Carter's Water Garden


Sunday Reflections…

Good afternoon 🙏🏻 I always try to post a Sunday Reflections blog, and they have almost always been in the morning. The morning just got away from me 😂 Coffee ☕️ Chickens 🐓 Breakfast 🍳 Picking up, cutting back, composting, trash duty, etc. Preparations for the coming season… Plus Preparations for the coming week 😊 February is only a few days away and I already have Spring Fever 🍀

The buds are swelling on my Saucer’ Magnolia! Spring is coming!

Thursday is Groundhog Day, the half-way point of Winter! Then it’s a downhill roll into Spring ❤️

Have a great afternoon!

Mark C.

“Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle … a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl.  And the anticipation nurtures our dream.”

~ Barbara Winkler



Sunday Reflection’s…

A new year and I have been busy planning for it! Business plan, events, pond tours, workshops, jobs, early buys, plant orders and more… I haven’t missed a sunrise or sunset in 2023 yet! No it’s not a resolution… But I do really enjoy watching both 🌞🌅 Here’s a little collage of some of 2023’s best from the Beach!

Now is when the real work begins…

“Sunrise looks spectacular in nature; sunrise looks spectacular in the photos; sunrise looks spectacular in our dreams; sunrise looks spectacular in the paintings, because it really is spectacular!”

~ Mehmet Murat Ildan

Mark C.



Sunday Reflection’s…

What a beautiful morning! The sun is out and it’s so warm I was able to sit outside in my shorts and a T-shirt this morning 😊 We are past our 1st frost and freeze now, so I guess you can call this an Indian Summer… And I’ll take it! In 8 days we will celebrate Halloween 🎃 Then we enter the Holiday Season 🦃 🎄It all comes so fast 💨 I’m still trying to enjoy the Fall Color before it disappears… Here are a few pictures of some Fall Color that I have captured on film over time. Enjoy the season at hand, it’s the best one, and the only one that’s real right Now ❤️

Colorful foliage, almost no bugs, beautiful weather, football, fire pits… I Love Fall 🍁🏈🎃🔥

“Looking out my window
In October’s golden light, 
I see a beauty unsurpassed,
A truly lovely sight.

Leaves are saying soft good-byes
As they come floating down
To make a nature’s carpet
Of yellow, red, and brown.

Mountain tops, now turned to white,
Forewarn of winter chills,
While trees, like golden rivers,
Wind their way up through the hills.

Throughout our world’s creation
You will ever find it thus,
Kaleidoscopes of color,
In God’s hand, the artist’s brush.”

~ Alora M. Knight

Have a great Sunday 🙏🏻

~ Mark C.



Sunday Reflections…

I had to put on my coat to drink my coffee on the porch this morning while watching the sun come up 🌞 Cold morning, but what a beautiful day! We have been enjoying a string of these ‘perfect days’…40’ish degrees in the morning, then warming into the 70’s, not a cloud in the sky ❤️

Blue sky’s and changing leaves 🍁 Fall is in full swing!

We got several things done this week, including our last event for the season, our annual Fall Pond Maintenance Workshop’ is in the books… It always seems to sneak up on me, but I think this year has flown faster than any I remember… Boom 💥 we’re in October… Boom 💥 in a month we fall back and its dark at 5pm… Here comes Thanksgiving 🦃 and Christmas 🎄… I guess what I’m saying is, get out there and enjoy this beautiful season! It will be gone before we know it 🍁🎃

“There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.”

~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

I’ll be in the garden the rest of the day!

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Mark C.



Sunday Reflection’s…

Labor Day Weekend… It’s definitely nice to enjoy a few days off! There are still things that we have to do of course, but since we live at the Nursery & Gardens we also work for a living… It’s just another day in our routine…

Or is it?

This is my immediate family captured in an image.. by a very good photographer I might add 😉

I was reflecting on my labor in life, and In many ways my labor is my life… I mean, I literally live at the Nursery/Farm that I work for a living… There are no days off when there are plants to water (or they die!) and animals to feed & water (or they suffer &/or die)! So I have done what anyone in my situation has to do, I have embraced it wholeheartedly! And I LOVE my Family! My ‘everyday’ Lifestyle! And I LOVE MY Job! ❤️

“He who works with his hands is a laborer.

He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.

He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”

   ~ Saint Francis of Assisi

Happy Labor Day 🇺🇸 to everyone that Labor’s out there! I hope you love your job too! 🙏🏻

Mark C.



Sunday Reflection’s…

This Summer has just flown by for me… I must be having fun right 😊 Most Sundays are family days. Eat breakfast together, spend time together, etc… Today is both different and the same 💭 Today my wife and I are at a work conference that we attend yearly for training and CEU points for our certification as Pond/Water Garden Specialist. We have been working and training with some of these folks for well over 20 years… So many of these folks are like an extended family!

An extended family I have 
I am so glad 
To have you all 
I feel ten feet tall 
And I give you my all 

If you need 
You will not have to plead 
I will feel glee 
If I can give you what you need 
There is no need 
For you plead 
My love for you all is a guarantee 

Let me know you are in need 
And I will be there in lightning speed 
To help you all in your time of need 
So remember there is no need 
To plea 
I will help you in time of need 

~ Keith Wells

~ Mark C.



