Wind ChimeMy first reaction when I think of wind chimes is to plug my ears. They have always seemed loud, irritating, and annoying, nothing but a distraction. Much to my chagrin, when we moved to the rental house, we found a set of aluminum wind chimes permanently affixed to the eves — right outside the french doors of the master bedroom.

Not good.

Much to my surprise, however, I really like them! They have a gentle, mellow, soothing sound that is comforting and relaxing. Even when a pretty strong wind blows up on the deck, the sounds coming from the chimes are nice to hear.

Wondering why my reaction to wind chimes has always been negative, it occurred to me that my past experience with them has always been either at a wind chime boutique or the home of some crazy, wind-chime fanatic. So rather than hearing the smooth, gentle sounds I hear in this house, I had always heard a cacophony of noises coming from six to 40 wind chimes all at once! Excess (in anything) is rarely soothing! But one, beautiful set of chimes — selected carefully for the area — adds a gentle background music that is pleasant and calming.

After this experience, I will definitely consider getting a nice set of wind chimes in the new house. Both the back deck and the front porch seem like natural places to enjoy them. And, as opposed to my past experience, I will place one set in each spot.

There are myriad styles and sounds to choose from. The most common are the aluminum chimes, like the set we have here. But there are also bamboo wind chimes, copper chimes, and even glass chimes. Find a set that fits your decor and provides a sound that you enjoy. And if you must mix them, make sure that the sounds mesh rather than clash. Remember, wind chimes provide music to your atmosphere, and so the music must harmonize if it's going to be comforting.

Used properly, wind chimes can add beautiful, soothing music to your backyard or garden atmosphere.