The Love Shack

Posted by on May 15, 2012

It’s the Love Shack.  The long awaited quintessential garden house at Helen’s Haven now has a roof.  The Love Shack is the completion of my garden design, my garden desires, my garden dreams. No longer a mere garden house, though, but a Love Shack.  How could it be anything less?


Nice on it’s own, this framed structure was installed last fall. My hope was to put a roof on it but nothing else–no walls–glass or otherwise. It was never intended to be a greenhouse. I wouldn’t have minded a place to winter over plants, but I didn’t want this space to do that. I wanted the garden house to be a place of contemplation…for great thinking about garden philosophy. To think properly, I needed a roof.


The only person I wanted to do this was David Spain and his team at Moss and Stone Gardens. Only David could  have interpreted my vision into a design that looked like the structure has been there for decades, with a faux finish to resembled rusted tin…Your what? Tin roof, rusted!

The Love Shack wasn’t the theme we were going for. It wasn’t even on the radar. But it is clearly the result of the design. Being a crazy B52s fan made me leap into a song the moment I saw the tin panels that would become my roof.


The sky exposed side is the color of rusted tin.  The view from the inside is like a cherry on top of the design, but with paprika.  Paprika is my color.  A color that speaks to me like no other. We were even able to keep the twinkle lights.  It’s a Love Shack, baby.






My first love rendezvous was on Mother’s Day.  Appropriately so, my three kids, ages 11 – 15, planned dinner by cooking hot dogs on an open fire we are so often making.  We had s’mores for desert.  As if on cue, it began to rain, and we all gathered in the Love Shack.  We giggled, and laughed out loud as we sang, The Love Shack is a little old place where we can get together.

Love Shack baby, Love Shack bay-bee.






The whole shack shimmies! The whole shack shimmies when everybody’s
Movin’ around and around and around!
Everybody’s movin’, everybody’s groovin’ baby!
Folks linin’ up outside just to get down
Everybody’s movin’, everybody’s groovin’ baby
Funky little shack! Funky little shack!


The place was designed for me to sit in the garden in complete view of my kids playing in the soccer field.  When the field is no longer needed, the space may morph into something else; but for now, I’m not looking that far into the future.  I don’t want too.  I want to be here and now with my little ones eating dogs on a stick, sitting around the fire in front of the Love Shack.  And if we should begin to sing, all the better.

Helen  Yoest is a writer and speaker through her business Gardening with Confidence ®.

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Helen’s book,  Gardening with Confidence–50 ways to add style for personal creativity is due out this fall.

The book launch will  held at the JC Raulston Arboretum, Thursday, November 1, 2012, 7:30 p.m.


11 responses to “The Love Shack”

  1. It’s beautiful! Now I want a Love Shack in my garden.

  2. Gail says:

    I love your love shack and the song. gail

  3. Layanee says:

    I do love this house. Are there no bugs in your garden? Good. Keep the breezes blowing through. I always wanted the summer gazebo from The Sound of Music. That was a lovely glass house. Then I could sing and dance around the benches. 🙂

  4. Nell Jean says:

    Dreams do come true. It takes a lot of work.

  5. HelenYoest says:

    Gail, One day we will sing it together in Helen’s Haven…

  6. HelenYoest says:

    Layanee, I have surprisingly few bugs. Lots and lots of birds and environmental maintenance to not allow any sitting water.

  7. Looks like a dream come true! I remember when your kids’ play equipment was there, how well integrated into the landscape it was. And now that space has a new use, and it still involves your kids.

  8. I love the rusted tin & paprika combination. Having a ‘garden house’ is perfect!

  9. Peg says:

    Congrats on the LoveShack Helen ! (Ona my Mom’s names) It’s beautiful. Just came upon your nice blog thru another’s on Pinterest. Will keep looking in.

  10. Pam/Digging says:

    Love Shack, that’s where it’s at! Congrats on making your garden house a reality. It was only in the dream stage when I visited last summer.

  11. […] and throughout the garden at key places, careful to not use too much. The Garden house, knick-named The Love Shack, was repurposed for a beverage station and as the point on the exclamation mark! Tiki torches were […]

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