Friday, April 10, 2020

Visiting my Lath House!

The title of this post is a play on the "Coronavirus Tourism" posters designed by Jennifer Baer and shown on her website, This is Colossal, which Denise of A Growing Obsession introduced me to last week.  Stuck at home, visiting the nooks and crannies of my own garden is one of the few acceptable "adventures" now.  What could be more appropriate than a tour of my lath house, built by my husband two years ago for the shade plants that otherwise have difficulty surviving in my area?

So let's embark on the tour, shall we?

There it is!  We're looking at it from the upper level of the front garden.  It sits at the bottom of a moderate slope.

The door's open.  Let's head down there.

This is the path from the upper level of the front garden into the lower area where the lath house sits

We're approaching it now


Shall we take a peek inside?

View looking in the front door at the center of the structure

Pots on the ground

This is the view looking through the window on the right side

and this is the view looking in the window on the left side


So let's take a closer look at some of the plants inside, focusing on the most presentable specimens.

These are a few of my Begonias
Top row: Begonias 'Amberley' and 'Little Darling', 'Bundy Plum', and 'Champagne Bubbles'
Bottom row: Begonias 'Escargot', 'Nautilus Lilac', and B. luxurians

Ferns can be hard to grow here even where they're protected.  On the left is Asplenium nidus (aka Lasagna Fern) and on the right is a Staghorn Fern (noID Platycerium).

I still struggle with Fuchsias but I keep trying new ones.   Clockwise from the upper left are Fuchsia 'Autumnale'; the unusual trailing F. procumbens, followed by a close- up of its flower; and F. thymifolia.

I've somehow accumulated a lot of orchids.  Most, including the Epiphyllums (aka orchid cactus), aren't blooming now but four are.  Clockwise from the upper left are: Colmanara 'Wildcat', noID Cymbidium, Cymbidium Sussex Court 'Not Peace', and Dendrobium kingianum.

Two of the three Tillandsias are shown here: T. capita 'Peach' and T. xerographica

Other flashy plants include, clockwise from the upper left, Fatsia japonica 'Camouflage', assorted Cyclamen, Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, and Philodendron 'Prince of Orange'

The lath house also has some decorative and utilitarian elements.  The iron cat in the center guards the door.  The wood piece on the lower left serves as both stepladder and stool.

The two window boxes are not looking their best and need an overhaul


That concludes today's tour.  Let me show you out.

The slope facing the lath house is planted mostly with succulents

Taking the lower level path to the driveway at the front of the house takes us by a mass planting of Aeonium arboreum but you have to squeeze by a large peppermint willow (Agonis flexuosa) planted in the middle of the path

You've reached the lower level exit!


I hope you can take advantage of a staycation this weekend.  Best wishes for a safe holiday weekend, however you plan to spend your time.


All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

30 comments:

  1. Your lath house brings back childhood memories for me. Our neighbor across the street had a lath house and he and my dad were in constant competition for who had the best Fuchsias, Begonias, etc. We didn't have a lath house but we had a large elm in the backyard, and the Fuchsias were everywhere. That's back when it wasn't so hot.

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    1. Even given the postage-stamp size of my former garden, I was able to grow a lot of fuchsias there, just 15 miles north of my current location. But that garden was shady; benefited from westerly ocean breezes; and was walled on all sides, protecting it from the winds we face here. Although there's a lot I can grow here that I couldn't grow there, greedy gardener that I am, I still miss all those shade plants, Kathy.

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  2. That was fun! Were you wearing a mask? I was...

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    1. Ha! As I was the only person there, I was able to get away without a mask during my visit, Loree!

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  3. What an adventure! That sea of Acacia cognata is a beautiful framing device for the lath house in the first photo. I'm assuming since it has a door that there are no unwelcome animal visitors. And it's looking almost full -- time for another one? Your husband seems to be easy to talk into new projects, especially at the moment...

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    1. Well, the lath house has 2 unscreened "windows" but there's no evidence of intrusions on the part of raccoons, skunks, possums, or coyotes, Denise. I can't make the same claim about mice, though. They've brought in fruit from neighboring areas and used the upper shelves as their dining area. They seem to really enjoy the fruit of the cherry laurel shrubs directly behind the lath house...

