How to Make a Maze in Your Yard With Plants

Overview

If you want to do something really unique in your yard, something none of your neighbors are doing, create a huge, walk-though maze with plants. In the Middle Ages, European royalty created mazes on their large estates with boxwood shrubs, and today many North American farmers build corn mazes every fall for visitors to walk through. The more space you have to work with, the more complex of a maze you can make. Even gardeners with smaller yards can incorporate some maze-like designs into their garden.

Step 1

Measure the space available to you. An area of about 100 by 100 feet is the minimum for a classic, boxwood walk-through maze, although you could make a smaller version in a 50-by-50-foot space, and even smaller spaces can host flower gardens with a maze-like foot path. Corn mazes usually require at least one to five acres of land.

Step 2

Make a sketch of your property. Include structures, like houses or garages, as well as any existing trees or other landscaping you wish to include in your maze.

Step 3

Choose a plant. Boxwood is a dense shrub that adapts well to pruning, and it is the most common shrub used in making garden mazes. You can also use any other dense shrub. For very small foot path mazes, you can use any flower or grass to delineate the edges. Take into account how big the plants will be at maturity, and compare that to how much room you have available.

Step 4

Draw up a maze. If you're creative enough, you can design a maze freehand, or you can use ready-made maze designs, available online or in some landscaping books. If you're short on space, consider planting flowers, grasses, vegetables or other plants in an intricate, maze-like design, such as a Celtic knot or a Buddhist mandala. Plans for knot and mandala gardens can also be found online.

Step 5

Trace the design of your maze in your yard with a rope. This will help you visualize your maze and let you know where to plant.

Step 6

Plant your shrubs, flowers and other plants alongside the rope. Follow whatever directions came with the plants in regards to depth and spacing, and water well.

Step 7

Line the walking path with mulch, stones or gravel.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Paper and pencil
  • Plants
  • Rope
  • Stones, mulch or gravel

References

  • 1 Stop Shrubs: Boxwood Shrub Hedge
  • Purdue University: Corny Mazes
  • The Permacultivator: The Mandala Vegetable Garden
Keywords: boxwood maze, garden maze, mandala garden

About this Author

Sonya Welter worked in the natural foods industry for more than seven years before becoming a full-time freelancer in 2010. She has been published in "Mother Earth News," "Legacy" magazine and in several local publications in Duluth, Minn., including "Zenith City News," for which she writes a regular outdoors column. She graduated cum laude in 2002 from Northland College, an environmental liberal arts college.