Spring and fall seem to bookend the summer growing season with bursts of yellow. In early spring, forsythia, cornus mas and daffodils cut through the post-winter drabness. In early fall—along with sunsets that seem to go on forever—sunflowers, rudbeckia and goldenrod make their appearance, before the shift to the richer jewel cast of deep autumn.

THE INSPIRATION | 'Berkeley #54,' a 1955 canvas by American painter
 Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) The Richard Diebenkorn Foundation.

With that in mind, when it came time to choose an artwork to interpret this month, I selected "Berkeley #54," a 1955 canvas by American painter Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993), part of the collection of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y. I like the chalkiness of Mr. Diebenkorn's paintings, the way he scraped at his colors and the tension between his energetic lines and a persistent sense of order. Most important, this canvas, from his Berkeley Series (1953-1955), has the warmer earth tones I was seeking to evoke September.
To contain this arrangement, I chose a 19th-century French earthenware confit pot that I picked up in Hudson, N.Y. Its chalky patina felt suitably Diebenkornish. Although it could just as easily hold a simple van Gogh-esque massing of sunflowers, I pushed my flower palette, taking cues from Mr. Diebenkorn's canvas to create a generous, more complex wildflower bouquet.
Even though the style of this design would be considered natural, I didn't completely freestyle it but took care to get the right undulation of form and to capture the look of Mr. Diebenkorn's work. I started with the bigger, firmer blooms, like the sunflowers and yarrow, to establish a basic structure. Next, I worked in the softer flowers, fennel and Queen Anne's Lace. Then I massed together mauve button mums as a nod to the color blocking you see in the painting. To prevent the arrangement from taking on an overly mounded form, I poked in some spokelike sprigs of light purple amaranth and yellow lysimachia. When I stood back to appraise the bouquet, it was as if a sunny ball of light had landed on my table.