Incredible Living Sculpture In The Lost Gardens Of Heligan Changes Its Appearance With The Seasons

This is the Mud Maid sculpture in The Lost Gardens of Heligan, in Cornwall

Pete & Sue Hill

The Lost Gardens of Heligan, near Mevagissey in Cornwall, are one of the most popular botanical gardens in the UK. The style of the gardens is typical of the nineteenth century Gardenesque style, with areas of different character and in different design styles.

The gardens were created by members of the Cornish Tremayne family, over a period from the mid-18th century up to the beginning of the 20th century, and still form part of the family’s Heligan estate. The gardens were neglected after the First World War, and only restored in the 1990s, a restoration that was the subject of several popular television programmes and books.

Inside Heligan, you’ll discover many secrets, and one of them is the iconic Mud Maid sculpture, lovingly crafted by local artists—brother and sister duo, Pete and Sue Hill. The sculpture was commissioned back in 1997 and has become an inseparable part of The Lost Gardens’ Woodland Walk ever since.

The so-called Mud Maid is a living sculpture. That means that her ‘clothes’ and ‘hair’ change with the seasons as grass, ivy, and moss grow and then wither. So you’ll see that she has a vibrant appearance in Spring and in Summer; and she will look completely different in Autumn and Winter.

More: Pete & Sue Hill, Lost Gardens Of Heligan, Instagram, Facebook h/t: boredpanda

It’s a living sculpture…


…which means that its appearance changes with the seasons, as plants grow and then wither away

Pete & Sue Hill



Stuart Richards

Here’s what the Mud Maid looks like in late Spring…


Pete & Sue Hill


…and Autumn


Here’s how the Mud Maid was built

Pete & Sue Hill

Pete & Sue Hill

The sculptors, brother and sister Pete and Sue Hill

Pete & Sue Hill

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