Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rain barrel serves two purposes

After too many months of putting it off, I finally bought the fixtures for my rain barrel so we could put it to use. In the process, I meet an enthusiastic company founder who believes in supporting the local economy and I beautified my backyard.

A friend started me on this journey more than a year ago when she gave me a rain barrel without the fixtures. For a year, we kept the barrel as it was, putting it under an overflowing gutter during the warm weather months. It did collect water but not in the way intended.
A couple of months ago I finally examined the barrel to find it came from http://www.raintainer.com/. I was so intent on finding out if they could sell me the parts I needed that I didn’t bother to look at the “about us” page. When Mitzi Bender called me to respond to my inquiry, I discovered she was in nearby Lexington.
When I met Mitzi, she told me more of her story. She wanted a rain barrel for her yard but discovered it had to meet specific neighborhood regulations. So she found a friend to work with her on a design that would satisfy the regulations. That’s why their barrel includes a planter on the top.

The team wanted to be able to supply local businesses so they found a company in Mt. Sterling that could manufacture the barrels. They’ve now sold their product not only in Kentucky but also to cities elsewhere in the countries.

Mitzi assured me I could easily put it together myself. I had to screw on on the spigots to get the barrel close to working order, which wasn’t too much of a challenge even though the holes are quite deep into the barrel. The part I didn’t want to attempt was sawing off the downsppout to attach a flex hose to guide the rain into barrel. I turned that part over to my husband.

Meanwhile, I filled the planter with late-season closeout bargains from the greenhouse. Since the barrel sits in the shade next to the house and near the garden, I bought a Boston fern and impatiens to fill it. The combination makes me smile every time I walk around the corner.

We don’t have a lot of watering time remaining this year but I am using my rain barrel and have discovered what seems to be the best place for it. Next year I’ll attach a soaker hose that I can place in the garden where my plants will surely be happy for their rain-refreshment.


  1. Wow, it IS beautiful and would make me smile too. I've been meaning to start scouring the garden shops for late season bargains myself. My poor Mary needs something better to preside over than weeds and an electrical box! :D

  2. Rain barrels are a blessing, especially to gardening enthusiasts. One-inch of rain falling on a house with an area of 1,000 square feet will yield almost 600 gallons of water (according to the University of Rhode Island). Aside from a chance to save money, your plants will also be healthier because rain water is pure and organic.