Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

fall garden with ornamental grass, aster, pumpkins, sunflowers and playhouse

Our garden in 2017 with sunflowers, pumpkins, aster, ornamental grass, but no rain catcher / water butt / water barrel

Hi there! This post is about how I wanted to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” in the garden and how my family helped to make that happen. It all started, really, with what I saw was a “need”. Even though Ireland typically gets a lot of rain, there are many times when plants in the garden need watering. I would prefer to use “caught” rain water, since it does rain so much. Also, we don’t have an outside faucet (tap) and I have plants all over the garden. This means that when the plants need watering, I have to fill watering cans from our utility room and walk around the yard. It would just be nice to have water “stations” around the place. If you’re gonna dream, might as well dream big!

rain catcher - water butt

Our first rain catcher / water butt

More than a few years ago we purchased a water butt (or rain catcher / water barrel) and placed it at the back of the house. I wrote a post about it here. It is pretty, but it was expensive, and I’m always looking for more water after I’ve emptied it. I didn’t really want to spend a lot of money on another one. So, last year for my Christmas gift, I asked my son and husband to come up with an economical solution, that would still look ok. 🙂

in-progress assembling Water butt

My son and husband in the planning stage of setting up the water butt on a very mild day in December 2017

I requested that the location for the water butt be on the side of our playhouse. They were fairly creative and spoke with my sister-in-law’s husband, who is a dairy farmer, to see if he had any containers which might be recyclable. Lo and behold, he did have containers available that could be converted and used to catch rainwater. (I double checked, there weren’t any chemicals used in them!) My son and husband measured the roof of the playhouse, and bought the piping. Then they set about in assembling my water butt / rain catcher / water barrel.

water butt and hose attached to playhouse

A view of the water butt all assembled (please do ignore the terrible state of the roof … that is on the never ending “to do” list)

Thankfully, it wasn’t too much work for them and they had it set-up in no time. They inserted a faucet (tap) at the bottom of the water butt. This makes it nice and easy for me to access the water and fill the watering cans. I usually try and hide the hose, and hose extension behind the playhouse, because that bright green really stands out (in a bad way!) in pictures.

side view of playhouse with water butt

Side view of the playhouse with the water butt in sight

My daughter did a great job with giving the playhouse a couple of coats of red paint this summer, which really looks nice … despite the desperate state of the white trim and roof (says she who always seems to have more things on the “to do” list than there is time or volunteers to do them!).

fall view of garden with ornamental grass, aster, playhouse and water butt

Fall view of the garden in 2018, including the water butt

I have to say that I was so pleased with this Christmas gift last year. We managed to recycle the water butt container, we now get to reuse rain water, and there is another water station in the garden! Win – Win for everyone! There are plans to set-up another water butt on the other side of the yard (and if it doesn’t happen soon, it will be this year’s Christmas request!).

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope that I’ve inspired you to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in some way or another!

In peace,

gladiolus flower and roses

These gladiolus, the Dark Knights, and David Austin roses, Teasing Georgia, have already benefitted from our “new” water butt

A pretty “rain catcher” for our garden.

Well, I think it’s pretty!  This is our new “Terracotta Look Water Butt” (rain trap system).  It’ll hold 245 liters of water.  It’s hooked up to our drain pipe.  We saw this when we were at the Dublin “Bloom” festival last year.   I like the idea of using rain water in the garden, and I think it looks nice too!  We aren’t currently charged for water use in Ireland, but they are planning on introducing charges in the near future.  Either way, I like the idea of “catching” rain water and using it.   Funny thing is, the price of the rain catcher has taken a big jump up this year. I’m guessing it’s because of the impending water charges.  That’s too bad.  We thought it was a reasonable price that we paid (160 euro).  It’s now 245 euro.

I used it this morning to water the garden.  My watering can fits right under the water tap.  It’s nice and easy!

We are finally getting some real heat!  It was 22 degrees Celsius (73 degrees Fahrenheit).  By Irish standards, this was quite warm!  I have to say it really was a comfortable temperature.  The sun is what made it perfect.  Everything is taking a growth spurt in the garden (including the weeds)!  I’ve had a very unglamorous week of weeding.  I thought the two pictures below were pretty enough to show you.  I hope your garden is getting some sun, and you too!


Blue Geranium in the evening.  These were given to me by my friend Susan, and they have just thrived! Such an easy plant to tend.

I think my Hawthorne is really looking well in full bloom!

Ditch wall and our Hawthorne trees.