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Garden Ideas That Screen Out Sound

We live on a busy street and experience a lot of noise from cars, pedestrians, etc. What are some landscaping ideas for reducing noise coming into our yard and windows?

garden water feature

Answer: Designing a landscape can be a way to reach our inner artistic side by allowing us to create our own personal paradise. However, designing a landscape can also help us keep out irritating outside noises, nosy neighbors and sounds from boisterous, rattling cars. Landscapes can be lavish sights, but they can also act as our own personal way of adding a little more peaceful privacy.

Although it is extremely difficult to stop all noises from trickling through our yards and into our ears and homes, here are a few solutions to help drastically filter and reduce these irksome sounds:
Sound barrier walls: Barrier walls are usually large, stone or concrete walls that we often see lining the highway. These can reduce the noise of the cars and trucks that zoom down the fast lanes from reaching neighboring homes. Although they are often lacking in aesthetic appeal, constructed of thick, solid grey matter, they do not have to be eyesores. With the right material, design and creative eye, you can turn barrier walls into stunning displays of art. Try adding designs within the concrete or planting thick vegetation that peers beautifully over the top of the walls. Not only do they deflect noises, they can also keep out the curious eyes of passing pedestrians.
Fencing: For a more subtle approach, fencing can also limit outside sounds and unwanted attention to yards and homes. Use a more solid material, such as wood, for the best results and add vegetation by the fences to aid in breaking up the sounds that sifter through.
Vegetation: Trees and shrubs are great ways to not only add more gorgeous vegetation to our yards, but also help to refract noises. You can use shrubs as thick hedges and borders, or strategically place trees with large, thick branches in particularly loud locations. Evergreens are good options but also ask local nurseries and garden centers for plants that are fast growing, low-maintenance, and have compact, dense foliage. Vines are also great choices—when climbing walls and trellises, they add as extra sound barriers. If you have tricky locations that just do not seem to be deflecting the outside sounds, try adding these clinging plants.
Hardscapes: A creative, and often tranquil, way to help hinder the irritating outside noises is by supplementing them with calming ones. Add water features—such as fountains, pounds and waterfalls—and wind chimes. Although they will not absorb the outside noises, the trickling of the water and the wind streaming through the wind chimes creating angelic melodies, can help to mask bothersome sounds. You can also add bird feeders, hanging them from sturdy branches to attract songbirds. Adding these soothing sounds is a great way to bring a little peace into an otherwise stressful and loud yard.

With the right sound-deflecting landscape designs, you can create a more quiet and serene home.

Image: Chris Gunns
With Landscaping for Privacy you can learn to minimize or even eliminate the irritation of traffic, eyesores and outdoor noises.

Learn how to design the perfect landscape for you by following helpful tips in Landscape Ideas You Can Use.

Improve your landscape design by downloading Design Perspectives.

Work more confidently with plants to create a gorgeous plant inspired design with tips from Plant Driven Design.

In Garden Up! you can learn all about the latest gardening trend—vertical gardening, perfect for small spaces, narrow planting beds, trellises and more!