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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Building a Bottle Tree

crLet me say for the record, Benedetto does not like these. A southern tradition, bottle trees— which are bottles of all sorts stuck on the end of dead tree branches, or tied to a living tree like Christmas ornaments— are often found out in the country on crepe myrtle tree branches near a home or cabin.

The tradition supposedly started in the area of Congo, West Africa, at least 1,000 years ago, warding off evil spirits in front of the family hut and then brought to the southern US by slaves.  As they say, I wasn’t there at the time….

Currently, bottle trees serve more as fun light-catchers in the garden, rather than demon driver-outers. They might be an accent piece in an obscure part of the yard, or nestled among bushes and vines. There are those who insist on all blue bottles, while others like a rainbow variety of colors.

In some respects, it looks like redneck redecorating, I’ll grant you.cr

But recently, I’m sold on some of the more whimsical styles fashioned from twisted rebar, or 4×4 fence posts drilled with dowels. Also, there’s the easy idea of large, felled branches, trimmed and stuck into the ground or a big flower pot. The branches just need to be sturdy enough.

Then there’s the issue of the bottles. We don’t drink wine or beer or vodka— what do tea-totalers hang from their bottle trees? Tea bags? My husband’s Frappuccino Mocha bottles are too bland to garner any interest on my part.

I’ll figure it out. This is not rocket science. There are two parts to the project: the bottles and the tree. How hard can that be?

Have you created a beautiful bottle tree?


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