Molly's Country Memories

Molly's Country Memories

The memories and happening in the everyday life of a country girl

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Ledgend of the bottle tree

I have been wanting a bottle tree for quite awhile, I remember the first tree I ever saw was when I was a little girl. We would go to Jackson to visit Jim and we traveled Hwy 51, this was before the interstate. When we reached the outskirts of Hazelhurst, there was an old house sitting on the right side of the road, an elderly Black Lady lived there with her Daughter. I
always loved how neat her humble little place was, she would white wash it every year and also do the picket fence. In her yard was a bottle tree covered with blue medicine bottle, It was awesome seeing the bright white and blue in the yard. I remember that tree from the time I was about 8 in 1951 till about 1976. Someone said the old lady passed and when her daughter passed, her Grandson redid the whole place. I sure miss see her little piece of
heaven or that is what I thought it was. For years they where very popular in the south, then the died down...people did away with all the older ideas. Surprising how now the same folks who tried to get rid of all the old country stuff are the ones going to flea markets and thrift shops trying to find it again. Any how the bottle tree is making a come back and I've finally talked DH into letting me get will be in my yard by summer time, just got to make him think it's his,
These pictures are from the web...Some more pretty bottle trees can be found here....
A Bit of Background and History of Bottle Trees
The bottle tree reflects an ancient African tradition that can be traced as far back as ninth century Congo where natives hung hand-blown glass on huts and trees to ward off evil. The tradition continued in Africa and eventually became a part of Southern African-American folklore. In the early American South, trees, typically cedar because its branches point toward the heavens, were stripped of foliage and decorated with colorful glass bottles.
According to African legend, the bottles attract evil spirits, which are drawn to the bursts of sunlit color. The spirits then become trapped inside the bottles, their voices heard moaning as the wind passes by. Though the legend that the bottles trap evil spirits is widely accepted, some believe that the bottles hold the spirits of their ancestors, while others contend that the bottle tree grants wishes.
The color blue also signified healing powers.
("The Campus Chronicle", Savannah College of Art and Design)

I have also heard that the bottle tree originated even earlier and father can read about it here...very interesting read.
How many of you have a bottle tree and how do you like it?


  1. Molly,
    These are so pretty! I have always loved the scene in Because of Winn Dixie, where the lady has bottles hanging from her giant tree. Can't wait to see yours... Dee Dee

  2. liked the blue tree the best, wow how fun. thanks for finding these. can't say that I ever saw one up close and personal.

  3. Hey Molly!

    I read about the bottle tree on Granny Sue's blog a couple months ago. It was really facinating. I was surprised to see someone else post about the bottle tree again. I think it is beautiful! I don't know if my husband would let me have one either. I don't have any small trees near my house even though I am surrounded by woods. You can go here to see Granny Sue's blog about what she wrote about it here

    I do hope that you get your blue bottle tree this Summer!


  4. Thank you so much for this post! I too have always wanted a "bottle tree." Can't wait till Springtime..guess what I plan to do? Thanks again for your informative post..made my whole day! Blessings, joy and sunshine, Terri

  5. I've wanted a bottle tree, too. However the wind blows so hard here they would break if suspended. I may try to make one this summer. I should start collecting bottles now.

  6. Hi Molly... made me think of the French Wine Bottle drying racks... which have been used as long as there have been wine bottles in France...

    can't wait to see photos of yours... keeping the bad spirits away!

  7. Molly - where do you get all this information? I want one - they are beautiful! Sandie

  8. Molly,

    I just LOVE these, and have vowed to have one in our little arbor way up here in the Heartland.

    The best collection of pictures I've ever seen is by Felder Rushing, down there near you. I featured it in a post when I first started blogging.

  9. I've never seen or heard of bottle trees before. I have seen potting sheds created with bottles - different colors of them - cemented like rocks - and a roof added. Once I spotted a gazebo created out of colored bottles and concrete - very interesting artistic talents!

  10. Well anybody visiting my blog already knows I have several.

    I had to LOL at my hair stylist. She and a lady were talking about a house for sale in Crystal Springs on one of the main streets that run into town.

    She said and they have that tacky ol bottle tree in the yard. When I snorted and cracked up, she asked why. I said well if you drive down my road I have 6 or 7 of those tacky old bottle trees in my yard.

    Her face turned very red.

  11. Molly, those are all so pretty!

    I, too, have been obsessed with getting a bottle tree, and have been looking for one since last summer. I fell in love with one last week at the Everyday Gardener in Jackson, and plan to go back and get it soon (hopefully, it will still be there).

    I love your new blog look -- it's perfect for spring!

    I can't wait to see yours!

  12. A neighbor has a bottle tree.

    I used to live near someone who not only had a bottle tree, but had many paths in their yard from bottles places downwards. It was like cobblestones.

    As you say, these "old timey" things get "out of fashion" and then everyone is sorry they did away with them!!!

  13. Incredible!! Love the look, love the history of them, and I ever want one!
    Must begin looking for colored bottles at sales...these are just the coolest things!


Little sweet memories whispered..