Let your children enjoy watching the walls of their playhouse grow and let them even eat from them!
It can be challenging to get our kids to play outside when there isn’t much space to play or because of the electronic distractions they have inside the house nowadays. However, every child loves playhouses and building forts. We can encourage our children to spend more time outside while growing their own playhouses. These natural playhouses can help them be more imaginative and creative, all while being outside.
Several ways to make these lovely garden houses can be found easily as it is trending on the internet right now. They could be playhouses with flowers, fruit plants or other sorts of leaves.
Some of our favorites you can find here:
The Runner Bean Teepee
DenGarden.com says that the “runner bean teepee” is the easiest to make out of all of the natural playhouses.
This is what you will need:
- About 10 long bamboo canes or tree branches, at least 6 feet long
- A packet of runner bean seeds
- Some garden twine
- Chicken wire (optional)
- A flat patch of grass or clover in your garden
- Stick the bamboo canes into the ground in a circle while forming a teepee shape. Make sure to leave a bigger space between two canes to create a doorway. Use a garden string, cable tie, twine or wire to secure the top together.
- Cover the whole thing, excepts for the doorway, with chicken wire or gardening string.
- Around the base of the bamboo canes, dig a 1-foot wide garden bed in the shape of a ring and fill this with compost or manure.
- Poke two-inch holes at the base of each cane with your fingers. Into each hole, you drop one runner bean and fill it with water. As soon as the water has drained away, gently cover the holes with soil and water.
- Keep slugs out by using organic slug pellets or by naturally removing them each evening until the bean plants are about 6 inches tall. Another option is to start the bean plants in pots and transfer them when they’re six-inches tall).
- Wrap the bean shoots around the bamboo canes and string carefully, until they naturally begin to climb.
- In order to keep weeds down and moisture in, make sure to cover the base of the plants with lawn clippings, wood chips or mulch. Don’t forget to frequently water them!
The Willow Den
Willow tree branches can be used to create living fences, chairs, teepees, tunnels, domes or whatever your imagination can think of, according to Blue Stem Nursery. “Just stick long willow branches directly into the ground, tie them together into the desired shape and they will root and grow, producing a cover of green leaves over the structure,” says the nursery.
You will need:
- A big bunch of living green willow rods of about 1, 2, or 3 years old. They must be 6 feet or longer. You can find these at the Blue Stem Nursery.
- Weed-suppressing membrane or straw for underneath the structure.
- The weed-suppressing mat should be put where you want the floor of the playhouse to be.
- Holes should be punctured through the membrane where your rods will be planted.
- The 3-year-old rods should be planted at the main-frame of the entrance.
- Use the 1-year-old rods as the diagonal weave and the 2-year-old rods for vertical support.
- At first, the top of the den will be open, new growth will gradually be woven and tied at the top.
For more details, check out the Living Willow Sculpture book:
Some other plants you could use for the playhouse are grapevines, sunflowers, and sweet peas.
If you can imagine it, you can do it! Let your creativity go wild.