This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

July 30, 2014

Designing a quiet garden

I spent a week house-sitting for a friend in California recently, and was reminded of a surprising connection between plants and noise.

We really don't think of plants as being particularly noisy, so when I first started learning about quiet gardening, I was surprised. But it has to do with their maintenance, and the noise that it causes.

Look around your garden. How many plants do you have that require a lot of noise to properly maintain? Think of the noise of a lawn-mower, or power hedge-trimmers. Once you start realizing it, you will probably see more.

The little neighborhood where I spent a week relaxing poolside was as noisy as an airport much of the time, with the sound of heavy-duty machinery blasting just about every morning. Thankfully, the neighborhood doesn't allow that type of noise before 8 am, but I was there all day. And sitting poolside with the loud sound of heavy-duty power tools isn't pleasant!

So, rethink your plants. If it's something that requires a lot of noise to maintain, don't plant it. And if you want to do something about your existing garden, start by getting rid of your grass. Get rid of the shrubs that need to be trimmed constantly with power tools. Not only will you have a more peaceful garden, but your whole neighborhood will benefit. And no, you don't have to get rid of your plants and just have rocks and concrete.

A garden is a place to listen to the rustle of the wings of a butterfly. And you need plants to attract them. Quiet plants.
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