Bottle Trees Play with Light

By Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster, The Herb Society of America

Bottle tree bookIn his garden every man may be his own artist without apology or explanation. Each within his green enclosure is a creator, and no two shall reach the same conclusion. –  Louise Beebe Wilder

While my interior décor is tastefully subtle in its use of color, my exterior landscape is lively. Vibrantly sunny Rudbeckia, deep purple Ajuga and paprika-topped yarrow flowers. The borders are variegated lemon thyme. I have tri-color sage and purple basil. My backyard garden is a place to live out loud through color and light, not just leaf shape and texture.

With that in mind, I’m contemplating a bottle tree in one of my spaces. It would play with color and light in ways that hum with energy.

Did I just say that? And, until recently, I thought bottle trees were a little, well, ‘tacky.’ And, then I encountered “Bottle Trees … and the Whimsical Art of Garden Glass,” by Felder Rushing (St. Lynn’s Press, 2013, $15.95).

The author explores the most unlikely of subjects through interviews, quotes and best of all colorful pictures. Among his subjects is Elmer Long’s Bottle Tree Ranch in California’s Mojave Desert. You have to see his forest to believe it.

Whatever your take, Rushing says, “Just relax your mind and enjoy it.”

Bottle trees, emptyIsn’t that what gardening is about?

Ironically, I was recently at M Cellars, a winery in Northeast Ohio that sells metal trees just waiting for bottles. They’re sturdy and at $250 come without wine. It’s tempting. But, then, I’d have to drink more wine.

4 thoughts on “Bottle Trees Play with Light

  1. i have seen bottle trees in Arizona which complimented the stark landscape of cacti in home gardens and also in the southern states. They are funky and quite beautiful with colored wine or other glass bottles. They are an historic piece of art originating in Central Africa and brought to the New World with slaves. It was supposed to guard the house from evil spirits – the spirit of dead ancestors being captured within the bottle would protect them from evil. They definitely have a place in my garden!

    Liked by 1 person

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