Dawn to Dusk Enterprises

Dawn Marie Carlson – Business, Marketing, & P.R. Consultant for Entrepreneurs and Authors and more!

Category: Inspiration (Page 1 of 8)

Heavenly Blessings

Heavenly Blessings

“The unthankful heart…discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings!”

–Henry Ward Beecher

Heavenly Blessings

                    Heavenly Blessings

Menial Jobs

“There are no menial jobs,
only menial attitudes.”
–William J. Bennett, The Book of Virtues

Menial Jobs

Menial Jobs

Bright Side of Life

“Always look on the bright side of life. Otherwise, it will be too dark to read.”
–Author Unknown

bright side of life DTDE slide quote1 7-28-2016

Cultivate and Produce Your Project



Cultivate and Produce Your Project 1

Project ready.

Cultivate and produce your project, roll up your sleeves, don your garden gloves and hat, gather your tools. It’s time to cultivate and produce your project. 

Sometimes it’s difficult to launch, to leap into the garden and plow, enrich the soil, and plant your project. The critical step: moving.

Cultivate and Produce Your Project.

Nurturing the project along.

Begin with cultivation: tilling, dreaming, imagining, and creating. You can enrich the soil through planning, analyzing, outlining, drafting, and growing your project into fruition.

Moving your project forward builds momentum with resulting progress, incrementally, like boulders in an avalanche thundering downhill.  Your project is sprouting and thriving and you are proud viewing your effort. As you continue to tend to your established project, you watch it expand with a strong root system and foundation to support the next level of growth—fruition.

Cultivate and Produce Your Project

Project success!

Success! It’s harvest season. Your project matured into a fully-grown dream with achievement. Flourish in the glow of your cultivated actualization. Don’t glow too long, there are additional seed projects waiting for their garden to thrive and actualize.

Cultivate and Produce Your Project

Thoughtful observation.

“Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.” –William Arthur Ward (1921-1994); Author, Educator, and Motivational Speaker.

Mini rose in my garden with thoughtful cherub observing. Nurtured, grown and photographed by Dawn Marie Carlson.

When Companies Care


When Companies Care 1

Spring Fuchsias providing good cheer, a valuable service.

When companies care, you notice it right away. Perhaps because it is found so infrequently it seems surprising. It’s always nice when you frequent a business and they recognize you or even know your name and treat you like gold. When you shop online, it’s nice to see your name with a message, “Welcome back!”

When I shop at some establishments, they  ask, “Did you find what you were looking for?” It should be, “Did you see our new item (with details about it), let me show you,” and they take you to the product they are describing. “We’re having a sale on this item this week,” they might add. “Did you see our newest items?”

When Companies Care 2Personal sales consultants are what customers want, not order takers. If you are in sales, you are a sales consultant. Your job is to assist your customer, not take orders and merely ring up a sale.

Order taking is certainly a great way to lose customers, larger sales, and future sales. It’s a disservice to your customer by not showing them what they might need and save them a trip later or visit online for something great they might want if they knew it was there and available to them.

When Companies Care 5

Goldfinch and House Finch customers returning for more bird baths.

Recently, we were buying a new bookcase from a store several hours away from home. I called and asked a few questions before I ordered it online and the sales person was outstanding. He took his phone to the items I was considering and showed me a live, face time view of them and answered all of my questions and showed me the differences between the items. Wow! I found what I wanted, my questions were answered, and our new bookcase was delivered with great delivery service as well. It’s the fourth bookcase we purchased from this store over several years, no surprise there, because when companies care, the customers return.

What happens when companies actually care about their customers?

It doesn’t matter what kind of work you are performing, it’s the same concept. Stepping up to the plate to the next more helpful level of service is vital to your success and your customer’s expectations.

When Companies Care 3

Create a welcoming environment.

No matter what type of work you perform from real estate, insurance, banking, gardening, writing, photography, management, sales, marketing, consulting, you are delivering a level of service to your contacts, coworkers, employees, whether they are internal or external customers.

When Companies Care 4

Happy customers provide referrals and golden results.

Ask what they need, show them what they might miss, inform them, educate them, ask what more can you do for them. You can perform at a higher level of service, which is so often missed, yet so valuable. The  golden result, referrals for your business.

