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

Tag: inspiration (Page 1 of 6)

Elegant Azaleas

Elegant Azaleas

Delicate blossoms.

ELEGANT AZALEAS

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 SUCESS

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

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

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

Leadership by Peter Drucker

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Bodega Bay Dunes

Leadership by Peter Drucker

“Leadership is not a magnetic personality that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people’—that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”
–Peter F. Drucker (Author)

(Photo: Bodega Bay Dunes, CA by Dawn Marie Carlson, Dawn to Dusk Photos. Post revised and updated October 27, 2015. Originally published August 11, 2013.)

Progress and Possibilities

Progress and possibilities

Planning tools.

PROGRESS and POSSIBILITIES

I want to rename the first month on my calendar “Progress,” “Possibilities,” or perhaps “Promise.” January brings the hope for new achievements–a gleaming start for the new year, all bright and shiny.

January is an excuse to reinvent ourselves, our business, our home, our lives. Each new year, I become excited at the possibilities for renewal. 

Progress and Possibilities

My morning view.

I begin by dreaming about my goals and projects, both short and long-term. I write them down, making them real. I then sort these goals with categories.

I make my list like a scroll, too long most often. As I draft my list with objectives and steps to achieve them, I begin to parse the list into actual possibilities and move some to my wish list. 

Each day, I write a list as though I finished it already. Later, I check off my completed tasks. Instant satisfaction!

Progress and possibilities

Gathering pine straw for the azalea and gardenia plants.

Some days, things happen and I need to change my schedule to handle them. I know, this is frustrating after I already made a great game plan. I then add those items to the next day and prioritize my list, I need flexibility.

I try to make small moments count. Sometimes, I take a few minutes out to complete a short task such as filing five files, write a card to someone, send a quick email, draft notes for a project, read something helpful, or read one or two emails, respond, and then file them. While I am on hold during a call, I will stay busy with something.

Progress and possibilities

Romeo exploring at the park.

I take small breaks outdoors where I find performing some quick tasks for a change of scenery and for some exercise. Sometimes, I walk Romeo up and down the street to refresh my brain, my soul, and to spend some time with him.

Even my small tasks add up towards positive progression. Sometimes, I merely breathe, enjoy the view, or daydream for a mental and physical break. Remember, these are all good things.

When you make an incremental effort on your project, you 
are making some movement. You are building momentum and perhaps you are not recognizing the impact yet. 

Progress and possibilities

Gather your tools that you need for your project.

You will eventually notice the changes you are making and suddenly you will sense a level of achievement. Don’t stop, keep going. Feel the inspiration. Use this as a spur to incite motion.

Your effort will begin to evolve more towards progress. Eventually, you will feel the glow of success from your completed project.

Ahhh, January, you bring a fresh new year filled with progress, possibilities, and promise.

“Well done is better than well said.”–Benjamin Franklin.

A Garden and a Library

cyclamen, stock and pansies

cyclamen, stock and pansies

A Garden and a Library

“If  you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

–Both quotations by Marcus  Tullius Cicero, Roman philosopher (107BC -47BC).

Jack London State Park, Glen Ellen023

 

I am a book lover, an author, a writer, a reader, and a gardener. On my website, I have a book store to share my favorite titles with you and I always share my garden photos with my Dawn to Dusk Blog posts.

I am the result of a genetic line of readers including my Mom, Gramma Hattie, Aunt Judy, and Aunt Pat. We consume books and we have different genres we prefer.

Fuzzy and Romeo Adventures - The Mysterious IntruderI write the type of children’s books I enjoyed as a young reader–filled with adventure, mystery, and nature.

When I was young, my Mom took us on library adventures where we would all browse the shelves and choose our books for the week. I don’t know how Mom managed five children in tow and all of our books–she was organized.

Marin Co. Employee Art Show 2006 014Mom or Dad read to us regularly throughout the day and at bedtime with old favorite stories and new ones. We had to see the pictures before they turned the pages as we asked endless questions until we slept.

At school, we had ‘real librarians’ who taught us how to care for books (Mom did too) and they explained the library genre sections. They helped us locate the books we needed for school reports and books for entertainment. The ‘real librarians’ often read to the students to inspire reading; it worked!

Now, I enjoy books on gardening, photography, nature, prose, writing, fiction, biographies, memoirs, adventures, poetry, marketing, business, management, leadership, inspiration, and reference books. Well…there’s more.

Share Your Talent

Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus.

My library isn’t confined to one location, instead, it sprawls out into every room where I live and you will spot a pod of books there to entertain me as needed. For me, it’s like having a favorite blanket in every room; it warms my soul and my mind.

