The Garden Community for Garden Lovers

Wall of sound (well, fence of sound, really)


This is my third go at putting a screen up between my garden and the one next door – I don’t like being able to see their garden as much as this (I’d already started putting the screen up, so I cut that bit of the pic off to show a better “before”:

I’d been thinking of recycling my stack of old CDs and DVDs for quite a while (been saving them for various porojects), but finally decided to have a go – as I’d already moved most of the plants from the tables in front of the fence, I thought I might as well move the rest and the tables too.

Halfway there:

All done:

The discs don’t close off the view entirely, but they break it up enough to give me a sense of privacy, and of not invading theirs.

Besides, the holes in, and the gaps in between the discs will allow for airflow (the previous two screens had been material; I’d had to cut air-vents in the first when I saw how much it billowed; I pre-cut vents in the second before I put it up).


Silver sky:

The silver screen at the bottom is an emergency blanket I got at a pound shop, folded in half – the idea is to try to reflect as much light as possible on the back of the plants.

The discs will also reflect light back and, given the different surfaces on the discs, might provide a rainbow as well.

How I dunnit:

I have stacks of CDs courtesy of the RNIB, who send me their magazine and talking book lists on CD – plus stacks of old DVDs that I’d used to backup the PC years ago.

I have a Big Bite punch – once I’d found it, the process was easy, but time-consuming: I had a great deal of trouble lining the second hole exactly opposite the first, and the depth guide kept slipping, which I didn’t realise at first – it was only when I went to string them that I noticed, so I had to readjust the guide and re-punch a lot of holes (one advantage of using discs is that if one makes a mistake one can just turn the disc round a bit and try again).

Preparation and assembly took me a lot longer than I thought (just as well; if I’d known, I might have given up even before I’d started).

First I had to punch holes in the discs (which was why I’d wanted to do discs across rather than down; would only need one hole per disc; stringing them downwards doubled the number of holes I had to put in).

Took 64 discs and all of them needed two holes – some have a lot more, as can be seen on the close-ups! Must have punched about 150 holes in all; made my hand rather sore.

I did try to string the discs across, rather than hang strips down, but the fence is 16 discs wide, which would have made a very long string to try to control. Only needed four discs downwards (could have done with five and made the links shorter), so I decided to make strips of four.

Then I strung them together – wired together, rather; I used plastic-covered wire garden ties; I wanted to be able to adjust the size of gap between discs, which I could do by tightening or loosening the wire. I did think of using some small metal rings that I know I’ve got (somewhere!) but couldn’t be bothered to divert to look for them.

What I’ll see:

What my neighbours will see:

More blog posts by franl155

Previous post: A (fairly) full day ...

Next post: A plethora of pansies



What a superb idea Fran!! Genius that you are :)

24 Mar, 2012


I love it, wouldn't work everywhere but suits an urban environment.

24 Mar, 2012


It'd look totally out of place in a proper garden, much less a proper country garden! but it does several things for me: blocks off next door, lets air through, reflects light back (I hope! the sun had gone over the roof of the block by the time I'd finished) and maybe give different colour reflections which would add a bit of interest.

Of course, all my neighbours get to see is the flip side, but *s* they can read the labels if they get bored!

I did make a bit of a dog's breakfast in punching the holes and stringing them together and then up, but it was my first time - no doubt I'll think of ways to do it eassier next time - being able to punch both holes at once would have been a great help, both in reducing the number of punches and getting them lined up - I did try a large 2-hole paper punch, but it only clipped the edges.

24 Mar, 2012


Well worth the time Fran.

24 Mar, 2012


lol thanks. It doesn't look too bad, except if you look closely, but I was making it up as i went along.

I'll wait to see what it does when the sun's on it - I might be able to tan both sides at once!

24 Mar, 2012



24 Mar, 2012


Where do you get your ideas from Fran?
Gosh I bet your hands were sore after all that, be interesting to see how much light does reflect off them, you`ve ended up with a rainbow effect so that will change as the weather does, depending on time and obviously whether its sun or cloud, well done you....

24 Mar, 2012


My right hand was: that's the one I had to crunch the handle on the puncher while the left hand held the disc fairly still.

Then I had to snip the wire and thread it through and twist it, sometimes needed two or three adjustments to get the gap between each pair of discs just right.

Mind you, both hands were pretty useless when it came to tying the strips on the fence: I had to turn my arm because my hand wouldn't go round enough for my fingers to catch hold of the end of the string I was trying to thread through the mesh. Hope I do'nt have to repeat that too often!

Also hope I'm up in time to catch some sunshine tomorrow: I'll take some pics with the sun at various angles and see what I get - grins, almost wish it'd rain a bit so I can see if that makes any difference to the reflected light! but only "almost"

24 Mar, 2012


Hi Fran ..
brilliant !
adding to GoYpedia :o)))

25 Mar, 2012


That's a really interesting way to screen your fence and it will always look cheerful even on a dark day. As I said yesterday, you do always come up with the ideas!
It looks great, Fran!

