Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Guardians of the Seeds - Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

A midsummer vacation took us north to Maine, specifically the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, ME, where a giant treasure hunt is taking place. Thomas Dambo, a Danish artist has been building and creating with wood since he was five. Known as a "recycle art activist", his trolls can be found worldwide, sharing a global connection and telling a story of sustainability. The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens are the home of five of his magical personalities, with each troll telling a story about the importance of trees. Dambo's team, staff from the botanical gardens, and over 150 volunteers took approximately two months to create this garden adventure. A map is provided, a few instructions offered (don't climb on the trolls, for example), and we were off to discover the Guardians of the Seeds. The easiest troll to find is Roskva, which stands for Trunk of the tree. She knows that a tree trunk has many lives from supporting a tree, to providing habitat and food for different animals. Eventually, the trunk will become a part of the soil, and new life will begin again.

Meet Birk, he holds the roots of the tree. Birk understands that the tree's roots are as big as the branches above ground, and that the connection between roots is invaluable, providing a wood-wide web to signal distress as the roots communicate with each other.

Tucked in amongst the forest greens is Lilja. She knows that everybody including the insects of the forest needs flowers, and she holds the scent of the flowers of the tree.

This whimsical troll is Soren, and he sticks up for the Branches of the tree since he knows that many animals call the treetop home, from birds and animals nesting to certain lichen and plants that only live in trees. 

And Gro smiles with the Leaves of the tree. Gro understands that leaves turn sunlight into food.

What a fun quest it was to discover all the Guardians of the Seeds hidden in the Maine woods, home to these trolls. They are in place, quietly telling their stories, for as long as Mother Nature welcomes them.

Monday, July 12, 2021

The Garden Tea Room - Afternoon Tea 'To Go'

Our summer vacation took us north this year, and conveniently Marnie, of The Garden Tea Room in Conyngham, PA was offering an afternoon tea 'to go' for pickup on the day we were traveling. Her tea room has been closed during Covid, and still closed at this point, but she occasionally offers a themed tea 'to go'. How fortuitous for us that she offered a Strawberry Themed Tea on our first travel day, and she was willing to accommodate our late arrival time.
The front window display cheerfully announced the themed event. Red and white checked cloth, hints of pink, and strawberry fields forever. Marnie embraced this theme and we were delighted to savor and enjoy her efforts.
With Covid still lurking around, Marnie has decided not to open her tea room at this time. We eagerly picked up our teas and headed to a local park, and found the perfect red gazebo with a picnic table for our summer strawberry tea.

Packed inside a brown paper bag was this cheerful pink striped box (well, 5 of them) which had a checkered paper plate, napkin, and red and white string holding everything together with a strawberry pick. The theme was quite evident from the start. The attention to detail was noticeable too.
Once the box was opened, more red and white with the napkin and the menu, Everything was individually wrapped, including a sample of Strawberry Kiwi herbal, a blend by Harney & Sons.
Oh my goodness! Such a delightful sweet tea. Celebrating the taste of summer with strawberries, the menu included a sweet strawberry fruit "sando" sandwich, a mini cream scone with strawberry jam and cream, a strawberry tart, strawberry lemon blondie and a strawberry streusel muffin. Strawberry candies rounded out the box.
Just look at that sandwich! I have seen pictures of a 'Sando', but didn't know anyone who has made them. Amazing! This style sandwich is based on the Japanese fruit sandwich, also called strawberry sando. It is made with a sweet creamy filling, fresh strawberries and other fruit, perfectly placed, so that when it is cut, you have a beautiful floral presentation. Special thanks to Marnie and The Garden Tea Room for offering this beautiful summer tea. What a perfect start to our vacation!
For updates on when she is planning her next tea 'to go', be sure to 'like' her Facebook page. 

Marnie and The Garden Tea Room are proud members of the Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association.