Copper pieces used as art in the garden have a way of adding perpetual beauty to the surroundings. When new, the warmth exuded by this shiny penny colored surface offers a just the right contrast to green, which is usually the predominant shade in most gardens. In the first few years as the copper slowly ages it takes on a browner coloring. Then over the next 10 years it ages to shades of green and finally after about 30 years, it takes on the longed-for patina of blue. The “patina” acts as a shell or covering to protect the copper beneath it. Unlike iron objects that will develop rust which is a degradation of the iron, copper only gets better with age. (Something I keep telling this gardener body every day.)
I have always admired those gorgeous copper rain chains that I would see hanging from the eves of homes in magazine photos and was recently given an opportunity to review one made by Rain Chains Direct. Even though I didn’t know the first thing about how to use it, I just loved the thought of being able to watch water gently flowing down the copper links. Not to mention that I was excited to get my hands on a beautiful piece of copper art for our Meditation Garden. I visited their FAQ page and all of my questions were answered.
Since I really didn’t know what they would be sending me to review, I knew I would be happy to receive even the simplest link design. It was such a pleasant surprise when Rain Chains Direct sent me one of their beautiful Floral Designs called “Copper Blossoms”. Their rain chains are made of 100% copper which is renewable (it’s a “green” product).
I knew that I wanted the rain chain to hang from our vintage garden shed in the Meditation Garden where it would become a piece of garden art. Even though rain chains are a functional way to direct water down from a gutter system as an option to conventional downspouts or even into a rain barrel, they can also be used for aesthetic purposes especially in the garden. I can just imagine a few of them hanging from lower tree branches in a shady area where it is difficult to grow flowers.
Since our garden shed didn’t have any gutters, with some assistance, I attached a temporary piece of gutter to the lower side of our garden shed to test the rain chain. A copper gutter installer was included in the box with the rain chain. I placed that inside the opening of the end of the gutter where the downspout would attach and inserted the pin through the link on the chain. Then I simply removed a copper link and shortened the rain chain (standard length is 8.5 feet). In a matter of one minute, the rain chain was installed!
We haven’t had rain in a few days so in order to test it out, I ran a hose into the gutter and wallah! A beautiful stream of water cascaded down the chain and into a small plastic pond we placed at the base (for photos). I was hooked! (Actually even without the water I was hooked.) The copper floral shaped cups alone were stunning against the green color of our shed. I love the rain chain with or without water. It is a versatile piece of garden art that can be functional for directing water down from a gutter into a rain garden. It can also be made into a water feature if a waterfall pump is installed in a small pond allowing the water to re-circulate up to the top of the chain. A permanent gutter will be installed on the shed allowing the rain chain to remain where it is. During the fall, I hope to create a rain garden at the base of it. Each day I see more tiny spots darkening on the copper which means that the lengthy patina process has started.
I’m not really looking forward to winter, but I will be happy to be able to get some frozen winter photos of the rain chain with snow and ice covering it. A representative from Rain Chains Direct assured me that my Rain Chain can stand up to our Northeastern Pennsylvania Zone 5 winters. I am very pleased with the high quality of the product and the ease of installation.
*Rain Chains Direct gave me this product to review. The opinions are completely my own based on this experience that I had with this product. I received no monetary compensation for this review.