Kids love having their own hiding place – and when their den is living and growing, it will raise the excitement to a whole new level. Yes, we did say growing! This clever teepee, made with bamboo poles, has a covering formed by colourful, fragrant climbers that gradually clamber up the structure. The youngsters will have a ball watching their teepee blossom into a secret, shady cubbyhole.
Gather your supplies
• 3m bamboo poles (8)
• Climbing plants (8 – we used star jasmine and sweet pea)
You'll also need
Nylon rope; set-out paint; mallet; timber peg or stake; shovel or post hole shovel; topsoil; playground mulch; measuring tape
Choose a suitable spot in your backyard that’s large enough for a 2m-dia teepee. Mark out area with set-out paint, then excavate to a depth of 100mm.
Decide on centre of teepee and drive in peg. Tie rope around the peg, measure out 1m, then use set-out paint to draw a circle around peg. Remove peg and rope.
Leave an 800mm- wide opening for entrance, then mark and dig out 8 evenly spaced, 300mm- deep holes around circle.
Bundle together 4 bamboo poles at 1 end and secure with rope.
Position untied ends of poles in holes, 2 at front and 2 at back. Backfill holes and compact soil.
Tie remaining poles firmly to teepee and position ends in remaining holes. Backfill holes and compact soil.
Starting 30cm down from top of 1 pole, tie and wrap rope around poles. Continue along length of poles to create horizontal supports for plants. Ensure weave is sturdy enough to support plants as they grow.
Dig holes for climbing plants on outside of teepee, alongside each pole – 1 plant per pole will ensure good coverage. Plant, backfill with topsoil, then mulch. Loosely wrap stems around poles and water well. By the time the weather warms up, the den will be well hidden.