Our Shade House - Part 1: A variety of styles

A friend's whimsical shade house / potting shed in California. Note the solid knee walls to give extra protection

Living on a sunny ridge, and propagating only native California plants, I know that the greenhouse that Wood Rat built for me has limited utility. I love my greenhouse - but it gets too hot in summer. A shade house is much more to the point. I could do most of my propagation in a shade house.

Shade houses come in a variety of forms - but all offer some degree of shelter from extreme weather conditions.

A utilitarian shade house of metal and shade cloth (Sierra Azul Nursery)

Shade houses provide some protection to plants - less sun, less wind and rain, and a little frost protection. Different types give different degrees of shelter and shade. For my shade house I chose 60% shade - approximately.

I love this shade house at Sierra Azul Nursery. Shade cloth on top and wood slats along the sides

Plus - when you grow from seeds or cuttings - those plants take up exponentially more room once you pot up to 4 inch and then some of those to gallon pots. They need some place to finish growing up.

Another shade cloth and wood slat shade house - this one at Asilomar State Beach
Shade houses provide room and a bit of shelter for them to transition into hardy plants. Or so shade plants can be grown where there isn't enough natural shade for them.

Some older hoop shade houses at Suncrest Nurseries and a simple shade cloth roof. Beneath are the CNPS plants grown by our propagation group. (Foreground are Suncrest plants that don't need shade any more!)

We debated where and how and when - but never IF - to build one. Next post - how our shade house turned out.