The writer Jim Harrison says that anyone born after about 1960 can’t do anything without listening to music. He is probably right, because I know I can’t, but then again, listening to music is generally healthy. Dr. Phil Maffetone, a doctor/musician who counted Johnny Cash as a patient, says that listening to music can control stress, reduce pain, and improve brain function. For gardeners, I would add that it can keep you company. After all, ours is usually a solitary pursuit.
For me, one of the pleasures of garden design is that I can plug in and let Radiohead or Bach fill my head with sonic waves while I draw. This is something I can’t do when I’m writing—when any musical waves I generate need to come from within. But designing gardens, and working in gardens, are perfect activities for listening to music. A day spent outdoors with an iPod in a back pocket and Felco pruners in my right hand is my idea of a great staycation. Continue Reading →