Rain barrels tend to be ugly, monstrous things that you hide in the back corner of your house or risk the neighbors wondering when you are going to be sharing the moonshine you are distilling. I have seen these beasts for sale at the garden centers. All blue or orangeÂ and scary looking. Well, they are not all that scary looking, but the $300 price tag is. Something that expensive should not be that ugly or so obviously not natural looking. How do you hide a huge, ugly barrel???
So when I was asked by Garden SupermartÂ if I wanted to review a rain barrel, I was a little apprehensive. Where would I fit an uglyÂ giant barrel in my little bitty yard?Â What if it was a blue barrel?Â There is no hiding a blue barrel. But they assured me that their rain barrels were neither ugly nor blue. I was delighted and I agreed. And thus began the Great Rain Barrel Postal Adventure.
If you live in the US, you know that the incompetence of the United States Postal Service can sometimes achieve epic proportions. If ever there was a poster child for why government monopolies are a really bad idea, the USPS is it. Individual emplyeesÂ can beÂ good (my mailman Leon and my Grandpa who worked for them being two examples) but the organization as a whole leaves something to be desired. Case in point, it appears that the USPS has the singularly unique ability to lose a package that is larger than your average baby elephant.
After one month, 3 trips to the post office and one exasperating conversation with a Postal Supervisor, they were finally able to locate the rain barrel, which had apparently had been sitting in the middle of their sorting room the entire time, playing a rousing game of Captain Obvious hide and seek.
Anyway, I finally got the rain barrel home, and I do have to say that I was duly impressed. It was not blue nor was it ugly. As a matter of fact, it was terracotta colored and pretty enough that I elected to install it under a downspout on the front of my house, conveniently located near my container plants.
The barrel itself is made from a formed plastic but two different neighbors commented on the fact that they had mistaken the rain barrel for a genuine terracotta jar. It is light enough for me to carry with one hand, but did not feel flimsy or cheap.
I was a little disappointed by the fact that the rain barrel did not come with directions. While there is only a little assembly involved, I did have to correct my husband when he installed it as he figured that top screen was simply an extraneous part thrown in to waste money. While he would have assumed that anyway (as he does not read directions), it would have saved my 10 minutes of arguing with him on the matter if I just had a picture to point to.
And as a note, not good or bad, the hose that leads off the barrel is a very tight fit. Very difficult to get on, but that and the hose clamp ensure that your barrel will not leak.
The price of the largest size rain barrel is comparable to the price of the ugly blue barrel I saw at the garden center the other day, which means you can get style and functionality for the same price. The one I have is actually less than that as it sells for $159.99 plus shipping.
All in all, I was pleased with my new rain barrel. My only real complaint is that you might want to check and see if they can deliver itÂ via UPS or FedEx, who have to do their jobs in order to stay in business.