Radio presenter teams up with Wyevale Garden Centres

Radio 2 presenter Jo Whiley has teamed up with experts from Wyevale Garden Centres offering tips to help gardeners recreate their own sounds of summer.

Jo Whiley-Wyevale Garden Centres
Jo Whiley-Wyevale Garden Centres

Wyevale Garden Centres and Jo Whiley have put together some tips which will turn an ordinary garden "into a welcoming habitat for the wonders of nature and the sounds they bring with them".

Whiley, who appeared on Chelsea Flower Show coverage this May, said: "Music and gardening are my two big passions. In the evenings I'm on air between 8 and 10 playing music to the nation as it winds down at the end of the day but during the afternoons, at home, I'm straight out into my garden to enjoy it's many delights and get on with the various jobs there are always to do.

"When I’m gardening, I consciously switch off the radio and completely immerse myself in the sounds of the garden. Sound can have such a huge effect on people’s emotions. In the same way that someone may blast out a feel good tune to lift their mood, the tranquil sounds of a garden can make you completely relaxed. Sound plays a big part of my life and my garden can provide a completely different musical backdrop compared to the studio."

She says on trellis, add trailing plants like clematis or sweet peas. Hanging baskets are another great choice, says Whiley, who adds that vegetables grow well in window boxes.

Whiley said gardeners should choose single-flowered varieties of plants like nasturtiums. 

She said to hear birdsong, give birds something to eat/drink, somewhere to shelter, somewhere to wash and somewhere to breed.

Tall grasses like miscanthus and greater quaking grass "make a lovely rustling sound", as do fine-leaved trees like birch and robinia. Whiley also likes the sound of bamboo.
She said gardeners should plant your larger shrubs and fruit trees towards the back of borders and then lower-growing shrubs such as lavender at the front. Use the spaces in between for different types of flowers. 

Whiley says garden ponds create ideal breeding conditions for frogs, newts, and toads.

Top 10 items for a musical garden:

  • lavender, from £4.99
  • honeysuckle, £9.99
  • salvia, £3.99 - £9.99
  • daisies, £8.99 - £9.99
  • foxgloves, from £3.99
  • urban Insect Hotel,  £24.99
  • urban bird nestbox, £24.99
  • Peckish bird table, £89.99
  • butterfly Feeder, £7.99
  • Peckish three port bird feeder, £5.99

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