Latest Stories

  1. Staff profile: Gergo Kontos

    Staff profile: Gergo Kontos

    Name: Gergo Kontos

    Age: 27


    Szolnok, Hungary.  I now live in Leeds, but visit home once or twice a year to see my family.

    How long have been in the UK?

    I moved here when I was 24, so it’s been just over three years

    What were your reasons for choosing to settle in the UK?

    I just felt like England had more to give.

    Who did you come to the UK with?

    I travelled over with a friend of mine

    How did you come to work for Johnsons?

    The friend I travelled over with found me a job at Johnsons, at first through an agency, and I am now employed full-time by the company

    What is your current role within the company?

    I am a senior nursery worker.

    What does a typical day for you at Johnsons consist of?

    I mostly work in the potting shed, but I sometimes drive the tractor, or the dumper, when helping to lift amenity orders.

    Has this been your only role at Johnsons?

    My job and the roles I carry out have varied over the last three years I have been here, and I am happy to work wherever I am needed.

    What’s your favourite thing about working for the company?

    The people that work here are friendly, and this has really helped make my time enjoyable.

    What’s your favourite thing about living in the UK?

    The football! I support Liverpool and enjoy watching the matches on TV. I also like that my girlfriend lives in the UK, and I love the fact that Slash from Guns N’ Roses is English. I love the band and I went to see them live in London two weeks ago.

    What are your ambitions, in work and in life?

    I would love to travel some more, and maybe live In Australia or New Zealand with my girlfriend, but I would come back to Johnsons if I ever returned to the UK. I may end up in Australia or New Zealand once we’ve saved up enough money.

    Posted 29th Jun 5:21pm
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  2. Johnsons recognised for charitable contributions

    Johnsons recognised for charitable contributions

    Johnsons of Whixley has been recognised for its charitable efforts with the receipt of a Plaque of Appreciation from the Easingwold District Lions, marking more than 25 years of working with the organisation.

    Easingwold District Lions is a part of Lions International, the largest volunteering organisation in the world, with more than 46,000 clubs and 1.35 million members across its global network.

    Johnsons first started working with the Lions in 1990, when senior organiser Ray Thomas met Johnsons’ then managing director Andrew Richardson at a professional function.

    Since then, the nursery has donated plants each year to the Easingwold District Lions Summer Fayre, and is one of the organisation’s proudest and longest-standing supporters.

    Johnsons’ most recent donation of plants and flowers was seen at the Lions’ annual Summer Fayre, which took place at Easingwold Market Place on Saturday 24 June.

    Johnsons of Whixley group account managing director, Graham Richardson, said: “We are proud to work with such a fine charitable organisation, which does wonderful work in our local communities and overseas.

    “All of us at Johnsons feel extremely proud to receive this Plaque of Appreciation, recognising our contributions over the last two and a half decades, and we look forward to contributing further in the years ahead.”

    Recent projects undertaken by the Lions include the donation of 250 high-visibility tabards to a local primary school, to help pupils stay safe on school trips and walks. The organisation also works further afield, and earlier this year a representative volunteered their expertise as a dental hygienist in schools across equatorial Africa.

    Meanwhile, Johnsons has once again lent its support to the York Cares employee-volunteering charity.

    Earlier this month, more than 250 volunteers from across the city helped renovate outdoor space at York’s Tang Hall Community Centre, as it continues its transformation into a vibrant community hub for social enterprise and inclusion.

    Volunteers took part in a range of tasks including converting the basketball court into a multi-purpose outdoor space, creating a food growing and herb garden and a raised bed seating area. Johnsons was pleased to support the project through a significant donation of plants.

    Posted 28th Jun 9:05am
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  3. Staff Profile: Laszlo

    Staff Profile: Laszlo

    Meet our Potting Supervisor Laszlo – he’s been working at Johnsons of Whixley for four years, after moving to the UK from his hometown in Hungary.

    In his profile, Laszlo talks about what he enjoys about working at our nursery, what brought him to the UK and what he likes about living here.


    This is the first of a number of profiles from our staff who have moved to the UK after living in other European countries.  


    Name: Laszlo Csanyi

    Age: 20

    Hometown :  Baja, Hungary


    How long have been in the UK?

    Four Years


    What were your reasons for choosing to settle in the UK?

