Bottle Trees: Love ‘em or Hate ‘em!
When you ask people how they like your new bottle tree, be prepared for their honest opinions. No one rides the fence on these things.
My first bottle tree “sprouted up” in our garden four or five years ago. The way my wife went on, you’d have thought I’d just brought home a house goat. And it hasn’t softened a bit in the ensuing years. But I made a territorial decision. She rarely goes out in our yard. I’d continue to display my four bottle trees, but I’d keep them where she’d rarely see them. It was the practical thing to do, because we’re approaching 50 years of marriage, and the bottle trees don’t rise to quite that level of importance.
I’m a pretty conservative landscaper. I avoid the flamboyant, and I don’t have a lot of other rustic garden art. But when I saw classy guys like Mike Shoup, Bill Welch and Greg Grant with bottle trees in their gardens, well, I had to have one of my own. Or four.
You see, it’s old southern knowledge that bottle trees capture evil spirits. They fly into the upside-down bottles and they can’t figure a way to get out, so that’s where they die. Everybody knows you want evil spirits to die. Apparently except my wife.
So I posted one of my bottle tree photos on my Facebook page. I stepped back waiting for plaudits and virtual pats on my back. And I got a few. But I also got a lot of the same sentiment my sweet wife had been plentifully sharing. One lady in Fort Worth pretty well summed up that side: “I just don’t get it.”
We live in a several-acre pecan forest. There isn’t a lot of opportunity to grow flowering plants, so corners can go drab without special help. I decided to add a little zip to one of the darkest. I liked the results, so I planted another one. And then a third, and finally a fourth. And that may be where it stops. However, I do have a box of new bottles….
There are a couple of good sources of bottle trees and bottle tree paraphernalia. Here are ones with which I’ve done business.
Jerry Swanson in Wisconsin has a wide selection of styles. I’ve been really happy with my purchases. http://www.bottletreecreations.com
Bill Lipsey and his family are in Mississippi, so they know southern evil spirits and how to capture them.
Café Press makes special shirts for the dedicated bottle tree person: