Daffodils and cherries are starting to bloom, peepers are singing, and soon lightning bugs will be floating on the breeze. The warm rays of the sun, the colors and scents of flowers, and the taste of fresh berries readily come to mind when we think of gardens in spring and summer, but what about sound? When it comes to the landscape, the sense of hearing is usually ignored, unless, of course, there is noise to buffer. But what about using sound to enhance your outdoor space, instead of just block out the drone of traffic?
Options for Adding Sound
The “go-to” for sound effects in the landscape is water. A splashing fountain is classic, creating soothing white noise. Rainwater can also provide a pleasing sound, running down a rain chain, or dancing on the tin roof of a garden pavilion.
Wind can also be very soothing, swishing through a stand of ornamental grass, or rustling the leaves of a redbud outside a bedroom window. (It might sound a bit tacky, but a well placed wind chime can create the perfect accent, just don’t tell your neighbor I said so.)
Birds, insects, and other animals can add extra dimension to the “soundscape”. A still pond can provide a home for singing frogs, and many landscape trees and shrubs offer food and shelter for birds. Flowering plants that attract bees can create a pleasant, busy hum, preferably at a distance from pathways! (This also helps keep up the population of our valuable pollinators so that we can continue to enjoy fruits and vegetables for years to come)
So, when you are considering what to do with your yard, don’t just stop and look, but LISTEN! Why not engage ALL of your senses in your outdoor space?