Carter’s Garden Blog


11th. Annual ‘Parade of Ponds’

11th Annual ‘Parade of Ponds’

Summer will be here before we know it and the West Tn Pond & Koi Club and Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio, Inc will again present the 11th annual ’Parade of Ponds’. The two-day self-guided tour will again benefit the Jackson Madison County Humane Society. We have chosen to help the Humane Society all these years because they are a local non-profit organization and we strongly support their mission in our community.

The Humane Society is still needing help for their new building fund as well as day to day operations. They have collected around $97,000.00 to date for the building fund and are VERY appreciative for the donations! BUT, they are still around $100,000.00 short of the money needed to complete the project… We can make a difference folks! Come on out for a FUN filled weekend and help raise some money at the same time! Bring a friend or two and enjoy two fun filled days of touring some of the most BEAUTIFUL GARDENS that you will ever see AND an AWESOME “MOONLIGHT POND PARTY” to boot!

I know visitors will be amazed by the wide variety and beauty of the water gardens on the tour in and around the Jackson/Madison County area. Some people come every year to see the new ponds and to check out how the older ones have grown and changed. The tour is VERY unique and I think it’s a “Don’t Miss Event”!

Our ‘Parade of Ponds’ is always the weekend after Father’s Day and it has taken on a life of its own and has grown to be Tennessee’s largest Pond Tour and one of the Largest ond Tours in the US.

The 2009 Parade of Ponds, self-guided tour is set for:

Saturday, June 27th. from 9 A.M. – 4 P.M. . . . RAIN or SHINE

Sunday, June 28th. from 1 P.M. – 4 P.M. . . . RAIN or SHINE

Two-day tickets are $10.00 per person (children 12 and under free w/adult). Tickets will be available for purchase Monday, June 1st. Your $10 ticket also gets you into the MOONLIGHT POND PARTY! Live music, great catered food, cold drinks and FUN! You also get to check out some awesome ponds at night. Seeing the Underwater Lights and the Illuminated Waterfalls is MAGICAL!

I hope to see you there!



Common Pond Myth’s and Misconceptions
January 11, 2009, 10:24 pm
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So many people are wanting a Water Feature of there own now! Backyard Water Gardens are truly HOT!!! BUT, with all new things comes Misinformation or just plain lack of info. So I put together a simple list of common Myth’s or Misconceptions about Water Features that I hope will be helpful! Enjoy….

10 Common Water Feature/Pond Misconceptions Resolved

Myth #1: A water garden costs a lot of money.

Fact: A Professionally installed Water Garden is comparable to the cost of a hot tub. If your a Do-It-Yourself person, kits with everything you need to get started in the hobby start at around $600 and up.

Myth #2: Small water features are less work than big ones.

Fact: As water features get larger, they become easier to maintain. Any aquarium hobbyist knows, it’s much easier to achieve a healthy, stable tank with more water, not less…It’s the same concept with Water Gardens! Small water features rarely have the flow or capacity necessary for long-term stability, and soon need lots of maintenance. And so with Ponds, bigger is Always better.

Myth #3: Maintaining a water garden is a constant headache.

Fact: When properly designed, an ecologically-balanced water garden will let Mother Nature do the heavy lifting. Make sure to Include mechanical and biological filtration, lots of aquatic plants and a balanced fish load. If you do it right, you will enjoy a LOW maintenance water feature that will bring you many hours of enjoyment.

Myth #4: Ponds need daily water testing and chemical treatment.

Fact: Not If the pond isn’t already chemically dependent! When properly designed and Eco-Logically balanced, there’s no need to test!

Myth #5: Water features are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Fact: Mosquitoes breed in still, stagnant water. A properly designed backyard water garden has moving, flowing water, in which mosquitoes don’t like to lay their larvae. As a mater of fact, IF you install a SKIMMER FILTER on your pond, the skimming action will help to destroy any that may attempt it anyway.

Myth #6: To have Koi, water gardens need to be real deep.

Fact: Two feet deep is as good as a mile. Fish, including Koi, Shubunkin and Comets hibernate in ponds just two-feet deep through winters as cold as zone 4 in Minnesota . Here in Tennessee we let our Water Gardens run year round with no need of extra winter care, but in colder areas of the country a small, circulating pump and a pond heater are all you need to keep a “breathing hole” in the ice and oxygenate the water for your fish.

Myth #7: Predators will eat all your Koi and other pond fish.

