It's not a 'Forest Pansy' Redbud.
It's not a Paperbark Maple either.
In fact it's not any of the other trees I considered getting in my recent tree post.
It's a tree I've been wanting in my garden for many years -- at least 8. Ever since the first time I saw photographs of one on the web.
I've been saving up for it for a long time.
But I haven't been saving my pennies to buy one.
I've been saving bottles.
It's a bottle tree!
|It's the first thing you see when you come through the gate on the south side of the house.|
|It's in a great spot to capture both morning and afternoon sun.|
|I've had some of these bottles since long before we moved here from Massachusetts. In fact, some of them were given to me by a Massachusetts friend, who got them from Freecycle. They were packed up and shipped in two big boxes when we moved.|
|Catching some rays!|
|The bottles are a bit dirty and dusty and spotted, they've been in storage for a long time.|
|I prefer it with different colors than just blue, although the blue ones are pretty.|
I wish I could take credit for how beautifully it turned out, but my contractor Chris Gilliam created it. I told him how to put it together, but it was his genius idea to make the rebar "boughs" different lengths, longer at the bottom so that it has the same shape as a fir tree. And they are stuck in at different angles, rather than lined up in rows. I suggested rows to him, but he had a better idea, which I wasn't sure would work. But it did. It's basically a four-inch cedar fence post, attached to a concrete fence pier (left over from garden construction the first year we were here), with holes drilled in the cedar and rebar stuck into the holes. I dug a deep hole and buried the concrete pier.
I'm thinking of growing a vine up it next year, but I need to think what. I've seen pictures on Pinterest of a blue bottle tree with a black-eyed susan vine on it, and it looks good.
I think Felder Rushing includes an entry for the bottle tree, which he calls Silica transparencii, in all his books. He has a website here with lots of photos of them too, as well as a history of bottle trees here. Supposedly they originated as a way to capture evil spirits, which are attracted to the color blue, and get trapped at night inside the bottle, and then are zapped by the morning sun.
Nigel says we should put Budweiser bottles on it. Then we can tell people the tree is in bud. That man, such a wag.