    My older brother and father came over to the UK in February 2014 to work. After they had being living in the UK for a while my mum, myself and my younger brother and sister moved over here. My parents sold everything back home to live and work here.


    Who did you come to the UK with?

    My family


    How did you come to work for Johnsons?

    I couldn’t carry on the studies I had done in Hungary so I got better with my English over the first 6 months here and an agency firm called Jark phoned me to ask if I wanted to work at Johnsons.


    What is your current role within the company?

    Potting supervisor


    What does a typical day for you at Johnsons consist of?

    I start off with a team brainstorm and plan the day, then I get my team together and talk through what needs to be done. We generally pot 5L & 10L plants.


    Has this been your only role at Johnsons? (promoted etc.)

    I have always worked on potting and learnt from my previous supervisor Brian who helped me with the knowledge I have now. I was then offered a full time contract and a promotion to be the Potting Supervisor in April 2016. 


    What’s your favourite thing about working for the company?

    I enjoy what I do and enjoy a challenge. I get on well with everyone and have always had great support from the management.


    What’s your favourite thing about living in the UK?

    I enjoy the loud music in pubs and clubs and there are lots of choices here compared to in Hungary, such as more music.


    What are your ambitions, in work and in life?

    I would say it was a big step becoming a supervisor I am really happy with that as a first step.

    Posted 20th Jun 11:40am
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  4. Johnsons invests in Drone technology

    Johnsons invests in Drone technology

    Johnsons of Whixley has invested more than £1,000 in drone camera technology as the company continues to drive innovation in the horticultural industry.

    The new airborne cameras will enable Johnsons staff members to remotely monitor stock levels across more than 200 acres of fragmented sites, as well as crop quality and irrigation levels.

    A dedicated team of staff members will be trained to operate the technology, which has a 3.5-mile range and can capture Ultra HD (4K) quality video.

    Established over 90 years ago, Johnsons of Whixley has a long history of technological innovation, and finding solutions to common industry problems. Many of the solutions implemented are bespoke to the business.

    Johnsons of Whixley group manging director, Graham Richardson, said: “There are a variety of envisaged uses for the new technology and we are excited about the possibilities around stock monitoring and management.

    “As a business we are always eager to find ways to boost our efficiency, streamline processes and embrace technology that can help us ultimately deliver a higher quality of product to our customers.

    “And by training staff members to use the technology we are aiding their continued professional development.”

    Posted 14th Jun 11:31am
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  5. Johnsons named runner up in Family Business Awards

    Johnsons named runner up in Family Business Awards

    Johnsons of Whixley’s status as one of the county’s leading family businesses has been further enhanced after being named Runner-Up for the Yorkshire region at the prestigious Family Business of the Year Awards earlier this month.

    Following a thorough application process, the Whixley-based plant nursery business, first established in 1921, was named on the final shortlist of 14 by organising body Family Business United, the magazine and resource centre that champions and celebrates the family business sector.

    The awards were held on Thursday 8 June at the luxurious May Fair Hotel in London, where Grimsby-based wholesale food exporter Ramsden International was awarded the top prize.

    Graham Richardson, managing director at Johnsons of Whixley, said: “We are incredibly proud to have made it so far in the competition, and were delighted to make the final shortlist, so to be named as overall runner-up is a huge achievement.

    “Across three generations, family values are at the heart of everything we deliver and it is pleasing that our long-standing commitment to these values has been rewarded in this way.

    “I’d like to congratulate Ramsden International on their worthy victory, and all of the other finalists for making the shortlist. We enjoyed a great night in wonderful company and left feeling immensely proud of all that we have achieved.”

    John Richardson, who will celebrate his 80th birthday in September, has been the chairman of the Johnsons Group since 1964 and still takes an active daily role in governance, strategy, quality and environmental systems, and health and safety.

    Two of John’s sons, Andrew and Iain, are joint managing directors, alongside sibling and group managing director, Graham.

    John’s grandchildren also take an active role. Luke is a senior key account manager, Robert is manager of the wholesale cash and carry unit, and Ellie is an office and administration supervisor, with a customer-facing role within the Xpress Cash and Carry division.

    A further two grandsons and a granddaughter also have sales and admin responsibilities.

    Posted 14th Jun 11:30am
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  6. Ellie's Eight: National Insect Week

    Ellie's Eight: National Insect Week

    In this edition of Ellie’s Eight, Ellie Richardson of Johnsons of Whixley identifies eight plants that will help attract and provide a hub for insects. The list is in support of National Insect Week, which runs between  19th and 26th June.

