Rain barrels in Sharon's yard at SharonsWalkabout.com

Rain Barrels and Chains

This summer Michelle decided we needed rain barrels for our backyard. They are actually empty wood whiskey barrels that weigh about 125 pounds each. They come from Kentucky and were used to make some fine Kentucky bourbon at one time. She’s bought three so far.  You know they are really whiskey barrels as they still give off an odor of the real brew.

We fell in love with the rain chains while in Japan. They are used everywhere at the end of gutters. You see them as you drive through rural neighborhoods. They are made out of copper and when it is not raining too hard they make a tinkling noise as the water falls through and down into the rain barrel. Cool! Click here to listen!

Our patio is covered and the roof is ever so slightly tipped downward on one end. The gutter along the side could support atleast three rain barrels and would gather excess water for the lawn or pots.

An overflow valve is inserted on each toward the top of the barrel. We have shrink hoses attached for use when needed and can stretch them out to reach areas of the lawn that do not get enough watering with the overhanging trees.

Toward the bottom of the barrels there are water spigots to turn on and off water when drawing some in a bucket for example. There is a rainwater diverter that really works not allowing anything larger than particles of salt to enter the barrel. The fittings are made of brass and bands of steel surround the oak barrel staves binding them together.

After installing the rain barrels, we had to wait for some rain. When the rains came the family chased out to the patio to watch the rain chains and barrels do their thing. It was amazing, lovely, fun!


Sharon Smith was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest (USA) and owned a healthcare uniform business for many years. She also lived in Japan but presently resides in Michigan. She blogs about her experiences and observations touching on culture, lifestyle, and the people around her.

HI I'm Sharon from sharonswalkabout.com


  1. Barb Jackman on August 20, 2016 at 11:48 AM

    That is so neat!!! The yard looks beautiful!

    • Sharon Smith on August 20, 2016 at 12:12 PM

      Thanks Barb, I will share your comment with Michelle!

  2. Tracey on August 20, 2016 at 5:41 PM

    Wow! What a beautiful idea, and those rain chains are lovely! I wonder if I have to visit Japan to find some?

    • Sharon Smith on August 20, 2016 at 9:10 PM

      I think she found the chains on the internet. Thanks for your comments!

  3. Marci on August 20, 2016 at 10:03 PM

    I love that you added sound to this post. It makes it so real. We are right there with you!

  4. Barbara Stuart on August 21, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    Michele out did herself. Looks great. Your story of the process was so fun to read.
    Sorry those rain barrels would not be a great idea for me. Would enjoy the smell just alittle to much. LOL

    • Sharon Smith on August 21, 2016 at 4:22 PM

      I was surprised how strong it was at first. The more rain going through the less fragrant the odor. Ha!!

  5. Todd Jay on August 21, 2016 at 7:15 PM

    What a great blog, Sharon! Thanks for sharing!

    • Sharon Smith on August 22, 2016 at 11:44 AM

      Thanks Todd!