Nature's Best To You.

The Dirt with Carrie Hennessy

The Dirt - Intro area

The Dirt with Carrie HennessyJoin Carrie Hennessy as she explores the most important and hottest topics in Horticulture and Landscape Design. From techniques to care for your existing landscapes to new garden designs and exciting plant selections, Carrie will cover it all. See all the episodes of "The Dirt" below, which link to our YouTube page. We hope that each video provides you with new insight; We hope you learn something new in every video, and that we inspire you to apply these lessons and techniques to your own home garden and landscape. Enjoy!

If you have any suggestions for topics you would like Carrie to discuss, please submit them here

  • Green Screens: A Living Privacy Fence

    March 2016

    We have heard from many clients about their not-so-neighborly feuds, so we're discussing green screen in this video. Carrie discusses which plants are best and most popular for living privacy fences. She shows you some of the best options including spruces, upright junipers, arborvitae, and more. She also explains that a living privacy fence doesn't have to be only evergreens, you can also use multi-stem and shrub-form trees.



  • Fall Harvest

    October 2015

    Autumn in Wisconsin is a special time. The cooler temperatures invite most people to slow down, but at Johnsons Nursery we still have a lot of work to do. Fall is a fabulous time for installing trees because warm soil and cool nights encourage root development. Sugar Maples, Kentucky Coffeetrees, Japanese Tree Lilacs, and certain Crabapple varieties are some of the trees that can safely be harvested in autumn.



  • Native Pollinators

    September 2015

    In August, I find nothing more outstanding than the sight of native pollinators in the landscape. My favorite plant to bring bees to the yard is Calamint. Studies have shown that if 25% of a landscape is left or converted to natural habitat, 100% of the pollination needs can be met on certain crops. Imagine if we all devoted a corner of the yard to native pollinators&wouldnt that be the bees knees?



  • Spring & Summer Bird Gardening

    May 2015

    Spring time means that birds are returning home from their annual migrations and Mother Nature is providing a welcome home feast for them. This video discusses the seven basic principles for creating your own "birdscape". Increasing the bird population in your yard can be as easy as planting a single tree. Add a shrub or two, some perennials for color, and suddenly you have an inviting bird habitat for the summer. A bench placed nearby and some patience will reward your efforts.



  • Harvest Windows

    April 2015

    This episode discusses field grown, spring dug, balled-and-burlapped tree stock. We hear from a lot of panicked people who think that their trees have to be in the ground by June. So not true! Trees merely have certain times of the year that they will tolerate having their roots physically cut and dug out of the fields. Examples of spring dug trees are Musclewood, Ironwood, Hawthorn, Eastern Redbud, and Magnolia.



  • Emerald Ash Borer and Ash Tree Alternatives

    October 2013

    A little insect called Emerald Ash Borer is wreaking havoc in the United States. We're talking about the potential mass extinction of a species. These insects spread into Wisconsin in 2008, and the population is growing. Treating every Ash tree in Wisconsin isn't a viable option, so Carrie discusses 5 different, beautiful alternatives. The loss of Ash Trees will be devastating; Some 7 million trees are found in Wisconsin's landscape.



  • Winter Containers

    December 2012

    A festive edition of the dirt! An easy and economical way to dress up your home during the holidays is by extending the life of your outdoor containers with fresh cut greens. Which plants make the best decorations? How can you assemble them at home? You can purchase materials and/or use plants from your own yard. Juniper, Arbovitae, Redtwig Dogwood, and other winter interest plants are all viable options when creating winter containers.



  • Introduction to Wisconsin Native Plants

    June 2012

    Gardens and landscapes follow what is fashionable. In the last decade, the use of native plants in the landscape is the hottest topic among experts and homeowners alike. What is a native plant? What's the big deal about native plants? The basic principal of sustainability is that our very survival depends on our natural environment, whether it's how we control pollution or the choices we make when planting something in our yards.



  • Winter Bird Gardening

    February 2012

    If you think the cold and snow is hard for you to endure at home, think about how birds fend outside all winter. Did you know birdwatching is the fastest growing hobby in America? Knowing which plants are best for winter food and shelter is necessary. Junipers are an incredibly important trees for birds. Other evergreens that do double duty are pines and spruces, which provide seeds and shelter. Native plants attract native insects, which attracts native birds.