    • Plant Echinacea in two or three clumps to attract bees and butterflies. Most Echinaceas will flower from July to September.


    • Achillea are loved by bees and many other insects, including ladybirds and hoverflies. They will generally flower from June-September.


    • Plant Ajuga to attract insects in to your garden, including bees and butterflies. It is on the RHS ‘Perfect for Pollinators’ list. They flower from April to June.


    • Buddleias are also known as ‘butterfly bush’, but attract lots of other insects too, and will flower from July to September.


    • Scabiosa are ideal for attracting bees and butterflies and other insects to the garden, and will keep on flowering from June to October.


    • The flower on eryngium attracts bees and hoverflies. It’s a great addition to your garden and will flower from July to September.


    • Lupins are not only a cottage garden favourite, but a favourite for bees too, and will flower from June to September.


    • Coreopsis are another bee and butterfly favourite and will flower from June through to September.


    Posted 14th Jun 11:21am
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  7. A look back on May

    A look back on May

    Johnsons of Whixley enjoyed another great month in May.

    We bought our very own drone to capture imagery of our nursery, across all five of our nursery sites. Imagery will be used on our website and social media accounts.

    We spent over 300 hours watering in May, and a total of 23,995 man hours were worked.

    A whopping 214,204 plants were made saleable and another 209,975 plants were produced, with 281,166 plants sold, including 12,000 different order lines.

    513 different customers shopped with us and a total of 572 deliveries were made

    Posted 8th Jun 1:40pm
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  8. June Gardening Reminders

    June Gardening Reminders

    The warm weather is here, and we’ll hopefully enjoy plenty of sunshine from now until the end of August. Here are Johnsons of Whixley’s Gardening Reminders for the month of June.

    1. Dead-head spent flowers
    2. Continue to stake and tie in tall and floppy plants
    3. Keep training tomatoes
    4. Earth up potatoes
    5. Sow late salad crops
    6. Mow lawns regularly & scarify if there is a deep thatch
    7. Prune spring flowering shrubs, weigela, broom, forsythia etc.
    8. Start feeding pot shrubs unless long release fertilizer added
    9. Give box hedges & topiary a quick trim to retain shape
    10. Control weeds in all areas
    11. Wait until spring bulb foliage is yellow before lifting and storing
    12. Ensure that newly planted container plants are well watered

    Posted 8th Jun 1:39pm
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  9. Statement on Cattal Land

    Statement on Cattal Land

    Johnsons of Whixley group managing director Graham Richardson has issued the following statement relating to development plans in the local area and the company’s overall role within those plans:

    “Land in the Hammerton and Cattal areas has been identified in Harrogate Borough Council’s plan as having potential for a new settlement development. This is in response to a mounting lack of housing in the area.

    “Some of this land belongs to Johnsons of Whixley Ltd.

    “We would like to make it clear that Johnsons of Whixley has no current agreement with any developer or land promoter, but has had dialogue regarding a number of site proposals that are currently being considered by Harrogate Borough Council.

    “All discussions have recognised not only the successful nature of our business, but also its long association with the area, on a commercial and personal level.

    “A basic prerequisite would be the relocation of the existing business to a new site within the area.

    “This would ensure the maintenance of all current full time job roles and herald the beginning of a new chapter of growth, as new purpose-built facilities would aid automation and introduce efficiency not possible on existing sites.

    “As we approach 100 years in business, Johnsons of Whixley and the Richardson family have no intention of ceasing trading, and look forward to the next 100 years with increased optimism.”

    Posted 7th Jun 11:13am
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  10. A look back on April…

    A look back on April…

    Johnsons of Whixley enjoyed another successful month in April.

    In total, the business received 1,531 orders and more than 365,000 plants were sold.

    194,876 new plants were produced to sell, including 2Ls 5Ls and 10Ls, which means a whopping 880,200 litres of compost was used.

    Johnsons supplied two gold award-winning show gardens – one at RHS Cardiff Flower Show in support of Chris Myers, where we supplied Ivy, blackthorn and other varieties, and another at the Harrogate Flower Show, where we supported a homecoming prayer with other BALI members by supplying bamboos, conifers grasses and other varieties.

    Each outdoor nursery worker covered an average of eight miles of walking per day, while a total of 20,020 man hours were worked, including overtime.

