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

Cornwall, in the Southwest of England, is a magical place steeped in fairytales aud the legeuds of Kiug Αrthur. Here lie the mysterious Lost Gardens of Heligan—Europe’s largest garden restoration project that spans 200 acres and is perfect for explorers, plant lovers, and romantics.

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 Αutumn and Winter.

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

It’s a living sculpture…

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

The Mud Maid represents a sleeping woman

The Giant’s Head and the other sculpture created by the Hills are intended to add mystique to Heligan and improve the wooded setting.

The brother-sister sculptors created a hollow framework for the Mud Maid out of wood and windbreak netting, and then covered it in gooey mud.

Mud, cement, and sand are used to create the sculpture’s face. Interesting fact: Initially, yogurt was applied to it to encourage the growth of lichens. The Maid’s thoughts are occupied with Woodsedge and Montbretia as ivy dresses her.

One of the most well-known botanical gardens in the United Kingdom is The Lost Gardens of Heligan, which was founded by the Tremayne family in the 18th century. 22 gardeners were employed by the Tremanynes to maintain the estate’s pristine condition prior to World War I.

But, many of the gardeners left for the front after the war broke out. The estate deteriorated after World War I as the number of gardeners dropped.

Every year, thousands of people come to the 400-year-old gardens to see the living sculptures called The Hills.

Here’s how the Mud Maid was built

The sculptors, brother and sister Pete and Sue Hill


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