We’ve never had a rain chain. We always admired them on our visits to the Japanese garden in Portland. The rain chain actually originated in Japan and there they call them “Kusari Doi” which literally means chain gutter. We had a spot outside our living room and master bedroom that use to have a downspout. It’s a very visible spot and the aesthetic of a downspout would detract from the architectural elements of the house and beauty of the big windows. This led us to the conclusion that the area might be the perfect candidate for a rain chain.
We had put in a new drainage system in the yard and at the time ensured that the underground pipe was placed were the rain chain would eventually go so we could tie into it when the time came. Since we were new to rain chains we did some online research. We came across a site called Rain Chains in a Nutshell. Because we live in Oregon and have a high volume of rain their site directed us to the 5 rain drop models which were cups. We found a model that was made of aluminum and quite simple, since the house is so modern.
The rain chain was going to be in a planting bed area going directly into the buried pipe. We created a small basin around the bottom of the chain and secured the bottom cup so it stayed in place with the wind. We also put a small decorative rock bed to help distribute water runoff and prevent soil erosion. A ceramic sculpture was also placed next to showcase the whole thing as an architectural element in the yard. The rain chain will be complimented by plants such a Mahonia Soft Caress, and Tassel Ferns, that we hope to get planted this April.
Since a “Kusari Doi” is considered a “kinetic sculpture” and provides water music which promotes peace and tranquility, it was a prefect element to tie in our Japanese garden area too. It also seemed to fit so well with the Rummer and Eichler philosophy of design.
We are loving our rain chain. It’s a very functional and efficient down spout. It glows in the sunlight. It’s beautiful with the water rushing through it. It’s dramatic when frozen. It provides a lovely sound. It’s very zen, much like our house.