Magazine article Sunset

A Vine-Covered Tepee

Magazine article Sunset

A Vine-Covered Tepee

Article excerpt

The leafy tepee shown here is the favorite hideout in the Children's Garden at the Fullerton Arboretum in Fullerton, California. "Kids want to get inside the minute they spot it," says Joyce Toy, an arboretum volunteer. Grown-ups need a bit of coaxing. "They hang back until their kids pull them in, but they always come out smiling," says Toy.

Be adult about it, we say. Admit you can picture yourself under these leaves-sitting cross-legged, palms up, practicing your mantra perhaps. Or in a beach chair with Puccini on the headset and a perfectly shaken martini in hand. Or curled up in an Indian blanket, sneaking a snooze. Pick your pleasure. Don't you deserve your own tepee?

Hyacinth bean vine (Dolichos lablab), a prolific bloomer, covers this tepee formed by bamboo poles. For other fast-growing annual vines to try, see page 117.

Bean Tepee

TIME: About 1 hour

COST: About $20

MATERIALS

*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-inchdiameter clothesline rope

*Annual vine seeds (20-25)

TEPEE ASSEMBLY

1. Line up poles on the ground, alternating thick and thin ends. Puff 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 (A).

3. Secure the loops by binding twine around them at right angles, weaving it between the poles (B). …

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