Fact: Most pond hobbyists will never have to deal with predators. If you are attacked by a pond predator, there are things you can do to protect your fish. An inexpensive, motion-activated water spraying system like a Scarecrow, will deter heron with a timely jet of water. You can also use a Heron or Alligator Decoy. Many say they work well and that they look very attractive by the pond. A pond that’s at least eight-feet wide will deprive varmints like raccoons or cats of dry access to the deepest part of the water garden. Even better, when the pond is being designed, put in a “Fish Cave” for them to hide in when needed.

Myth #8: You should never have algae in your pond

Fact: Green algae, in proper proportion, is beneficial plant life and is a sign that your pond is healthy! Fish eat it and it’s part of the ecology of any living, healthy pond. Too much algae is a sign that your pond is out of balance and needs some help getting it back. If your experiencing uncontrollable algae in your water garden you may need to add some more plants, up your Bacteria and Enzyme treatments or asses your Biological filtration capacity. Once the balance is restored, Clean, Clear Water will return.

Myth #9: I won’t get much return from my investment.

Fact: Not only will you get the daily enjoyment of interacting with family and friends around your new water feature, you will get a monetary bonus to boot… A properly designed Water Feature can increase your property value by as much as 7 to 15 % , more than any other Landscape improvement .

Myth #10: Any Contractor or Landscaper can build a Water Feature.

Fact: False! Building ponds is a relatively new specialty. A good landscaper or construction guy isn’t necessarily knowledgeable in the concept, design, or construction that makes an organic water garden system work. Much of the literature and information on the subject of Low Maintenance Water Features in circulation is outdated and doesn’t even include information on ecosystem water gardening. Make sure that you hire a professionally trained and experienced Water Garden Expert like a Certified Aquascape Contractor ( C.A.C.).

I hope this will help you make an informed decision about creating your own Water Garden! Once you have one of your own, you will wonder how you were ever happy without it…



Choosing A Qualified Contractor
January 7, 2009, 8:36 pm
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As you know, I am a Landscape Designer/Contractor and I Specialize in the Design and Construction of Water Features, the most popular being; Water Gardens, Waterfalls, Streams, Eco-System Ponds, Pondless Waterfalls, Swimming Ponds, Koi Ponds, Basalt Column Fountains, Rain Water Harvesting Systems, Constructed Wetlands, etc…. Water Features are HOT and very much in demand now.
– As a matter of fact, Water features are the # 1 Landscape improvement that homeowners across the US are asking for! That comes strait from a USA Today poll that was taken across the country.

– Here is another statistic for you … Over 50% of professionally installed Water Features FAIL in the first year!

WOW! FIRST let me say – I am NOT trying to discourage you from installing your own ‘Little piece of Paradise’, BUT, I do want to give you the tools to help you make an informed decision about WHO you hire to Design and Create your Water Feature. My 20+ years of experience have taught me that people want and need to find the right Designer/Installer to work with in order to achieve success! So I have come up with a short list of Questions that will help you achieve SUCCESS with your new Water Feature!

Top 10 Question to Ask Your Potential Pond Installer

1. How much experience do they have? You don’t want someone learning on your dime! Hire a seasoned professional!

2. Have they received profession training and Certification? If not, you may want to look farther.

3. Do they have their own pond at home? I wouldn’t buy insurance from someone who wasn’t insured buy the same company! In the same way, if they don’t have a pond at home, they probably don’t LOVE what their doing and they probably don’t fully understand what it takes to live with a pond.

4. Do they offer references? ALWAYS ask for references from ANY contractor!

5. Can you view their display ponds or ponds installed for other customers? ALWAYS go look at some of their work!

6. Do they offer Maintenance Services ? Service is very important! And when you need it, you need it NOW…

7. Do they offer any educational seminars? Learning all you can about your new Water Feature is very important.

8. Where can you purchase supplies for your pond? You will need some supplies like fish food and pond Bacteria and Enzymes.

9. Do they participate in or know of any local Pond Tour? Pond Tours are a great way to learn about Water Features, and to ask questions of pond owners; Plus their AWESOME!

10. Is there a local pond club that you can join to network with other pond owners? A Pond Club is a GREAT way to learn about your Water Feature and a GREAT way to meet and make new friends!

When done right, your new Pond will be a source of enjoyment, relaxation and tranquility. Invest your money wisely! Know your pond installer’s reputation for QUALITY and SERVICE before you begin your project!

 – I hope these suggestions will help you achieve SUCCESS with your new Water Feature!