ISSUE 8  |  Water Crisis

5 Favorites: Stylish Rain Barrels

February 24, 2014 5:00 PM

BY Erin Boyle

A drought in California has us carefully considering the ways that we’re planning to approach our gardening this spring and summer. In addition to planting Drought Tolerant Perennials, we’re hoping to rely a less on water from the spigot and more on water from the sky. Harvesting rainwater is our No. 1 priority.

To catch some precious rainwater to save for later, here are five of our favorite rainwater catchment systems–rain barrels that are pleasant to look at and practical additions to any water-conscious gardener’s arsenal.

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Above: A modular system includes the Buttonwood Wood Slat System (contact Shift directly for ordering information) and the Fitzwater Raintank ($1,800) and Pennsgrove Planter ($910); both available at Horne. For more, see Minimalist Garden Products with a Mission.

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Above: The Sheet Steel Rain Barrel is made from galvanized and powder-coated green sheet steel. The rainwater barrel features a brass tap with a hose fitting and has a capacity of about 40 gallons of water; €464 from Manufactum.


Above: The utilitarian Rain Barrel and Diverter attaches to metal and plastic downspouts to collect water directly from the gutter. Made of recycled food-grade polyethylene; $199 from Gaiam.

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Above: For a serious DIY project, see instructions for this rain barrel made from a 55-gallon metal malt drum via Forgotten Skills.


Above: The Eco Square Wood Rain Barrel is made from long-lasting, heat-treated red pine that won’t warp with use; $259.95 from Fine Garden Products.

N.B.: This is an update of a post by Alexa Hotz5 Quick Fixes: Collecting Rainwater with Style.