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Eden Project Gardening Tips

How to build the perfect summer den with Hypnos & the Eden Project

Summer has finally arrived and there’s no greater feeling then spending time enjoying nature and fresh air with family and friends – it’s great for our wellbeing and ultimately our sleep!



We’ve teamed up with our sustainability and environmental partner, the Eden Project on how to build an outdoor den in your garden. Perfect fun for the whole family!

Here, the Eden Project offers its tips for building an outdoor den:


Top tips for building a den

“You don’t need much more than a table and a sheet to make a great den, either in the house or garden. But if you can get your hands on some interesting (and free) materials, you could keep the youngsters busy for a whole day!

“In fact, building a den is a great way to upcycle any materials you might have lying around. Old rope in the shed, a couple of blankets in the cupboard, or some bamboo canes in the garden, the list is endless! But the most important thing is to pick items that will help you to make a good sturdy frame for your den.

“Chairs and tables are one quick way of building a structure and usually readily available. You could also utilise any climbing frames you might already have in your garden as the basis for a sturdy frame.

“Equally, if you have any bamboo canes these are excellent thanks to their light yet strong nature. If you don’t have any bamboo, consider using something similar, such as broom handles or tent poles. Bendy sticks from the garden can work well too, as can fallen branches - try tying them together to make them stronger and more robust. Garden string or rope from the shed are ideal for tying your structure together, as are old bicycle inner tubes, especially when cut into strips 2.5cm wide.

“You could also reuse any old sheets, bath towels, or t-shirts as a cover for the shelter. Ideally, you want a cover that’s waterproof so you can use it come rain or shine. That means tarpaulins or dust sheets are your best friend in this situation – they make the perfect cover for a garden den as they’re lightweight and waterproof. Just remember to create a slightly pitched roof so that the rain doesn’t pool and become too heavy for the cover to hold.

“And let’s not forget the fun of making your den look pretty! Keep it natural by adding some fallen leaves, foliage, or flowers to spruce it up. If you have solar-powered lights or fairy lights these can be added and offer a nice finishing touch that’s cosy and inviting, especially when the sun starts to go down.”


Things you shouldn’t do when building a den in your garden

“Try not to use any existing hedges, trees, or branches as the basis for your den structure. They take years to grow but can be damaged easily if things are hung off them or onto them. Furthermore, there’s the possibility you might end up with a branch falling which could cause an accident.

“It’s also important you don’t use anything made from glass as it can break into dangerously sharp bits. You should also steer clear of big bits of wood, or anything else big and heavy. Tins of paint or chemicals are bad news for you and the environment so steer clear from using these to decorate or prop up your den. And the most important thing to remember - don’t cut bits off living trees or plants. It’s best to work with what’s in nature already, such as fallen branches, and not against it.”

Discover the Eden Project.