Use these simple and achievable ideas to turn your way-too-noisy yard into the quiet, peaceful sanctuary of your dreams.
Perhaps you’ve been here before. You’re in your yard, either alone or with loved ones, and are hoping to enjoy some peace and quiet. The weather is perfect. The sun is shining and the perfect breeze is gently twisting its way throughout the yard. Perfection. And then it happens. Your next door neighbor’s lawn mower begins to ferociously roar. Or their dogs are barking incessantly. Or you’re suddenly drowning in traffic noise. Or flight noise. You get the idea.
So what do you do? Of course, your neighbors have every right to live their lives, mow their lawns, etc. (And you never know what disruptive sounds you might be making, right?) There’s no reason to get angry when you can instead get active. We’ve worked with many, many clients over the years who have wanted to create an outdoor space that encompasses their ideas of refuge, style, and function — and that includes solutions for making a quieter space.
Remember, unless we’re turning your yard into a soundproof booth, then you’re still going to experience some noise in your yard. The goal here is to dampen the distracting sounds you don’t like so you can focus on those that you do.
Fences make good neighbors
Fences can be for more than just visual privacy. Fences are also an easy way to dampen unwanted sounds in order to create aural privacy as well. Consider the style of your neighborhood and home, your budget and aesthetic preferences, and what materials best reflect those considerations. Bear in mind that different types of fencing materials will do a better job of absorbing sounds than others.
Masonry — stonework or brickwork — and concrete will dampen sounds better than metal- or wood-based fences are able to. Fences that have gaps in them will also do a poorer job of filtering out sounds vs. those that are solid pieces of material. A berm, which is less a fence and more a raised mass of land used to separate spaces in landscaping, is another way in which unwanted sounds can be absorbed, depending on their placement.
Though many have an immediate inclination to create a very tall fence for privacy and absorbing sounds, make sure to refer to your local and HOA regulations to make sure your proposed new fence is up to code.
Plants and shrubs and trees — soak the noise up, please!
Selectively choosing the right types of plants and shrubs and trees are the perfect and natural way to reduce the noise you’re experiencing in your yard. One only needs to consider the drastic difference in sounds between that of an empty warehouse or gymnasium vs. that of a park or a nursery. The latter, filled with all sorts of organic materials of all shapes and sizes, naturally does a fantastic job of absorbing all sorts of sounds, whereas the former is essentially a box in which sounds unpleasantly ricochet back and forth.
Consider Boxwoods, junipers, evergreens, and holly plants for sound absorption. They’re typically densely growing plants, which is extremely helpful for filtering out distracting sounds.
Let the sounds of water relax you
Sometimes you’ve got to fight fire with fire. Or, in this sense, with water. Adding water features like ponds, waterfalls, and the like to your yard is the perfect way to add texture, atmosphere, and they’re a great way to create the sort of white noise that not only drowns out the extraneous sounds you’re finding distracting and unnerving, but also can create a calming effect for your outdoor space.
What’s more, waterfalls are known to emit what are called negative ions. Though they’ve been largely used for air cleaning, these negative ions are released whenever water collides with itself — a natural occurrence in waterfalls. Studies also suggest that these ions can have a positive effect on your overall personal health by helping to reduce stress, regulate sleep patterns, boost your immune system, and even contribute to the reduction of depression. Beautiful, and functional — in a multitude of ways!
Need assistance in reducing the noise in your outdoor space?
Call Greenhaven Landscapes today to learn how we can help you achieve the calm, quiet, and everything you’ve dreamed of.