My Garden Bottle Tree

October 12, 2012

Last December, I hit my one-year anniversary in the neighborhood. While I’m a busy gal and haven’t had a chance to meet everyone in the neighborhood, I’ve been really impressed with what a nice group of people my neighbors are.

In addition to moving into a house that has, well…let’s just call it a “reputation” (a little something to do with a mummy…), something else in my yard seems to have captured the attention of many of you in the neighborhood. My bottle tree.  If you haven’t noticed, I’m a gardener.  While my front landscape will be an ongoing work in progress, I have been able to at least put a few personal touches on my driveway bed so far.

Bottle tree

My bottle tree traveled with me from my last home, located in Little Forest Hills, and was one of the first items I placed in the front bed.

What is this bottle tree for you ask? Firstly, I happen to think it’s just pretty. I find it a nice accompaniment to plants in the garden, especially when it catches the sunlight or raindrops. The history of bottle trees goes back all the way to Africa, as early the 1700′s. It was a tradition to hang shiny objects and bright ribbons outside of the home. The thought was that evil spirits were attracted to those objects, and it kept them outside of the home. The bottles became a way to “trap” the evil spirits before they could enter. Over the years it’s become a Southern garden tradition.

My bottle tree also captured the attention of someone outside of the neighborhood; so much that they couldn’t keep their sticky fingers off my pretty blue and green bottles.  This past spring, I woke up early one Saturday morning and proceeded to my garden puttering.  I couldn’t put my finger on it at first, but something just didn’t seem right. It took me about 30 minutes of puttering before I realized it was my bottle tree that was naked…all my pretty bottles were gone.  Really? Needless to say, I was a bit irritated. I had to drink a lot of Riesling to get all those blue bottles! No one needs to drink that much Riesling.  One of the reasons I put effort into my garden is to offer beauty and enjoyment to those that live around me…it’s not a purely selfish act on my part. It’s how I interact with my community. My bottle tree or any other sculpture that I put in my yard is for all to enjoy. All I can hope is that the culprit set themselves up a pretty bottle tree in their yard for all their neighbors to enjoy.

When did I know I had really cool neighbors? When random pretty blue bottles started showing up on my doorstep.  And then an entire bag of them from Bob & Shirley next door.  . My bottle tree was restored.  Apparently, unbeknownst to me, there was quite the chatter about my bottle tree scandal on the neighborhood email list. I had no idea this little thing had become something you all enjoyed so much and I’m much happier to now live in “the bottle tree house”.  But don’t go getting any ideas…because I epoxied them on this time… smile

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