Latest Stories

  1. National Garden Meditation Day

    National Garden Meditation Day

    Thursday is National Garden Meditation Day and to mark this we have created an infographic on why gardening is good for the mind, see our reasons below.

    1) Gardening is great for the mind and is a mood booster. Being busy in the garden keeps your mind occupied and focused and gives you that feel good factor.

    2) Gardening is great for physical activity and you can burn up to 500 calories per hour of gardening.

    3) Gardening is great for relieving stress and reduces levels of cortisol.

    4) Flowers and the outdoors are known to improve your mood. Getting outdoors, gardening or visiting your local National Trust garden is sure to improve how you’re feeling.

    5) Gardening requires skills that protect the brain from ageing and has links to decreasing the risk of dementia.

    6) Gardening is linked to a better night’s sleep, the physical activity will tire you out.

    Posted 30th Apr 11:35am
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  2. We’ve been shortlisted for a Horticulture Week Business Award!

    We’ve been shortlisted for a Horticulture Week Business Award!

    We’re delighted to have been shortlisted for a Horticulture Week Business Award in the Best Sales or Marketing Campaign category.

    The prestigious awards honour and support the extraordinary work and achievements of businesses operating across the UK horticulture industry.

    Finalists were selected by a panel of expert industry judges who reviewed a variety of entries from businesses operating in all corners of commercial horticulture and related industries.

    From own-branded beers and beekeeping, to investing in drone technology, we have stepped up our marketing over the past two years to cultivate our brand as one of the longest established and largest commercial nursery businesses in Europe.

    We appointed PR and communications agency, Faith PR, in 2016 to raise the profile of our brand to key businesses and decision-makers within the industry, and ultimately increase our sales.

    Since then, Faith PR has stepped up our PR, marketing and social media activity, working with Ellie Richardson to gain good online traction and media coverage through a proactive and collaborative approach, resulting in three TV appearances and coverage across national, local, regional and trade media, reaching an audience of over 17 million people.

    Our business has featured in publications including The Sun, The Guardian and The Telegraph, as well as Pro Landscaper, The Landscaper, Garden Centre Retail, Horticulture Week, and local titles, York Press, Harrogate Advertiser, Yorkshire Post, The Business Desk, Yorkshire Business Inside and BQ Magazine.

    Marketing and PR has also worked in tandem with our business growth since September 2016, with 2017 being our most profitable year to date.

    The inaugural Horticulture Week Business Awards will take place at the London Marriott Hotel Grosevenor Square on Thursday 28 June.

    Posted 26th Apr 1:39pm
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  3. The Spirit of the Nurseryman

    The Spirit of the Nurseryman

    BBC Look North’s Harry Gration this week helped unveil a statue commemorating Chairman John Richardson’s more than 60 years’ service to the industry.

    The statue, named ‘The Spirit of the Nurseryman’, has been created by wire sculptor Derek Kinzett, and is sited inside the entrance to the business’s main building.

    Having recently celebrated his 80th birthday, and after last year receiving a lifetime achievement award for his commitment to Rural Excellence in Yorkshire, the receipt of a statue in his honour came as a surprise.

    He said: “I vaguely remember something being said at the time of my 80th birthday, along the lines of something special arriving in due course, but I had no idea beyond that. It’s a tremendous honour.

    “I think the statue looks very realistic in dress, attitude and stance and it will look good in front of the office. It’s very well made and realistic and you can appreciate the craftsmanship that’s gone into it.

    “It might take some getting used to, but I don’t think I’ll have a problem walking past it each day. I will appreciate my sons’ thoughts every time I see it, and I like the notion that I remind them of a working man.

    “However, along with every other person around the place, he looks far younger than me!”

    Harry Gration said: “It was a privilege to be involved in such a moving presentation.

    “It was clear to me just how much it meant to him, but, typical of the man, he said it was a tribute to the whole company.

    “That is what makes Johnsons so special.”

    Posted 25th Apr 4:19pm
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  4. Farewell to Andy Hedech

    Farewell to Andy Hedech

    Andy Hedech will be leaving our team as he retires after working at Johnsons for 16 years. We would like to thank him for all of his hard work and dedication to his role, we all wish you the best for retirement.

