Latest Stories

  1. May Day Bank Holiday - Xpress opening hours

    May Day Bank Holiday - Xpress opening hours

    Our trade only Cash & Carry will be open on Saturday 29 April, 8.00am to 12.00pm.

    We will be closed on Sunday and Monday before re-opening between 8.00am and 4.30pm on Tuesday 2nd May.

    We hope to see you over the bank holiday weekend!

    Posted 28th Apr 3:54pm
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  2. Chris Myers, Best in Show

    Chris Myers, Best in Show

    Hello again,

    For the last 12 years, building show gardens has formed part of the work my team and I do. This year I was commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society to design & produce a show garden based on a Welsh myth or legend, to be exhibited at the RHS Cardiff Flower Show.

    I was given a budget to work to, but from there on it was up to me to come up with a theme and design. I found this all quite exciting; knowing nothing about Welsh myths or legends meant that I had an excuse to read, explore – and get inspired!

    Inspiration came in the form the legend of Blodeuwedd, a woman who was created from flowers to be the wife of the hero Lleu. According to the myth, while her husband was away, Blodeuwedd fell in love with a neighbour and together they hatched a plan to kill Lleu.

    Protected by his mother, Lleu’s life could only be taken by improbable circumstances, while he took a bath under a thatched roof by a river. Receiving a well-aimed spear, Lleu thwarted death and turned into an eagle, and with the help of magic was turned back to human form. As punishment, he turned Blodeuwedd into a tawny owl and banished her to a solitary life in the woods.

    The garden I designed represented different elements of the story. A thatched canopy above a bath marked the scene of the attempted murder. As Lleu did not die I chose to have blossom and wild flowers along the banks of a river-like water feature, with the sculpture of an owl looking on.

    As an added quirk and focal point I made the water in bath spill out over the sides. The RHS loved the design and the creation began.

    To create a garden worthy of any show takes time and warrants quality throughout, and I am lucky to have contacts in the horticultural world who I can rely on.

    I was able to fill the garden with top notch plants from Johnsons of Whixley.

    The garden was framed with some really amazing ivy screens, grown by Johnsons and supplied by Greentech, and a stunning owl sculpture from Graculus Sculptures, in Swaledale, really set the garden off. With a few additional extras from my hoard of plants, trees and junk – bath included – the garden was ready. Following a week of building in Cardiff all looked good.

    The RHS judges came and had a look prior to the show opening and the first day of the show started well, with blue skies and lots of visitors flooding into the show ground.

    Then it got even better – the garden was presented with a Gold medal & awarded ‘Best in Show’! Happy days!

    The award is a credit to the hard work of my team and a reflection of the quality of the plants and materials used.

    Next up – Chelsea? Maybe one day…

    Take care,


    Posted 26th Apr 10:16am
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  3. A look back on March

    A look back on March

    Johnsons of Whixley enjoyed another successful month in March 2017.

    In what was a great month across the business, 2,135 orders were processed and more than 858,000 plants were sold.

    507,914 bare root trees and transplants were sold, along with 7361 root balls.

    We held a total of 49, meetings including senior management group meetings, health and safety meetings, stock meetings and marketing meetings.

    In total, we served 606 customers, including many who we have worked with over a number of years, and who benefit from our expertise and high levels of customer service time and time again.

    As one of our busiest months of the year, 20,953 man hours were worked – including overtime.

    Let’s hope the rest of the year is just as successful!

    Posted 26th Apr 9:04am
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  4. World Health and Safety Day

    World Health and Safety Day

    To mark World Health and Safety Day (Friday 28 April), here are some of Johnsons’ top health and safety tips to help keep you safe whilst gardening.

