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  1. Gardening Reminders for the month of March

    Gardening Reminders for the month of March

    Here are our Gardening Reminders for the month of March

    1) Prune strong growing Buddleias down to about 18” for a good show by summer. Prune to 30-40” for a denser but weaker overall growth.

    2) Prune decorative Cornus and Salix to within 5cm of the old shoots to encourage next year’s coloured winter stems. Don’t prune ‘Midwinter Fire’ types too hard.

    3) Feed roses with a general fertilizer and remember to do it again in summer.

    4) Arrange to plant summer flowering bulbs when planting condition are good.

    5) Finish pruning perennial which have not yet been cut back, don’t remove new green shoots. It is still time to lift and divide large herbaceous clumps. Re-plant or give away outer sections of the clump and destroy the centre of the plant.

    6) When daffodils have flowered, remove dead heads to conserve energy.

    7) Hellebores are now very popular, lift seedlings around parent plant and pot up.

    8) As the weather improves, weed growth will begin in earnest, hoe off seedling weeds with a really sharp hoe and treat perennial weeds with Roundup.

    9) Use fleece to cover delicate leaves when frost is imminent. Seedlings can be protected in the same way, hold fleece down with stones or tie to the pots.

    10) New shrubs and herbaceous plants can be planted when soil conditions are good.

    11) Finish pruning soft fruit bushes by mid-month and give a high nitrogen feed.

    12) Lay fleece or polythene on bare soil to warm it before planting or sowing seeds or vegetables. Remember to apply slug pellets.

    13) Consider mowing the lawn towards the end of the month, brush off worm casts if necessary as these blunt the mower. Apply a balanced fertilizer or combined feed and weed-killer.

    14) After heavy snowfalls knock snow from upright conifers before branches get bent over. Most plants are better under snow in hard frost as they are well insulated.

    15) In bad weather finalise plans for garden improvements and order the plants and sundries to enable you to start work as gardening conditions improve.

    Posted 1st Mar 11:02am
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  2. Plants to attract butterflies to your garden

    Plants to attract butterflies to your garden

    Plants to attract butterflies to your garden

    To celebrate butterfly week we thought we would share some of a butterflies favourite plants. It is said that 70% of the UK’S butterfly population are in decline. By planting some of these you could help save butterflies from any further decline.

    1) Just one Buddleja in your garden is enough to attract a hoard of butterflies, after all its known as the ‘butterfly bush.’ Buddleja is full of nectar which is a butterfly’s primary food source.

    2) Scabiosa were very popular with butterflies last year, flowering from June to September they provide a good amount of nectar for butterflies throughout the season. These plants thrive in full sun as do Butterflies!

    3) Lavender is full of nectar which means it’s never short of a butterfly or two, three four etc. Lavender will do best in a sunny position and fill flower from July to September.

    4) Last summer our Escallonia ‘Pink Elle’ were full of butterflies from June through to August. Escallonia’s not only look great in summer but their dark glossy foliage looks great throughout the year.

    5) It’s no wonder Echinacea are attractive to butterflies with their large cone shaped flowers, they prefer full sun and will flower from July to September.

    6) Verbena bonariensis are sure to keep butterflies happy in late summer when they flower from June right through to September they will do great in full sun.

    Posted 12th Mar 10:53am
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  3. How to attract butterflies to your garden

    How to attract butterflies to your garden

    How to attract butterflies to your garden

    Want to attract butterflies to your garden? Here’s our top tips:

    1) “Butterflies like a lot of sunlight”! Be sure to choose plants that do well in full sun like Echinacea, Verbena and Lavender.

    2) Do choose native and non-native plants to encourage different butterflies to your garden

    3) Try to provide nectar throughout the butterfly season choosing early and late bloomers.

    4) Prolong flowering by deadheading flowers, this will encourage a second lot of flowers – meaning more nectar for butterflies!

    5) Do try to plant along a fence, building or hedge to protect butterflies from the wind.

