I read an article a while back about Bottle Trees. I had never heard of this custom nor seen them in my area. Now that the weather is breaking I have been thinking about a garden I had been working on. I named it My Secret Garden its' location is near the back of my property, it was over run with vines, junk and wild roses. I have been clearing the junk out and saving that which I want to incorporate into the garden. I left the huge wild vines that traversed the trees and lay upon the ground (my cats love it). The wild roses I have been coaxing to follow the vines up the trees. I have a little bench up there, but my plans for this garden are truly at the formative stages. One of those plans is to have a Bottle Tree for amusement, color (since most of it is in shade) and enjoyment.
In researching bottle trees I found that they derived in Africa where they would place colorful bottle on the branches of dead trees, the evil spirits would enter them and could not get out. Bottle trees are apparently common in the southern states because of the tradition that the slaves brought with them. I found another interpretation that said it was originated by the Cherokees and picked up by the slaves. The Cherokee hung shiny things (later glass bottles) on a dead tree to beckon good spirits into the village and frighten away the bad ones. It could be a very important tool for a tribal shaman, as it was the evil spirits that made people sick and caused bad things to happen. If children disappeared or died, it was evil spirits that snatched them or killed them. Good spirits had to be enticed to do good things for the "people" and the colorful, tinkling glass did just that.
I also went online to see if I could find pictures of Bottle Trees, most were attached on forms where the bottle's mouth was slid over. Some, however, were hung freely on trees to catch the wind and act like a wind chime.
I can envision a bottle tree in the sunny part of my yard with blue bottles on it and Morning Glories planted at its base, as they grow they will intertwine ,the bottles will capture the sun and the flowers will dazzle.
Well, the thought is implanted and I have a visual in my mind now the only thing missing is some lovely colored bottles.
Thought I would pass this on to all of you have been winter bound and are itching to get out there and enjoy your gardens.
This is a great time of the year to start a new beginning.
Wouldn't a Bottle Tree be great on your front yard to bring attention to the For Sale Sign that joins it. It certainly would have people take notice.