Half a dozen home-grown flowers to mark British Flowers Week
To mark British Flowers Week, we’ve published a list of six of our favourite Briitish flowers that we enjoying seeing across the country throughout the year.
1. Bluebells – The UK is home to about half of the world’s bluebell population, which cover our woodlands. They do great in shade and flower mid-April to late May. Available as a bulb in September.
2. Foxgloves date back to the 1500s, where they got their name from an English myth that foxes wore the flowers on their paws. The hillside of fox’s dens were often covered in foxgloves. Digitalis thrive in partial shade and are a great addition to a cottage garden come the summer.
3. Rosa canina dates back to the age of Shakespeare and can be found in hedgerows, woodland and scrubland across the UK. Known for their flower in May and June and its fruit come September, October time.
4. Primula veris, also known as cowslip, is a plant of traditional hay meadows, ancient woodlands and hedgerows. It gets its name from being found among the manure in cow pastures.
5. Anthriscus sylvestris also known as cow parsley or Queen Anne’s lace, which received its name from when Queen Anne travelled the countryside in May, when the roadsides had been decorated for her, are seen up and down our verges and roadsides.
6. Convallaria majalis, also known as lily of the valley, is found in woodlands throughout the UK in May and was seen in recent years in the bouquet of Catherine Middleton.
Posted 20th Jun 9:54am
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Why Johnsons are net contributors to the environment
To mark World Environment Day on the 5th June, Johnsons is proud to list some of the ways we help make a positive contribution to the world around us:
• We achieved BS8555 ‘Development of Systems leading to full Environmental System’ in 2006
• We are accredited to the international quality standard ISO 9001:2015, and the environmental standard ISO 14001:2015, making us one of the few true net contributors to the environment
• No non-conforming activities have been identified for the past three years
• Our irrigation system uses rainfall and water wastage from the reservoirs
• We were identified as having the best UK nursery management systems by the MOD prior to their Aldershot refurbishment
• Our recycling for all waste, including plastic pots, is audited externally
• Our long release fertilizer included in all potting composts to ensure a nutrient reserve after planting
• 240 nursery stock growers have been inspected as potential suppliers of the widest range of available nursery stock
• The use of peat in our compost has been reduced by 40% by using crushed bark and wood fibre as alternatives
• Seven of our internal managers act as internal auditors of the environmental system
• All of our commercial vehicles now conform to the low emission standards
• All of our articulated truck trailers are low loading high volume spec
• All stores of liquids are fully bunded to prevent leakage to ground
• Our drainage systems have been upgraded to reduce scouring and silt erosion
• We are a member of the Ethical Compliance Scheme
• We have introduced a plant bio-security policy
• We have improved water oxygenation installed in irrigation ponds
• We have installed a bio-mass boiler installed to heat our propagation glasshouse and four staff houses
• We have erected many bird boxes erected and nesting birds are always protected
• We drilled an additional at Whixley to reduce use of mains water
• Our environmental systems work in tandem with quality and health and safety
• Our 200Kwh Biomass boiler has reduced the use of heating oil and provides winter protection for 1000s of plants
• The plants we supply embellish their surroundings
Posted 4th Jun 3:12pm
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Our guide to outdoor watering in dry weather
Drought (the definition for a gardener): drought is considered to occur in a garden when the soil moisture in the plant root zone is exhausted and the plants wilt. A continuous period of 15 days when there has been no measurable rain.
1) In hot weather, water in the cool of the early morning, in the evening the soil and the atmosphere will still be very warm and applied water will quickly evaporate.
2) Frequent light watering does not penetrate deep into the soil, soak the soil to a good depth from time to time. This will encourage deeper rooting and the tapping of water at lower levels.
3) After a heavy watering apply a mulch around the plant or tree, leaving 4-6 inches around the main stem to prevent fungal attacks. Remember that fine water absorbing roots are not under the trunk, but towards the edge of the plant canopy.
