Hillsborough Bottletrees mentioned in the News and Observer

Caine St Hillsborough 2We were so excited to be mentioned in the News & Observer last week! Here’s the link to the article, which discusses bottletrees and how they are starting to pop up all over the country, despite being considered a southern tradition.

The reporter asked us our opinion on why bottletrees are so popular in Hillsborough and Orange County, and we really couldn’t say that we know of a reason. It’s clear to us why they might be popular in general (because they’re AWESOME), but not why they are so numerous in this area. Does anyone have any thoughts about that??

Thanks for reading!

4 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Jeffery Beam said,

    Wonderful article! My only addition to it would be that in the original description and comments I sent to you about my two bottle trees (your last post) is that the whole spirit idea was one of the main reasons I wanted to make a bottletree. I said: . “As a poet, and a native North Carolinian, and a believer in garden spirits, the little people, visionary folk art and folk art, and the spirit world in general I’ve always been drawn to bottletrees.” I perhaps should have explained further that my intent was certainly to keep evil spirits away from our place. The reason my main tree is blue is because that really is, traditionally, the only color (because of the water-like qualities) that can catch evil spirits. I think the article answers pretty well the reasons bottletrees have become popular. I would add that it has to do first with the rise in popularity of gardening throughout the country in the last 30 years, and the acceptance into the art world and the subsequent media attention to Visionary Folk Art. That came first before the then additional rapid spread of the idea through the internet, and through Rushing’s website and book. There are also a lot more blue bottles around these days – especially in wine and bottled water. Congrats on the article!

  2. 2

    You offer a great perspective, Jeffery, thanks! I hadn’t thought of the rise of gardening, but that must certainly be a factor, and of the rise of Visionary Folk Art as well. The kids have an additional question — they wonder if there should be a distinction made between “keeping away evil spirits” and “trapping evil spirits.” I guess the ancient tradition emphasized the trapping of spirits, and that is how it’s presented in the Bemis books. But I think popular perception is that they ward off spirits, maybe through the threat of entrapment? Hmm… food for thought. Thanks for your comment!!!

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