Choosing the best gardening gift for my mom wasn’t an easy task. She’s come a long way from just planting a few hydrangeas in the front yard. My mom always had a green thumb, so gardening was her thing. But now that she lives on a five-acre property, the lines between gardening, landscaping, and farming have become somewhat blurred. I wanted to get her something she didn’t have and something that would work in all the environments she was working in. What would serve her in the rose garden, on her John Deere, and out in the wild oak grove, hacking through poison oak?
I’ll admit it, I was a little biased in some of my choices, but this was the reality. The first thing I thought of was new gardening gloves. Sure she would use them, something you could never have enough of, but she’s had a few old pairs for ages, and there’s nothing really personal about that. So I moved along. What about shears? I’d see a bunch sitting around the garage over the years; it was hard to be sure. And while I knew these would benefit her in the rose garden, I felt that might be the end of it.
Something kept coming up for me. Her arms. She’s recently turned 78, and life wasn’t slowing her down, but her skin was becoming more sensitive. She’s had an allergic reaction that lasted a long time due to poison oak, and her thin skin had become skin and more prone to scratching from plants. And when she went to see a dermatologist about the rash from the poison oak, she had a melanoma scare. Wearing sunscreen on her arms was just something she didn’t do.
The Farmers Defense sleeves were on my mind. At the time, I wasn’t working for the company, so I wasn’t exactly affiliated. But I knew the product and founders, so I often looked in their direction. My mom has always been a particular person, so getting her anything too personal was a little scary for me. But with all the choices in styles, I felt confident I could find an arm sleeve that would be right for her. After spending an embarrassingly long amount of time, I couldn’t decide and went with two sleeves. The first pair I snagged was the Save the Bee sleeves. I knew this cute and simple design would go over well with her. Plus, I knew she would be into the fact that she was helping to save the planet! The other sleeves were a bit of a risk, but these turned out to be the big winner. I went ahead and went full send and picked out the leopard print sleeves! She absolutely loved them! Because I knew she had some skin sensitivity, I wanted to make sure she wasn’t constricted in any way, so I aimed a little more prominent on the size. This worked out great.
Okay, cool! When it’s your mom’s 79th birthday, one gift isn’t enough! So the journey continued.
My mom—her name is Cindy, by the way—famously wore her apron over everything, everywhere. Sometimes I’d be with her (as a kid), and she’d walk into the bank with it on, totally embarrassed! This was her kitchen apron; she also wore it in the garden. I hadn’t thought about it much, but my instincts told me she was still wearing that old apron out in the yard.
Boom! This was an easy acquisition. I went ahead and got the Farmers Defense apron to go with it. I wasn’t sure about the sizing, so I made an educated guess and earned her the small /medium size. I wasn’t too worried because I knew the straps were adjustable, and there’d be some room for slack.
So while I was at it, I figured I might as well complete the look and get a matching Farmers Defense Gardening Hate to go with her sleeves. I knew she had a gardening hat made of straw, but it was old and falling apart. There was no way to tell how effectively the hat protected her from UV rays.