This year is my first attempt at a bean teepee. The beautiful bamboo trellis on the right is for peas, and the very rustic, lopsided one on the left is my obviously home-made version for the scarlet runner beans.
I saved 5 straight-ish branches from pruning the lilacs last year. There is cedar mulch around the inside so the "floor" doesn't get muddy, and I am wrapping string around the outside to give the beans plenty of things to hold on to as they grow (click on the picture for a bigger version and you just might be able to make out the string), leaving a space at the front for a "door". I planted 5-6 beans around the bottom of each pole.
Scarlet runner beans are very vigorous and fast-growing. The red flowers are also quite pretty and supposedly attract hummingbirds. That fits in with my veggie patch / hummingbird & butterfly garden theme (hey, I don't have a lotta space so I had to combine themes!!). I'm not sure how sturdy my construction is so we'll see how things go this year...
You can also see my trampled raised beds in front. Seedlings seem to be doing fine!