Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Bottle Trees

In the South primarily; but especially in southern Mississippi there is a frequently-encountered yard decorative scheme: the bottle tree. It was the custom to put old bottles on trees or bushes for decorative purposes.  Some are quite beautiful, particularly when sun-lit.

A legend with respect to the origin of bottle trees is that originally this originated from the Congo centuries ago and were brought to the New World by slaves.


The idea behind them is that imps or mischievous spirits would be trapped in the bottles and thus the bottles served as a means to discourage these malevolent spirits. They would become trapped in the bottles. Blue cobalt glass was especially preferred; but some bottle tree decorators use different colored bottles.


Nowadays, you can buy bottles specifically made to be put on bottle trees. This regional custom has become mainstream. Somehow, this is less sporting, I guess.



Some bottle trees have the user employing whiskey or beer bottles. This can be convenient in dry counties where the Drys are plentiful, Also, law enforcement occasionally gets earnest in enforcing prohibition laws. Then, the yard artiste is well-advised to put up her or his store-bought, unlabeled ornamental bottles!

13 comments:

Jono said...

If the bottles aren't scrounged it kind of takes the sport out of it.

Cloudia said...

Cool. Thanks for sharing

bakku-shan said...

That is neat!

Birgit said...

I recently saw a bottle tree but it was different colours with blue and the basic green being the most. I actually think it is kind of cool. I did not know the history so now I would love to see a fairy stuck in one of those:)

Mike said...

I'd never heard of these but the metal trees are for sale at all different prices.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

This would give a HOA fits!

Bilbo said...

I've often wondered what the bags of glass beads for sale in craft shops were used for ... now I know: they're bottle tree seeds!

John Hill said...

I hope those trees don't drop their bottles in the fall.
That could be dangerous!

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

John, yes bottle trees do lose their bottles sometimes. And it's messier than Bartlett pears.

A Cuban In London said...

A most interesting and informative post. Thanks.

Greetings from London.

Blogoratti said...

Haven't heard of this act before so its refreshing to learn. Greetings to you.

Banana Oil said...

Blue bottles look nice.

allenwoodhaven said...

Interesting. I'd not heard of this. It definitely has artistic potential.