Greetings Friends! 

Thank you for all your business! We sincerely appreciate the interest and enthusiastic feedback you've given The Leaf in Brief throughout 2015. Many people from around our nursery come together to write captivating and informative facts about plants and landscape design. We promise to continue doing so in 2016. Revisit all of our past articles by visiting the Leaf in Brief archive.

As Andy Williams once crooned, this is the most wonderful time of year. Soon, it will start to feel like it is actually winter. To celebrate 2015 coming to a close, Carrie Hennessy writes our own version of the annual holiday letter. The plant of the month is Trautman Chinese Juniper, perfect for when you want to hide the neighbors and you don't have a lot of space. The Leaf Lore is about "savoring" this time of year.  
Thank you for reading. Enjoy!
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In This Issue

Retail Hours
Saturday-Sunday: Closed

Winter Shutdown
Johnson's Nursery
will be closed from
Friday, December 25
until Sunday, January 3

We resume normal hours
on Monday, January 4.

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On a recent morning commute, I was driving down my street and saw a sight familiar to my childhood. A mother was positioning two girls in matching plaid, on either side of their wreath-accented front door, camera in hand. It's that time of year again. For the obligatory holiday card. Before the days of digital cameras, cell phones, and social media allowed you to tell everyone what you had for lunch, this card included a primitive method of communication called a letter. This letter was your chance to tell that high school friend that your family was doing better than hers. No emojis. No "Like" button to pass or withhold judgement. I can still hear the sound of my mom dragging out the heavy typewriter and click-clacking through the year on paper, punctuated by the occasional curse word when she discovered a mistake and had to roll back the reel. This letter detailing our accomplishments was always accompanied by a photo of my brother, me, and our various pets. We really were quite gifted children and I pity the families who had to compare themselves to us....Actually, right now, I am pitying myself as I recall some of the awful hair and fashion choices that were made.

In the spirit of this tradition, but free of snark or boastfulness, I'd like to share what 2015 was like at Johnson's Nursery.

December 2014
Every year, before we shut down between Christmas and New Year's, we have an all company potluck which is affectionately called "Pig Out Day". This event of gluttony was followed by a clay pigeon shoot out. No one lost an eye.

January 2015
Contractor Sales began their trade show season, like every winter. Landscape crews were performing maintenance on the nursery equipment. Winter pruning at the Jackson farm. Landscape designers were working on designs and quotes for spring projects. On Jan. 30 the Menomonee Falls staff had "Soup-er Bowl Day" where the conference room was full of crock pots of soup, chili, and stew. Who cares if the Packers didn't go all the way this year?

Our Harvest Team in Jackson dug some very large Swamp White Oaks with some very large equipment. Some of the trees were for spring stock, and some were installed in customers yards right away (yes, this is possible in winter. watch). Contractor Sales hosted their 6th annual Ice Fishing event on Pike Lake in Hartford for their clients. The Landscape Design department was a flurry of excitement at the arrival of a new LCD touch screen printer and scanner.

Wholesale Sales Manager, Jeff Wolters, shared his stock of fish procured from icy lakes for an annual Fish Fry...our favorite winter activity around here is eating. This was our last chance for us to sit down, relax, and break bread before we descended into spring chaos.

We announced that, in partnership with Waukesha County Recycling Department, Johnson's Nursery would be accepting your plastic landscape pots and trays all season, every day, for free. A bus of Urban Forestry and Horticulture students from Mid-State Technical College visited the nursery for a tour and to learn about careers in propagation, production, and sales. Seasonal staff returned from winter layoffs. The Jackson farm crews began harvesting. The big show is here. Finally spring has arrived!

Why do we put ourselves through this every year? I looked in the mirror and I looked at my colleagues, and we all have the 50 yard stare. Just keep swimming...just keep swimming...

Pats on the back all around, we survived May. We once again hosted the annual Wild Ones Native Plant Sale at the nursery. Johnson's Gardens in Cedarburg had the honor of welcoming the Garden Centers of America on their summer tour of the Milwaukee area.

Did you know that Savory was the Herb of the Year for 2015? At the end of July, I was a guest at the Chicago Botanic Garden for their annual Herb Weekend. For two days, I manned a cart and spoke to the public about Winter and Summer Savories, history and folk lore, and introduced them to Montrose White Calamint Savory. In turn, I learned that Calamint is sometimes used in Italian cooking and makes a delightful addition to a summer peach salad.

A familiar face at Johnson's Nursery reached a milestone this year. Sally Lacy, Administrative Support, celebrated her 25th year with us. When you visit the nursery next year, please offer your congratulations. On August 21, Johnson's Nursery and Johnson's Gardens shut down for our Employee Appreciation Picnic - a day of inter-department tours, food, games, and fun. The winners of the kickball tournament received the coveted pink lawn flamingo.

