Mazes have graced the grounds of royal and elite gardens for centuries. These elegant additions to the backyard or garden are a majestic feature of some of the most famous private and public gardens of the world. You can create a maze in your yard too, to enjoy walking around in it and having fun trying to find the center. We have outlined a few simple steps which will help to make a maze in your backyard easily.
How to make a maze in your backyard
To make a maze in your backyard, you must have space equivalent to 25 ft across, at least, according to the recommendations of the Vermont University Extension. However, a long and rectangular space is also adequate, as you can change the design to suit your space. The first step is to measure the space in the backyard where you want to make the maze, using a 100 or 200ft tape measure.
In order to begin with your DIY outdoor maze, you should use graph paper to make the scale model. One ft can be equal to one square of the maze. Include enough space for planting and the paths. Usually the preferable width of a path is 5 ft, as it is considered comfortable enough to walk through and does not give rise to feeling of claustrophobia inside the maze. The design has to have an entrance and exit. To create the best design for your life-size maze, you can take a look at the different designs from maze books. There is a lot of information on mazes online also.
Before you make a maze in your backyard, you have to decide whether you want a formal maze garden. Buxus (boxwood) or Ligustrum (privet) are mainly used in formal gardens as they are dense and can be shaped easily into beautiful forms. You can plant corn also, in early summer or late spring, to have an outdoor maze in time for Halloween. Kids would love a spooky corn maze on that day!
After you have decided on the plants and drew the design on graph paper, it’s time to go outside. Create the outline of the maze in the yard with the graph map. Using tape measure, match dimensions on the ground and lay the string out. Wrap your string around the stakes at every few foot of distance and also at the corners so that the outline is tight and maintains its shape.
The next step in your DIY outdoor maze is to mow the grass on the maze path, according to the plan. The grass which is remaining and the string will create a clearly visible outline for the maze so that it is very easy to see what you have to do.
Now, the soil where you will plant has to be prepared. The soil should be fertile, well-drained and prepared with compost, peat moss or processed manure.
While making a life-size maze, follow the standard practices to plant corn, privet or boxwood, whichever you have chosen. After planting the shrubs or corn, you can remove the stakes and string.
Place the mulch all around your plants so that they retain the moisture they need. Mulch preserves the design of the maze as well.
It will take time for the plants to grow to the height you want. Till then, walk inside the maze to clear the wayward stalks and leaves. Trim the stalks and leaves which are obstructing the path.
Your maze must have grown fully. The shrubs have to be pruned and thinned few times every year to keep them neat and tidy, and to remove the dead branches which might impede free movement.
To make a maze in your backyard, all you need is a good design and patience to see it come to life!
How to make a garden labyrinth
Labyrinths are similar to mazes, but mazes can have several paths whereas a labyrinth has only one single path. It does not have any wrong turns to confuse a person. Labyrinths are often used as tools for meditation, to calm down and increase the focus of people. In a labyrinth, you can walk on till you reach the labyrinth’s end. Then you walk in the reverse direction and come out of it. It is basically taking a walk in an enclosure surrounded by plants. Creating a labyrinth of tall plants is similar to the maze.
You can make a small labyrinth design in your garden out of paved stone as a design feature of the backyard. Some people plant a tree in the center to add to the beauty. Follow the steps given below to create your own garden labyrinth.
Mark the dimensions and using a stake mark the center point. Measure the radius and diameter and mark with marking spray.
After excavating the base, dig it till it is 6-8 inches deep. If you are going to walk over it frequently, then dig a little deeper. Using a compactor, compact the base which will make it easy to lay the pavers. Cover the base with a landscaping fabric which will stabilize the soil and prevent roots from growing through pavers.
Pack gravel on the base, two layers will be needed if you dig 8 inches. Compact both layers. Then create artificial pitch to help water runoff in the labyrinth’s center. This is called ‘crowning’, and gravel should be packed higher by at least ½ inch in its middle. Add one inch thick layer concrete sand which is the base for the stone pavers, and screed in sections using a 2×4.
Use labyrinth kit of two colors, charcoal and gray. The gray can be used for paths and the charcoal for the borders.
Follow the instructions given in the labyrinth kit carefully to create the most beautiful labyrinth in your backyard. Your labyrinth can be as elaborate and big as you want it to be, or it can be small one, using only grass to create the circular pattern on the ground!