Noise pollution is becoming an increasing problem over time so that even those who own a garden often can not relax and enjoy their space both at home and outdoors due to the noise coming from outside.
However, nature can help us to solve or at least mitigate the most annoying noises that come from outside.
If our houses, made of “reflecting” and not at all absorbent materials, somehow implement the sounds of each type, the behavior of the plants is very different.
Wide-leaf ones, recommended to reduce noise are the most suitable to reduce any kind of sound and, having a more flexible and flexible constitution than that of all the elements present in a house (appliances and walls), offers better features in order to absorb or reduce unwelcome sounds.
Which plants to use
Let’s start from the garden, place from where come the loudest noise (road, outdoor facilities and, perhaps, loud neighbors).
When designing a real “noise barrier”, shrubs should be placed in the front row like a hedge. The Vibornum odoratissum seems to be very valid for the purpose, but most of the evergreens should make “good shape” also from an aesthetic point of view.
Behind this first row of shrubs, you can plant some trees or shrubs with dense branches or that reach the ground, such as holly and juniper.
Finally, if you have enough space, you can create a “barrier” of shrubs, right next to the house, but be careful to choose it according to your taste and in harmony with the rest of the garden.
If this is not enough to completely eliminate outside noise, it may be a good idea to add some pleasant and relaxing sound to your garden.
Water that flows, for example, is always a relaxing sound suitable to mask other unwanted ones and, without a doubt, the installation of a fountain or a small waterfall repay with time.
How do plants absorb sounds?
The plant parts such as stems, leaves, branches, wood etc. They absorb the sound. The rough bark and thick, fleshy leaves are particularly effective in absorbing the sound with their dynamic surface.
Deflection is another way in which the sound is reduced. When the sound waves hit a flexible material, like the leaves of a tree, the material will vibrate and the waves will turn into other forms of energy, in addition to being diverted in other directions.
Sound waves can also be refracted. If a room has all solid floors, sound waves bounce everywhere and can create echoes. When the carpet is added, the echoes disappear. The plantations covering the surfaces help to achieve the same business.
The best noise reduction result has been obtained from the pithecellobium dulce thanks to its dense leaves all year round, to the position and shape of the foliage that hangs over the surface of the ground.