The Water-Saving Garden book party & giveaway

Before I mustered the courage to leap into the blogosphere on October 7, 2007, I read other blogs, especially those focused upon my passion for gardening. I spent months swooning over landscapes built by people I admired all over the U.S., and later, the world. Some of my favorite blogs live in Texas. One blog I never missed was Pam Penick’s, Digging. Pam inspired me with her agaves and other Texas-loving plants. I admired how in 2011 she managed to keep her garden going in spite of terrible conditions. You do remember 2011, the summer from hell, don’t you?

In 2013, Pam authored her very popular book, Lawn Gone!: Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Yard. Now, she’s written another book that expands upon the subject of sustainability, The Water-Saving Garden: How to Grow a Gorgeous Garden with a Lot Less Water. I think all of us could do a better job of gardening while conserving water. I know I could. With 2016’s long El Nino winter, we’re probably in for a long, hot and dry La Nina summer in Oklahoma and Texas. I hope I’m wrong, but we’ve had very little rain in my state in the last ninety days. If we don’t get some rain in March, April and May, we won’t see much until September. We need to save water and incorporate plants into our landscapes that don’t require as much care. Pam’s newest book, The Water-Saving Garden: How to Grow a Gorgeous Garden with a Lot Less Water, has great tips on how to design for a drought tolerant garden and how to choose the best plants.

Does this mean our water-saving gardens are boring? No. One of the best tips Pam taught me over the years was to create the illusion of water in the garden. I love that one, and I’ve used it throughout my garden over the years since I visited Pam’s first garden in Austin in 2008.

Birdbath with Tumbled Glass from Pam Penick's first garden in Austin, TX.
Birdbath with Tumbled Glass from Pam Penick’s first garden in Austin, TX.

Another section of Pam’s new book I thought very helpful was in Part Two, titled “hold that liquid gold.” It relates to rainwater containers in all shapes and sizes. My giveaway during our book party is the rainwater urn, from Gardener’s Supply Company. If you win this prize, you’ll receive a sixty-five gallon container to harvest rainwater from your property for those long, tired summers we all have.

Water-Saving Garden 65-gallon rainwater urn from Gardener's Supply Company. Book Blog party and giveaway
65-gallon rainwater urn from Gardener’s Supply Company.

To celebrate Pam’s book launch, seven bloggers have great prizes for you to win. Details and requirements for the giveaway are below as are the links for the other bloggers. Go visit and enter at each separate blog. Maybe you’ll win a prize!

One entry per person for each giveaway. Please provide an email address so I can notify you if you win mine. Leave a comment below to enter my giveaway of the of the rain barrel. The contest runs through Sunday, March 6, at 11:59 pm. A winner will be chosen at random, and the winner will be announced on Monday the 7th. Please note that, because of shipping costs, this giveaway is restricted to residents of the continental U.S. I’m sorry my European and Canadian friends.

To enter the other giveaways, follow these links:

Clay and Limestone
55-Gallon Black Rain Barrel from Epoch Rain Barrels

Danger Garden
Circle Pot from Potted

$100 gift certificate from High Country Gardens

Gossip in the Garden
Live Succulent Planter from Boxhill

North Coast Gardening
3 bags of 1/8-in. pumice (to 3 winners!) from General Pumice Products

50-Gallon Rain Barrel and Chesapeake Stand from The Rain Barrel Depot

Photos other than the one I took of Pam’s birdbath are reprinted with permission from The Water-Saving Garden, by Pam Penick, copyright © 2016, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2016 by Pam Penick and Gardener’s Supply Company.

Thanks so much. If you live in a dry climate, take a gander at Pam’s new book too.

89 Replies to “The Water-Saving Garden book party & giveaway”

  1. Something tells me we are in for a cooker of a summer – and a wild and wooly storm season that will start early, here in Oklahoma. That rain barrel could certainly come in handy! Thanks for your blog, Dee, and your posts on Facebook!

  2. I can’t wait to read Pam’s book and get even more project ideas for plants and techniques to add to my Central Texas garden. Every year that I add more native plants, I notice how much more my garden thrives, the less work and watering I have to do, the less money spent on watering and replacing plants that don’t survive, and the more wildlife I attract to my garden. It’s a win-win-win-win!

  3. That’s a fine looking water barrel that would look good in any garden as well as doing a great job of saving precious water. Our dry spells are certainly testing for the gardener and we all need help on how to overcome this with an attractive planting.

  4. Enjoy reading gardening blogs. It would be wonderful to contain the spring rains to water when it is most needed. The reservoir is a beautiful enhancement to watering needs.

  5. HI. I garden in dry So West Texas and it is NOT boring! Growing natives makes it so much fun! Thanks for entering me in your drawing. Linda H

  6. We’re in a 100-year old house in what’s now a developing community. Soon to be forced to connect to “city water” so we’re planning on at least one barrel (likely 2-3) on the property to save on irrigation costs!

  7. While many of us at our local community gardens benefit from having a 525 gallon water tank reservoir donated to us by a local company, one of our mission statements is to beautify our gardens and surrounding area. I can’t think of anything with more style and utility then this rain urn! Keep up the great work here!
    Warmest Regards,
    Kirk Smith
    HdG Green Team Community Gardener

  8. I love the rain barrel. Not only is it “green”, and functional, but it’s beautiful, too! The book looks intriguing. Thanks for this post, and for doing the giveaway! Would love to win.

  9. Hi Dee. What a wonderful way to cross promote this marvelous book and blogs! I would love, love, love to win the rain barrel as this is part of my garden plan this year! Thanks for all the inspiration from your blog.

  10. Enjoyed Pam’s “Lawn Gone!” Looking forward to read her newest. And this giveaway party is fabulous! As the gorgeous Gardener’s Supply rain urn.

