You may have heard about the benefits and advantages of having a rain barrel, but perhaps you were deterred by the idea of an unsightly plastic barrel in your garden. There are attractive rain barrels available that will look good in your garden, and even enhance it. Let’s take a look at some of the materials that rain barrels are made from, and what variety would look good in your garden. Then we’ll look at the some of the advantages of having a rain barrel.
If you are concerned about the environment (and you probably are if you’re looking into getting a rain barrel), there are barrels made from recycled plastic resin. Both the recycled and conventional varieties come in earth tone type colors, usually dark green or brown, which are intended to blend in with the landscape.
Salvaged Food-Grade Barrels
Another eco-friendly option is to salvage a food-grade plastic barrel used to ship liquids such as juice concentrate. These are often plain white plastic, but you can paint them with spray paint, or paint a design on it using acrylic paints. Make the design match the vegetation around it, and it will blend in beautifully.
Wooden rain barrels can provide a very natural look for your garden. Some companies sell wooden rain barrels made from used oak wine barrels.
Ways to Beautify Your Rain Barrel
No matter what option you choose, there are some ways to make your rain barrel an even more attractive addition to your garden. As mentioned above, you can paint designs on the rain barrel to match other items in your garden, such as a bench, wall, or trellis, or paint vegetation that looks like a continuation of the plants around the barrel. For example, if your rain barrel is in a bed of ivy, paint ivy vines up the rain barrel.
Plantings around your rain barrel can also help to make it look at home in your garden. Sunflowers are tall and can almost hide the object around which they are planted. Or you could take a more subtle approach and plant flowers such as pansies or petunias around the base. Whatever you choose, make sure it reflects the theme of the garden, and choose plants that are elsewhere in your garden for a unifying effect.
Advantages of a Rain Barrel
- Using rain water instead of the garden hose to water your garden and lawn can really conserve water and save you money, since this accounts for one of the greatest uses of water in the summer months.
- You can also wash your car or pet with rain barrel water. In fact, you can wash your own hair with it, too.
- Rain barrel water is free from chemical treatments and chlorine, and is healthier for your plants.
- A rain barrel will reduce storm run-off in your community.