Trolls at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (August 11, 2022)

Trolls at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (August 11, 2022)

  • Author: Adele Grunberg
  • Date Posted: Aug 14, 2022
  • Address: Boothbay Harbor Maine

Last summer while in New Hampshire, I learned about a botanical garden in Boothbay Harbor Maine that has an installation of enormous wooden trolls. Naturally, I wanted to see them! However, the drive is three and a half hours each way, too long for a day trip. So, in advance of my annual summer return to NH, I contacted my friend, Janet, who lives in Portland, and proposed that we visit the gardens this year. To my great delight, she agreed.

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is comprised of 248 splendid acres, beautifully designed and lushly planted, alone worth the excursion. But the trolls– these are something else entirely.

Thomas Danbo, a Danish artist, is the creator of these incredible figures. A knowledgeable docent gave us the interesting and serendipitous background of how they came to be there. Thomas met a woman in Barcelona who was from Rye, NH. They married and lived in Copenhagen. Sometime later, the couple came to Rye to attend a wedding. On the way, they stopped to visit a friend of Thomas’ wife who worked at the Botanical Garden. Thomas, who has installed his giant trolls in locations all over the world, determined these gardens would be the perfect setting for his giant creatures.

He designed 5 of them. The heads, hands and feet were constructed at his studio in Denmark and shipped in containers to Maine, where the bodies were constructed. Due to Covid, Thomas’ own crews were unable to travel to the US and a search yielded ten skilled artisans and 100 volunteers to complete the installation in situ, which took two months.

Each of the trolls is 20-25 feet tall. They are constructed from local, recycled materials, the artist’s purpose being to bring attention to the importance of conservation. He is driven by concern about the extinction of trees and the loss of biodiversity.

Without further ado, then, here are Roskva, Lilia, Soren, Gro, and Birk.


  1. It was so much fun visiting the trolls with you. I hope those who read your postcards enjoy seeing your pictures of them. I especially love the picture that you are in with the most happy of the trolls.

  2. Hi Adele,
    What wonderful trolls and you are the cutest troll of all! To glad that you had some photos with people in them just to show the scale!

    • Oops–that was supposed to be “So glad…”

  3. The trolls are awesome. Like everyone else I got a huge grin looking at you and Soren(?).

  4. Adele, How lucky we, who are your followers, are that you follow your curiosity and give us such gems as giant trolls. Great photos; is there room on one of your walls for this art work?

  5. So glad you were able to see them this year and share your unique way of bringing them to life and educating all of us. Thanks!

  6. It’s a wonderful garden even without the trolls

  7. I absolutely love the trolls! Thanks for making us aware of them. I am sure the Norwegians n my family will want to be in their presence!

  8. I just love these trolls!! Never knew about them but they are definitely on the list for our next visit to Maine!

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