If you live in the Northwest, you've probably seen rainwater barrels at the sides of houses to catch and reuse what we seem to have plenty of up here. But if big plastic barrels aren't part of the aesthetic vision for your garden, Instructables user Michelle Kaufmann has a step-by-step for putting together this camouflaged version.
For materials, you'll need wire mesh, 2-3 barrels (hers are from Arid Solutions), cinder blocks or bricks, a downspout elbow joint and climbing plants from your local nursery.
• The first step is to assemble the barrels, stacking them one on top of the other and using the cinder blocks or bricks as a base. Use a level and adjust the base to make sure the barrels are level.
•Then, saw a hole into the bottom barrel and attach the downspout.
•Next, wrap the mesh around the barrels, leaving the top exposed and making sure the downspout sticks out. Tie the ends of the mesh together with wire for a secure fit.
•Finally, plant your plants around the base of the barrels, and coax them to grow up the sides of the mesh. You can place hanging plants in pots on the top of the barrel, careful not to cover the hole that lets the rainwater in.
That's it! When you want to use the rainwater, simply attach your garden hose to the downspout. Michelle also gives additional design ideas, including filling the mesh with large stones for a stone gabion look.
See the full instructions here.