Since our labyrinth is an integral part of our overall gardening efforts, I am taking the liberty of posting this to the Hive Garden Community — after all, the definition of "gardening" varies a lot, from person to person.
Outdoor labyrinths have their "seasons," just like the rest of a garden. However, they are also a spiritual and meditation tool designed to be used and enjoyed all year long.
Our labyrinth is basically grass with paths indicated by lines of small pavers sunk into the ground so they can be readily mowed over, during the season when the grass is growing. In winter, it all looks rather dull, like most northern winter lawns tend to.
This year, we finally decided to "lighten up" (pun entirely intended!) the labyrinth for the winter months, not just as a Holiday decoration.
In fact, the lights went up after the holidays, because we scored ourselves a couple of long strands of LED outdoor lights for 75% off, in the after Christmas sales!
We'd been talking about wanting to create some kind of arbor or arch over the entrance to the labyrinth, but rather than "getting fancy" with it, we chose a long curved branch from fall tree trimming and arched it from one side of the opening to rest in the branched top of a metal bird feeder "mast" we have had there for a couple of years.
The pictures don't really do the in-person effect justice, but the end result was quite pleasing... for something that was really just a quick-and-dirty experiment.
Come springtime — once the risk of frost has passed — we will likely remove one (or a couple) of the lavender plants from near the entrance and plant some kind of flowering creeper there, perhaps a jasmine of sorts, or maybe a wisteria.
Even though this was definitely not a sophisticated fix, it has already had a positive impact, in so much as we are using the labyrinth more often than we were before, simply because the lighting makes it more inviting.
Meanwhile we (only half) joke about how this perfect circle of light looks to people flying over in their planes... we're not too far off the glide path to the local airport! Do they think aliens have landed, and a UFO is parked there? The mind wanders...
The labyrinth in the snow
Of course, here in the Pacific Northwest, USA, the labyrinth does end up being unusable on account of weather, from time to time.
Luckily, our snowfalls tend to be fairly light, and the snow melts within 48 hours of falling... the labyrinth looks it best on the occasions where we just get an inch or two, creating the effect above because the bricks are warmer and wetter than the grass.
When we originally built our labyrinth we deliberately decided not to make it architecturally "fancy" with actual construction and such... we wanted it to fit in naturally in our otherwise very green space... so we chose the most level patch of grass we had and simply worked from there, starting by planting 100 or so English Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) plants that have gradually grown into a low bushy hedge that looks truly magnificent when it is in full purple bloom, during the summer months!
But that's a whole different story, for a future post! For now, we just wanted to get our first post for 2023 "on the map," so to speak. Planning to follow up later with more about labyrinth lore and care, and other "lessons from the labyrinth!"