Saturday, January 06, 2007

Rain Garden, Here We Come!

My husband and I met with the DNR rep today to sign the paperwork for the watershed project. He said that we would be shooting for a $1000 budget with the project grant picking up 70% (that's $700 for those mathematically challenged readers).

Our plant list consists of things like Joe Pye weed, milkweed, asters, various grasses, echinacea, goldenrod, queen of the prairie, trillium, and ironweed. There is a much bigger list, of course, but these were some of the plants that caught my eye. I'm very excited about the plant choices, in fact.

They are also pushing the rain barrels pretty hard. I don't know much about them, but I am hesitant to get one. Three reasons: I'm concerned about stagnant, mosquito infested water; I am concerned about the way it will look; and I am worried that they will have to "modify" our current old-fashioned rounded gutters (they would be VERY DIFFICULT to fix or replace!). If any of you have rain barrel experience please feel free to either ease or feed my fears.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are things that you can put in your rain barrels... if you go to Gardener's Supply Company ( they show some rings that you can order. Maybe the DNR has a more local source or way to keep the mosquitoes out, though? I bet they get questions about that all of the time if they're trying to push the rain barrels.

On hiding the barrels, you could put fencing around them or lattice--anything that you would do to hide an air conditioning unit should work!

1/07/2007 11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A Very Happy and Wonderful 2007!

1/08/2007 9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had rainbarrels and they are great. I've hidden them away in the back. Don't have them now, but plant to get some soon. You can use a screen for the top of the rainbarrles. Just buy some screening cloth and bungee cord the cloth around the barrel top. Our local botanical garden has workshops for people to paint their rainbarrels. You could try that.

1/18/2007 8:14 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Blackswamp Girl, are those safe for plants?

Sonia, thanks! You too!

Robert, our problem is that the DNR guy wants us to put them in a very prominent area. He is very open to finding more attractive barrels though, so I will be doing some major research on them. I think contacting botanical gardens is a great idea!

1/22/2007 8:52 PM  
Blogger Barbee' said...

I've read that some have Styrofoam lids that fit snugly but not so tight that it keeps them from floating up and down with the surface of the water.

I have a tiny little pool with 3 goldfish in it. I was afraid they wouldn't handle all the mosquitoes so I bought that product in a ring shape called "Dunk". Now I think that wasn't necessary; the fish probably would have handled the job for I do not feed them except in the spring. If you are concerned about using Dunk on your plants, read the package; I’m pretty sure it says it is ok for plants. I haven’t had any problem with my water plants.

2/23/2007 3:00 PM  
Blogger John said...

What ever you do, make sure you have done your homework. Search the web for rain barrel information. There are thousands of websites dedicated to that subject. If your going to buy one from a company, Question as to how it was assembled. I personally encourage you both to build one yourselves. It's not that hard especially if your just going to use a drum. Also please use your imaginations on this projuct as to what you can invent. I tell you that the skys the limit, as to what you can come up with. I know... believe me when I tell you this because I have built over 300 rain barrels to date and NO ONE has copied them yet. You see,I own a business called The Rainbarrelman Company. Let me tell you, there is a diverter out there called the Water Saver, it's really great and easy to install. I use it on my systems all the time. It's automatic and you dont need an overflow on your barrel. It also comes with a seven foot hose which means that you dont have to place your barrel right below your downspout if you dont want to. Anyway,remember to take your time, do your homework, ask questions, and dont forget a stand to put it on. Good luck. John

4/09/2007 10:48 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Barbee, weird, I know I commented on your comment. Anyway, I will certainly look into these "Dunks".

John, wow, thanks for all the great info! We had talked about turning an urn into a rain barrel - especially the one that will go next to my husband's Zen-ish garden. I will definitely be looking into this more indepth.

4/11/2007 10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have rain barrels which come in handy when I need to fill up the watering can. They are just plain black, and I grow giant hostas around them. As for mosquito infested waters, I bought a wooden hoope that fits over my rain barrels and put screen over the hoops. Rain water gets in, gross stuff out.

6/04/2009 1:41 PM  
Blogger Sylvana said...

Anonymous, mine has a screen to keep the big junk out like leaves, but not mosquitoes. I am considering adding some this year.

I have been loving our rain barrel (as I only have one of the two installed so far).

6/04/2009 10:00 PM  

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