My friend Wendy, who is a talented garden designer sent me a link to an article from the online U.K. newspaper the Telegraph called “Women’s voices ‘make plants grow faster”. In the experiment excerpts from John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream and Darwin’s On the Origin of Species were recorded. A variety of voices was then picked to play to 10 tomato plants over a month. Every plant was played a voice through headphones connected to the plant pot, and the conditions for all the plants remained the same throughout the experiment. To ensure the experiment was fair, two control plants were also left to grow in silence. The results showed that women on average saw their plants rise by an inch on their male counterparts.
I often think I am absolutely crackers when I find myself gushing aloud to a particularly lovely rose or congratulating cucumbers as they twine up the bamboo lattice (“good job!”) – but maybe they like it. I even apologize when a plant is fading and I have to dig it up and exile it to compost. Now I’m thinking that perhaps I’m not as daft as I thought. Maybe I am contributing in some way. Maybe I should memorize Hermia’s monologue and speak it in my best Minnie Mouse voice as I weed around the tomatoes.
Don’t leave me hanging out to dry here. I need confessions. Do you talk to your vegetables as they grow? If you do, are they bigger, stronger, better???? If you’re a guy, do you think the Telegraph article is sexist? That is was content not pitch?