Grow a Sound Barrier

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Growing a Sound Barrier

Whilst designing your garden you might need to consider creating a sound barrier to mask or remove unwanted sounds such as a near by road or school. Sound travels in ways similar to ripples on a pond, to create a sound barrier you need to create a sorce of similar sound but stronger to mask and cancel out the unwanted sound.

Sound in a garden can be created by the following :

  1. Water features such as falls or fountains.
  2. Plants i.e silver birches and popular trees that create sound as the leaves move in the breeze.
  3. Wind chimes.

To create a sound barrier firstly identify the sound that you wish to screen. Consider the points in the garden you wish to have covered by the barrier, for example a patio or summer house. Next make sure that the unwanted sound source is screened. This is key because if you cannot see the source it is less noticeable. A solid barrier will physically reduce sound but not to a large degree.

Once you have identified the source you can create a sound to intercept it. The following examples can be used :

  1. for distant motorway noise trees that create a low sound in the breeze can often provide enough sound to mask the unwanted sound.
  2. For unwanted sound sources using a water feature such as a spring or a waterfall can often provide the solution. The great advantage in using water is that the sound created is on demand and can be changed by using different flow rates and by changing the materials of the waterfalls. Water falling through 4 to 6cm cobbles will increase the resulting sound.

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