Have you ever gone out in your garden to have a cuppa, read a book or just admire your beautiful outdoor space in peace – but all of a sudden, when you’re just about to take your first sip, or settle into a new chapter, you hear your neighbours arguing about where the patio furniture should go, or sirens blaring past. All of a sudden, your well-earned time with nature doesn’t feel so natural.
However, there are methods that you can use to craft a peaceful, quiet space in your garden without having to have a stern word with the couple next, or worse, move away. If you’re feeling a little hopeless about your situation, remember that sound can be manipulated, and there’s lots that you can do in order to exploit it to fit your needs!
The impact of noise
Noise isn’t just annoying. In fact, it can actually have an impact on health. Studies show that experiencing noise pollution for extended periods of time, such as living in an area with high noise, can have an impact on physical and mental health, including:
- Increased stress
- Poor sleep
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of dementia
While it may not be possible to block out all noise in your garden, there are ways to muffle or deflect sounds to create a noticeable difference in noise levels, allowing you to have that tranquil outdoor vista that you always dreamed of. Below are a few tips for reducing noise.
- Use hooded or high backed furniture
If you enjoy taking a seat in your garden for a moment or two, try using hooded or high back furniture and face it away from the noise source to deflect the soundwaves away from your ears.
This daybed and footrest from QVC is the perfect piece for noise deflection, as it features a high quality canopy, which can be pulled up during noisy moments, and will even protect you from showers. Conversely, you can retract the canopy to make the most of a quiet, sunny day!
Featuring natural-coloured rattan and grey cushions, this day bed will fit perfectly in any style of garden. Plus, it’s space saving – the footrest actually fits inside the daybed when not in use. It also requires very little assembly; the only job you’ll need to do is to attach the canopy. Then, you’re free to enjoy your new noise-reducing garden furniture!
- Plant shrubs
Line your garden or seating area with thick shrubs. Shrubs and trees are known to reduce noise pollution by a fraction; opt for dense, evergreen shrubs and trees that will let as few soundwaves through their foliage as possible, while protecting your ears all year round. Shrubs with thick roots at ground level (like holly and juniper) can also help to reduce the hum of nearby traffic.
Not only this, but by planting native shrubs, you can create homes for local wildlife. How about replacing urban noise pollution with birdsong?
- Mask noise with a water feature
Although not all water features are completely natural, the sound of flowing water is a natural symphony that can add tranquillity to an environment by masking unwanted noises.
Try this water feature, which also has beautiful LED lights.
- Extend the height of your fence
First, confirm which fence is yours. Then, consider your options for extending the height of your fence in order to increase the distance that sound has to travel, therefore making it appear quieter.
You could try adding a trellis to your fence and training a dense climber to crawl up to the height of the trellis, or get a pre-filled faux trellis which could do the same job! Alternatively, you could look into metal soundproof fencing, with corrugated metal being a popular option for its weather resistance.
Where to find noise proofing garden features and furniture
QVC has a huge range of garden products that can help you enjoy your garden to the fullest! Shop the garden range here.
Which noises affect you the most in your garden? Let me know in the comments below!
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.