A year in photos: So long, 2013


Last year I had fun selecting my 10 favorite photos from 2012, an annual meme led by Les at A Tidewater Gardener. So here I am again, sitting at my computer in stretchy pants and a cuddly cardigan, with the spicy scent of a baking pumpkin pie wafting into my office, to round up my top ten from 2013.


Following the porch vignette at top, I’ll lead with hot-pink penstemon in bloom during an April visit to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin.


Next, several from the Bay Area in California, which I visited last summer. Here are golden kangaroo paws at Matt Gil’s garden, one of the stops during the San Francisco Garden Bloggers Fling.


‘Chocolate Chips’ manfreda amid chartreuse and purple groundcovers, one of the many masterful plan combinations in Ann Nichols’s garden, another stop on the San Francisco Garden Bloggers Fling.


The wild coastline at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve near San Francisco, one of the day trips my family and I made after the Fling ended.


Back in Austin, a Curt Arnette-designed garden during peak Gulf muhly season.


An angry Texas alligator lizard flashing its blue tongue at me during a fall hike in St. Edward’s Park in west Austin.


Celosia and a queen butterfly glow in autumn light at the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham, Texas.


The Rose Emporium’s bottle tree illuminated like stained glass during that same visit.


I hope always to have a photo from my own garden in any “favorites” list. In looking back, I notice I took fewer photos of my garden this year than I’ve ever done since starting this blog in 2006. I often feel that I’ve covered my own space so extensively that I have nothing new to say about it, and so I look for other gardens to post about. And yet my own garden is always on my mind and the first and last thing I see each day, whether I’m enjoying a garden-puttering day or just catching glimpses through the office window as I work.

I don’t go in much for New Year’s resolutions, but if I were to make one, I’d resolve to take more photos of my own garden in 2014 — not to “feed the blog” but just to remind myself, when looking back, of how much beauty it gives me every day.

Happy New Year! See you in 2014!

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

48 Responses

  1. Scott Weber says:

    I like that “resolution”, Pam…Happy New Year!

  2. Happy New Year! What gorgeous photos, I especially like the bottle tree photo. I was so inspired by your bottle tree that I purchased one this year. Looking forward to following along and reading your great posts in 2014:)

  3. Helen says:

    I found myself feeding the blog with photos of other gardens, in fact I think I was visiting some gardens just to feed the blog. Over the last six months I focused more on my garden and I find that I am starting to see it better so I think you will find your resolution very helpful

    • Pam/Digging says:

      That’s good to hear, Helen. I started out blogging about my own garden all the time, then looked outward for a while to shake things up. Maybe this year I’ll be more inward looking, who knows? —Pam

  4. Four of those photos stood out as being memorable from their original postings. Happy New Year!

  5. TexasDeb says:

    Happy New Year Pam! Here’s hoping taking a closer look at your own spaces will be as inspiring to you this year as it always has been for me! Thanks for sharing…

  6. Alison says:

    Happy New Year, Pam! I like your resolution. There’s always so much to learn from taking photos of your own garden, both for you and for us, your readers.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Thank you, Alison. I need to find fresh ways of looking at my own garden, I think. It’s easy when the garden is new (and I do have several new areas), but I find it harder as time goes by. —Pam

  7. Anna says:

    My favorite of your photos is the gulf muhly I love the color combos. Thanks for getting the best of 2013 photos going for me.

  8. Kris P says:

    Happy new year, Pam! The picture of your own garden is my favorite of those you showed.

  9. Great photos all.
    We’d all like to see more of your lovely garden. Taking photos of mine, lets me see what progress there is and what’s missing.
    Here’s hoping for a wonderful 2014. Happy New Year!

  10. peter schaar says:

    A happy and prosperous 2014 to you and the family, Pam. I love the last photo, from your garden. Symphony in blue!

  11. Eduardo says:

    Happy New Year! I too enjoy seeing photos of your garden!

  12. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Your resolution sounds perfect. I love seeing your garden. Happy and Healthy New year. I realllllly like the reptile photo here. I would love to see one of these creatures.

