Plants may not eat food like people, but they do enjoy a light meal every day. Welcome to June! The nursery has been busy lately, but we never forget about the Leaf in Brief. Amidst all the hustle n' bustle, we're dedicated to taking time to show appreciation to all our friends and followers. Whether your here--walking the nursery--and quizzing to our amazing staff, reading this at home, following on Facebook, or watching on YouTube, Thank you! 

June is an extremely popular month for native plants. With everyone getting outside and moving around, the majesty of our Wisconsin landscape is put into perspective. The annual Wild Ones Native Sale is just over the horizon, so it is befitting to make this issue all about Wisconsin native plants.

We have a double event day on Saturday, June 14. From 8am - Noon, we're asking you to bring in all those plastic plant trays and containers that you've been saving for recycling. While you're here, the Annual Wild Ones Native Plant Sale is back. 15% off all Wisconsin native container plants from 9am - 5:00pm. We have more info and links to the full details below.

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Why Choose Natives?
by Jillian Zetting, Landscape Designer

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 specific ecosystem, which are communities of plants, animals, and microorganisms found within a particular area, interacting with the environment.

In Wisconsin, our ecosystems are typically forest, grassland, and wetlands and each break down to various, diverse communities within each.For example, grasslands also include prairies, savannas, fens, and meadows. Many of these different ecosystems within the state can be observed just by driving down the freeway, or on winding side roads, or taking a walk through a woodland forest.Within these different native communities are large varieties of trees, shrubs, and perennials that all have adapted to the climate, soil conditions, and wildlife. While some people have the impression that native plants look wild and unkempt, in reality they are some of the most beautiful with colorful flowers,wonderful fruit displays (most lasting through the winter)interesting bark,and even great fall color.

Now you may be asking, can native plants be a part of my landscape? The answer is...absolutely, when placed properly. The first thing that would need to be determined is site selection. Is the area to be planted hot and dry all day, is it shady and always feels moist to the touch, or is it somewhat a mixture of both. Also the size of the area to be planted also needs to be considered.

Native plants offer many benefits for the home landscape. Because they have naturally adapted to their habitat, native plants practically take care of themselves. When sited correctly and established, they typically require little maintenance such as watering, fertilizing, and pruning. Many natives help control erosion and reduce runoff with their deep and fibrous root systems or suckering habit. They provide food or shelter in some way for wildlife, many of the flowering plants provide a generous food supply with either their nectar or with abundant seed heads.

Johnson's Nursery, Inc. is a leading grower of Wisconsin native plants. Our expert designers can help you incorporate natives into your home landscape. This is an awesome time to think about your landscape and what types of plants to add to it. Why not think about natives and creating a natural habitat in your yard with all their wonderful benefits to you, wildlife and the environment.
Buttonbush, Cephalanthus occidentalis
St. John's Wort, Hypericum kalmianum
Musclewood, Carpinus caroliniana
River Birch, Betula nigra
Johnson's Nursery, Inc. grows many varieties of natives.

See our Wisconsin Native Plant Guide 

Ironwood - Ostrya virginiana
Mature Height: 30'          Mature Spread: 20'
Exposure: Part Sun to full shade. Zone: 3


Ostrya virginiana   


Ironwood (Ostrya virginiana) is an excellent native tree and one of the most versatile landscape plants available. It is commonly found as an understory tree in wooded areas and grows well in sun and part shade. Most ironwoods are small trees growing to 30 feet tall, although occasionally larger specimens occur. A member of the birch family, its leaves are similar to birch in appearance, and it also produces catkins in spring. The bark of ironwood is smooth in youth and becomes a mottled gray-black and exfoliating with age. This handsome ornamental produces an interesting seed pod that resembles hops. Its growth rate is slow, but its unique character is distinct at any size.


Ironwood can be used in the landscape wherever a small tree with interesting bark is desired. This underdog of the forest, with its small stature, is an excellent landscape plant for smaller spaces.  


Don't be confused by the name. Ostrya virginiana is known by different names in regions where it is native. Ironwood grows predominantly in the eastern United States from Minnesota to Maine and south to Florida. Another native tree, musclewood (Carpinus caroliniana), is also called ironwood. To be sure you are discussing the right tree, inquire about ironwood using its botanical name, Ostrya virginiana.


Carrie's Quick Tips
Planting Trees In Summer

We can install trees from the time the frost leaves the ground, until it goes back in. Watch more.

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Father's Day - Sunday, June 15
Summer Solstice - Saturday, June 21

Mark Your Calendars For Our Double Event This Saturday


Recycle Your Landscaping Plastics at Johnson's Nursery  
Saturday, June 14 from 8:00am-Noon
Recycling centers do not accept most forms of landscaping plastics such as containers, We are pairing with Waukesha County Recycling to collect your old pots piling up in your garage.

6th Annual Wild Ones Native Plant Sale in Menomonee Falls 
Saturday, June 14 from 9:00am-5:00pm
During the sale, ALL Wisconsin native plants in containers will be 15% off. Along with the native plant sale to benefit local Wild Ones chapters, nursery tours and concessions are planned.
More Information Here 


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