Life today is fast-paced and noisy and can often be overwhelming. Many of us crave a quiet peaceful sanctuary away from all this. This escape is often found in our own homes and backyards.
Noise is a disruptive sound that causes discomfort and affects ones hearing negatively. Any noise above 115 decibels is deemed to be noise. It can affect your eardrums, health, interrupt sleep and increase blood pressure. Although not as harmful as for instance air pollution, it is considered an environmental pollution. Exposure to noise pollution over long periods of time can have harsh long-term effects.
Below are 3 tips from Soundproofpanda.com to reduce the effects of noise in your garden
1. Erect Solid barriers
Land Berms are created by incorporating additional soil to make an artificial ridge or embankment. One can also build a fence on top of this which then raises the height of the fence. Berms can be built from compost, using your yard and home waste, although keep in mind that compost decomposes after time. The advantage of building your own berm is the low cost and also that compost improves the fertility of the soil.
A fence or wall is also a perfect option. The higher the better, depending on the regulations in your area. However, even a low wall can keep the lower level sounds out, although sounds will still flow over the top. A good fence should have no gaps because the sound will flow through any opening. A fence should also go all the way to the ground, as noise will travel through gaps underneath. A solid wood fence is easier to erect and takes up less space than a brick wall.
A wall can be made from stone, concrete, and brick and is most effective at reducing external noise due to its solidity.
Don’t just rely on outer boundaries. Garden screens and trellises are also unique ways to assist with reducing noise.
To sum up: Build your fence or wall as solid and high as possible. A 2- meter wall will effectively reduce outside noise. Our brain also takes the out of sight, out of mind approach. The less you can see the object of the noise, the less you will take notice of it.
2. Plant Plenty of Vegetation
This green solution is very easy to implement and cost-effective.
Select plants or trees that require minimal care and will grow densely.
Evergreens are a good choice as they are not affected by the changing seasons and offer an all year round barrier. Evergreens need to be pruned to allow for new growth.
Trees also buffer unwanted sound and also visually blocks out the source of the noise. To get the best benefits from your trees, try planting fruit-bearing or flowering ones. Poplar trees are also very popular due to their fast growth. Look around your neighbourhood to see what trees are attractive and thriving in the area.
Space trees out in such a way that they are as dense as possible, while still leaving room for the roots to grow. They must also be planted as close as possible to the source of the noise.
Plant low growing bushes to stop noise coming through on ground level. A boxwood hedge can grow up to 6 feet and is also a good natural barrier.
If you have wire fencing around your property, consider covering it with climber plants such as Jasmine or plant a row of Hydrangeas.
Obviously solid structures are more effective but soft vegetation is easier on the eye and does still reduce the volume of noise.
3. Consider White noise
Another effective way to drown out unpleasant noise is creating one’s own soothing sounds which is called white noise. If you want to learn more about white noise, we recommend checking out SoundproofLiving and their white-noise section.
Water has long been used to soften the effect of external noises and has a calming effect to boot. Fountains are perfect for this. The closer the fountain is to the listener, the more effective at masking the sound. A fountain does not need to cost too much. All you need is a vessel to hold the water and a pump.
Try and attract birds and bees to your garden by hanging feeders and birdhouses and planting nectar-rich flowers. Their natural sounds go a long way to dispelling noise.
An interesting option is to create an environment where crickets like to live. They produce loud long-lasting sound. Many people find this sound soothing. You can create your own structures with tiny, cool holes and corridors, to attract them.
Point 2 also ties in here. Planting trees or shrubs that rustle in the breeze can mask noise as well. Choose vegetation such as pampas grass or bamboo.
One cannot escape noise if you wish to live near civilisation. Barking dogs, leaf blowers, road and air traffic etc. are a part of our daily lives. By incorporating some of the methods suggested above, one can create a sense of tranquillity in your private space. These are sure ways to reclaim your garden as the peaceful quiet spot you would like it to be.