Great audience at my first talk and Lawn Gone signing!


The awesome crowd at my talk last Saturday

My 7th blogiversary came and went on Valentine’s Day, and I forgot all about it until last night. Seriously, it’s a wonder I remember my own name after the whirlwind ride of last week. My book, Lawn Gone!, debuted on Tuesday, and I’ve been focused on publicity for it, plus working the busy spring season for my design clients, and then on Saturday I gave my first public talk and book-signing at The Natural Gardener. What a ride!


When I showed up at the nursery, it was about 45 degrees F, which is pretty chilly for us Texans. But the day was sunny, and the nursery was humming with early shoppers. My fears that no one would come because of the cold—the garden talks are held outdoors under a tent—were soon laid to rest. And when I stepped inside the gift shop for a moment, I had the thrill of seeing my book prominently displayed. Woot!


My friend Shirley Fox, of the terrific San Antonio blog Rock-Oak-Deer, kindly shared her photos of the event with me. This is me speaking. I’m happy I don’t look like a total dork (I’m sure she edited those out), and I’m even more happy and grateful for the crowd of eager, inquisitive, enthusiastic gardeners who showed up on that cold morning to hear my talk. If any of you are reading this, THANK YOU so much for making my debut speaking experience so fun. A special shout-out to those who drove in from out of town: Shirley, John, Caleb and mom, plus a few others whose names I didn’t get—you guys rock!


I also had a support crew of blogger friends and other dear friends whose smiling faces in the audience made me feel comfortable and who took photos for me, brought me water, got my posters back to the car, and helped me not forget to attach my head to my shoulders in all the excitement. Thank you so much!


The talk was fun, the audience asked some great questions, and if anyone fell asleep I didn’t notice. And then things became kind of surreal, as I walked over to the deck to sign books. Look at the line! People were standing in line, looking through my book, and waiting for me to sign it.


I was so surprised, delighted, and honored. The Natural Gardener sold out of their stock of Lawn Gone!, and I met all kinds of friendly, interesting people as I signed. Big, BIG thanks to the great folks at The Natural Gardener, Rosina and John especially, for inviting me to speak, publicizing it so well, and making the experience so enjoyable.

What a lovely way to wrap up my blogiversary and debut-author week. I’m so glad to be a part of such an enthusiastic, passionate, and supportive gardening community, here in Austin and here online as well!

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

29 Responses

  1. Way to go Pam. I knew it would go well. You have tapped into a subject that many people are concerned about. GREAT!!

  2. Pam, I can’t ever imagine you looking like a dork. Double congratulations on your anniversary and your book. I wish you many happy returns!

  3. Mike Aurzada says:

    Congrats Pam. The parking lots were so full it looked like an April spring day of shoppers.

    Congrats on selling out. I guess I’ll have to go to Barnes and Noble!

    Are you doing any other signings in Austin?

    Hi, Mike. I’m working on it! I hope to have signings at Barton Springs Nursery and The Great Outdoors in March and at Book People in late April. I’ll be sure to post info once I have dates and details. Meantime, if you live in the Marble Falls area, I’m speaking at Backbone Valley Nursery on March 23rd. —Pam

  4. Jason says:

    Wow, I am so impressed! You have a real following!

  5. Shirley says:

    Lawn Gone! and the anniversary of Digging makes for quite a week. Congratulations on the success of both! I enjoyed the opportunity to give back in some small way for all the excellent advice and encouragement you have provided through Digging.

  6. Congratulations Pam on the success of your lecture and debut of your book…so wonderful!

  7. I was so excited yesterday when I saw Shirley’s photos, what a wonderful day for you and the no-lawn (smaller lawn) movement!

  8. Pam, you have given so much to the gardening community; I’m glad you’re getting some payback! Congratulations on the book. I’m sure it’s the beginning of an exciting journey.

  9. Alison says:

    Congrats on the book and kudos on blogging for 7 years! Way to go! I’m planning to buy your book this week at the NWFGS, I hope they don’t sell out before I get a chance. I’m so glad you had such a great audience for your talk and book signing.

  10. Peter says:

    Way to go Pam! Seven years of blogging is impressive and your book signing looks like it was a huge success – That line all waiting to see you – wow! Ladies and Gentlemen, Ms. Penick has left the building!

  11. Right on Pam! Congratulations – what an awesome week for an amazing person. I am enjoying your book immensely, on the second read already!

  12. You did great! And, the book is great, too. Lots of good advice.
    I enjoyed seeing you and meeting some of the local bloggers, too. Should have gone to lunch, after all. Both the basketball and the baseball games were losses. :(

    Congratulations on the book.

  13. Denise says:

    So relieved to hear it went well and sounds like you actually had some fun too! Congrats on all your amazing accomplishments, Pam.

  14. Julie says:

    Pam, I am so excited for you! Congratulations on the release of your book. It’s so wonderful when good things happen to nice people! Enjoy your success–wish I lived in TX so I could hear you speak.

