Rain barrels ensure a steady water supply, making them extremely useful in the garden. While some rain barrels are extremely simple, others are more stylish, enabling them to elegantly blend into a wide variety of garden styles.
1) Half Barrel Water Feature
If you only need water for a few plants and live in a location with regular rainfall, then a half barrel may be all that’s required. This design also makes use of a pump and a tap, turning the rain barrel into a functional water feature.
2) A Concrete Trough
If you experience several dry periods through the year, it could be worth setting up a concrete trough that is also connected to your main water supply. This means that you can supplement the rainwater when that is in short demand, ensuring that your garden never goes without.
3) Decorative Pots
These stone pots look gorgeous in the garden, and you can add in as many as you want, depending on how much water you need. Try surrounding them with a few pots filled with plants to really enhance your garden landscape.
4) Wildlife-Friendly Half Barrel
The depth of a rain barrel can sometimes be dangerous for thirsty animals in search of a drink during a dry spell. This barrel takes that into consideration by including the use of a strategically-placed wooden gutter. This not only increases water catchment, but also provides a safe place for wildlife to drink.
5) A Double-Barrelled Watering Can
This double barrel, with a custom-made watering can spout attachment, is a great option for those wanting their rain barrel to really make a statement in their garden. Place near a roof for maximum rainwater catchment.
6) A Hanging Tank
If you only need to store a small amount of water, and don’t want to have to deal with any overflow, then this design could work well for you. It’s sleek, stylish and organically-shaped, allowing it to fit well into any garden.
7) The Dark Wood Effect
Dark shades of wood have a beautiful sophistication, and going for something darker for your rain barrel will help to elevate the look of your garden. Don’t have access to naturally-dark wood? Look for a paint or a stain instead – easy to use and instantly transformable!
8) Watering Cans and a Bathtub
Rather than making use of a roof for rainwater catchment, this set-up utilizes several watering cans that fill an old bathtub. This is a great idea for those wanting an eclectic, vintage system, with the added bonus of having access to watering cans that are already filled.
9) Sleek, Simple and Green
Stylish doesn’t have to mean complicated, which is exactly what this rain barrel design shows. It’s traditional, simple and sleek, and its muted green color helps it to subtly blend into the background, rather than being a noticeable feature in the garden.
Although not technically a rain barrel, the taanka is a traditional rainwater harvesting system from India that can easily be adapted into the home garden. Water from your house, roof and outbuildings can be directed to flow into the taanka, giving you easy access to it.
11) A Piece of History
If you love antiques, then something like this historic rain barrel would work well in your garden. This would need to be custom-made, but it would then mean that the choice of ornate decoration on the front will be completely up to you!
12) Wine Barrels
Wine lovers will always enjoy looking at a finely-crafted wine barrel in their garden, especially if it is collecting up precious rainwater. These barrels are stylish yet quirky, and will always make for an interesting conversation starter.
13) Make it Match
When you have a set color palette for your backyard, this pulls the whole design together so much more effectively. This rain barrel has been chosen because it is made from the same wood as the garden’s fence and other structures, meaning that it easily merges into its surroundings.
14) A Front Wheel
If you love to upcycle, then this design will be right up your street. A repurposed front wheel can work well as a mini rain barrel, especially if you have a few of them dotted around your garden.
15) A Smaller Tank
If you don’t want a large rain barrel taking up lots of space in your garden, consider a smaller tank instead. The advantage is that, once full, the tank can easily be picked up and moved around, although you would need to immediately replace it with an empty tank to catch any new rainfall.
Add a little culture to your garden with some oriental-inspired rain barrels. These large pots are strong and sturdy, and can be spaced around your garden to ensure water wherever you need it.
17) A Water Trough
In addition to being useful for watering animals, water troughs are also effective at collecting and storing water for other purposes. Add in a single one for minimal water needs, or a multi-level system for more intensive requirements.
18) Double Barrels
It’s sometimes better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to water. Going for a double barrel system, in muted, pastel colors, not only looks good, but will provide plenty too.
19) Multiple Barrels
Need even more water than what the double barrels above can provide? There’s no stopping you when it comes to how many barrels you can add to your yard, so long as you have the space. Try purchasing varying sizes and lining them up in height order, before surrounding with ground-cover plants, for a smart and tidy look.
20) Shaped Barrels
If you are looking for a simple rain barrel that you can easily purchase, but don’t like the look or shape of the more traditional options, this could be for you. Resembling a large pot, its sleek silhouette and black color makes it a stylish addition to any garden.
21) A Lead Water Butt
This lead water butt design is a historic one, but there are many other similar items that you will be able to find in antique stores that would work in the same way. Just make sure that it is watertight, but keep in mind that this is a rain barrel that may be too heavy to move around your garden much!
22) A Rain Barrel Sack
This is another historic design, but one that can be easily replicated. Your best bet would be concrete, shaping this around a mould to achieve a natural look and texture.
23) All the Colors of the Rainbow
Need to add some color to your garden? Try doing it with your rain barrels, painting them in a rainbow of shades to brighten up even the dullest corner.
24) A Buried Barrel
Still not keen on the look of rain water barrels? There’s no reason why yours has to be out on show. Try burying it in the ground, making sure that your gutters and pipes still have access to deliver water flow, and then pick a stylish lid to keep it covered.
25) A Rain Barrel Shed
If burying your barrel isn’t an option, try storing it in a dedicated shed instead. This would mean that you could have multiple barrels kept out of sight, and you could then do up the shed exterior to match the rest of your garden.