  11. I love this rain barrel. I’ve seen it in catalogs and admired it. Would fit right in here. Cross fingers to win! Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. I live in Oklahoma, as well. I would love to have a beautiful rain urn in my garden. I love your blog. Thanks, Dee.

  13. Love the ideas in this book. Can’t wait to read it in full. Love the give a ways. Thank!

  14. Pam’s blog has been an inspiration to me for years even tho I can’t grow a lot of the plants she grows. Her books are fabulous too. There are always little gems of garden wisdom and the photos are fab. I have always wanted a rain barrel. Maybe one day I will actually get one. Glad your blog is up and running again.

  15. What a pretty rain barrel. Thanks for the opportunity to win one. Love your blog.

  16. I’d love one of these barrels. I have an area by my garden that needs to have roof runoff addressed, and a rain barrel would fit the need exactly.

  17. Thanks for sharing the new book, I had not heard about creating the illusion of water. I live in Northern California, so that idea really appeals to me. By the way, I love your blog. I’ve learned a lot. This year, I am finally adding day lilies to my garden due to some I have seen in your blog.

  18. The rainwater urn is gorgeous!! I love that it’s beautiful AND it’s also functional.

  19. This is one of the best looking rain barrels. I would love to have one. I have a very large garden and many potted plants to water. Every drop counts. Thanks for the chance.

  20. This looks like a great book. I don’t have a rain barrel but I catch all the water from the sump pump in the basement in an outdoor water garden that’s close to the veggies. Thanks for the giveaway.

  21. Dee, it’s a treat to see my old birdbath with green-glass “water” in your post. Writing the chapter in my book about evoking water through certain plants and stone was really fun for me. I’m glad you like that idea too. Thanks for hosting the book party and giveaway with me!

  22. I’ve read Pam’s blog for several years and stumbled across yours through a link in one of her posts(before I even knew I was into gardening) ? Then I saw your book in our library. Another fantastic read! Thanks for the chance to win!

  23. I love the idea of collecting rain to water my yard. I especially love the looks of the beautiful rainwater urn. It’s so decorative, yet useful. Can’t wait to read the book and put the ideas into action!

  24. Hi Dee! I’ve been drooling over this rain barrel for quite a while and would be thrilled to win it!!

  25. One of the first blogs I followed was Pam’s, even if we garden in different circumstances. Her words and her photos make me come back. It is very nice of you to help her throw this launch party.

  26. I have not used a rain barrel before but have been thinking about getting one for the past couple years. This is a beautiful option. Pam’s book sounds really interesting especially creating the illusion of water.

  27. I would love to win the rain barrel – I haven’t ever used one but I know it is time to get one since we keep having suck long dry spells. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  28. I have thought many times that a rain barrel would be useful. Would love to win this one. Thank you for the offer!

  29. Now I certainly need this rain barrel. It nearly matches the one I already have, plus we keep talking about getting another. I think you’d agree that this makes me the perfect winner…wink!

  30. We’re redoing our front yard and being able to withstand our PNW dry summers is my number one priority for plants. Would love the barrel to help with my veggies though!

  31. I never knew rain barrels could be so attractive! Though my area– coastal Alabama– tends to have humid summers and fairly frequent afternoon thunderstorms, there’s never a guarantee of rain, and periods of drought visit us, too. The sandy soil on our septic pad, in particular, can get quite dry, so water-wise landscaping is something I’m certainly interested in learning more about. Thank you for the chance to win the rain barrel!

  32. The illusion of water… great idea! Thanks for sharing about Pam’s books. Sounds like a good one.

  33. Glad to see rain barrels being designed to better complement our gardens. This Gardeners Supply rain barrel is especially appealing, both in shape and clay color.

  34. I am really enjoying all of the comments about Pam’s new book–sounding more and more like something I need!

  35. Thank you for giving us a chance to win a handsome and so-needed rain barrel for our gardens, all thirsty to one degree or another. I would be delighted to win this beauty.

  36. Thanks for spreading the word on Pam’s new book. Her expertise and inspirational photos are a help to gardeners in parched climates, working under the “Death Star.” Would love a rain barrel to catch our all-important, and rare, rain here in SoCal.

  37. I got the book last week and just love it. Pam is an excellent author and her book is full of useful information and wonderful photos. Who couldn’t use another rainbarrel!

  38. I think hotter and dryer is the new norm for central Oklahoma, don’t you? I’m trying to learn to adjust my gardening practices to be more water conscious. Love the rain barrel! It’s on my wish list!

  39. Thanks for your informative blog that helps me help others in developing their landscapes. I have sandy dirt, not red dirt, that is challenging for holding water for those root zones.

  40. Hey Dee! I dove right into the world of using rain barrels last year and purchased one from my town. I loved it so much, that I’m hoping to expand my collection and add one new barrel each year. Mine is nothing fancy, just a plastic one. The urn from Gardener’s Supply Company is gorgeous! Thank you for providing this giveaway and here is my email address Have a lovely week!

  41. We moved into a new house in Kansas City and are finally getting our garden into place. I would love a rain barrel to make our water go a little farther!

  42. Hello Dee, I am from North Dakota and garden in Fargo Loam AKA Gumbo—a very sticky clay stuff. So I understand the challenges of gardening in strange soil even though our zones are different, therefore, I have enjoyed your escapades of gardening you write about. I have a rainbarrel from a recycled barrel and it is painted, but the paint keeps peeling, so I would love having the one from Gardener’s Supply!

    1. Hi, I live in Fargo,Ok and the soil here is so sandy that we could really use some of your gumbo in Fargo, N.D.! The rain barrel would be fantastic!

  43. Nice! I could definitely use a rain barrel as the one I have has stopped holding water! I have Pam’s book but haven’t had time to make much headway. I’m sure it’s great.

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