Gwendolyn Johnson Design, LLC
Landscape Design for Your Home

Designing Outdoor Spaces that enrich your life & feed your soul.

Autumn Trees

Leaves are Falling...

I love raking leaves! The old-fashioned kind of raking, gathering the pile stroke by stroke. No noise but the leaves' crunchy chatter as the rake scrapes them together. 

While I rake, I find myself in awe once again of trees and all that they give to us.
• They produce oxygen for us to breathe
• They provide shelter for us and homes and food for smaller creatures
• Their leaves hold rainwater, their roots enhance water infiltration, and, through evapotranspiration, they help use the water after a storm, all of which help alleviate stress on our stormwater systems
• They filter pollutants
• They shade our streets, driveways, walkways, walls and rooftops, which reduce the 'heat island' effect
• They increase beauty to our neighborhoods

• They reduce crime and stress (article)
• They add value to our homes and community (article)
• They block cold winter winds and create cooling shade from summer heat
• They give structure and texture to our gardens, parks and streets
• They increase the color in our lives, be it their flowers, summer and fall foliage, fruits or bark
• They provide resting spots for birds which lets us watch our feathered friends

For all this, and more, I give thanks to trees.

Fall Leaves
Oakleaf Hydrangea

Season of Change

Make your outdoor spaces into special places that will enrich your life and feed your soul. If you need help planning your outdoor spaces, be it a new patio, new or refreshed planting designs, new water feature, or new outdoor kitchen, give me a call. To see some examples of my designs, please visit my website: Or feel free to call me at 610-896-8444, or email me at I'd love to help you create outdoor spaces that you will enjoy for years to come.

Gwendolyn Johnson Design

Make Leaf Mulch!

Leaves make fantastic mulch and fertilizer for your garden beds and lawn. Leaf mulch protects your plants from the winter chills and provide your gardens with the vital nutrients they need without costing you anything. No need to send your leaves off to the landfill or even the township pick-up. Here are some ways to recycle your leaves:

You can gather them together, mow over them, then spread the leaf bits around your beds.
Leaf Mulch, Before & After Mowing
Photos: Carolyn's Shade Garden blog

You can mow over them right on your lawn and let the leaf bits feed your lawn. Just mow them until they are dime-size pieces or smaller. According to The Lawn Institute, "the best method for weed control is mowing the leaves with a mulching mower and letting them fall to the soil, right where they are. Studies at Purdue University show that mulching leaves into the turf can actually be beneficial to the soil and grass. Soils with mulched leaves showed increased microbial activity and better water infiltration. A Michigan State University study showed that when leaves were mulched into established turf the grass greened up quicker in the spring and also had fewer dandelions in the spring." Great benefits!

You can compost in simple wire bins that over time will become rich "black gold" for future use on your beds. Great for your spring mulching and fertilizing needs. Mine are fashioned after leaf columns at the New England Wildflower Society. For more info, click here.
Leaf Columns
Darker bottom = last year's leaves; lighter top = this year's.

Recycle leaves and reap benefits for your garden and beyond... you are reducing the size of our landfills and the energy costs to get them there too!
Dirr's Encyclopedia of Trees & Shrubs

Books and Tools
I have set up a page at Amazon for you to easily find books, tools and other items that will enhance your appreciation of your outdoor spaces. 
Click here to be inspired!

2531 Belmont Avenue
Ardmore, PA 19003

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2531 Belmont Ave
Ardmore, PA 19003

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