Lawn Gone! GIVEAWAY and other perks from San Francisco Garden Bloggers Fling


Did you miss me? I’m back from nearly two weeks of fun Flinging with garden bloggers and sightseeing with my family in beautiful San Francisco, California. Since 2008, the Garden Bloggers Fling has been an annual tradition for me, a can’t-miss meet-up of garden bloggers from across the U.S., Canada, and England.

This year’s Fling was hosted in San Francisco by bloggers Kelly Kilpatrick of Floradora, Andrea Fox of Grow Where You’re Planted, Charlotte (Daffodil Planter) Germane of Dirt du Jour, Claire Splan of An Alameda Garden, and Maggie Leighly. These hard-working women put together an incredible, 3-day lineup of garden tours across the city, plus a fabulous opening-night group dinner at the Conservatory of Flowers.

Pictured at top is our official group photo from that evening, taken by famed garden photographer Saxon Holt of PhotoBotanic.


I’m proud to give my publisher, Berkeley-based Ten Speed Press, a shout-out as one of the Fling’s generous sponsors this year. I knew that Ten Speed would be donating a copy of my book, Lawn Gone!, to each of the 70+ attendees — one of the many swag-bag items we all received — but what I didn’t know was that my editor, the incomparable Lisa Regul, would be attending the group dinner. What a fantastic surprise!

For nearly three years I’ve spoken regularly with Lisa on the phone, but we’d never met, and I didn’t even know what she looked like. She’d seen my author photo, however, and in any event I was wearing my name tag, so she walked up and said, “Pam?” I recognized that voice immediately and gave her a big hug. Lisa worked with me from idea to proposal to editing to publication. I owe so much of the success of Lawn Gone! to her expertise and guidance.


Another fun moment was meeting fellow Ten Speed garden authors Stefani Bittner and Leslie Bennett, who published The Beautiful Edible Garden this spring. Ten Speed, as you may know, publishes all sorts of books, not just garden/nature titles. Seeing other new authors from publishing houses that specialize in gardening titles bonding over their shared experiences, I’d felt a bit wistful for that kind of camaraderie. So when I met Leslie and Stefani and realized our Ten Speed connection, I felt as if I’d met two long-lost sisters.

This was their first Fling, and they both are delightful company. Everyone at the Fling got a copy of their book too. It’s beautiful, and I can’t wait to read it. We posed for the photo above in one of the tour gardens.


One more fun new item from this year’s Fling was the introduction of souvenir buttons. Each Fling, from Austin all the way to San Francisco, is represented, and future hosts will add to the collection. Only a few of us at the San Francisco Fling had buttons from every past Fling. But whether one button or six, they made great additions to our name badges and often provided a conversational opening with someone new.

(By the way, if you’ve attended a previous Fling but weren’t in San Francisco and you’d like to receive your button(s), pop on over to my “how to get your button” post on the Garden Bloggers Fling blog.)


And now for the Lawn Gone! giveaway

I’m sharing some Fling swag by giving away a signed copy of Lawn Gone! to one lucky reader who was not at this year’s Fling. Anyone may enter by leaving a comment on this post (one comment per person, please). Due to shipping costs, the giveaway is only open to residents of the continental U.S. The deadline for entering is next Wednesday, July 17th, at 11:59 p.m. central time. I’ll announce the winner on July 18th. Update: And the winner is…

While we’re waiting to see who wins, I’ll start posting about the garden tours from the Fling. I can’t wait to share them with you!

All material © 2006-2013 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Virtual book tour for Indoor Plant Decor, plus a Bonsai Tool Set Giveaway


My friends Kylee Baumle (Our Little Acre) and Jenny Peterson (J Peterson Garden Design) have co-authored a brand-new book called Indoor Plant Decor: The Design Stylebook for Houseplants. To celebrate and help publicize its release, I’m participating in their cyber book party. And you know what a party means: prizes! But before you jump to the giveaway listing at the end of this post, I hope you’ll stick around for my review of their book.


First a confession. I have to admit that while I was happy for my friends for writing a book, I wasn’t initially all that interested in the topic. Regular readers know I’m not a houseplant gardener. I have one spindly dracena in the living room and a small aloe on the kitchen windowsill, and that’s it. In general I feel that plants, like animals, belong outdoors. (And yet I have an indoor dog too. What gives?)

But while reading Indoor Plant Decor, I began to have a change of heart. Jenny and Kylee show a variety of ways to showcase commonplace houseplants. With chapters organized by decorating style — Cheap Chic, Peaceful Zen, World Beat, and Vintage Vibe, to name a few — the book shows how to complement your interiors by choosing appropriate plants and containers or other methods of display. Simply changing out a ho-hum pot for something different, like the wood planter pictured above, groomed with moss and raked sand on top, can make an ordinary plant into a standout accessory for your home.


