I began stocking my lath (shade) house shortly after my husband completed its construction in late December 2017. I moved my small orchid collection there immediately but other additions were haphazard. Over time, I've scrapped some plants and added others. The space is relatively small after all so I can't load it with every pretty shade plant I see. Much of what I added early on wasn't particularly interesting or unusual and those items, if they survived, have slowly been dropped to make room for others. Many represent experiments and everything must prove its worth to earn its place.
Ferns were an early focus as, with the exception of the weedy western sword fern (Polystichum munitum), most ferns don't survive long in the open areas of my garden. Several of those I tried failed quickly even in my lath house but there are two that have earned their stripes.
|Asplenium nidus, aka lasagna fern|
|Platycerium veitchii, a variety of staghorn fern|
Begonias, particularly those grown more for their foliage than their flowers, have earned a lot of space, surprising even me. Here are just a portion of those on display in the lath house:
|Begonia 'Champagne Bubbles' was neglected and got a bit crispy a couple of months ago but it seems to be recovering. I've got it planted in a small African violet pot, which has a water reservoir.|
|This begonia came without a label. I originally guessed it was 'Nautilus Lilac' but I now think it could be 'First Blush'.|
|This is 'Little Darling', planted in another African violet pot|
|I'm very pleased with how well this unidentified Begonia looks in its Muradian pot|
|This is 'Palomar Prince', another begonia I thought I'd killed at one point that rebounded given time and patience|
There are also a few plants grown exclusively for their foliage.
|Philodendron 'Prince of Orange' was a gift. Its stay in the lath house was intended to be temporary but it's so happy there, I haven't been able to bring myself to move it into the drier conditions of our house.|
I've tried growing several fuchsias in the lath house. I suspect they don't get enough light there as they've been disappointing thus far but I still have four that occasionally flower. The hydrangeas haven't thrilled me either, although I still have one of those.
|I've had this Hydrangea macrophylla 'Shooting Star' for many years and, although I repeatedly mistreat it, it's been very forgiving|
Hoyas, which I introduced more for their foliage than for their flowers are slowly growing on me (no pun intended).
|I have three of these trailing plants in the lath house (as well as one on my south patio). Two have recently started to bloom, perhaps because I've been more conscientious about watering them this year.|
|This one was sold to me without a name but, based on the variegated foliage and the occasional pink leaves it produces, I think this may be Hoya carnosa tricolor.|
|I also bought this one without a label. My best guess is that it's Hoya obovata 'Splash'.|
Orchids have retained a good portion of the space available in the lath hours but several are facing the possibility of eviction. Few orchids have attractive foliage in my opinion and, while many have long-lived flowers, most don't flower very often. A few of the smaller varieties have been especially rewarding.
|I've had this one for a long time and it goes by a variety of names but I currently refer to it as Oncostele 'Wildcat'|
|If I had a name for this one I've lost it but I believe it's a Phalaenopsis|
|This is another noID Phalaenopsis. It's been blooming for at least two months already.|
I recently acquired a couple of new plants for the lath house, neither of which I've ever grown before. The first is grown as much for its foliage as its flowers while the second is known primarily for its unusual blooms.
|This was sold as Ric Rac Orchid Cactus. Its proper name was harder to nail down as I found it listed as both Epiphyllum anguliger and Cryptocereus anthonyanus. Still another source says that plants known by the former name have recently been reclassified as Disocactus anguliger.|
|This somewhat sorry looking specimen is Tacca integrifolia, aka white bat flower. Recently received in a tiny pot by mail order, it's still settling in. When I saw its foliage, I thought I'd been sent a Spathiphyllum by mistake but the Tacca's foliage is similar.|
This is by no means a complete inventory of the contents of my lath house and, like other parts of my garden, I suspect what's there will continue to turn over with some regularity as I continue to work out what thrives and what doesn't.
Between recent bouts with hot temperatures and poor air quality, I've accomplished very little in my garden thus far this month. I received a mail order delivery of twelve plants on Wednesday but I've done nothing with them beyond unpacking and watering them. If conditions improve, getting them potted or planted out will be my weekend focus.
Wherever you are, I hope conditions are favorable to do something you enjoy this weekend.
All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party