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It's not often that plant-related news can be classed as 'shocking' or 'astonishing', but this is one of those very rare cases. A British couple is advertising for 'a babysitter', or 'baby-singer' (be patient, all will be revealed) – and will pay £500 for the service while they are away during the Christmas period.
Of course, the question of who'll care for the best indoor plants you've amassed over the years may have crossed your mind, but in this case, the requirements go a little further than the occasional watering.
The request, submitted to gardening platform WhatShed (opens in new tab), states that the couple will pay £500 to a singer to care for their indoor garden for two weeks while they’re on holiday, from the 20th December 2021.
Why a singer? Because singing to the plants daily is stated as one of the requirements of the job, alongside watering and feeding the plants.
The successful applicant must have a good singing voice and will need to travel to the couple’s home once a day. They will be asked to sing to the plants for a minimum of 30 minutes per day.
Now, the couple do have a lot of plants – 102, to be precise, located in their flat and on the balcony garden. And the requirement to sing to the plants, bonkers as it may sound, actually has some grounding in research.
Several studies over the years have shown that plants that are exposed to music or the sounds of human voices tend to grow better than the ones that grow in silence. Whether singing per se is the best thing for them is unclear, because some studies simply involved reading to the plants.
Delightfully, one study, by the Royal Horticultural Society, involved the great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin reading On The Origin of Species aloud to plants (they liked it).
Applications for the role close 3th November 2021, and interviews will be held over Zoom on 10th December.
Kate Fromings from Whatshed admitted that 'some might find it a bit OTT, but I think each to their own and to be honest if I had any sort of singing voice I’d be applying myself.'
'The correlation between growth in plants and music is a well-documented one, and one that has been scientifically proven time and time again. Hopefully, we can find the right candidate so these plants don’t go without music this Christmas!'
Anna is a keen urban gardener, with David Austin roses and Japanese acers among her favourite plants. She moved into the world of interiors from academic research in the field of literature and urban space a couple of years ago. She's always been interested in how people make houses into homes, and how our concepts of what's stylish change over time.
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