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  1. Intruder proof hedging range

    Intruder proof hedging range

    Intruder proof your hedge this planting season with our intruder proof hedging range that offers a fantastic deterring method that will help keep human and animal intruders away.

    1)Prunus spinosa – A prickly native hedging plant covered in thorns, great as a mixed native hedge with bright white flowers in Spring followed by green foliage and sloes which appear in Autumn. (Great for making Sloe Gin if you get to the sloes before the birds) Available as a bare root transplant at 40-60cm tall up to 200cm tall.

    2)Crataegus monogyna – A popular native hedging plant known for its large thorns which can be seen after its green leaves fall in Autumn. It is also known for its white scented flowers which can be seen in Spring. Available in bare root sizes from 40-60cm up to 200cm tall.

    3)Berberis varieties – Make a great intruder proof hedge due to its prickly thorns. They are available In 2L and 10L pots.

    4)Ilex aquifolium – An evergreen with attractive leaves with a prickly edge that form a dense hedge. Ideal for keeping intruders out and available from a p9 pot up to a 20L.

    5)Rosa canina – A prickly native variety that is fast growing with pale pink flowers in Summer. Bright Red rose hips come autumn, which are attractive to birds.

    6)Pyracantha varieties – Known for their colourful berries available in yellow, reds and oranges which will last from Autumn through to Spring if left untouched by birds. Great against a back wall these Pyracantha will stop intruders. Available potted throughout the year.

    Posted 11th Oct 1:35pm
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  2. Trees with autumn interest

    Trees with autumn interest

    Looking for trees with autumn interest? here’s a few of our favourites looking fantastic right now.

    1. Euonymus alatus – Dark green leaves that turn to a bright attractive red in Autumn. Once its leaves are shed you are left with its unusual winged stems and branches that create winter interest.

    2. Liquidambar styraciflua ‘worsplendon’ – Attractive Loped leaves that are green in Spring/Summer and go from yellow to orange and then red in Autumn before falling from the tree.

    3. Amelanchier lamarckii – A tree with lots of interest through the seasons from its white star shaped flowers in Spring with bronze leaves that turn to dark green and in Autumn turn orange and red.

    4. Parrotia persica – A fantastic tree with year round interest with its flowers in late Winter and early spring with yellows, reds and purples on the leaves come Autumn.

    5. Acer ‘Autumn Moon’ – Bright green leafs in Spring and Summer followed by dramatic pink, peach and flame colours in Autumn. Perfect addition to a Japanese garden.

    6. Parthenocissus quinquefolia – Known for its Autumn colour a vigorous climber that goes from green in Spring and Summer to a bright red and orange in Autumn.

    Posted 17th Oct 1:31pm
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  3. Fast growing hedging plants

    Fast growing hedging plants

    Fast growing hedging plants

    With the bare root and root ball planting season just around the corner here is our guide to some popular fast growing hedging varieties.

    Fast growing varieties are a cost effective way of establishing a fully formed garden parterre and are available in various pot sizes and root balls.

    1.Cupressus Leylandii – a very fast growing hedging variety that can grow up to 3ft per year with its eventual height reaching up to 12m tall. Great as a windbreak, general barrier and for noise reduction. Available in various different pot sizes and heights.

    2.Prunus Rotundifolia (common laurel) – A great fast growing dense evergreen hedging plant which can grow 2ft per year and is available container grown throughout the year or as a root ball from November – March.

    3.Prunus lusitanica (Portuguese Laurel) – A hardy evergreen shrub offering screening throughout the year with growth rates of 60cm + a year. Fantastic for screening, noise reduction and wind protection. Available container grown throughout the year or as a root ball from November – March.

    4.Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar) – a hardy hedging plant that will form a dense hedge and grow on average 75cm per year. Doesn’t require as much trimming as leylandii. Available as container grown throughout the year or as a root ball from November – March.

    5.Photinia ‘Red Robin’ an attractive garden hedge growing up to 2ft per year keeping its leaves in the winter. Characterised by its brilliant red new growth. Available container grown throughout the year or as a root ball from November – March.

    6.Ligustrum ovalifolium (Common Privet)– Growing 40-60cm per year this popular semi-evergreen hedging plant is known for its neat oval leaves that are pollution tolerant, great for screening and effective for noise reduction. Available throughout the year as a container grown plant or as a rootball come November – March.

