If you have visited Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s children’s area before you may have noticed the rain barrel they have with buckets and sponges available for kids to water the flowers. My kiddos are drawn to the barrel and over the last 2 years as members mentally noting that I want one for myself but not finding the time to follow through.
I finally took the time to do some research on various options and seal the deal by purchasing and installing one in our yard. Good timing on installation as we have had some rainy rainy days and nights in RVA and our barrel is full and ready for watering!
People have been asking – Why do you want one?
The United States Environmental Protection Agency highlights these benefits: rain barrels capture water from a roof and hold it for later use such as on lawns, gardens or indoor plants. Collecting roof runoff in rain barrels reduces the amount of water that flows onto your property as well. It’s a great way to conserve water and it’s free water for use in your landscape.
Why do the Smiths want one?
- Because we use a LOT of water. Between filling up the Pirate Water Table for the boys, watering the flowers on the front porch, and the veggies growing in the garden, it adds up!
- Cost: We pay for our water, and this will save us when the kiddos want to help and as we are watering plants and veggies a lot in the summer sun!
- I am a hippie at heart living in the middle of suburbia. I’m a social worker. I want to save the world. If I can do a small piece by conserving water and teaching my boys to be resourceful that makes me happy.
What rain barrel is right for your home?
I spent hours researching rain barrels….hours.
First, I would look at where you are going to place your rain barrel. On the front of house or in an area passersby can see when walking or driving by? Do you have homeowner association restrictions on material or look? If so, I would begin there. I have mine on the side of my home which is blocked from street view and is located right beside our veggie garden.
Second, how much space do you have? If you are in an urban setting or have a small yard, maybe the flat backed design is best.
Third, look at the location of the spigot. If you are going to use buckets like I am to fill up and use for watering, make sure the spigot isn’t too low to bottom of barrel. Or, if it is, plan on adding blocks under barrel to raise it. I did not want to raise so I chose a barrel with a higher spigot placement.
Here are a few we looked at in our search:
- Good Ideas Savannah Rain Saver with Planter – 150$ visually – I think this option blows the others out of the water. Its traditional and 55 gallons, as one of the bigger options. Could easily sit on front of a home and look really nice.
- RTS Home Accents Rain Water Collection Barrel with Brass Spigot –88$ consistently ranked as best-selling rain barrel to buy on various sites. It has an overflow valve and brass spigot. It has a flat back to sit against wall.
- Algreen Products EcoCascata Rain Barrel 65-Gallon, Terra Cotta – 149$ Love the terra cotta look, but doesn’t fit the colonial style and colors of my home. I think it’s a great option for a barrel that needs to be aesthetically pleasing or has specific homeowner requirements.
We chose the EarthMinded RainStation 45 gal. Rain Barrel with Diverter System – Recycled Black 80$ from Hayneedle, because they had the best price and free shipping. I love that you can add a plant on top to make it look cute and less like a plastic barrel. It is sturdy material was able to attach to the downspout easily and has great overflow features. (Still need to add a planter on top of ours, but here is a visual for your search!)
When you find one that you think is a great fit – search the model and SKU online to find the best deal! I was able to take advantage of a new shopper code to save more on top of deal. Be smart about your purchase!
Was the installation easy? YES! My husband, love him dearly, isn’t the handiest guy on the block. He was able to install in 30 minutes total with no issue or assistance. You go babe!
Don’t want to buy one? Here is an awesome resource guide for making one yourself by the James River Association!
Have a rain barrel? Love it? Want to get one? I want to hear all about how you are conserving water! Leave a comment on the blog and share ideas!
Happy Water Conservation!