At the Mercy Center in St. Louis, Missouri, I designed and laid out the labyrinth (Chartres pattern, 88 feet in diameter), which was completed by volunteers. First we covered the ground with earth cloth, so things wouldn't grow up through the labyrinth. We pinned down the cloth so it wouldn't move. Then I spray-painted the labyrinth pattern on the earth cloth. Volunteers put rocks on my painted lines. Once the rocks were in place, they put mulch between them, for the path. (Top photo.)

Photo of rock and mulch labyrinth.

This labyrinth is being lovingly cared for by the Sisters of Mercy. They have planted a tree in the center, and flowers and other plants in the labryses. They have put several plaques along the perimeter, commemorating sisters who have passed away.

It is a joy to see the labyrinth so appreciated and well cared for. After several years, the labyrinth was redone. The lunations were made with pea gravel, a contrasting color to the white rock, and the wooden mulch was replaced by rubber mulch. (Lower photo.)

The rubber mulch is very dramatic and soft to walk on. Does it smell like tires? Well, on a hot day, maybe a little. But it will never compost or degrade.

When the labyrinth was built, I'll have to admit to being a bit amused by the tree in the middle, feeling it was rather optimistic to feel that some day it would shade much of the labyrinth.

However, the photo below shows the labyrinth ten years later. The tree now shades the center and a few paths. Plus, they have planted trees around the perimeter. In another ten years the branches will meet and completely shade the labyrinth. So much for my skepticism.

They have also begun to put memorial markers to deceased sisters around the perimeter.

Large photo oflabyrinth with rubber mulch paths.