Hangin’ Out at Pam’s Place

Birdbath with Tumbled Glass
Birdbath with Tumbled Glass

After lunch, we went to the Natural Gardener nursery, which was one busy place on Saturday. If only I’d had an extra suitcase . . . .

Austinites were tucking plants into wagons and waiting cheerfully in long lines. I saw bloggers from other locales trying to figure out how to convince the airlines to allow them one more carry-on. Tell me, how did that work for ya?

Then we headed to the James David-Gary Peese garden. I don’t know if words can describe what these two men have done with their landscape, but I’ll try. Later.

Right now, I’m going to have to take a pass.

Because, if I hopped on a plane headed south to Austin today, I would want to head back to Pam/Digging’s place. I didn’t get to stay there long enough, you see.

Below is Pam’s welcoming front courtyard. (Sorry about the crooked orientation). When she moved to her neighborhood, she tore out her entire front yard and replaced the grass with limestone pavers and xeriscaped corner gardens. The center of the courtyard is this lovely urn. The urn is surrounded by what looks like black river rock standing on its side in a circular pattern. The camera didn’t capture how beautiful this was, but I was stunned by the color and contrasting texture.

Front Courtyard
Front Courtyard

We went to Pam’s place for cocktails before our dinner at County Line Barbecue. The lovely Pam mixed and poured. The recipe for the Mexican martini is available on her site. She also had munchies including tiny zucchini, carrots, and a wonderful dip made of white cannellini beans and green onions, I think. It was good. I don’t have the recipe. Maybe Pam will provide it to us. There was also goat cheese and other great stuff. How did she find the time?

Pam being the Ultimate Hostess
Pam being the Ultimate Hostess

Inside the house, Carol from May Dreams Garden was conferring with several bloggers about the social aspects of building blogging communities. On the screen porch, Kathy from Cold Climate Garden was explaining some of the technical aspects of blogging. It had been a long day, and I was too tired to think, so I just wandered back and forth, inside and out.

Then, someone told me Robin Chotzinoff was there from the Austin American-Statesman to interview people. I couldn’t believe it. Robin wrote one of my favorite gardening books, People With Dirty Hands. I ran outside to tell her how much I loved her book. I think I scared her a little. She certainly looked taken aback. I guess I’m a little over enthusiastic, but I love good books, and I admire people who write them. After she realized I wasn’t a stalker, we got to talking, and she reads my blog. Wow.

My Favorite Agave and Friends
My Favorite Agave and Friends

Outside, there was a feast for the senses. The first thing which surprised me was the total size of Pam’s garden. I’m not good at square feet, but she used every available inch of it. The next thing I noticed was how photogenic it all was. Every planting looked camera ready. My garden is so not ready for its closeup. With all the rain we’ve had in the last two days, the weeds are growing faster than I can pull them. I’m thinking of laying lots of mulch.

A water wise cottage garden created with USDA Zone 8 plants.

My kind of place.

Thank you, Pam, for all your hard work. As HH would say, “You’re the hostess with the mostest.”


  1. Mary says:

    I live in Edmond and all my tulips come back in the garden year after year without any special care. Just wanted to advise you to leave the bulbs in the ground, don’t dig them up, and let the greens die off naturally before removing.

    Mary, you are one lucky woman. Hang onto those tulips and enjoy them. They are special.~~Dee

  2. Pam/Digging says:

    OK, I’ll comment again! Aiyana, that’s a ‘Whale’s Tongue’ agave, Agave ovatifolia.

    Thanks again, Pam. I was going to write you today and ask for help. I’m not an agave expert.~~Dee

  3. Aiyana says:

    Pam’s garden is lovely. I covet that agave! I wish mine were that large. Do you know what species it is?

    It truly is. Her house is too.~~Dee

  4. Thanks, Dee and Pam, for the garden orientation. Pam, how lucky to have creative neighbors! I have same. Isn’t it a delight? I always find that we inspire each other all the time. Dee, I’ll try to sneak in a photo of that door in some broader post… 🙂 [Must add: hope your daughter was well and happy upon your arrival home. I keep wondering.] Kathryn

    Kathryn, you’re welcome. The Diva was fine when I got home. I got sick the last day of the trip, but that’s another story.~~Dee

  5. kate says:

    Hi Dee, I’ve enjoyed reading your posts about the Spring Fling – you took amazing photographs of Pam’s garden. It would have been fun to be there with you all!

    Hi Kate, like I wrote, Pam’s garden is easy to photograph. She has great vignettes. Maybe you can come next year. I’d love to meet you.~~Dee

  6. Layanee says:

    Dee: Great photos and a nice tribute to your hostess, it seems, with the mostess! Sounds like it was a great trip!

    Layanee, really fun. Maybe you can join us next year. I hear we’re doing it in Chicago.~~Dee

  7. Those are great shots of Pam’s garden. I didn’t get any so I really enjoyed them.

    Thanks ( and it was nice to meet you at Spring Fling.)

    Thanks, Linda. It was great meeting you too.~~Dee

  8. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Great pictures Dee. I just love the looks of Pam’s garden. As you mentioned every photograph says that this garden is
    well loved and well tended.

    Thanks Lisa.~~Dee

  9. Kathleen says:

    I keep coming back to read about your trip. Pam is a brave woman. I would love to tear out my yard but I’m such a chicken. The results look so beautiful tho, it makes me re-evaluate. Thanks again for sharing more of your photos.

