Ever forward on my mission to get more people using rain barrels, I wanted to draw some attention today to the beauty of rain chains. Since aesthetics outside the home is often of great importance to some, plastic or metal downspouts can sometimes be less than pleasing going into your rustic rain barrel. Rain chains are a nice alternative if you’re looking for something else to complete the picture. Harvest H20 gives us a great description of how they work:
They are hung from the corners of your roof or canale to guide the flow of water into large barrels to catch the water from the roof for household purposes and gardening. They have been used for hundreds of years in Japan, and are a perfect expression of the Japanese knack for combining aesthetics and practicality. The principle is simple – rain chains do exactly what downspouts do, but they do it in a way that brings visual pleasure and delight. Rain swirls and flows down, creating a mesmerizing sense of motion and tranquility right outside your window. And they are beautiful on dry days too, as over time, copper rain chains develop a rich blue-green patina.
It should be noted that rain chains are not recommended for areas prone to severe rain storms — or where gathering every drop is crucial. Downspouts are most efficient for that type of climate. However, if you’re still contemplating adding a rain barrel to the mix — but want the system to blend a bit better with your home — something like a rain chain might be a great idea.