Year 10

Every story has a beginning, and mine began on September 9, 2010, when I had a little idea: I wanted to start a blog. The very one you’re reading!

Linda Ly
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.)


  1. Loved your story, Linda! As a fellow OG blogger I’m inspired by your evolution. You’ve done such a great job with your brand.

  2. Happy 10 years! I found your blog randomly as I drove past the ancient lava fields by Mt Whitney area. I was curious about its history and so fortunately found your blog with a google search! It was neat that your blog covered my other interests as well: camping, canning and edible gardening. Now I’m looking forward to hearing about your home design progress. All the best to you and your family!

  3. I found you looking for recipes but like you, I’ve found that tending a garden is also tending the soul. It’s the best therapy out there. I love your commitment to farm to table and love for the rare & unusual at Baker’s Creek. I’m so thrilled that you’ve been able to make a life making the world a more beautiful place.

  4. I found your blog this spring and was enchanted by the rabbit holes of no waste cooking, science nerd quality research, your detailed and practical advice on soil amendments and AACT (I promptly went out and got my garden a setup!) but my favorite article yet has to be on the hydrophobic properties of nasturtiums. Just geeky and fun and celebrates why I love growing things in the first place. You’re simply fabulous Linda, and your work is a contribution to mankind!

  5. Congratulations on the 10th Anniversary of Garden Betty! I love everything Garden Betty and have followed, read and tried ideas from you posts for years. My favorite: Starting seeds in any and every container I can find around the house. Yogurt cups, shredded cheese cups, whatever I happen to have. Thanks!

  6. I had to stop getting your newsletter for a while because Gemma was born just after my son Jackson was stillborn and I struggled with 3 more miscarriages after that. I was so inspired by the way you immediately took her on camping trips and wished I could have done the same. Although we don’t go camping we had been looking forward to introducing him to gardening and swimming early on. Anyway, I’m glad to be following you again and wish you all the best and congratulations on 10 years!

  7. Congrats on 10 years, Linda!! I’ve learned SO MUCH from following your lovely, informative blog. You are an inspiration to many. I look forward to the next 10 years of great content and fun things to share! Best wishes to you and your family, always. 🙂 xo

  8. Congratulations! Found you by accident by google – pinterest searching for edible weeds and found your article on ground coverings…which lead to reading about tomatoes, herbs, pesticides as I am a wannabe Urban-farmer girl in the ‘burbs….I enjoy reading your blog on Saturday mornings:)

  9. My favorite tips and articles from you has by far been homemade chicken feed! Along with your blog and others, I gained knowledge and confidence to feed my chickens without relying on premixed feed. It has opened so much possibility and learning! Thank you for sharing your experiences!

    -Andrea G

  10. Morning! Have followed you for a long time and enjoyed following your family grow and your love of being in nature. It has been rewarding to see the entire family involvement, including pets, in pursuing that lifestyle whether gardening, camping, skiing or surfing the ocean, etc. Plus the photography is gorgeous and recipes are outstanding.

  11. Happy 10 years! I’ve followed you since 2014 and I’ve learned so much over the years. I think mostly though I now have a dream of getting chickens someday and whenever I have enough land I definitely will. My town in NJ allows them but I have a teeny yard 🙂

  12. Congratulations on 10 years! I’ve been following you for a few years for your recipes and canning techniques. Can’t wait for my garden next year to be able to use all of your other tricks!

  13. Congratulations! I found your blog when I wanted to make my own chicken feed and learn about fermenting it. It’s such a happy place. All the best to you!

  14. Congratulations! I can’t believe it’s been 10years! You’ve provided so much luscious content choosing one is truly Sophie’s choice! Your roasted Chile verde salsa is a go to EVERY summer. Love too that you introduced me to mycorrhizae and making my own chicken feed, and Azure although I can’t access here in RI yet, it saved my daughter inCal who was desperate to get flour for her new sourdough obscession. Haha! But today I’d choose our AVOCADO mattress! Bought one for our daughter too! Can’t thank you enough for the content you choose as your research saves me days of work on issues I’m passionate about, and you do the work for me! Also of course, the seed varieties you find, and what you love about them. Aerating compost tea? Who knew aerating helps? Go GB! Thanks sooo much!

  15. I recently found your blog and am so glad I did. I’m enjoying watching you plan out your new homestead but just recently was especially glad for the reminder and how- to on cleaning my tools . Something I often forget to do.

  16. The latest thing I’ve learned from you over the years is about humid acid. In fact I’m amending my garden with some tomorrow!

  17. I found your new camp cookbook on amazon and every recipe we tried was amazing. So we started cooking them at home too. We have incorporated lots of tips but very recently I read your 6 tips for juicier burgers and they’re gold. Thank you !

  18. Hello. I saw you in Santa Rosa at the Heirloom festival some years ago. I couldn’t afford your cookbook at the time but I later bought it “The CSA Cookbook” I use it all the time.

  19. I found Garden Betty and the first thing I did was can Nastradamus seeds, and collected and canned radish seed pods – two things that were super new and interesting to me!

  20. I discovered your blog because Ploughshares Nursery in Alameda share your posts frequently. I love learning about canning and pickling tips and about composting. Keep sharing info! It helps all of us!

  21. I just love your blog. You give such practical advice and have such lovely photos. I cannot wait to see how your new garden comes along.

  22. This is our (my husband and I) first year of gardening and we came across your soil recipe after experiencing some failure of not being able to get anything to grow. Now we mix our own seedling starting mix and soil potting mix according to your recipe and are finally experiencing success! It’s been so much fun learning along the way and we’re thankful for you sharing your knowledge. Your journey has inspired us! Thank you!

  23. Congratulations, Linda! It’s a joy to read about your work and learn from you!

    The thing I’ve learned is to just start somewhere. It doesn’t have to be perfect or beautiful, just try and see what happens.

    Here’s to the next 10!

  24. Your blog introduced me to Mexican Sour Gherkins – and they’re now tied (with ground cherries) for my favorite thing to grow!

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