Meet The Guardians of the Seeds
There’s indeed magic in the midcoast’s forest this summer. The trolls are here: the Guardians of the Seeds, who have taken an oath to protect the earth. Roskva, Birk, Gro, Søren, and Lilja each have collected enough seeds to last until the end of time. These giant wooden forest trolls can be found across the 300 acres of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. The seeds they hold ensure that our precious chestnut, cherry, elm, spruce, hazel, oak, ash, beech, birch, and maple trees remain on earth. As the trolls say, “A future with no trees is no future at all.” How did they come to be? Each giant was made by internationally renowned and recycled arts activist and artist Thomas Dambo using upcycled materials sourced from around the state. You will receive a map when you enter the gardens. Next you will be presented with the challenge of finding the 10 golden seeds at the end of the maze hidden by the trolls. It is an adventure children and adults of all ages won’t want to miss. After millions of years, some of our trees are disappearing but, as the trolls show us, there’s hope to be found within the seeds.
These giants were created by a team of workers armed with drills and hammers; for hours they perched on ladders and climbed the trolls’ bodies to securely attach hundreds of pieces of wood to the frame of the troll. Each wood piece has a history: some are discarded shipping pallets from hardware stores, some are scraps from the local lumber yard, and some are debris from fallen trees. The troll Birk is 30 feet high, with sprawling limbs that stretch 30 feet wide. His beard was made using collected twigs and branches. Each troll loosely resembles a different part of a tree: the roots, trunk, branches, leaves, and flowers. The trolls will remain in the forest until they breakdown and eventually become part of the ecosystem again.
ROSKVA stands for the trunks. She is the heaviest, hardest, and strongest of the trolls. Each day, Roskva climbs toward the sky, and every year she grows taller and wider. If a troll forgets something, they can always ask Roskva—she counts the seasons and remembers everything that happens around her.
BIRK holds the roots. He is the wisest and most mysterious of the trolls. You will find him hiding in the shadows and listening to the whispers of the soil. Birk knows everything that happens in the wild, and every day he tells tales to all the other creatures of the forest.
GRO smiles with the leaves and is a great wanderer. Every fall she disappears, but the other trolls do not worry because every spring she returns to the forest. On her return, Gro walks around to make sure every friend is fed. After hurrying to catch a few sunbeams and a handful of raindrops, she creates a feast for the forest.
SØREN sticks up for the branches. He is a very curious troll; his head is always turning and twisting, searching for places ever higher. He dreams about drifting around on a cloud in the sky, and when the wind is blowing, he loves to celebrate with a dance.
LILJA holds the scent of the flowers and came out from her hiding place for the first time last summer. She is the youngest of the trolls and still very much a child. Lila is happiest watching the bees and butterflies fly among branches and embracing the flowers’ smells and colors.