How to make your garden quieter: 7 ways to block out noisy neighbors – “drain” the noise

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Sitting outside in the garden on a hot day is often less peaceful than it seems, especially when your property boundary is shared with close neighbours. Nearby traffic, barking dogs, or a busy yard next door can quickly drown out the silence, making your own space crowded and noisy. While there isn’t much you can do to stop the noise, there are a few quick tricks you can try to create a more secluded and quiet space. Here are the seven best ways to create a soundproof garden.

How to soundproof your garden

Noise pollution isn’t always something you have to put up with, especially if you’re dealing with annoying neighbors late at night.

However, not all sounds can be controlled, especially noise pollution caused by flight paths, train tracks and busy roads.

Fortunately, there are two main strategies you can use to reduce the amount of noise that travels through your garden, either by blocking and reflecting sound waves or by absorbing sound energy.

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Sound absorbing plants

Hedges and tall trees are often the first thought when it comes to blocking out vision and noise in your garden, but there are several other plants that work just as well.

If you don’t like hedges or just don’t have the space, Buckinghamshire landscape gardeners have recommended using other species that also have a “densely growing structure and fine texture”.

Plants such as pampas grass, choysia, and bamboos are good examples.

Bamboos and other tall grasses also have the benefit of creating a slight rustle in the breeze, helping to dilute the sound coming from your property line while absorbing it.

ponds

Another great way to reduce noise pollution in gardens is to build a pond.

Buckinghamshire Landscape Gardeners said: ‘Water molecules absorb incoming noise; the molecules vibrate draining the speed of sound energy.

“That means installing a reasonably sized pond can really help make your garden quieter.”

Wildlife ponds with lots of marginal vegetation and substrate are even better than formal ponds, so try to keep it looking organic for an ever quiet space.

wildflower meadows

Wildflowers are one of the most beneficial varieties to grow in your garden, especially for pollinators and biodiversity.

In addition to their nurturing properties for nature, wildflowers are also great for absorbing sound waves thanks to their finely textured foliage.

You may not have room for a full meadow in your green space, but there are still good reasons to plant as many as you can in a large flower bed.

Pergolas

Pergolas can be built to suit almost any garden style and are easily adaptable to create an enclosed space.

Uncovered, the wooden frame is still able to isolate the seats from incoming sound waves and create a quieter space, although they work best with an awning or climbing plants stretched over the wood.

Masonry

If noisy neighbors aren’t to blame for your sound problems, masonry is a very effective solution to the constant noise of traffic.

A large masonry wall at least 200mm thick provides a dense barrier against sound waves, keeping your garden quieter from the direct source of noise pollution.

Concrete, brick, and natural stone all work well for blocking out unwanted sound.

To take your soundproofing efforts a step further, these materials can be clad with dry stone walls, to help absorb excess sound energy.

It is even more effective to do this if there is a central air cavity in the wall, as this helps prevent vibrations from spreading.

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gabions

These large block-like structures have become a staple of modern landscaping and are often used to create unique rock structures.

Gabions can be used as walls or to retain soil, although both function to diffuse and absorb sound energy through vibration.

Raised beds

Topsoil is made up of billions of tiny soil particles that act like a sponge to absorb sound and reduce decibels.

Gardens designed to reduce noise should have as many flower borders as possible.

Raised beds can increase the volume of topsoil on your site and maximize sound absorption potential.

Buckinghamshire landscape gardeners have recommended combining raised beds with hedges to maximize effectiveness.

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