    Posted 27th Oct 1:12pm
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  4. Our guide to the bare root season

    Our guide to the bare root season

    Check out our guide below for the bare root and root ball seaso

    1. Choose your hedging variety – Make sure you research the area that you are planting. What is it you are needing. Is it functional or ornamental? If its privacy plant Laurel, Yew, Leylandii or Thuja.

    2. For security plant Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Pyracantha or Berberis.

    3. Plant at the right time – planting between November to March is the best time for bare root and root ball plants ensuring the best possible start whilst dormant.

    4. Dig your hole – Dig the right size hole for your bare root or root ball. Aim to ensure that the planting depth is equal to depth of the ball or recognises the obvious planting band on a bare root plant.

    5. Spread the roots and firm – Before planting gently spread out the roots or tease them out of a root ball. Back fill with soil and gently firm in to eliminate any air ensuring soil is in contact with the newly planted root.

    6. Water – Winter can be just as dry so ensure you water in well and monitor the soil moisture level thereafter.

    Posted 31st Oct 12:59pm
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  5. Johnsons supply plants to UK Remembrance Centre

    Johnsons supply plants to UK Remembrance Centre

    Johnsons supply plants to UK Remembrance Centre 

    We have supplied tens of thousands of plants  to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

    A total of 38,000 plants, including a mixture of shrubs and herbaceous varieties, were supplied to the project as part of a contract grow in partnership with Grace Landscapes and landscape architect Andy Webster of Fira.

    Situated in Staffordshire, on the edge of the National Forest, the National Memorial Arboretum is the UK’s year-round centre of Remembrance.

    The site’s maturing woodland landscape is home to more than 300 memorials, which commemorate fallen soldiers and members of the emergency services, alongside charity and civilian organisation tributes.

    Johnsons of Whixley senior amenity sales manager Tony Coles said: “It was a privilege to be a part of such a prestigious and meaningful project, and help add an extra element of colour and beauty to an already picturesque setting.

    “Whilst the contract has since concluded, it is always pleasing to see the results of our work at a later date. It’s a truly magnificent location and we feel enormous pride at having helped to enhance it further.”

    Grace Landscapes head of estimating, Ricky Whiteman, said: “We were very proud to be awarded the soft landscaping package for such a prestigious and well-known site.

    “We were pleased to be working alongside Johnsons of Whixley for the plant supply, having already developed a healthy relationship with the business over a number of years.”

    Posted 13th Oct 12:06pm
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  6. Johnsons of Whixley meet the boss - John Richardson

    Johnsons of Whixley meet the boss - John Richardson

    Johnsons of Whixley meet the boss – John Richardson

    Meet our chairman John Richardson, who has been at the head of our business for more than 50 years and says he has no plans to retire.

    John first took ownership of Johnsons of Whixley in 1964. Under his leadership, the business has grown to become one of the largest commercial nursery businesses in Europe, and a trusted supplier of plants and trees to commercial projects throughout the UK.

    Most 80 year olds are at home reading a book or watching TV. At 79 you are still at work four or five days a week. What does an average day entail?My average day at work involves managing a series of administrative tasks related to quality and environmental systems, health and safety, packaging waste, agricultural census requirements, as well as answering letters with no other obvious recipient. I maintain a number of ongoing historical records and attend meetings appropriate to my role.

    How will you be celebrating turning 80 this year?
    Possibly by going out for a meal with family one evening.

    What got you interested in horticulture and what has kept you motivated all these years?
    I grew up on the traditional West Riding farm run by my mother’s family, producing cereals, vegetables and 200 acres of rhubarb. I worked from age 11 on the farm during every non-school hour. I wasn’t motivated by classroom subjects – only woodwork!

    On leaving school I applied to go to Askham Bryan College, but the principal suggested that I should go to Writtle College in Essex and do a two-year Diploma course, which I did.
    I tried salad production, tomatoes, vegetables and spent three years selling fertilizer to commercial growers before deciding to focus on nursery stock production.

    What are you most proud of?
    I’ve never owed anyone money, other than a mortgage, and I am delighted to have the family I have got.

    If you hadn’t opened a successful nursery what career path would you have gone down?
    Almost certainly I would have gone in to some sort of mechanical engineering. Aged 16, I applied for an apprenticeship with Rolls Royce, but was turned down, as my maths results were not good enough.

