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Monday, September 3, 2007

Laboring For The Environment

Happy Labor Day, Gardeners!

Today was my last day off before returning to work tomorrow and I decided Labor Day is the perfect day to get the Rain Barrel moved to the torture deck. I think I did pretty good, yes?

Now I realize this is not the most esthetically pleasing thing one could have in the garden, but hey, I'm trying to help save the planet here! Cut me some slack!

I had a bunch of bricks that I dug up from the previous owners very straight and very boring flower beds and until now they've been in a big pile on my raggedy patio taking up space and looking very ugly. So, I piled them up on the torture deck. Not only did this help me re-use the bricks, it was perfect to raise the barrel up so that I can get containers under it.

After placing the barrel, I removed the downspout from the side of the garage and headed to my friendly neighborhood Ace Hardware to get a curved piece that would make it around the corner to the barrel. After the helpful hardware guy pieced together a bunch of short sections I saw this big ugly green flexible thingy over in the corner. This seemed so much easier! I can't decide which would be uglier, this ugly green dryer vent looking thing, or an ugly brown downspout.

So, there it is. My beloved rain barrel. Oh how I have longed for one for what seemed like months (I realize that's not very long but you just don't know how impatient I am). Now I just need to catch some soaker hoses on sale or figure out how to transform my old so-cheap-and-so-thin-I-couldn't-water-without-it-kinking-to-the-point-I-wanted-to-kill-somebody retired garden hose into a soaker hose. I'm so excited! Hey, if this works, maybe I could add a barrel every year for the next 3 years and collect enough water for everything!

But, it's still sooooooo ugly! I was thinking I should paint it. Here are a few of the ideas that came to mind.

  1. Give GB Junior some paint the next time they come over and let her go to town on it.
  2. Paint it with colorful flowers and make it look very hippie flower power'ish.
  3. Paint words all over it like "Create", "Simplify" etc...
  4. Make it like a graffiti wall and let anybody who visits make their mark on it.
  5. Leave it black. (this is what the boyfriend wants. he loves the color black.)
  6. Paint it a solid color like green

What do you think? What's your vote?


  1. OOOOH... OOOOH... That looks JUST like the rain barrel I just ordered for myself. Mine has to sit at the corner of the driveway by the garage door (don't ask... it's not a pretty story... the only thing I've ever found wrong with this house) so I'm just going to leave it as it is. Yours is right next to a trellis. Why not consider covering it with vines? (Making sure to leave the spigot free, of course...)

  2. You could paint it the color of the house so that it blends in?

    Carol at May Dreams Gardens

  3. No vote from me. All options are equally appealing.

    Great that you could actually use the torture deck to help conserve water...!

  4. Since you can't really disguise it very well, use it as a piece of garden sculpture or whimsy. Painting pictures or sayings on it would be neat and when you tire of it, spray black over that and do something different. Very nice looking and I think the dry hose thing is great - better than a gutter spout.

  5. It's wonderful to see people thinking about water conservation and catchments. At we actually sell child safe and animal safe rain barrels, which are also pleasing to the eyes. Our website, though, also has information on other ways to conserve water and other products to help reduce waste emissions into the environment. Good Luck in all your endeavors.

  6. Personally, I would attach some black trellis netting onto it and grow a vine on it. Maybe morning glory or Black-eyed Susan vine?

  7. hey marion! thanks for the vine suggestion!

    carol - i think you are right about painting the same color as the house to make it less noticable. i'll definately remember that if i go the hide it route.

    kate - thanks for stopping by!

    alyssa - im definately leaning towards your idea of embellishing it. thanks for the suggestions!

    evadne - i checked out your site. those are really nice barrels!

  8. connie - thanks so much for the suggestion! i wonder if it would be hard to keep the vines from blocking the screens or the spigot.

  9. I vote for the vine hate was suggested or paint it green to blend in. Good Luck!!

  10. Hey Gina,

    Love the rain barrel ! Here's my two cents worth of advice and it's only worth that if you use it : Move the zinnias elsewhere and plant a beautiful flowering shrub in front of the rain barrel. This will not only hide the barrel but it will soften the corner of the garage area as well.

  11. I'm so impressed you've got yours 'up and running'. I've got a standard issue Chicago barrel tucked in the corner awaiting a gutter. I'm planning on taking an old hose and punching holes in it for a low budget soaker. Crazy?