Bug Hotel


We moved house recently and in the move a lot of my plant pots broke. I hate throwing things away so we painted them using normal poster paint and made them into a bug hotel.

We then tucked it away deep into a bush and every couple of weeks we explore it for insects. We have an insect magnifying viewer so that we can take a really close look at our little friends. You can buy them easily at Amazon. Click here.

NOTE: if you want the paint to last through the elements, why not try varnishing it with clear varnish.

If you’re interested in making a more complex habitat for your garden insects take a look the the BBC wildlife page. Click here.



Post 5: Garden Bean Pole Teepee


Finally getting to use the teepee with my little newborn. He loved looking up at the leaves and it was a fantastic baby sensory activity. I watched him watch the leaves moving in the breeze and while laying on his back he was also able to kick his arms and legs about.

I even have 3 beans so far. Ok so that’s hardly anything to chirp about and half my plants died with the monster slugs munching their way through the plants, but at least I have created a little den that my toddler and newborn can both enjoy; even if it doesn’t look as good as I’d hoped.


See previous posts on how to make the teepee:

Post one

Post two

Post three

Post four

How to make a Toddler Bird Feeder


What you will need:

  • Large empty water bottle
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Foam Stickers
  • Bird Seed


  1. First cut a hole in the front of your bottle big enough for a small bird to get into.
  2. Then,  either pierce two holes either side of the lid for the ribbon to thread through or take off the lid and simply use it to hold the ribbon in place by screwing it over the top of your ribbon choice.
  3. Decorate with foam stickers. These type of stickers are the best as they attach to anything and won’t peel off easily.
  4. Fill with bird seed and hang outside for the birds to enjoy.

Note: Adult to use the scissors, not suitable for toddler.

Post 4: Garden Bean Pole Teepee

The beans took a while to get growing but they have finally taken off. Unfortunately the slugs killed off a couple of the plants and there are huge gaps in the teepee, especially at the back. I’m trying to fill the gaps with a sweet pea plant but I’m not too hopeful.

Note to self: next year I must research how to keep slugs away as slug pellets did not do the job.

See previous posts:

Post One: Setting up the teepee

Post Two: Planting the seeds

Post Three: Planting the plants outside

Post 3: Garden Bean Pole Teepee

Finally the beans are planted.


As you can see I have used grow bags for my beans and tied the beans on using string.

You can also plant straight into the ground if you have good soil.

When planting make sure they are well watered and in a sunny spot in your garden. Always follow the instructions on the packet as the spacing for the beans will depend on the type of bean you are growing.

I have also planted some Sweet Peas so that I can hopefully have some lovely flowers to mix in with my beans.


Check out post one  (planting the seeds) and post two (Getting your beans ready for planting).

Post 2: Garden Bean Pole Teepee

Step 2: Allow your beans to adjust to the outdoors temperatures.

My beans have been happily growing indoors now for a few weeks and are ready to plant outside. Your bean plants will be strong enough once they reach about 3 inches tall.

Unfortunately, the weather in the UK has been crazy recently and I have been waiting for a warm spell to be able to plant them outside.

As the sun has finally come out, I am planning to plant them later this week. Before doing this you should always give them time to adjust to the outside weather so for a couple of days I am going to let them sit on the garden table during the day.

To see post one, click here.

The goal


Pictures from The Artful Parent.com

Post 1: Setting up a Bean Pole Garden Teepee

After reading a post shared by a friend, I decided that my spring project would be to make a Bean Pole Garden Teepee, seen here at TheArtfulParent.com

The basic idea is to make a teepee from canes and grow runner beans up the outside to create an awesome summer den.


Tip: This is not a project that will be complete in a week, you will have to wait for the beans to grow. But as you wait, you can turn it into a brilliant den using blankets. (See the picture at the end of the blog)

Here is how I have got started:

What you will need:

  • 5-7 seven foot canes
  • String
  • 18 runner beans to sow
  • 9 plastic plant pots
  • Good Compost
  • Water

What to do:

  1. First start planting your beans. Always follow the instructions for planting on the bean packet but here are the basic planting tips. Fill your plant pots 2/3rds with good compost. Place two beans in each pot just in case one does not grow. Cover with more compost and water.
  2. If you have a greenhouse let them grow inside it for about 3 weeks.
  3. If you do not have a greenhouse you can create mini greenhouses by placing each pot in a sandwich bag and tying it lightly at the top.


4. Prepare the teepee. Make a tent shape out of your seven foot canes, tying at the top with string. Dig it into the ground.

Tip for choosing your location:

I was lucky enough to have a stoned area already set aside for this project but you may want to put yours on the grass like TheArtfulParent.com. Either way remember that if you do it on the grass, your grass will most likely die as it will be either under a rug or shaded all summer.

I have also placed our tuff tray in ours to protect our bottoms from the hard stones.


5. Tie string to the canes in a spider web shape so the bean plant has something to cling to as it grows.


As the sun came out today, I decided while we wait for our beans to grow, over the next few weeks, I would turn it into an outdoor teepee using pegs and blankets. What a great reading den.


image.jpegOnce my beans are strong enough and the fear of frost has gone, I will post again on planting them outside.