Our house is perhaps the only one in the complex of 140 that is bricked up front and back, not a blade of grass anywhere. With solid 2m walls on each side, we're literally "boxed in" by concrete and brick surfaces. We're also the second house from the gate on a one-way road - so anything entering the complex goes right past our front door. The back of the house faces on to the main road through the suburb.

It's noisy. And very hot.

Come summer, our north-facing bricked-out front yard turns into an absolute oven, reflecting heat up into the house until we can barely move.

Then there's the nosy parkers who insist on peering in and criticizing what we are / aren't doing in our yard and house...

So I've been doing a bit of thinking this afternoon (actually, I've done a LOT of thinking, plotting and scheming today). I think it's time I soundproofed the front yard. And peering-eye-proofed it at the same time.

First up, I'd like a head-height row of small trees / large shrubs in pots down the front of the yard on the side where we don't have to park to create a mobile hedge. That's going to mean some sort of levelling platform for them, but it's not an insurmountable problem. Then I need to sort out the reflective qualities of the other three walls - a creeper or two on a lattice (also in pots so I can move it if necessary) will help. Under the windows a couple of window-boxes of plants or knee-high raised beds (easy to stick direct on the brick work) will do nicely.

That will add a bit of greenery, privacy and deaden the echos. Best thing of all? I can make it all edible landscaping and pick the fruits (literally) of my labours for dinner.

Plotting and scheming continues. There's still the back yard to deal with! But I'm starting to see a vision form here that could just work.

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