    Kathleen, I’m glad you keep coming back. You should do it. Rip it out.~~Dee

  10. Pam/Digging says:

    Kathryn, Dee’s last photo is a view across my front-yard garden, and the structure in the background is my neighbor’s house. Robin, thank you for your kind words about my blog and my photos. Your own photos, especially of birds, are inspirational to me.

    Dee, I’ll try to get that bean dip recipe up tonight. 🙂

    Pam, thanks for answering Kathryn’s question. I looked again at the photo, and I wasn’t sure what the building was.~~Dee

  11. Marie says:

    It looks like you had a wonderful time together 🙂
    I would like to have been there with you.

    Marie, such nice people just like you.~~Dee

  12. Curtis says:

    Sounds like a blast. I enjoy hearing all about your trip to Austin.

    Thanks, Curtis. I’m glad you’re indulging me as I recount my adventure.~~Dee

  13. Robin says:

    I’ve enjoyed so much reading everyone’s post about the Austin trip. I especially love this one because Pam’s blog was the inspiration to start my own. I loved everything about her blog, especially her photos, I still do. What a treat for you to see her place up close and meet her face to face. Lucky you.

    Robin, I’m just sorry you couldn’t come this time. Everyone had so much fun that I think there will be more to come.~~Dee

  14. Cinj says:

    Sounds like a fun time! I’m a bit of a wanderer myself, so I’m right there with ya. I guess I’m a bit distractable though. Probably where my poor daughter gets it from….

    Ah, but Cinj, all who wander are not lost.~~Dee

  15. Thanks, Dee, for the insider view into Pam’s
    garden. It looks wonderful. I keep now wondering what that last photo is. It’s not
    her shed, right? I’m still coasting on inspiration from when she wrote about the shed transformation she did. I just painted the door of my shed chartreuse! I figured that would be a little pick me up in the morning!

    Kathryn, I see Pam answered your question below. I didn’t post any photos of her shed because I thought she’d already done that so well. When are you going to show us your shed door?~~Dee

  16. Pam/Digging says:

    Dee, you’ve just given me the nicest compliment! I’m very flattered that you found so much to admire about my garden—and that you chose to write about it instead of James David’s. Ha! I’m not used to being on the receiving end of a photo-tour post, but you made it all look good, and me too. Thanks, girlfriend! Come back again anytime, and we’ll have another Mexican martini together.

    P.S. I’ll be happy to provide the cannellini bean dip recipe in a future post, which is the only appetizer I made. The rest I picked up at Central Market (a local grocery), so you see I’m not a domestic goddess after all. 😉

    Pam, you deserve it! I thought you would enjoy seeing your garden through another’s eyes.~~Dee

  17. deb says:

    Great pictures. It sounds like you have such a nice time.


    Deb, thank you. We did have a lovely time.~~Dee

  18. While your garden may not be ready for its closeup, mine is fit only for closeups. ;^) And you being overly enthusiastic – no, I could never see that happening. TeeHee.

    MMD, I think it was an enthusiastic gathering, don’t you?~~Dee

  19. mss @ Zanthan Gardens says:

    Pam’s garden IS extremely photogenic. I don’t think that one could take a bad photo of it. She has a talent for putting together little groupings, integrating shapes and textures and ornaments. It’s a very comfortable garden (probably because she often arranges her groupings around seating).

    Pam is also fearless about tearing out a plant that isn’t performing at 100%, even if it is a quite large plant or removing and entire bed and replanting it when the plants get to old, tall and leggy. (She’s not known as Pam/Digging for nothing.)I keep trying to learn that trick from her but I’m so grateful for any plant that attempts to survive in my garden, I leave it be.

    MSS, I am also a tearer outer. I figure if it doesn’t perform, I’m getting too old to wait on it, no matter what it looks like or how big it is. You are so right about the vignettes she chose. I didn’t think about them being around sitting areas, but you are so right.~~Dee

  20. CurtissAnn says:

    Hey, girlfriend– the photos are stupendous. You sound like you passed such a good time. I, too, love seeing the flagstone. I have so wanted to do that on our east side. We’ve talked it to death and never did any of it. I feel I’m really ready to focus on our house– when we get the new one!

    Love you,
    ps– I’m right there with you in enthusiasm about some people and things. 🙂

    Thanks, Rosebud. I thought you would like them. I’m especially fond of the first one. Thanks for reading my blog.~~Dee

  21. Brenda Kula says:

    That’s precisely what I told a blogger yesterday I want to do. Tear out the lawn and replace it with flagstone and gardens. My whole side yard is already that way. Finished taking the lawn out of there earlier this year, when we bought this rental house. As the other blogger lamented, it’s just hard to talk these men out of their lawns. Who knows why? Mine doesn’t spend any time in his and doesn’t even do the mowing. Someday… I love what she did, and thanks for giving us a glimpse of it. I read her blog and love her insights.

    Brenda, you should go ahead and do it! If I had a small front yard, I would. In fact, next year’s project is to turn more of mine into shade garden. I’m tired of fighting the stupid shade grass. I’m hoping to get a sprinkler system, but may have to wait for more $$$$. She does have a lovely blog. It was one of the first I read too.~~Dee

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