Garden Getaways

Are you a den dreamer, a den designer and a den builder? Escape outdoors, use your imagination, be creative, make up the rules, explore the wild world and create magical hideaways in which to spend your time… How about making space for these wild getaways and playspaces in your own back garden or favourite green space?

Washing-Line Den

A long washing line is a perfect starting point for making a tent-style den.

How to make a  Washing-Line Den

  1. Throw a large piece of fabric such as an old sheet, blanket, curtain or sari over the washing line. Make more space by pinching the fabric together and tying some string around it.

2. Pull the string outwards to make a guy rope, then tie it round a stick or tent peg stuck into the ground. Make an entrance from two sticks of bendy willow or hazel.

3. Push the sticks into the ground at one end of the tent, tie them onto the washing line to make an arch, then peg the fabric onto the arch.

Garden Tepee

These garden tepees may look rather professional, but they were put together very quickly from a few garden canes and some old sheets and pieces of fabric.

How to make a Garden Tepee

  1. You will need five or six garden canes about 2m-2.5m/6-8ft long. Hold them together in a bundle. Wrap a rubber band tightly round the canes about 30-60cm/1-2ft from the end. Stand the canes upright in your chosen spot, with the rubber band at the top. Pull the canes apart at the bottom, leaving a larger gap between two of the canes as an entrance. When the spacing is right, push the end of each cane into the ground to fix them in place.

2. Fix the fabric to the cane frame with pegs or clips and make sure it fits snugly. Decorate with a dream-catcher or some flowers and leaves and place a box or log inside as a seat.

3. For an entrance, secure fabric back from the doorway with pegs facing away from the opening. Or make an arch from bendy wood. A tepee made with dark-coloured fabric may need a window, so use twisted creeper or bendy wood woven into a ring and pegged in place on the frame to allow light in and enable you to keep a look out for visitors.

The Den Book by Jo Schofield and Fiona Danks is published by Frances Lincoln at £12.99

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