Linda Ly

A modern homesteader and garden foodie, Linda is the voice behind the award-winning blog Garden Betty, which chronicles her adventures in the dirt and on the road. Her first book, The CSA Cookbook, was released in March 2015 by Voyageur Press.
Kitchen Before & After: From Dark & Dated to Light & Glamorous
Ever since Denise and her husband Brad moved into their 1937 California Ranch style home six years ago, the dark and dated kitchen was always a sore spot for her. Not only was it stuck in the ’80s, it also lacked adequate storage.It wasn’t until the birth of their daughter that she realized she would be spending a lot of time in the kitchen as a stay-at-home mom — and she needed a space that was open, warm, and reflected her love of old world glamour.
Jul 15, 2020
Easy-Grow, Easy-Care: Best Bets for Beginners to Grow
One of the most common reasons people throw up their hands — and throw in the trowel — is the discouragement they feel when their plants die. But guess what: it happens to even the most experienced gardener. Don’t despair! Whether it’s your first time or fiftieth time planting a garden, these easy-grow, easy-care plants will make plant shopping a little less intimidating and a lot more successful.
Dec 3, 2019
Welcome to Gardening School: Becoming a Better Gardener, One Step at a Time
Maybe you’re convinced you’ll never move beyond that notorious black thumb, or maybe you’ve tended a few herbs on your windowsill but feel too intimidated to try more. Whatever the case may be, let this year be the year you start your very own garden! From container gardening in a courtyard to vegetable gardening in a backyard, we’ve got you covered at Apartment Therapy with our step-by-step Gardening School.
Dec 3, 2019
First Things First: What Kind of Garden Will You Grow?
Gardens can take many forms, but today we’ll tackle the three main types of gardens you can start with a basic supply list: container gardens, raised bed gardens, and in-ground gardens. You might already know what type you’ll be growing, since it’s usually determined by your space and your lifestyle. Each garden has its pros and cons, but in many instances, you can mix and match the type of garden to your needs.
Dec 3, 2019
Pros & Cons: The Dirt on Seeds vs. Starts
There was a time when growing a garden meant raising all your plants from seed. Now with nurseries and commercial growers, gardeners can fill their beds with a wide range of seedlings and small plants without waiting a whole season for them to mature. How you decide to start your garden depends on how much time and money you have, and what types of plants you want to grow.
Dec 3, 2019
Shop To It: The Gardening School Shopping List
Gardens and gardeners come in all sizes, shapes, and needs. We may be short or tall, left-handed or right-handed. We may be starting a few planter boxes on the deck or growing entire rows of vegetables in the backyard. Thus, the tools that work for one person may not work for another. Complicating (or perhaps simplifying?) matters even more are tools that can serve multiple purposes.
Dec 3, 2019
Inside or Outside: Which to Choose When Starting Plants From Seed
In lesson seven I reviewed the pros and cons of starting your garden from seeds or starts. If you’re feeling ambitious and want to start all (or at least a few) of your plants from seed, the question is: should you start them indoors or outdoors? Well, that depends on when you’re getting started and how long your growing season is.
Dec 3, 2019
Prep Time: Preparing Your Space to Plant
You’ve sited your space, you’ve picked your plants, you’ve shopped for tools… and now it’s go time! You’re (almost) ready to start planting! No matter what type of garden you’re growing, prepping your space is all about prepping the soil properly. By now, you should know the type of soil your plants like and what kind of nutrients they need in order to thrive.
Dec 3, 2019
Hooray!: It’s Planting Day
Hooray, it’s planting day! Once you’ve prepped your space, finally being able to put all those seedlings and starts in the garden feels like a great accomplishment. Whether you’re transplanting your own seedlings started from seed or young plants purchased from the nursery, there are a few simple steps to take to ensure the little guys will survive the move. Transplant shock occurs when a plant is moved from one location to another, placing environmental stress on its system.
Dec 3, 2019
The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Identifying & Controlling Pests
At some point in your gardening journey, you’re going to encounter holes, spots, or blemishes on your leaves, or an unexpected annihilation of your plants overnight. Pests are an inevitable part of gardening, and it’s amazing what these tiny creatures can do in a short period of time. While it might seem like you’re waging a war against all these big, bad bugs, the fact of the matter is, only 10% of the insects found in your garden are actually harmful.
Dec 3, 2019
Perfect Timing: When to Get Your Garden Started
Though we often think of spring as a good time to prep and plant a garden, you can actually start planning well before the snow melts and continue planting all the way until the first freeze in fall. If you live in a frost-free region, lucky you — you can garden year-round! How do you determine the best time to prep or plant? The most reliable source is your local independent garden center, which can offer general growing guidelines for your particular climate.
Dec 3, 2019
How, What & When: Watering 101
Of all the tasks that come with maintaining a garden, watering seems like it would be a no-brainer — you just aim a hose and spray, right? But inconsistency in watering is often a prime factor in plant failures, so let’s take a look at the how, what, and when of watering your plants properly. This simple question leads to several answers, most of which hinge on the type of plants you’re growing and what kind of garden you have.
Dec 3, 2019
Planning Your Planting: Tips for Making a Garden Plan
The best-laid plans for a garden come after living in your home for a year, watching how the sun moves throughout the day in all the seasons, how much moisture you get and where it goes, and whether one area of your yard is more prone to wind than another. But if you want to get started right away, keep these things in mind as they’ll help you plot out a successful garden. Amount of sunlight and access to water are two major factors that go into selecting a good site for your garden.