    1. Don’t forget your Goggles – It’s easy to forget to put your goggles on when mowing the lawn, cutting that thorn hedge or using chemicals but please don’t your eye sight is very important and without this eye protection you could cause yourself serious harm.
    2. Put away your sharp tools properly – It is easy to throw your secateurs down on the floor or your saw but it is very important to put them away safely or with the correct safety surround on.
      Sharp tools
    3. Always wear Protective clothing when using chemicals – Certain chemicals are harmful to the skin and may cause injury.
    4. Invest in a good pair of gloves – A good pair of gloves should always be by your side to protect your hands from chemicals, thorns and day to day garden activities.
    5. Don’t lift something you can’t – Only attempt to lift weighty items that are within your natural handling capacity. Ask someone to help or use machinery to help you. This will help prevent injury to your back and other areas.
    6. Ensure your ladder is stable – Assess the area you are working on – is it safe? Is the ground stable? Should I be putting the ladder here? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘no’ then it isn’t safe, and you should re-assess the situation.

    Posted 25th Apr 9:10am
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  5. Q&A with our safety experts for World Health and Safety Day

    Q&A with our safety experts for World Health and Safety Day

    To mark World Health and Safety Day (Friday 28th April) we have asked Johnsons’ resident Health and Safety experts, Dave and Terry from Sound Safety, some questions around the subject and their work with us.

    How long have you worked with Johnsons of Whixley?
    We started working with Johnsons in June 2006, so just over 10 years!

    What systems have you helped put in place during your time with Johnsons?
    Initially we focused on getting senior managers, managers, supervisors and shop floor personnel involved and talking about health and safety, and started to hold regular executive and general committee meetings discussing, planning and actioning health and safety issues on site. We’ve monitored how effective our systems are through regular audits and inspections. This model has been instrumental in achieving all the improvements that have been made over the past ten years at Johnsons.

    What’s been the most frequently reported incident you have come across working with different businesses?
    That’s a difficult question, as we work with many different companies who operate in different environments. But there is always a human element in reported accidents and incidents. Often someone has failed to do something they should have done, or someone has done something they shouldn’t have done. Incidents involving vehicles contribute to most of the incidents reported here at Johnsons.

    How often do you work with Johnsons?
    We work with Johnsons one day per week, but we are always on call in the event of an emergency, or if anyone requires support or advice.

    What does a day working at Johnsons entail?
    In the morning, we review any accidents or incidents from the previous weeks, prepare for committee meetings that we may be attending, and work on any documents around systems and risk assessments – in other words any paperwork that needs doing. Usually in the afternoon we investigate any accidents or incidents, carry out a scheduled workplace inspection at one or two of the sites, and spend time with managers who may have raised a concern.

    What do you like most about working with Johnsons?
    When trying to develop a robust health and safety culture in any organisation there has to be a genuine commitment and practical involvement at senior management level. Without this commitment, it’s difficult to encourage middle management and supervisors to get on board – we believe Johnsons have those elements in place. Having an open an honest relationship with management is one of the keys to job satisfaction

    How did you both get into the health and safety industry?
    For me (Terry), it just seemed a natural progression in my career, coming from an engineering background in a highly regulated chemical industry. I (David) applied for the job as Safety Officer as it meant a promotion and more money than I was getting working as a chemist – hat was 27 years ago when I had a full head of hair!

    Have you been involved in any accidents or incidents yourselves in your career?
    About 20 years ago I (Terry) was working on a scaffold with a colleague, when one of the scaffold boards snapped in half and I fell about four metres injuring my back. I (David) haven’t suffered any injuries at work but I once nearly electrocuted myself at home trying to fix the washer while it was still plugged in! Fortunately for me the RCD tripped so I was not injured too badly. It’s worth noting that many more injuries are caused by accidents in the home than they are by accidents in the workplace

    Finally, what health and safety advice would you give to people working in the horticulture industry?
    Listen and take on board any health and safety advice you’ve been given, adhere to any training or instruction that you have received, challenge anything that may potentially put you or your colleagues at risk, and report anything that has the potential to hurt someone.


    Posted 24th Apr 5:19pm
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  6. Harrogate Top Honours

    Harrogate Top Honours

    After supporting and supplying plants to the largest ever show garden at Harrogate Spring Flower Show, as part of a project being delivered in conjunction with Help For Heroes, we are proud to announce that the garden, named ‘A Homecoming Prayer’ won gold – taking top honours at the show.

    Johnsons supplied plants including bamboos, grasses, acers, specimen conifers and trees, at a heavily subsidised rate as part of their sponsorship of the project.

