Sunday, March 17, 2002

Couple works winter with summer in mind

By Joy Kraft
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        You'd think folks with seasonal jobs would have a lot of “down” time in winter, when the emphasis on living goes indoors.

        But you wouldn't be thinking of Jim and Carey Sparnell, owners of Aquatic Garden & Decor in Pisgah.

[photo] Carey and Jim Sparnell and a finished pond.
(Enquirer file photo)
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        They need the October-through-March months to get ready for the coming season, especially this year.

        The pond-and-garden couple we wrote about in July has moved operations a mile down the road to 9390 U.S. 42, a site where they have quadrupled their display space — from 1 1/2 to 6 acres — allowing for an indoor showroom that can be open year-round.

        “We just finished the Home and Garden Show and are rushing to get ready for the season,” says Mr. Sparnell's mother, Sandy McKenzie, who was answering the phone last week.

        “People are already starting to come in,” eager to get a start on the season. “We may not even have time to plan a grand opening.”

        Besides their array of prefab pond forms, fountains, plants and materials for dig-it-yourselfers, Aquatic Garden & Decor stocks an unusual selection of yard art in the backyard display area.

        The new store will give the Sparnells more room for sun-catchers, mirrors, lamps, teak furniture, chimes and more of the large bronze sculptures for gardens they displayed at the Fifth Third Home and Garden Show, which ended last Sunday.

        “The (sculptures) of the children at play seem to be the most popular,” Mrs. McKenzie says. “There's a boy at a mailbox which is actually a mailbox, a little girl kneeling down holding butterflies and one of a boy and girl on a seesaw.”

        The large sculptures run $2,000-$6,000, depending on size.

        The Sparnells also are adding more aluminum fountains to their inventory. These look like concrete but don't fall prey as easily to cracking and damage from freezing water.


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