25 Mar, 2012


Very interesting use of old Cds. I like creativeness. I'm interested to see the reflections too. So hope you post a pic of it. Just a suggestion if you make anything else out of Cds. You could possible spray paint the backs with a silver spray or a color that matches your neighbors, green is a good color if there are plants, or brown if there is a wood fence. That way you may not upset the neighbor. Or use 2 Cds together glueing them together, so you can face one reflecting side on either side. You could also use a ruler to draw a line across the back center of the Cds. You could find the center by cutting out a piece of paper the same size of the Cd then fold it in 1/2 then 1/4 and scoring the folds, open it, chose where the holes go and mark and then use a hot nail to burn through the Cds. Not sure how well that would work but u could try it on one Cd. I'd try burning from back to front and then try from front to back to see which looks better.
Also could try a flexible nice silver wire ( or something nice, cord or ribbon ) and weave the wire from one to the other so it's on top on one Cd then at the back on the next.
Oh just though you could try just making a hole in the top of the first and the end of the last Cd then weave the wire through the center big hole on the middle Cds. If that makes sense here.

Might be interesting to make a reflecting hanging ornament that way too, ( like a wind chime except it would be a sun reflecting ornament ) so as the wind catches it so should the sun.
Best of luck.

2 Apr, 2012


Thanks TT and Ojibj. I got some reflections on the plants and the ground - took me a moment to realise where they were coming from! If I'd tied the strings a bit looser I'd have given them more room to do a disco-light effect, and might yet.

Thanks Angie, that's a heck of a list! I did plan to spray-paint some and make a mobile, but hadn't worked out what type of paint to use. I also bought tons of thin ribbon on eBay and was planning ribbon mobiles, the ends glued and sandwiched between two CDs - still in the "thinking about it" stage.

I did cut a couple of CDs into irregular fragments and am going to punch those and hang them as a reflective mobile - I don't have any trees or anthing to hang anything from till I get some hanging basket brackets put up on the only bit of wall that's available.

lol I'm not really bothered about what my neighbours see - they're the ones who stuck their satellite dish on that fence, with 99% of it in MY space (and almost literally in my face - my blog "space invaders"), without a please, thank-you or kiss-my-hand. The only thing I've put on their side of the fence is the turns of the string that hold the strips to the fence and I only did that cos there was no other way of tying them up.

I'm going to work on other projects - still got a medium stack of discs - but I'm severely visually impaired and so the simpler the better - I used 64 discs in the screen,and drawing lines on 'em all would have been more pain than punching-by-guesswork! *s*

2 Apr, 2012


OH and I roared at this blog, just love what the neighbours see lol...
What a terrific job you've done, I wouldn't be able to use my hands for a week after that mammoth task...

Well done you...x

1 Jul, 2012


I thinks That's amazing Fran!! You could take some photos of the reflections for us!!!
I bet your hand is sore!

1 Jul, 2012


I tied the strips of discs on as tightly as I could, maybe I should slacken them off a bit, to give them more room to move. I've seen reflectsion on the "dark side" of pots, and it took me a while to work out where they were coming from! I've tried taking pics of the rainbow shimmer, but sadly that don't translate well in stillpics, or maybe I need to retouch the pics befor eposting.

I have a Big Bite punch, which looks sort of like a staple gun, you only have to press the handle down to the body, rather than bring the two handles together as with smaller punches - main reason that I got this version. Now, if only I could get the eyelet setter to wrok as well ...

1 Jul, 2012


great idea Fran. i soo have to find somewhere to hang one of these...i will have to take some pics of my mothers latest creation useing plastic lids among other things...

12 Aug, 2012


i did think of hanging a sting of them as a mobile, but not got round to it yet

12 Aug, 2012


one thing at a time will be the winter before i get to have a go..i wonder could you drill the holes?

12 Aug, 2012


very probably, if you could clamp the discs so that they didn't move while you were at it, you could do a stack at a time. and draw a line on the first one to get the holes exactly opposite!

I'm going to get some glittery silver spray paint for other discs - unless I sandwich two together, label sides inwards, which might be the easier option.

12 Aug, 2012


my bathroom is decorated with old records and cds....some painted some not. sticking them would make more sence or the paint might come off...

12 Aug, 2012


nods, I started trying to clean the discs and ended up with patchy covering on the discs, otherwise I'd leave them as they are, the rainbow reflections are very pretty. but i suppose silver glitter is better than nowt, as i can't find a multicoloured spray

I'm still trying to find a way to get my LPs and singles into digital format, then I could have a go at recycling those. lol but first i need to find room to put a record player/converterr ...

13 Aug, 2012

Add a comment

Featured on

Recent posts by franl155

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 May, 2011

  • Gardening with friends since
    22 Oct, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Aug, 2009

  • Gardening with friends since
    6 Jun, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    14 Aug, 2008

  • Gardening with friends since
    20 Apr, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    10 May, 2010

  • Gardening with friends since
    9 Apr, 2008

Garden centre