View Full Version : Anyone ever find bottles lining a flower bed?

jays emporium
06-19-2009, 04:07 PM
About 35 years ago when I was first starting to collect bottles there was an old house in town that had old looking bottles stuck in the ground with just the bottoms exposed lining the sidewalk and flower beds. I finally got enough nerve to ask the ancient old lady if I could have some of those bottles. She said NO. So I asked what if I replaced them with some other bottles about the same size and she said OK.
They were mostly unembossed aqua and amber quart blob top beers and hock wines. I did find an embossed amber blob top San Antonio Brewing bottle and Conrad's Original Budweiser and a local Hutchinson and a few other embossed bottles in there though and replaced them with some screw top quart whiskey bottles.
Since then I've seen bottles at flea markets and shows that show the same stained pattern with the top part of the bottle severely stained and the bottom clean from never being in the ground. So I guess this was a common practice around the turn of the century. Have any of you ever come across this?

06-19-2009, 04:21 PM
No, but that is very interesting.

06-19-2009, 04:33 PM
I've run across a sidewalk with hobble skirt Cokes set in concrete as a border. We spent hours trying to chip away enough contrete to see if any were 15's or Christmas. No such luck[:@]

06-19-2009, 06:09 PM
When I was a boy several on the old folk around did that with bottles they figured they couldn't find a use for. They also swept their yards.

I did see a wall made of ballast bottles. It was about 3ft high and about 10 or 12ft long. A bud dug them all and wanted every one anyone else dug and didn't want. The are plentiful around these parts.

06-19-2009, 06:56 PM
Cool story! I never saw anything like that around these parts.. a few months ago somebody posted about finding a grave lined with bottles.. I think they were Paines.. wish somebody could dig that thread up again!

06-19-2009, 07:38 PM
Yeah one of my neighbors was gardening years back and found some bottles, I don't know the dumping grounds were intentionally flower beds then, but either way it must be a neat surprise :D

RED Matthews
06-19-2009, 07:50 PM
Hello to all of you on this thread. When I was in Christchurch, NewZealand viviting their glass factory, one of the most interesting things I found there - was the fact that most home yards were all nothing but flower beds. One of those yards had corked bottles on two large walls.

One time when we were traveling in the western USA, I ran into a little building that was built with masonry using bottles for the building; with the bottoms facing the outside world.. I didn't get any pictures and I don't remember where it was. Unique though.

In my homepage, I pointed out that my first attraction to collecting glass was created when my parents visited some friends home. I was allowed to walk around the yard and was attracted to the lady's rock garden flower bed. What attracted me was over 50 pieces of glass from furnaces where the woman's husband worked. *Corning Glass". I liked what I saw and when they realized my attraction, they gave me three or four pieces to bring home. Later they gave me five or six additional pieces. Somewhere in my barn - I know they are there boxed up until I dig into them.

I started early being a packrat. RED Matthews

06-22-2009, 04:22 AM
I saw an old plantation camp house that used a bunch of bottles in this fashion. to prevent soil erosion from rain water running off the roof. Can you image what that would sound like! we get over 100 inches of rain a year here.

06-22-2009, 01:35 PM
There is a building in Rhyolite Nevada made of bottles. It was built in 1906 and the owner reportedly used 50,000 beer, whiskey, soda, and medicine bottles in the structure. I'll be stopping there in about a month and will be checking out some of the bottles. First time there for me - looking forward to it. Ron


06-22-2009, 09:27 PM
i have seen broken bottles cemented into the tops of old stone walls. i always figured it was to keep people from climbing over the wall. greg

06-25-2009, 02:13 AM
"Did You Know?
The garden in front of the main house at Oakland was once bordered with boxwood hedges. Inverted bottles were later added to decorate the edges of this parterre garden."

That's a quote from this site: http://www.nps.gov/cari/siteindex.htm

And the following site: http://www.nps.gov/cari/historyculture/upload/significanceofoaklandwpictures.pdf"
presents an NPS pdf document entitled "The Significance of Oakland and Magnolia Plantations" which constitute a National Historical Park where I worked as a preservation carpenter in 1999.

Part of the document also refers to bottles in the garden there: "Also important is the landscape, which contains an 1835 bottle garden, a formal entranceway, and intact agriculturalfields. The main house is set at the head of a short alley of live oaks behind a small formal garden. The parterres are outlined in various kinds of bottles - crock bottles from Scotland, square bitters bottles, round bottom beer bottles from Ireland, torpedo-shaped bottles from England, and wine bottles from France."

Let me tell you, the temptation was strong to this old bottle digger!



NOTE: I tried to insert photo of "Rows of Bottles" from the NPS website, but file was too large. If interested, just go to the site and search for the term "bottle" or "bottles."

06-25-2009, 07:16 AM
I have found quite a few sites here in South Australia that have had garden bottle borders but all have been on farms where the soil is very sandy and there have been no stones around to use as borders. Most of these were from properties established around the 1900 period.