Great garden features

A vine-covered tepee

Create your own secret hideaway

A vine-covered tepee
Photo: Susan Carlson

Bean Tepee

TIME: About 1 hour

COST: About $20


• Six bamboo poles, 8 feet long and 1 inch in diameter (thicker timber bamboo was used for the tepees shown)

• About 60 feet of sturdy hemp or jute twine

• About 80 feet of 1/8- or 7/32-inch-diameter clothesline rope

• Annual vine seeds (20-25)


1. Line up poles on the ground, alternating thick and thin ends. Pull the second, fourth, and sixth poles to the right, until only 2 feet of the six poles overlap in the center.

2. Fasten a 10-foot length of twine to the first pole by tying a sturdy hitch or knot. Loop the twine loosely around all six poles three or four times, allowing some space between poles (left).

3. Secure the loops by binding twine around them at right angles, weaving it between the poles (left). At the final pole, fasten off the binding by tying a hitch or knot.

4. Pick up the poles and spread them in a circle--arranging poles so that the six thin ends cross at the top--to form a tepee with a diameter of about 8 feet. Allow extra space between the two poles that will frame the entrance.


1. String clothesline horizontally around the tepee at 1-foot intervals, except at the entrance (left). As you work, wrap the clothesline once around each pole and give it a tug to take up the slack.

2. To complete the grid, attach two or three lengths of twine vertically to the clothesline between pairs of poles.


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