How to Build a Garden Maze

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How to Build a Garden Maze

How to Build a Garden Maze

A maze built in the garden is something that is enjoyable to both children and adults. They look great from the ground and even better to those who can pass overhead. But how do you go about constructing your own maze? If you have the landscaping space, then it is not that difficult to create one from nothing.

First, you need to decide what materials you want your maze to be built from. It can be out of normal bushes, corn stalks or even concrete. In this guide, we will assume you are going to grow your maze from bushes.

You need to map out the design of your maze before you do anything else, this way you can work out the dimensions that you will be working in. There are many applications that help you to design the actual workings and algorithms of the maze. One of the easiest ways is to use computer software for this task. There is a freeware software program called ‘Amorphousmaze’, which will help you to design how the maze will work which you can print off and work from. On the other hand, there is the option of taking a picture of an already built maze and copying it.

There are many different types of mazes, some work their way to the centre with there being only one real route to take, others work their way from one side to another, you must decide what maze you want to go for. Also decide what shape your maze is to be, perhaps you are working in a small area that will only allow for a rectangular or square shape or perhaps you can work your maze into the area you have available by changing the shape into a not-so-usual shape.

A unicursal maze has only one path to the centre, with no other choices. This means there is nothing to solve as you can just walk to the centre without making any mistakes.

A branching maze is one that has a quick path to the centre but it also branches off in other directions that lead to dead ends.

Finally, an island maze has many paths to the centre but also has many paths to dead ends and is the hardest type of maze to solve.

Something to take into consideration about the design of your maze is the height of the maze. If it is solely for children to play in then it does not have to be very high, just enough so that most children cannot see over the walls and cheat. You could even build the maze from flowerbeds, herb beds and lavender bushes, these may not be as tall but the effect is marvelous.

Building your Maze

Just as you grow normal bushes, the same needs to be done for building a maze from bushes. The main difference is that you will need to be meticulous about the sizes, positions and dimensions that you plant your bushes in.

Using rope or similar objects, make the markings along the ground where you will want your maze to be, then work around the plan you made. Once you place the rope on the ground, walk around the maze and make sure everything is how you want it to be. This is the stage when problems that you have overseen will show up.

Ensure that you create the paths wide enough for people to walk through, even wide enough for buggies and wheelchairs to easily fit.

Traditionally the type of hedge used to build a maze has been yew as it is evergreen and creates a nice thick hedge that you cannot see through. Any similar good plant will also be satisfactory, so it is up to you to decide what material to use. There are many quick growing hedge types such as willow, beech and hawthorn.

Be aware that a lot of maintenance is needed to keep a hedge maze, as they will need to be clipped regularly to keep their shape and the paths clear. Note that parts of the maze that are overshadowed could easily die off, as they are receiving no sunlight. Usually a gardener is employed to service the maze but if you’re really green, it can be done yourself.