Looking back on what I can only describe as an unexpected, topsy-turvy year, 2021 surely will put things right. And of all things suggested to help cope with 2020’s chaos, such as prayer, meditation, nature, aromatherapy, exercise, and sunbathing, music was most helpful to me.

Whether listening to the radio, old CDs, or simply bursting out with
a song in my home or garden, music is my strategy to manage my stress and anxiety. As for my singing in the garden (when no one can hear,), I was excited to read some studies that claim music can tell a lot about gardeners. The music you enjoy can predict the type of plants you will include in your garden. If you play your preferred music while gardening, this will also predict how well your plants grow. Call it “Musical Garden Personalization.”

If you love the “oldies” or nostalgic music, you will tend to grow old-fashioned heirlooms, like bearded iris, old-world roses, peonies, snapdragons, and four o'clock. You’ll include veggies and herbs like salsify, eggplant, tarragon, sage, and turnips. All non-GMO, of course.

Most think classical music is the best for gardens. Studies did find that this type of music influenced the opening and closing of the stomata, or the lungs, of plants. Plants were found to grow healthier, greener, bushier, and taller with this genre. But smooth jazz had almost the same effect, making plants fuller, and they grew at a much faster rate.

Classical gardeners are rose lovers for sure. Dahlias and chrysanthemums are also grown. Herbs like rosemary, sweet marigold, verbena, lavender, and chervil are musts. Smooth jazz gardeners like to try new plants and love culinary herbs. Smooth jazz was also found to strengthen the immune system of plants, leaving them with the least amount of disease or pest problems.

Country and western gardens usually find astilbe, lily, marjoram, sorrel, stevia, salad burnett, and a good deal of asparagus growing. Their gardens are beautiful, but country and western music had no effect on plants one way or the other, according to studies. Actually, plants were found to prefer violin to guitar music.

Rock music gardeners don’t seem to play favorites. Their garden plants change each year, along with their moods. Now you would think rock music would damage or kill plants, but instead, plants in some of the studies grew more leaves per branch. Jade was the only plant that suffered.

Its clear music affects plant growth and our health. It was once believed that sound did not affect plants, but studies now prove that it does. And if the sound of music, whether you listen or sing it, helps to calm the chaos, consider giving it a try. There is importance in the songs you and your plants hear. So in 2021, whatever music you carry in your heart, SING IT LOUD!

Wishing Everyone A Happy, Healthy, Peaceful New Year!!

By Cheryl Balster