  13. Enjoyed your selections, especially your garden fountain. Your pics are always stunning. Happy New Year!

  14. Jeanette says:

    Love your selection of photographs. The bird and terra cotta pot are a great color combination especially with your blog background color. The colors in your photo of the manfreda and chartreuse ground covers remind me of setting the table as a child. My mother had a set of square shaped stoneware and half the plates were green and the other half were chartreuse. I think there was a matching lazy-susan. It is a dramatic combination of colors. Happy New Year!

  15. Tom in Austin says:

    Nice work Pam! I’ve enjoyed traveling with you this year! My fave is the muhly photo too since I like to feel like I’m in the garden scene. And the Austin Aligator lizard siting is a big deal! I’m getting a web site for our garden this year for the fun of it, so come April I’ll be a little more in the conversation in 2014 and the coming years (featuring my yard art sculptures and daylilies). I’ve enjoyed visiting your blog friend’s sites too, and seen a lot of wonderful things this year. I would think there would be a Digging garden tour before too long?

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Tom, I’m excited to hear that you’ll soon have a website about your garden. I hope you enjoy blogging. I find it makes you feel part of a virtual garden club, one that knows no boundaries, and there’s nothing like that first comment to stoke the fire. I hope you’ll let me know your URL when it’s up. —Pam

  16. Pam, I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t been a very faithful visitor this year and it’s clear that I missed a lot! I’m not one for making resolutions either – I prefer intentions – but I like yours so I’ll borrow it and add an intention to be a better blog neighbor. Happy New Year!

    • Pam/Digging says:

      That’s perfectly OK, Kris. Thanks for popping by when you have time. I tend to save up my own blog reading for hours-long “benders” in which I catch up on everything I’ve missed. I wish there were more hours in the day! —Pam

  17. Jason says:

    Great pictures, and very difficult to choose a favorite from among these favorites. Thanks so much for all your advice on our Austin trip, it was invaluable! Now we have to figure out a way to see it again – when are the bluebonnets in bloom? Happy 2014!

    • Pam/Digging says:

      You’re very welcome, Jason. I hope you had a great time while you were in Austin. Come back in gardening season one day. Generally mid-April is prime bluebonnet season, and this spring is likely to be quite good because we’ve had decent rainfall this fall and winter. October through mid-November is also a wonderful time to visit. —Pam

  18. I love the photo of that sassy lizard. :o) I’d have a hard time narrowing my photos down to just 10, too. I take a lot of photos that will never end up my blog, too, just to remind myself of a moment. Happy New Year!

  19. Cat says:

    Happy New Year, lovely friend. I always love seeing photos of your garden. They are inspiring.

  20. ricki says:

    It must have been difficult to cull 10. I can remember some stellar shots that failed to make the cut. Happy New Year, Pam!

  21. Happy New Year, Pam!!!! Cheers. :) I like the photo of the coast in San Francisco…that must have been a wonderful day. All the best to you and yours. :)

  22. Les says:

    I know what you mean about blogging about your own garden. Sometimes I feel stale with my Garden Bloggers Bloom Day posts, showing nearly the same things over and over. My garden is about maxed out, but I have purchased plants that bloom in the sparser times, just so I can have some fresh material. Your year in review photos are all wonderful, but I think that lizard with the pink lipstick on is fantastic. I also like that inspired yucca/agave/muhly combo, and even with all the flowers and garden photos, I seem to be more drawn to the Point Lobos photos.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Stale is the right word — I think a lot of folks quit blogging because after a few years it can feel stale to keep photographing the same flowers in bloom. The challenge is finding new ways to look at the garden, and to include one’s thoughts and observations, which are always evolving. —Pam

  23. Shirley says:

    They are all wonderful photos Pam, I like the lizard best and the pink muhly with the silvery plants is inspiring too.

    Look forward to seeing more of your garden in 2014, especially those new areas!

  24. Diana says:

    What wonderful photos to cap off your year. I’m working on one of my new year’s resolutions and getting back to blogging. Though I’m now 9 days late, I may just have to join the meme and see what I come up with. That seems like the perfect way to appreciate the past year in the garden and set the tone for the new year.

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