Kids love mazes and so do grownups. A really fun garden project for the family is designing and growing your very own maze and you don’t need a castle sized garden to make it happen. It takes creativity, enthusiasm and hard work but the end result is amazing!
First of all get out your pencil and paper and start drawing, keep it simple but interesting and remember that once outside you may have to adapt some of your ideas to the garden and space that you are working with. A trip to the library with the kids may not seem like a gardening activity but there are a lot of fantastic books on mazes and like any big project doing a lot of research is the best way to ensure that yours it will be a success.
So now you have a design so it is time to head outside and see how the design will fit into your landscape. In a limited space, mowing in-between the hedges and plants may be tricky so consider putting down landscaping matting then gravel or stepping stones for a very picturesque and low maintenance walk way through the maze.
Next step is to stake out the outline of your maze using garden stakes and string. Bear in mind how big the plants and shrubs will grow when they reach maturity. It is important that you leave enough room for pathways and for the design to be clearly seen.
A quicker, inexpensive and simpler way to make your maze is to use vines and fast growing plants such as: Clematis, Virginia Creeper, honeysuckles, Sweet peas, morning glories, Trumpet creeper, Wisteria. Check your climate zone plants for the vines that grow well in your region. Vines need to grow against something and so trellis or posts will need to be used as the outline for the maze and they do need to be pruned regularly to keep the maze’s lines clean and sharply defined. You will not only have an amazing maze in no time but it will be a fragrant labyrinth as well and kids will love the sweet smell of success when the project is complete.
Bear in mind that the element of surprise is essential to a maze being interesting, so planting flowers of different heights will add to the mystery of your labyrinth. Some annuals can pack a towering punch in a maze, sunflowers are easy to grow, inexpensive and they can grow to great heights; oh and kids love sunflowers. Corn is another fast growing, fun addition to any maze and they taste great at the dinner table too.
The center of your maze should have a grassy spot where the kids and you can rest and enjoy a quiet moment. A bench or a water feature adds a nice finishing touch or perhaps a garden gnome for a bit of whimsy.
Keeping your maze neat and tidy will take maintenance but the end result is such fun that kids will love to do the work. So enter the labyrinth and discover that home grown success is a puzzle that is well worth figuring out.