Ten tips for cultivating quiet in the garden

Getting out inthe garden in springNow is the time for getting to grips with the garden. Pottering in the garden can be peaceful, but power tools used for mowing, blowing and chopping can blight your whole neighbourhood with noise. Whether you have a small city space, a suburban garden or an allotment, if you’re pulling out the power tools ready for a session this week, remember gardens don’t have walls and your neighbours will hear what you’re doing. While power tools take the slog out of some jobs,  they  can turn your gardening session into mechanical mayhem.

Follow our ten tips for quieter cultivation that will keep the peace with your neighbours:

  1. If you’re planning a really noisy job – like trimming a tree or hedge – let your neighbours know in advance (although hedge trimming should be avoided after March as birds start to nest)
  2. Carry out noisy activities in the middle of the day when people/children are least likely to be resting or sleeping
  3. Do you really need a power tool? For example, a broom can be adapted do the job just as well as a leafblower
  4. Mowing the lawn is a traditional sound of the suburbs – but not everyone appreciates it – cut your grass at a time when its least likely to disturb your neighbours – or if its a small patch consider a manual mower. Electric mowers are cleaner and quieter than petrol too.
  5. Use CE markings to help you purchase quieter equipment and maintain equipment properly to prevent it making more noise than it should.
  6. Planning a water feature or any other garden feature that makes a sound? Think carefully about where it will be and how the sound it makes will affect others to avoid falling out with neighbours. Your tinkling chimes could be torture for your neighbour!
  7. Coax children out of taking noisy electronics or toys outside. If they insist on clinging on to the tablet or games console, give them headphones
  8. If you have a barbeque or party to show off your newly trimmed and planted space, let your neighbours know or better still invite them
  9. Avoid amplified sound outdoors – if you want to listen to music or the match while sunbathing/mowing the lawn, wear headphones
  10. If you fancy a garden firework display to mark a celebration proceed with care – let your neighbours know to ensure children and pets aren’t frightened. Its illegal to let off fireworks after 11 pm (except for Bonfire Night (Nov 5th), Diwali, New Years Eve and Chinese New Year).

If you are being disturbed by persistent noise from neighbours, and after a quiet word they don’t keep it down – see our guide to steps you can take to tackle a persistent noise problem.

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