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Have you been staying busy lately helping a senior parent work through the moving process? That does seem to be a regular responsibility for those of us dealing with the Sandwich Generation issues of caring for elderly parents. Once they are settled and you’ve all breathed a sigh of relief, it’s important to also realize that over the coming months there will probably be minor things that still need to be adjusted. Seasons change, and with the changes come new needs you didn’t realize you were missing.
It’s been seven months for my senior mom and myself and we just realized something we especially needed, that might help you and your moving seniors as well. It’s something minor, yet I wish I’d realized it sooner as it would have been a pleasant way for her to spend the winter. I’m talking about plant and vegetable garden books! Not just any gardening book, though. I’m thinking of the type specific to the region you’ve just moved to.
Having moved three times in the last six years from the Roseville California on the west coast to Virginia Beach Virginia on the east coast to the the Louisville Kentucky area in the mid-south, it’s been amazing to me the difference in how various plants do in each of the areas. On the west coast, I didn’t even try azaleas because my green thumb neighbors struggled so much with them. In Virginia they grew hugely and easily. Roses, on the other hand, grew like weeds – only way prettier – in Roseville California. But in Virginia, they never got past straggly for me.
Of course, for the past several years, as a busy member of the never-aging Baby Boomers Generation caring for elderly parents and helping with grandkids, caregiving requirements have moved me out of the category of an amateur gardener who actually spends time at it to an amateur gardener who just wants to throw a plant in the ground and see what happens. 🙂 And that’s actually pretty do-able, IF you pick plants that do well in that specific region. And THAT’s where a good, region-specific gardening book is quite handy!
On the west coast, we loved:
- Sunset Western Garden Book – This is my very favorite gardening book – with every plant listed I’ve ever looked for and tons of great info for our area of Placer County, CA and beyond
- Perennials for Northern California by Bob Tanem. Not only is he one of my senior mom’s favorite gardening show hosts, the book is lighter, making her happier. And I love perennials since you plant them once and they just keep coming up. 🙂
- Pat Welsh’s Southern California Organic Gardening- Month by Month – here’s another in the month by month style I enjoy. Great advice for my senior mom’s raised beds garden!
On the east coast, it was the:
- The Southern Living Garden Book – Very similiar to the Sunset book, this was our mainstay gardening “Bible.” When we moved, we gave it to a neighbor who is thrilled with it as well.
- Guide to Virginia Vegetable Gardening – for my senior mom’s delicious tomatoes and bell peppers in her raised beds garden!
- Best Garden Plants for Virginia
For Mother’s Day, I just ordered my senior mom some interesting general and vegetable garden books for our newest area. She’s looking forward to enjoying all of them and loves the fact that they are all three lighter books than my giant favorites 🙂 :
- Tennessee & Kentucky Gardener’s Guide – covering perennials, shrubs, trees, and more.
- Guide to Kentucky Vegetable Gardening – she’s already got her tomato pots ready and can’t wait to dig in (yup – pun intended 🙂 )
- Kentucky Gardener’s Guide– written by a local expert with lots of great reviews.
How about you? Can you recommend an excellent gardening book or two for your specific region, or in general? It would be a great resource for all of us in the Sandwich Generation, our beloved seniors, and, of course, great for using them for some fun gardening activities for grandparents and their grandchildren.