Carter’s Garden Blog

Best Trees For Fall Color | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

This came up yesterday on the radio – So here ya go…

“We’ve been talking a lot about fall color around the nursery, on the radio and on this blog. Have you been getting out to see it and experience it… I hope you have been and are still doing just that! 😊 Here’s the color map –

I have had SO MANY questions the last couple of weeks about my favorite trees to plant for Fall color and what I would recommend to plant in people’s Landscapes. So here is a short list of some of my favorite trees that do well here in West Tennessee.“

Mark’s Top Ten Trees for Fall Color –

  •  Red Maple – Acer rubrum 

    One of our best trees for Fall Color.

  • Sugar Maple –  Acer saccharum 

    Wonderful Color + the BEST Syrup ever😜

  • Balled Cypress – Taxodium distichum 

    Such a unique tree! Bald Cypress are very underutilized for their seasonal interest. They are such a beautiful tree. Interesting fact : The Bald Cypress is a deciduous conifer.

  • Dogwoods – Cornus florida 

    Everyone thinks of spring with the Dogwood tree blossoms, BUT – They are beautiful in the fall with their red tinged leaves and shiny red seeds.

  • Sassafrass – Sassafras albidum 

    One of my favorite trees for several reasons! But the biggie is the breathtaking Fall Color! | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

  • Ginko – Ginkgo biloba 

    A “Living Fossil” – This unique tree ‘WOW’S’ in  the Fall!

  • Crepe Myrtle –  Lagerstroemia 

    Not only does this ornamental tree bring outstanding Spring & Summer interest, they also bring eye popping color every Fall!

  • Black Gum –  Nyssa sylvatica 

    The Black Gum or Tupelo Gum tree is one of my favorite natives!

  • White Oak – Quercus alba 

    Big native shade tree with striking, deep crimson/red Fall color.

  • Sourwood – Oxydendrum arboreum 

    A very unique native tree, really shows out in the Fall!

    Mark Carter
    Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
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Sunday Reflections…

The leaves have been coming down like rain the last couple of days. It’s beautiful to watch. Add to that the 4 strait nights of freezing temps … November has made itself known 😊 Thanksgiving is coming!

Many trees are at peak color and the leaves are raining down when the wind blows…


“November comes
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.
With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost by the gate.
The fires burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.”
    ~ Elizabeth Coatsworth


Mark C.

Compost Those Falling Leaves 🍁 | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, Tennessee

We had a few calls on the radio show (The 180) Yesterday about HOW- TO start a compost pile. Here is a little info to help get you started –

This is the perfect time to start composting! You can make your own compost from the leaves, grass clippings and organic waste you already have to dispose of!

Fall is A great time to start composting. All those leaves, plants and grasses to cut back and all of the upcoming holiday food scraps add up too a great supply of usable components in a compost pile!
Starting a Compost pile is quick , easy and won’t cost you anything to get started! Compost is one of nature’s best mulches and soil amendments and  its natural! Plus you can use it instead of chemical fertilizers. Compost improves soil structure, texture and increases the soil’s water-holding capacity. Compost loosens clay soils and helps sandy soils to retain water. The organic matter in compost provides food for microorganisms, which in turn keeps the soil in a healthy, balanced condition. Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are produced naturally by the feeding of microorganisms, so few if any soil amendments will need to be added.

-Bag your grass clippings and mulch up all those leaves for the compost pile!

-Save your kitchen scraps and add them to the compost pile. Kitchen scraps are typically high in nitrogen, which helps heat up the compost pile and speed up the composting process. Egg shells, coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels and scraps are good candidates for the compost pie. But DON’T add meat, grease or other animal products!

– With a compost pile, bigger is often better. Heat builds up with a bigger pile, but you don’t want to get much bigger than about 3 feet by 3 feet, if it’s too big it can be hard to work around. Multiple piles may be in order .

– Aerate your compost! If you are composting with a pile, or in a static (non-tumbling) compost bin, be sure to mix up the contents so that the pile gets oxygen and can break down effectively. Insert a few pvc pipes to get oxygen to the core and Turn it with a pitch fork from time to time .

– Don’t let the compost completely dry out. A compost pile needs moisture to keep the composting process active , BUT , don’t keep it too wet.

– Too much of any one material will slow down the composting process. If you have all leaves, all grass clippings or an overload of any other single type of material, it can throw off the balance of the pile. It’s best to keep a balanced mix of green (nitrogen) and brown (carbon) materials.

Once the process is complete you can use this free resource as mulch, soil amendments, top dressing for your lawn, to make compost tea for veggies & more. | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN


– Mark Carter

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph# 731-424-2206

Pond Tip : Watch For Leaf Dams In Streams & Waterfalls | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, Tennessee

The color change is happening in earnest now! The leaves 🍁 are golden, orange and red & so beautiful to see 😊 But soon, they will all fall, and that’s when we have to watch for the dreaded “Leaf Dams” that accompany Fall!

Falling leaves can pile up quick! Sometimes they can cause a dam & divert the water over the edge of the stream or waterfall and cause a leak! Keeping up with leaf cleanup as you move through the season can prevent this problem. | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, Tennessee

So my ‘Pond Maintenance Tip’ is to keep your streams and waterfalls clear of fallen leaves and debris. This preventative maintenance, will save you later on down the road 😊

Have a Great Weekend!

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd. 
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph.# 731-424-2206
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Sunday Reflections…

The color is really changing in the landscape now. The Maples and Dogwoods are at peak. I try to keep my eye on the changing colors every Fall. It’s such a beautiful time of the year 🍁 But, blink and you’ll miss something. You just gotta get out there to enjoy it 😊

Fall color is here today, gone tomorrow… Get out and see it now 😊

”In the garden, Autumn is, indeed the crowning glory of the year, bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil. And at no season, safe perhaps in Daffodil time, do we get such superb colour effects as from August to November.”

~ Rose G. Kingsley

Have a Happy Day!

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd. 
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph.# 731-424-2206
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Sunday Reflections…

I was sipping my coffee waiting and watching the sun come up 🌞 when I thought ‘tomorrow is the last day of September’… Wow! I don’t know if it’s just me, but this entire year has just flown by! And it always seems to speed up more when we get to the holidays!

The Fall Color is Coming! 🍁 Taking a ride or walk to enjoy the Fall is one of the joys of the season.

I always try to really enjoy each season as they come, I just feel like there’s a need to slow this train down a bit 😊 I am ready for the color show that is to come 🍁 And looking around the last couple days, it’s already started… I’m gonna go for a ride in the country today for a prequel and take note of what’s happening. Fall is such a beautiful season!

“Spring comes with flowers, autumn with the moon, summer with the breeze, winter with snow. When idle concerns don’t fill your thoughts, that’s your best season.”

~ Wu-Men

Have a great Sunday,


~ Mark C.

Monday Morning Moment Of Zen | Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, Tennessee

Today is the first day of Fall! The autumnal equinox… Equinox of course means equal, today the night and day have an equal split of time. There is something very Zen like about the changing of the seasons.

The weather has dried considerably & some trees are starting to defoliate, like the Birch leaves you see in this short video  You even get a glimpse of a pumpkin 🎃 Embrace the Fall, for it is here…

Time for a good Bonfire 🔥 Are you ready?!

Bonfire Time!

“But when fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous a– as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.”

~ Stephen King

Have a Great day!


Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph.# 731-424-2206

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