With today's water shortages and the continuing development of Southern California everyone is looking for ways to save water whenever and wherever possible. Rain barrels and other water catchment systems are a wonderful way to save and re-use rainwater in the garden as well as reduce runoff pollution from your property!
Do an internet search on 'rain barrels' and you will likely come up with a vast array of recycled blue or grey plastic barrels. Great for saving water but not so visually appealing that you would want to incorporate them as part of your landscape...
The good news is that if you dig a little deeper and use your imagination there are countless options for rain barrels that are not only functional but artistic as well! For those who want to get even more creative you can make your own rain barrel out of ceramic pottery, an old wine barrel, or even an old oil barrel. All you need is a drill, a brass hose spigot and a few other materials and your container can be transformed into a unique and useful work of art.
Check out some of these great sites for ideas and practical info on buying or creating your own rain barrel or water catchment system:
http://oasisdesign.net/water/storage/index.htm a design group specializing in Greywater and Environmental Design
This company in Oregon creates beautiful rain barrels from recycled whiskey and wine barrels http://oakrainbarrels.com/
The Rainwater Harvesting Community http://www.harvesth2o.com/