Gardening With Confidence – Add a Bottle Tree

Bottle Tree at Helen's Haven

Bottle Tree at Helen's Haven

Ever notice how some gardeners just seem to garden with ease, with not a care in the world?  Their garden grows well – better than yours, in fact,  despite all your efforts.  One question.  Do you have a bottle tree?

Bottle trees are the ultimate accent to gardening with confidence.   Think about it, a bottle tree allows you to garden without fear of haints, evil spirits, and other things that go bump in the night.  It’s bad enough we have to garden with deer, rabbits, copperheads, voles, moles, skeeters and such.  I can bare that.  But haints?  Ain’t no way!

From Peggy Titus garden open for Raleigh Garden Conservancy Open Days tour 2008

From Peggy Titus garden open for Raleigh Garden Conservancy Open Days tour 2008

Bottle trees are rich in southern history.  The idea of bottle trees was introduced to the south from African Congo slaves.   Here, bottle trees were used to protect homes from evil spirits whereby trapping spirits inside the bottle, corking ‘em in, and tossing into the river where they could do no harm.

Found on a drive by in Greensboro, NC
Found on a drive by in Greensboro, NC

This African tradition lives on in the south.  Whenever I see a bottle tree, I pause to reflect on the good spirits who started them.

If you want to improve your gardening, garden with confidence, get a bottle tree.  If for no other reason than to add color, conversation, and control  in the garden.

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12 Comments »

  1. tina said

    I am glad you posted this! I will put a link on my blog if it is okay with you. Bottle trees are such fun! I have two and am trying to figure out how to make one to hang from my porch. Will let you know once I do:)

  2. Of course Tina, I would love my bottle tree to be linked with yours. I have been meaning to post a little something on bottles trees FOREVER, but talking with you got me to do it.

    I have been pining over the bottle tree that got away. I was traveling in Chatham County once and saw the mother of all bottle trees. I was with a friend and she thought I was kidding about stopping and wouldn’t. I figured I would go back and shoot it. Being that I’m directionally challenged, I have not gone back to find it for fear I wouldn’t I really need to do it. In the meantime, I at least am letting the world know I think bottle trees are awesome!

  3. Nancy Locker said

    Helen- I am still searching for the perfect tree… but until then, I have a “bottle bush”, made up of old tent poles stuck in the ground at varying angles. I got interested in “bottle trees” after seeing the bottle gardens on Runnymeade. The first time that I ever saw one, I thought “that was SOME party!” When I learned the story behind them, I was totally charmed!

  4. [...] Gardening With Confidence – Add a Bottle Tree « Gardening With … Share and [...]

  5. Hey Nancy, I think I need to drive by to see it. Sounds interesting. H.

    • Nancy Locker said

      There is one garden close to the corner of Runnemeade & St. James….. lots of bottles on rebar. The other garden is closer to Buckingham. Fewer bottles but a very interesting garden. I’ve spoken with Barbara (Bunny)…. there’s a story there! I walk by whenever I can!

  6. [...] Ever notice how some gardeners just seem to garden with ease, with not a care in the world? Their garden grows well – better than yours, in fact, despite all your efforts. One question. Go here to see the original: Gardening With Confidence – Add a Bottle Tree « Gardening With … [...]

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  8. A few friends have these – I may out one in too as all the bottles thrown in my yard by passing motorists are clearly a hint that I need one.

  9. Hey Kathy,

    You may benefit from a recycle bin…and a Goodwill box for stray jackets and such. H.

  10. LOL so true – apparently the jacket found a home – no longer there. I did see a great bottle fence idea when I was last in New Orleans – see if I can dig out that photo from my piles and start on that project.

  11. always a fashionable statement in the garden…..

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