News & Events

Year 10

Year 10

Every story has a beginning.

Mine unfolded on September 9, 2010. I had a fun idea: I wanted to start a blog. I took a picture of my summer harvest and wrote my first post.

I told a few friends and my mother-in-law (I also told my own mom, who had no idea what a blog even was), and opened up the comments to anyone who might accidentally stumble upon my little corner of the Internet.

I wrote about anything and everything: seedlings, sunsets, surfing, making potting mix. “Content” was simple back then because I didn’t see it as content, I just wanted to share what made me happy. And if I could get a free pair of garden clogs out of it, hooray!

But exactly one year later, out of the blue, I was awarded “Best Gardening Blog” by Country Living magazine, in a time when blogs were still quirky and novel and something you did as a hobby.

That was when everything changed for me.

(Keep reading to the end for something fun!)

Garden Betty hanging 10 on the edge of a boulder

Never did I think that little passion project could turn into my job, or that 10 years later, I’d still be hustling all things Garden Betty and doing work that I’m absolutely obsessed with — in a good way. I love the unexpected turn that life has taken, and the opportunities my blog has opened up over the years.

In the decade that I’ve been sharing all things gardening, chicken-keeping, cooking, and traveling, I’ve also…

Gotten married, visited 14 countries, written three cookbooks and republished one, gone on a cross-country book tour on the road, had a baby, had another baby, and summited dozens of peaks on foot, chairlifts, or long drives.

I’ve camped all over the American West with a newborn. I’ve brought home six pullets and five chicks. I’ve said goodbye to our pugs. I’ve lived in three different homes and moved to another state where the frost-free growing season is just July and August (for real).

I’ve canned hundreds of jars in my kitchen and cooked countless meals for family, friends, and strangers.

Garden Betty grilling over a fire near a lake in the backcountry

For the past 10 years, this little space has always been where I wanted to spend my time. When I started my blog and gave it a funny name (which I’ll get into in a minute), I didn’t worry about who was going to read my words or like my posts (mostly because I didn’t think anyone would).

I just wanted to write, play in my garden, and practice taking pictures of it.

Somewhere along the way, you joined me in this journey and I’m so glad you did. Your curiosity, kindness, and enthusiasm has pushed me to learn something new every day so I can share it with as many people as possible.

Without you, Garden Betty would not be what it is today.

But about that name… I wanted to blog about my garden. And I wanted to infuse a little personality into the name, so I decided to use a nickname I’d always had in California — Betty — a moniker given to a girl in the skate/surf/snow scene.

Garden Betty. The domain was available, and I bought it that day. No thoughts whatsoever as to branding, trademarks, any of that.

To be honest, if I’d known it was going to turn into a business, I might’ve gone with a different name. But it’s short and catchy and I’ve gotten used to answering to Betty (while also answering lots of interviews about how the name came about).

So, that’s the boring backstory to my blog name!

I’ve rambled on enough. Shall we celebrate?

To thank you for being a part of my story, I’ve got a bundle of cookbooks and a few of my favorite things to give away to two readers. (US residents only, sorry!)

Prize pack featured in Garden Betty's 10-year anniversary giveaway bundle

None of this is sponsored, I bought the items with my own money to support companies I love. There’s a gift card to Gardener’s Supply Company, heirloom seeds from Baker Creek (which accounts for more than half the plants in my garden in any given season), the same exact mug I use every day from United by Blue (perfect for holding a huge amount of coffee, chai, or tea), the best Tellicherry peppercorns from The Reluctant Trading Experiment, and non-toxic sunscreen from Goddess Garden.

These are all things I use almost daily, and I hope you’ll enjoy them too.

Enter your email address in the Rafflecopter form below (which will also sign you up to my email list, if you aren’t already on it) and while you’re here, drop a comment and let me know a favorite tip (or blog post) you’ve learned from Garden Betty that’s stuck with you.

The giveaway ends midnight (Pacific Time) on Thursday, October 1, 2020. Two winners will be chosen at random and emailed the next day.

I appreciate you! Here’s to the next 10 years!

Enter this giveaway

(Note: Mobile users will see a button for the Rafflecopter form above. If you’re reading this post on a phone and have trouble accessing the form, try it on desktop.)

Linda Ly About Author

I'm a plant lover, passionate road-tripper, and cookbook author whose expert advice and bestselling books have been featured in TIME, Outside, HGTV, and Food & Wine. The No-Waste Vegetable Cookbook is my latest book. Garden Betty is where I write about modern homesteading, farm-to-table cooking, and outdoor adventuring — all that encompass a life well-lived outdoors. After all, the secret to a good life is... Read more »

123 Comments

  • Avatar
    Susan Coghlan
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    So many things, but really, the post about keeping your tools clean without much effort was probably the best for me because I have ruined way too many tools from not cleaning them!

    Reply
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      Linda from Garden Betty
      December 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      I’m so glad to hear that! (That my post was helpful, not that you ruined your tools before… LOL)

      Reply
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    Rebecca
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    congrats! I learned about growing beans (broad beans) to fix nitrogen in the soil in the winter from you! And then read about and drooled over the alpine strawberries that you posted, and how the yellow color doesn’t stand out to birds, so birds don’t eat them!

    Reply
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    Beth Williams
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    Thanks and congrats! I just found your blog very recently so can’t come up with a specific tip but I enjoy your writing and how it just seems to flow effortlessly. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
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      Linda from Garden Betty
      December 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      Thanks so much Beth! I hope you enjoy the blog!

      Reply
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    Karen
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I got backyard chickens because of this blog! Now I have four girls of my own that I absolutely love!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Linda from Garden Betty
      December 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      Yay!! Welcome to chicken life, it’s the best!

