Bottle Tree Dreams and Yard Art Fantasies

Help! I’m becoming one of those people! You know the one…the crazy neighbor down the street who has so much yard art, the addition of just one more tchotchke will take his yard from tasteful to tacky, from whimsical to wacky. Okay, I’m not that bad. Yet. But I’m working on it. πŸ˜‰

If you’ve been reading BNOTP for a while, you may remember I started saving bottles about a year ago for a future bottle tree. (You can read more about the history of bottle trees and view additional pics in THIS post.) A voice was whispering in my ear, “If you collect bottles, it will come. If you collect bottles, it will come.”

I must have been channeling the movie, Field of Dreams because my bottle tree materialized on a visit to the Ballard Design’s Outlet in Atlanta recently.

It wasn’t exactly the style tree I had planned when I was having bottle tree fantasies. I had pictured a free flowing, tree-like form, but whenever I came across those, they were ridiculously expensive.

The one that found me was originally priced at $349 (who the heck would ever pay that?) and was marked down to $60. It did look very much like another bottle tree I had seen and loved in the book, Southern Style by Mark Mayfield. So, I went for it. But she was sooo big, she wouldn’t fit in my SUV. (I’ve decided my bottle tree must be a “she.” Next I’ll be naming her and then you guys really will know I’m off my rocker. πŸ˜‰ I had to enlist the help of a friend with a van to get her home and onto the deck.

I had planned on holding off sharing my tree until I had her all decked out. But since that may take a while, I’m gonna let the ole bottle tree cat out of the bag. Then you can watch her get prettier and more colorful over the coming summer months. πŸ™‚

Actually, you got a little view of her in my Tablescape Thursday post. Yep, you did. Only one person noticed her, though, and that would be Jo. Jo, you’re scary good. I’m impressed! πŸ™‚ I didn’t expect anyone to spot her. I thought my bottle tree secret was safe. πŸ˜‰

So here she is, still mostly “neked.” I’m trying to NOT buy bottles. Instead, I’m trying to be patient and let her evolve with time as I collect a few here and there. This represents a year’s worth of collecting, so that could take a while. πŸ˜‰ Well, actually I’ve had one of those blue bottles for years and I opened the red bottle and poured the Luna di Luna Merlot wine into another container just so I could see it on the tree. πŸ™‚ Inpatient = my middle name.

This is what she aspires to be when she grows up one day. πŸ˜‰

(Image from Southern Style by Mark Mayfield)

On a recent trip to a fun antique shop called Fleu de Coop in Kennesaw, Georgia, I found a large, glass, float-ball in a pretty green color for just $20. That was the best price I’d ever seen for one of those. I’m sure it’s not an antique. It turned out to be a great topper for my tree. I placed the tree here on the deck where I can see it and enjoy it. If I had placed it down in the yard, I would rarely see it.

This tree is approximately 6 feet tall and 38 inches across. It seems smaller in these pics but it actually feels pretty big in person. Wouldn’t it be pretty encircled with flowers in clay pots around the bottom? It’s so excruciatingly hot here in Georgia now, I’m having trouble keeping my potted plants watered, so I think I’ll wait on buying additional flowers.

I’ll be reading back to all the comments left on THIS post when you generously shared suggestions for drinks that come in pretty bottles. If you see a drink in a pretty, sunny-golden bottle, let me know. She needs some sunshine-yellow bottles for her bottle dress.

While at Fleu de Coop, I snapped a few pics of some of their fun, garden art. The friends who were with me that day each bought something silly and whimsical for their yard. They tell me I’ve corrupted them…my work is done. πŸ˜‰

I am so wanting a flying pig. Every yard needs a flying pig, don’t cha think? They were $25 for the smaller ones. All the garden art appeared to have been made from scrap metal and car parts. What a fun way to recycle.

Hilarious! Life is too short to not surround yourself with unexpected bits of whimsy and foolishness. That’s my motto; maybe I should stick it on my header. lol

You can’t ride this bike, but wouldn’t it be a delightful surprise to find on a stroll down a garden path? I can just see it tucked in among the flowers and filled with more flowers.

These roosters don’t eat much, they won’t wake you up at the crack of dawn and they promise to never, ever peck at you.

So funny! This big guy was $189. The white one above was $49.

Got a horsey lover in your family?

I loved these darling bird houses. I was a tad worried if I bought one and placed it in my yard, a bird might actually nest inside. They are metal and were extremely hot…would be unbearable for the birdies.