Dec 3, 2019
TLC: Caring For Your Garden
Congratulations on making it this far and having a beautiful garden to show for it! But while the initial grunt work is done, your plants still need a little TLC to keep them looking and performing their best. Strive to spend at least one afternoon a week (or a few minutes a day) to walk among your beds, pick a few flowers, or simply sit in your garden and take it all in.
Dec 3, 2019
The Secret to Success: It’s All About the Soil
Soil is the unsung hero of a garden. Often regarded as just dirt, it takes a backseat to the glamorous flora of a garden but it’s always hard at work below the surface. Soil is the very foundation on which your plants feed and thrive, serving as a medium for housing beneficial microbes and earthworms and a reservoir for delivering vital moisture and nutrients to the roots. When you garden, you’re actually growing the soil, rather than the plants.
Dec 3, 2019
The Fun Part: Choosing the Right Plants for Your Space and Lifestyle
You’ve got the site and the soil dialed in, and now comes the fun part: the plants! Part of making your garden plan is deciding what types of plants you want to grow and how they’ll coexist in your space. All of the previous lessons — knowing how much sun your yard receives each day, what climate zone you’re in, and when you’re ready to plant — will aid a great deal in this process, so be sure you read them before you move on.
Dec 3, 2019
Drowning in Paper? What to Keep, What to Toss, What to Digitize
Paper is the bane of my existence — and probably yours, too. In preparing for tax season, I recently digitized a box of old receipts but also ended up clearing out a filing cabinet full of statements, warranties, and other papers that have sat forgotten for years, but looked like they could be important. When it comes to paper clutter, what should you keep and what’s safe to toss?
May 4, 2019
Cutting Through the Clutter: Shredders & Shredding Services
After following our tips and tricks on what to keep, what to toss, and what to digitize, you might find yourself with an intimidating pile of papers that you can’t exactly throw in the recycling bin. Should you shred it yourself? Should you have someone else do it for you? Between all the different types of shredders you can buy and the shredding services you can use, we cut through the clutter to find the easiest, safest way to dispose of your sensitive documents.
Mar 11, 2014
Buy or DIY: 5 Ideas for Displaying Tillandsia
Tillandsia (or air plants) are perhaps best known for being low-maintenance plants you can place inside a terrarium as they don’t need soil to grow. But if you’re tired of seeing miniature xeriscaped scenes inside what look like miniature greenhouses, here are a few ways to think outside the glass box. 1. Geometric mobile: Brass Himmeli Prism from Hruskaa, Email for price. Or, you can make your own mobile (inspired by the Himmeli) with some string and a handful of straws. 2.
Dec 13, 2013
DIY Idea: Build Your Own Kitchen Island Cart
When space is at a premium in your kitchen but you can’t go out and buy a whole new island, think do-it-yourself… think kitchen cart, the workhorse of the tiny kitchen. This versatile cart is part counter space, part shelving unit, and has a warm industrial look to fit in with most kitchens. The structural support comes from slotted steel angles (which can be cut to size for a custom fit), and rails and hooks can be added to the butcher block top to hang towels and utensils.
Oct 8, 2013
How to Hide an Ugly AC Unit With Removable DIY Shelf
It’s been hot these last several days in LA. Anyone who has lived here for awhile knows this summer heat can go well into autumn, as September can be one of the hottest months of the year. And for those of you lucky enough to have AC in your home, you might be realizing now — as you start to crank your unit higher — the air conditioner is quite an ugly necessity… Here’s a worthy DIY that will not only hide a wall or window unit, but give you extra storage as well.
Sep 3, 2013
Where To (Legally) Bonfire & BBQ on the Beach in L.A.
Last month, air quality regulators in Southern California approved the first-ever restrictions on the summer-lovin’ bonfires that have come to define our coastline. Luckily for Angelenos, the restrictions don’t affect the only two beaches in the county where public bonfires are still legal: Dockweiler and Cabrillo. Let the beach BBQs commence!
Aug 7, 2013
Large Scale Art on the Cheap: Black & White Engineer, Draft or Blueprint Copies
Making large-scale prints for your wall can be a very expensive endeavor, but Elsie at A Beautiful Mess discovered a way to blow up her favorite photos (we’re talkin’ poster size) on the cheap: black and white engineer prints, also known as draft prints or blueprint copies.The prints aren’t perfect, but for prices ranging from $0.75 per square foot to $4.99 per print at places like FedEx Kinko’s and Staples, one shouldn’t expect them to be.
May 2, 2013
Real-Life Inspiration: Converting a Bedroom Into a Dressing Room
It’s many a clothes lover’s dream come true: turning an entire bedroom into a Carrie Bradshaw-style closet. And while you can find plenty of professionally staged, drool-worthy examples online, most of the time they’re not really feasible for those of us on a budget. Here, we found five examples of real-life bedrooms converted into dressing rooms by resourceful (and lucky!) bloggers.
Feb 7, 2013
ReWall Company Reuses Milk Cartons as Building Materials
Milk may do a body good, but it doesn’t do recycling any good. The Tetra Pak and other similar gable-top cartons that your milk and juice come in are coated with polyethylene, so most curbside recycling programs won’t take them. But ReWall Company wants more of them.Using a European technology, Iowa-based manufacturer ReWall turns poly-coated products into recycled wall boards, tile backers, sheathing, and decorative panels.
Mar 22, 2012
It’s Time: Turn Your Mattress
Is your mattress on a regular rotation schedule? If so, here’s a simple trick to help you remember how and when to turn your mattress.Mattress manufacturers recommend a mattress flip because over time, mattresses can wear unevenly from users sleeping in the same position every night and leaving permanent body impressions. By the time you notice your mattress start to sag, it’s too late to correct the problem.
Jan 31, 2012