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  1. Gardening Reminders for the month of April

    Gardening Reminders for the month of April

    Here are our Gardening Reminders for the month of April

    1) Prune early flowering shrubs after flowering is over.

    2) Prune foliage shrubs when cut foliage is required later in the year.

    3) Mulch shrubs when weather begins to warm up, but not deeply into the centre of
    the shrub when growing from a stool.

    4) Continue to divide herbaceous plants if necessary.

    5) Plant evergreen shrubs, mulch and water in well. Continue to water if dry.

    6) Cut off dead hydrangea flowers.

    7) Mulch fruit trees and bushes.

    8) Plant Raspberry canes.

    9) Rake lawns to remove worm casts, twigs, and old grass.

    10) Apply spring fertilizer dressing to lawns as weather warms up.

    11) Apply grass seed to thin areas of the lawn and rake in. Cover with fleece for a few
    days if there is a problem with birds eating the seed.

    12) Lightly trim lavenders (but not into the old wood) to stop them getting leggy.

    13) By mid to late April soil should be warm enough to sow hardy annuals directly
    where you wish them to flower.

    14) Towards the end of the month collect woody twigs to use as supports for perennials before they get too long and straggly.

    15) Keep up with weed control, concentrate on Dandelions, bindweed, cleavers, creeping yellow cress, and hairy bittercress as they seed and germinate so easily.
    16) Cut back Lavatera hard to carry this summer’s flowers.

    17) Check stakes and ties of trees planted in the last 2 years, stakes to be still sound and ties not strangling the tree.

    18) Make sure you planted your Magnolia in a site which is not exposed and does not receive the morning sun, as these conditions may cause May frost damage.

    19) Reversion occurs in a number of variegated trees and shrubs, foliage becomes green and the shoots grows strongly. Cut out these shoots as soon as possible, and as close to the stem as possible.

    Posted 1st Apr 10:44am
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  2. Why gardening is great for the mind

    Why gardening is great for the mind

    Why gardening is great for the mind

    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 10:29am
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  3. How to create a Dog friendly garden

    How to create a Dog friendly garden

    How to create 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 3:54pm
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  4. How to create a bee friendly garden for summer

    How to create a bee friendly garden for summer

    How to create 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 3:51pm
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  5. Family Business - National Siblings Day

    Family Business - National Siblings Day

    Family Business – 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.

    Pictured above Robert, Ellie and Luke

    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 12:37pm
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  6. A warm welcome to Alice Knowles who joins the cash & carry team

    A warm welcome to Alice Knowles who joins the cash & carry team

    A warm welcome to Alice Knowles who joins 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.

    Have you met Cash & Carry Manager Luke Richardson? You can find out all about him here ‘Congratulations to Luke Richardson new cash & carry manager’ 

    Posted 18th Apr 11:54am
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  7. Welcome to the team Simon Harrison

    Welcome to the team Simon Harrison

    Welcome to the team Simon Harrison

    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 20th Apr 11:42am
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  8. Harry Gration helps unveil 'The spirit of the nurseryman' statue

    Harry Gration helps unveil 'The spirit of the nurseryman' statue

    Harry Gration helps unveil ‘The spirit of the nurseryman’ statue

    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 5:16pm
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