So, I resisted, but aren’t they beyond cute? Maybe they would be great on a screened-in porch where the birdies couldn’t get inside. They were $79.

Totally love this guy…and he was huge. Aren’t praying mantises supposed to bring good luck to the garden? This guy was only $29…very reasonable for a piece this big.

So, what’s your take on garden art? Do you love it or hate it? Do you like it in back yards, but not so much in front yards? Be gentle, don’t break my yard-art loving heart. πŸ˜‰

Pssst: To view the tablescapes linked for Tablescape Thursday, click HERE or just click on “96 Beautiful Tablescapes” shown under “Miss a Post This Week” at the top of the blog.
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  1. Susan,
    I just wanted to say a great big thank you for posting the deal on the 2 remaining bottle trees at Ballard's Outlet. Right after I read your post last week, I immediately called them and at first they told me they had 2 small ones left. I gladly paid for them over the phone and went to pick them up Saturday. It turned out to be 2 of the large ones just like yours. I was so happy I almost cried. Like you, it wasn't exactly the shape I had always been searching for, but they are absolutely wonderful!!!
    Yours look stunning on your deck!
    Thank you so very, very much for the head's up last week.
    I am in the market for a junk yard art pelican to put on my dock at the lake.
    If you run across one, let me know. I will check out Fleu de Coop. Thanks!!!
    Julia Greenway

  2. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Julia, that's awesome! You got a screaming deal! I should have bought another one when they went down to $20 but I just had no way to get it home. Send me some pics when you get yours decorated and I'll share them here on BNOTP! πŸ™‚ Hope you find your pelican…I'll let you know if I see one somewhere.

  3. Happy Cottage Quilter says

    This is too funny. After I posted my tablescape I went back and read your post. I noticed the colors on the side of your pictures. I almost asked "Susan, is that a bottle tree on your deck??" And so it is πŸ™‚

    Jocelyn @

  4. Tanya@takesix says

    I sure do like yard art. I found an old wicker rocker in someone's garbage last year. I brought it home, painted it white, and it's sitting in the middle of my perennial garden!! It looks awesome, if I do say so myself! ;0)

  5. Kathysue says

    Susan I am not big on yard art, but I am a huge fan of bottle trees. I love bottles and have always had a fascination with the shapes and colors of bottles. If you have a cost plus you can get Tynant still water in red bottles. I get it especially at Christmas time it is so pretty on the table!!! I think you bottle tree is going to be amazing. I am thinking some white lites would look amazing at night and the bottles would just glisten!!! Did you see my playroom bottles on the top shelf. I love the ambient light they put out in the room. Have fun collecting more bottles. Kathysue

  6. First of all, I love the bottle tree. I have some garden art, but I am a little afraid to just go hog wild with it for fear I will become the crazy lady with all the concrete burros in her front yard. I probably have about ten items in my yard right now, with the weirdest being a vintage 1950's wooden pink flamingo. Actually not as tacky as it sounds!

  7. Olive Cooper says

    I love yard art but do try to keep it restrained and not cross the line into tacky…just where is that line anyway? I may be just the one to open a vintage garden shop one day. I find old garden urns all the time and have to buy them. The bottle tree is stellar!

  8. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Tanya, I love that! I bet it looks wonderful!

  9. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Kathysue…I'm gonna check that out this weekend…thanks for the tip! I don't think I remember seeing your bottles? There used to be this amazing picture at houzz of a window behind shelves that were covered in brightly colored bottles. It was really pretty!

  10. Anonymous says

    Yard art is fine if kept to a minimum. The guy up the street from me has so much at this point it looks like a junk yard. This spring he added fake flowers to his flower pots. I'd like to say to him "look around, do you see stuff in other yards?"

  11. Your bottle tree is awesome! What a great find!!!
    I love yard/garden art. I have wanted one of those roosters for a long time and I almost bought a flying pig last week!
    I have a couple of make-shift bottle trees, one in the front yard and one in the back. I keep adding stuff to the front a little at a time to see how far I can push it before I hear from the HOA!I am also really wanting some plastic flamingos – I know, tacky, tacky but I just love 'em!

