Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bottletree


Melissa's Bottletree
Originally uploaded by Bridgman Pottery
Tiffany asked about this bottletree, so I thought I'd properly introduce it. This particular bottletree was a gift to me from Gary for our first married christmas. He made it out of hose clamps and cable wire, sunk in concrete in an old galvanized bucket. It sat in our side yard at our old house (that's where this photo was snapped), where you could see it from the road.
Bottletrees are a Southern thing, specifically a Mississippi thing, but interest in using them as a decorative garden element is spreading. Originally, it was thought that the decorative, colorful glass bottles would attract and catch evil spirits (the wind whistling in the bottles made folks think of "haints.").
I love mine- the bottles are mostly blue, red, turquoise (including some old glass telephone pole insulators), with some good greens thrown in for good measure. Right now our camellia/rose bush (they grow together and are 12' tall, 10' in diameter) are hiding it from my view, so I'll need to move it this fall when my garden beds get a good de-thugging. Sometimes people use 5" posts with dowels inserted to hold their bottles. Other people use old defoliated christmas trees as a base. It's rare to find real trees used, but sometimes you can find them.

I've never had a bottle break in the winter, though if the pot's not sunk the spring winds will sent the whole thing crashing to the ground. We've gotten away from using wine bottles unless they're cool and swirly like last week's asti bottle, but beer, saki, and water bottles are fair game (mostly because of their smaller size). Eventually I'd like to put another smaller one in the front yard (what will the neighbors say????), but I need a little fence around the front garden before I'll be comfortable with that.

Cool folk tradition, now mostly practiced by yuppie/hipsters. Not that I'm including myself in either of those categories.

5 comments:

helmetnona said...

I know a great bottle tree in Zanzibar! An expat woman from Arkansas has one near her place at the beach. It gives all kinds of great howls and whistles from sea breezes off the Indian Ocean.

Ann said...

Wow, that's cool. I think I need one! What is the "trunk" made of? Twisted cable wire? or something more substantial?

Surely the neighbors would love a front yard version :)

Tiffany said...

I love it! If I ever have a yard I will have to craft one for myself. What a cool tradition.
(and thanks for linking to me too)

amy h said...

My aunt keeps one inside her house (and I think she has one outside, too): here is a pic

They're pretty fun.

beki said...

I want one of these so bad! I've been collecting bottles, but am quickly running out of room. Since we started sprucing up our patio space last year, I thought this would be a perfect addition.