Rain barrels offer an effective way to reduce cost in the home by capturing water from precipitation. The rain water collected should not be used for human consumption, but can be used to clean cars and pets or water plants. One of the main disadvantages of rain barrels is their unsightly appearance, which can ruin the view in an otherwise pleasant garden. However, a range methods can conceal the rain barrel within your garden, allowing you to be eco-friendly while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing garden.
One of the simplest methods for concealing a rain barrel is to paint it. If the barrel has already been outside for some time, it should be cleaned with soapy water to remove any residual mold or fungi. After the barrel has dried, apply a plastic primer to the barrel. This can be painted on with a regular paint brush. After the primer has dried, use sandpaper to remove any gloss and then use acrylic paint to decorate the barrel. Allow 48 hours for the paint to dry before applying a sealant that will protect the paint.
A rain barrel can be disguised as an integral part of the garden through the clever use of a flower planter lid. Flower planters can either be supplied with rain barrels, or they can be brought separately. Remove the planter lid from the rain barrel and fill with soil. Place the flowers or plants of your choice within the soil. The end product should appear to be a flower pot, rather than a rain barrel.
Rain barrels are normally connected directly to the downspout of houses allowing all precipitation that hits the roof to be collected efficiently. This effectively means the rain barrel has to be next to the downspout in an area that is easily noticed, up against the wall of the house. A downspout diverter allows the water from the downspout to be redirected manually through hosing to another location. This allows the rain barrel to be placed in a more discreet location, such as behind a gate, or in the side alley away from the garden.
A simple enclosure can be built around the rain barrel, effectively to separate it form the rest of the garden. Simple trellis panels can be brought relatively cheaply from a home and garden store. Planting an ivy plant near the trellis panels will allow it to grow and climb among the trellis, giving the enclosure a more natural and prettier look.
About the Author
Samuel Markings has been writing for scientific publications for more than 10 years, and has published articles in journals such as "Nature." He is an expert in solid-state physics, and during the day is a researcher at a Russell Group U.K. university.