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Dig, plant, water. If only it were that simple. It’s actually the passion for this art and the gear involved that makes it flourish.

My passion color palette lives on in my garden. There’s nothing better than running your fingers across the ground—you know, making those nails nearly irreparable.

Born and raised in Texas—with its seven hells of heat from June to October—I had to hone my craft. Admittedly, many plants succumbed to my not-so-green thumb in those early attempts.

But, along with whatever horticultural niche you find, you end up talking and feeding into the knowledge of the land (so to speak). I mean, you can’t have a successful garden without the faithful little dwarves lurking around.

In my previous life, I was a professor of English. Prior to moving into my current job as an editor or—as I like to call it—architect, I spent some time studying in Faulkner’s southern fried Yoknapatawpha, the Mississippi Delta, and the country vibes of it all.

It was there that I discovered my love for the bottle tree and its illustrious knowledge. Maybe you’ve seen this beauty—colorful, unique—no two are alike.

Multi-colored bottles look broken and tied to poles
Even broken bottles are beautiful. Image via geoBee.

According to the story, you hang bottles from a tree—the blue ones are the best—so when evil spirits approach your home with evil intentions, they are lured into this glittering cage, trapped inside, only to be snuffed out by the morning sun. Problem solved.

Traditional bottle tree with cobalt blue bottles on metal structure
The traditional bottle tree with the little blue bottle—will definitely catch those little demon spirits. Image via Maria T Hoffman.

Since blue is usually associated with ghosts, spirits, and the like (haint blue to be precise), getting your tree filled with blue bottles ensures a good catch.

This particular shade of blue is used on patio doors, patio floors, and patio ceilings for good reason. Spirits, especially evil ones, love the color blue. And, yes, my front door and back porch are painted the exact same color, along with bottle trees on both ends. . . So, I’m closed. Thank you for your attention.

However, you see bottle trees dotting yards across the South, often in a beautiful array of colors. (Just to make sure one of the bottles it’s blue, mind you.)

Various colored bottles on metal structure in foreground with garden in background
Bottle trees highlight the essence of your already colorful and fresh garden. Image via Lee Yiu Tung.

How about some winter inspiration? Healthy . . . Winter gardens exist, even in Texas. Broccoli, beets, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots. A surly Snapdragon, a smooth dianthus and a quiet little pansies.

Don’t forget to plant tulips, daffodils, and spider lilies for a lovely spring surprise.

But, always lurking in and around the garden every season—the bottle tree. Keep us safe. Gives glass a shimmery shine with a touch of color.

So, we come full circle. The color of my passion? Rosemary, lavender, basil, mint, lemon balm, lilies, sunflowers—in all their flavors, sizes, and mountain ranges.

Sun baby succulent. prickly pear. Purple heart smooth flow. Beautiful peppers are ready for pickling—green, red, purple, orange.

And yes, that colorful tree of sparkling glass.

Dried herbs hanging over tincture bottles and oil on wooden table
Image via Madeleine Steinbach.

The color of my passion changes with the seasons, but it always begins and ends with a dive into the rich savory lands; a delicious, colorful, bewitching aroma; curious gnomes; and a bottle tree to keep things wise. . . I mean safe.

Cover image via Kerdkanno.

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