The Junky Chic Boutique, Vintage Style

Creating Vintage Cottage Garden Style with Galvanized Buckets

Hello there friends! Are you ready for some summer vintage-hunting adventures? Now that summer is here, I will be back on the junkin’ trail looking for vintage and French-farmhouse or English country cottage treasure for the gardens. When I pass antiques shops, yard sales or  flea markets, I brake for galvanzied buckets!



Old galvanized, metal or zinc buckets, tubs and garden accessories are always on my junk hunting list. I have picked up quite a few over the years. 



LA Junk Antiques



two galvanzied buckets old metal bucket and olive bucket

Recently I scored these two amazing buckets for $20 each at a yard sale, just in time to share for today’s Lifestyle of Love galvanized themed blog hop! $2o each is a little steep for a yard sale price, but I think $40 for both was great for the large size of each bucket and all the use I will get out of them over the years. 


Vintage Galvanized Goodness Galore!


Graphic for Lifestyle of Love hop in black and white

I am excited to be sharing my two new buckets and several other galvanized treasures today for a Vintage Lifestyle of Love blog hop full of galvanized goodness! Thanks to Cindy of County Road 407 for organizing such a fun get together. If you are visiting from Kim’s beautiful blog, Shiplap and Shells, I know you are already feeling inspired by her beautiful galvanized bucket flower container.  You will also find links to seven other creative bloggers’ posts to enjoy  at the end of this post.



Creating Vintage Cottage Garden Style with Galvanized Buckets


I have been using thrifted galvanized, zinc, and metal in my garden for many, many years. This older garden photo isn’t very clear, but you can just make out a small galvanized bucket under a mass of chamomile, and a vintage galvanized watering can placed beside it as both a garden accent and for it’s intended use.


That same bucket has been used season after season, year after year in various ways. Earlier this spring I filled it with some spring flowering bulbs and a random coral bell that survived a rough winter in it’s nursery pot.


birdbath in a cottage garden vintage junk garden with perennials birdbath planter

Here  you can see a peek of the same bucket under the hydrangeas in the background, planted full of late summer-to-fall perennials that were later transplated to the garden bed in late fall.



Nepata in a galavizned bucket grow catmint in containers

This summer I am trying out “Cat’s Meow” nepeta in this bucket.  It was just planted so it will take a few weeks to fill out, but I am loving the simplicity of this combo already. The rusty plant stand was recent thrift store find. Keeping the nepeta higher up might discourage neighborhood cats from wallowing around in it!



This galvanized bucket always looks great filled with mums in the fall too, so I may plant the nepeta in a different pot later this fall.


This year a larger galvanized bucket (wash tub) is in the same spot in front of the hydrangeas where the smaller one was. It is also sitting on a larger rusty plant stand that matches the smaller one. Right now the bucket looks empty, but dahlias are just about to peep out over the rim!


Prior to planting the dahlia tubers in the large galvanized bucket tub, it was full of the most beautiful purple passion tulips by the side door! My husband planted them directly in the bucket in early December and they started popping up in March. They seemed to love being planted in this galvanized tub! The tulips probably wouldn’t perform if I left them in the tub until next year, so after they were spent I pulled the bulbs and took a chance and planted them out back in the cottage garden.  I have already ordered new tulip bulbs to plant in this bucket in late fall to enjoy a repeat show next spring!


fall garden vignette with cool toned plants and pumpkins

Soon I will move the dahlias out into the cottage garden bed, which will free up the bucket for a late summer-to-fall container planting. I will use autumn sedum (the large autum sedum pots just got marked down to $10 clearance at Lowes!) and maybe purple fountain grass or some kind of late summer annual which will be replaced with pansies this fall.


In early November I will plant the sedum in the ground and panises in another pot, and discard any other annuals to free up the tub for tulip bulbs (*I will replace the soil because tulip bulbs need good, fresh soil full of nutrients to grow all winter.) I also just scored an identical vintage galvanized bucket tub at a yard sale this past Saturday for THREE DOLLARS so it will also be planted with tulips!


Here is another great old galvanized bucket I scored at a consignment shop a few years ago. I used it on the porch for several years, then traded it for “new” vintage junk from one of my friends who has an antiques booth. We swap vintage junk after we get tired of it or just need to purge or clear the clutter. So fun! Wait…that’s not really purging, is it?



Back to my “new” galvanized buckets…

I love, love, love, the look of ferns in zinc or galvanized buckets! I had just trimmed up one of my larger ferns that sustained frost damage because I bought it too early this spring, so it was just the right size to fit down inside the galvanized bucket with the rusty handles.


