I have two 50 gallon rain barrels attached to my two most productive downspouts. The first one is tucked in next to my vegetable and herb beds by the side door. It's the same color as the house, so it camouflages nicely, I think.
The second one is on the other end of the house by the shade garden. This one overflows into a pipe that runs under the path and into a t-shape perforated pipe under the three ostrich ferns in the middle of the island shade garden below. So when it really pours instead of overflowing onto our foundation it gives an extra soak to the plants that love that.
|drought tolerant monarch waystation|
The shade plants that do need a bit of extra water do fine with a little bit from the rain barrels. And if those run low I stick a bucket under our shower and let that fill up while the water warms up and when I'm not rinsing soap and shampoo. I can usually get another 2 to 3 gallons that way. I know it sounds like a bit of work, but 2 or 3 gallons waters all my planters and my three compact sweet pepper bushes that droop when it's hot and dry.
I do all these practices even when we don't have a water ban. The minute it was lifted I heard the tell tale sounds of sprinklers shifting back and forth around the neighborhood. My garden looks just as green and lush as everyone's and I haven't touched a hose. It's not hard, just takes some planning and thinking and a little bit of help from Mother Nature to fill up the rain barrels every once in a while.