  12. Glenda/MidSouth says

    I like your bottle tree! Thought about starting one years ago, as I love pretty colored glass bottles, but ditched the idea when found out what one would cost and really did not have a space for one. I have a cobalt blue bottle I have had for years and use for a bud vase on occasion. I threw out a greenish/yellow wine bottle recently that I kept around for quiet a while trying to think of a use for it.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  13. Glenda/MidSouth says

    Meant to add – You better keep your "yard art" in the back around here. πŸ˜€

  14. mary beth says

    Susan you got me thinking about a bottle tree way back when, and I had seen one in my town that I love to drive by, so I thought…me too! I have made my own by just jamming different lengths of re-bar into the ground and topping them with assorted bottles. Home Depot cut the rebar for me and they didn't seem too happy about it, because they had to go hunt for the proper saw blade, but they did do it! I just stick my head down in the box labelled green/blue bottles at the recycle place and ask if I can have a couple. I have noticed that they are selling them now at their little store, so I may have alerted them to the potential money making possibilities there…they are still cheap though! I love seeing mine sparkle in the sunshine with my other yard what-nots!~~

  15. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Mary Beth, I bet you did. lol They realized their blue and green bottles were a commodity. I'll have to see if they will let me have some at the recycle place here in my county. I have a feeling they will say no. That's a great idea, though!

  16. Susan, I have really gotten a chuckle out of this post!…the funny think is I've been called "dead-eye Jo" all my life,this is so ironic.Hope I didn't spoil everything by letting the cat out of the bag.But I couldn't help myself,I saw it in the background and it caught the
    "ole eye",I have always wanted a bottle tree, and have often wondered if it makes lovely sounds when the wind blows….does it?
    ~Jo……(just call me dead eye)
    O' BTW I'm having my first little giveaway next week on June 15th I'm joining up with Happier Than A Pig In Mud for a cookalong with the Pillsbury doughboy.
    I've got butterfly's in my stomach, any tips on how to keep it simple and fun!

    • So good to see someone else sees the beauty in bottles and bottle trees. Came across your post on Pinterest. Love it and in the process of collection large bottles for diplomat our French house. If you are interested I have a post ‘you say demijohn and I say carbon’. A bottle tree is on my vide grenier hit list this year. I have a pin board for that under ‘Bakelitebabe’.

  17. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    No, I was just kidding, Jo. I was actually amazed you noticed it. I just tried hitting Ctl + to enlarge some of the tablescape pics and you're right…you can see it really well when you do that. πŸ™‚

  18. Susan..I so love your bottle tree. Is there a story behind these trees? I have never seen any out in the Great Northwest. Are these the best keep secret from the South? I'm going to spread the word or should I say, share the bottle……

  19. Susan @ says

    Hi Susan,
    I love the bottle tree, I can't believe that's all the bottles you've saved for a year… I'd have that baby filled in a couple of months!
    Anyway, I digress, it is beautiful!
    Susan @ homeroad

  20. Karin Şen Cankan says

    Ohh My God I dont beleive I missed the bottle tree from your Tablescape post as I am a bottle lover, just loved it so much, I have the big green one in my living room but I would loved to have one with a tree.

    Great one thank you for sharing.
    Karin Şen Cankan

  21. The Real Me! says

    I'm having issues but I don't know if they are good or bad. A wave of different emotions came over me when I saw your "yard art". LOL! And I all of a sudden feel the urge to send you all our empty glass bottles. LOL! I can't wait to see it when it's done.

    I bet you could make some music on that thing by hitting the bottles with a spoon or something. Just a thought. It might as well be functional as well. Ha! Ha!
    Have a great night.

  22. Oh how I am hoping that a bottle tree is in my future! (For the BIG birthday!) I have been saving bottles for years hoping for the tree! Love yours!

  23. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Hi Sherri, You are so cute! πŸ™‚ Well, bottle trees are kind of a southern thing, although folks think they may actually have their origins in Africa. You can read more about the history of bottle trees in this previous post I've linked below:

  24. Kathleen says

    I have never seen a bottle tree here. It must be a Southern thing!

  25. Anonymous says

    I have a recently erected bottle tree outside my kitchen window that no one can enjoy except us. Blue,green and frosty white adorn this jewel. We had a sudden hailstorm yesterday and the noise was like music. Just wait until you have hail in your area to see those babies bounce!

  26. Hi Susan…Loved the bottle tree. Sooooo unique. Never heard of them until I read your previous post. So cool.

    Garden art? Hmmmm. I like Italian statuary! Does that count? I like fountains, too.

