Down to Earth is about gardening for pleasure: exerting minimal effort for maximum results. So many gardening books make America's favorite hobby seem both mentally and physically laborious. They are full of esoteric advice on color theory, plant combinations, and nutrient requirements, as well as stern admonitions to double-dig, weed, and color coordinate. Rochester encourages readers to garden for self-gratification. No hoeing, no tilling, no turning of piles. No chemical insecticides or herbicides, either. The author's goal is to encourage and enable gardeners to simplify tasks, saving time and money, while making their gardens their own. Addressing soil preparation, plant selection, propagating, seed starting, mulching, on-the-spot composting and so much more, Down to Earth is an entertainingly wry book of gardening throughout the seasons.
Margot Rochester has been a garden columnist for twenty years and a gardener for over thirty. She is the author of Earthly Delights: Gardening by the Seasons the Easy Way. She and her husband live in Lugoff, South Carolina.