Many a dream of a peaceful garden is thwarted by noise from a busy street wafting in. There are landscaping solutions that help reduce noise coming into ours yards and gardens. We can’t block all noise, of course, but we can reduce it. Hardscaping, strategically placed plants and other features are all part of the solution.
How to Create Your Peaceful Garden
• Sound-barrier walls are large stone or concrete walls often seen lining highways near residential neighborhoods. You can work with a stonemason to adapt the concept to fit your home landscape. A brick wall is lovely with climbing plants trained up and over it. Not only do these walls deflect noises, they can also keep out the curious eyes of passing pedestrians.
• A more subtle approach uses basic fencing, which can limit outside sounds and unwanted attention to yards and homes. Use a solid material, such as wood, for the best results, and add plants to aid in breaking up the sounds that sift through.
• Trees and shrubs are essential to good garden design and they help block sound. 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 try deciduous plants that are fast growing, low-maintenance and have a compact, dense habit and foliage.
• You can add your own soothing sounds to counter the street noise. Add water features—such as fountains, bubbling ponds and waterfalls—and wind chimes. Although these additions won’t absorb the outside noises, they can mask them. You can also add bird feeders, hanging them from sturdy branches to attract songbirds.
Here are more tips for smart garden design to help you create your own sanctuary away from the noise of everyday life. If you're looking for a professional landscape designer, the Association of Professional Landscape Designers can get you connected.