    Oh, come to think of it, I have an ADORBLE froggie on a swing on the side porch. He's out there year-round. He must get chilly when he's covered with snow in the winter. hee hee

    Take care and good luck finding bottles in every color of the rainbow! Susan

  27. Susan, the bottle tree has certainly filled out. πŸ˜‰
    Yard art is popular here in TX, but I'm not a big fan. A little goes a long way with me. I like whimsy in the garden, but not bright colors. Love the bottle tree though. I'll be on the search for some yellow ones. ~ Sarah

  28. I love your tree! I wish I could find one that tall. The small one I bought at the Virginia Beach Home and Garden show is lacking one bottle and it will be full!

    I love the red bottle!

    From Virginia

  29. I could fill that tree in a couple months. We go through a lot of wine around here between us and also with our guests.
    If I put one out my sons would probably want to get a pellet gun and take shots at it.

  30. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Lori, it takes a while since I'm only saving bottles that are cobalt blue, bright green or other bright colors. I don't drink that much wine, either…makes me feel tired. lol

  31. Lizabeth says

    I enjoy some garden art, but definitely a limited amount…I like to discover things in someone's yard. I don't use any out in front though..guess I'm prudish! I actually have my eyes on those metal flying pigs! I want a little one! It doesn't go with anything in my yard though! I'm still deciding!

  32. Sheri in Texas says

    Hi Susan,

    I have been reading your blog for a long time and always enjoy it but I've never left a comment. I have several decorative birdhouses I don't want nests in so I buy corks the size of the hole and paint them black so they don't show. Hope you find this useful.

  33. When I started reading about a bottle tree I thought of my friend who made a bottle tree in an actual tree in the town park. She hangs bottles in this tree. I have never seen this kind of bottle tree. So cool… love the photos. I hope your tree continues to grow and grow. I adore the roosters and love the bird houses! wow so cool

  34. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Sheri, that's a great idea! I will definitely remember that if I ever splurge for a whimsical house.

  35. Love Being A Nonny says

    Susan, What a great find!!! I remember seeing the post you had before about these and showing it to my husband. We both love those trees!!! It looks great with the big, green ball on top! White lights inside the bottles would be glorious at night. As far as yard art….backyard only for me!

  36. Its So Very Cheri says

    What a fun tree. I love it.


  37. Love, Love, Love the bottle tree. I have been looking for one, but I want it the shape of a tree. I don't want too much yard art, but I do like it and that praying mantis is destined for my yard since I plan to shop out that way next week with my daughter. Have Fleu de Coop on my list of places I want to go.

  38. Susan, I suspect with your wide audience you may find some sacks full of bottles on your doorstep one day.

    I enjoyed this post.

  39. Crystal @ Ordinary Days says

    I love whimsy and this tree is a great little (or big) πŸ™‚ splash of whimsy!! It will be fun collecting all those bottles over the next couple years. Have a great weekend!!


  40. Susan (My Place to Yours) says

    WOW! My "yard art" likes are VERY limited — but NOT nonexistent! I prefer statuary and wrought iron with just a touch of (perhaps rusty but not brightly-colored) whimsy thrown in for good measure. I MIGHT could go so far as a really classy bottle tree, but Renaissance Man says NO WAY to that one! πŸ™‚

  41. Miss Jean says

    I have a large standing birdhouse on our deck out front along with a stone Scottie to greet visitors. Also, a few welcome signs, but not lots of garden art. I have more "hardscape" art in the back yard but I'm very fussy about what it is. Mostly bunnie statues and celtic crosses. I would love a bottle tree, however.

  42. Mariebop says

    I once saw a bottle tree in my future… My husband brews his own beer and wanted to get one to dry beer bottles on.

    Love the praying mantis! Wish I had a beautiful garden to put her in.

  43. I also love bottle trees. I have a small one next to my purple shed with blue bottles. If you want do a search on my blog for the post. My kids think I am weird but I don't care. I can never get enough garden art. Yours looks great and will get better with time. Love Lana

  44. I read this post EARLY this morning in the middle of a long night of insomnia, which sent me on a web search about bottle trees, yard art, bottle garden edging, etc.

    It was a very enjoyable way to spend a sleepless night!

    I plan to get some rebar and put individual bottles in my garden as little touches of whimsy…thanks for the inspiration!

    Our neighbor has a cute metal sculpture of a cat with wings (a tribute to a beloved pet, I think), that from my kitchen window, is a very sweet sight!

    I'm not a huge fan of yard art, but I like the occasional touch of color and originality!

  45. Betty Mae says

    I love your tree. The first one I ever saw was off a little mountain road in the middle of nowhere. I fell in love with it and since it was before the age of Google, had trouble finding out about it.

