The Hedge Maze
Our visually stunning hedge maze - planted over 40 years ago – now stands at over 3 metres high & 2 metres thick. It is made from more than 1000 "Cupresses macrocarpa" plants that give it its lush, evergreen texture. In the beginning, the plants were planted at 1-metre intervals but each year the hedge grows a little bit bigger – making the paths a little bit narrower! Some sections of the maze are so narrow that wheelchairs and prams cannot fit.
One of the most interesting features of the Ashcombe Hedge Maze is how it is maintained – there are no string lines or straight edges used in trim so the overall effect is very organic. The constant trimming ensures that the juvenile lime green soft foliage of the cypress features all year round. The Mazekeeper and his team of gardeners cut the hedge 3 or 4 times a year using electric hedge trimmers, ladders & stilts. You cannot cut a hedge in the rain or in the heat, and each load of hedge trimmings has to be loaded into the wheelbarrow and pushed through the maze to get out! It's a big job — each time taking about a month to finish the task!
For visitors, the challenge of the Ashcombe Hedge Maze is to find each of the four mosaic flags in the two halves of the maze. The task takes you through hundreds of metres of winding paths in the South Maze through to the Centre Garden – then you tackle the North Maze. While not overly complicated it does take a little while to make your way through (some people take longer than others!)
Each half of the maze has a totally different layout, so any tricks you worked out while making your way through the first part, mean absolutely nothing in the other!