    6) Place a rock in a sunny spot for butterfly basking and resting.

    Posted 10th Mar 10:49am
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  4. Johnsons mark Employee Appreciation Day

    Johnsons mark Employee Appreciation Day

    To mark Employee Appreciation Day, some of our members of staff have shared with us what they enjoy about working at Johnsons of Whixley and how the business has supported them in their career.

    Group Managing Director Graham Richardson said ” In a largely manual industry we remain very reliant on our employees for every aspect of what we do. The level of motivation and commitment never ceases to amaze us and it couldn’t be more apparent at times of extreme weather or hard-ship. To the team at Johnsons – “thank you all”!

    Today is Employee Appreciation Day (2nd March), what do you enjoy about be-ing an employee at Johnsons of Whixley?

    Bev Elsworth, Senior Nursery Worker, said: “I love seeing the colourful flowers and foliage of the variety of plants.”

    Darren Earle, IT & Systems Manager, said: “I enjoy the variety of work that I get to be involved with. Also the people I work with make it a good environment to be in.”

    Jason Clement, Senior Wholesale Plant Centre Assistant, said: “I enjoy being an employee at Johnsons because I’m working outside in the fresh air, the work I do is appreciated, I work in a stress free and friendly environment and I learn new things most days.”

    Matt Campey, Despatch Team Member, said: “I enjoy how every day is different and you are always kept busy – the days fly by.”

    Describe a typical day at Johnsons of Whixley.

    Andrew Barker, Sales Account Manager, said: “Usually very busy, quoting new work, making sure that orders go out and are not delayed and dealing with any issues that arise.”

    Eric Buckby, Deputy Manager Container Unit, said: “Setting up the potting machine for crops we intend to pot that day and when the team arrive, and organising what everyone is doing throughout the day.”

    Sara Szabo, Retail Senior Supervisor, said: “Quality control, final checking of orders, watering glasshouse, sorting orders for garden centres, deputise for the retail line manager, and sorting out delivery notes for wagons to give to despatch.”

    What previous positions have you had at Johnsons?

    Bev Elsworth, Senior Nursery Worker, said: “I first started working on the retail line, then I moved onto the amenity orders.”’

    Nige Crowl, Maintenance Operative, said: “I was a HGV delivery driver and before that I worked at Johnsons as a general nurseryman“

    Sara Szabo, Retail Senior Supervisor, said: “I used to work at the Cattal site with the potting team but had many other tasks including tying and trimming.”

    How has Johnsons of Whixley supported you in your career?

    Andrew Barker, Sales Account Manager, said: “I have gradually increased my responsibilities and Johnsons of Whixley have provided further training where required.”

    Darren Earle, IT & Systems Manager, said: “When I have expressed an interest to be involved in specific areas, I have been given the opportunity to do so. I have had the chance to develop systems in the ways I want which has provided new experiences whilst being the best fit for the business.”

    Paul Lamb, Assistant Retail Sales Manager, said: “I have had a number of roles in my time at Johnsons of Whixley, whatever I have done I have never doubted that I didn’t have their full support.”

    Tracey Richardson, Receptionist, said: “Johnsons of Whixley have provided me with in house training, and have helped with time off for child care during Summer holidays.”

    How does working at Johnsons of Whixley compare to previous jobs you’ve had?

    Andrew Barker, Sales Account Manager, said: “It is surprisingly similar to the food industry supply but with not as many cakes!”

    Eric Buckby, Deputy Manager Container Unit, said: “When I was farming I was working and on call seven days a week and any holiday was a rarity.”

    Matt Campey, Despatch Team Member, said: “Different, At Johnsons on the despatch unit we work as a team, whereas in other jobs I have mainly worked on my own.”

    What do you think is the best way to make an employee feel appreciated?

    Bev Elsworth, Senior Nursery Worker, said: “Talk to them, explain what’s going on, don’t leave them left out, understand what they are going through, look after them during difficult times.”