    There is a neat article and some picures at


  46. I love garden art. I have many metal flowers, one angel, a funky chicken and some little signs in my garden. I think they add such wonderful whimsey to the garden. I simply love reading your blog. Thanks so much for sharing great ideas and pictures.

  47. Anonymous says

    Garden art is fine if done tastefully. But the bottle tree can be a danger in a storm. It can blow over or it can get hit by a tree limb. Glass and the outdoors are not always a good idea. But inside – it is very nice if you have the room. I've seen many of these when we peddle our bikes around the beach area. But they are almost always placed on lots without trees.

  48. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Anon, thanks for your input. This one is extremely. I don't think it's going anywhere without a crane. πŸ™‚

  49. Love the start of your bottle tree. the big balloon on the top is perfect.. I think you need a bottle of chambord, a bottle of patron, look at some of the delicious olive oils too.. have fun! You know the fun is in the collecting. many blessings, marlis

  50. Lynn@ The Vintage Nest says

    I was never really into these bottle trees until I saw yours. It's absolutely fabulous! You should put out a call to all your blogger friends for unusual bottles. I know we would all be happy to send you one. πŸ™‚ Hope you are having a fabulous weekend.

  51. I had seen bottle trees but hadn't a clue that there was a special holder for collections. For me that would be an addiction waiting to happen. I love a yard art. Mine tends to run to bird houses, cast iron animals (they get such a rich patina) and staked candle holders. I really have to edit myself with it too or I am over in Sanford and Son territory.

  52. Anita @ Cedar Hill Ranch says

    Why oh why don't I live close to the Ballard's outlet? But I'm glad you got her. I have got to get a picture of a place here in Texas where they have made a bottle tree from a dead tree, and it is covered with bottles. It is I am guessing 20 feet tall if I remember correctly. I'll share when I get the photos, next time I am out that way. Those pictures of the yard ornaments were cracking me up.

  53. Denise at PinkPostcard. says

    I love these bottle trees. There's a home across town that has one in their front yard with only blue bottles- so pretty! You asked about a 'sunny' yellow bottle- I recently saw a gorgeous sparkling wine at Costco- I noticed it specifically because of the bottle! can't remember the wine's name, but if you looked with the sparkling / champagne blends, hopefully they have it in your area. (I live in the NW…) good luck!

  54. Alittle late to the party– just catching up on my blog reading.. I love Yard art– I could easily be the crazy lady "in that house"– but I try and be good.. I sneak pieces into my garden.. I have a concrete standing bunny that peeks out of my day lilys, and a metal frog that hides in the daisys.. and then there are a few more frogs and even a little gnome but they are "finds" in the garden…
    I totally loved the bottle tree when you posted about it last year… but I am worried that it will look like sandford & son moved in…(showing my age>??)

  55. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    Vicki, your garden sounds wonderful. I love it when there are little "surprises" around the corners. I had a concrete bunny among my daylilies and irises years ago, but a not-so-nice teen in my neighborhood (and his friends) stole it and broke it up on a storm drain two houses down from me. My neighbor in that house saw them do it through her garage windows. Not nice.

  56. Paula Jo @ Outdoor Garden Decor says

    I love garden art, but then I have seen to much of it in someone's front yard, and thought it looked like a junk yard. I mean you couldn't even see the grass in their yard for the garden art. They went way overboard. What you have is so cute, and some of it would look cute in my country back yard and garden.

  57. Susan,
    Wish I had room for one that size. I got one of these: I will see if I can find a pic of it in the garden. We put it in a pot of rocks between the raised beds.Here is the post that shows the bottle tree: I have since added more bottles hope to have it full soon. Good luck with yours.


  58. Anonymous says

    Love your blog, thank you for the information on blue bottle trees. I found you during a google search regarding them. I cracked up when I saw the chickens… there is another blogger who wrote about them, one of my favorites to read. You have to be a little zany yourself to appreciate her, but if you search for the 'bloggess' and look at her June 2011 archives you'll find it. worth a read, i promise!

  59. Susan BetweenNapsOnThePorch says

    Thanks! I will google her…would love to read it. I've added a good many more bottles to my little tree. You can see them in this post: I actually removed the solid red ones…decided to go with just the see-through bottles. So fun! πŸ™‚

  60. Linda Panter says

    Susan where did you get your big bottle trees? Ballard’s Outlet..where is that?? I LOVE YOUR BOTTLE TREE πŸ™‚ Thanks Linda P.

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