“The Mystifying Sleeping Girl Statue in the Forest: A Global Fascination with the Shifting Seasons”


One of the most well-known attractions at a renowned botanical garden in England is the statue of a reclining maid. What makes this statue even more remarkable is that it transforms to suit the different seasons throughout the year.

The South West of England is home to the enchanting Cornwall, a place that echoes the tales and myths of King Arthur. The region boasts of The Forgotten Gardens of Heligan – Europe’s biggest garden restoration project – a haven for adventurers, nature enthusiasts, and the lovesick. A must-visit feature within Heligan is the iconic Mud Maid sculpture.

Mud Maid is a unique sculpture that has a special feature of being “alive”. This means that her appearance changes with the changing seasons, as the grass, ivy, and moss grow and wilt.

During the warmer months of spring and summer, the sculpture boasts a dazzling appearance that is completely transformed come fall and winter.

Initially, the idea was to create a sculpture of a mermaid. However, during the restoration process, one of the team members came up with the name “Mud Maid” which resulted in a change of plans. As a result, the tail of the sculpture was removed.

The sculpture is not created by using a tree root as its base. Instead, a wooden frame is employed and combined with straw, cement, and clay to produce the figure. The sculpture is then fixed onto the frame to establish its form.

Since 1997, this sculpture has been a favorite among visitors and has now become a fixture in the garden.


The Mud Maid sculpture, which has become a garden icon, was created by a pair of talented artists from the area: Pete and Sue Hill, who also happen to be siblings.

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