    Was there any point at which you felt like quitting?
    I’ve never felt like quitting anything other than Latin! Every time we’ve had a problem I try and see the way out, never look back and consider what we might have done differently.

    Is there anything you would have changed, knowing what you know now?
    I may have developed a garden centre if any of my sons had been motivated to run it.

    What are the biggest changes you have seen in the industry over the last 50 years?
    Climate change and the impact of foreign holidays has revolutionised the range of plants now used in private gardens. There have also been big changes around the use of plastic. 50 years ago there were no plastic pots, no poly tunnels and no polythene bags. And there were fewer summer sales because nothing was in pots. Mechanisation has also increased significantly.

    What is the biggest change in shopping trends you have seen over the last 50 years?
    The first garden centres were seen on the outskirts of London just 50 years ago. The first supermarkets followed soon after. The local authorities used to order plants for their own parks departments to plant – now local authority work is almost entirely through contractors.

    Is it nice to see the different generations of the family coming into the business?
    It’s really satisfying!

    Do you have any advice for people starting out in horticulture or their own business?
    Attack the project with fire and enthusiasm and gain as much knowledge as possible related to the entire project area you are interested in. Learn about it as much as you can. Watch every episode of Dragons’ Den and you will then realise how many people don’t know the basic facts relating to their proposals but expect support from others. You will have one or two setbacks – but skill, enthusiasm, personality and quick thinking will carry you through. No job will be as rewarding as working for yourself.

    …and finally, will you ever retire?
    Retiring is something you do when you go to bed! I love my association with my work, the staff, our customers – and the plants! – too much to consider packing in. What would I do? I have 14 books waiting to be read, and I try and get through them, but only very slowly!

    Posted 5th Oct 1:57pm
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  7. Happy 80th birthday to our Chairman John Richardson!

    Happy 80th birthday to our Chairman John Richardson!

    Happy 80th birthday to our Chairman John Richardson! John has been at the head of our business for more than 50 years and says he has no plans to retire.

    John first took ownership of Johnsons of Whixley in 1964. Under his leadership, the business has grown to become one of the largest commercial nursery businesses in Europe, and a trusted supplier of plants and trees to commercial projects throughout the UK.

    These days John’s role mainly revolves around the management of the company’s administrative tasks, including health and safety, quality and environmental requirements.
    But he has no plans to put his feet up, following a lifetime of working in agriculture.

    “Retiring is something you do when you go to bed!” he said.

    “I love my association with my work, the staff, our customers – and the plants! – too much to consider stopping.”

    John began life in the industry at an early age, working on a farm owned by his mother’s family, before going on to study for a diploma at Essex College.

    “During my time with the business, climate change and the impact of foreign holidays has revolutionized the range of plants now used in private gardens,” he reflected.

    “50 years ago, there were no plastic pots, no poly tunnels and no polythene bags, and there were fewer summer sales because nothing was in pots.

    “And as the industry has evolved it’s been extremely satisfying to see the business grow with the help of different generations of the family,” he added.

    “My advice to anybody starting their own business, either within horticulture or outside of it, would be to attack the project with fire and enthusiasm and gain as much knowledge as possible.

    “You will have one or two set-backs but skill, enthusiasm, personality and quick thinking will carry you through. No job will be as rewarding as working for yourself.”

    Posted 5th Oct 1:51pm
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  8. Johnsons of Whixley Meet the boss - Tony Coles

    Johnsons of Whixley Meet the boss - Tony Coles

    Johnsons of Whixley Meet the boss – Tony Coles

    Johnsons of Whixley’s Senior Amenity Sales Manager, Tony Coles, recently took part in the York Press Meet the Boss feature. Check out his interview below.

    What job would you like to have other than your own and why?
    It sounds daft but I would have liked to have been an Astronaut. I have always had an interested in space and the sense of seeing the earth from space is appealing. But, in reality, that was never going to happen, so I was very proud to instead serve in HM Forces before joining Johnsons of Whixley. I served in the Royal Navy for 14 years, and enjoyed every moment of that. Being part of a team that was defending your country was a great feeling, plus I got to travel and visit many places around the world.

    Greatest achievement?
    This is not an easy question to answer, but I have been lucky enough to have never been out of work. Since leaving school I have only ever had three jobs, and I have spent 22 and a half years at Johnsons of Whixley, doing a variety of roles during that time. I’m very proud of what I have achieved during my professional career.

