decorative recycled fence

A stone-filled wire fence is an artistic solution to recycle local rock while blocking out neighbors’ noise.

You’ve heard the phrase “Your home is your castle”? Well, if your home is surrounded by unwanted noise, you’re certainly not living in luxury. Noise can come from surrounding industries or businesses, inconsiderate neighbors, machinery or construction sounds, proximity to heavy traffic, or anything else. Noise pollution can take a toll on your peace of mind and even your overall health. Your garden can help.

Build sound buffers into the landscape and you can cut down on outside noise as well as creating decorative features in the garden. Walls and barricades can be constructed with living or non-living materials. Smooth finishes reflect sound, bouncing it back whereas textured surfaces absorb sound.

Solid walls can be built with stone, brick, block or other building material. These are likely to be long-lasting and durable. They are also costly to build. But these walls are successful at keeping out wildlife pests and unwanted trespassers. They also help secure children and pets safely inside, performing double duty. Decorate these solid walls with colorful gardens, clothe them with climbing vines or set pots with cascading plants on the top of the wall to drape the surface with dangling stems, leaves and flowers. Or paint the wall with an ornamental mural, hang wall décor or cover the wall surface with interesting textural fabrics. Another option is to face the wall with plant pockets or trays to create a living wall or vertical garden.

Sound blocks with living materials can be created by using stands of trees, large shrubs or a mixture of high-growing, thick growth. The deep texture makes for excellent sound absorption. Not impenetrable, this kind of wall offers a natural, attractive sound buffer.

One more way to counter noise pollution is by adding your own sound effects. Adding music to drown out sounds of your neighbors is likely to only escalate a noise war. Music is only likely to work if you live where there are no close neighbors to upset and the noise is being generated by an impersonal source. White noise is a term used for a general overlay of sound that doesn’t noticeably intrude. The sound of wind through leaves, trickling or running water, or the tinkle of repetitive notes from wind chimes can distract from other noise pollution.

You can also help sound-proof your home to create peace from ambient outdoor noise. New windows and doors will help keep unwanted noise outside. Efficient, double glazed windows will save on energy bills and maintain indoor temperatures better. They will also make your home more attractive and safer.

specimen opuntia

Big specimen cactus plants can form a noise-reducing protective wall or fence that also keeps out intruders.

You don’t have to be a victim of noise pollution. These are just some choices that can make your life more comfortable, peaceful and even help make your home and landscape more beautiful.