My grandparents on their street with my mother and my uncle.
My grandmother (and grandfather of course) always had a very large and very beautiful garden where she grew vegetables, there were also fruit trees and other shrubs with flowers. On the other hand, my parents did not always keep a garden each year, but sometimes they planted vegetables. So it was not until 1990 when I discovered gardening as a young adult when moving into a house with a yard.
I was lucky that although there were many weeds, there were many plants in which someone had actually planned their placement. It was obvious that they knew what they were doing. For me it was a blessing to have something to work from. In fact it was a little overwhelming but I found a great old book about gardening. Published in 1971 it is a comprehensive book organized alphabetically and the entries give the plants latin names. It also lists common names that refer back to the latin base so it is easy to find information. Since then I have not found a book which can compare to it.
Besides being a resource for plant types, it also includes useful lists and details about such topics as shade gardens and shade loving plants, flowering times so you can choose successive blooms and even rock gardens. These types of information can be especially useful. For example, knowing about rock gardens is important for urban gardeners since balconies and buildings can generate a lot of heat creating micro-climates as do rocks clustered together so you can adapt this material to your differing needs.
Since then it has been revised, although I have the old edition. Anyhow it is a valuable resource and I highly recommend it. It is Wyman’s Gardening Encyclopedia