Your gutters are necessary and functional, but how can you turn your gutters into art? Below are four ways to incorporate gutters and water flow into the exterior design and landscaping of your home and yard.
1. Rain Chains
Rain chains have been used for hundreds of years in Japan and are a beautiful alternative to downspouts. They are a great way to turn your gutters into art. The water travels down the chain and is traditionally collected in a barrel, but that is not necessary. Simple rain chains are available from Home Depot and Lowes, while beautiful themed rain chains are available from speciality sites like rainchain.com
Either the rain chain or your downspout can be used to create a simple fountain when it rains. Simply placing containers of varying heights in decreasing order will create a fountain effect when the first overflows into the second, or specialty containers can be bought for this, such as this one.
3. Dry Creek beds
Instead of a fountain, another option to turn your gutters into art is a dry creek bed. A dry creek bed is made up of river rocks and leads the water from your gutters away from your house and foundation to where you want it to go, which can either be the storm drain or a rain garden.
4. Rain Gardens
An alternative to collecting rainwater, a rain garden is located away from your house and fed with a dry creek bed. Deep rooted native plants take the water that is brought into the rain garden and help it sink into the soil faster. In addition, because the water is away from your foundation it helps keep your foundation safe while making your yard look attractive and preventing run off. Information on building your own rain garden can be found here.