In this guest article on Richard Branson’s Virgin.com website, Ken Krell explains the benefits of doing things right, excellent advice about valuable customer service. What happens when companies actually care about their customers? virg.in/aHIxJ


Elegant Azaleas

Elegant Azaleas

Delicate blossoms.


Elegant azaleas can add a stunning impact in your garden. This azalea is gorgeous with prolific blooms from the bottom of the plant to the end of every branch. The color is a blush of faint pink with darker markings on the petal edges.

I bought this last spring and transplanted it this winter into a larger container where it busted out in a plethora of new growth filled with blossoms for the spring fashion show, the only thing missing is fragrance. The good news: azaleas can bloom for several weeks.

Two years ago, I planted a Red Bird Azalea that expanded and I had to transplant it after it doubled in size in one year. Some varieties are smaller and more compact and it is good to choose the correct size for your garden area (photos from the first year, last spring).

When I was young, we lived in Chamblee, Georgia near Atlanta. At our new house, my Dad planted several azaleas in the front yard and they looked grand with their cranberry blossoms each spring. The azaleas grew well under the pine and dogwood trees in the right environment, in the shade with acidic soil.

Elegant Azaleas 004

Blooming forth!

This spring, I added eight new azaleas for containers throughout my front and backyard. Azaleas prefer shade or tree cover with acidic soil either in the ground or containers. I have them in containers on the side of the house, on the front porch, on the deck, and on the patio. As long as they have some shade, they develop profusely.

Azaleas are either evergreen or deciduous plants; my plants are evergreen, providing green serenity in between numerous flowering plants in my garden.

During planting, I add soil amendments prepared specifically for azaleas, organic acidic azalea food, seaweed organic fertilizer, rainwater. These organic planting methods ensure healthy soil, healthy leaves and roots, prolific blooms, and sturdy growth.

Prune the plants soon after they bloom to avoid reducing next year’s buds. You can prune some of the branches every other year to ensure buds for the next spring. Mulch your plants two to three inches deep with pine straw, leaves or bark.

By providing azaleas with their favorite environment, your plants can produce abundant blossoms and healthy foliage for you to enjoy in your garden setting throughout the year. As a shrub, azaleas provide formal foliage throughout the year or you can prune them in a more casual, branching style.

Last night, I transplanted this azalea into a larger container with additional room for next year’s growth.

Elegant Azaleas - night blooming IMG_2001

Night blooming azalea.

Perhaps I can help you with your garden design or container gardening to make an impact at your entranceway, porch, or deck. For your commercial business or residential property, I will prepare a plan for your microclimate to make your entrance more inviting with a sense of place and beauty. Please visit my website page for more information: Dawn to Dusk Garden Design Services. Contact me today and let’s get started. How can I help you? Let’s plant some elegant azaleas; they can make a stunning impact in your garden.

“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”
–Thomas Alva Edison

Meet with Success

Meet with Success

Perennials blooming forth without abandon.


Meet with success. If you dream creatively, plan your outline to achieve your goals, you most certainly will meet with success. It’s destiny knocking at your door loudly. Open it, expand your horizons, smile, it’s for you!

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.”
–Henry David Thoreau, Author, Essayist

Flowers in my sister’s garden by Dawn Marie Carlson.

Move the World

Move the World

Mister Lincoln Rose


Move the world. “Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.”

Enjoy this fragrant Mister Lincoln rose; the first crop this season. Roses nurtured and photographed by Dawn Marie Carlson @DawnToDuskPhotos.

The Act of Giving

Fragrant Rosemary

Fragrant Rosemary

The Act of Giving

“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” –Robert Collier.

This spring, I am transplanting most of the new perennials I planted last spring and summer. A daunting task.

The nurtured plants grew to their next stage – success! I need to transplant this Trailing Rosemary plant already after it outgrew this container after one year.

The Rosemary leaves release a sweet fragrance when brushed, then I use the dried leaves and make sachets. I will add dried Lavender leaves for another sachet, and share them as special gifts for my family and friends.

I nurtured and grew the Rosemary and Lavender plants over time and now I am giving them away as special sachet gifts. Success, the act of giving.




Enthusiasm is one of the Most Powerful Engines of Success

Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success.

California Bay Laurel

“Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson (Essayist and Poet)

Photo: California Bay Laurel tree in Miwok Park by Dawn Marie Carlson.

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