senior gardening

The last of the Rhododendrons for the yearRhododendrons are bursting out ALL OVER this spring. I see them everywhere I go including our home, and they are so lovely! The first time I ever saw a Rhododendron was at the home of a relative. It never bloomed so I thought it was just a green shrub. An easy to grow and easy to care for shrub that looked lovely in the landscaping. Turns out it was much more than that! Come spring, they burst out with magnificent floral beauty!

According to Dictionary.com, these plants are "any evergreen or deciduous shrub or tree belonging to the genus Rhododendron,  of the heath family, having rounded clusters of showy, pink, purple, or white flowers and oval or oblong leaves." AND they are related to another family fave – the Azalea
 

These flowers are truly lovely but they do come with some caveats. 

While the Pollen Library lists the California Rhododendron as "Allergenicity: No allergy has been reported for California Rhododendron (Rhododendron macrophyllum) species." and the Allergy Care site recommends it for a low-allergy garden, the plant is poisonous.

According to the Veterinary Medicine Library in Illinois, "All parts of this plant contain toxic resins (andromedotoxins, now commonly referred to as grayanotoxin) with the leaves being the most potent." And the ASPCA warns that they are, "Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats, Toxic to Horses." (goats too as a good friend found out while goat-sitting!) "If your pet ingested this plant, contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.*

Yes, sadly, these lovely flowers can also be a danger to children. Most of my grandkids are old enough to know better, but still, it would be wise for me (and you) to let them know NEVER to play games with the leaves or flowers from these delightful flowers.  And, of course, it's always wise to keep the the Poison Control phone number handy – For emergencies and information call toll free 1-800-222-1222 anywhere in the U.S. or click here to find the local number in your area.

All in all, though, these flowers are a true delight to all. And my senior mom and I will continue to enjoy the lovely sights we see in our yard and around our neighborhood. What's your favorite spring site this sweet spring-ly week?

Click here for help with your real estate search for homes by Kaye Swain REALTOR

 

Lovely rhododendrons for Kaye Swain and her elderly senior parent moving to Roseville CaliforniaMy senior mom and I enjoyed our first walk in AGES! The weather and her achy back had kept us in quite a bit the last couple of weeks. we had a delightful time and were thrilled to discover several blooming flowers and budded trees for me to share with you here! SIGNS OF SPRING! HOORAY! 🙂

While walking, I had fun telling her about some of the homes I visited this week, especially those with aging-in-place options that could benefit her or her compadres. My two favorites were both what I like to call "fab 50s" as they were built in the 1950s. 

One was a cozy Craftsman-style bungalow. Easy to maintain, close to restaurants and stores, yet it gave me such a sense of peace and quiet. A grand retreat in the midst of a busy high-tech world. Like many old homes built in the 1940s and 1950s, you can find awesome and original hardwood floors under some of the carpets. Since it's single story with 3 bedrooms and 1 bath, it could be a good option for senior parents who want to move closer to family or friends and don't want a lot of upkeep. Plus it has a large garage/shop with shelves, pegboards and workbench – and I do believe that's a hint of spring with purple flowers in the window? Maybe? 🙂
 

this garage gives extra storage and a hint of spring out its window via Kaye Swain REALTOR who is moving to Roseville CA

I appreciated that the shower offers a seat which is such a big help for older seniors! This home would have been perfect for the relocating parents of one of my friends, if only it was located two states over. 🙂

Pretty in a pink pre-spring to welcome us via REALTOR Kaye Swain who is moving to Placer County CA

The other home was also from the 50s but much bigger. With 4 bedrooms, 1.75 bathrooms, and 2328 square feet, it's a lovely home with plenty of multigenerational possiblities. With 2 bedrooms and a bath upstairs, and 2 bedrooms, 3/4 bath, and an office/workroom downstairs, it could easily accomodate an older child moving back home for a time (perhaps with a family). Or if your elderly parents needed extra help and were to move in, they could take the top floor and you could have the downstairs – giving you all the closeness and help that is needed, but still offering that oh-so-vital, yet often not available sense of privacy while living together. 

Both homes offered plenty of space for gardening delights for all ages. While not all enjoy gardening, it can be such a great source of exercise for body and mind for all ages. My senior mom is thrilled to see buds popping out on the trees around us and counting the seconds til she can get out her wagons and garden pots, go shopping for seeds, and start digging in the ground.

One of the things we've learned through the years of working together to help my dad, babysit the grandkids, and now care for my mom is to "think outside the box" when juggling all the multigenerational issues. And that includes when you are looking to buy a new home for yourself or your senior parents. These are just some of the many things I look for when I am house hunting for my mom and me. What do you look for? 🙂

P.S. Happy Pink Saturday! AND every day is Happy Grandparents Day around here. 🙂 

P.P.S. If you are house hunting, I'd love to help you with your real estate needs, including all the various aging in place and multigenerational issues you may be facing. Just "CALL KAYE" at 657-229-KAYE or email me at Kaye@KayeSwain.com  or check out my uber useful and free app – just CLICK HERE