About Penny

Penny in the gardenI’m a zone 9a (or is it 9b?) gardener — I can never remember which and it doesn’t matter. Every corner of my garden is in its own microclimate.  I’m a journalist and passionate amateur gardener. I fell in love with garden blogging in 2008, while working as a features editor, reporter and garden writer for The Tampa Tribune.

In writing The Dirt, my first blog, I discovered the joy of sharing freezes, drought and  triumphs with fellow gardeners. The Dirt earned national honors in the Society for Features Journalism’s 2010 Excellence in Writing competition and a spot on Florida Gardening magazine’s favorite blogs list.

I now write for the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times).  Diggin’ Florida Dirt, publishes two Sundays a month in the HomeLink section — find it online by Googling tampabay.com and Penny Carnathan. Earlier this year, it was named one of the top 10 must-read garden columns by Garden Variety, a blog from the former editor of Organic Gardening magazine.

I’m married to Ben the Plumber, a Florida native who takes sick pleasure in critiquing my labors from the air-conditioned comfort of the kitchen window. We’ve the parents of two children, Cody and Trent (Cody’s a boy; Trent’s a girl — yeah, I know). They’re young adults who grew up with green bean teepees and now seek locally grown, pure foods. (We did something right!)

I’m diggin’ on sand and full-on sun in a Tampa suburb — when it works it’s very, very good, and when it doesn’t, I learn valuable life lessons.