  • Mequon Nature Preserve

    August 2011

    The Mequon Nature Preserve in Mequon, Wisconsin is a place with special roots to Johnson's Nursery. Founded in 2000, the MNP is a site dedicated to environmental education for all ages, offers families a sanctuary from the city, and offers field research for students. The preserve occupies 438 acres of land and is a unique habitat for diverse native plant species and wildlife. Join Carrie and her adventure.



  • Crabapples

    May 2011

    You know spring is here when the crabapples are in bloom. Customers often desire flowering ornamental trees, but request not to pursue crabapple trees quoting, "the fruit is too messy; they're prone to disease, and the fruit is messy." This negative connotation is misguided. Many modern varieties, such as Adirondak, Coralburst, and Spring Snow Crabapple don't have these problems. Watch as Carrie dispels the myths about crabapples.



  • Winter Interest Shrubs & Grasses

    January 2011

    A continuation of the winter interest theme, Carrie discusses smaller options to turn a boring landscape into a winter wonderland. Redtwig Dogwood are often seen planted along the highway, but are also a good fit in smaller groupings such island beds or berms. Feed the landscape with bright stripes of color with options such as Carya, St. John's Wort, Cranberry Viburnums and many other shrubs, perennials and grasses. Salt tolerance is also something to consider.



  • Continuing We Plan-You Plant

    November 2010

    This program is designed for people who enjoy do-it-yourself projects and can also be tailored to your capabilities. You're 5 easy steps away from turning your yard into the pinnacle of the neighborhood. Measure and sketch out your ideas on the graph paper we provide you, fill out a short questionnaire and take pictures. Our designers will create a formal landscape design drawing for you. All that's left is to purchase the plants, get your design and start digging!



  • Butterfly Gardening

    August 2010

    The Monarch Trail in Wauwatosa, WI is terrific place to visit for any butterfly enthusiast. The midwest offers some of the most vibrant displays of butterflies in the nation. Terms discussed include puddling and basking spots. The Monarch Trail is a great place to find butterflies, soak up nature, and relax. Once back at the nursery, Carrie shows you our butterfly garden and how you can design your own.



  • Summer Containers

    July 2010

    The beautiful nature of summer inspires gardeners to decorate plant containers and pots. This is a step-by-step turorial for creating do-it-yourself (DIY) summer containers. It used to be that the only options for containers were terracotta, but these days offer several options including synthetic plastics, which are much lighter. Always be sure to consider drainage holes, and consider not overcrowding the area where your showpiece will sit.



  • Small Trees for Small Landscapes

    June 2010

    One thing we hear at Johnson's Nursery is, "I love the trees you have here, but I have a small lot." If you have a smaller yard, then you have room for smaller trees. Examples explores are the taller/thinner Armstrong Maples, and plants with spring and fall color, such as Cleveland Select Pear. Perhaps you have a sunny corner of the house, but it cannot get too close, then perhaps Adirondak Crabapples are what you're looking for.



  • We Plan-You Plant

    April 2010

    This do-it-yourself program is for homeowners looking to design and plant their own project. We Plan-You Plant offers the helpful assistance of our experts, who will create a professional landscape design--at no cost. Perhaps you want to add curb appeal to the front foundation? How about a beautiful mixed perennial bed? This program is designed for people who enjoy do-it-yourself projects and can also be tailored to your capabilities.



  • Winter Pruning

    March 2010

    Some easy techniques for pruning your trees and shrubs can be completed during the colder, winter months. In this series, Carrie is joined by a certified arborist, who shares some techniques for pruning larger trees. One of the best times to prune your trees and shrubs is when they are domant, but you can also consider pruning until just before bud break. Learn about heading, thinning and other pruning techniques here.



  • Winter Interest Trees

    March 2010

    Your landscape and gardens dont have to end in fall. Winter interest trees can help give you a beautiful landscape during the winter months and year round. Some examples are trees such as Red Jewel® Crabapple, Ironwood, Kentucky Coffee Tree, Muscledwood, Cranberry Viburnum, and Korean Maple. There is a mix of plants just right for turning those grey and white days of the upcoming months into a winter interest spectacular.




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