Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Rain on the Plain Falls Mainly Down the Chain

Every time I have ever seen a rain chain, I make a comment about it. I first saw one online and then one in person while visiting Garvan Gardens in Hot Springs, Arkansas. In the years since then, I've encountered them in photos and in person and my affinity for them hasn't waned. They appeal to me because of their creativity and aesthetic beauty. They're much more attractive than my white metal downspout. I can't even see the rain coming down those.

According to Wikipedia, rain chains are quite popular in Japan where they had their origin hundreds of years ago. There they are called kusari doi and can be found on temples as well as homes. They are typically made of metal cups with a small opening in the bottom for water to flow through and in heavy rains the water will also spill over the sides and down the chain. Many are simple chains, often made of copper, which water flows down to the ground or to a collection vessel.

Early in December, I was Christmas shopping with our younger daughter and she blurted out how excited she was about her Christmas gift for me. She mentioned how proud she was that she had thought of it all on her own and when she talked with her sister about it, they agreed to go together and get whatever it was. She said I'd mentioned whatever it was before, and how I'd like to have one.

Hmmmm.......... Several things went through my mind, but when Christmas came and I opened my present, I never could have guessed that it would be a copper link rain chain with a bowl for collecting the water. They are usually costly enough that I wouldn't consider buying one for myself and now my girls had gifted one to me.
Who says your kids don't pay attention to you?

Yesterday, the sun came out and the wind stopped blowing for a few hours, so Romie installed my new rain chain on the corner of the pool house. Appropriately, this is also the northwest corner of the Japanese Garden.

Installation was very easy, except that Jack was on the roof and immediately jumped to Romie's shoulder, as he usually does. He loves to ride there while Romie walks around the yard.

Once Jack had had enough of the high life, installation continued. Romie simply removed the elbow in the spouting and inserted the winged V-shaped hanger into the hole in the gutter. The downspout is still in place in this photo, but has since been removed.

We don't get that much rain during the winter here, but if we do and it freezes too much to the rain chain, I'll have to remove it so the weight of the ice on the chain doesn't damage the gutter. In time, the copper chain will age to a lovely green patina.


Anonymous said...

What an awesome gift.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

What a thoughtful gift! I'm sure this was one case where your girls were more excited to give than receive, just knowing how much you would love their gift to you.

I laughed out loud at the picture of Romey with the cat on his shoulders. What a patient man he is.

Kylee Baumle said...

MrBrownThumb ~ I think so, too!

Robin ~ You're right! And Jenna was especially proud of herself, because she usually follows Kara's lead in things like this. I loved it!

Romie is indeed VERY patient in most things. Want to know areas where he isn't patient at all? Waiting for a web page to load (and we have wireless internet, which is high-speed, although not as fast as cable) and watching commercials on TV or listening to them on the radio (click, click, click goes the remote).

Little things those are, though. I'm very fortunate to have him for a husband! He makes my life very pleasant.

flydragon said...

Lucky you that your girls paid attention. I love the looks of those chains. Everytime I see one, I want one:)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

The picture of your girls is priceless. Their gift to you is wonderful. I too love to see these chains. They remind me of a wonderful B&B we stayed in in TX once. It was the most beautiful place and they had these rain chains on all of their down spouts. Just gorgeous when they age to that green patina.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

What thoughtful children. I love that rain chain and have wanted it for myself for years. Congrats.

Katie said...

Fantastic gift! You should be marvelously proud of your girls. Romie looks funny with Jack hanging out on his shoulders! My cats hate that.

Kylee Baumle said...

flydragon ~ Even if it wasn't out of copper, I would imagine you could make one of something else maybe.

Lisa ~ I love that photo of the girls, too. That's Jenna's dog, Bella, with them. It was taken on Christmas Eve at my mom and dad's. They always play Santa so Mom got them the Santa hats several years ago. They wear them every year. :-)

I like the shiny copper, but I like the aged copper, too.

Debbie ~ They always manage to surprise me with something good! I hope you get one someday!

Katie ~ We do have wonderful girls! They're the two best things we've ever done. :-)

Jack does that all the time. Here is another photo of him doing it last fall.

Earth Girl said...

Great gift, Kylee. Let us know how it works during the spring rains.

joey said...

A gift to remember for sure, Kylee. We must never underestimate the love of our children ... my garden is filled with their gifts throughout the years, exactly what a garden should be ... gifts of love. May the New Year bring life's very best. Happy Gardening!

MyMaracas said...

I've never seen one of those. It's a really lovely idea, and the fact that those sweeties were listening and chose it for you makes it extra special.

Anonymous said...

Rain chains are cool. I'd like to have one too. Kudos to the girls.

TYRA Hallsénius Lindhe said...

What a lovely gift, you are a lucky girl.
I like the idea of a chain instead of a drainpipe, much more pretty and your will be lovely when it gets the green colour.

LOLove Tyra

Thank you for all your lovely comment in TYRA'S GARDEN Kylee!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kylee, what a thoughtful and useful gift, you raised them well! Winter is the time for our heaviest rain, like right now! and a rain chain cannot be allowed to interfere with the work of the downspots, BUT the shed has no gutters and the roof is neither metal, steep or large so one would be perfect there. Thanks so much for that inspiration. Now I need to hint about how much I admire them. :-)

Anonymous said...

That is a grand gift and I love rain chains. I want one for my Copper Top Cottage. That is a double chain which is pretty cool and I've never seen one with a holding area. It is very classy looking.

Anonymous said...

That was so sweet of your girls to remember how much you wanted a rain chain. I saw one at the garden center today, and thought of you! Did you brave those seed catalogs yet? Don't be askeered! LOL

Kylee Baumle said...

Earth Girl ~ I'll be sure to let you know. I'm hoping for some interesting pictures!

Joey ~ You are so right. It's probably why I love to walk through the garden every day.

MyMaracas ~ It made me smile that they were excited about getting it for me. They are great girls!

Pam ~ I think you should have a rain chain in your new garden. Don't you?

Tyra ~ I am lucky and blessed beyond belief! I always love visiting your lovely garden!

Frances ~ Yay! Frances is getting a rain chain! Well, I just know you will. :-) We get some rain as winter wears on, but right now, it's mostly in the form of snow or ice.

flowergardengirl ~ Oooh, a copper rain chain would be wonderful for your Copper Top Cottage! Just google "Rain Chain" and you'll find places that specialize in them. You need one, girl!

Robin ~ LOL! But...but...I am askeered! I have no willpower! I think it's worse with seed catalogs because a packet of seeds doesn't cost as much as a plant. I'll venture into them soon though!

Shady Gardener said...

Kylee, What thoughtful daughters you have... and all the time they knew you'd love it! :-) You should really enjoy this. I like the idea of your hanging it on the shed in your Japanese garden. And your husband is so nice to hang it now, knowing that perhaps he'll be removing it later. ;-)

Barbara said...

Since we built our house here, we have a rain chain. But ours isn't as nice as yours (ours is a sort of plastic, as we have a lot of frost and then it won't break with all the ice). It's a wonderful gift of your daughters!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Kylee,
What an awesome gift! It's cool that your daughters took note of you saying you like those, and they got to be so excited about the gift.

Thanks for reminding me that I was thinking about looking into one of those, too. We used to have a gutter on our shed that I caught rain water in, but during the repair, it was not replaced.

Kylee Baumle said...

Shady ~ I truly have a great family, immediate AND extended!

Barbara ~ I think I'm really going to love it!

Sue ~ Well then you do have the perfect spot for one, don't you? Yay!

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