Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Voice of Wisley

I'm working on a blog about archetypes but in the meantime I thought I'd share this delightful study about plants with you. Currently, the British Royal Horticultural Society in their garden Wisley in Surrey, England is conducting a study to see if speaking to tomato plants really encourages them to grow faster. In 2007, a Korean researcher discovered that playing Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" encouraged quicker growth in rice plants.

So, right now, about twelve tomato plants are "listening" to Shakespeare, poetry and other musings and are about to be measured to see if they have really grown significantly more than those plants not currently enjoying the human voice.

Colin Crosbie, the superintendent of the trial and rather serious about learning how plants respond to voices, invited the public to try out for the honor of being called "The Voice of Wisley" a.k.a. the nation's most plant-friendly voice. On April 1, about 45 competitors, including Sarah Darwin, Charles Darwin's great-great-granddaugther, arrived with favorite readings in hand. Judges narrowed the competitors to just ten and now these tomato plants sit cozily in their pots and listen to these voices through headphones.

Stay tuned as I'll keep you apprised of which voice wins.
Speaking from experience, Stella, my aloe vera plant, always liked young adult fiction!

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