How to make a grass labyrinth

I made a labyrinth in mown grass last week – it was really simple.

Labyrinths aren’t technically mazes as there’s only one path in – so Theseus really didn’t need the twine, the twerp! They’ve been used as substitute pilgrimages or walking meditations and some have believed that your demons will follow you in but then be unable to leave again, leaving you conveniently demon free (I wonder if it works for bankers?)

So if you’ve got a patch of grass and some demons to lose, you too can have a labyrinth. They’re dead stylish too, all the best gardens have one.

Grass labyrinth

Labyrinth in grass

For a grass labyrinth you need:

– A patch of grass about 50ft square and the grass needs to be long enough that once you mow the shape into it, it will be clearly visible. This is a pretty big slab of grass I know but I used my little 16″ cut mower to make the paths for this one and if it was much smaller and it would be somewhat cramped. (See *note at the bottom about a smaller version)

– Some markers. I used a shed-load of 3′ canes. Some of that spray paint that disappears after a few days would be awesome.

– String. The more the merrier.

– A measuring stick. I used another 3′ cane. It needs to be at least twice the width of your mower cut. Any less than 3′ though and, again, you’ll be a bit cramped. I’ll be assuming a 3′ measurement for the rest of these instructions.

– A mower

– This crappy diagram printed out and shoved in your pocket:

How to draw a labyrinth

How to draw a labyrinth

Firstly we’re looking at the black shapes in the diagram.

1. Place a cane to mark the centre of the black cross, this should be about 1/3 in from the front of your area and in the middle from left to right.

2. Then use the canes and string (or other marking tools) to make the cross, with each of its arms twice as long as your measuring stick, so the whole thing was 12′ across for me.

3. Then place the L shaped bits in each corner, 3′ in from the arms of the cross. Each arm of the L being 3′ long.

4. Then put a cane in at each black dot on the diagram, 3′ in from the L shapes.

Cool, now we’ve got the core of the whole thing. Fabulous!

5. Now we’re about to start with the curves. Marking these can be a pain – I used canes but did have to keep careful track of which cane marked which curve. If you have a little more time it would be worth using string for each curve, as well as for the central cross. Each curve should be 3′ from the previous one. Don’t just rely on your measuring stick here though – use your eyes too; what looks right is more important than exact measurements.

6. Start with the curve marked 1 on the diagram, moving outwards and clockwise each time. Carefully measuring, marking and eyeing each curve the whole time as you go until you finish with the outer edge, number 8.

7. Once you’ve marked it up walk it once or twice to make sure there are no mess ups.

Hurrah! It’s marked out.

8. Mow a path through it, making the corners and turns all nice and curved. Getting it round those tight corners so they curve neatly can be interesting but we all need a challenge now and again!

9. Now you’ve got to remove all those canes and bits of string.

Grass labyrinth

Grass labyrinth

And finally – Enjoy!

(This was made for our Amazing Mazes event on the bank holiday weekend. If you happen to be in the area you could pop in and trample my carefully mown labyrinth.)

* I believe a smaller one can be made by omitting the L shapes in the diagram, so the centre core consists of a cross with a dot in each corner. Start with a curve from the centre upright to the top-right dot, then the top left dot to the right arm of the cross and so on.

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14 responses to “How to make a grass labyrinth

  1. This is brilliant! 🙂 I am so impressed, very handy with a mower!

  2. How neat! Every gardener should do this at least once in a lifetime. My kids would love it.

  3. Brilliant! Now this- I must try 🙂

  4. “Theseus the Twerp” – Greek mythology nailed. LOL. D

  5. I have some friends who have a stone labyrinth at their house. Not much lawn in the high desert and I stumbled on another stone labyrinth by the path where I walk my dog. Great instructions.

    • Oh a stone labyrinth would be gorgeous and you could probably fit one in a slightly smaller space what with not having to manoeuver the mower. I’m jealous of your friends!

  6. Pingback: DIY Backyard Breast Cancer Healing Garden Labyrinth Ideas – Breast Cancer Authority

  7. Thanks for this excellent guide. It was a lot of fun to build and very easy. Easy – but a lot of work. Took me over 3 hours by myself, but some of that was my fault: had to pick up sticks, ran out of string, trimmer battery died….

    I’m thrilled to have this on our church lawn. Thanks!!

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