Garden Design Tips and Tricks

rain barrel and rain chain water reclamation

Garden Design Tips and Tricks

Water access is key to the capacityand quality of a garden.  Butpublic water isn’t always available. Even heavy rainfall areas like Portlandare predicted to exceed supply eventually.  Installing a water reclamation system is far less dauntingthan it sounds, and can deliver a year-round water supply for happy gardening.

Chances are your property alreadyhas some parts of a water reclamation system.  A rooftop can potentially capture thousands of gallons ofwater per year - more than enough to maintain a stunning garden. Clickhere  to use a rainfallcalculator and find out how much water you are missing out on without a waterreclamation system – even in an arid region.  

The most important component,after the roof, is the gutter, which runs along the eves of the house. Guttersutilize downspouts to channel roof water into storm drains. Alternatively,downspouts can divert water to a rain barrel, which usually has about a 70 galloncapacity. A rain barrel at each corner of the house can reclaim lots of waterfor future use.

Rain chains are an aesthetic alternative to conventional downspouts, but everybit as functional for water reclamation. The difference is that rain chainsoffer a variety of styles to fit any taste. Rain chains consist of a series oftiny cups, funnels, or ornamental sculptures that convey rain in tinywaterfalls to a rain barrel, basin, saucer or pebbled area. Designing a gardenwith rain chains as part of a reclamation system can transform it from ordinaryto ornamental.

Using rain chains with rainbarrels or other receptacles can afford you an opportunity to create a “raingarden”.  Rain gardens utilize plantsthat absorb excess moisture that gathers around the source. Some great raingarden candidates include Sugar Maple, Indigo Bush, Red Chokeberry, and avariety of lush ferns.

Rain garden or not, runoff is stilllikely to occur. Make sure to create natural irrigation systems by alteringterrain levels to channel water to plants further from the source. Rain barrelscan be used with soaker hoses to distribute water to drier areas, like succulentor less-thirsty flower beds, without relying on pumps. Incorporate decorative slopedretaining walls, planted with water-loving plants, to help reduce storm drainrunoff.

A water reclamation system combiningrain chains, rain barrels and varied terrain for irrigation not only savesmoney on bills, it assures a consistent water supply. It also keeps plantshappy and results in a unique landscape; a mini ecosystem that reflects the surroundingenvironment. To friends and neighbors, though, it just looks beautiful.