Throughout December we’ve invited customers in the Cash & Carry to take part in opening the doors to our giant advent calendar. 18 customers who visited the Cash & Carry checkout at 10am each day were the lucky recipients of one of a range of gifts, from our very own branded beer, to a Bettys Tea hamper.
Thank you to all our customers who took part. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
Posted 21st Dec 11:54am
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We hear so much on the News about the consequences of inflation, and I have just been looking through the 1775 price list of the famous old nurserymen, Telfords of York. Examples of prices at that time were:- Beech, one year seedlings, 50p per 1000, (Now £19) Beech 4ft high, 1 per 100. (Now £120) Standard apple trees, 10p each (Now £25) Rose seedlings, 2.5p each, (Now 30p) Pyracantha, 1.8p each, (Now £2.20) Rhododendron 75p each. (Now £14) With the rate of inflation between then and now at 137 times the prices have shown big variations, and wages have increased by almost 300 times
Demand for trees and shrubs is currently very high despite the dry conditions in November, and with an order book the highest ever, we must try and keep our customers happy! Not easy when so many orders allow little more than three working days between order and delivery anywhere in the country.
I recently attended the assessment day of the RHS ‘Green Plan It Challenge, Yorkshire’. This was a project to encourage schoolchildren aged 12-13 to become involved in a project to improve a chosen area of public land in their locality from design to implementation. In this first instance 8 schools participated and were judged on their understanding of their project, the beneficiaries, the construction and further project developments, each school having a little help from horticultural industry mentors.
The children were focussed and enthusiastic and appeared to really enjoy the project although they said they had no real motivation at the outset. There were prizes for the winning schools in a number of categories, and I am sure the RHS will be pleased with the completion of this first element of their project.
In a motivational talk by Jamie Butterworth, he referred to a saying by Confucius, ‘Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life’. That has most certainly applied to my attitude to work!
Sales to landscaping projects continue at a level in excess of last year, both by small businesses and the really big projects. Who knows what the impact of Brexit and Trump will be on our industry in the future, it appears impossible to read. How much should we be planting now for sale in 3 to 6 years’ time? We got caught out by planting too much in 2007 and cannot afford to make the same mistake again.
The prevention of imported plant diseases remains high on our priority list, we recently attended a meeting in Oxford to try and reach agreement on the way we should monitor imported plants. It was agreed that whatever we do we should encourage all growers and importers in the EU to take a similar stance, and not purchase plants from areas where diseases are known to be rampant. Even if the UK does not import any plants at all, we will still be in the path of European wind-blown spores and insects carried by birds and vehicles, packing cases etc. Global warming is helping to spread north the problems created by a warmer climate, and the reduction in available chemicals is dramatically limiting our ability to control these problems.
Now is the time to be cutting hard back those trees and shrubs which are old or congested. Don’t do it when frosty, it will not only stimulate young growth, but will also reduce the spread of trees and shrubs over herbaceous borders.
It is easy to forget wall shrubs, but they need trimming and tying in. Prune out shoot growing towards the wall or away from the wall and re-arrange branches to fill gaps if necessary.
Be ready to knock snow off conifers to prevent branches being pulled downwards, some forms will benefit from being loosely tied together. Remember to service and maintain all those tools ready for the spring, don’t let them sit there rusting away!
All parts of the oleander (Nerium oleander), a beautiful Mediterranean-native flowering shrub, now popular in the UK, are poisonous. Ingesting oleander leaves can cause gastrointestinal, cardiac, and central nervous system problems and possible death. Children beware!!
Enjoy a gardening break over Christmas, and over New Year plan what is to be done in 2017!
Very Best Wishes to all horticulturists.
Posted 20th Dec 11:12am
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A big well done to Corrina Mills who has achieved her level 2 city & guilds diploma in business administration and completed all 11 modules. She also achieved a level 2 in English.
Her manager, Chris Davis, said “I would like to congratulate Corrina on her achievements, she has already become a valued member of the admin team, her willingness to learn and assist other departments is refreshing to see.”
Posted 20th Dec 10:38am
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We are delighted to introduce a new plant to our commercial landscape range aimed at landscape designers, architects and contractors.
Our new herbaceous perennial, Geranium Miss Heidi, has many benefits for customers as it comes at a relatively low cost per m2 and is easy to manage.