    What makes you most angry?
    I think that would have to be those people you sometimes find who walk down the street looking at their mobile phones and not looking where they are going. I have to say that is something that really annoys me, and I’m sure other share my frustrations, especially when you’re in a rush!

    Biggest mistake?
    I’d say one of my biggest regrets was probably not working hard enough at school. I should have done better than I did, and then who knows where I might have ended up. But then I also think that the biggest mistake someone can make is not learning from their mistakes!

    What do you need to make life complete?
    Health is a very important factor for happiness, alongside feeling the comfort of knowing that I would not have to rely on anybody in my old age. You certainly appreciate the importance of overall health and wellbeing as you get older.

    Why do you make a difference?
    Not an easy one this, because I think we all make a difference to the world in our own small ways. I think the most important thing is to just do your best at what you do, whether it being in your workplace, at home or anywhere else. I believe that if you do that then you can certainly make a difference.

    Posted 6th Oct 1:44pm
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  9. Johnsons teams up with Children in Need to help transform community centre

    Johnsons teams up with Children in Need to help transform community centre

    Johnsons teams up with Children in Need to help transform community centre

    Johnsons of Whixley teamed up with BBC Children in Need and the DIY SOS team to help a local charity in Swansea rebuild their community centre.


    We donated a range of large trees, hedging and shrubs as part of the redevelopment of the centre and its grounds.


    The centre is operated by The Roots Foundation, which has spent the last two years in a dilapidated wooden hut, and the lack of space and facilities was making it difficult for the team to provide its services to those who need it.


    The Roots Foundation provides help and support to young people who are leaving the care system and preparing for the challenges of the next chapter in their lives.


    The DIY SOS team was challenged to construct a new support centre from scratch, which is spacious and suitable for the users’ specific needs, in just 11 days.


    The new development includes a large youth club space, therapy room, kitchen for cooking classes and a Life Skills Garden. The build also included four self-contained apartments.


    ‘DIY SOS: The Big Build’ is the BBC’s flagship home renovation programme. It has been running for 18 years, and attracts up to five million viewers per episode in its prime-time slot on BBC One.


    The results of renovation will be revealed when the programme airs in November.


    Johnsons of Whixley group managing director, Graham Richardson, said: “Across our business, Johnsons of Whixley is involved in a diverse range of projects, of which many provide care and support to the local community.


    “We’re proud to have been able to give our support to a cause as worthwhile as The Roots Foundation, who provide such a valuable service to young people in their community.”


    A spokesperson for BBC Children in Need said: “DIY SOS completely relies on the support and generosity of the local community, tradespeople and suppliers to help transform the lives of truly deserving families.


    “It’s great to have Johnsons of Whixley on board for this – their donation is huge and is of great support to the project.”

    Posted 27th Oct 1:41pm
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  10. Our Chairman John has won a Lifetime of Achievement Award

    Our Chairman John has won a Lifetime of Achievement Award

    Our Chairman John has won a Lifetime of Achievement Award.

    John Richardson has been named as one of the first recipients of a Lifetime Achievement Award in The Yorkshire Post newspaper’s Rural Excellence Awards.

    John received the honour at the inaugural edition of the awards, held at the Pavilions of Harrogate at the Great Yorkshire Showground on Thursday 12 October.

    He was honoured alongside Roger Nicholson, whose family operate Cannon Hall Farm near Barnsley, and agronomist Dave Clark, a pioneer of new techniques who was the first to advise on the use of fungicides for wheat, and use novel products to both control disease and improve grain quality.

    John’s own achievements in the horticultural industry span well over half a century, having purchased the business in 1964 with just eight full-time staff in 1964, and grown it to employ more than 100, rising to 150 seasonally.

    Under John’s reign, Johnsons has had continuous success. During the last 12 months, the business has delivered a turnover of just over £12m, representing our best ever annual performance.
    Today, Johnsons is a true Yorkshire family business, employing three generations of the Richardson family; John’s sons, Graham, Ian and Andrew serve as directors.

    Johnsons of Whixley chairman, John Richardson, said: “It was a tremendous honour to be shortlisted alongside such worthy nominees, and an even greater privilege to be named as one of the inaugural winners of the Rural Excellent Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

    “I’d like to congratulate Roger and Dave on their outstanding achievements in their respective industries. They have both proven themselves to be true pioneers and it is humbling to have been named in their company.”

    Posted 12th Oct 1:22pm
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