February 20, 2024

Last week I celebrated two milestones. Digging turned 18 years old on Valentine’s Day, which means the blog is a full-fledged adult now. Still can’t drink though.

I’m amazed by how long blogging has continued to interest me, even as so many other blogs that started around the same time — in February 2006 — petered out or morphed into Instagram. Is anyone still reading? I like to think so.

Hello to you! And thank you.

The day after Valentine’s Day, I celebrated an even bigger milestone: I turned in the manuscript and photographs for my next book! It was the culmination of a 13-month, nonstop project that took me back-and-forth across the state of Texas, to the tune of 6,742 miles driven by me, 27 garden shoots (each one taking a day, working with a professional photographer), a bazillion photos sifted through to choose the best ones, and hours and hours of interviews with gardeners, garden owners, and designers, translating to 27 uniquely Texan garden stories.

I can’t wait for you to see the finished book, coming in 2025. That’s right, a year away. Books are a slow-motion process. But I promise it will be worth the wait! I don’t have an official title yet, but I’ll share it as soon as I do.

So that’s my news, and it’s why things have been a bit quiet on the blog this month. Pictured here is a garden in the Tarrytown neighborhood of Austin that I spotted one day in January. That colorfully painted palmetto trunk, decked out with hearts for Valentine’s Day, had me yanking the car to the curb to get a photo. How charming, both the palmetto and the house!

Yesterday I emerged from my own house like a blinking mole and celebrated my freedom from the keyboard with a shopping trip at Barton Springs Nursery with a friend. I might not have thought to pop into the tropical house, but my friend did, and that’s where I spotted this planted-up settee.

There’s a matching coffee table, naturally, complete with brick-sized remote control for an imaginary TV. Fun! I came home with a trunkful of plants, which was also fun. Today I’ll be out in the garden, getting them all planted in anticipation of spring, which is almost here.

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Digging Deeper

March 16: Attend the third annual Budding Out Plant Sale & Festival on 3/16 at the John Fairey Garden in Hempstead. Rare and distinctive plants from the garden’s nursery and from select plant vendors will be for sale. Additional offerings include art, ceramics, jewelry, food, music, and presentations. Admission: $5 for members, $10 for non-members, children under 12 free. Hours: 10 am to 4 pm; members get early admission at 9 am (memberships available on day of event).

April 6: Come out to Austin’s Mayfield Park on 4/6 for the Mayfield Park Gardening Symposium & Fundraiser, 8:30 to 11 am. This annual benefit for the park includes a raffle, plant sale, and garden speakers.

Come learn about gardening and design at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, authors, and gardeners a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance; simply click this link and ask to be added. Season 8 kicks off in fall 2024. Stay tuned for more info!

All material © 2024 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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