  15. Donna says:

    Congratulations! You have inspired and informed 1000s of people with your blog and now your book continues your great work. Thank you for all you do to help homeowners have gardens/yards that reflect their values and are lovely year-round. I never miss one of your blogs and now i hve your book to help me too.

  16. ricki says:

    I’m going to suggest to HPSO (and I’m sure Loree will back me up) that they bring you here to address our huge group. Then we can wine you and dine you and take you to Cistus and Joy Creek…the royal treatment, Portland style.

    Wouldn’t THAT be fabulous. :-) —Pam

  17. Scott Weber says:

    I’ll second RIcki’s idea!

  18. Daricia says:

    I would love to have been there, Pam. I’m happy for you and for what you’re doing to inspire people both through your blog and your book, and I’m looking forward to adding Lawn Gone to my own library.

  19. Katina says:

    Pam – You did wonderfully! They were already sold out of the book when I got over to the NG store to look for it. I’ll have to start looking in the bookstores around town.

    I’m sorry you weren’t able to get a copy, Katina. (Thanks so much for coming, by the way!) I could bring one to sell you at the next Go-Go if you like. :-) —Pam

  20. Gretchen says:

    Don’t get into Austin very often from Georgetown but have 2 copies of your book on order. Looking forward to tips on gardening in this changing Central Texas environment. Congratulations on a great book lauch!!

  21. Laura says:

    Congratulations, Pam! I didn’t get to go because I was at the South Austin Combined Neighborhood Plan meeting held by the City of Austin. I wanted to go though!

    The City of Austin could sure use you and your book for advice as they plan to in-fill various neighborhoods. Almost everyone in my group mentioned green-space and landscaping (not necessarily that term, but that’s what they meant) as being important when we looked at various slides for residential, commercial, and multi-family spaces.

  22. Congratulations Pam! You had a great turn out for your talk and book signing. I received my copy of Lawn Gone! on Friday. When I pick up a new gardening book, I always look at the pictures first. All of the photos in your book, even the small ones, conveyed the message well and generated several ideas, not that I need any more ideas. I knew you planned to use one of your photos of my gayfeather in the book, but I was thrilled to see a recognizable (to me) full page photo from my garden on page 80. I have been showing your book, especially pages 80, 118, and 179, to anyone that I can corner. I read through the Intro and Chapters 12-14 for your insights. I can’t wait to read the rest. From concept to completion and beyond, it looks like you have a great how to book for removing or reducing the lawn and replacing it with beautiful, low maintenance, and functional alternatives.

    Thank you for your kind comment, Michael. I am so happy to have been able to use that full-page photo of your beautiful front-yard garden in the book. Your garden has been inspirational to many, and I am glad I could share a little bit of it with my readers. —Pam

  23. Elizabeth says:

    Congratulations Pam! You deserve all the hoopla and success!

  24. Mamaholt says:

    I’m all teary for you!!!!

  25. lazysmurf says:

    I loved your talk, I learned quite a bit. I couldn’t believe how many people were there and then I couldn’t buy the book cause it was sold out!! I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Congratulations!!!!

    Thanks, Lazysmurf! I’m sorry there weren’t enough copies for everyone who wanted one—argh! I’ll be doing more speaking engagements/signings this spring (TBA), plus you can find Lawn Gone! locally right now at Barnes & Noble. —Pam

  26. Congratulations! I hope you convert each and every one of them to the less-lawn-is-more way of gardening. Any plans to bring the book tour to NC?

    I don’t have plans to tour that far afield at this point, MHM. But thanks so much for your interest in the book and good wishes! —Pam

  27. Les says:

    I am sure all the attention you were receiving was well deserved. Just keep looking over your shoulder, someone from the Texas Turfgrass Association might be following you.

  28. Lori says:

    I’m so glad it went well! And I checked earlier and Lawn Gone has already sold out that Sunset Valley Barnes & Noble!

    Wow, I hope people can find it locally. I know the Arboretum Barnes & Noble has ordered a second shipment. Hopefully, it’ll be in soon. —Pam

  29. Mary Linton says:

    You were fabulous, Pam! Had you not mentioned it at the beginning of your talk, I NEVER would have guessed it was your first public speaking engagement. What a pro. Your talk was very informative, and your book is wonderful and so beautifully photographed.

    I had to laugh when I saw the last photo of your post–there I am as you are signing my book. I am so glad I pre-ordered it, especially now that I see it sold out. Way to go!

    Hope the upcoming signings are smashing successes, just as the one at the Natural Gardener was.

    Thanks, as always, for your terrific blog!

    Hi, again, Mary. Thanks for your comment! I remember you and I were saying we both have that kind of face that everyone thinks they recognize, right? I appreciate your support. Thanks for coming out for the talk and signing! —Pam

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