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Gardenscapes Newsletter March 2018

 Pope John Paul II said "The Earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship.  We cannot say we love the land and then takes steps to destroy it for use by future generations." 

Gardenscapes by Joanna LLC understands and adheres to Pope John Paul II's message.  We are stewards of sustainability and we Design and Install Inspiring Sustainable Landscapes to Bring Nature Back to your Garden. Let us help you enhance your home this season, or if you would like to do it yourself, we have great information on our web site on native trees, shrubs, perennials and sustainable gardening tips for you to check out.  For a list of our services, please visit

Above is a before picture of a customer's side yard who wanted no mowing, a pollinator garden and a cut flower garden...

West side of their house - why mow?

Pennisetum orientale 'Karley Rose'

Bee The Change You Wish To See in the World

Like your margaritas? How about chocolate or coffee? If you do, thank the bees.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one out of every three bites of food we eat exists because of pollinators, such as bees, flies and even butterflies.  The pollinators are in trouble, there is worldwide evidence that pollinators (bees, birds, butterflies and hummingbirds) are suffering from a loss of habitat, pollution and of course, dangerous pesticides.  Our need to have a nicely-groomed, solid green lawn instead of native wildflowers also adds to this equation. We all desire nice lawns, but this may be the time where we redefine what “nice” means. 

We have an informative section on our web site, Attracting Pollinators, which provides you with a helpful handout from the Pollinator Partnership that conveys which plants to plant to attract specific bees and other pollinators. So, let’s put our garden gloves on, plant some native wildflowers in the soil and feed some bees!

Save the Monarch Butterfly

The Monarch butterfly population has made progress overwintering in the forests of Mexico over the last two winters, but they are still at dangerously low levels. Migration numbers are not available for 2017, as of yet, but twenty years ago, the orange and black beauties covered 44 acres compared to just 10 acres in December of 2015.  You can make a difference to help save the Monarch by planting Asclepias (Milkweed), their host plant along with some nectar plants.  One of the important aspects to saving the Monarchs is to be able to recognize them at each stage of their life.   We have provided pictures of what you should look for on our Save the Monarch page located on our web site. 

We’ve Got to Get Ourselves Back to the Garden

As Joni Mitchell so eloquently sang these words, we need to plant more gardens incorporating native plants. Species native to North America are generally recognized as those occurring on the continent prior to European settlement. As we become more concerned about the environment, the interest in the preservation and restoration of native plant communities increases as well. Native plants are valued for their economic, ecological, genetic, and aesthetic benefits in addition to the growing societal belief in their intrinsic value as living species.

Give Back With Your Garden

The advantages of native plants: 

  • add beauty to the landscape and preserve our natural heritage
  • provide food and habitat for native wildlife
  • serve as an important genetic resource for future food crops or other plant-derived products
  • help slow down the spread of fire by staying greener longer
  • decrease the amount of water needed for landscape maintenance
  • require very little long-term maintenance if they are properly planted and established
  • produce long root systems to hold soil in place
  • protect water quality by controlling soil erosion and moderating floods and droughts

We have two great links, Ohio Native Perennials and Ohio Native Trees to help you get started bringing nature and ourselves back to the garden.

Grow Food, Not Grass, to Fight Climate Change

Turning a grassy lawn into a vegetable garden can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study. 

The idea is similar to a 1940's victory garden but we are fighting pollution instead of fascism.  Research professor David Cleveland, found that greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced by 2 kilograms for every kilogram of homegrown vegetables, when compared with store-bought vegetables. This is due to several factors, they report, including:

  • converting a section of grassy lawn into vegetable production
  • producing food where it's consumed, people's homes, rather than at centralized farms, reducing the need for      transportation
  • reusing some household gray water to irrigate vegetables, instead of sending it away to a wastewater treatment plant
  • composting food and yard waste in lieu of sending it to a landfill

The researchers calculated a garden measuring 18.7 square meters (about 200 square feet) could generate half of all vegetables consumed by the average household. For context, the average size of a private lawn in the U.S. is estimated to be about one-fifth of an acre - that's 809 square meters, or 8,712 square feet.  For an individual family, growing 50 percent of their vegetables in a home garden is equivalent to an 11 percent drop in carbon dioxide emissions from driving a car.

Breathe Free and Plant Numerous Trees Together

"They can count, learn and remember; nurse sick neighbors; warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network known as the 'Wood Wide Web' – and, for reasons unknown, keep the ancient stumps of long-felled companions alive for centuries by feeding them a sugar solution through their roots."

These are just a few of the secrets that Peter Wohlleben, a German forest ranger and best-selling author, has learned about trees. 

Upon coming across a duo of soaring beeches in the forest, Wohlleben, the author of the runaway hit book The Hidden Life of Trees:  What they Feel, How they Communicate - Discoveries From a Secret World," observes: “These trees are friends. You see how the thick branches point away from each other? That’s so they don’t block their buddy’s light.”  “Sometimes," he adds, "pairs like this are so interconnected at the roots that when one tree dies, the other one dies, too.”  “By artificially spacing out trees, the plantation forests that make up most of Germany’s woods ensure that trees get more sunlight and grow faster,”. “But, naturalists say, creating too much space between trees can disconnect them from their networks, stymieing some of their inborn resilience mechanisms.”  When planting trees, consider planting 3 trees closer together than spacing them apart.

Organic Air Tree and Shrub Care

This is Bernie Carr, our friend in the green industry and  owner of Organic Air Tree and Shrub Care.  Too much soil burying the root flare of trees, is a slow death for most trees.  Improper planting, girdling roots, or soil build up around a tree's root system is not healthy for this living organism.  Bernie and his crew specialize in all facets of organic tree care including organic root-feeding, organic foliar sprays, repairing compacted soils (especially after new construction), and removing girdling roots.  Please visit their website for more information at

What do I do with all these extra seeds?

Plant a Row for the Hungry is a national public program launched in 1995 by the Garden Writers of America. They request that you take your seeds and plant an extra row of vegetables.  Donate your extra row of produce to your local soup kitchen.  We will be having our annual Food Drive August 25, 2018.  All donated produce will be delivered to Second Harvest Food Bank of Lorain County and to the Oberlin Community Service Center.  To find out more information see our Plant a Row page on our web site.

We are now on Facebook

Gardenscapes by Joanna LLC is now on Facebook , if you would like to be updated through the season via Facebook, please Like Us on Facebook.

Important dates for April

Sunday April 22, 2018, is Earth Day. Make everyday Earth Day!

Arbor Day is always celebrated the last Friday in April in Ohio.  It is Friday April 27, 2018. The most valuable plant you can plant is a Tree.  Trees are so very important for so many reasons.  Not only do they absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air we breathe, but their roots are wonderful at capturing storm water runoff.

Celebrate Arbor Day and plant an Ohio Native Tree!

Contact us today at or (440) 935-5074.


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