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Trash to Treasure Birdhouse Inspiration


Gardening is wonderful therapy for me. Some may find my garden to be a mess, with hundreds of plants all tucked in together with limited structure and order while others will stop on the sidewalk to tell me that they enjoy walking by daily to see what’s new. That’s what I like about it: the mishmash of trees, shrubs, perennials, vegetables, herbs, garden art and bird feeders make the garden a joy to walk through. I revel in each new volunteer that joins the fun while I keep up with the old favorites and recent additions.

Hand feeding the chickadees

I was happy to find the artists at To Make You Smile had donated whimsical birdhouses to gardens for healing purposes. According to Teresia Hazen, registered horticultural therapist, and coordinator, Therapeutic Gardens and Horticultural Therapy, “Watching birds gives patients, their families, and staff members a window on the world of nature. And enjoying the beauty of the winged creatures while walking in the garden brings healthful pleasure.” I particularly enjoyed the installation at the Legacy Emanuel Children’s Hospital and can imagine how delighted the children would be to see the birds bringing nesting materials and then food for the hatchlings, the wee peeps of tiny occupants and watching the first flights.

Legacy Emanuel Children's Garden Birdhouses
Legacy Emanuel Children’s Garden Birdhouses. Photo: Mary Elizabeth McAndrew

I love the use of color, height, and recycled materials used to make these inspirational birdhouses. I know I’ll be setting up a few come next spring and if I can get to one of To Make You Smile’s shows I’ll have much to choose from. For more information on how to get one of these lovelies, contact I’m sure these colorful creations will bring some added therapy to your garden.

To Make You Smile Birdhouses
To Make You Smile Birdhouses. Photo: Mary Elizabeth McAndrew

A birdhouse is just one way to encourage birds to visit your garden. Try making this DIY Wild Bird Suet Feeder or this Flowerpot Bird Feeder, and don’t forget to get to know your feathered visitors by reading up on these 12 Fun Facts About Backyard Birds.



  1. What lovely bird houses. There is something calming about watching birds.

    You have a real talent for taking beautiful pictures.

    • Thanks, Angela! I can’t take credit for all those photos though. The chickadee on my hand was taken by my hubby and the To Make You Smile birdhouses are credited to Mary Elizabeth McAndrew. The rest of the blog photos are mine :).

  2. I love these bird houses, too! I don’t know, this year for some reason, I’m all about the birds! I made a little house myself even. . . Your great photos sent me down in my basement to dig it out. Thanks!


  3. I’m a huge bird-lover, and have several homemade birdhouses around my garden…unfortunately, they’re not as gorgeous as these! I don’t know what it is about birdhouses, but just seeing them cheers me up! Thanks for the smile this morning….

  4. Hi, I was wondering if you have any of the birdhouses for sale! They are beautiful and I would love to have a couple for in my garden! Thank you Terri


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