This is the gardening project I’m the most excited about right now. As you may recall, last year was the Sunflower House. It didn’t work out as well as I would’ve liked due to shade, drought, high winds, whirling child-sized dervishes and a vicious weed-wacker. But it was cheap and fun to try. Still, every kid craves a tree house. Since we are lacking in trees, I want them to at least have a kids-only sanctuary that will offer some shade. So, taking an idea from Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots, I decided to make a kind of tepee and cover it with morning glory vines.
We still have the rectangular outline in the grass from the sunflower house. I reworked the soil and made a few (only technically illegal) trips to a nearby bamboo grove for fallen poles. That night I soaked the morning glory seeds. The next day we tried and failed to erect a something structurally sound. A week later, with the help of Rob’s civil engineer father, we succeeded. My final plan turned out to be two tepees, side by side. The bases are staked into the rectangle, and a cross bar connecting the tops removes the need for a support in the middle. (Hopefully. Our engineer refused to sign off on the project.) I’ve wrapped string around all the poles, in a kind of ladder design that the vines will climb. If everything works out as planned, the kids will be almost completely hidden in their little house of flowers. (In case you are thinking I’m completely altruistic, a major goal for this endeavor is that the kids will entertain themselves outside for long long periods.)
Of course I over-soaked the morning glory seeds after the first unsuccessful attempt at building the tepee. So Rob and Violet planted more at the base of each pole. Two weeks later only three seedlings have come up. Add this to the spectacularly unsuccessful flower bed and I’m about to get discouraged. Right now I’m blaming the weather instead of my black thumbs. We’ll see how long I can continue to do that.