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Caring for our mazes

A view of the cherry laurel hedge maze at Glendurgan Garden with a thatched summerhouse in the centre. Four visitors are visible in the maze next to the summerhouse.
Visitors exploring the maze at Glendurgan Garden | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Exploring mazes can be a lot of fun, but have you ever wondered how much work it takes to establish and care for a maze in a country garden? Find out more about how we look after these interesting garden features.

Reintoducing mazes to gardens in our care

Some mazes at our places have been reintroduced as part of our dedication to traditional planting schemes. The maze at Belton House in Lincolnshire was originally planted in 1890, but became overgrown after the Second World War and was removed. Today, you and your family can enjoy the maze that was replanted in 2000.

Similarly, the maze at Cliveden in Buckinghamshire was planted in 2010 and having become well established, is now thriving. Standing at two metres high and running for over 500 metres, the yew maze is an impressive site.

Four children playing in the centre of the maze at Cliveden, Buckinghamshire. The children are surrounded by high clipped hedges and the maze paths can be seen beyond.
Children playing in the centre of the maze at Cliveden | © National Trust Images/John MIller

Caring for mazes

Trimming the maze at Cliveden is a big job. It takes four gardeners 210 hours in total, including tea breaks, to keep the hedging meticulously manicured. A group of helpful volunteers then spend three days clearing up all the clippings, only the best volunteer jobs at Cliveden.

Yew isn’t the only evergreen which works well for a maze. The living puzzle at Glendurgan Garden in Cornwall is planted with cherry laurel.

The laurel is ideal for this maze as it's vigorous and tough enough to withstand regular trimming and footsteps around the roots. For additional texture palm trees indicate the four corners of the maze whilst a thatched summerhouse marks the sought after middle.

Visitors exploring the maze at Glendurgan Garden, Cornwall

Explore mysterious mazes

Lose your way among laurel bushes or be puzzled in a rhododendron forest. Here’s a selection of the most amazing mazes and labyrinths we care for.

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