    The garden will now be relocated, in its entirety, to its final home at Dishforth Airfield, near Thirsk, where it will serve as a memorial space for the 6th Regiment Royal Logistics Corps, who recently returned to the UK from Germany.

    There are plans to construct a new Cenotaph as part of the garden

    It is hoped that the garden will not only enhance the barracks, but also kick start wider gardening initiatives, including workshops for military wives and partners.

    The garden is a collaborative effort, led by the 6th Royal Logistics Core, working with Help for Heroes, in support of wounded, injured and sick veterans around the country.

    Members of the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) have helped to support the design and build of the show garden.

    The project is also being sponsored by HESCO, a globally renowned manufacturer of defensive barriers used to protect military personnel overseas and to save homes and businesses from flooding.

    Posted 21st Apr 4:41pm
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  7. Ellie’s Eight - Top Tips for the Easter Weekend

    Ellie’s Eight - Top Tips for the Easter Weekend

    A four-day weekend for the majority means ample opportunity to enjoy some time in the garden.

    • Ensure watering is a priority, especially with the wind we have had up north this week, and take particularly good care of newly planted plants. This especially applies to the larger hedging plants like laurels, which were planted in the root ball season – aftercare is crucial.
    • Time to remove any faded flowers from those early spring flowering bulbs. Daffodils are usually one of the first to go. Leave the foliage intact allowing it to die back naturally.
    • Top up your pots with fresh compost and feed to ensure a good start to the summer season, which will shortly be upon us.
    • Protect the new shoots of delphiniums, lupins, hostas and other vulnerable plants from slugs and snails. Why not try SLUG GONE wool pellets, which are available to buy on our cash & carry.
    • Give your Lawn some much needed TLC. After a long hard winter your lawn will benefit from a feed. If your lawn contains moss or weeds try using a lawn weed and feed treatment.
    • Prune early flowering shrubs like forsythia and Berberis immediately after flowering.
    • Sow hardy annuals such as clarkia and herb seeds directly into the beds or pots.
    • Spring is a great time to divide perennials such as Alchemilla, Salvia, Brunnera and Dicentra if you haven’t had time to do so in winter.

    Posted 13th Apr 2:03pm
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  8. Johnsons congratulates Chris Myers on ‘Best in Show’ award at RHS Cardiff

    Johnsons congratulates Chris Myers on ‘Best in Show’ award at RHS Cardiff

    Johnsons of Whixley has congratulated Chris Myers on winning ‘Best in Show’ at the RHS Show Cardiff for his garden celebrating the mythical tale of ‘Bloudeuwedd’.

    According to the myth, Blodeuwedd was a woman created from flowers, and the wife of the hero Lleu.

    While her husband was away, Blodeuwedd fell in love with a neighbour and together they hatched a plan to kill Lleu while he bathed.

    But Lleu thwarted death, and transformed into an eagle to flee, before returning to human form.

    As punishment, Lleu turned Blodeuwedd into a tawny owl and she was banished to live a solitary life in the woods.

    Elements from this magical story were represented in the garden.

    Chris also received a Gold Medal in recognition of the high standard of his garden.

    Johnsons is proud to have supplied plants to the award-winning garden, including ferns, ivy, blackthorn and oak.

    RHS Cardiff was held at Bute Park in the heart of the city centre, and celebrated the best of springtime while encouraging visitors to learn and grow as gardeners.

    Chris, who is best known as the presenter of Channel 4’s ‘Wild Things’, is a regular guest blogger on the Johnsons website.

    Congratulations, Chris!

    Posted 11th Apr 2:01pm
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  9. Allotments for National Garden Month

    Allotments for National Garden Month

    Gardening is not only great for your health, but can also provide a great source of food – from mint, to lettuce, to rosemary, to garnish your drink.

    Andrew and Vicky, who are a part of the team here at Johnsons, have their own allotments.

    And to celebrate National Garden Month, we’re pleased to share some of their top tips.

    Andrew Barker
    Amenity sales rep – North

    1. Protect everything from birds and slugs.
    2. Plant successional crops, so they don’t all come at once.
    3. Rain water is as valuable as gold.
    4. Be nice to your plot neighbours and they will give you free strawberry plants.
    5. The best way to get rid of slugs is to go out in the rain and pick them up in a plastic bottle.
    6. Don’t be surprised if weeds grow back in a matter of days.
    7. Direct sow what you can as soon as you can.
    8. Wear sun cream!

