We regret that we are no longer able to to accept public visits to the maze. We have recently had to retire from the National Gardens Scheme.
To contact us please email email@example.com
A previous NGS visitor has written a blogpost.
Planted in 1993 the Music Maze at Balsham has two variants of yew in half a mile of hedge; green yew Taxus baccata and a golden variant Taxus elegantissima. The golden yew hedges form the shape of a treble clef. There are over 1500 trees in total.
In the centre of the treble clef there is a raised paved area. There are more than a quarter of a mile of grass paths and two lengths of brick paved paths which form the shape of French Horns. In the middle of one horn there is a tiered alpine garden with a symbolic sculpture on top. This is by John Robinson and is called ‘Joy of Living’. We hope you feel that its graceful upwards spiral merits that name. In contrast, the middle of the other French Horn is a circular pond. The Spiral mobile fountain in the centre was designed by Giles Rainer. Hilary saw it at the Chelsea Flower Show one year. We couldn’t resist it!
The Music Maze at Balsham was designed and planted by Jim Potter with help from his friends and family. Jim is particularly grateful to Adrian Fisher Maze Design for helpful comments as the design progressed and to Balsham friends and family who formed the planting parties.
In a 2020 Italian publication Labirinti Vegetali (Pendragon) by Ettore Selli, featuring 188 of the most outstanding hedge mazes of the world, the Music Maze was declared to be the most Artistic. The musical theme with its perimeter the shape of a violin case, the two brick paths in the form of French Horns and the overall effect of the golden treble clef…“Gentle curves form the design which brings to the observer an incalculable sense of harmony”. Adrian Fisher comments that the ‘one way rule’ (and its various objectives) makes the maze an astonishing and unique puzzle challenge.
You don’t have to come and visit us in order to play the maze. HOWEVER its not really possible to do that from the aerial photo because the straight stem of the treble clef has seven arches in it so you can’t see all the paths from above. Try doing it using the template from which the maze was originally planted, which you can view, or download as a PDF.
Enter the maze at the entrance under the two large topiary balls…and explore it. Visit the raised centre area and both brick-paved French Horns – one with a centre mound and sculpture, the other with a pond and fountain. Find your way out.
Enter the maze and use the ‘Train Rule’. There are no right angled junctions in the maze – they are all like railway points. To obey the Train Rule do not do U turns at junctions, nor turn back on yourself. Just keep going forward like a train. Get to the centre, visiting the French Horns/sculptures on the way.
When you visited the French Horns on the way to the centre you probably ‘played’ at least one of them backwards. The air in French Horns goes from the mouthpiece to the bell – and that’s the way you should go. So find your way out, still obeying the Train Rule and playing each French Horn properly on the way.
It is possible to get to the centre, always obeying the Train Rule and playing each of the Horns once and once only in the correct direction on the way……and then doing the same on the way out. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t succeed – it really is very difficult…you will have to use nearly all the paths and it will take you at least an hour to sort it out!
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