When I first read the September 1999 Guidepost article entitled “A Walk Through Time” by Mary Ann O’Roark, I knew I just had to create a labyrinth and walk it! I wandered around the yard pacing off open areas and realized there just wasn’t enough room anywhere large enough to even pace off something temporary.
I kept thinking about different ways of creating one, if I ever found the space, and made a graph paper design of a square version of an 11-circuit labyrinth. One day, while helping my parents rake leaves, my sister and I tried raking the pattern into the leaves. It was a little uneven, but we were able to walk it. Later that winter a neighbor gave me permission to pace one off in the snow in her empty corner lot. But for lack of space I gave up the idea of trying to create one in my own yard.
Then came two summers back-to-back of constant drought. I became thoroughly disgusted with the view from my back porch, which overlooked drooping vegetables and wilting vines hanging on rusting fences. I pulled up everything that wasn’t going to produce and got Dave to take down all the fences. At least that improved the view. Then I began to consider candidates for next summer’s cutting garden, thinking, “If vegetables won’t grow then I may as well make better use of the land.” All of a sudden out of the blue it occurred to me…”Now you have room to build a labyrinth!”
I got out my book of garden maps and a compass and designed an 11-circuit garden labyrinth, with beds for planting a few veggies here and there, and maybe some flowers. Ideas came flying into my head faster than I could make notes and I felt a power beyond myself at work on this project. Dave suddenly got fired up with enthusiasm as well, and offered more ideas. He was especially helpful with the heavy work of removing sod and mixing concrete. On September 4th, using a rope for a compass, I began pinning down circles of flagging tape to mark the dividers for the 11 circuits. The front half of the labyrinth is in the lawn, so narrow ditches were dug, and later filled with concrete and sprinkled with stone to outline the walking paths. The back half is in the old vegetable garden. Here Dave put down wood chips on the walking paths, leaving narrow raised areas between for planting rows of garlic, onions, marigolds, lettuce and the like–plants that would remain small enough to walk between. The project was completed on September 23, 2002.