About This Location
The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, situated in Boothbay, Maine, is not just a place where plants bloom; it's also home to a magical presence. The Guardians of the Seeds Trolls have found a haven here, embodying the oath they took to shield the earth. Crafted by the internationally acclaimed artist and recycled arts activist, Thomas Dambo, these wooden behemoths sprawl majestically across the garden's 300 acres. Their mission? To ensure the perpetual existence of our invaluable trees such as chestnuts, cherries, elms, and spruces. Created from upcycled materials gathered from around the state, these enchanting figures also offer a delightful quest for visitors: a map-led challenge to find the 10 golden seeds hidden by the trolls.
Detail and precision have gone into crafting each troll. Using discarded wood, from shipping pallets to remnants from local lumberyards, these structures were pieced together meticulously by a team of craftsmen. Their designs are reminiscent of various tree parts - roots, trunks, branches, leaves, and flowers, and they are expected to stay in the gardens until nature reclaims them, integrating them back into the ecosystem.
Each troll is distinct in its representation. ROSKVA symbolizes trunks, displaying immense strength and growth. BIRK, a metaphor for roots, carries the wisdom and mysteries of the woods. GRO, representing leaves, embodies a wanderer's spirit, disappearing in fall and returning every spring. SØREN, the manifestation of branches, is driven by insatiable curiosity, and LILJA, the youngest, personifies the fragrance of flowers.
Behind these trolls is the genius of Thomas Dambo, a Denmark native whose passion for upcycled art has earned him a remarkable reputation in the Scandinavian art world. With a heart set on sustainability and global connection, Dambo has given birth to similar trolls worldwide, inviting seekers to explore their surroundings and discover these wonders, often hidden in plain sight.
Today, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is a popular attraction, drawing an average of 200,000 guests annually from the United States and even from other parts of the world. Opened in 2007, the gardens were the culmination of a dream that began in 1991 when a group of Maine residents laid the foundation of this splendid vision. By 1996, the perfect spot was located and procured in Boothbay. Now, the gardens spread over 295 acres, with 17 acres dedicated to nurturing native Maine plants and others that thrive in the northern coastal climate.
If you plan to visit, note that while service animals are welcome under the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, dogs and therapy pets are not permitted. Parking is abundant at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. The gardens welcome visitors from May 1 to October 22, daily from 9 am to 5 pm. Admission fees are applicable, with varied rates for adults, seniors, veterans, students, and children. Membership options also exist for regular visitors. It's essential to remember that the parking area closes at 5 pm and remains locked during the offseason. The overarching sentiment when visiting this magical realm? Respect the land, enjoy the wonders, and carry the message of conservation in your heart.
Learn more about the trolls and purchase tickets to the gardens at mainegardens.org.
Learn more about THomas Dambo by visiting his personal website at thomasdambo.com.