Johnson's Nursery New Website


Thinking spring? We are as anxious as you are for the upcoming season. We have so many new and exciting things planned for you. A new website has been launched and our Garden Center in Cedarburg is reopening soon. We also have events planned for you all season long.

In this issue you will read stories from our staff and hopefully relate to their "Flor-ever Love" of plants. Dicentra eximia 'Luxuriant', commonly known as Luxuriant Bleeding Heart, is our plant of the month. We've found a great Japanese legend of unrequited love regarding Bleeding Heart.

Let's hope the groundhog was wrong, because after the winter we've endured, we've earned a perfect spring. If you have any questions regarding plants or need assistance with your landscape, we're always here to help. Enjoy and Happy Valentines Day!

Thank you,

Current Retail Hours

Monday - Friday:
8:00am - 4:30pm

Full retail hours
tentatively begin
April 8
"Flor-ever Love" by various members of the Johnson's Nursery family.

Valentine's Day is approaching and we thought it would be fitting for members of our staff to share how they fell in love with plants. Please enjoy their stories.


Tom Hill
Sales and Marketing Manager

Like many others, my fascination with plants began in a vegetable garden.


I grew up just outside of Green Bay, one of six kids. My father was a welder in a paper mill and my mother a nurse. There was no way that Mom and Dad could have fed all those hungry mouths without their half acre garden-planned every winter in pencil on butcher paper rolled out on the kitchen table.


The bounty of that garden still captivates me. The wonder I felt as a boy at how the fence sagged beneath cucumber vines only 60 days after I had pressed three small white seeds into a mound of soil has never left me. I can smell that earth. I can feel the earthworms and hear the bees. I know the heft of ripe cantaloupe. I can taste the sweetness of freshly dug carrots-gritty with soil that didn't wipe off-and the tart juice of the immature green fruits I snuck from the apple tree which grew just behind the compost pile.


That garden is gone now, as are my parents, but I remember.


These days, I watch as my own children push three small white seeds in a mound of soil each Memorial Day and label the resulting pickle jars with their names. I kneel as they crowd around, blackened to the elbows with darkened knees, and wait for me to solemnly judge who has, in fact, found the biggest worm living in the compost pile. I grin as they stalk cabbage moths with raspberry stained faces or gather roly-poly sow bugs in opaque buckets. Each spring I photograph them beneath their own personal cherry trees.


A lifelong love of gardening was my father's legacy, my inheritance; a family heirloom. Now it is theirs.


Flavio Juan
Nurseryman/Contractor Sales - Menomonee Falls


One of my earliest memories of plants is around the age of nine, when my family weeded rows of corn to consume and sell. The sun was hot on my young back. I stopped working in the fields when school started.


When I started working at Johnson's Nursery, I just thought that it would be another way to make a living. Now I don't just work with plants, I know them, and it has opened up excellent opportunities for me.


From small seeds to tall trees, plants are just like people. They both need food and water to grow strong and beautiful. When they don't get these things, they grow weak and wilt. I enjoy seeing how plants grow, knowing how much water each plant requires, what type needs to be in the shade or sun, their mature sizes, and how much space each plant needs to have when first planted.  I get to see them first when they come off the trucks into our nursery.


Plants are beautiful and each is unique (I enjoy them the most in summer and fall, with gorgeous flowers and colorful leaves). Plants provide us with the air we need. How can we continue to live if we don't have plants? They are powerful workhorses that clean our air and brighten our environment.  I will continue working with them and learning more as long as I can.


Ben French
Assistant Grower


Why do I love plants?


In my earliest memories I'm in my grandmother's garden. I'm learning my fruits and vegetables, I'm weeding and waiting. I'm introduced.


Later I'm in the forests with my father and grandfathers. I'm hunting and fishing. I learn about the flora and fauna in historical and ancient systems that I depend on. I'm interested.


Understanding that the ecosystem is alive and moving across landscapes. Plants have their own explorers and travelers, and their homebodies too. They can't move like us, but they get around in their complex cycles of dissemination, germination and succession. It's life and death out there. Plants have their own cliques, associations of soil, water, fire, light and time. I'm amazed.


Trees tell stories and lie somewhere between silent witnesses and historical landmarks. They are something passed down, like an heirloom lasting perhaps hundreds of years, and are my greatest passion. Growing them from little seed to landscape sentinel makes my spirit soar. It's lovely.

Being a propagator allows me to tell these stories, relive these memories, share what I know and pass to you a piece of world history all in a living, breathing organism. I've always been in love.


Plus, I love green.


