December 29, 2017
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2018 Color of the Year

2018 Color of the Year – Ultra Violet 2018 Color of the Year – Ultra Violet The Pantone Color Institute has announced the 2018 color of the year…and it’s going to be “reigning” purple. 2018 will have a cosmic hue, the final color in the rainbow spectrum – Ultra Violet. […]
November 30, 2017
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Water Your Plants

Water Your Plants Don’t forget to water your plants! Proper watering of a newly installed plant is critical to its establishment and future growth. Though watering may seem like a simple task, proper watering is a complex subject that does not easily offer a one-size-fits-all guideline for the quantity and […]
November 13, 2017
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What’s A Red Maple, Anyway?

What’s A Red Maple, Anyway? I am often asked if we carry Red Maples at Johnson’s Nursery. My reply is, what do you mean by “red maple”? In this article I break down what is and isn’t a red maple, and why it matters to you. Red Maple The true […]
November 13, 2017
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Wisconsin Natives

Wisconsin Natives At Johnson’s Nursery, we love our native plants. They fill unique roles in our landscapes, are adapted to our soils and climate, and have co-evolved with our other Wisconsin native species to create the mosaic of diversity that is Wisconsin. In addition to their special use by wildlife, […]
November 13, 2017
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Urban Approved

Urban Approved The goal of the Urban Approved standard is to be the starting point when selecting plants for difficult sites in built-up areas. Decisions regarding the Urban Approved title are made conservatively, and we will not grant the title to a plant that has not been adequately tested. What […]
October 26, 2017
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Fall Harvest & Planting

Fall Harvest Fall Harvest no-repeat;left top;;auto Fall HarvestFall harvest at Johnson\’s Nursery, and autumn in Wisconsin, is a special time. Roadsides are painted in orange, red, and yellow. The air smells crisp and it’s time to get out the sweaters. The cooler temperatures invite most people to slow down from […]
October 16, 2017
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Seasonal Needle Drop

Seasonal Needle Drop The cooler temperatures of autumn are approaching and while humans are putting on extra layers of clothes, evergreens are shedding their old needles. This annual occurrence is called “Seasonal Needle Drop” and is completely normal. Think of it like people shedding their hairs. So don’t panic when […]
October 11, 2017
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Native Junipers You Should Know

Native Junipers You Should Know Juniperus virginiana and Juniperus communis – we have a boatload of these plants and they are really nice! I remember growing Juniperus virginiana and Juniperus communis years ago and they didn’t look as good as they do today. The bottom needles would turn brown and […]
October 10, 2017

Urban Trees: Narrow Space Savers

Urban Trees: Narrow Space Savers | Small – UNDER 15’ TALL Urban Trees: Narrow Space Savers A common theme we see in landscapes today are small spaces in need of vertical accents and urban trees. Whether you have a limiting lot size or an existing bed with a hole you […]
October 9, 2017
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Perennial Mums vs. Annual Mums

Perennial Mums vs. Hardy Mums When the morning temperatures turn chilly and the air smells of dried leaves, I get the overwhelming urge to buy chrysanthemums. The summer annuals on the porch are running out of steam and being threatened by the first frosts anyway. Luckily, garden centers, like Johnson’s […]
October 6, 2017
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Crabapples for Birds

Crabapples for Birds I’m sure there are some of you out there that are thinking, “Yeah crabapples are for the birds, and not for me. They have disease problems (scab) that knock the leaves off the trees by August and the big, stinking fruit that drops all over the sidewalk […]
October 4, 2017
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Allelopathy

Allelopathy Competition for light, water, nutrients and space can drive plants to extreme measures. Since they don’t really have the option to act as animals do, like eating one another or running away, they must resort to more subtle techniques. Some plants grow fast, relying on speed to get ahead […]
October 2, 2017

Naughty Natives pt 3: Perennials

Naughty Natives – Part 3: Perennials If you remember from Part 1: Trees and Part 2: Shrubs, we\’re highlighting Wisconsin native plants that have a bad reputation as \”weed plants\” or that they are aggressive. Sometimes the aggressive nature, or undesirable traits, can be an asset rather than a nuisance […]
October 2, 2017
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Native Pollinators

Native Pollinators Did you know the phrase “the bee’s knees” originally described something tiny and insignificant?  Since then it has evolved to mean something outstanding. And in August, I find nothing more outstanding than the sight of native pollinators in the landscape. One of the basics of plant life is […]
September 25, 2017
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Fungus Among Us

Fungus Among Us There is more going on with autumn leaves besides the color changes of yellow, orange, and red – fungus. September is when fungal spotting has reached its peak, causing many of your favorite plants to defoliate or go dormant early.See, in spring, fungal spores are everywhere, dancing […]
August 12, 2017
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Battling Buckthorn

Battling Buckthorn Wisconsin gardening comes with many obstacles: rabbits, deer, cold winters, and invasive non-native plant species. In the war against invasive plants, one of the worst enemies is Buckthorn, specifically Rhamnus cathartica (Common Buckthorn) and Rhamnus frangula (Glossy Buckthorn). Many times I\’ll be at a customer\’s site and they […]
July 17, 2017
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Plant Sex

Plant Sex Wisconsin summers are like a tumultuous love affair. They can fluctuate from hot and steamy to cold and rainy in the course of one night. Did you know that summer love affairs are happening all around us in broad daylight? Plants everywhere are fornicating, right in front of […]
July 13, 2017
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USDA Hardiness Zones

USDA Hardiness Zones USDA Hardiness Zones are the first step in determining which plants will reliably perform in a given space. The map breaks the US into numbered zones (1-13) based on the mean annual minimum extreme temperatures over the last 30 years, which are divided in increments of 10° […]
July 13, 2017
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Crazy Common Caterpillars

