Our seasons here in Western New York consist of months (and months) of cold winter, a couple months of hot and humid summer, with just brief glimpses of spring and autumn in between. For this girl, who loves it not too hot and not too cold, it can be tough. So I try to savor those perfect spring and fall days when they come. (Although I can’t really complain too much as our summer this year was pretty stellar…there were more warm days than hot!).
I had this on my to-make list last fall, but we never got around to it. So this year, I wanted to be sure to get this done. A magical little spot the boys could play in. I just love little hideaway spaces and making one to enjoy during the warm, sunny fall days seemed like a must do. We had actually built the frame of the teepee back in the spring, I had planned on trying to grow pole beans up the sides to make a summer hangout for the boys. Unfortunately, I’m terrible at gardening and didn’t get my beans planted in time. Plus we have soil that’s pretty much only good at growing weeds. So, it didn’t happen this year….hopefully I’ll be on the ball next spring and by next summer have a garden teepee to show you!
The boys were pretty excited about their new spot. Lincoln came out with The Dangerous Book for Boys (I swear I didn’t stage that!) and the boys sat down and talked about the things they wanted to try making and doing. [As a book-loving girl, can I just say how happy it makes me when my boys get excited about reading and spend time doing it (and not just when they’re being forced to for homework)! Lincoln seems to have really gotten into reading over the last month or so and I love it! I always tell my boys, if you love reading, you will never be bored!]
The teepee was easy and simple to put together and didn’t cost us anything to make. We gathered long branches from the woods for the poles and tied them together using rope we already had. We wanted to give the beans support to grow up between the poles so we used grapevine (gathered from the back yard) to wrap around the poles. And that’s how the teepee sat all sumer, with weeds and a tiny bit of pole beans growing around the bottom (and it was actually pretty cute just like that). The only addition we added for the cornstalk teepee (umm, besides the cornstalks) was extra rope around the poles as we weren’t sure the grapevines would be sturdy enough to hold up the cornstalks. We gleaned the leftover cornstalks from a field that had already been harvested. (You should check to make sure this is okay with the farmer if you’re going to do this…and make sure the field has already been harvested!).
What you need:
How to do it:
Make sure your branches are all about the same size. Lean the branches into each other forming a circle (this is easier with two people). Make sure to leave a space for the opening. Once the branches are up, tie the top securely together with rope. Wrap grapevine around branches, weaving in and out between the branches. For extra support, wrap rope around the branches the same way you did the grapevine. Lay your cornstalks against the teepee frame. You can tie you stalks to the rope to make them secure. We didn’t as we know that our warm fall days are very numbered and this sadly won’t be up for very long. So far though, it’s all still standing, even without being tied down. And you’ll probably want to add a leaf garland to the front too! (Just tape some string along the back of leaves for a quick & simple garland).
Here’s to wishing fall could last forever!