The Violet Fern

A Colorful Tale of a Garden in the Making

Project: Bottle Border


I kept thinking the Potager needs some kind of edging … Boxwood? Yew? Germander? Would the Germander stay evergreen because the Rue really didn’t. Do I really have space for an edge, a hedge? Do I really want to clip and maintain a formal hedge? Boxwood seems so formal and well, English. Not at all in keeping with my rustic structures and style. Then I came across a few images of bottle borders while researching a bottle / glass cutter and thought, now that would be really cool. My garden could use some “hardscape.” So this year the Potager is being edged in bottles. I’m just about to the other end.

I’ve been collecting bottles since last fall – wine, booze, any bottle that looks worthy. Friends and family have also contributed to the collection. I have to warn you that neighbors might talk. The party will look like it is at your house once you start collecting. I found myself explaining to the postman, Fedex, anyone who stopped by, that I was creating a bottle border and that we really don’t drink that much. I found a good ol’ paint scraper to be the best method of label removal although you could just leave the labels on if you prefer. There are wine label removal kits for saving labels if you really liked the wine.

I doubled the bottles up a bit because I thought a single row would not be bold enough for my garden. I just dug them in neck down. I like the combination of the green and gold glass. (I’m saving the blue ones for a special project out front.) I think I will tuck in some sleek solar lights to light them up in the evenings. The reflections might be quite beautiful. They do reflect on the snow in the sun.

I’m also thinking these bottles will warm up the soil faster? When it rains, the depressions in the bottles will make nice little bee baths. I’m going to watch and see if any insects drink from these tiny reservoirs.

Consider adding a bottle border in your garden. It’s a great way to recycle. Happy Earth Day!


Author: Kathy Sturr

Cultivating art, growing soul, and creating plant-based food in the beautiful 1000 Islands, New York and Cedar Key, Old Florida.

9 thoughts on “Project: Bottle Border

  1. Oh, I love this project. Yours looks stunning! I definitely like the idea of doubling up on them, much better looking than a single row. I have been thinking of edging one of my beds this way actually. Well done!

  2. Looks great! Curious about how you'll use the blue bottles! I bet you're right, little bees and such will delight in drinking fom the puddles.

  3. Love this idea….will have to consider it…I have lots of wine drinking neighbors 🙂

  4. wonderful idea Kathy, looks great and I love the little pools for bees and for any tiny creatures. I'm thinking if you didn't need a border maybe you could use a group of bottles to make a kind of a sculpture in a bed and plant low plants around it. In my next post I'm giving a link to someone who has used bicycle wheels to make a border.

  5. I love this! Doubling them up, rather than single file, was a smart move; it looks great. Thanks for sharing this ingenious idea.

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