      I really wish it was a bigger structure, although anything much larger probably would have overwhelmed the space. I've been giving some serious thought to adding a small covered porch, however.

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  4. You've added a lot of plants since you last featured it here. It must be a nice respite on a hot day.
    Wishing you a pleasant day tomorrow. It seems odd that for the first time in our lifetimes, there won't be any church services or gathering for a meal. Strange times. Stay well.

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    1. The times are most definitely strange, Eliza. I'm going to refill all my bird feeders and invite the avian crowd in to fill the garden with song.

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  5. Like ks, childhood memories of a neighborhood with many lathhouses--my dad built a long stretch of lath-shaded beds for fuchsias all the way around the back yard. Back when summers were not so hot...

    Yours is much more beautifully built than what I remember, and the surroundings more beautiful as well. Thanks for the outing!

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    1. It's a very small space. I can't even back up to photograph it well (hence the photos taken from outside the door and through the windows). I keep wondering if there's a way to put another shade structure down at the bottom of the slope.

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  6. I love slatted shade; thanks for the tour.

    Which way is south from inside the lath house?

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    1. If you look at the 4th photo, Nell, the south end is where the hedge of cherry laurel shrubs are situated (on the lath house's left side in that photo). My husband built me some screens I use in summer to cover the slatted walls on the south and west sides. I took all but those on the upper shelf level down in late fall but they'll be going back up as the sun gets stronger.

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  7. More questions: In that last image of the lower exit, what are the tall spires of white blooms between Grevillea 'Peaches and Cream' and the yellowish Leucadendron?

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    1. Those are Narcissus 'Geranium'. I planted the bulbs 2 years ago and they're putting on a great show this year. Each flower stalk produces at least 3 blooms. I love them!

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    2. Those 'Geranium' daffs are a knockout, but I was asking about the much taller, less bright-white plants beyond them -- tucked between the peachy Grevillea and the Leucadendron. They look like very tall Asphodeline taurica, a dry-loving white asphodel. But I'd guess the summer heat is too intense there for any asphodel.

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    3. Oh, I'm guessing you're referring to the Echium candicans 'Star of Madiera'. It's foliage is variegated. It produces spiky bloom stalks, which are just now starting to produce blue blooms.

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    4. Ah, no wonder the white's so subtle -- it's just the pale outer sheath of the buds. No ID doubts when it's in full cry!

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  8. Wonderful echoes in that vignette of the lower exit: the peachy Grevillea with the firesticks and the warm drowsiness of new growth on the hedge.

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    1. The Xylosma congestum shrubs are the best hedge material I've ever run across in this climate, Nell. They take regular shearing and the new growth always glows like that. The hedge came with the garden and surrounds much of the back garden border as well.

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  9. What a lovely peaceful place. All you need yet is a hammock in there and a book.
    Do you leave all those plants out there during the winter?

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    1. A hammock would be lovely there, Cindy, except the space isn't big enough for it! Yes, all those plants can remain outside all winter in our climate. It's a LOT different than your climate!

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  10. Forgot to wish you a very Happy Easter!

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  11. What a delightful tour. Your garden is has an amazing array of plants. The Husband gets major admiration for this fantastic lathe house. I drooled a little looking at those begonias. The fuchsia that you highlighted the flower is one I have never seen. It seems I am often saying that when you highlight a plant or flower in your garden. I feel like I have an inside look at a tropical botanic garden. I hope you have a fine weekend. Happy Easter.

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    1. I wish I could add a little tropical humidity to the space, Lisa - the plants would be happier!

      Happy Easter to you!

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  12. So much fun to explore all the unique plants. Collections are the best. I wish I could grow orchids outdoors. Mine just get a bit of a summer vacation. Happy Easter and thanks for the great tour. A mood lifter as we have just had another dump of snow.

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    1. I heard that it was going to be a cold Easter in the north, Elaine. I hope the weather doesn't mar your day (beyond what the nasty coronavirus has already done).

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  13. I have a kingianum from my mother.

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    1. I hope the blooms on mine will become more profuse, Diana. I think it's just starting its bloom cycle.

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