Arboretum News

Call for Submissions: Scarecrows in the Gardens

Make a scarecrow for our annual display from Sept. 19-Oct. 31.

COVID-19 Update: The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is open in a limited capacity. Find updates and information here.

Wanted: Colorful, creative scarecrows to display Sept. 19-Oct. 31. Photo by Mark MacLennan.

If you’ve got some time and creativity to spare, we’d love your help putting together our annual Scarecrows in the Garden display from Sept. 19-Oct. 31. We’re looking for volunteers to create scarecrows and deliver them to the Arboretum between Sept. 11-14. The deadline to submit ideas for the display is Sept. 4.

In previous years, staff from Bachman’s and the Arboretum have designed the scarecrows on display, but we want to invite everyone to get in on the fun this year.

Bachman’s Visual Team created Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox for the 2019 Scarecrows in the Garden. Photo by Liz Potasek.

We’re looking for whimsical designs that make use of elements found in nature. Scarecrows should be family-friendly, no political or controversial scarecrows will be displayed.

Scarecrows will need to be built to withstand the weather for entire display time. Here are a few tips for creating scarecrows that are built to last: 

  • Re-purpose elements found in nature – tree branches, twigs, leaves, grapevine, moss, corn stalks
  • Look to your garden shed for supplies  – old watering cans, pails, rakes, shovels and garden hoses all make good material.
  • Tomato cages make quick and easy forms, are lightweight and stable
  • Staple chicken wire to a wooden frame for a quick and easy 3D form
  • Burlap covering over chicken wire softens edges. Burlap also works extremely well as a base material for affixing the decorations.
  • Bubble wrap and packing peanuts work well as scarecrow stuffing.  Straw stuffing holds water from rain or sprinklers and may cause your scarecrow to sag. Straw can still be used for accents. Non-waterproof stuffing should be placed inside of plastic bags.
  • PVC piping for the structure as it is light and durable.

Join the fun, and submit your scarecrow proposal. Need some more inspiration? Check out these scarecrows from previous years:

Scarecrows from 2015. Photo by Mark MacLennan.
Bachman’s Lyndale submitted this scarecrow in 2019. They recommend improving durability by gluing and sewing fabric, and improving stability by weighting the scarecrow’s feet. Photo by Maggie Keith.
Scarecrow from 2017. Photo by Mark MacLennan.
Scarecrows can take animal form, too! Crow from 2015. Photo by Mark MacLennan.
This couple is made with garden tools and old clothes. Photo by Mark MacLennan.
The Arboretum’s marketing department created this scarecrow in 2019. Photo by Liz Potasek.
Scarecrows from 2011. Photo by Mark MacLennan.

3 comments on “Call for Submissions: Scarecrows in the Gardens

  1. Pingback: Arb Links, vol. 24 | News from the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

  2. The submission form keeps telling me I have entered text where there shouldn’t be any. I have checked and double checked and my submission is correctly done.

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