    Here’s what he had to say about retiring:

    1) How many years have you worked for Johnsons?
    16

    2) Did you work anywhere prior to Johnsons?
    25 years plus doing all sorts, tree work, tunnelling, you name it I have done it.

    3) What job roles have you had since working for Johnsons?
    Production administrator

    4) What have you enjoyed most about working for Johnsons?
    The ability to be able to think for oneself.

    5) Tell us a funny story from your time at Johnsons
    Can’t think of anything that isn’t cruel.

    6) If you could have worked anywhere else where would it have been?
    Would have liked to have trained to be a teacher.

    7) What are the changes you have seen in the company over the years you have been here?
    Nothing particular to the outside of the place, everything is pretty much as it was, but the use of technology for
    Communications has changed beyond belief.

    8)Any exciting plans for retirement?
    Perhaps get involved in politics in some way, I have neglected my beliefs over the past years.

    Posted 25th Apr 2:53pm
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  5. Welcome to the team Simon

    Welcome to the team Simon

    We would like to welcome Simon Harrison to the Johnsons Of Whixley team. Simon joins our incoming goods team which is quite the change from his 20 years as a chef In the NHS. Simon’s role will include unloading incoming deliveries, checking off incoming deliveries and putting them in the correct location ready for customer orders or for our own beds of stock.

    1) Where did you work prior to Johnsons? I’ve worked in the NHS for the last 20 years as a chef and for the last 10 as the assistant head chef.

    2)What did your job role include? Day to day running of a busy kitchen helping organise around 30 staff and up to 1000 meals, I was also responsible for ordering incoming supplies which were needed to run the department but outgoing deliveries also.

    3)What will you miss about working at the hospital?
    The good friends I have made over the years but I will probably miss the free lunch more!

    4)What will your role include at Johnsons? My role within Johnsons currently is working closely with Tony Green and Carolyn Pickard within the incoming goods department, helping unload deliveries that come into the yard then trying to find them a home somewhere on site.

    5)How have you found your first few months at Johnsons? I’ve really enjoyed and relished the first few months in my new role.

    6)What are you looking forward to in your new role? Learning new skills in a new environment

    7)What do you think the challenges will be? The main challenges are obviously gaining the mind boggling plant knowledge that most people here have but I have surprised myself so far by remembering more and more.

    8) What do you get up to outside of work? I enjoy various sports including cycling, squash, boxing and still play football regularly (while my knees let me) I have two young children who keep us very busy! I spend a lot of time watching my son play football too.

    Posted 18th Apr 12:32pm
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  6. Welcome to the team Alice

    Welcome to the team Alice

    We would like to welcome Alice Knowles to the cash & carry team. Alice joins us from RHS Harlow Carr and has a great plant knowledge behind her, Alice will be working front of house on the cash & carry dealing with customer enquiries in person, on the phone and by email, Here’s what she had to say about her new job.

    1) Where did you work prior to Johnsons? – spent the last 10 years working in garden centres with the last 4 years at RHS Harlow Carr Plant centre as a team leader.
    2) What are the similarities in your old role to your new role at Johnsons? – Customer facing role, giving plant advice, stock ordering.
    3) Where did you study and what qualifications did you gain? – 2 years at Bishop Burton Collage doing ND in Horticulture covering subjects such as machinery, propagation and pruning.
    4) What will your role include at Johnsons? Front of house, dealing with customer enquiries in store, over the phone and by email, quotes and sales.
    5) How have you found your first week at Johnsons? Varied trying to learn all the new systems but the team have been very supportive.
    6)What are you looking forward to in your new role? Working alongside a nursery and gaining more horticultural knowledge.
    7) What do you think the challenges will be? Trying to remember plant pot sizes/height/container/root ball,the bad weather and not having a Bettys lunch everyday.
    8) Tell us a random fact about yourself? I’m a Leeds Rhinos supporter.

    Posted 16th Apr 9:56am
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  7. 2017-18 Winter Challenges

    2017-18 Winter Challenges

    This last winter has really been one of opposites compared with those of the previous few years.

    After several winters of no frost at all until Christmas, we hit low temperatures and frost in November and December which created real problems when trying to continue working on the nursery. It also created difficulties with deliveries to those areas of the country which were having very different weather and needed plants urgently.

