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Water Conservation Never Looked So Good

Dress up your rain barrel with a bit of paint and creativity.

Many gardeners are using discarded food containers to create affordable rain barrels. Though functional they may not fit in with your landscape design.

You can fix that. Start by wiping down the barrel with a one-to-one mixture of vinegar and water.

Next roughen up the surface of the barrel with a piece of fine grit sand paper to help the paint stick.

Brush off any debris and apply a coat of primer designed for plastics.

Now you're ready to start painting. Draw the design on the barrel first. Once the drawing is complete you can begin painting with exterior latex paint. Dawn of my team also painted the ladybug rain barrel featured on this segment.

And don't worry if you are not an artist just pick up some stencils or invite the kids to get involved.

A bit more information: You can also mask your rain barrel with ornamental plantings. Create a living screen of upright shrubs or ornamental grasses. Just make sure you have easy access to the spout for retrieving water. Or cover the barrel with netting and grow a climbing vine up the side of the barrel. Quick growing Spanish flag, canary vine or cardinal flower are just a few you can try.

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