I want to make a tipi in my yard for my kids to use as a kind of fort. What are some plants that will quickly cover the teepee framework I’ve made out of long poles?
Answer: A natural tipi (also spelled teepee) of fast-growing vines on a sturdy support system—such as bamboo shoots, thick branches or stakes—looks great and invites children to enjoy the outdoors and get involved in the garden.
Here are a few quick-growing climbers that would work well for constructing teepees:
• Beans: Pole beans and running varieties are popular options for teepees. A great choice is the scarlet runner bean, Phaseolus coccineus, which not only produces scrumptious beans but also pretty red blossoms.
• Morning glory: These will quickly cover your structure with dense foliage and pretty flowers. They can spread quite a bit by seed, however, so you may wish to keep them deadheaded throughout the season.
• Gourds: Gourd vines can be quick to grow. They have large leaves that will provide a lot of cover, and—bonus—the gourds can be harvested and dried for use in arts and crafts.
• More selections: See this article in our free online magazine, Great Gardens, for more quick-growing vines that you could use.
Listen to the podcast Garden How-To: Vines and Climbers in the Garden.
Image: Immanuel Giel
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