    While the frosts were not severe enough to cause damage to plants, it meant that we were unable to reach our December sales target, but had a large number of unfulfilled plant orders in hand.

    We got off to a good start in January, but not all contractors started as soon as we did after the New Year, which again caused some delays. Two short periods of snow in January and February caused further problems as the periods of low temperatures could not be guaranteed,
    which makes the planning of plant lifting and deliveries very difficult to get right. We had two lorries stuck overnight in Scotland on the motorways, and some deliveries were delayed by the customer.

    There were some really nice days in March, but overall, temperatures were cold, and bitterly cold when associated with winds from the east. While landscape contractors were able to keep going in these conditions, a number of garden centres delayed delivery of orders required to stock up for Easter as they were selling nothing and had nowhere to put down additional plants.

    This late spring has entirely justified our decision to drop out of supplies to Homebase, as without a doubt, they would have not accepted early flowering shrubs such as Berberis, as the flowers begin to go over before gardening customers come in to store. The loss of £1m in
    sales to Homebase is very significant, but fortunately, we have been able to recoup this in other areas.

    The periods of freezing weather have enabled us to keep up with potting schedules, but these are now beginning to be affected by a shortage of outdoor space for potted plants due to delayed dispatches.

    The continual wet weather is now playing havoc with our field planting programme, every time we get a sunny day with a light breeze it rains again the following day. Bad as it is in Yorkshire, I am sure there will be other areas of the country which are suffering even more.

    Fingers crossed for a good start to the summer for all of us, and many thanks for your patience in the challenging weather.

    John Richardson
    Chairman

    Posted 11th Apr 3:52pm
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  8. National Siblings Day

    National Siblings Day

    To mark National Siblings Day on Tuesday 10th April, we’re celebrating the brothers and sisters who work together here at Johnsons of Whixley.

    Our workforce is made up of 100 employees, which includes three generations of the Richardson family, colleagues with 30 years’ service and employees of different nationalities – combining decades of experience in horticulture.

    The business is owned by chairman John Richardson, whose three sons, Andrew, Graham and Iain, all work for the business, along with six of John’s grandchildren.

    John’s children and grandchildren have always been hands-on in the nursery, from helping with digging, to testing out their new toy cars around the grounds.

    Fast forward to adulthood and two of John’s sons, Andrew and Iain, are joint managing directors, while his other son, Graham, is group managing director. Between them, they are in charge of running the company and overseeing different areas of the business.

    As group managing director, Graham Richardson takes a leading role in ensuring delivery and the smooth running of all business obligations. In addition, he oversees the company’s finance, systems, people, administration and marketing.

    As joint managing director, Andrew Richardson has a stake in sales, marketing and transport across the group, while joint managing director, Iain Richardson, is responsible for amenity and retail sales, production, logistics, purchasing, maintenance, operations and stock.

    The next generation of the Richardson family is John’s grandchildren and Graham’s children Luke, Robert, Ellie and Shaun.

    Luke is a senior key account manager, Robert is manager of the Wholesale Cash and Carry unit, Ellie is an office and administration supervisor, with a customer-facing role within the Xpress Cash and Carry division, while Shaun is a wholesale plant centre assistant which involves keeping the Cash and Carry stocked up, collating customer orders, and helping with the general upkeep.

    Ellie said: “Growing up around the family business has been lots of fun – I would play out in the nursery most nights after school and it was particularly fun in the summer months when we could run through the water sprinklers! I also used to enjoy jumping in the compost heap!

    “I would go to work with my dad most Saturdays and at the age of 14 I would answer phone calls after school and in the school holidays.

    “After finishing my beauty qualifications, I had accepted a job working on a cruise ship and started working for the family business before I started working on the cruise ships. At the age of 18 I decided that being thousands of miles away from home was daunting and wasn’t for me. I was enjoying working for the family business and decided to stay and not take up a career on the ships.

    “Working with family can be challenging but we all get on so well and are all so close that if there are any differences at work we soon sort them out. Working in sales and seeing the quotes and the money you are making for the business is particularly motivating.”

    John said: “As a father, I find it quite exceptional that we can work together all week, and then enjoy meeting up for a meal out at the weekend.”

