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.


  1. Ellen Graham says:

    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. Caleb says:

    I love the classic look of this barrel. It isn’t as much of an eyesore as others!

  3. Sueze says:

    Love this rain barrel and cannot wait to read Pam’s book. 🙂

  4. I am really looking forward to reading Pam’s book, and I love the giveaways…perfect gifts.

  5. Rebecca says:

    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!

  6. Awyna says:

    Thats a great looking way to catch & save rain.

  7. Jenny says:

    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.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Red Dirt . I see my email did not send for your drawing. Sending it this time. Thanks.

    Linda H

  9. 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.

  10. thanks for the easy to subscribe form – I look forward to reading your upcoming blogs.

  11. I love your take-away, ” the illusion of water”! Heather,

  12. Susan Staudt says:

    I’ve always wanted to try a rain barrel, and the one shown looks fantastic! Please enter me in your giveaway!

  13. Love this rainbarrel, and I look forward to the book.

    1. realized my private blog won’t let you contact me: avstrokesurvivor at gmail dot com

  14. Linda H says:

    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

  15. Chris says:

    You have a great garden, thanks for sharing Pam’s new book.

  16. pauline says:

    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!

  17. Kirk Smith says:

    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

  18. Sherry says:

    I have just the spot for this little rain barrel.

  19. Leslie says:

    We have long dry summers too Dee, not much fun are they! A rain barrel would help offset some of that.

  20. Simone McDivitt says:

    Lovely giveaway.

  21. Mal says:

    We’ve had such a dry winter here in ATX.

  22. Love your site. And I could use the barrel.

  23. Janet Mills says:

    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.

  24. mjarz says:

    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.

  25. Adriana says:

    Can’t wait to read this new book!

  26. Annemarie says:

    I’d love a rain barrel (and some rain to go with it :o). Thanks for the giveaway offer.

  27. Umm Shams says:

    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.

  28. Lhpuppy24 says:

    That is a beautiful rain barrel!

  29. Robin says:

    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.

  30. Katie says:

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

  31. Kathy Mattsson says:

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

  32. 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.

  33. KaTinka Bolding says:

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

  34. That is such a beautiful rain barrel!

  35. rusthawk says:

    Ooh, this rain barrel is beautiful! Thanks for including me!

  36. Elizabeth says:

    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.

  37. Stephanie says:

    Oh no! Not La Nina! Don’t want another year like 2011.

  38. What a lovely rain barrel! My children and I would surely put this to good use.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for helping out Pam! 🙂

  40. Robin Ochoa says:

    What a beautiful rain barrel!

  41. Debbie Spurling says:

    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.

  42. Sabrina Nelson says:

    Can’t wait to check out Pam’s books, and also explore your blog!

  43. Katie says:

    What a great giveaway for a great book!

  44. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for being part of Pam’s book party and for the nice giveaway! That is an elegant rain barrel! 🙂


  45. Kristin Goodson says:

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

  46. Joanna says:

    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.

  47. Sandy Zimmer says:

    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.

  48. Pam/Digging says:

    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!

  49. Jenn B says:

    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!

  50. Heidi says:

    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!

  51. Patti Johnston says:

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

  52. Phillip says:

    I have been trying to figure out how to incorporate a rain barrell in my new garden. I would love this!

  53. Kristen Chan says:

    Pam’s book looks great! Would love to win a rainwater urn!

  54. Les says:

    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.

  55. Nancy says:

    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.

  56. Melody says:

    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.

  57. Kate says:

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

  58. 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!

  59. Terri says:

    Interesting blog! I will have to read more.

  60. Fleur says:

    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!

  61. Michael says:

    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!

  62. indygardener says:

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

  63. jleige says:

    Beautiful rainwater urn for collecting our liquid gold (if we ever get any here in CA…) Thank you for the chance!

  64. Sue MIngs says:

    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.

  65. Martha says:

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

  66. Well that’s the prettiest rain barrel I’ve ever seen! Thanks for the giveaway party!

  67. Martie Brown says:

    Watered most of the day. So dry. Would love to win the rain barrel

  68. Judith Layman says:

    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.

  69. Anonymous says:

    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.

    1. Pam/Digging says:

      Thanks for the compliment! I hope you get some much-needed rain soon in SoCal, and good luck in the giveaway too.

  70. Margo Kuykendall says:

    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!

    1. Pam/Digging says:

      Thanks for getting my book, Margo, and I’m thrilled to hear you like it! Good luck in the giveaway.

  71. Nancy says:

    I could definitely use this rain barrel in drought stricken Southern California. Where’s El Niño?

  72. Vickie M. says:

    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!

  73. Nancy Felde says:

    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.

  74. Denise Rose says:

    Thanks for a great offer to get started on conserving water!

  75. Dena says:

    I’ve been thinking it’s time for me to try a rain barrel. I too think it’s going to be a dry summer.

  76. Larren Wood says:

    I’m in eastern Oklahoma, so I have hard clay soil. I’d surely love that rain barrel!

  77. joan k. says:

    This looks like an awesome rain barrel solution for me. Thanks for the generous give-away!

  78. There’s room for this barrel by my back door, Dee. Thanks for hosting a giveaway and celebrating Pam’s new book.

  79. gardenannie says:

    It gets dry here too in the piney woods. Would love to try a water urn.

  80. 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!

  81. Kate says:

    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!

  82. Marlene says:

    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. Sue says:

      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!

  83. Jean says:

    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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