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Gardenscapes Newsletter March 2019

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

During the 1980s, Iowans were concerned about roadside departments blanket spraying large amounts of herbicide to control roadside weeds and how these chemicals affected groundwater quality. In 1988, the Iowa legislature passed legislation that established the integrated roadside vegetation management program. State, county, and city programs manage roadsides ecologically with native plant restoration and protection, judicious use of herbicides to control priority roadside weeds, reduced mowing, and brush clearing. Diverse native plant stands are long-lived, resilient, and effective at out-competing weeds as well as providing other ecological and societal benefits. This integrated approach helps establish and maintain safe, healthy, and functional roadsides.  Why don't you make a pledge to remove some turf and plant grasses and perennials to attract pollinators and help to absorb storm water run off.

Global Synthesis of Conservation Studies Reveals the Importance of Small Habitat Patches for Biodiversity

Edited by Susan P. Harrison, University of California, Davis, CA, and approved November 13, 2018 (received for review July 28, 2018)

Our central result indicates a working hypothesis for land managers and policy makers: that small, relatively isolated habitat patch of high shape complexity in fragmented landscapes tend to be of higher conservation value according to criterion than a similar-sized habitat patch within contiguous tracts of intact vegetation of low shape complexity.

Mowed spaces could be put to better use. The picture above is a great example of how to reclaim them for native plants and wildlife.

Standing in the street and admiring each other’s gardens one day, Sherrie Pelsma and her neighbor made a delightful discovery: They’d become hosts to a buzzing block party.

“We could actually see the air traffic of bees and butterflies crossing the street between our two habitats,” recalls Pelsma. “I said, ‘Wow, how cool would it be if everybody had a little strip?’ ”

New Smithsonian Study Links Declines in Suburban Backyard Birds to Presence of Nonnative Plants

"Landowners are using nonnative plants in their yards because they’re pretty and exotic, they’re easy to maintain, and they tend to have fewer pests on them,” said Desirée Narango, a graduate student researcher at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and first author of the study published Oct. 22 in PNAS. “But it turns out that a lot of those insects they see as pests are actually critical food resources for our breeding birds. For landowners who want to make a difference, our study shows that a simple change they make in their yards can be profoundly helpful for bird conservation.”

Bumblebee Has Officially Been Added To the Ever-Growing List of Endangered Species

Bumblebees are among the most important pollinators of crops such as blueberries, cranberries, and clover, and almost the only insect pollinators of tomatoes. The economic value of pollination services provided by native insects (mostly bees) is estimated at $3 billion per year in the United States.

One of the main factors in the declining trend of its population was the human encroachment which led to the subsequent loss of their natural habitat. Therefore, this classification will protect the grasslands needed by these bees and other pollinators.

The Degradation of Soils from Unsustainable Agriculture and Other Development has Released Billions of Tons of Carbon into the Atmosphere. But new research shows how effective land restoration could play a major role in sequestering CO2 and slowing climate change.

Soil in a long-term experiment appears red when depleted of carbon (left)

Scientists say that more carbon resides in soil than in the atmosphere and all plant life combined; there are 2,500 billion tons of carbon in soil, compared with 800 billion tons in the atmosphere and 560 billion tons in plant and animal life. And compared to many proposed geoengineering fixes, storing carbon in soil is simple: It’s a matter of returning carbon where it belongs.

Synthetic fertilizers, especially when used across a whole landscape like typical lawn care treatments, do untold harm to the soil ecosystems. Soil sequesters four times more carbon than all the terrestrial plants on a global scale, so we must stop treating our soil like dirt!

In addition, because synthetic fertilizers lack the complex structures associated with typical organic materials, they tend to rinse away quickly and end up in the nearest waterway. We must take good care of our water to provide a better environment for future generations. We all live in a watershed.

 Save the Monarch Butterfly

The Monarch butterfly population has made progress overwintering in the forests of Mexico over the last two winters, but twenty years ago, the orange and black beauties covered 44 acres compared to nearly 15 acres in December of 2018.  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. 

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

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

Monday April 22, 2019, is Earth Day. Make everyday Earth Day!

Arbor Day is always celebrated the last Friday in April in Ohio.  It is Friday April 26, 2019. 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.

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


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