      Reply
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    Judi
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I’m new to your blog and just enjoy your adventures and natural way of living. My daughter and her family were interested in Bend also so that attracted me to your story.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Linda from Garden Betty
      December 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      Thank you so much for reading!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Susan Rubinsky
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I’ve always loved 5 Things Friday… But there’s so much great info in your blog it’s hard to choose a favorite post. I’ve been following your blog since 2013 — maybe earlier? — I just looked in my in-box and the oldest blog post from you is from 2013. Congrats on 10 years! Following a passion always leads to an interesting path!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Linda from Garden Betty
      December 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      Wow Susan, such an honor to know you’ve been following my blog for that long. Thank you!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Kristie Wang
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I’ve enjoyed a lot of your tips, so it’s hard to choose. Purchasing from Azure Standard and your spreadsheet for home-mixed chicken feed really shaped how I care for my chickens. Thank you!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Linda from Garden Betty
      December 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      I’m so glad that was helpful for you! Thanks for reading Kristie!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Anon
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    Congrats on your tenth year! I’ve been reading the whole time. Favorite tips? Hmm. Mitsuba for shade. Oh, and how to fill a wall o’ water! Thank you! Here’s a tip for your readers: if you use a wall of water, you’re going to find out just how level your planting surface is, so check and level it out in advance. It’s not a pretty site when the whole thing collapses over onto your tomato. As me how I know…

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Linda from Garden Betty
      December 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      Great tip! And thank you for following my blog!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Joanne M Fetting
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I think it is time that I finally set up system to keep my garden tools clean and rust free!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Jen Smith
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I loved the recent tool care info! This year I am going to do it up right!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Linda from Garden Betty
      December 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      Good luck Jen! Thank you for following along!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Angela in Central FL
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I really enjoyed & appreciated your post “How We Found Land to Build On — and How You Can, Too”. Thanks for all the helpful, thoughtful information you always share!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Helena W
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    This year, my favorite blog post has been “Free fertilizer – How to grow fava beans as a cover crop” I inherited a community garden plot last winter and it had something growing in it that I had never seen before–fava beans!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Linda from Garden Betty
      December 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      Nice! I hope you were able to put the whole fava plant to use in the garden and kitchen!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Nova
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I can’t believe you’ve been doing a blog for 10 years! I started following you mid last year, and have learned quite a bit from you. I can’t point to a specific title of a blog, but there was one you covered about planting in pots. What size of pot, what type of plant, and watering schedule. I have had some success, but even if the plant dosen’t produce flower or fruit, I consider it a success if it last longer then a month(lol). Thank you for bringing us along in your journey of discovery and growth of your family.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Linda from Garden Betty
      December 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      Thank you so much for following along Nova!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Kaitlin- SheSpeaksBark
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I can’t pick a favorite post- IMPOSSIBLE! I reference this site weekly. All of the information regarding tomatoes has been especially helpful to me though.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Linda from Garden Betty
      December 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      I’m so glad to hear that Kaitlin! Thanks so much for making this site a regular read!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    kleinbeck
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    Your site is a go-to reference for my home gardening and garden-to-kitchen cooking. Thank you for your decade of work!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Deb Neyens
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    Congratulations, Linda, on the 10 year anniversary of Garden Betty. I’ve been reading your blog for about 6 of those years. I loved reading about the plans for your new garden and look forward to seeing them come to fruition.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Kaedi
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    Congratulations! Your posts on growing the best tomatoes have been so helpful. I also enjoyed your planting calendar and you seem to have posts on all my gardening questions.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Linda from Garden Betty
      December 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      I’m so glad you’re finding what you need from my blog! Thank you for being here.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Joan Huguet
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I first discovered your blog when researching when to harvest garlic!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Linda from Garden Betty
      December 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      Thanks so much for being here Joan!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Debra Van
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I loved your garden design posts! In addition, I appreciate hearing about your journey to purchase your land and how you’re turning it into something you love that is also good for our planet. Lastly, I felt a bit of camaraderie since I’m a So Cal (Encinitas) gal who moved north to Salem, Oregon. 🙂

    Reply
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    Mariah
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I have only recently gotten into reading this blog. I have loved your tips on onions and squash! Thank you!

    Reply
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    Lisa J
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    Chicken posts are what brought me to your blog years ago. Sincere congratulations on your last ten years. Cheers to the next ten!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Linda from Garden Betty
      December 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      Thanks so much Lisa!

      Reply
    • Avatar
      Lisa J
      December 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      I’m not on facebook or twitter, 🙁

      Reply
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    Travis Reiter
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    One of my favorites that I recently read (though content may not have been recent) was about soil amendments beyond the big three macros. Now I just need to decide which ones to prioritize out of the 10…

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Linda from Garden Betty
      December 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      I’m glad that was helpful for you, Travis! Thank you for being here.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Sue D.
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I found your blog a few months ago and the “Florida weave” and sand bucket were the best tips! congrats on 10 years.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Linda from Garden Betty
      December 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      Thank you Sue! I’m glad those tips were helpful for you!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Kim Lu
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    Congrats on 10 years! A friend recommended your blog to em when I moved to Southern California and got a plot at our community garden. Love your favorite things and Practical tips.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Linda from Garden Betty
      December 22, 2020 at 6:14 pm

      Thanks Kim! I’m grateful you’re here.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    MARY HOWARD
    December 22, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    Congratulations! I am new to your blog and after reading your advice about soil amendments I am committed to do this in my garden this year. I really enjoy your posts!

    Reply
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