Recycled glass is a garden shrine to sunshine

We can’t all have the Rose Window at Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral in our gardens. But that doesn’t mean we can’t glory in the power of sunlight illuminating stained glass – as the garden of Donna and Mike Fowler in Hutto, Texas, proves beyond doubt.

A long lunch stop on the Austin Garden Bloggers Fling gave us plenty of time to explore the many treasures of this garden. But a summer day like today makes me linger on Mike’s glass creations. Our cover girl (and if you look closely you can see my accidental selfie), the centrepiece of the couple’s vegetable garden, just demanded that I try to photograph it from every angle.

It’s a bottle tree to the Nth degree! I’m sure the captive spirits would be happy to live here.

But this was just one of a – I don’t know, what would be the best adjective? – amazing, overwhelming, ridiculous, abundant? Large selection of glass creations – and, as you can glimpse below, creations in other media.

Now I have a use for those glass watering balls that turn up at yard sales, still in their box.

Mike’s form is inventive, to say the very least. I honestly don’t know which I like best. And, believe me, they appeal to my high Quirk Quotient. Love them.

And bottle trees weren’t the only subject for Mike’s glass art creations. Creatures were everywhere in the Fowler garden, including a herd of hippopotami. There’s a great story attached to them, which I hope to share later.

Too tall to capture without the dynamic diagonal.

How’s the gal below as a scarecrow? She and others like her were garden sentries in the veggie garden. And every fence post had its own glazed topping.

What do you think? Love? Hate? Want to make? I don’t have instructions for you, but I’ll bet the Empress of Dirt will have a how-to.


  1. Mike’s creations are perfect for his garden — I love them! I took my mom to visit this garden once, and she promptly made several glass lady heads for her own garden. Crafty, that one.

    1. I’m keeping my eyes out for those watering balls. They don’t seem to work well for their original purpose, but Mike has made them look fab together.

  2. Oh this appeals to my Qirk Quotient too! I recently placed 2 deep blue Dr. Teal’s epsom salt bubble bath bottles out on some dead end hydrangea branches. Yes they are plastic, but after soaking off the labels they look great. And who hasn’t bought a particular bottle of wine just for the blue glass! Your links are very interesting as well, never knew about the folkloric connection to bottle trees, thank you.

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