Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Is it too late to ask Santa for a rain barrel?



We've had an inch of rain in just a few hours this morning. In a pathetic attempt to balance the wet and dry seasons I set my watering can out on the deck to catch some rain. That should do the trick. No more summer water needs at this house.

The downpour reminds me that I always wanted a water feature in my garden. Do overflowing gutters count? They make a lovely trickling sound on the front walk.

Looking out the window at the sheets of rain I ask, Why, oh why didn't I have the wit to buy a rain barrel?

It's not like nobody warned me. Wonderful David at Montana Wildlife Gardener gave me chapter and verse on how to install a rain barrel. He's a genuine wildlife biologist. But did I listen?

And only yesterday that sound fellow, John Black at A Verdant Life, offered a thorough analysis of the ways and means of saving rainwater.

It could be worse; our driveway is gravel so the rain soaks on in, helping the roots of the Incense cedars, oaks and Ponderosa pines.

But inside the house I grieve over my short-sightedness. The children's song keeps ringing in my mind:

You can't holler down our rain barrel,
You can't climb our apple tree,
I don't want to play in your yard,
If you won't be good to me.*

Here's a two-part question for you:

Do you have a rain barrel? If so, do you holler down it?


*Two Little Maids (Music and lyrics, Petrie and Wingate)

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26 comments:

Debbie said...

Yes, I have a rain barrel, but I have not tried to holler down it. Maybe when it comes out from it's winter hiding spot in the spring.

I got my rain barrel, from NE Rain Barrels, through a program at a local arboretum. I got a $50 reduction in the price and I did not have to pay for shipping. The offer was too good to pass up.

I love it and will most likely buy another if the arboretum runs a similiar program this year. The funny thing about the barrel is it is recycled from use in the food industry and when the water comes out of the barrel it smells sweet

Daffodil Planter said...

Debbie, How lucky that they did not give you a recycled pickle barrel. Sounds like a good program. I'll check around here and see what's cooking. Let me know how the hollering goes. Seems that it was big in 1894.

susie said...

I'm with you here....wishing I had a rain barrel or 2 or 3....

Carol said...

I can relate to the over flowing gutters. I too would love a water feature... a rain barrel might be just the thing. ;>))

Grace Peterson said...

No, I'm like you. Thought about buying a rain barrel or two but haven't taken the time to actually do it. To tell you the truth, I don't think about it much during the winter months. August, after I've drained the checkbook for the third time by reconciling my water gluttony, then it's like [V8 slap to the head] duh, Grace.

Randy Emmitt said...

Hi,
You can buy pickle barrels for around $10 to $20 and a spigot for $8 and make your own easily and not break your budget. We have 2 home made rain barrels that we have used for 3 years.

Daffodil Planter said...

The rain stopped briefly so I rushed outdoors with the dog. Returned to a flood of comments.

Susie, Two or three or twenty barrels? Watching all that water slide by is painful.

Carol, So you also have your own mini-Niagara Falls?

Grace, We know that someday soon it's going to be August and in the 90s. And drought-tolerant means just that, not drought-happy. Duh DP.

Randy, Ah, the pickle issue returns. Any fragrances to report? Sounds like a bargain, even if the garden smells like a ball park for a few minutes. Do tell.

Kat said...

I remember hearing that the municipal water district in Santa Barbara was offering rain barrels for $50. I wished they had done that hear. But this year the cost of a rain barrel was not in the budget. Perhaps next year. Still, it's nice to know I won't need to water for quite some time.

Janet said...

Hi DP, I too have a couple rainbarrels...got the barrels from the internet --old olive barrel. I would place mine differently if I were to use them again. They overflowed and we have a soggy mess near the foundation. One tipped and floated (almost out to sea) because a mole tunnel under it caused it to lean.
One thing for sure, I would put the barrels up on supports...have gravity help pull the water out as you use the spigot.
ah well.........lesson learned.

Daffodil Planter said...

Kat, Randy's pickle barrel might solve our problems!

Janet, This is such helpful advice--thank you!

John said...

Thanks for the link, DP! If it makes you feel any better, this "sound fellow" has been mulling over the possibilities for rain storage since about February of last year, and has yet to do anything more than clean out the gutters.

Oh well, there's always next El Niño.

Daffodil Planter said...

John, So you're not doing any hollering either?

rebecca Sweet said...

Ahhh...so true! Just 10 minutes ago I asked my husband..'so...do you think we can get a few rain barrels for next time it's storming?... I'm so mad at myself for letting this wet, golden opportunity slip by!!

Kate said...

I do have a rain barrel. Actually, it's a snow barrel as we don't really get rain. Hollering down it is now on my to-do list! :))

Daffodil Planter said...

Rebecca, When the glittering rain falls it's hard NOT to see it as money pouring from the sky. We need to catch it.

Daffodil Planter said...

Kate, My rain has just turned to snow, but here at 2900 feet the snow will be liquid within a few days. Your rain barrel would certainly be an ice barrel at some point. I bet David in Montana has dealt with that issue.

Bill Bird said...

I did that too. Set my watering can on the sidewalk to catch some rainfall? It promptly blew into Yuba County. Thanks.

Daffodil Planter said...

Bill, Sorry to lead you down the garden path. I suggest you contact the State Senator for Yuba County; he may be able to help with the recovery of your can.

joyce in sf said...

Does yelling at the rain count as hollering down the rain barrel?

Melanie said...

I use an old stock watering barrel from another life, to catch rainwater off my roof. I haven't tried hollering down it though:)

Michelle said...

Ah, don't feel too bad about not having a rain barrel. Once you drain it dry you'll have a long wait to refill it anyway. We would need a whole warehouse of rain barrels to store enough water for our dry summers! One barrel would be a drop in the bucket, so to speak. Still, it is a nice feeling to have a trash can and a watering can full of rain water :)

Speaking of water features, I went outside during one of our few dry moments and heard a gurgling sound, turns out there was a steady stream of water burbling out of a gopher hole. Hope the bugger drowned....

Rosey Pollen said...

You must keep this to yourself. I have a rainbarrell and it is illegal. Drat.

Red Studio said...

Aw shucks DP, no need to go hollerin' over that rain barrel. Who needs that fancy contraption anyway? Just set a spell, take out the banjo, fry up some flapjacks, and you will think up some fine gadget to catch the rain.

Bill Bird said...

I don't mean to rain a great deal on your rain barrel parade DP -- I really don't. But -- your keen efforts to conserve our natural resources will result in a mosquito breeding habitat right outside your front door! I know for a fact -- that the drainage pipes that lead water away from my home -- into the front yard -- and into the gutter -- serve as mosquito breeding grounds in the spring. Those drains operate on gravity. Once the water gets to a low level -- they stop draining. The resulting pool of water is perfect for mosquitoes -- and -- yes -- I've seen them flying out my drain pipes before....

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Hi D Planter

You should install that rainbarrel. It's just adding a small piece to the down pipe on the guttering. Of course you knew that, It's on the list right?

I'm lucky in that I have a natural source that fills a well here so I'm OK in dry weather. Gosh doesn't that sound a bit , nah, nah, ne nah, nah?

Looking at Rosey Pollen and Bill Birds comments, perhaps you should ditch the whole idea and focus on Cactus propagation.

CiNdEe said...

No I don't have a rain barrel(-: It would be fun to yell down one though. I bet it would echo pretty good(-:
I need like a million gallon one here though. Geez the summer is like the desert!
It would be so awesome to have one as big as a city water system(-: