...more than you ever wanted to know about...

BOTTLE TREES

They are NOT what you think - or what most folks say

(For a THOROUGH - and non-commercial - history of glass bottle trees, click here)

 

Painting by Warren Summers of a rural bottle tree near Conyers, Georgia

 

WHOA! Are these... GLASS TREES?

... .

For a quick tour of a forest in the Bavarian Alps (near Regen, Germany) that features trees and shrubs made entirely of glass - some nearly 25 feet tall - CLICK HERE

Felder and a bottle tree at Disney's Epcot Center

 

The first bottle tree I remember ever seeing - at least the first one anyone explained to me - was alongside a dusty farm road alongside the Sunflower River, which snakes through the heart of Mississippi Delta cotton fields where I was raised. I was fifteen years old.

Since then I have photographed hundreds of these unique landscape accessories, from every state in the South to gardens in the Pacific Northest, Southern California, New England, Midwest, and even in upper Michigan. Plus Europe, South America, and Africa.

Many web sites now mention bottle trees, and quite a few offer them for sale. But most continue to pass around the same tired old history and lore (much of it inaccurate and boring) without getting into the, uh, "spirit" of what they are all about. This page - and my link to bottle tree history - is a partial compilation of many years of observation and research.

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My new book on bottle trees - and WAY beyond them, including lots of Dale Chihuly stuff and many never-seen images taken all over the world - will be available in January 2013. It is simply the best reference on the history and use of glass as garden ornaments.

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For thousands of years, superstition has held that bottles can trap bad spirits at night, which are then destroyed in the next day's sunlight - legends of "bottle "imps" and geniis in lamps originated in Arabia over three thousand years ago, and have been handed down through sub-Saharan Africa, up to Europe, and finally to North America.

Putting an artist's spin on what glass is about in the garden,

English artist Jenny Pickford, Britain's premier steel-and-glass maker,

summed it up well to me, explaining that what she does is simply

'holding glass up to the light, where it can sing'."

One of Jenny Pickford's creations, featured at the Chelsea Flower Show in London

www.jennypickford.co.uk

DIFFERENT VISIONS

To compare (really, to contrast) two different visions of what glass can be like in the landscape, check out these two - Elmer's Bottle Forest in the Mojave Desert of Southern California, and one of the dozens of installations I have photographed of Dale Chihuly, one of North America's premier outdoor glass artists:

Click the image

 

 

Dale Chihuly glass water fountain

Atlanta Botanical Garden

 

Elmer Long's Bottle Tree Forest

in the Mojave Desert

 

 

For the REAL deal on bottle trees

vs

Bottle genii .....versus Barbara Eden, most famous genii ever

Go to my thoroughly-researched

History of Bottle Trees

(click here)

 

Meanwhile, here are just a few examples of my hundreds of bottle tree photographs; all are original images except for three which were shared by friends.

ENJOY! Or better yet, GET INSPIRED!

FIRST, HERE ARE A COUPLE OF SHOTS OF A REAL AUSTRALIAN BOTTLE TREE (Brachychiton rupestris)

(TAKEN IN QUAIL BOTANICAL GARDEN, ENCINITAS CALIFORNIA)

.......

NOW FOR SOME INSPIRATION

NOTE: Most of these images do not appear in the new

Bottle Trees book,which is SO MUCH MORE than just home-made bottle trees (it includes a lot of very high-end glass garden art from all over the world). BUt this is a taste... be sure to also click on the links above for some really fantastic stuff...

Rural Mississippi Bottle Tree

 

Greg Grant's garden, near Timpson, Texas .

 

...

Bottle trees in Shangri La Botanic Garden. Orange Texas (photographs courtesy of Greg Grant)

..........

Jenks Farmer, near Florence South Carolina.. ...

 

Rick Griffin bottle tree, Jackson Mississippi.

 

.Jackson Mississippi ........ ..Neshoba County Fair, Mississippi ....Caledonia Mississippi

.......................Ava Maria Grotto, Cullman Alabama

Felder Rushing bottle tree..... ..... i

.Rural Mississippi......Gainesville FL

Outside Sonoma CA.......

.........................New England Flower Show, Boston MA

Mississippi Delta.... ....Rural Mississippi ............ ..

Quigley's Castle, Arkansas...........Rick Griffin..........Near Encinitas California...Huntsville Alabama

Laurel Mississippi

Callaway Gardens, GA.......San Antonia TX

Church window, Baton Rouge Louisiana....Mississippi Bottle House.

.The Shed Barbeque near Gulfport Mississippi........The Shed

 

....

 

. Traverse City, northern Michigan

...........Felder bottle tree...Felder bottle tree ..

Felder Rushing yard..

.Vicksburg Mississippi

Wade Wharton, Huntsville Alabama..........

.....................Mississippi Delta

University of Tennessee demo garden, Jackson Tennessee ..

...Milton, Florida

....Oklahoma City

.........................rural Mississippi

Memphis Tennessee ........Portland Oregon

....Blacksburg Virginia

....

.Savannah Georgia ....Ghana, West Africa

.

.Nacogdoches TX.....San Antonio Texas

.Felder bottles..... ....Portland Oregon

.

 

 

.Felder bottle tree......Recycled bottles, Pittsburgh PA

 

 

 

 

rural Mississippi.....................

....Buoy Tree, near Tampa Florida

Lucinda Hutson garden, Austin TX..... wine cork mulch

.Nacogdoches Texas..

.African entryway of bottles... rural Mississippi

 

Bowling ball bush, Alaska....

Rooster Tree, San Marcos, Texas........Tuba Tree, Encinitas California

 

Bottle drying rack...............Julia Child's bottle rack, Napa CA

 

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....Fraunau GlasseTree outside glass museum in Bavarian Forest (photo by Chris Werle Poplarville MS)..

Mae Morris, Columbia MS..

Gourd Tree, River Banks Botanic Garden, Columbia South Carolina......

 

.........

 

 

Felder's latest bottle tree, created by metal artist Stephanie Dwyer, currently of Jackson Mississippi (2 photos courtesy of Thomas Beck (www.beckphotagraphic.net):

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Stephanie working her craft

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HAD ENOUGH YET?

Well, for more bottle tree history go to my History of Bottle Trees.

And for a few hundred more images of very interesting bottle trees taken by others around the world, go to http://www.flickr.com/groups/663452@N22/ or go to http://pinterest.com/search/?q=bottle+tree or http://pinterest.com/search/?q=bottle+trees

 

and don't forget the new book - it's inexpensive and has TONS of photos and history, how-to, and great anecdotes and quotes related to expressing yourself in your garden...