On this day three years ago, I wrote my first post on the blog. I had no idea what I was doing at the time, despite starting a “gardening blog.” Don’t be fooled — those luscious tomatoes and hefty squashes in that picture were already there when I took over the garden (planted by the previous owners) and after I moved in, I happened to inherit their summer harvests.
In fact, I was so intimidated by the garden that I didn’t touch anything for the first week. I didn’t know when or what or how to harvest. But when my then-boyfriend, now-husband brought in that first zucchini with a big smile — “Hey, check this out!” — I was hooked. And then he brought in another zucchini the next day. And then another the day after that. And then I learned one of the first things about gardening: Zucchini will take over your yard and feed your entire street!
A lot has changed since Day 1. Now that we’re on Day 1,097 (because we had a Leap Year in there), I think I finally know what I’m doing. I’ve grown a few things and killed a few things, but I can plant my own tomatoes and squashes. I’ve accumulated over 300 packets of seeds. I’ve cooked countless meals from the garden and shared them with loved ones. I’ve made jam… lots of jam. I’ve gotten sick of jam and made pickles. (And by the way, I finally opened a two-year-old jar of jam the other day, properly sealed of course, and it was still as delicious as I’d remembered it!) I’ve won an award. I’ve taken better pictures. I’ve built a chicken coop. I’ve traveled through 7 states and 14 countries. I’ve found a secret surf spot by my house (to be able to say that in LA is almost a fable). I’ve shaped my own surfboard. I’ve gotten married… twice (to the same guy, that is). And perhaps most incredulously of all, I’ve become a garden expert for HGTV. (Yes, my friends still tease me about that one.)
If you’d asked my pre-Garden Betty self what I thought the last three years would look like, I never would’ve predicted the awesomeness of it all. Aside from my college years, these may have been the best three years of my life. (So far!)
In the beginning, I wasn’t even sure anybody would ever read my blog. I just blogged. And the readers came. I branched out from blogging about gardening to also blogging about jam making, pickle fermenting, cocktail shaking, chicken keeping, off-grid living, adventure traveling, and week-long road-tripping. Eventually, the blog became too big for its original design and I realized I needed to do a major overhaul on the site.
That was a year ago. (!)
My readers deserved better. I finally kicked the procrastination this summer and so, here it is… a new and improved Garden Betty!
Now you can find all the things you were never able to find before, neatly organized and categorized. I have a quick-start guide here to help you navigate the new site, but I think you’ll find it quite intuitive. There may be a few tweaks here and there over the coming weeks, but I hope you like it so far.
Thanks for sticking around to see the transformation. You are much loved!
Three years! Onward to five!