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Garden Glow




No need to bring the party indoors after the sun goes down, even if your yard isn't lit. String up lights to illuminate the festivities. Don't have a place to hang them? Wooden poles anchored in flower buckets filled with garden gravel can be set up anywhere there's level ground, and they help define an outdoor gathering place. Arrange poles in a square, circle or row, and string the lights from one to another.

You'll find 6- to 8-foot wooden poles, screw eyes, plastic fastener strips, and strings of mini-lantern lights at home-supply stores (use lights and extension cords safety-tested for outdoors and no more than three 35-light sets per outlet). Purchase buckets and gravel at a garden center. Position buckets in yard. Insert a screw eye into the top of each pole. Place pole in center of bucket; fill with gravel. Run light strand from pole to pole, attaching to each screw eye with fastener.


  1. Step 1

Martha Stewart Living, July 2004



Reviews (7)

  • bevans44 15 Aug, 2011

    Look at these garden solar lanterns - 3 for only $40!

  • alisonscrawford 21 Apr, 2011

    When I went to Home Depot to get the poles, they were priced at about 88 cents a foot. It can add up to be pretty pricey if you are getting 4 of the 8-footers (about $30). I went to the lumber section instead and got 2"x2" square boards. They come pre-cut to 8', and were only around $1.50 each. MUCH cheaper, and they look great! I am really pleased with this project!

  • windigo 12 Mar, 2009

    The poles need to be extremely well ground in the buckets or they get tippy. We have used in expensive sand umbrella holders instead because we have had them tip over in the wind. The taller the pole, the larger around the base needs to be.

  • arti 13 Jun, 2008

    Just a HUGE word of caution. one trip could mean disaster of the lights are over the water. Electricity and water don't mix. The lights need also to be plugged into a GFI outlet if water is near. Think twice and plan your lights far enough from the water to keep the party safe!

  • JanetCarrara 12 Jun, 2008

    Love this idea!! We have a pool with no nite time lighting (yet) and the poles keep the lites above you along with any bugs they may attract. Can't wait to try it!! Thank you Martha!

  • PatKauf 12 Jun, 2008

    These poles are a great idea! Truly an "aha" moment - so simple a solution!

  • MacGooversMom 13 May, 2008

    Cool idea! Just FYI, a good place to get those mini-lantern string lights is