How to build a hedge maze with these basic landscaping tools

Hedge mazes aren’t actually that hard to make. In your private residence they’re useful for decoration and for fun; if you’re running a business, a hedge maze can draw customers to you for entertainment. You can build a garden maze even in smaller gardens, depending on the design. Smaller hedge mazes are mostly for decoration, but if you have a large enough yard you can build a hedge maze as a puzzle to solve. If you’d like to build a garden maze but don’t know where to start, visit our blog on the world’s most impressive garden mazes for some garden maze ideas.


What you’ll need to build your own garden maze

While your materials and equipment depend on the size and complexity of your garden maze, there are a few basic landscaping tools you’ll need no matter what. Make a list of the other materials you’ll need for your hedge maze design and see if you can afford all of them.

  • Measuring tape
  • Graph paper
  • Pencil and ruler
  • Wooden stakes
  • String
  • Rubber mallet
  • Shovel
  • Fast-growing evergreen shrubs

Step 1: Prepping your garden

Pick a level location with good soil drainage for your hedge maze. To insert drainage, you may need to dig a trench . Make sure it’s big enough for what you want to do. If your garden maze site is blocked by foliage, you will have to do some site clearing . Afterwards, ensure the soil is good quality for growing a hedge maze. Measure your hedge maze’s area, writing all your measurements down.

Step 2: Designing your hedge maze

Draw a map of your hedge maze site on graph paper, using a correct scale to the measurements you took before. It’s easiest to have one square represent one metre. Draw the shape of your garden first, then include any obstacles you didn’t clear the hedge maze site of.

Graph paper for design

If you own a drone or some equipment to get your eyes high up using this for a bird’s eye view of the garden can be useful, but it’s fine to draw from the ground. You might want to face the entrance or exit of the maze towards something like the opening of a hill, a view or the direction of the sunset, for extra effect. Draw an outline of the hedge maze on your graph paper. Make your garden maze walkways half a metre to a metre and a half wide. Include any sitting areas, dead ends, turns, and any hardscape and natural elements like benches, ponds , fountains, gardens and retaining walls . Outline your hedge maze plan on your site with wooden stakes and string. Hammer the stakes into the ground on the end of where you want each hedge row, in each planned corner, on both sides of the future walkways and around every turn. Tie the string to the stakes, making a physical outline of what you want the hedge maze to look like. Adjust the stakes and string until the lines are straight.

Step 3: Planting and building

Along the stake and string lines, plant a fast-growing evergreen shrub appropriate for your region’s climate, terrain and soil properties that will grow around 1.5m tall and half to three-quarters of a metre wide when it matures. Each shrub should be around half a metre away from the last. If you want to prevent weeds from growing in your hedge maze, unroll landscape fabric along all the walkways of the maze. Push landscaping stakes through the fabric and into the soil to keep it in place. Top the landscape fabric with any material you’d like to make up the walkway. The best aggregates to use are small stones or gravel, but you can also use mulch, turf or concrete.


Step 4: Going the extra mile

Place decorations such as benches, statues and fountains where you made space for them in your design. You might want to dig a pond or add other water features like jets to spray the solvers of your hedge maze.


What hedges are used for mazes?

Use a fast-growing, tall, evergreen shrub that would thrive in your hedge maze – considering climate, terrain and soil conditions. Honeysuckle, yew and fast-growing holly are all popular options.

Honeysuckle shrub/ hedge

How long does it take to grow a maze?

Yew and fast-growing holly take about seven years to grow to maturity, but depending on the maze, you don’t need them to be mature to start enjoying it. Decorative mazes or mazes mostly enjoyed by children are fine to use while your hedges are still on the shorter side.


Maintaining your hedge maze

The first spring after planting, lightly trim the shrubs in your hedge maze to ensure they’re restrained near ground level and encourage side shoots from the stalks. Water them more in the first two seasons than afterwards. Apply fertiliser in spring and autumn. Trim your shrubs regularly to perfect your hedge maze’s shape and keep it neat. Use a spirit level to keep your cut straight and use a precise and reliable hedge trimmer. Regular topping and facing back the sides will thicken and increase the branch system. Water and nourish the garden maze regularly to keep it alive. If you’re somewhere that gets a lot of sun in summer (so, most of Australia), water the hedge maze every day to keep it from being scorched. If your garden’s soil lacks minerals and nutrients, you’ll have to add artificial ones to it. You might also find yourself planting annual flowers and trimming weeds depending on your preferences and situation.



We can help you create your dream hedge maze!

Hire a trencher for drainage, an excavator for site clearing or a concrete paver for your pathway. Browse through our hire options today.