Greetings Friends! 

Mid-summer is upon us and the heat is getting intense. This month, we're talking about plants that thrive during our warmest months. A terrific example is Yarrow, which is our plant of the month. In the feature article, Carrie Hennessy shares some of her favorite proven plants that beat the heat.

Scroll down and dive into the leaf lore about Yarrow. Its botanical name, Achillea, relates to a certain Greek hero. Can you guess which one? Yarrow has also been referenced in ancient Chinese literature and Scottish poetry.

The Wisconsin State Fair is here! Last August, Johnson's Nursery revitalized the Natural Resources Park with Wisconsin native plantings. All of the native plants were chosen to create a lush wildlife habitat. We provide a link to the park map below. Look for the Johnson's Nursery sign when you are there! We hope you will stop and have a gander.


Thank you for reading. Enjoy!


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August in Wisconsin is a time for outdoor grilling, festivals, watching the last rays of hope fade from another disappointing Brewers season, and the State Fair. Every year, my husband and I have big plans to try all of the fried creations not recommended as part of a balanced diet. This year I'll be on the lookout for Deep-Fried Artichokes, Beer-Battered-Pretzel-Coated-Cheese-Curds, and Deep Fried Baklava (Opa!). However, by the end of a day walking on pavement, surrounded by heat, humidity, and the crushing crowds of other people playing dietary roulette, all I want is a cold glass of water and a shower. With all the news coming from California about drought conditions and wildfires, it makes me feel extremely lucky that in Southeast Wisconsin, we live so close to Lake Michigan, the 5th largest fresh water lake in the world (both in surface area and volume). But that doesn't mean we should take this resource for granted. For instance, it's okay to let your lawn go dormant when we aren't getting a lot of rain. It's also a great idea to incorporate drought and heat-resistant plants into your landscape. Anything that has been newly planted this year will still need water to get established, but the following list of plants, once they've been in the ground for a full season, will be able to beat the heat of August.

Yarrow (Achillea)

Spikenard (Aralia racemosa)

- Great for dry shade!

*Ornamental Onion (Allium species)

False Blue Indigo (Baptisia australis)

Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa)

Montrose White Calamint

(Calamintha nepeta 'Montrose White')

*Dianthus species

*Catmint (Nepeta species)

Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

Hairy Wild Petunia (Ruellia humilis)

Sedum species

Salvia species  


Cotoneaster varieties

St John's Wort (Hypericum kalmianum)

Bush Cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa)

Rugosa Rose varieties (Rosa rugosa)

*Spirea species (Spiraea sp.)

*Bridal Rice Willow

(Salix repens 'Bridal Rice')

Cutleaf Stephanandra

(Stephanandra incisa 'Crispa')

*Great for dry shade!

*Oldfield Juniper
(Juniperus communis varieties)   


Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos)

Kentucky Coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioica)

*Ironwood (Ostrya virginiana)

*Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)

Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis)

Upright Junipers
(Juniperus virginiana and 
Juniperus chinensis varieties)

* indicates that the plant is pictured on the right
Allium lusitanicum 'Summer Beauty'
Dianthus gratianopolitanus 'Firewitch'
Nepeta 'Walker's Low'
Salix repens 'Bridal Rice'
Spiraea betulifolia 'Tor'
Juniperus communis
Ostrya virginiana
Quercus macrocarpa
PLANT OF THE MONTH:PlantofMonth Yarrow (Achillea species)
Yarrow is one of those plants that I don't always notice in the garden until August. When everything else is looking tired and thirsty, the Yarrows are still going strong. Currently we carry two kinds of perennial Yarrows at Johnson's Nursery:

Like its namesake, the new blossoms are the same color of juicy, red strawberries. Butterflies will flock to this medium-sized yarrow, even as the bright red flowers fade to pink.

Sulphur yellow flowers continue to bloom all summer, surrounded by aromatic gray-green foliage. Especially pretty when planted with Alliums and Purple Coneflowers.