The attractive plant features masses of pink flowers with darker pink veining that continue throughout the spring and summer.
Unlike many other Geranium, most notably macrorrhizum types, the plant doesn’t resent rough treatment and can be crudely cut back at any time from the start of April to the end of August. In no time it will be begin to flower again. Much the same as any herbaceous, it is best left alone to die down naturally through winter.
If you’re looking for an alternative to box hedging, we can also suggest Euonymus japonicus ‘Green Spire’ which is suitable for large-scale projects.
This hardy, upright, compact shrub is disease free and its glossy dark evergreen foliage is retained during harsh winters. The plant thrives in sun and partial shade conditions and can be used on the coast or inland, in well-drained soil, and will tolerate most soil types. This means it’s a perfect alternative to Buxus sempervirens for use as a small hedge.
Posted 20th Dec 10:24am
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On Friday 16th December our 100-strong workforce, along with our office dog Isla, took part in Christmas Jumper Day and we are pleased to announce we raised £107 in aid of Save the Children.
We will be closed from 12pm on Wednesday 21st December as we head over to The Bridge Hotel for our Christmas party and will return to work on Tuesday 3rd January.
We look forward to working with you in 2017 and would like to take this opportunity to wish all our customers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Posted 20th Dec 10:19am
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We recently raised £500 for Oscar Day – a local three year old boy who suffers from severe Dystonic Cerebral Palsy and whose parents are teachers at our local school.
Oscar’s disability means that his family are faced with constant decisions around the type and level of care and therapy that they pursue for him. Sadly, many of these choices are limited by the paucity of the services in this country and the huge costs that come with them.
So to help raise much-needed funds, the family turned to local businesses to help raise the £10,000 needed for an intensive therapy programme in Canada which offers Oscar the opportunity to gain the skills of independent movement that will be vital in later life.
To help and support the family, Ellie and Tracey Richardson from our Cash & Carry team donated a Christmas hamper worth £50 and put on a fundraiser for customers who visited the nursery and were each asked to donate £1.
We would like to thank all our customers who took part in the fundraiser and helped us to raise a fantastic amount to such a worthy cause. We know the family are very grateful for your support.
Posted 20th Dec 10:16am
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In this blog post our managing director, Graham Richardson, discusses how we create a perfect growing and protected environment in an efficient and sustainable way.
As a grower and supplier of millions of trees and shrubs, we are one of the few businesses that can boast a net contribution to the environment as a consequence of our activities.
We don’t rest on our laurels, but take our operational and environmental activities very seriously – our successful accreditation to the international quality standard ISO14001 is recognition of this.
Our products in the main are ‘hardy’ however they still need to be cared for and a cold winter will usually see our oil usage rocket in our attempt to protect juvenile or tender species.
In late 2013, we identified that our Whixley propagation and herbaceous perennial nursery would benefit from the installation of an eco-friendly biomass boiler that would feed our substantial glasshouse and adjacent properties with hot water for heating purposes.
In the spring of 2014, installation began of a system that provides heating to three adjacent domestic properties, two residential business buildings and our multi-span glasshouse, all located or fronting the same site. The system comprises of a 200Kwh ETA woodchip boiler, 6000ltr hot water buffer reservoir, 180 metres of insulated feeder pipe, dedicated plant room, fuel delivery mechanism and fuel store capable of stockpiling 150 cubic metres of woodchip fuel.
The system went live in the summer of 2014 and was soon recognised to be both efficient and effective.
Wood chip fuel, which is more cost effective than pellet, is delivered in bulk loads directly into our fuel store – the chip is picked up via an auger that feeds pre-dried chip (>20% water content) directly into the boiler as a response to demand for heat. The resulting hot water is then stored in a huge 6000ltr insulated tank and is distributed to each building on demand. Heat exchangers and satellite buffer tanks then provide the heated water to each building. Each property is controlled and metered separately and the system is managed via a series of touch screen management panels, or remotely via desktop or iPhone applications.
Despite having to travel up to 180m, supplied hot water is piping hot due to the insulated feeder pipes located 80cm under the site surface which are highly effective.