Sunday Reflection’s…

What a week… Work, rain, storms, heat, shipping delays, out of stock, yada yada… The ‘New Normal’ they call it… But, all in all a good week! Lots to be Thankful for 🙏🏻
My reward was the weekend with my lovely wife on the river. Boat riding, swimming, photography, beautiful sunsets and then after dark… Bug Watching! (yes, we are both easily entertained 😊)

A prime spot to watch bugs… Look at that line buildup! You don’t get quality bug watching like this in town! Lights a bit harsh though…

There are so many opportunities to watch bugs at the river! I mean, it’s kinda the only show in town 😊 #bugwatchin

We rode around giggling like a couple of kids, eating ice cream, cracking jokes and yes, watching bugs… I got her laughing pretty good 😊

Then we found this one, and watched for quite some time. She is pretty cool 🕷

What can I say, I’m a cheap date 😊

“Stood on the ledge of my sleepy blue sorrow
back from the edge, guess I’ll see you tomorrow
can’t lie, not the first time I’m thinking of you
but the night bugs are out, life’s distractions will do

I looked to the west as the day slowly fadyded 
turned up the volume of cricket and katydid
rhythm rubs life in the darkness outside
steer clear of the blue light or get yourself fried

With the zapper you took out the skeeters and flies
while spiders and ants faced the raider’s demise
yellow jackets and wasps, you chased from their hives,
but these night bugs are here for the rest of our lives
bittersweet bugs for the rest of our lives

Back in the house now, I roll down the screen
protecting myself from the lurking unseen
from the critters, which drawn by the lure of the light
make feast in their famine on food, flesh and fright

we handle the things that intrude in our spaces
the bugs in the dark and the unwanted faces
we roll down the screens and we listen to voices
those sweet summer sounds, and this night bug rejoices

With the zapper you took out the skeeters and flies
while spiders and ants faced the raider’s demise
yellow jackets and wasps, you chased from their hives,
but these night bugs are here for the rest of our lives

too many months have passed without hearing
the music which blends with the night bugs I’m fearing
I nearly lost hope for those sounds in my life
but these night bugs revive good ol’ summertime strife
bittersweet bugs, for the rest of my life

Stood on the ledge of my sleepy blue sorrow
back from the edge, guess I’ll see you tomorrow”

~ G Clair

Have a great Sunday!

Mark C. ❤️



Sunday Reflections…

We finally had some much needed rain! My lawn and gardens certainly appreciated it… Looking at the weeks forecast, there is a chance of rain almost daily, but temps are gonna settle into the 80’s for what appears to be a mostly normal August! It’s a very pleasant morning 🌞 Locust in the background, partly sunny and mild. The birds are singing, my oven is preheating, & I’m drinking coffee ☕️ trying to capture a thought 💭

I’m a coffee ☕️ cup collector of sorts… This morning I’m drinking from the Sunliner Diner endless cup… That’s right 😊 If you take this cup back to the Diner with you, FREE COFFEE ☕️…💥 Needless to say, pretty good morning 😃

Last night I started getting serious with my Moonlight Pond Tour preparation… Checking lights, adjusting things, trying a few new things out… Please let me know what you think so far 😊

It was HOT last night though! 92 degrees and super humid at 11pm 😯 When we got through Jo and I were both soaked and exhausted 🥱 It’s a good feeling to me 😊

Great end to a great week! It’s been hot, but it’s about to change…

“Seen from above, the canopy of oak and make and pine is pierced by the pond, which looks back at you like some green eye, knowing and ancient. The air above the pond dives into clefts of coolness, then rises up at the warmth of the margins. Down the path, filigrees of blackflies and mosquitos dance in the heat waves given off by men and women and their domestic fires. Joyous bats dart about.”

~ Grace Dane Mazur

Mark C.



Sunday Reflections…

Last nights blowing cool front that came in from the North felt like such a blessing! It went from high humidity and HOT to breezy and cool in a moment! Wow! It literally felt like a gift from heaven 🙏🏻 After that we took a walk around the property and admired the Gardens ❤️ Then we sat on the swing, drank coffee and listened to the dryflies, frogs & crickets 🎶

This morning is so nice as well! Coffee and the promise of a little cooler weather… I will take it!

Enjoy this day that the lord has made 🙏🏻

“The steady buzzzzzzz of the Katydid chorus, 
the bass solo of the croaking Frog,
the steady woof-woof-woof a barking Dog – 
a summer night’s serenade.”
~ Michael P. Garofalo

Mark C.



Sunday Reflections…

What a week it was! 1st day of Summer ✔️ record high heat ✔️ My iPhone self destructed ✔️ Pond Tour ✔️ But, We got it all done! ✔️ And now this coming weekend is the 4th of July! 💥🇺🇸 Time… Its flying by… Pay attention or you’ll blink and bam, its Labor Day and Summer will be gone…

Just a few pics form yesterdays Pond Tour/Fund Raiser. Hopefully we can all enjoy a little Summer this next week, after all its almost Independence Day!

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.”

~ John Lubbock

Enjoy this Summer Day!


Mark C.