DJ Jo’s mission to tune into all the sounds of the garden

Undated Handout Photo of Jo Whiley in her garden near Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire. See PA Feature GARDENING Whiley. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Vicki Couchman. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature GARDENING Whiley.
Undated Handout Photo of Jo Whiley in her garden near Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire. See PA Feature GARDENING Whiley. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Vicki Couchman. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature GARDENING Whiley.
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Make your garden into a musical haven - with help from green-fingered DJ Jo Whiley.

“Music and gardening are my two big passions,” she explains.

“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.”

Whiley, 51, who lives in an 18th century barn conversion in a village in Northamptonshire with her husband and four children, has transformed her garden into a musical paradise, featuring insect-friendly planting, wind chimes and water features.

“My garden sings with the sound of nature throughout the year. There are musical elements all around, from the bamboo wind chime to the trickling of the stream at the bottom of the main lawn.”

The garden is sectioned off into different areas and features a rose garden, a veg patch, a main lawn with bordering flower beds, a rockery and a stream flowing underneath a bridge before you reach the open fields at her back gate.

“Across from the stream is a willow tree - my daughter calls it ‘Wishing Tree Island’ - and it’s magical. There’s something about the rustling of the leaves and the swooshing sound of the branches blowing in the wind. I have a bird table which sits on the patio and this is where we enjoy all sorts of birds chirping throughout the day.”

Jo has also gone for planting that encourages beneficial insects, and has planted insect hotels and bee houses around the garden.

“It’s the wildlife who really own the place. I hope our garden brings them as much happiness as it does me.”