I’m writing for Candide, a new website and app for U.S. gardeners

June 30, 2020

Candide, a website and social sharing app for gardeners, recently launched in the U.S., after first growing its user base in South Africa and the U.K. Now that U.S. gardeners have access, I’m happy to announce that I’m writing articles for the website and sharing more-personal gardening photos and posts via the app, which is kind of like Instagram for gardeners.

You can find a few of my gardening articles there now, with more to come.

And if you join the free app, you can find me there too, under the imaginative username PamPenick. If you’ve ever thought it would be fun to have a gardening blog but haven’t bothered with setting one up, or if you share plant pics all the time on IG or FB, boring your non-gardening friends and family, Candide is for you.

Check Candide out, both the website’s gardening articles and the social-sharing app. I’ll see you there!

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.

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Digging Deeper: News

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Deer noshing on my dianella

June 26, 2020

Getting into my car last week, I was surprised to see a doe walking steadily toward me, ambling down the driveway like she owned the place. Did she have a fawn stashed nearby, I wondered? (I saw twin fawns in the garden soon after, so maybe.)

I gave her space and watched quietly, and she moseyed onto the path toward the back gate.

She checked to make sure I was watching…

…and then started munching my variegated flax lily (Dianella tasmanica ‘Variegata’). The nerve! I’d noticed that my dianella were getting browsed over the past months, but seeing it happen was a bridge too far. So I stepped out from the car and clapped my hands at her. “Hey,” I yelled.

She just gave me a look that plainly said, “This is my garden. What’s your deal, lady?”

So I left her to it. I guess there’s plenty of dianella to go around. For now. She or her buddies already polished off the native river fern that used to grow over here.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click

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New landscape lighting for back garden

June 24, 2020

Uplighting on an agave, path light near a yucca in the foreground, and existing string lights

It only took 12 years, but we finally installed path lighting and uplighting in the backyard, and what a big difference it makes. We already had two sets of string lights for parties, which are on manual switches. But now we have ground-level lighting that highlights plants and garden art and comes on automatically at dusk.

Uplighting on a potted agave and a tall yucca, plus a path light

Now, even when we’re inside, we enjoy the soft glow of the nighttime garden through windows and doors. And outdoors we have practical path lighting as well as the drama of uplighting on bold plants like agaves and yuccas, as well as a few trees.

Uplighting on a prickly pear and wall panel behind the house

It makes all the difference in the world in the feel and utility of our garden after dark.

A wider view of uplighting along the back of the house, plus string lights and agave uplighting at the far end.

Props to my DH for installing it! We were about to hire someone, just to get it

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Agave ovatifolia switcheroo – Digging

June 22, 2020

Aw, how fast they grow up! Agaves, that is. And then they start nipping at your shins every time you walk past.

…was only this big 3 years ago — the perfect size for this spot, but still with room to grow.

Recently we added to our front landscape lighting, and the technician asked me, as he delicately adjusted the light next to Vanzie, doging its terminal spikes, “How big are you going to let this get?” I raised an eyebrow and replied, “You don’t really let an agave do anything.” We both laughed, but it got me thinking.

What it got me thinking was that I needed a bigger agave over here in this container (a galvanized fire ring from Tractor Supply) in the island bed. I planted this little whale’s tongue last year to fill a gap where a trio of ‘Color Guard’ yuccas once grew. The yuccas had declined and I took them out, leaving a focal-point hole. An elevated agave seemed just the ticket. But then it looked so small! It bugged me.

So last weekend I pulled a switcheroo. I dug up the little agave and set it aside and hired a

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COVID-19 scuttles Garden Bloggers Fling this year

June 19, 2020

Garden Bloggers Fling, the 13th annual meet-up of garden bloggers from across North America and beyond, was to have been held this weekend in Madison, Wisconsin. The coronavirus scuttled that party. I’m trying to wait patiently for next year, when Madison’s bloggers will try again to host us in their fair city.

For now I must content myself with the sights in my own garden. Two years ago, when the Fling was held in Austin and bloggers toured my garden, I kept hearing what a strong impression the gnarled, dark-trunked live oaks made on my visitors. So today, in honor of the Fling that should have been, here’s a mellow scene of morning light streaming through live oaks in my garden.

We’ll see you next year, Madison!

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.

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Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Donate to the Tom Spencer Million Trees for Austin Fund, established by TreeFolks in March 2020 to honor Tom Spencer, a

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Cobalt garden wall views – Digging

June 16, 2020

One thing about covid-times is I’m spending a lot more time in my own backyard. But yay for the social medium of blogging, so let’s take a look around together, shall we?

I’m loving the cobalt wall more than ever thanks to the addition of the steel planter filled with undulating feathergrass and orange bulbine. Also the quirky fiddlehead-esque metal garden stakes. And who can resist a powder-blue Yucca rostrata head peeking over the wall like Kilroy? Not me.

Micro-meadow

Bat-face cuphea (Cuphea llavea), which ought to be the official plant of bat-crazy Austin, smolders in the raised bed.

Squid agave (A. bracteosa) waves its tentacles from a tall, fluted pot.

In the side yard, the first flowers of heat-loving, shade-tolerant, deer-resistant (ka-pow!) pale pavonia (Pavonia hastata) have opened.

What’s going on in your summer garden?

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.

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Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Donate to the Tom Spencer Million Trees for Austin

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