Heavy Petal

If you think the only thing heavy metal and gardening have in common is Robert Plant, then I have news for you!

Award-winning gardener Chris Beardshaw, perhaps best known in the UK for his work on the BBC’s long running television series, Gardeners’ World, has released the results of a horticulture study he conducted with a group of students looking at plant growth and health. The study confirms what head-bangers and junior high science fair participants have known for decades: heavy metal music acts as a nutrient for healthy growth.

According to Beardshaw, plants exposed to heavy metal, specifically Black Sabbath, grew to be healthier plants overall, developing larger and more vibrant flowers.

The study of music and its effects, whether on baby development in and out of the womb, the ability it has to reduce blood pressure, or even the power it provides to help break an addiction, is a well established field where research abounds. But when it comes to music’s influence on plants, there has been little agreement. Dorothy Retallack, while studying at the Colorado Women’s College in Denver, conducted a similar experiment and published her findings in a 1973 book, The Sound of Music and Plants. Her conclusion is the exact opposite from Beardshaw’s, stating that Led Zeppelin, Vanilla Fudge, and Jimi Hendrix created “chaos, pure chaos” on the plants, all of which died after exposure.

Lemmy, the lead singer and founder of Motörhead, once said that his band was so loud that they would kill your lawn if they moved in next door. Evidently, this is up for debate. If we’re to believe Beardshaw, the louder and faster the music, the nicer the lawn will look. Retallack, on the other hand, probably would prefer to keep Lemmy at a distance.

What do you think? I bet that Lemmy’s neighborhood has the greenest lawns around!

If you'd like to read more about the power of music and the effects it has on our lives, here are a few books that may 'sound' good to you:

Music as Propaganda: Art to Persuade, Art to Control by Aronold Perris

This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel J. Levitin

Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain by Oliver Sacks

Healing at the Speed of Sound: How What We Hear Transforms Our Brains and Our Lives by Don Campbell

How Music Works by David Byrne

The Secret Life of Plants by Peter Tompkins

And remember: If it’s too loud…you may still be too old, but you’ll have nicer flowers!

Here's Black Sabbath singing Sweat Leaf

Written by Zac on April 24, 2013


JT on May 16, 2013


Like my boyfriend needed another reason to blare Sabbath out the windows when we're doing yard work! ;)

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