The rainy season is here in the Northwest, and "Oregon Sunshine" is drizzling and pouring on our lives and our homes. Now is the time to enjoy beautiful waterfalls at full force and cozy up during a storm or downpour. Some may dread the damp blanket of moisture that covers the sky, but here in Oregon, locals have learned to embrace the rain and positively harness its power. Rain barrels and rain gardens are excellent ways to utilize the 40 inches of fresh precipitation we receive each year; saving resources, money and energy is sure to put a smile on any Oregonian's face.
Rain barrels allow homeowners to collect water for their house plants, gardens and lawns. For every inch of rain that falls on a 1000 sqft roof, a whopping 600 gallons of water can be collected. Simply utilizing this free resource can save a significant amount of money in a season, and will help conserve water usage during the drier months. Rain barrels are easy to make, and readily available to buy, so embrace the rain and start collecting that good ol' "Oregon Sunshine" --after all, it's free!
Rain gardens are another excellent way to make use of the drizzle. Planting native trees, shrubs, flowers and other vegetation in a natural or landscaped basin positioned near a runoff source will collect rain water like a sponge. These gardens are a beautiful way to conserve h2o, reduce stagnant water in your yard and create a wonderful habitat for wildlife. The water slowly filters into the ground before becoming stormwater runoff --that means healthier urban waterways and habitats.
However you choose to welcome the wet weather, remember all the positive ways you can embrace the rain.
Check out this helpful guide for creating your own rain garden: PDF
Also, here's an excellent rain garden How-To Video.
And for creating your very own rain barrel, there's a comprehensive Do-It-Yourself Guide.