The Latin name for Yarrow, Achillea, has its roots in the Greek hero, Achilles, who used the perennial/herb to heal his soldiers after battle. Modern medicine has proved that the leaves of yarrow contain antibiotic compounds and help stop the flow of blood when placed on a wound. Medieval herbalist, Culpepper, went so far as to recommend bathing one's head with a concoction of yarrow to stop unwanted shedding of hair. Stalks of yarrow are used for divination (specifically in the ancient Chinese book I Ching) and wearing the leaves and flowers about the neck will ward off ghosts and evil spirits.


Yarrow is also a river on the southeastern border of Scotland. Though Yarrow is found growing in Britain, the river's name most likely comes from Gaelic roots.


William Wadsworth wrote in his poem "Yarrow Unvisited" in 1803 -- 


"If care with freezing years should come,

  And wandering seem but folly,-

Should we be loath to stir from home,

  And yet be melancholy,-

Should life be dull, and spirits low,

  'T will soothe us in our sorrow,

That earth has something yet to show,-

  The bonny holms of Yarrow!"

Achilles statue
Achillea millefolium

Watch & Learn: 

from Carrie's Quick Tips
Duration 1:29

Have you noticed something eating the leaves on your plants this summer? Carrie shows you how to identify Japanese Beetles, and get rid of infestations. Learn more.

from Carrie's Quick Tips
Duration 2:38

Improper watering is a leading cause of plant fatalities.
Proper watering of a newly installed plant or landscape is critical to their successful establishment and future growth. Learn more.

from Carrie's Quick Tips
Duration 1:10

Proper planting is the best investment you can make for your landscape. One of the great joys of landscaping is planting! When done properly, your plants will flourish. Learn more.

Read & Learn: 

*Selecting a guide above will take you to our website, where you will find more information, videos and downloadable PDF's on your desired topic.


Offering the expertise of our Horticulturists, this custom design service is provided at no cost to you.   
This is the best do-it-yourself program if you're a homeowner looking to design and plant your own project. We Plan-You Plant offers the helpful assistance of our experts, who will create a professional landscape design--at no cost--when you purchase your plants at Johnson's Nursery. Watch the videos on our website and get started today. Learn More.

We encourage you to bring your empty plastic containers and trays back to Johnson's Nursery.

If thrown in the trash, these materials will sit in the landfill and will not get recycled. You can return them to us, for free, all year long. Simply pull up to the bins and place your plastics in the bin with the corresponding recycling symbol.

Recycle. Act locally, think globally. Learn more.
On the CalendarCalendar

August 6-16 
2015 Wisconsin State Fair

Last August, Johnson's Nursery revitalized the DNR Park at State Fair with a native planting. If you attend this year, be sure to stop by and check it out. 

WI State Fair Map
(notice the 'Natural Resources Park' in the bottom right)
Wednesday, August 12
Riveredge Nature Center
Knee Deep in Prairies
Friday, August 21
Johnson's Nursery Closed
Employee Appreciation Picnic
We apologize for any inconvenience.

Johnson's Nursery is Hiring! 


Growing and building with plants is what keeps us going. We deal with a variety of plant matters including, but not limited to:

  • Plant Propagation and Breeding
  • Contractor Sales/Wholesale
  • Plant Research and Development
  • Landscape Design, Build and Install
  • Retail Sales
  • Nursery Maintenance and Management
  • Garden Center
Current Openings
 Wholesale (CDL) Delivery Driver
Assistant Landscape Foreperson
Landscape Crew Member
Yard Crew Laborer

Johnson's Nursery is proud to offer competitive salaries, benefits packages and perks to qualified staff.
Learn More

More Opportunity 
We encourage applications for all academically qualified people interested in working with plants.
Johnson's Nursery, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer. 
Visit our archive to read previous issues of The Leaf in Brief.

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