Rain Chains

this rain-chain ends in decorative pot that allows the water to over flow gently into the ground

This rain chain ends in a decorative pot that allows the water to overflow gently into the ground

With all the spring rains, it seems appropriate to talk about rain chains, a great idea that is a good substitute for gutter downspouts. Downspouts on gutters are unattractive, but they are an effective way to get the water from the gutters to the ground. I really hate when they destroy a nice architectural feature on a house–like when they go down a column that is part of the prominent architecture of the house. Well, as you can see here, there is another way to get water from the gutter to the ground. It is done with what most folks call a rain chain. The one shown here is inserted into the gutter opening, where the downspout is usually attached. One method of attachment to the gutter is to crisscross long nails in the gutter and thread the chain through them. This allows the water to run down the chain onto the ground. The chain used here is a typical 1-inch chain and is long enough to touch the ground (or as in the photo, the bottom of the pot). These work great. There are many commercial types that can be very decorative, but for me, the standard chain provides the least distraction and is my personal choice.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

2 thoughts on “Rain Chains

  1. Hello, Mr. Floyd!!
    I’m a long time fan and former co-worker!! I hope you are doing well!!!

    I’m loving the rain chains and would love to incorporate the system in my home. Do you have a resource or recommendation for a reputable gutter/rain chain specialist?


    Amy P. Wilson

    • Monarch rain chains are good. They have a web site with different types. Not an installer in Birmingham I know of but Duncan Gutters in Trussville does good gutter work.

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