Brent Gustason

Horticulturist/Contractor Sales


How did a boy from Iowa who grew up in the city, but spent most summers working on my grandfather's farm, become interested in plants, surrounded by corn, soybeans, pigs, and cattle? There certainly was very little in terms of forests or natural areas to enjoy on a regular basis like in Wisconsin. Those hot summers working on the farm helping my grandparents and parents created a love of gardening, hunting, fishing, and of just being outdoors, even in the flat open plains of Iowa.


I enjoyed living in a part of the country where you could experience four seasons and see how the plants responded with their beauty, durability, and uniqueness. I was always amazed with the importance that plants had in our lives by providing us with color, texture, healthy living and environmental benefits. We are always striving to find better and newer plants to meet our lifestyles and find ways to incorporate the older, tried and true ones.Plants are not something manufactured in a factory, where one item after another is identical. Some would say I have a screw loose to be in the horticulture industry now for over 30 years! I say there are really no two plants that are exactly the same and this is what makes working with them so rewarding.
It's time for you to tell us your story. Please join us on our Facebook page.
Luxuriant Bleeding Heart  

Dicentra eximia 'Luxuriant'

Luxuriant Bleeding Heart
Dicentra eximia 'Luxuriant'
Mat. H: 12-18"'   Zone: 3
Mat. S: 12-18"'    Exposure: Partial Shade

Bleeding Hearts have such a delicate, romantic-looking flower, but, like puppy love, the plant goes dormant in mid-summer, not able to stick around when conditions get rough. However, the variety 'Luxuriant' is, as Ms. Etta James sang, more of a Sunday Kind of Love..."a kind of love that will last past"...spring. Luxuriant is much smaller than traditional Bleeding Heart, but the perky fern-like, gray-green foliage will withstand the summer heat. The cherry-red, heart-shaped blooms arrive in late spring and will continue to flower through August. Since it doesn't take up much space it's easy to add one to the lightly shaded garden.


Carrie's Quick Tips 
In case you missed it. Carrie's Quick Tip on snow removal will help keep your plants safe in the cold and your landscape looking green despite the snow in the forecast.

Birding Tip 
By February, many natural food sources for birds are becoming scarce. Show your love by keeping the feeders filled with an assortment of quality seed and suet.

Native Guide

Be prepared this spring with Johnson's Nursery's Wisconsin Native Plant Guide. Our newest edition has updated information and high quality color photos. You may view the guide (click the picture on the right), or stop by our retail locations in either Menomonee Falls or Cedarburg to pick up a hard copy for $8.00.
Carrie Discusses Snow Removal
Wisconsin Native Plant Guide
Wisconsin Native Plant Guide
Bleeding Hearts

Wisconsin has two native versions of Bleeding Heart. The first is Dicentra cucullaria, aka Dutchmans Breeches, named such for the fragrant flowers' resemblance to the pantaloons of a man from Holland. The second is Dicentra canadensis, also called Squirrel Corn for its appeal to mice, chipmunks, and other cute rodents that like to feed and distribute the corn-like tubers throughout woodlands. The flowers are a white, elongated heart shape. All parts of the plant are poisonous and even touching the plant can cause skin irritation.


More commonly known is Old-Fashioned Bleeding Heart, Dicentra spectabilis, bearing the long stems adorned with rows of drooping pink flowers. There is a Japanese legend that uses the anatomy of the flower to tell the story:


"There was a young man who tried to win the love of a young lady through gifts. He first presented her two bunnies (the first two petals of the flower). The lady took the bunnies but refused his love. He then presented her with a pair of slippers (the second set of petals), which she also accepted but without return of his affection. He gave her a pair of dangling earrings (separate the inner white petals) but still was rebuffed. Distraught, he took his dagger (the inner most part of the flower) and pierced his heart, bleeding onto the ground. Dying." 


The full story, with photos, can be found here


Nothing like a tale of unrequited love to put you in the mood for Valentine's Day!

Dicentra spectabilis
Bleeding Bunnies
Presented with Bunnies
Bleeding Heart
Bleeding Heart


March 8th - Wisconsin Herb Society Symposium 

Flavors of France: Tarra-gon Wild!  


Spend a Saturday celebrating Artemisia and French culture at the annual Wisconsin Herb Society Symposium. Attend the keynote presentation, "Flavors of France: Tarra-gon Wild!" given by Johnson's Nursery's very own horticulturist, Carrie Hennessy and feast on an array of chef-prepared French cuisine featuring the honorable herb. C'est si bon!

The Reservation deadline is March 1. View the Brochure.
Use these links for information on registration and the symposium

Feel free to call and speak to Carrie for more information as well. 262.252.4988


Johnson's Nursery, Inc.
Nature's Best to You.
p. 262-252-4988  e.