    Vicky Newell
    Amenity sales – North and Scotland

    1. Once your growing season has finished, dig over you bed and remove weeds as soon as possible, dig in a thick layer of manure and cover over your beds with mypex sheeting to stop weeds growing, and help the worms work the manure through your soil.
    2. Get potatoes and onions in a soon as possible. You can always cover these with a fleece until the frosts have finished.
    3. Plant cut flowers – not only do you save you loads of money but it also helps pollination
    4. Commit a regular amount of time tending to your allotment – once you start missing a week or two the weeds will take over!
    5. Grow fruit on your allotment. Apples, pears, plums, blueberries, currants and strawberries are all relative easy to grow and can be left to their own devices.
    6. Make sure your house insurance covers all your tools that you store on your plot – allotments are regularly targeted for their equipment.
    7. Enjoy your allotment and spending time outside. Talk to your neighbours, swap advice and plants.

    Posted 3rd Apr 3:39pm
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  10. Look out for our blog posts during April, as we celebrate National Garden Month!

    Look out for our blog posts during April, as we celebrate National Garden Month!

    To get us started, here are some calorie-burning facts – gardening is not only great for the mind, but great for boosting your health and wellbeing, too!

    Posted 3rd Apr 3:38pm
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  11. Johnsons develops staff through Growing Stars initiative

    Johnsons develops staff through Growing Stars initiative

    Johnsons of Whixley is paving the way for the company’s stars of the future, and aiming to develop local talent, through a significant financial investment in its new Growing Stars programme.

    Growing Stars has been introduced by Johnsons to develop the skillset of existing staff members, with a view to them one day taking on a more senior role with the business.

    The new initiative will help to underpin the continued growth of the 96-year-old family business, which is now recognised as one of the largest commercial nursery businesses in Europe, and a trusted supplier of plants and trees to the landscape and retail sectors in the UK.

    The Growing Stars programme is open to staff from all parts of the business and includes training experiences, technical modules, horticultural sessions, operational nursery activities, as well as the opportunity to earn a formal qualification in Team Leading.

    The programme is being delivered in conjunction with training providers Dutton Fisher and includes a mixture of on-site training and external activities, including learning from the company’s supply and technology partners.

    The first class of Growing Stars are now in training, and are expected to complete the course in August.

    Posted 3rd Apr 1:01pm
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  12. Europe’s Strongest Man hopefuls prepare with help of Johnsons

    Europe’s Strongest Man hopefuls prepare with help of Johnsons

    World-class competitors from the Strongman circuit, including Game of Thrones star Thor Bjornsson, prepared for 2017’s Europe’s Strongest Man competition with the help of leading commercial nursery business Johnsons of Whixley.

    Bjornsson, who rose to fame after appearing as ‘The Mountain’ in the hit fantasy drama, and who is also a two-time Europe’s Strongest Man winner, was joined by former World Deadlift Champion Benedikt Magnusson and ex-World Champion Bill Kazmeier.

    Bjornsson and Magnusson trained for the Car Lift event on site at Johnsons, while Kazmeier, who is now a part of the broadcasting team for the competition, conducted interviews with the pair as part of the build-up to the event, which takes place at Leeds’s First Direct Arena on Saturday 1 April.

    Johnsons offered to host the session having provided storage and training facilities for the ‘Giants Live’ Strongman circuit for more than five years.

    Posted 3rd Apr 1:01pm
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Opening Times for Deliveries and Collections

Monday 8am - 4.30pm
Tuesday 8am - 4.30pm
Wednesday 8am - 4.30pm
Thursday 8am - 4.30pm
Friday 8am - 4.30pm
Saturday 8am - 12pm
Sunday Closed

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Set in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, why not visit our nursery to discover what we have to offer?


Johnsons of Whixley Ltd

Gilsthwaite Ln,
Kirk Hammerton,
North Yorkshire,
YO26 8AQ,
United Kingdom

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