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Down to Earth with Helen Dillon

By Helen Dillon

Helen Dillon is amazing ... I'd read this book even if I didn't want to learn anything.

Homes + Gardens Northwest

In this book Helen Dillon encapsulates, in her inimitable witty and accessible style, her lifetime of gardening know-how, deep love of plants, and assured sense of design. Here is illumination for every gardener — from the beginner wondering why nothing will grow in the garden of the new house to the sophisticate aiming at exquisitely subtle effects. Thoughtful ideas on garden style are underpinned by practical advice on looking after plants and careful instructions on the basics of digging, planting, and propagating. Helen Dillon teaches us all how to garden, and garden well.

Media reviews

"A delightful book for both new and experienced gardeners, full of Dillon's hands-on experience. She is as generous in sharing her mistakes as her successes."

—Dulcy Mahar, Homes + Gardens Northwest

"Features witty and instructive essays by this esteemed garden maker based in Dublin."

—Carol Stocker, Boston Globe

"Gardening from a pristine Dublin plot, droll green thumb Dillon offers equal measures of witticism and advice — both expert techniques and common sense tips — in this verdant, photo-rich guide, imbued with enough passion to inspire an all-consuming hobby. The perfect book for anyone contemplating a leap into the gardening lifestyle ... informative, personal, and gorgeous."

Publishers Weekly

"Dillon's straightforward writing style perfectly suits her open attitude. She is funny, too, peppering her text with just the right amount of wit, be it subtle or stark. She does both to a T. In this book, readers find a voice they can follow and trust."

—Meghan Lynch, Horticulture

"Refreshingly outspoken, endearingly offbeat, Dillon offers advice and instruction on an eclectic array of gardening topics. ... Like the most delightful gardens themselves, Dillon's book invites the reader to pop in and out, learning — and laughing — along the way."

—Carl Haggas, Booklist

"By the end I felt that I had made a new friend in gardening, and was as familiar with her garden as it is possible to be without actually visiting it in person."

—Rosemary Read, Social Gardener

"Easy to read, witty, and full of information. Dillon's love of plants emerges in thoughtful ideas and practical advice."

—Mary Beiler, San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles

"More than a how-to gardening book. ... If you're a gardener as well as a reader, this book is a must-have. Good for beginning gardeners, too."

San Luis Obispo Tribune

"[Dillon] tempers her wit and humor with an abundance of common sense as she describes the various phases she and her garden have gone through. There is much in these pages for gardeners at all levels."

—Ethel Fried, Manchester (CT) Journal Inquirer

"I love reading any garden writer who demonstrates wit, good humor, and brisk common sense, three traits Dillon shares with another of my favorite writers, the late Christopher Lloyd."

—Elizabeth Licata, Garden Rant

"For people who enjoy fine writing as well as fine gardening, I heartily recommend Down to Earth With Helen Dillon. ... When I first read Helen Dillon, who gardens in Dublin, it was one of those moments when I knew I'd found a special writer who has a great touch whether she's writing about slugs or topsoil dealers."

—Irene Virag, Newsday

"Helen Dillon mixes an irresistible Irish wit with common-sense design advice and plant knowledge. ... She describes the arc of her gardening life and the evolution of her famous Dublin garden in frank words that will appeal equally to beginning and seasoned gardeners."

—Valerie Easton, Seattle Times

"Helen Dillon is amazing. Funny, oozing knowledge (seemingly about everything). ... I'd read this book even if I didn't want to learn anything."

—Kym Pokorny, Homes + Gardens Northwest

"One of my favorite offerings this year ... a charming and information-packed perennial primer with enticing pictures from Ireland's best-loved gardener. ... Beginners and advanced gardeners alike will benefit from browsing Helen's book, which is as delicious as a box of chocolates on a rainy day."

—Ann Lovejoy, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Dillon is a true garden guru well-known in the United States as well as in Great Britain and New Zealand. ... Her design ideas and methods are easily transported across the ocean."

—Cheryl B. Wilson, Daily Hampshire Gazette

"A very informative and fun-to-read book that covers the entire spectrum of gardening. It is written for the broad range of gardeners from novice to experienced, and is written in a very accessible style."

—Madeline Caliendo, Washington Gardener

"A warm, witty, but very practical guide to organic gardening."


"Dillon's garden is truly beautiful and displayed throughout in gorgeous photographs. The book is a pleasure to leaf through. ... Dillon brings an ease and a conversational tone to the text and and she can be very funny."

—David Bare, Winston-Salem Journal

"Dillon keeps the details to a minimum, so you can pick it up at random, or keep it by your bedside, read a chapter in a few minutes and absorb a great deal of information. For people who like to be out in the garden (rather than just looking at one), this is a book you'll want in your collection."

Garden Design Online

About the author

Helen Dillon

Helen Dillon is revered world-wide as one of the most skilled and perceptive gardeners of our time. Much sought after as an author, broadcaster, and garden consultant, she lectures frequently in the United States and New Zealand as well as all over Britain.

Read more about Helen Dillon

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