Name: Lynn & Andy
Location: Jersey City, New Jersey
Type of space: Deck with Mosquito Shelter
Tell us about your outdoor project and how you enjoy it: It took us a while to figure out how to best use our small outdoor space. The yard was covered by neighboring trees so we couldn't grow much back there besides mosquitoes. The deck was in full sun, so for several years we carpeted it with pots to grow flowering annuals and herbs. We eventually trimmed the neighbor's tree a bit which afforded us enough sun to grow a row of raspberries on the north fence. But the mosquitoes were still fierce and abundant so last year we decided to offer up most of the deck space to build a 'skeeter shack' that would allow us to eat out there and enjoy the deck after dark. I hung some pots up high to grab the sun, and kept one corner for a concentration of pots. Last week a neighbor gave us a dozen dahlia bulbs so we are going to try those out this year...
How did you create it? I found some mosquito netting online that would allow me to sew my own curtains, so that prompted us to set up a simple 8'x8' 4 post structure with a lattice roof. We used the deck itself for support with 3 of the posts and stapled metal screening onto the lattice roof. The curtains are hung on thin 8' long copper pipes, that come down off season. The yard below was overgrown and untended when we moved in, so we laid down slate and brick to keep the stray cats from using it as a litter box. After some more tree trimming we picked up some of the brick and made a small veggie garden, covering it with poultry fencing to keep out the local critters.
Recommended store, site, product or resource? Talk to your friends! We got a fair amount of our skeeter shack and hardscaping supplies from leftover rehab project from friends and family. Mosquitocurtains.com was a great resource for the netting, and they gave me tons of advice over the phone on how to use the yardage to best advantage. I sew, so I made the curtains myself to fit the deck measurements, but they will do that too if you want to pay more for their labor.