Whether your garden is filled with teak dining chairs and children’s toys or a beautiful ensemble of flowers and shrubs, the sounds of running water is something that many people associate with adding a sense of peace and calm to their outdoor living space. A garden of sound filled with waterfall noises or the sounds of running water can create a more peaceful place for you to relax at the end of a hard day. So here are some great tips on creating calming sounds to your outdoor space.
It is generally fairly easy to create the sounds of running water even if you have little or no garden space. The most obvious way is by installing a water fountain which can give the effect of anything from waterfall noises to a trickling stream. It may seem obvious, but the further the water has to fall the bigger the noise will be. If you want an effect more like a waterfall then a taller fountain will do the trick. For more gentle sounds of running water you could opt for a shorter fountain or something that has several platforms for the water to run down. Water blades can also offer a more contemporary garden of sound, as they are usually wide metal ‘taps’ that can be wall mounted and pour water into a pool below.
Some of the most common ways to add sounds of running water to your garden include:
If you are a real water fan and like the idea of fish and water plants, a pond might be a great way to add the sounds of running water. With pond fountains, you can go for a sprinkler effect or a louder trickling water sound, as well as of course adding fish and plants and a larger expanse of water than just a simple water fountain. Both with ponds and water fountains you can also add illumination with LED lights so that the water feature or pond lights up at night, giving it an even more relaxing feel than just waterfall noises. This can also be a beautiful way to add garden lighting that isn’t too overpowering.
If you’re a big fan of the sounds of running water and have a large enough garden you can actually add in a man-made stream, giving a more realistic sound of a brook or stream trickling. This really would need to be in a much larger garden however, as a stream in the true sense would need a good ‘run’ to give the right effect and look or sound like the real deal.
You might be used to looking up strategies to keep wildlife out of your garden, but if you want to bring the joyful sounds of nature into your garden, you need to attract them! Of course, the sounds of bird song and their cheerful tweets are the most obvious place to start. Birds love nesting in trees and hedges, as they enjoy flitting amongst your garden flowers and plants. Include plants that survive the winter so that your local birds will continue to visit your garden all throughout the year. Place birdbaths throughout your space so that they have a place to drink and bathe, and place feeders stocked with seeds, suet, and nuts throughout your garden.
If you install a water feature or pond in your garden, don’t be surprised if you hear the gentle hops and plopping of toads and frogs! Their croaks and ‘ribbits’ will be a symphony in summer evenings. If you want to attract these amphibian friends, include potted plants in your water, and place some rocks above the water line for sunning.
Finally, one of the nicest (and most beneficial!) sounds in a garden has got to be the buzzing of bumblebees and honeybees. Plant nectar-rich flowers and fruit trees to keep these fuzzy pals coming back for more.
The lazy sound of the summer breeze can be highlighted by placing wind chimes in your garden. Of course, the blusters and gusts of the rest of the year might be too strong and rattle your chimes too loudly, so be sure to take them down (or place them inside) during the fall, winter, and early spring.
Of course, wind chimes are not the only way to hear the breeze. The sound of the gentle winds can also be heard in the rustle of leaves, or ornamental grasses and shrubs.
When you walk along a gravel path, you add a gentle and mellow sound to your garden. Lining your paths with gravel and stones will make every footstep a pleasure, and send a lovely sound throughout your space. In the late summer and fall, you might be tempted to clear away all fallen leaves as soon as they hit the ground. However, the sound of the crunching leaves can add the sounds of nature and harvest to your garden. The next time the leaves start to fall, consider leaving them on the ground for that atmospheric melody.
While you might be more focused on creating gorgeous sights and smells in your garden, a garden of sound can add an extra element of enjoyment to the space.
Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches – a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.