My son, Jack loved to grab, throw, and chew on books when he was one year old. He also adored books being read aloud to him. I was reading him “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle and it occurred to me that we often overlook these juvenile versions of […]
July 2, 2017
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Rabbit Resistant Perennials and Shrubs

Rabbit Resistant Perennials and Shrubs Recently, my husband and I were babysitting my cousin\’s kids, so we dusted off my husband\’s complete set of Looney Tunes DVD\’s and put it on to watch. I learned two things from this. 1) Kids today don\’t have an appreciation for the sophisticated comic […]
June 17, 2017
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Naughty Natives pt 2: Shrubs

Naughty Natives – Part 2: Shrubs If you missed Part 1 of the \”Naughty Natives\” series, we highlighted trees. And here in Part 2, we\’re discussing shrubs. This \”Naught Native\” series aims to highlight the Wisconsin native plants that have a bad reputation as \”weed plants\” or that they are […]
June 14, 2017
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Soils & Stones Beneath Your Feet

Soils & Stones Beneath Your Feet When you’re talking plants – you can’t ignore the soils and roots. When you’re talking roots – you can’t ignore the soil. When you’re talking soils – you can’t ignore the bedrock. Southeast Wisconsin’s “dirty” history (get it? DIRT?!?) begins many millions of years […]
June 11, 2017
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Choosing Natives

Choosing Natives You may ask yourself, what is a native plant? Well, simply said (or not so simply) a native plant is one that has occurred naturally, without human help, in a particular place since before European settlements. These plants have existed and evolved over thousands of years in a […]
May 25, 2017
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Phenology

Phenology The calendar says that spring is officially here, but it doesn’t really look like it yet. Today’s tip touches on a branch of science called phenology, meaning when climatic conditions correlate with plant and animal behaviors. Some say spring has arrived when you spy a robin. I say it […]
May 19, 2017
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History of Johnson’s Nursery

Johnson’s Nursery History Johnson’s Nursery, Inc™ (“Johnson’s Nursery”, “Johnson’s”, “JNI”) history begins its roots in the 1950’s with Clark Johnson. The original site was just south of the current location on Marcy Road in Menomonee Falls. In less than 10 years it outgrew its hobby intention and Clark opened the […]
May 16, 2017
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2017 Spring Plant Draft Picks

2017 Spring Plant Draft Picks We’re excite to announce the 2017 spring plant draft picks. Tulip blooms dotting the landscape aren’t the only sign that spring has arrived. Football fans eagerly watch to see who their favorite teams will acquire to create a winning line up in fall. These players […]
May 13, 2017
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Drift® Roses

Drift Rose Drift® Roses – Groundcover Roses Made Easy The Drift® Groundcover Roses are a hybrid between groundcover roses, known for their disease resistance, winter hardiness, durability, and miniature semi-double roses. Under ideal conditions, you will see mid-spring blooms continuing until mid-fall. They are relatively low maintenance and are an […]
May 2, 2017
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Nativars In Landscaping

What is a nativar? I have had numerous people ask me what I thought about nativars and their appropriateness for native landscaping. Here are my thoughts. Allan Armitage, a horticulture professor at the University of Georgia, likely created the term nativar to mean a cultivar or hybrid derived from a […]
April 18, 2017

Cultivar – What Is It?

Cultivar What is a cultivar? What are their advantages? My husband and I are expecting a little seedling in the fall. Thank goodness there is only one in here, but say I were having identical twins. They would be genetically identical, just like a plant “cultivar”. When the seeds of […]
April 14, 2017
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Hedging & Shearing

Hedging & Shearing Hedging & Shearing Featured Image: Taxus x media \’Tauntoni\’, Taunton Yew **If you are unsure if this method is best for your plant, search for your plant here in our knowledgebase and scroll down to the maintenance section within the plant\’s profile.** When should you prune? – […]
April 14, 2017
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Rejuvenative Method of Pruning

Rejuvenative Method of Pruning Rejuvenative Method of Pruning Featured Image: Hibiscus \’Cherry Cheesecake\’ PPAF **If you are unsure if this method is best for your plant, search for your plant here in our knowledgebase and scroll down to the maintenance section within the plant\’s profile.** When should you prune? – […]
April 14, 2017
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Thinning Cuts Method of Pruning

Thinning Cuts Method of Pruning Featured Image: Cornus sericea, Redosier Dogwood **If you are unsure if this method is best for your plant, search for your plant here in our knowledgebase and scroll down to the maintenance section within the plant\’s profile.** When should you prune? – Annually or as […]
April 14, 2017
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Heading Cuts Method of Pruning

Heading Cuts Method of Pruning Featured Image: Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Ruby Slippers’**If you are unsure if this method is best for your plant, search for your plant here in our knowledgebase and scroll down to the maintenance section within the plant’s profile.** When should you prune? – Annually or as needed […]
April 14, 2017
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Haircut Method of Pruning

Haircut Method Pruning Featured Image: Hypericum kalmianum ‘Ames’, Ames St. John’s Wort **If you are unsure if this method is best for your plant, search for your plant here in our knowledgebase and scroll down to the maintenance section within the plant’s profile.** When should you prune? – Once every […]
April 10, 2017
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Delicious Landscapes

Delicious Landscapes We are in the age of sustainability. We buy energy-saving light bulbs and hybrid cars. I will furiously rummage through the office trash to retrieve an aluminum can that didn’t make it into the correct recycling bin. We want our ribeyes to be grass-fed, our eggs to be […]