People & Places
The Tangled Maze at Creswick near Ballarat in Victoria is unlike most mazes throughout the world, which are constructed of evergreen cypress or other hedging. The walls of the Tangled Maze are made out of flowering climber plants, which scramble over frames. Plants that feature in the maze include clematis and honeysuckle.
The owners Jeff and Rosemary Green have created a mixed maze which is unlike any traditional maze in the world. The use of flowering climbers creates colour from late winter through spring to autumn. The perfume from the flowers, particularly the honeysuckle also adds to the experience of getting lost in this half hectare (one acre) maze.
The climbing frames divide the maze into a series of spaces which could be compared with a very small backyard, about 3x3m (10x10') bounded by living walls of climbing plants. The climbers would suit any small backyard, screening the area from neighbours or the street. The maze was begun five years ago with many of the plantings only three years old and providing good, dense screening.
The climbers used include: Clematis: There are 70 varieties of clematis including the large flowered Jackmanii hybrids and Clematis montana hybrids. The montana hybrids will flower for about a month in spring and then if pruned will flower again in autumn. They are easy to grow in most cool areas of Australia (see climate map) and are at their best in areas with cold winters and mild summers.
Chilean glory vine (Eccremocarpus scaber): This plant is an unusual climber not often seen in Australian gardens. It has orange, red or yellow tubular flowers. Although perennial, it is usually grown as an annual in cold climates. As its common name suggests it is native to Chile and Peru.
Firecracker Honeysuckle (Lonicera x heckrottii 'Firecracker'): A deciduous honeysuckle with large pink and cream flowers and a strong perfume. Peak flowering is in late spring and summer. This plant is best in a cooler climate. It can be difficult to establish in climates with humid summers such as Sydney and north. In these areas select a cool, airy spot.
Other climbers include: perennial nasturtium (Tropaeolum tricolorum), banksia roses and the native climbers, scarlet running postman (Kennedia rubicunda and K. nigrans) and hardenbergia (Hardenbergia violacea 'Happy Wanderer').
Around the edge of the maze are beds of perennials which add extra colour to the scene.
Plants seen in the maze are for sale in a nursery attached to the maze.
The Tangled Maze is popular with children and the 3km (1.8 miles) of paths can take from 30 minutes to two hours to negotiate.
Details: The Tangled Maze, Midland Highway, Creswick, Vic, 3363 is about an hour and a half from Melbourne, near Ballarat. It is open every day except Christmas Day and is closed after the July school holidays until 1 September (winter break).
Opening hours: 10am-5.30pm.
*Family Tickets include 2 adults and 2 children
*Extra Child charged at $5.50
Mini Golf only $6.90 per person
Phone: For more information phone (03) 5345 2847.
For more information on climber plants consult Climbing Plants by Christine and John Nicholls (Florilegium, 1995).
Copyright CTC Productions 2006