Based on their chapter descriptions, I’d say my style is modern eclectic. But I was particularly drawn to the plant displays shown in their Haberdashery chapter — houseplant style especially for men. I imagine it’s partly because they show bold-foliage plants here, but I also admire the earthy and striking, no-fuss display methods, like this clear glass bowl filled with pebbles and topped with succulents. I love this!


The book is small, gift-book sized, and packed with appealing photos, and would make a nice housewarming or college graduate gift. You won’t find a lot of how-to info on growing houseplants — there are other books on the market that fill that niche — but if you’re looking for a book of ideas and images to get you thinking about new ways to display your plants and update your decor, this book is for you.


And now for the giveaway! My prize offering is a handsome Bonsai Tool Set from DeWit Tools. Here’s the description from the company website:

This Bonsai tool set (really more of a small garden tool set) is just the right size for maintenance of your Bonsais or other small plantings. Don’t let the size fool you, these tools are made with the same quality materials as the larger DeWit tools. All four tools have blade made of Swedish boron steel and fitted with an Ash hardwood handles from FSC Certified forests. Comes with wood storage case and Guaranteed a Lifetime! All tools are 6-7 inches long. Total value: $75.00


How to enter:
Leave a comment on this post to enter my giveaway of the bonsai tool set (FYI, another blogger is giving away a 2nd set). The giveaway runs through Sunday, May 12, at 11:59 pm. I’ll announce the winner on Monday the 13th. Please note that this giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Update 5/13/13: The winner, selected by a random number generator, is Danny! Congratulations, Danny, and my thanks to everyone who took the time to comment.

Ten Eleven bloggers are participating in this fun virtual book tour, each offering a prize related to houseplant gardening. Visit each blog and leave a comment on the giveaway post for a chance to win that specific prize. The more blogs you visit, the more chances to win! Good luck!

Carolyn Binder – Cowlick Cottage Farm
Shawna Coronado – Shawna Coronado
Charlotte Germane – Dirt Du Jour
Stacy Risenmay – Not Just a Housewife
Erin Schanen – The Impatient Gardener
Rebecca Sweet – Gossip in the Garden
Christina Salwitz – Personal Garden Coach
Steve Asbell – The Rainforest Garden
Debra Lee Baldwin – Gardening Gone Wild
Robin Horton – Urban Gardens
Pam Penick – Digging

Disclosure: St. Lynn’s Press sent me a copy of Indoor Plant Decor for review. I reviewed it at my own discretion and without any compensation. This post, as with everything at Digging, is my own personal opinion. The giveaway prize has been donated by DeWit Tools.

All material © 2006-2013 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Giveaway: The Drunken Botanist and seeds to grow your own cocktails

Cocktail time!

“Every great drink starts with a plant,” writes Amy Stewart in her new book The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World’s Great Drinks. “If you’re a gardener, I hope this book inspires a cocktail party.”

Stewart, a former Austinite, often writes about the intersection of horticulture and popular culture, as with her New York Times bestsellers Wicked Plants and Flower Confidential. With The Drunken Botanist she taps into the national resurgence of interest in mixed drinks, but from a plant lover’s perspective, stirring up an entertaining concoction of botanical history, the science of mixology, and 50-plus drink recipes.

In a stroke of marketing genius, Stewart has teamed up with Territorial Seed Company, which is selling Drunken Botanist-themed seed packets, with which you can grow your own bar-tending garden. Plant, harvest, and drink!

Amy Stewart will be at BookPeople in Austin on April 16 for a free talk and book-signing. She’s an engaging, entertaining speaker, so don’t miss it.

What I’m giving away (except seed catalog, which you can find online)

GIVEAWAY! Start your stir sticks! This week I’m giving away a copy of The Drunken Botanist and a collection of 10 cocktail-worthy seed packets that includes anise hyssop, basil, strawberry, lavender, cherry tomatoes, borage, celery, cucumbers, fennel, and peppers. Just leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite cocktail (alcoholic or non) for your chance to win!

Fine print: Due to shipping expenses and international restrictions on shipping seed, winner must reside in the continental U.S. This giveaway ends on Friday, April 5th, at 11:59 p.m. central time, and I’ll announce the winner on the 6th.

Winner Announcement! Congratulations to Astra, who enjoys a rye Manhattan, for being the randomly chosen winner of this giveaway. Astra, I’ve sent you an email asking for your mailing address. Please check your spam folder if you haven’t received it yet. Thanks to everyone for entering!

Disclosure: Algonquin Books sent me a free copy of the book for review, and Territorial Seed sent me free seed packets from their Drunken Botanist collection. I’m giving them away to one lucky reader at my own expense.

All material © 2006-2013 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

posted in Books, Edibles, Giveaways