Welcome to Hillsborough Bottletrees

BottletreesHillsborough Bottletrees is a project started by two elementary school students in Hillsborough, NC, to locate and list all the bottletrees in our town and surrounding areas in Orange County.

If you have a bottletree and want to be included on here please contact us! If you know someone with a bottletree, please tell them about this project.

You can email us your photos, and we will upload them here for the collection. Tell us all about how you made your tree, and why, and anything else you want to share. If you don’t have any pictures, we will come and take photos for you!

You can contact us at hillsboroughbottletrees@gmail.com.  More information and FAQ on our About page.

Thank you!

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Blue Bottles Sparkle Against Hillsborough’s Winter Wonderland

More enchanting snowy bottletree photos arrived this week! These two were sent in by Ippy Patterson, a neighbor of Jeffery Beam and Stanley Finch, who made this soaring blue bottletree a few years ago.


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Happy Snow Days from Hillsborough Bottletrees

Hope everyone is staying safe and warm with all this snow!snowy bottletree 1snowy bottletree 2

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A Sea of Cobalt Blue

From the Orange County Recycling Web Site: Cart contractor staff deliver roll carts to Orange County rural residents that requested a cart.

The past few weeks in Orange County NC have been a blur of cobalt blue! And this time, not because of bottletrees, but because of these awesome new electric blue recycling carts the County is distributing for curbside recycling.

We love our new rolling cart — it holds a LOT more and makes it easier to get the stuff out to the curb. It also hopefully makes life easier for the people collecting the recyclables.

We’re definitely going to have to adjust our eyes, however. As dedicated bottletree hunters, we are used to slamming on the brakes and hollering “bottletree!?!?” whenever we see this bright blue cobalt color peeking out of someone’s backyard or from behind their garage. Now that practically every house has one of these new containers, we’re going to have to sharpen our skills! :-)


Cobalt Blue as far as the eye can see



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OHS Art Student + Monet + Bottletrees = AMAZING!

This Fall at Orange High School, the visual arts students did a unit on the techniques of Monet and other French Impressionist painters, and the students were asked to choose a subject for an impressionist painting.

One student, Mia Maxwell in Mrs. Elizabeth Dell-Jones’s art class, chose a bottletree as her subject. Mia had seen the bottletree exhibit at the Botanical Gardens in Chapel Hill, and other bottletrees displayed in Hillsborough, and says she was “in love with how the light seemed to dance from all the different colored bottles.”

Check out the original at the Botanical Gardens, and check out Mia’s interpretation. As with many impressionist works, the painting seems magically illuminated and even more dazzling than the original!

You can see Mia’s beautiful painting at the student art exhibit in the lobby of Orange High School, up until the end of November. We loved seeing all the students’ inspiring artwork.



“Orange County Bottle Tree” by Mia Maxwell, 2014

NC Botanical Garden blue bottle tree


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The Giving (Bottle) Tree

We saw this sweet little bottletree right by the intersection of Dodsons Crossroads and Orange Grove Road. Turns out it belongs to Ms. Betty H., who says that it was made for her by a friend. What a great gift from a great friend! Thanks for sending us the photo.


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Bottletrees highlighted in Hillsborough’s annual “Spirit Tour”

ghostsoldierIt is said that Hillsborough is haunted, and it certainly was filled with ghosts last Saturday night! The Alliance for Historic Hillsborough and the Orange Community Players teamed up to present a unique twist on your typical historic ghost walk, presenting an elaborately staged Spirits of Hillsborough Haunted Walking Tour.

The tour was brought to life by a host of ghostly apparitions, including historic figures such as Edmund Fanning and Mary Goddard Kollock Nash; the ghost of a fallen Confederate soldier; a despicable ne-er-do-well who died in a fight over a liquor still; and other colorful characters risen from the dead. Along the way we were spooked several times by wayward zombies, too!

Most especially, we were excited to hear the ghost of Mrs. Nash educate the tour group on the legends of bottletrees and how they can help trap “haints.”  She also told us about “haint blue” and how it is painted on the porches of many houses in the South to prevent ghosts from entering homes.

Thank you Historic Hillsborough for being such a fun place to live! Stay tuned for news about next year’s tour… this year all the slots sold out well in advance of show time, and we saw lots of people turned away at the door.  http://www.visithillsboroughnc.com/content/spirits-hillsborough-tours-1  All photos by Alliance for Historic Hillsborough

fanningghost narrators

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Local Artist Available for Custom Bottletree Orders

jeremy-stollings-ironwood-crafts-4We get lots of emails from our readers asking about local options for buying metal bottletrees, so we wanted to share this source with you.

For a custom-made, all-steel bottletree inspired by nature, you can contact Jeremy Stollings of Ironwood Crafts in Durham, NC. An average 7′ tree, which can hold 15-20 bottles, costs about $100, depending on the design.

You can reach him via email at jeremy@ironwoodcrafts.com or visit him in person at the Durham Craft Market, weekly on Saturday mornings on Foster Street in Durham. For more information, please visit http://www.ironwoodcrafts.com/trees.htmljeremy-stollings-ironwood-crafts-5

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