James River Nurseries recently worked on a landscaping and hardscape project in Chesterfield County where the homeowner chose to express a little creativity when it came to the downspouts on their back porch. Instead of sticking with the traditional (and let's call it what they are...boring) gutter downspouts, they elected to go with what are called "rain chains."
Rain chains are not new and in fact the Japanese have used these for hundreds of years. The Japanese term for a rain chain is "kusari doi" which translates literally into "chain gutter." After the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan, rain chains began to grow in popularity in the United States.
The purpose of rain chains, just as with traditional downspouts, is to transport water from the roof of the home down to the ground. In addition to being a vehicle to tranport water, rain chains offer additional benefits to the homeowner. For starters, they provide a cool waterfall feature which is both interesting to look at as well as relaxing to listen to as the water trickles down the chain. Also, they come in a variety of shapes, designs and materials allowing the owner to select the style that most effectively accents the architecture of the home, helping to add to the overall curb appeal.
James River Nurseries was selected as the landscape and hardscape contractor on this project and although we do not sell or install rain chains, we did see where we could help enhance the feature. So we got an old wine barrel, cut it in half and placed each half under a rain chain so that the water could run into these makeshift planters. Because our passion is creating unique outdoor spaces for our customers, we were happy to help complete the look of the rain chains. If you are considering transforming your outdoor space this year, we hope you will invite us to be your partner on the project.