My name is Walter and I like house plants. There, I said it. My confession. I also like tropical aquariums, reefs, corals, fish, paludarium, etc. My addiction has been passed on to my children. Soo… Our house will have many places for life forms of various species. The plants, animals and moving water will balance the stone, brick and concrete.
The wall between the bedroom and bathroom is a coral reef aquarium. In the kids area there is a palladium (land, air and water) that my son Will and I built years ago. Over time the rocks have become covered in lichens, moss and other plants under his careful tending. In the partition wall between the bathroom stall and the kitchen we left out a couple of concrete blocks for a planter. Something that likes water and bright south western light which it will get through the kitchen window. The mass of the wall will absorb energy. Being there it will be easy to water.
To form the planter I attached diamond lath on the bathroom side of the opening. This will then get parged over with a thin layer and then later with the final wall coating.
A planter needs a proper drain so there is a 1″ plastic pipe that leads from the bottom of the planter down the doorway pillar to the floor drain. Later this will be covered with concrete as the doorway is formed.
Holly is adding a thin coating of fine parge concrete to the diamond lath to stiffen it and bond the metal to the block wall. The pink foam that is clamped and braced to the bathroom side of the wall makes it easy to get a nice flat parge.
Removing the back form reveals the now rigid form of the parged lath. The concrete we’ve done to this point is to lock everything together and give a stiff shape to work with later.
Looking at it from the kitchen side of the wall the planter’s concave space is now starting to take shape.
Once we had the planter roughed in I gave it a smooth interior finish coat, set a stone to be the front face so that the hollow behind can hold the dirt and free handed an arch of natural stones above the alcove. In the photo above Ben is packing concrete down the pillar form that will hide the planter drain pipe and provide a support for the brick arch of the bathroom doorway.
A closeup of the finished kitchen planter inset into the wall. The wall is purposefully left rough at this point so the next coating can grab on securely. The final parge coat of buff tinted stucco on the kitchen wall will unify it all in textures, form and colors.
Outdoors: 41°F/26°F Overcast
Farm House: 61°F/52°F Fall Weaning
Tiny Cottage: 62°F/54°F Exterior Parge, Exterior Scaffolds