    Posted 10th Apr 11:48am
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  9. Creating a bee friendly garden

    Creating a bee friendly garden

    1) Add nectar and pollen rich flowers to your garden including varieties such as Lavender, eryngium, heather, Ivy, Mahonia, Geranium, Rudbeckia, Echinacea, Salvia and many other varieties.

    2) Small garden? No problem, plant up seasonal containers that will encourage bees, they will particularly be drawn to plants in the sun.

    3) If your garden is big enough, a natural meadow provides additional nectar and pollen and encourages different species of bees.

    4) Make a bee bath using low water and stones they can land on. Don’t fill it too deep as it may drown the bees.

    5) Avoid using pesticides as these could be harmful to the bees.

    6) Think about the different seasons, particularly spring and late summer, where the bees need a boost.

    7) Do provide bees shelter by leaving stumps or creating your own ‘bee hotel’.

    Posted 9th Apr 8:20am
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  10. Creating a Dog friendly garden

    Creating a Dog friendly garden

    Creating a Dog friendly garden

    1) There are lots of plants in your garden that are potentially harmful to your dog if eaten including daffodils, Tulips, foxgloves, delphinium and yew. Either replace them with more suitable plants or make sure you keep an eye on your dog when they’re out in the garden.

    2) Make sure your fences are safe and secure along with keeping your gate locked to make sure your dog can’t escape. Remember they can jump quite high if they want to so ensure your hedge and fence is at a good height.

    3) Keep your dog away from slugs and snails as they can catch lungworm if they eat an infected slug or snail.

    4) Do provide a shaded area for your dog in summer, dogs have fur and often get too hot during summer.

    5) Do keep chemicals and pesticides away from your dog as it could make your dog very sick.

    6) Do choose robust and sturdy plants. Dogs are known for digging and running through plants so do choose robust shrubs and established perennials.

    Posted 6th Apr 3:07pm
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  11. The benefits of gardening

    The benefits of gardening

    It’s National Garden Month and to celebrate we have shared some of the benefits of gardening.

    1) Spending time in the garden provides sunlight which in turn gives you some much needed vitamin D.
    2) Gardening for several hours a week could help you to lose weight. It is said that you can burn up to 500 calories per hour of gardening depending on the activity.
    3) Being out in the garden and exposed to different microbes helps to build up your immune system which in turn helps you to fight colds and flu.
    4) Gardening is great for relieving stress and is a great distraction from the day to day stresses in life.
    5) Growing your own vegetables, herbs and fruit is not only rewarding but is great for your diet too.

    Posted 6th Apr 2:57pm
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  12. We’re backing an Olympic Karate hopeful

    We’re backing an Olympic Karate hopeful

    We are sponsoring 16-year-old Karate martial artist, Lewis Simpson, on his quest to compete at the Olympic Games.

    Lewis, who lives in Falkirk and trains in Dunfermline, recently represented Scotland in the European Under-21s Championship in Sochi, Russia.

    Despite his tender years, Lewis has already competed and trained all over the world, winning more than 150 medals in the process.

    Lewis produced a promising performance in his first appearance at the Championship, and has his sights set on eventually earning an opportunity at the Olympics in Paris in 2024.

    Committed and dedicated to his sport, Lewis attends gym at 7.00am each day before school and also trains and teaches karate to young learners.

    He will compete at WKF Youth League events in Bulgaria, Croatia and Venice in the months and years ahead.

    He competes in the Elite Squad for JKS Scotland in the Kata and Kumite disciplines of Karate and is tipped for a bright future.

    But all athletes representing the Scotland National Team must raise their own funds for expenses such as travel and accommodation, so we are helping Lewis meet that challenge.

    Our joint managing director, Iain Richardson, said: “We came to know about Lewis’s talents through a customer of ours, Stuart Simpson of Ashlea Scotland, who happens to be his father, and we’re proud to have been able to provide some financial backing to support him in his ambitions.”

    Lewis said: “I’m very grateful to Johnsons, and to all of those who have helped me, for their sponsorship.

    “Without their support, I’d be unable to compete at such a high level, and it’s given me a great chance of realising my ambitions in the years to come.”

    If you are interested in sponsoring Lewis, then contact Anne Simpson on 07843667471 or email: saxoann@aol.com

    Posted 3rd Apr 1:23pm
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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?

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Johnsons of Whixley Ltd

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

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