Sunflower house is a 'secret place' to unwind

Published on Wednesday, 30 August 2017 16:53 - Written by PAT TURNER, Smith County Master Gardeners

All children love “secret places.” Even the grownup child can find refuge in quiet hidden areas of the garden. Why not create a special place for a special child or for your inner child - a sunflower house?

You can plant four giant sunflowers - Helianthus - in a square about 4 feet apart. When the sunflowers are about a foot tall, plant morning glories (Ipomoea) around the base of each flower. Let the morning glory vines climb up around the sunflowers.

When the flowers reach a comfortable height, about 6 feet, tie a web of strings between them on three sides and across the top. Coax the morning glories to twine across the strings forming a room.

The sunflower house won’t last forever, but what a delightful place to curl up and read a book or just daydream. You might also try a teepee style house with tall supports, bamboo stakes or fallen branches. Tie them together at the top, weave strings across the open spaces and plant any fast-growing vine such as morning glories or hyacinth bean (Dolichos).

Be sure to leave an opening for entry. Use your imagination for materials, and enjoy a secret place all your own.