Labyrinth Plantings

Peaceful vantage point

Peaceful vantage point

Last year, I posted about installing a stone labyrinth for a client.  We started in the fall, worked through the winter, and just finished up the spring plantings. Go to Healing Labyrinth-Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, to see how I created and implemented the design and installation.

The theme for the plantings was pollinator friendly shrubs and perennials to surround and embrace the labyrinth to soften the harshness of stone and to bring nature in. When it came time to plant, I had to consider that the site is shady to part sun, with some parts in full sun, so I had to use an entire spectrum of plants that would attract pollinators.

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Hillside above labyrinth planted with many native plants

Where the wall surrounds the labyrinth pathway, I left a small space of 6″ to plant something simple but beautiful to soften the stone edge in the shade.  Hakenochloa ‘All Gold’ was chosen for its bright color in the shade and its graceful form. It has no attribute as a pollinator friendly plant, but was perfect for the spot. A slow grower that stays under 12″ high, the grass will not outgrow its space and is very low maintenance.

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Hakenochloa All Gold

Hakenochloa All Gold

The only plantings that were original were extremely fragrant pink climbing roses on the fence. I kept them as a backdrop for the new plantings.

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Clethra ‘Ruby Spice’

The garden surrounding the labyrinth is in partial to full sun and I went wild with the pollinator friendly plants.  The main shrub that I used was Clethra ‘Ruby Spice’ –  seven of them spotted around the space. Clethra is a highly fragrant deciduous shrub that blooms in July and August in shade and partial shade and is frequently visited by an array of pollinators.  The racemes of dark pink flowers last for weeks and the foliage turns a bright yellow in the fall.

Butterfly bushes were also used to give late summer color as well as perennials such as stachys hummelo, salvias, sedum, vernonia, hibiscus, coral bells, and nepeta. A few annuals were selected for color and pollinator appeal –  petunias and pentas.

Just planted bed with stepping stones planted with grass seed

Just planted bed with stepping stones planted with grass seed

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Planted area 6 weeks later

The upper slope over-looking the labyrinth was in full shade and was planted with colorful foliage plants-coral bells, hostas, carex, toad lily, Lenten Rose, tiarella, brunnera, lamium, heucherellas, and woodland phlox to give texture and brighten the shady area.

Toad Lily- bees love this in the fall

Toad Lily- bees love this in the fall

Hillside of foliage plants for shade

Hillside of foliage plants for shade

Under the teak bench, I planted Mazus, a steppable creeping plant with tiny purple flowers.

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Mazus is a purple flowered creeper

 

In and among the rocks of the water feature, I planted several Deutzias for spring bloom, and variegated Iris, sedums, annuals, coral bells, and balloon flower. The water feature looked very stark without any plantings, so I was careful to plant things next to and within the rocks surrounding it so that plants would cascade over it.

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Water feature 3 years later in the spring

To frame the picture, and provide some privacy, a screen of Skip Cherry Laurels was planted behind the fence to anchor the new space. These will eventually grow up to over 8 feet and knit together for a nice hedge.

Planting the Cherry Laurels for a screen

Planting the Cherry Laurels for a screen

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Downward view of labyrinth with Helleborus in the foreground

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A Helleborus or Lenten Rose opening up in the winter

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Clethras turn a wonderful yellow color in the fall

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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10 Responses to Labyrinth Plantings

  1. I love this! I wish I had enough flat space in my garden…

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  2. It’s absolutely stunning. Lucky homeowners to have something so beautiful and peaceful in their yard. I’m so ready for a yard.

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  3. Linda Tingle says:

    Claire, so that I will continue to receive The Garden Diaries, please change my email address to ltingle@verizon.net EFFECTIVE JUNE 29th.

    Thanks, remember EFFECTIVE JUNE 29TH. Also, my phone number will be 410-350-5215 effective same date.

    Linda Tingle

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  4. pbmgarden says:

    This is a beautiful creation. I will look into Hakenochloa ‘All Gold’ for a narrow space in my garden. Susie

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  5. Hello Claire
    I love your labyrinth and am exploring doing a simpler version using mulch and shrubs. Where did you get the white template? I am having trouble figuring out how to execute the design evenly.
    Appreciate that you have shared this wonderful project.

    Like

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