Late summer conifer harvest was in full swing. We braced ourselves for the rapidly approaching end of season. Still lots of projects to finish!
For the third year in a row, Johnson's Nursery hosted "Where Ecology Meets Economy", co-sponsored with Southeastern Wisconsin Invasive Species Consortium (say that three times fast). It was a day dedicated to learning and sharing land ethics with individuals throughout the Green Industry.

Babies were the theme for October! Yard Crew Member, Manuel, welcomed a healthy baby boy. Landscape Designer, Lynda Lowry, was delighted by the addition of a baby boy on Halloween (I'm very excited to be an auntie again!)

, Woodrow Kerwin, had the honor to be chosen to attend the International Landscape Lighting Institute for 5 days and 5 nights in Rio Verde, AZ. The 18 attendees honed their design and installation skills while installing projects for 2 parks in Rio Verde.

After 10 years with us, Horticulturist and Salesperson, Bill Smithyman officially retired. He is looking forward to a retirement filled with travel. I'm trying not to be envious that he will now be able to enjoy Spring like a normal person.
And now, suddenly, it is December again. How quickly a year flies by. From all of us at Johnson's Nursery, have a safe and healthy holiday season!
Carrie Hennessy, Landscape Designer
2014 Pig Out Day & Clay Shoot
Food-related gatherings strengthens 
Johnson's Nursery's company culture.
Planting large trees in winter.
Over 50 pallets of plastic containers 
were collected throughout 2015!
  Students tour Johnson's Nursery to learn about the nursery business and careers in the green industry.
Plant enthusiasts from around SE Wisconsin 
gather for our annual WI Native Plant Sale.
The Garden Centers of America summer tours arrives at Johnson's Gardens in Cedarburg.
Carrie Hennessy was a guest at the annual Herb Weekend at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
The annual Employee Appreciation Picnic.
During Where Ecology Meets Economy,
one of the tours enjoys a demonstration
on killing Buckthorn.
Carrie's winter container by the
entrance of the nursery.
PLANT OF THE MONTH:PlantofMonth Juniperus chinensis 'Trautman"
Trautman Juniper 
Juniperus chinensis 'Trautman'

Another great evergreen selection by the late Herbert Trautman! This slow-growing variety has a narrow, upright habit that makes it ideal for tight spaces.  A good alternative for creating a screen next to driveways where salt would ordinarily cause burning on narrow arborvitaes.  The blue-green needles are accented by powdery blue fruit that the birds will enjoy late in winter.
As the end of the year approaches, Savory (Latin = Satureja) has only a few more weeks to reign as Herb of the Year. In cooking, there are predominantly two kinds of Savory used: Winter and Summer.

Winter Savory is a slightly woody perennial with a very pungent, peppery flavor. You'll find it in bean dishes, like soup, where it not only adds seasoning, but the plant's anti-flatulent properties can be put to good use. The Germans call it "Bohnenkraut" or "The Bean Herb".

Summer Savory is by far the most popular in the family. Treat it as an annual in your herb garden and use the leaves fresh or dried to add a pleasant peppery or "savory" flavor to any dish, especially potatoes. Summer Savory is also found in most Herb de Provence spice blends.

In the early 19th century, gentleman's clubs became very popular and were places where a man could go be a man (like a Victorian era Hooters). Cunning chefs served small, bite-sized salty dishes, called "Savouries" to encourage patrons to drink more wine. (It's the same concept behind your local bar offering free popcorn.) This trend soon found its way to formal gatherings where dinners were lavish 12 or 13 course affairs. The Savoury Course was consumed towards the end of the meal, to cleanse the palette before the dessert and port courses were served. Typical dishes were "Angels on Horseback" (shucked oysters rolled in bacon and baked), "Devils on Horseback" (bacon around figs or dates), or "Welsh Rarebit" (toast with cheese sauce). The savoury course was mostly a masculine affair, and ladies usually skipped to the sweeter desserts, for their palettes were deemed too dainty for such fare. You can easily incorporate this tradition into your holiday parties by passing bowls of savory-spiced nuts after the big meal, before tucking into the cookies and pies.
Satureja hortensis - Summer Savory
Bean Soup
Devils on Horseback
from Carrie's Quick Tips  
Duration: 1:12

On days like today, where the temperature is above freezing, apply an anti-transpirant such as "Wilt-Pruf" or "Wilt Stop" on your susceptible evergreens. One application should be enough as long as... Learn more.

from Carrie's Quick Tips
Duration: 0:51

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... Learn more.

from Carrie's Quick Tips
Duration: 0:55

In cold temperatures, bending branches are not as flexible and will often snap. Contrary to what you might have heard, it is important after a heavy, wet snowfall to remove what has accumulated on certain plants like... Learn more.
Read & Learn: 
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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.
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Johnson's Nursery is proud to offer competitive salaries, benefits packages and perks. We encourage applications for all qualified people interested in working with plants. Learn More 
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