Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is gearing up for spring with its first annual birdhouse competition and exhibit. The project encourages anyone interested, from local artists to businesses, students, organizations, birders, and individuals, to use their creativity to grace the gardens with handcrafted birdhouses, from wildly creative works of art to functional, environmentally friendly, and durable structures.
Entries are now being accepted in two major categories: “Flight of Fancy,” calling for whimsical garden art in the form of decorative birdhouses for indoor display, and “For the Birds,” creative, but functional designs tailored toward housing Maine’s native species.
Installed along Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ new Birdhouse Trail, this season-long exhibit also gives anyone visiting between April 18 and May 31 a chance to participate in the People’s Choice award and cast a vote for their favorite. Other awards include Most Sustainable, Best Kids’ Entry, and Best Maine Spirit, in celebration of Maine’s bicentennial.
Contestants may enter a house in any category, but the birdhouses must be original works created by the contestant; the use of recycled or sustainable materials is strongly encouraged. Guidelines and entry forms are available on the gardens’ website, mainegardens.org. Applications will be accepted through March 31.
Of course, there’s more to birdhouses than art and whimsy. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens hopes this exhibit will help demonstrate some of the many ways of attracting wildlife through the creation of unique and creative backyard habitats. Detailed information about birdhouses — and how to build one’s own — will be available to visitors.
Spring at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is a celebration of new — and returning — life, from bulbs blooming to migratory birds returning to their nesting grounds. Change happens quickly, and each new bird and bloom reminds one that renewal is just around the corner.
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is a nationally recognized public garden located in Boothbay. The mission of the gardens is to inspire meaningful connections among people, plants, and nature through horticulture, education, and research. Its annual visitation includes guests from all 50 states and 65 foreign countries.