I am loving the bucket here in my little kitchen “herbes and fleurs jardin” just outside our mini-mudroom side entrance to the kitchen. 


The bucket is a larger version of  a similar  smaller one (not vintage) shown here with the lavender topiary.




I might replace the fern in November with a boxwood sphere for winter and beyond. Love this look too!





I haven’t decided if I am going to use the olive bucket as indoor decor or out in the garden or porch, so for now it is just sitting empty in the garden.  Nothing wrong with empty galvanized goodness in the garden!



I sure do get a lot of use out of my mini-olive bucket indoors,  sometimes used as a battery-operated candle holder as it is currently,  and other times filled with faux herbs or seasonal flowers. When working on this post, I realized I could do a separate post altogether just on the different ways I have decorated with this little olive bucket. For now, here are a few favorite photos of the little olive bucket from different seasons.


Easter decorating ideas spring home tour concrete bunnies, faux tulips and gardening books on a styled spring tray

Spring Home Tour 2022



French vintage vignette with found treasures vintage glass bottles ironstone fresh eucalyptus brocante

A French-Inspired Vignette with Fresh Eucalpytus Vignette




Summer Dough Bowl Display










patriotic decor demijohn with hydrangeas French seltzer bottle

Patriotic Styled Tray Pinterest Challenge



fall kitchen tour donuts and cider moscow mules copper mugs mums in olive bucketg

Fall Kitchen Makeover Part 1


Farmhouse Christmas vignette tiny Christmas tree ideas

Merry Farmhouse Christmas Wooden Crate Pinterest Challenge Vignette






DIY Galvanized Metal Hack

If you don’t have any galvanized metal pieces, you can make your own by “creating aged patina” on inexpensive shiny new metal buckets or planters like this one from Dollar Tree. Just put some vinegar and salt in a spray bottle and spray the metal liberally. Leave the piece to dry outside overnight then spray it off in the morning. It will develop the look of aged galvanized metal that looks better with natural weathring outdoors.


spring flowers and herbs dollar tree metal fleurs and jardin makeover

From a distance it looks like old galavized metal with that aged patina we vintage lifestyle lovers adore!


I hope this post has inspired you with different ideas for using thrifted galvanized buckets or other galvanized garden treasures to create vintage cottage garden style indoors or out. I just shared part one of my summer home tour yesterday, but I may incorporate the olive bucket for part two coming up next Friday. I hope you will stop back by for a visit!

If you are like me and just can’t get enough of that vintage galvanized goodness, you’ll find plenty of galvanized inspo at County Road 407 and by visiting all the other amazing vintage blogs below. 

Thanks for stopping by, and happy vintage junkin’!


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  • Reply Cindy@CountyRoad407

    When you said – I brake for galvanized buckets I laughed out loud! I need a sticker that says I brake for junk. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Loved all of the ideas. Many I hadn’t thought of before. Like why am I not using my littles for candles?! So glad you got to join us this month. Always love your posts. pinned

    June 11, 2022 at 11:04 am
  • Reply Ann

    Amber you have so many fantastic ideas here. I was so inspired by all your bucket ideas. Happy hopping๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

    June 11, 2022 at 12:08 pm
  • Reply debra@commonground

    So many amazing galvanized containers and garden vignettes, Amber. I could wander around in your garden for hours! Tons of inspiration and ideas for the garden. Happy weekend!

    June 11, 2022 at 12:16 pm
  • Reply Kim | Shiplap and Shells

    Some day I will be knocking on your door asking for a garden tour (and house tour for that matter). I just hope you let me in. You have such a gorgeous collection of vintage galvanized buckets, Amber. I absolutely love how you use them. Love your style girl!

    June 11, 2022 at 12:58 pm
  • Reply Lora Bloomquist

    Beautiful ideas and photos, Amber. Love the idea of placing a candle in an olive bucket. Your gardens are gorgeous.

    June 11, 2022 at 2:23 pm
  • Reply laura

    HI Amber,
    I love this post! Saving to share later on The Weekend Edit!
    I’ll email you when I share it! xo laura in Colorado

    June 12, 2022 at 9:08 am
  • Reply Cindy

    So pretty Amber, your gardens look amazing!

    June 12, 2022 at 8:56 pm
  • Reply Emily

    I love all of your galvanized containers!! Your gardens are so dreamy!!! Such gorgeous inspiration!!!

    June 15, 2022 at 3:22 pm
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