An Interview with Helen Dillon

Special Guest - Helen Dillon

1. What sparked your interest in gardening?

Aged 8, the family moved from Worcestershire to Perthshire.  When I arrived I got out of the car and wandered up towards the wood behind the house, where there was one gigantic, solitary giant Himalayan lily, Cardiocrinum giganteum, in full flower.  It was so wonderful I thought I must be dreaming.

2. Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

Graham Stuart Thomas, Christopher Lloyd (both of whom used to come and stay in Sandford Road) and here in Ireland the great gardener David Shackleton.

3. What is your all-time favourite plant?

The form of Melianthus major with the purple flushed leaves.

4. If you were having a dinner party, who would your top 3 guests be? 

Robin Lane Fox, Dan Hinkley and Monty Don.

5. What would you cook a vegan who doesn’t like nut roast or carrots?

Asparagus and truffles.

6. Do you have a favourite gardening gadget?

Coat hangers from the cleaners which I cut in half and use to support metal labels to stop birds pulling them up.

7. What is the best piece of horticultural advice you have ever been given?

My own advice – ‘When in doubt, throw it out…’

8. What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Allianz Garden Show Ireland in Antrim Castle Gardens? 

The moment my talk is over and I can go and buy lots of plants.

 

On Friday 4 May Helen Dillon will be describing to visitors to Allianz Garden Show Ireland her new venture, and the plants she simply couldn’t leave behind.

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