My brother, Dean says I have too many books. Because he isn’t a reader, he doesn’t understand why books are so important and why I need a library. Hey, Mom has one too although she has given away most of it over the years. Most of my books in my library are newer so I am still using them regularly.

A Library and a Garden

Impatiens

Being an avid gardener, I fill my soul with garden dreams of plants, flowers, trees, annuals, perennials, fruits, and vegetables. Where will I plant these, when, and how will the design unfold? I merely browse my gorgeous gardening library for inspiration, great ideas, and plant advice.

Photos and garden by Dawn Marie Carlson. The schoolhouse above is an oil painting on glass, which I painted for Gramma Hattie because she taught school when she was younger in a schoolhouse similar to this.

A Garden and a Library

Sage (Salvia) surrounds the fountain.

My garden is the fabric of my soul, similar to my library. I am complete having both a library and garden and I feel rich and blessed.

If One Advances Confidently in the Direction of His Dreams

If One Advances Confidently in the
Direction of His Dreams

If One Advances Confidently in the Direction of His Dreams

Stafford Lake

“I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagines, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

–Henry David Thoreau.
(1817-1862. Author of “Walden” and “Walking.”  Thoreau’s books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry total over 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions are his writings on natural history and philosophy, where he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern-day environmentalism. -Wikipedia.)

If One Advances in the Direction of His Dreams

Sean at Stafford Lake

“Walden” is one of my most favorite books; I love his poetic prose of his life in the woods and his philosophic wisdom. He was a naturalist and environmentalist before it was fashionable.

Photo at Stafford Lake on a summer afternoon when I took my nephew, Sean fishing. We caught a beautiful sunny day with great views! No fish. A perfect fishing day for me. Photo by Dawn Marie Carlson.

Try To Be Better

002Try To Be Better

“Try to be better. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”–William Faulkner.

Read an excellent article about a successful game plan by Jack Canfield, the author of The Success Principles and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Getting Things Done article from March 27, 2013. http://jackcanfield.com/getting-things-done/

Photo by Dawn Marie Carlson. These majestic redwoods inspire me with their beauty, fragrance and strength.

A Chance to Work Hard

Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Redwood Forest, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

A Chance to
Work Hard

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

–Theodore Roosevelt

From Wikipedia: “Theodore Roosevelt. (October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or TR, was an American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, naturalist, and reformer who served as the 26th President of the United States, from 1901 to 1909.

Redwood Tree, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Redwood Tree, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

He integrated his exuberant personality, vast range of interests, and world-famous achievements into a “cowboy” persona. Home-schooled, he became a lifelong naturalist before attending Harvard College. His first of many books, The Naval War of 1812 (1882), established his reputation as both a learned historian and a popular writer.

Paper Mill Creek, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Paper Mill Creek, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Making conservation a top priority [during his Presidency], he established myriad new national parks, forests, and monuments in order to preserve the nation’s natural resources.

Roosevelt established the United States Forest Service, signed into law the creation of five National Parks, and signed the 1906 Antiquities Act, under which he proclaimed 18 new U.S. National Monuments. He also established the first 51 Bird Reserves, four Game Preserves, and 150 National Forests, including Shoshone National Forest, the nation’s first. The area of the United States that he placed under public protection totals approximately 230,000,000 acres.”

The fragrant forest, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

The fragrant forest, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

A fragrant redwood forest, Samuel P. Taylor State Park is a popular destination for camping, hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, and picnicking. The old railroad track is a walking path today parallel to Paper Mill Creek on this site of a former paper mill where they harvested and processed redwood trees.

Picnic area, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Picnic area, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

I know Theodore Roosevelt would have enjoyed hiking up the ridges or riding a horse through the forest as many people enjoy doing today.

I took my grandmother here several times for picnics and she and I were both in awe of the mighty redwood trees (‘Gramma Hattie’ Mary Klimesh Hogan, 1900-1995). I have a favorite photo of her sitting in a chair admiring the redwood forest surrounding her. While she was a young girl, Theodore Roosevelt was President.

Railroad track path, Samuel P. Taylor State Park SV400038

Railroad track path, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Photo by Dawn Marie Carlson taken during a nature walk with my Mom, cousins Jackie, and her son Nicholas. Post updated and revised November 13, 2015. Originally published November 11, 2013.

Prevailing

Sonoma 9-21-2007 Mom & Sandy Karlovic 035Prevailing

“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.”

–Christopher Columbus

(Photo: Neptune fountain at Jacuzzi Winery in Sonoma Valley, CA by Dawn Marie Carlson. Original post October 14, 2013. Revised and updated November 9, 2015.)

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