Look for me in Rodale’s Organic Life magazine

Organic Life’s “The Water Issue”

Are you a former reader of Organic Gardening? That venerable magazine folded in late 2014, after 7 decades of publication (wow!), and it was relaunched earlier this year, with a broader focus, as Organic Life.

I wasn’t a reader of the former, so I can’t offer any comparisons. But I’m pleased to announce that the new issue (Sept/Oct 2015) includes an article I wrote. Titled “Drought or Deluge,” it’s about a water-saving garden in Austin that was designed to withstand extremes of rainfall — too much and not enough. In other words, typical Texas weather.

How appropriate, right? My head has been deep in the finishing stages of my upcoming book, The Water-Saving Garden (which is available for pre-order, by the way), and I’m happy to have had the opportunity to write more on the subject. (See also my recent article in Wildflower, “Dry & Mighty,” if you missed my post about that one.)

The 6-page article in Organic Life largely consists, I confess, of the beautiful photographs of Austinite Wynn Myers. I’m glad to have gotten to know her work through this assignment. The garden itself was designed by Mark Word, a highly regarded designer I profiled in 2013, and his partner, Billy Spencer, continues to maintain it. Here’s a sneak peek of thumbnail images.

All material © 2006-2015 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Read This: Garden Design magazine


Little did I know when the Garden Bloggers Fling kicked off in 2008 with 37 attendees that a few years later the publisher of one of the most respected gardening magazines in the U.S. would be a regular Fling attendee. Garden Design publisher Jim Peterson (pictured above at the Portland Fling) purchased the magazine in 2014, a year after it abruptly ceased publication — one more casualty of the all-too-familiar publishing downturn. Undeterred, Jim moved the magazine’s headquarters from New York to Southern California, and he and new editor-in-chief Thad Orr completely overhauled the venerable publication and its website.

Abandoning the traditional ad-based model, but not print, they restructured the monthly magazine as a quarterly “bookazine” that’s completely ad-free and funded by reader subscriptions. With 132 content-filled pages per issue, well-written articles (one of my favorite staff writers is Genevieve Schmidt) and beautiful photos, and a continued emphasis on design (you won’t find generic “how to stake your tomatoes” or “winterize your deck” articles here), the magazine is a great value for the money.


The current issue of Garden Design has a killer cover photo. I covet this fire pit and orange Adirondacks. The redwoods aren’t bad either.

Before restarting the magazine, Jim reached out to garden writers, bloggers, readers, and former contributors to find out what they wanted in a design-based gardening publication — and he listened. The magazine supports the garden writing community as well; it’s been a sponsor of Garden Bloggers Fling for the past two years, and Jim attends the yearly event and spends time getting to know the bloggers.


My favorite article in the current issue (Summer 2015) features 9 enticing garden getaways, with design ideas you’ll be dreaming about for your own back yard, like the fire pit on the cover.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know him, and I feel a strong loyalty to the magazine that’s published two of my articles that ended up winning awards from Garden Writers Association (here and here).


A contemporary Texas Hill Country garden is featured in the current issue.

If you enjoy reading about beautifully designed gardens, check it out. I think you’ll like it too. Garden Design costs $45 (U.S.) for a year’s subscription, or you can buy it per issue on newsstands. You’ll be reading each issue for at least a week. It also makes a great gift for garden lovers. Click here to subscribe.

Magazine images courtesy of Garden Design.

All material © 2006-2015 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

posted in Design, Magazines

You put Digging in Better Homes and Gardens magazine!


It’s all thanks to you! I opened the new issue (July 2015) of Better Homes and Gardens magazine yesterday to find Digging listed on page 8 along with the other 2015 Blogger Awards winners.


There I am — woot! I found out in March that Digging had won the Readers’ Pick, so it really is all your doing, you wonderful readers. Thank you!

Coming soon: Tours of fabulous gardens from Toronto Garden Bloggers Fling, which I’m eager to share with you!

All material © 2006-2015 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.