Greetings Friends!

Please note: Nursery summer hours began on July 1.

Welcome to the July issue of the Leaf in Brief. We have a packed issue for you this month! The Feature Article highlights the value of your landscape after dark. We're shedding light on one of our lesser-known services so you can take advantage of these warm summer nights with landscape lighting.

Periods of wet weather followed by heat and humidity make ideal breeding grounds for fungal diseases and pest infestations. We provide resources on common local pests like spider mites, Japanese beetles, and Emerald Ash Borer.

The plant of the month is Graziella Silver Grass, a later-bloomer with summer, fall, and winter interest. This grass is popular in Japanese culture, where it's used in art and ceremonial kimonos. Read the Plant of the Month and Leaf Lore sections to learn more.   
Thank you for reading. Enjoy!

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In This Issue

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Daylight to NightlightFA
by Woody Kerwin, Lighting Foreman   
Homeowners who choose Johnson's Nursery for their landscaping do so because they have put a lot of thought into the process. However, it is often overlooked that landscape plants, patios, and walls are left invisible to the eye on beautiful evenings. How many of us spend quality time in our yards at night? Summer is over so quickly in Wisconsin, that we should be taking advantage of these cool July evenings. Landscape lighting is a great excuse to get outside after sunset and to enhance the investment you've made in your yard.

Plants and architectural features have depth and form that can look vastly different from daylight to landscape light. What may have once been a sculpture hidden in a perennial garden during the day can become the focal point of that garden at night. Using thoughtfully placed features, that sculpture can be framed into an entirely different scene, central to an outdoor room. Trees can be lit in a variety of ways. Examples are uplights strategically placed beneath or downlights mounted in the canopy. These lighting choices highlight the structure of the tree by utilizing the contrast of light and night. Casting uplights on your house showcases the beauty of the materials used, makes it seem more inviting, and a well-lit house provides security.

For many years, landscape lighting was ruled by incandescent lamps. First supplied by 120 volt power and later downsized to 12 volts to increase ease and cost of installation. Around 10 years ago LED (light emitting diode) technology became widely available for outdoor lighting systems. This significantly reduced operating bills for lighting systems - as much as 80%! It also means more ability to control light fixtures. Dimming and color control options are now available through certain manufacturers and can be controlled with simple phone apps.

Properly lit landscapes are balanced - neither too glaring nor too dull. In the same way a painter must consider composition and contrast, so too must a lighting designer. Where will I mostly be viewing the area? Is it functional, aesthetic, or for security? What's the most important feature in my landscape? These are the types of questions you should ask yourself when considering lighting. Landscape lighting is a way for you to extend the enjoyment of your yard and to bring all its aspects together in a new light.

Graziella Silver Grass
Miscanthus sinensis 'Graziella'

A very beautiful and refined upright arching, warm-season grass (meaning it takes a little while for them to wake up in spring). Showy silver-white plumes appear in late August and are held well above the slender green foliage, which turns a rich copper-red and orange in fall. A great choice for adding height and texture in spaces where shrubs might get too large. A grouping of Graziella enhanced by landscape lighting will magically transform your garden at night. Leave the foliage and plumes up through the winter for continued interest. Prefers full sun and well-drained to dry soil.

*Note: In areas south of Wisconsin, may have the potential to reseed. 
The grass genus Miscanthus comes from the Greek words mischos = "stalk" and "anthos" = flowers. It is native to Asia and has a rich history in Japan where it is called Susuki Grass. The feathery blooms are often depicted in art, on stationary, and even kimonos, to signify a good harvest and the arrival of autumn, cattle graze on it, and the stiff stems, when dried, were traditionally used for thatching roofs. In the United States, Miscanthus goes by Maiden Grass, Silver Grass or Eulalia Grass. In warmer US zones, Miscanthus can be invasive, so it is important to stick with varieties that are not known to escape (like our Plant of the Month Graziella Silver Grass).
Spider Mites

If your once bright green Dwarf Alberta Spruces are going off-color or turning brown, they might have spider mites. If the infestation is severe, you will notice the tree covered in silken webs. Another way to diagnose is by placing a white sheet of paper under a branch and tapping it until the small oval mites dislodge and fall. If you are not sure what you are looking at is a mite, squish it with your finger and the trail of blood will be your confirmation. The best time to treat for mites is in mid-May or September, but for summer infestations, you will most likely have to take the systemic route to kill the mites while they are feeding. Ask our staff for advice and follow all labeling instructions! 
from Carrie's Quick Tips
Duration 1:09

In Wisconsin, we can install trees from the time the frost leaves the ground until it goes back in. What's crucial for us at Johnson's Nursery is when we physically cut the roots... Learn more.
from The Dirt
Duration 4:20

Birdscaping, or landscaping for the birds, can make birdwatching even more enjoyable. To get the most pleasure out of your birdwatching activities, consider developing... Learn more.
from Carrie's Quick Tips
Duration 1:55

Many people don't think about diseases until it's too late. Periods of wet weather followed by heat and humidity are breeding grounds for fungal diseases. By the time you actually see... Learn more.
from Carrie's Quick Tips
Duration 1:29

Have you noticed something eating the leaves on your plants this summer to the point where they have a lacy appearance? You probably have an infestation of Japanese Beetle...  Learn more.
from The Dirt
Duration 4:25

Emerald ash borer is a green jewel beetle. The larvae (the immature stage) feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients.... Learn more.
Watch all of our plant and landscaping videos on our YouTube channel. We invite you to visit and subscribe.
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Resource Books

Selecting any of these resources will take you to our website, where you will find more videos, information, and downloadable content.

*Hard copies of the two digital books on the right are also available in-store for purchase.
Do-It-Yourself Guides

Learn More 

Do You Like To DIY?
We Plan-You Plant offers the guidance of our experts, who will use information gathered from you to create a professional landscape design--at no cost--when you purchase your plants at Johnson's Nursery.


Learn More 

Recycle Your Plant Pots/Trays
If you throw certain landscape plastics (i.e #2, #5, #6) in the trash, they will sit in the landfill and will not get recycled. You can return them to us--for free--all year long. Act locally, think globally. Recycle.

Expanding Your Family Tree?
Have you had a baby recently? Let us extend congratulations by offering you a discount on a tree to grow alongside your baby. Like your child, our trees are raised locally and will grow strong.

Visit our archive to read previous issues of The Leaf in Brief.

We appreciate the opportunity to serve and provide you with quality nursery stock.


Johnson's Nursery, Inc.
W180 N6275 Marcy Road. Menomonee Falls, WI 53051 ( map)
p. 262.252.4988