This is what I'm doing this year, it's called hugelkultur. It's a type of no-watering mound or raised bed idea that might be just the ticket for you.
Basically what you do is, you pile up a bunch of big tree trunks or branches, and then pile on the smaller branches, then the grass you've dug up - upside down, straw, manure, old leaves, compost and then a thin layer of dirt.
This can be done on top of the existing foundation and as it rots it provides the nutrients and the water for the new plants.
I'm doing mine in raised beds, but you can do either. The nice thing about the mounds is... you have triple the growing space and can grow other plants along side the bamboo.
This way, you don't have to worry about the barrels rotting and the roots of your plants will have room to grow.
I drove around the neighbourhood and picked up all kinds of wood from the annual spring cleanup. It's going to be a lot of work, but in the end, I'll save money and time on watering and weeding will be very easy.
Anyhow, if you're interested there are pages of info on google.