While in the early stages and a significant investment in oil fuel savings, coupled with the government Renewable Heat Incentive allowance, the systems are on track to achieve payback. The systems will then be in place for a further 13 to 14 years to provide a worthwhile annual income in reward for our environmental investment.
We are proud of our environmental credentials and continue to seek new ways in which we can build a more sustainable business for the future.
Posted 14th Dec 2:44pm
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Well done to managing director Graham Richardson who bench pressed his body weight today 11th December (90 kilos) 22 times and won the competition at Absolute Fitness Gym in Boroughbridge.
Posted 12th Dec 11:29am
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We are proud to announce that our very own Luke Richardson has been named on Pro Landscaper Magazine’s prestigious 30 under 30 list.
Pro Landscaper launched the initiative again this July to find another 30 young inspiring people in the industry, following the success of the inaugural ‘30 Under 30: The Next Generation’ last year.
The award ceremony has been designed to help young people within the horticulture and landscape sectors gain recognition and celebrate their achievements.
This year, a high volume of applications were received from all sectors of the industry, including garden design, landscaping, landscape architecture, arboriculture and suppliers.
Luke attended the 30 under 30 presentation evening on November 15th at Sandown Park Racecourse where he received his certificate. Luke’s achievement was also covered in the magazine.
Posted 5th Dec 1:02pm
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Pupils from Kirk Hammerton C of E Primary School received a lesson in the importance of planting trees this week from our procurement manager Jonathan Whittemore.
We also donated 45 bulbs, one for each child at the school to plant as part of National Tree Week which is organised each year by The Tree Council.
National Tree Week which took place from 26 November – 4 December is the UK’s largest tree celebration annually launching the start of the winter tree planting season and a chance for communities to do something positive for their local treescape.
Jonathan Whittemore presented to pupils on Tuesday 29 November about the importance of trees in the environment and also gifted a tree and plant pot for the entrance to the school.
“As a socially responsible business and one of the very few net contributors to the environment it’s very important to us to work with the local community to promote trees more than ever and to help ensure a green future for everything from humans and wildlife to bugs.
“Without trees, our towns and countryside would look bleak and uninspired.
“We enjoy working with the school and know that by visiting this week it has helped develop the children’s appreciation of the importance of tree planting and the sustainability of the local environment.”
Class 1 teacher, Brogan Fraser said:
“Following the event, the children took time to notice the trees around the school grounds, admiring their beautiful shapes and qualities. In the classroom they have been more aware of all the resources in school which are made from wood. Great fun was had by all!”
Executive Headteacher, Elizabeth Mellor said:
“I would like to add my sincere thanks to Johnsons of Whixley for their support of the school. The children benefitted enormously from the whole experience and as a result have a better understanding of how important trees are and also how to care for our environment.”
As part of our continued work in the local community, we also delivered 32 miniature Christmas trees to every child at Kirk Hammerton Nursery School.
Posted 4th Dec 2:39pm
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Johnsons of Whixley were selected by The Landscape Group id verde to supply Gwendwr Gardens in West Kensington.
Gwendwr Gardens is a public garden that was built in memory of those killed in the Blitz.
We secured the contract, worth £13,000, following a competitive tender issued by Coventry-based The Landscape Group, part of the id verde Group.
id verde Group is the European market leader for the management, maintenance and construction of natural and urban landscapes.
As part of the renovation works, overgrown foliage was cut back to make way for the new planting scheme supplied by us, comprising of approximately 6,000 plants, mainly shrubs and herbaceous and of 44 different varieties.
The new planting complements the different growing conditions within the site and provides colour and interest throughout the year.
A sunken garden, which is the focal point at the centre of the park, has also been filled with colourful plants and native flowers in shaded areas to help boost biodiversity.
The garden first opened in 1949 after being gifted to what was then Fulham Council by the Gunter Estate and was built to remember residents from West Kensington who lost their lives in the Second World War bombings.
Posted 1st Dec 12:21pm
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A big well done to Jackie Gill who recently became Supply Chain and Logistics Manager. Her new role will involve cost effective planning of UK deliveries and abroad collections for the 6 company vehicles we run, managing sub-contractors, and improving out stillage management process.
Posted 1st Dec 11:28am
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|Saturday||8am - 12pm|
Set in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, why not visit our nursery to discover what we have to offer?