After much delay by the contractor and lots of rain by Mother Nature, I finally have functioning rain barrels. While I was waiting for the rains to stop so I could get my gutters installed, I did some research on rain barrels. At the high end were the really pretty ones at the Natural Gardener. They were made of some kind of plastic and, from a distance, looked like a big clay chiminea. But the cost was more than I could justify. I thought about getting the ones from the city but they are out of them. The cheapest ones were an ugly blue that I didn't want in my yard. I finally settled on the ones at Home Depot made by Fiskars (and I thought they only made scissors). You can see details at http://www.rain-barrel.com/. They're quite attractive and hold 57 gallons each. Because of the way my rain gutters had to be installed I had to get four rain barrels. So, step one – getting the barrels – was done.
Step 2 was getting the rain gutters installed. Henry (rain gutter guy) was supposed to come by last Thursday but we had a big gulley washer. I appreciate irony but I was like a cranky toddler in a candy store that day. I wanted my rain gutters and rain barrels! But I watched the water flow under the gate, knowing that some of it would get sucked up and used by my yard but also knowing that a lot of it was lost to me. Flash forward to Friday. The skies were clear. Henry showed up and rang the doorbell. I put up barky Cookie and Newtie and by the time I got to the door, it was sprinkling. Within five minutes it was pouring rain and we even had dime sized hail. I was starting to take all this personally. But Henry prevailed, even measuring and cutting the gutters with his rain jacket on. What a sweet guy. The rain cleared and he and I looked at the directions for installing the barrels, only to discover that, the way they were designed to be installed, they would only DIVERT some of the water. What? But I liked the barrels so I dug out my drill and jigsaw and Henry cut rectangles in the lids for me. I spent some time yesterday rigging up some screens for the inside of each one. Now, it can rain all it wants and I will harvest it for use on the lawn in times of drought.
Here are a couple of beds that will get that water someday: