the cool plants that you fill it up with.

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    1. I really did feel guilty about that roof, Alison. If I'd have understood just how much effort it would involve, I'd have probably told my husband to go with a flat roof. That said, I do love the airy feeling that pitched roof provides!

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  2. Congratulations on five years of blogging and on your fabulous new lath house! I'm excited for you and can't wait to see how you fill those shelves!

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    1. I have a feeling I'm going to fill those shelves all too quickly, Peter. Of course, I can always hang things from that nice tall roof too...

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  3. Hi Kris, congratulations to running such a successful garden blog over the last 5 years! I always enjoy coming here and obviously I am not alone :-).
    Your new lath house is simply stunning! And I think it is very special that your husband has built it for you. Such a sweet act of love! I am sure you will put it to good use. If it would be me I would go with orchids!

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    1. I've got 9 or 10 orchid plants already, Christina, but I suspect I'll acquire a few more along the way ;)

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  4. Happy Anniversary Kris. I never thought I'd learn so much from someone gardening in a diametrically opposed climate. But I do. You have a wonderful sense of colour and texture. And of course I thoroughly enjoy your blog at the same time.
    The lath house is wonderful. It will so extend your range.. and keep the wretched raccoons and squirrels out!

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    1. Ha! You know as I closed the door to the lath house this evening, Jessica, I wondered if those all-too-clever raccoons know how to turn doorknobs...

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  5. Oh my goodness.....it is magnificent! And your husband is surely a keeper!!! Please congratulate him and thank him for providing all of us such a beautiful structure to now follow and love and covet. Really Kris, it is so lovely. What a wonderful way to start the new year with so many possibilities here. All the best for 2018!

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    1. My husband and I've been together since we were college freshman, Libby. I don't think he could get rid of me if he tried at this point.

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  6. Happy Blogiversary, Kris! It's been fun watching your garden evolve.
    The lath house looks great - good job, hubby! I can just imagine what lovelies you will place within. :)
    Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks Eliza! My husband does most everything well, and the lath house was no exception.

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  7. Happy fifth blogaversary!

    Enjoy collecting delicate treasures to 'fill' those shelves.

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    1. I controlled my plant acquisition proclivities while the lath house was under construction, Diana, but now I'm ready to go crazy with shade plants! It's probably a good thing that begonia tubers and fuchsias aren't available until later in the year but I'll probably have to remind myself (repeatedly) to reserve space for those.

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  8. Congratulations Kris! It looks wonderful! I'm sure you'll fill it with many wonderful plants!

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    1. I'm already getting started with that, MDN!

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  9. Happy Blogiversery Kris. I've enjoyed so much following along with your projects, in a geographic area that is so familiar to me yet far removed from where I live now. It's so nice to reflect on people we never would have known if we had not entered into the garden blogging community, and I was glad to have met you 'in person' at last in 2017. The lath house is wonderful ! Kudos to Mr Kris !

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    1. I'm very happy to have met you in person too, Kathy, after our virtual visits via our blogs. I look forward to seeing you again at the Austin Fling! Back in December 2012 when I published my very first post, I never imagined how much the blogosphere would expand my contacts with other gardeners either.

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  10. Oh my goodness! I love your blog, and didn't think anything could top your 5 year anniversary (congrats!) but that lath house. is. gorgeous. (!) Nice work by your husband... Perhaps I need to ask future dates about their building skills! Thank you for sharing pictures of your garden with us!

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    1. A man who can build (and fix) stuff is a treasure indeed, Renee!

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  11. I am so happy for you! The lath house turned out beautifully, and as much trouble as the roof was it certainly looks worth it, adding such an elegant finish/flourish. While you understandably are concerned about filling it up quickly I must say that second tier of shelves was genius. And I love the window boxes and the wood rot solution.

    Congrats on you blog anniversary, I’m so thrilled to know you and get to visit your garden regularly, if only virtually. I doubt 2018 will work with a Los Angeles vaca (what with Paris and Austin already on the books) but someday soon I will visit in person...

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    1. Maybe by the time you're able to visit, Loree, the garden will be more filled in and the specimens more mature. Of course, that assumes that I stop tearing areas apart with some new scheme! I still find myself glaring at that back slope...

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  12. Congratulations Kris, 5 years blogging is a great achievement. I have enjoyed following you for a few years now and getting to know you and your fabulous garden.
    Your lath house is wonderful,it looks is bit Japanese. What a talented husband you have.You are going to have such fun filling it with plants.

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    1. The key is going to be curating my plant choices for the lath house. I already seem to be picking up every shade plant I see.

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  13. happy anniversary. Love your blog.

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  14. The new blogger clubhouse! ;) I am so excited for you, Kris, especially since I watched the genesis of the idea and how it percolated, and now to see it manifest -- Jeff has wonderful building/design skills and you two make a great team. The wood rot issue is a common theme here too, which I find tiresome but always ends up being essential to longevity. Don't forget hanging plants under that beautiful roof! Big hugs and congrats on your 5-year anniversary, and lots more to come.

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    1. I almost brought home a plant hanger yesterday, Denise, putting it back at the last minute upon deciding I was getting ahead of myself. At the rate I'm going, though, it won't be long before there are plants hanging from the ceiling all over.

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  15. Wow! That is stupendous! We both think that's a very impressive piece of work. Kudos to Jeff. Let's see... from December 4th until yesterday I finally replaced one of the 46" x 28" bedroom windows and Jeff did that!!!

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    1. Well, as you know, he's very good at building (and fixing things).

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  16. I admire your husband's design and woodworking skills. The lath house is gorgeous and will make you happy for many years to come. Hope you have a wonderful new year Kris!

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    1. Best wishes for a happy new year to you as well, Susie!

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  17. Congratulations on your beautiful lath house and blog. It's always fun to see your garden. :)

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  18. It's beautiful, Kris - quite a work of art and craftsmanship. And what fun to fill it up!
    Congratulations on five years blogging! :)
    And I hope you have a very happy New Year!

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    1. The fun of filling up the space has already begun, Amy! Best wishes for a happy new year to you as well!

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  19. Happy New Year, Kris! And congratulations on both your blogoversary and the lath house. You have accomplished a lot with your blog, and you have made many wonderful improvements in your garden. I have enjoyed following your progress, through all of your challenges! Your hubby is quite talented. I love the lath house. It is beautiful as well as functional.

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    1. Thanks Deb! I admit to being in love with the lath house too. Just puttering away in there has been a joy already!

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  20. Happy 5th anniversary (belatedly) and Happy New Year! I've so enjoyed your posts and I hope you will continue to blog for many more years to come.

    Your lathe house is fantastic! I'm so happy I got to see it in person last week. Your husband could have a successful side business if he ever gets bored :-)

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    1. He could have many successful side businesses if he chose - fortunately for me, he's happy with keeping his projects close to home. It's bad enough that I have to compete with the demands made by neighbors!

      Best wishes for a happy new year, Gerhard! It was great to meet you in person at last.

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  21. Happy 5th Blogaversary and Happy New Year! What a great way you found to celebrate. Applause to your husband for his excellent work.

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  22. From some angles the thought Japanese tea house came to mind. A very decorative addition to your garden, congratulations to the designers and builder. You are going to have such fun.....

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