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Something to block out sound of neighbours voice!

I wasn't sure if this should have gone in Garden design but it is a problem that needs solving!

Last year my husband and I built a kitchen extension on the back of our house (semi detached). My neighbour decided that they would have one too and began building Nov last year its still going on! Where we always had quite a distance between patios, they've decide that they would extend their patio area right up close to ours and have placed their dining table right close to the boundry fence. The Lady of the manor next door has this awful loud voice and cackle the type that makes you cringe! I have thought of putting in a hedge but my border is raised and only about 18"s in depth and I fear that it would over power our small patio area. I have put pyracantha up the fence but it isn't mature or dence enough to block out her boombastic voice!

What would you suggest I could put in my garden other than outdoor speakers or a getto blasta! to mask her voice. I have considered moving house because of them but I would be so upset to leave my garden.



  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353

    Rodgy - where do I start. I feel the same way right now only it's not the immediate neighbours that are the problem. Outdoor speakers with birdsong might be the easiest solution but I don't expect that's cheap unless you 'know a man' or you're handy yourselves. Water as in a water feature of some kind is the other 'physical'  barrier that I can think of. As Alan T says - the kind that sounds like a 'horse relieving itself' is what you need!

    Have you got some pix you can put on to give us a sense of scale etc and would it be possible to move your seating area to the other end of your patio or is that not an option? I appreciate you may have French/patio doors etc. which may prevent that.

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    Rodgy that's horrible. I don't have any serious suggestions. One of my previous neighbours really hated the smell of our large curry plant to the extent that I moved it, she was a nice neighbour.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,946

    Oh dear!  And it's hard to say to your neighbour 'You sound awful' - not good for neighbourly relations.

    I suggest that another sound in your garden might act as a distraction for your ear/brain to focus on - wind in bamboo, running water, or even as has been said, recorded birdsong.  Or can you take your laptop into the garden and tune into Radio Birdsong 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Andy19Andy19 Posts: 671

    It's not an easy one this but if it was me i would make another seating area in another part of the garden and play music down at their end. Neighbours can waste your peace and quiet in many ways which is a shame for us that love our gardens and spending time relaxing in them.

  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ...hang one of those jingly jangly thingys that get on your nerves in the slightest breeze.. you know the ones...  they'll soon get peed off themselves and move...

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,946

    Perhaps you could say something along the lines of ....... "I'm not sure if you realise how your conversations carry on the breeze - we're finding out all sorts of things about you that perhaps you'd rather we didn't know - we do try not to listen but it is hard"  ..... that might make them keep the level down a bit image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • bluejanbluejan Posts: 80

    I had the same problem, the woman would shout and swear at her kids they have all turned out the same, as a last resort I sold up and moved 4 years ago and have never been happier and I am making my new garden even better than my last one

  • I'm very lucky, both of my immediate neighbours are lovely, and there's not too much bother from the whole street, summer barbeques and parties but that's about it.  I'm inclined to go with stinky plants, and perhaps a drastic redesign if it bothers you so much, that's what I would do.  And I would probably be a little blunt with her, in a polite way, Dove's suggestion is excellent.  Oh and a water feature is also good, something with a pump that constantly bubbles and provides a peaceful distraction.  My old neighbours had a couple of small ponds with carp and the sound of running water all the time was lovely.

    Hope you find a solution to the problem, keep us posted.

  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    I completely sympathise with this issue Rodgy. I had a neighbour with that foghorn voice and god awful laugh who used to shout at her kids the whole time and the whole neighbourhood heard every conversation. Her voice just carried itself. I could hear her at the bottom of my garden and had to leave my windows shut on that side of the house if I wanted any rest-bite.

    She really was the epitome of a Carry On character and my nerves were shot to pieces most of the time, I couldn't enjoy my garden either because they were always outside or all her windows and doors were open and you could hear her inside her own house!

    I battled to find quiet times to do my gardening and contemplated headphones to drown out the noise and even reporting her to the council although other neighbours did that anyway. There was no sense of guilt either, you couldn't ask her nicely or she just shouted abuse.

    But then she moved out and although I have other noisy (but nice) neighbours with kids who shout and scream at each other the whole time, barking dogs and a loud stereo, in the grand scheme of things, nothing can ever be as bad.image 

    I do feel for the new neighbours that have inherited the foghorn, she was driving me insane and noise is considered one of the five tortures, but I'm so glad she's gone.



  • TopbirdTopbird Posts: 8,243

    Not an easy one this & I think a few of us have been there...

    How well do / did you get on with these neighbours before? If things were reasonably amicable I would try my best to avoid making the whole thing escalate into an unpleasant battle. If they were bad - well, things could get a whole lot worse..

    'Tactful' ways that might work include a 'noisy' (see Fairygirl above) water feature - if it makes the lady run to the loo every 20mins that might help. Annoying (yet somehow acceptable) noises such as irritating windchimes might encourage them to move away from the boundary. 

    After that - try a bit of gentle escalation - when you know they're there - start having a loudish conversation yourself so they know how much the voices carry. Then perhaps a lawn mower when they're outside. In graduation terms you could then go strimmer, chain saw and leaf blower.

    What about an oscillating sprinkler that 'accidentally' sends a few drops over the fence???

    If they don't move away after all that, your only option might be to move your sitting area.

    Problem is - once you're tuned in to listening for her voice / laugh you'll cringe every time you hear it & magnify the volume in your head. Try and keep a sense of perspective - war with your neighbours is a real recipe for unhappiness.

    Best of luck.

    Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
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