New research that claims plants thrive when exposed to the Tyneside accent has met with mixed reaction at a garden centre in Newcastle.
Chris Bonnett, owner of Gardening Express in Essex carried out the experiment over a period of 18 weeks, researching which accents plants respond best to.
Those exposed to a Geordie accent reportedly grew almost 10% more than those in some other groups.
But not everyone is convinced by the findings. Many customers at Cowell’s Garden Centre in Woolsington, Newcastle, were sceptical of the results.
One gardener said: “It’s a load of rubbish. I don’t think talking to your plants helps them grow at all.
“I don’t talk to my plants and they grow perfectly well. The only time I say anything when I’m in the garden is if I’m swearing because of the bad weather.”
As part of the experiment, ten separate test areas each consisting of a mix of around 100 different bedding plants were set up in different parts of the nursery with staff taking great care to ensure the accents were never mixed up.
The Mancunian, Chelsea and Scottish groups grew between 27-28 cm. The American, Yorkshire, Scouse, Australian and Essex around an average of 30cm.
Pipped to the post was the Welsh test group at 32cm and coming out on top was the Geordie batch of plants, measuring 33cm.
Mr Bonnett said: “It’s long been thought that plants thrive if you talk to them so we decided to find out once and for all which dialects they respond to best.
“At first we played the DVDs and the music in each area just to remind the team which accent they should be using but soon we realised it was an easy way for us to keep the plants listening to a particular dialect.
“After just a few weeks we started to see differences emerging with the Geordie and Welsh groups shooting up while the Chelsea and Mancunian plants seemed to particularly struggle.
“We kept all other variables as constant as possible. So the plants all had the same amount of sunlight, water and nutrients.
“By the end of the summer it was clear that the accents had a huge effect. There was, more or less, average growth across the Australian, Liverpudlian, Yorkshire and American groups.
“The Geordie and Welsh groups visibly thrived and displayed enhanced growth while the Scottish, Chelsea and Mancunian plants were stunted.
“We measured and weighed the best performing group against the worst performing and discovered an average of between nine and ten percent more growth.
“We were able to compile a league table of dialects which we hope will assist plant lovers everywhere to help their plants thrive.”
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