Healing Labyrinth – Part 2

Designing the labyrinth was interesting and fun. But now the hard work of installing it began.

Preparation

After locating all utilities and getting necessary covenant permission, we were ready to go. First up was removing all plant material and grading of the site with heavy equipment. It was necessary to level a space large enough for the labyrinth to be placed and a retaining wall to be built into the hillside.

Grading the site

Grading the site

Once the soil was graded, you could clearly see where the wall was going to be built of boulders. Measuring 45 feet long and 2 feet thick, varying from 2 to 2.5 feet high along its length, we used large boulders of Pennsylvania Field Stone.

An S-curve wall will be built in front of this hill

An S-curve wall will be built in front of this hill

I designed the curve to embrace the area of the labyrinth, so you felt that you were in a special enclosed space. Using dry laid technique, the wall was completed in 4 to 5 days. Then we were ready to start on the flat work of the labyrinth.

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Stone mason taking a breather

Once the wall was finished and before we started the labyrinth itself, it was time to stub out the electrical in conduit. For the Heart Space of the labyrinth, we needed electricity for the pump to run for the boulder fountain.

Trenching out for the electrical conduit

Trenching out for the electrical conduit

Labyrinth Flat Work

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Templates for cutting stone

Preparing the Flat Area

Once the wall was completed, the flat area was graded level with a slight slope towards the lane for drainage. It was power tamped with gravel laid on top. The next layer was the black landscape fabric pinned in place. Topping it all off was the white template pinned to the ground.

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Marking the black landscape cloth

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Black landscape cloth pinned down

Placing the template on top

The most important part of the job was getting the base properly prepared and power tamped so that the stones would not shift. The base was composed of tamped soil, tamped gravel, black landscape cloth, and topped off with the template for placement of the stones.

Hard Work- Cutting to Fit

The hard work of cutting and fitting the bluestone began.  My stone mason numbered templates of all the curves in the labyrinth so that he could cut the stone precisely. Every piece of stone that was used had to be hand cut with a diamond tipped stone saw blade which was a very time consuming task.

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Cut stone turns

Template for the turn

Template for the turn

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Putting It All Together

005 (3) 058 (2) Every stone was cut to size and placed on the template in position.  Once each stone was fitted together, stone dust had to be placed under each piece and tamped. Because bluestone is a natural stone, each piece of stone varied in thickness, and each piece had to be individually placed and leveled.

Filler

To make the lines stand out against the blue-grey color of the bluestone, a dark charcoal grey gravel was placed in between the stones. A metal edge that would not rust was inserted around the perimeter of the labyrinth, and staked to keep everything stable.

Gravel was placed in between the stones with a metal edging around the entire labyrinth. I marked where the Heart Space is to go.

Gravel was placed in between the stones with a metal edging around the entire labyrinth. I marked where the Heart Space is to go.

Attributes

This 24 foot diameter labyrinth can give a walker a long and comfortable journey.  The total distance for walking is 439 foot which is phenomenal considering the total space we had to work with. The width of the walking path is 20 inches which is plenty wide for a single walker.  This design can also accommodate multiple walkers if need be.

Next Up- Heart Space and Water Feature
Healing Labyrinth Part 3

English: Labyrinth in Kennedy Park Dunure Laby...

English: Labyrinth in Kennedy Park Dunure Labyrinth made of stone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About thegardendiaries

Claire Jones is a landscape and floral designer and owner of Claire Jones Landscapes, LLC. She designs and helps people to create their own personal outdoor oasis and loves to write about her gardening failures and successes.
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3 Responses to Healing Labyrinth – Part 2

  1. ellisnelson says:

    Beautiful! I wondered about how the stones were cut so perfectly.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Healing Labyrinth Part 3 | The Garden Diaries

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