About Me

I am a long-time gardener, who appreciates the outdoors and thoroughly enjoys getting dirt under his fingernails.  I did my Master Gardener training in Green Lake, WI, and appreciate the knowledge every day!
My Secret Gardens are quite informal and rough around the edges...but they are comfortable. 

BUT...Most of all, I look forward to the time spent sitting back and ENJOYING the sensual rewards of all the effort--and just by chance--that time happens to coincide with my "Sapphire and Tonic Time".  How convenient!

Confucious said..."Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life."  That's where I'm at!

I have a Hosta collection that numbers over 450 varieties.  There is just enough garden to be able to keep up with the weeds...most of the time anyway.  My garden plan is--NO lawn to mow...only gardens to enjoy! 

My Bottle Tree inspirations come from the plants and flowers.

Happy Frogs!We have a small pond with flowering lilies and many other pond plants.  The Fishies are happy and say Hi.  This will be the Koi and
Goldfish's 5th summer...and they are getting BIG! Although, there are fewer of the large Koi.  This Spring, I spotted a Fisher raiding my pond.  It had completely taken all of my babies.  They all had names, would eat out of my fingers every morning, and the oldest would have been eight-years old this year. I cried.  So...we have purchased new baby Koi and are starting all over again.  We are already working on their names. 

Originally from the Madison area, I now live in the woods with my partner, Lori, Alice (dog), Sophie (Cat), Bird #1, and Bird #2.  Lori was a City Girl from Grand Rapids, MI...who is quickly becoming a Country Girl.

My Secret Gardens are quite informal and rough around the edges...but they are comfortable.  There is a link above to my Virtual Secret Garden Walk.  See my gardens and Bottle Trees in all seasons.

Sophie is the latest family addition.

Baliey and Alice
Bailey (passed) and Alice are my supervisors.  

Since my first designs in 2001, I have interpreted the Bottle Tree Tradition with several styles of my unique welded iron trees.

You can learn more about how I was inspired to create my Bottle Trees at the menu link above..."My Bottle Tree Story". 

This Bottle Tree was my first design.  The bottles were given to me by a special friend.  They are rare Acqua Della Madonna cobalt blue water bottles.  I LOVE the shape!

I was featured in a front-page Wall Street Journal article about Bottle Trees by Gwendolyn Bounds.
Read the article HERE...

In the Sperry Garden – April, 2011

You may have heard me speak on the NPR Station, Mississippi Public Broadcasting. The program was "The Gestalt Gardener" with Horticulturist Felder Rushing.
What Great Fun It Was!

 On July 19th, 2013, I was featured in an article in the Akron Beacon Journal.  Mary Beth Breckenridge, the Home and Garden writer, had some very nice things to say about my designs.  

The article was carried by the McClatchy News Service
and was subsequently picked up by several of their subscribers. 
The article has appeared in these publications...
My Communities.Ohio.com, July 21, 2013
Jackson.Ohio.com, Jackson Township, Oh, July 21, 2013
Thalo, Artist Community, Melville, NY, July 29. 2013
Herald and News, Klamath Falls, OR, July 30, 2013
Miami Herald, Miami, FL, July 30, 2013
NewsUK, Great Britain, July 30,2013
The Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, WI, Sunday, August 4, 2013
The Lewiston Tribune, Lewiston, ID, Sunday, August 4, 2013
The Houston Chronicle, Houston, TX, August 9, 2013
The Star-Telegram, Ft. Worth, TX, August 9, 2013
The San Antonio Express, San Antonio, TX, August 9, 2013
The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, VA, August 9, 2013
The Star, Malaysia, August 10, 2013
The Herald, Monterey, CA, August 10, 2013
News Observer, Raleigh, NC, August 30, 2013

Read about my Bottle Trees in The Minneapolis Star Tribune, by Kim Palmer .  "Add a touch of glass in outdoor decor".
Read the Article HERE...

The article was also part of the MCT Newswire, and was printed in media and newspapers across the US and Canada...
Including the Wisconsin State Journal!
Star Tribune, Minneapolis, MN. Dec. 7, 2011.
Wayne's Home Décor Blog, Dec. 8.
Kansas City Star, Kansas City, KS.  Dec. 9.
The State, Columbia, SC.  Dec. 9.
Belleville News-Democrat,
Belleville, IL, Dec. 9.
Center Daily Times, State College, PA, Dec. 9.
The Telegraph, Macon, GA, Dec. 9.
The Herald, Rock Hill, SC, Dec. 9.
Topix, Dec. 9
The News Tribune, Tacoma, WA, Dec. 9.
The Paducah Sun, Paducah, KY, Dec. 10.
Repeating Islands, Caribbean Blog, Dec. 10.
The Southwest Times Record, Fort Smith, AR, Dec. 11
The Hawk Eye, Burlington, IA, Dec. 11.
The Arizona Star, Tucson, AZ, Dec. 11, 2011
Hamilton Spectator, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, Dec. 14.
The Sacramento Bee, Sacramento, CA. Dec. 14.
The Seattle Times, Seattle, WA, Dec. 14.
The Wisconsin State Journal, Madison, WI, Dec. 18.
The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus, OH, Dec. 19.
The Journal News, White Plains, NY, Dec. 19.

"One of the most prolific bottle tree makers lives
in the upper Midwest...Jerry Swanson."

I am pleased to announce my feature in Felder Rushing's book...
"Bottle Trees...and the Whimsical Art of Garden Glass"
Available on Amazon here...

It's hard to miss my place when you drive up!  And to answer the most asked question...No...I do not drink all of that wine for the bottles.  I order my bottles by the pallet (1152 bottles).  But I must also admit...I do have a Bombay Sapphire Bottle Tree where I DID personally empty all those bottles...smiles.

You are welcome to visit my gardens to see all of my bottle tree designs. All of trees you see in my gardens, except three, are for sale. The garden walk and tour is free. I will show you my pond with Koi...they all have names and eat out of my fingers every morning. The pond has over 40 varieties of pond plants, with water falls. I also have a Hosta collection with over 450 varieties. 
Come visit sometime...give me a call!

One more reason to call before you stop by...smiles.

Release October 2011
"Sculpture and Design with Recycled Glass"
By Cindy Ann Coldiron

Excerpts from the book...
"In the United States, "bottle trees" (also to referred to as "poor man's" stained glass), where discarded colorful bottles are placed on wooden or metal posts to mimic trees, have dotted the outdoor home landscape in some parts of the country for many decades".

Author Cindy Ann Coldiron features artist Jerry Swanson in an exploration of the use of recycled glass as a medium for sculpture and creative design.  Several of the artist's tree designs are in the book.

Atglen P.A. — This “green” book is packed with photos of the transformation of recycled glass into an astonishingly creative medium for sculpture and design.

Cindy Ann Coldiron developed a love of making things at an early age.  She began to compete professionally in 2000 by entering juried exhibits.  She received a public art grant for the creation of a 40-piece cast recycled glass sculpture that was installed in Barcroft Park in Arlington, Virginia, in 2010.

Cindy’s book sells for $49.99 and can be purchased through the publisher at www.schifferbooks.com, your local bookseller, as well as numerous online retailers.

Book Details
ISBN: 978-0-7643-3889-2
Size: 8 1/2 x 11
Illustrations: 375 color photos
Page Count: 256
Hard Cover

Add You to My Email List HERE...

Have a question?
Answers here... jerry@bottletreecreatioons.com 

I guarantee my Bottle Trees to ALWAYS stand straight and will last longer than you or me.  Guaranteed!
No Assembly. USA-made Steel.
All my designs are original and unique.