The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens are one of Maine’s top attractions. Native plants and trees are not all that is interesting there. Always art is mixed in among the growing things.
New this year are the giant trolls which are hidden in natural wooded areas. Created by Danish artist Thomas Dambo, they were built on site by him, staff and more than one hundred volunteers.
Unlike the trolls in a children’s fairy tale, these are friendly and impart information about trees and their place in nature. So now come with me, wander through the woods and meet the trolls.
Roskva stands for the trunk which provides support for the tree as well as habitat and food for animals and fungi. Roskva is the heaviest, hardest and strongest of all the trolls, and she remembers everything that happens around her.
This is Lilja who is the youngest troll. She loves the scents and colors of flowers and the bees and butterflies that fly through the branches of trees spreading their collected pollen. Her widespread arms appear to invite you to come closer.
Now meet Birk who holds the roots that allow trees to signal one another who needs food and who may be suffering from pests and disease. Birk is wise and a teller of tales to other forest creatures.
Soren was not easy to find as he was well hidden in the woods. He is a curious troll who sees that in the branches of a tree is another world. His happy countenance makes it easy to see why insects, birds and animals are drawn to him.
The last troll to discover is Gro who smiles with the leaves of the tree. Like the leaves she disappears in the fall only to return in the spring. Isn’t her posture reminiscent of sitting for a spiritual practice?
There you have it, the trolls of the woods. Next time you wander among the trees keep an eye open as they just might be there.