    Jason Clement, Senior Wholesale Plant Centre Assistant, said: “I think communication is important and being thanked for your hard work is always good.”

    Paul Lamb, Assistant Retail Sales Manager, said: “Still keep paying them is a good start! Seriously, it is just the simple things like saying good morning, knowing your name and the fact you’re not a number, and thanking you for your effort.”

    What’s your proudest career and personal achievement?
    Bev Elsworth, Senior Nursery Worker, said: “Getting 100% in my Spray certificate, teaching myself the different varieties of plants.”

    Eric Buckby, Deputy Manager Container Unit, said: “Being appointed as Deputy Manager and always trying to improve output and quality of the team.”

    Nige Crowl, Maintenance Operative, said: “I passed my HGV test first time and I have never really fallen out with anyone.”

    Paul Horner, Junior Supervisor, said: “Being promoted from nursery worker to supervisor and I met my wife Claire at work.”

    Tell us a random fact about yourself

    Andrew Barker, Sales Account Manager, said: “We once had a pet chicken called ‘Nuggets’.”

    Bev Elsworth, Senior Nursery Worker, said: “Working here is like doing a work out everyday, no need to go to the gym! Also, I enjoy springboard diving at the Hydro in Harrogate.”

    Matt Campey, Despatch Team Member, said: “I’ve been fortunate enough to work abroad in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.”

    Tracey Richardson, Receptionist, said: “I would love to be an 80s DJ.”

    Posted 1st Mar 1:00pm
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  5. Congratulations to Terry Cooper new system support assistant

    Congratulations to Terry Cooper new system support assistant

    Congratulations to Terry Cooper who has taken on the system support assistant role and will be working alongside IT Manager Darren Earle.

    Where did you work prior to Johnsons?
    I’ve done quite a bit, worked as an engraver with my uncle for a few months, which seemed interesting but I only really scratched the surface whilst there. I also worked at a guitar shop in York but had to quit as there were just too many strings attached. I have also been a call centre android, supermarket vegetable wrangler, construction site high visibility statue and a chef.

    What was your previous role at Johnsons?
    I have been working in operations, generally ensuring all orders are processed and allocated correctly,before that I was outside on the nursery, mainly with the plant production team at Cattal.

    What will your new role include at Johnsons?
    It’s quite a varied role, but mainly I will be involved with providing direct user support, some development and System testing, Cyber security,
    General monitoring, Maintaining and updating of the Company’s IT Hardware and Software, I will also have to buffer the calibrated pixel-layer memory matrix to ensure that the quantum-core kernel correctly defrags the encrypted data mainframe and vector-cache.…and of course the classic turning it off and on again.

    Have you always had an interest in IT ?
    Yeah definitely, us early ‘millennials’ were kids during the time the internet became widely accessible and it was hard not to be influenced by such a fascinating communications revolution.
    I also remember getting in trouble at school for repeatedly changing the homepage from askjeeves to google, despite it being the superior search engine.

    What are you looking forward to in your new role?
    The opportunity to acquire knowledge of a constantly evolving progressive industry sector and seeing tangible benefits where I.T improvements have been implemented.

    What do you think the Challenges will be?
    Without a doubt remembering what all the acronyms/initialisms stand for, MAC, HTTP, DBMS, DHCP, DNS, TCP/IP, SMTP…. The list is endless!

    Is there any specific courses you will be attending to help with your new role?
    I have enrolled with the exclusive Darren Earle School of Information Technology which is fantastic, i will also be ‘attending’ various webinars on database administration and SQL, working towards a Microsoft accreditation.

    IT Manager Darren Earle said “Seeing Terry’s involvement in a few projects he has worked on in his old role I recognised that he had a flair for IT. Coming from a User role into a Systems role will provide a great benefit to developing new projects. I’m looking forwards to working together”

    Posted 6th Mar 12:58pm
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