• Tutorial Team
  • Charlotte, NC

My Happy Place, a Small Shady Garden

3 Materials
3 Days

After taking down a rotting deck I was left with a small area between the steps and the air conditioner that had no direct sunlight. This weeks challenge was the perfect solution!
my happy place a small shady garden
Once I got the debris cleared out I realized an old wooden bench that used to sit on the deck might fit in the space and it did.
my happy place a small shady garden
I took some old round pebble stones and broke them in smaller pieces. By breaking them I could place them closer together to make a pad for the front of the space.
my happy place a small shady garden
Next I bought two sheets of wood lattice.
my happy place a small shady garden
Next issue was how to disguise the AC units. Went to Lowes and got two sheets of wooden lattice. I also got some wood pickets , they are used in the railing on a porch or deck. I put them around the lattice to make a panel. Then I stained it all do brown.
my happy place a small shady garden
Growers outlet ”here I come”! Went looking for plants that love the shade. I got several ferns (autum fern), two different hosta and some pink impatiences. I got mondo grass tomput around the stones and give the affect of grass.
my happy place a small shady garden
after I put some fertilizer mix on the dirt I planted all of the plants. I added a hummingbird feeder too!
my happy place a small shady garden
the last thing I did was to paint the lattice behind the bench. The white was a distraction for me and I had stained the wood lattice so I painted the lattice brown too. The stones in front are a path from my porch door to an area where I have my hose attached and my potting supplies. I did stain the pavers Brown. Tired of all the gray look. I love my new space!
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 9 questions
  • Beth Trevino
    on May 12, 2018

    I'm not sure what wood pickets look like but I assume they help keep the lattice upright? It looks like you used some stones to keep it stable as well? A great way to use your space and bench it's very pleasing to the eyes.

    • Judymgibbs
      on May 12, 2018

      Hi Beth. The pickets are 2”x2”x42” and they are treated wood. The long pieces on the middle top and bottom were 2”x2”x8’. We cut them to fit the length in front of both ac units. Once they were bolted together they sit right on the retaining stones. It is so easy to just pick it up and move it that I don’t have to take it apart to move it. The dark brown stain helps them blend into the background

  • Sandra Hohenwarter
    on May 15, 2018

    Just love, wandering if any other style of wood etc... would work in the same sense.

    Question, what did you do with the long black tubing. We have a long one. We have what I call an eye sore, on the front side it is connected to our down water pipe and just laying there.

    Would putting a top on it, be a problem for the unit? I would like to use it to hold something light, no plants, well maybe a tomato! lol

    Thank you

  • Kay Woods
    on May 19, 2018

    I see a black hose, what is it and how does it help with drainage? Did you bury it?

    • Jex
      on Jun 17, 2018

      It’s called weeping tile, it directs the water away from your building, if you put it in deep enough it doesn’t come up, my Husband my son and grandson put ours in from the side of our garage right down the middle of our back yard, works great, now our garden doesn’t get water logged.

Join the conversation

4 of 94 comments
  • Ruby M
    on May 20, 2018

    Not at all a question, but i jusr wanted to tell you, WOW! So beautiful!

  • Jane
    on May 22, 2018

    I’ve also been thinking of building something similar to cover my heat pump. I’ve been debating on whether I should use wood lattice or vinyl. I’ve used both and each has pluses and minuses. I’ve had issues keeping paint on the vinyl even using the sprays meant for plastic. Then, the wood seems to fall apart too fast (live in western Washington state) even though I paint it. Still contemplating. Yours looks great! Thanks for sharing, really needed a kick to get me past contemplating and on to doing!

    • Judymgibbs
      on May 23, 2018

      Hi Jane. Thanks for your comment. I have both types around my house. The vinyl I just painted. I hope it will stay on. It is all around our porch. Guess time will tell if it holds up!

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