    593 deliveries were made across the UK, stretching from Scotland right down to Essex.

    April was another successful month for Johnsons of Whixley, and we’re relishing the warmer weather ahead!

    Posted 6th Jun 2:28pm
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  11. Chris Myers Guest Blog

    Chris Myers Guest Blog

    Celebrity gardener Chris Myers, best known as presenter of Channel 4’s ‘Wild Things’ programme and as one of the UK’s foremost ‘off-grid’ gardeners, is one of Johnsons of Whixley’s guest bloggers. This month he discusses the role nature can play in our mental wellbeing, following the recent tragic events in Manchester.

    As I prepared for this month’s blog I was confident that show gardens – Chelsea in particular – would feature heavily.

    I even went to bed last night thinking about this year’s Chelsea gardens – who would win what, and of course with a keen interest in how the Welcome to Yorkshire garden, designed by Tracy Foster, would fare.

    I missed most of the coverage and highlights from press day, opting to strim my grass bankings instead, safe in the knowledge that medals day would provide me with the thrills I needed to get the most of my Chelsea fix.

    Excitement got the better of me and having gone to bed I put the news channel on hoping to see a few Chelsea headlines in the newspaper review, but that wasn’t to be, ‘twas all about the election… damn!

    As I prepared to turn off the TV a breaking news story was read out – an incident at the Manchester Arena. Having been there on numerous occasions I stayed tuned, and we all know what was to unfold.

    I watched well into the early hours as the horror deepened. Eventually my eyes fell heavy and I slept. But when I awoke the story flooded back, and I turned on the news – it was worse.

    I left for work feeling sick inside, thinking of the victims and their families.

    I was down with the world – what hope was there for us, and for our children? I had not a care for Chelsea. The excitement was gone.

    My work for the day took me to a wood next to a river with a footpath running through.

    The wind moved the trees gracefully, the colourful flowers of pink campion, wood avens and bugle bobbed and nodded, while bees and bugs busied themselves.

    I began to feel better inside. The soft babble of the river soothed my mind and I began to think positive thoughts.

    It wasn’t long before people began to walk the path. We talked about the horror in Manchester, but the essence of every conversation was that after such a shocking event it felt good to spend time amongst the plants, trees and by the water.

    This got me thinking about how my mood was changed by my surroundings.

    My thoughts moved on to gardeners, landscapers and designers.

    We provide places full of plants, water features, trees, which all contribute to a home environment that helps us escape the stress of everyday life – we are therapists!

    I don’t think we’ll ever see an end to acts of terrorism, but as long as we’ve got plants (and water!!), we’ve got hope.

    Take care,

    Posted 6th Jun 2:26pm
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  12. Ellie’s Eight: Patio Plants

    Ellie’s Eight: Patio Plants

    In this edition, Ellie Richardson of Johnsons of Whixley identifies eight ways to enhance any patio.

    1. Acers look great on a patio or decking and will make a great focal point to your garden. They will do best in semi shade with moist soil and will need protection from the wind and the frost.


    1. Bay trees (Laurus Nobilis) will thrive in a pot if positioned in a sheltered semi sunny spot and watered regularly. If the temperature reaches -5°C be sure to protect from frost and cold winds, which would only damage the foliage.


    1. A potted lavender will do best in full sun and will thrive better if it has good drainage holes. How great does this Lavender ‘Victory’ look against our Knight pot in our image above?


    1. A buxus ball or cone will look great on your patio or at either side of your door and will be happy in sun or partial shade. If in full sun make sure the soil doesn’t dry out and when cutting your buxus make sure your shears are clean to avoid the fungal disease box blight.


    1. Why not create a herb garden in a trough planter for outside your kitchen with Rosemarinus, thyme, mint, chives and parsley? Great for garnishing, or adding to sauces and fish dishes.


    1. Agapanthus make great patio plants if given a sunny spot. They will flower from June – August. It is best to water them a couple of times a week in the summer. We think they look great in a terracotta pot.


    1. Why not try a cordyline in a pot to create interest all through the year? You could surround your cordyline with gravel or cobbles, or even under a plant.


    1. A patio rose would look great in your garden on the patio or on your decking. You could surround with perennial plants to add different interest to the pot throughout the year.

    Posted 6th Jun 11:40am
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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

Visit our 200 acre nursery

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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