How to Create an Instant Late Summer Bucket Bouquet

Garden chairs, boxwood cones in pots and a bucket full of summer blooms sits on the stone porch in front of french doors.
A bucketful of sunshine sits on the porch of  the back studio.
It is the time of year when the garden is stingy and sticky and buggy. This gardener is surly and sour and out of sorts. Hundred degree temperatures will do that to a garden and a gardener. Gone is the softer light, easier beauty, and floral bounty of earlier in the growing season. We have to look a little harder and be a bit more creative to tease out the beauty of the garden....but it is still there, I promise.

If you are entertaining this weekend, having summer guests, or simply in dire need of a jolt of garden optimism, here is a simple and effortless way to create an instant garden vignette and hopefully, a few smiles in the dog days of summer.

Potted box, wood chairs and perky blooms make a pleasant scene.
Weathered wood chairs and sunny blooms in a bucket makes a charming vignette.
Keep it easy-breezy. It is far too hot to compose anything fussy or fancy. A simple bucket of any sort will work, but one with a little more personality is nice and a bit more special. Visit THE BUCKET OUTLET (HERE) for a huge array of this garden staple in a wide variety of materials, colors, finishes and sizes.

Brown faux leather bucket from Bucket Outlet
Faux leather bucket from Bucket Outlet.

(I am especially fond of the brown faux leather bucket here, which would be handsome pressed into service in either the garden OR the home. I plan on acquiring a couple simply for use as cut flower trugs.... or perhaps brimming with gourds and pumpkins in the fall?)

Grab some pruning sheers and clip away at one or two, at the most three, things in your landscape that have the audacity to continue looking good even in this heat. For me, that would be the stalwart 'Goldsturm' rudbeckia and sunny yellow helianthus. To that I added a couple-three seed heads of lavender veronica to float above the golden flower heads. Humble and unsophisticated? Maybe.

Jaunty black-eyed Susans, helianthus and veronica seed heads make a simple late summer bucket bouquet.
But happy and golden and sunny? Yes. This arrangement isn't rocket science. You have probably done it yourself one time or another. But it is which I mean I had to rouse myself from late summer ennui and deliberately look for a way to resurrect the floral charm that came so easily in the cooler weeks. A horticultural anti-depressant if you will. You could substitute anything in your garden, or even along the roadside to get the same effect. Foraging in late summer

Dark centered rudbeckia, veronica and helianthus scream dog days of summer.
for what beauty still surrounds us. Fresh or dried. Wild or cultivated. Even humble weeds can look beautiful en masse elevated by the beauty and form of a good looking vessel...or bucket.

When not on flower duty during the growing season, this bucket (and its slightly larger identical companion) serve as workhorse ash buckets for the kitchen fireplace.)

Put it by your back door. Your favorite garden chair. By your FRONT door. Or bring it inside and
let it reside on the hearth. Next to the fireplace and your leather chair. Where you can daydream about cool Fall days, and a fire at night. Where you will see it and be cheered each time you walk by.

Bucket of blooms sits on the fireside hearth, in clear view from the kitchen.

Galvanized metal bucket with sunny blooms spilling out.


of a hot and tired, but still giving, garden.

Weeping pussy willow sits in center of box edged potager. Rudbeckia flanks the gate through the arbor.

Coming up later this week: changes to the back yard and garden.

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