My Dry and Mighty article is in Wildflower magazine


If you’re a member of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, you’ll soon find the Summer 2015 issue of Wildflower magazine in your mailbox. I’m thrilled to announce that I wrote the cover story, “Dry & Mighty.”


What’s it all about? “A dry garden doesn’t have to be drab. Make yours dazzle even in summer,” teases the contents-page tagline. In the 6-page spread, I offer design ideas for making a dry garden that looks great all year.


The article will appear on the Wildflower Center’s website soon (I’ll link to it then). But I urge you to consider subscribing by becoming a member. Not only will you receive this beautiful and informative quarterly magazine, but you’ll be supporting the garden and its mission to educate people about native plants and their benefits to ecosystems everywhere — from wilderness to your own back yard. You’ll also get free admission to the garden (and to reciprocating botanical gardens throughout the U.S.) and a discount in the gift shop.


While this wet spring may have central Texans thinking about rain gardens rather than dry gardens, we all know that dry, hot weather will return. When it does, it pays to be prepared. It’s hard to establish new plants, even xeric ones, when drought is squeezing the ground dry. This, then, may prove to be the perfect year for getting a tough, new garden established.

Update: The Summer 2015 issue is now available online.

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

21 Responses

  1. Awesome – can’t wait to get mine and read it!

  2. Kris P says:

    A 6-page spread! Nice going, Pam! It looks like a great article and I’ll enjoy reading it in full once you can link to an on-line copy.

  3. Congrats. I do enjoy your writing and photography, even though I am not gardening. And I rejoined the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center because I can get in a lot of other gardens with the membership and I like to keep helping some way since I’m not around to volunteer.

  4. peter schaar says:

    I was so impressed when I got my copy and read the article! Very well done, Pam! You can’t emphasize enough that a dry garden is not just cactus and rocks, that it can be good looking and stylish. So congratulations!

  5. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Wow. Way to go Pam.

  6. Lori says:

    That’s awesome! Is that Lee’s garden in the lower left picture?

  7. TexasDeb says:

    Well done! This is certainly turning out to be a banner year for your writing. LIke a well planned and designed garden, this success is certainly not accidental or an overnight phenomenon. You should feel well satisfied with the rewards of all your hard work!

  8. Ragna Hersey says:

    Well done! I noticed this morning that you got a nice mention on the National Geographic website … :-)

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/05/150521-turf-terminators-xeriscape-california-drought-tolerant-lawns-water-savings/

    • Pam/Digging says:

      That was a nice surprise, Ragna! I saw the National Geographic article yesterday and was thrilled to have been quoted in it. Thanks for taking the time to let me know too. —Pam

  9. And you took all of the photos? Guessing you did as that looks like Grackle’s bench in one of them. You never cease to amaze. We’re all so proud of you!

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Vicki, I provided three photos: the one of Lee’s desert willow and bench, and the agave and prickly pear images on the first page spread of the article. You and Lori have a keen eye for Lee’s garden, even in a thumbnail-sized image! —Pam

  10. Indie says:

    Sounds like a great article!! Awesome! And the Wildflower Center sounds like such a great place. We have a similar wildflower botanical garden nearby which is headquarters of the New England Wild Flower Society, and they do such great work in conservation and education in regards to our native plants. These places are so necessary, especially in today’s world as so much native habitat is disappearing.

  11. Jenn B says:

    When I opened to the first page of the spread (before reading the author’s name) I thought to myself, that looks like a picture Pam Penick would take. Ha! Congrats on another great article!

  12. Jeanette says:

    We are receiving good READING weather. They have been removing our water restrictions because the lakes are getting back to normal levels. It is a good time to get some of those Texas natives planted because they won’t need irrigation to survive being transplanted. The heat and dry weather will come soon enough. The layout and photographs are lovely. I look forward to reading this article.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Good reading weather indeed. I sure hope they don’t lift the watering restrictions, however. I think it’s good for people to conserve, and once a week watering has not been terribly onerous. —Pam

  13. Congrats, Pam! I need to get my hands on one…cant wait to read it!!!!

  14. This is just thrilling, Pam! The magazine cover is beautiful! And after reading your post, I was inspired to join and am hopeful of receiving a copy! I’m so glad you mention posting a link though just in case I miss out.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      You’ll be glad you joined, Barbara! I’ve gotten so much out of my membership over the years. Even if you only visit the Wildflower Center once or twice a year, there’s still the magazine and reciprocal admission to gardens all over the country. And of course it supports the Center’s important botanical research as well. —Pam

  15. Someday when I settle in, I might continue my membership in the WF Center and get Wildflower again – by far one of the best, in many ways. Congrats on your article, I’ll look for it online in the future.

    Yes, dry will return…and your version of dry plus humidity, especially after your wet spring, makes me glad for even the nearing of our convection-oven-June!

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