4) If water is not available it has been traditional to hoe the surface soil, but not deeply as you may be cutting surface roots. A crumbly, hoed surface will prevent transpiration from lower depths and facilitate the rapid absorption of rain, or water, which is applied.
5) When watering with a hose, use a rose in the end so that there is no solid water stream as this would contribute to water run-off and erosion.
6) There are now many good water sprinklers on the market which have a wide range of spray patters for efficient watering in a round or rectangular pattern. A sprinkler in conjunction with a water timer in the hose line will make the whole process so much easier.
7) Seep-hoses are particularly useful as they can be wound amongst plants that are susceptible to drought and left down all year.
8) Whenever possible, use rainwater (collected in a rainwater butt) for watering lime hating plants. such as rhododendrons, camellias, etc.
9) It’s worth noting that, half an inch of rain equals approx. 13,600 galls/acre or 2.8 gall/sq.
10) Remember, waterlogging can be as bad as drought!
Posted 26th Jun 3:10pm
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Johnsons of Whixley mark National Volunteers’ Week by helping adults with learning difficulties learn new horticultural skills.
Our very own Ellie Richardson recently spent a day working with Horticap, a charity that provides adults with learning disabilities training in horticulture, allied crafts and rural skills.
Johnsons has an established relationship with Horticap, spanning more than ten years.
Working with the group, Ellie created pom-poms to add to a wired hare sculpture, which will be sold at Harrogate Hospital to raise funds for the charity once completed.
Ellie also learned how the students made hanging baskets, while also making her own.
Volunteers’ Week takes place 1-7 June every year and provides an opportunity to celebrate volunteering in all its diversity.
Ellie said: “Volunteering is important to a lot of staff members here at Johnsons and we’re proud of the time and expertise we have leant to others over the years.
“Volunteering gives you that feel-good factor and it was nice being in a different environment. I really enjoyed my day with Horticap.
“The students, instructors and carers were lovely to me and I will definitely be volunteering with them again.”
Posted 5th Jun 4:51pm
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Johnsons of Whixley sponsor balloon raffle for local charity ball which supports the Sir Ogden Macmillan Centre, Harrogate.
More than £26,000 was raised towards funding cancer treatments and provide vital supportive services for Harrogate’s patients and carers, to help them live with and beyond a cancer diagnosis.
The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre (SROMC) provides high quality cancer treatments and health and wellbeing services.
It offers support for people affected by a cancer diagnosis in the Harrogate and rural district community, as well as some patients from the north Leeds area.
Johnsons of Whixley’s Managing Director Graham Richardson said: “It’s important that we contribute to local charities like the Sir Ogden Macmillan Centre which provides high quality cancer treatment and care, we look forward to supporting the charity again next year”
Wish to support the Sir Ogden Macmillan Centre? you can find all the information you need here ‘Sir Ogden Macmillan Centre’
Posted 22nd Jun 4:40pm
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Johnsons staff member gains a close insight to onsite apiary.
Staff member Ellie Richardson gained a close insight into activity within the apiary and discovered that site now houses more than 400,000 bees.
The Johnsons site is perfect for bees as it provides foraging within the surrounding countryside and utilises the many varied plant stocks grown in the nursery.
Johnsons predicts that their seven on-site beehives could house more than 600,000 bees by July.
Johnsons of Whixley’s Ellie Richardson said: “Bees are hugely important to us as they pollinate a third of the food we eat.
“But it is only once you start learning about bees that you realise how amazing they are. I am definitely considering taking up a course next year to become a beekeeper myself!”
The British bee population has declined at an alarming rate in recent years, by a third since 2007.
Contributions to the decline include recent wet summers, which have prevented bees from searching out pollen, and environmental changes, such as the increased use of pesticides in farming, alongside the depletion of natural habitats.
Bees are a vital part in the world’s food production, as studies have revealed that around a third of the world’s food is pollination dependent.
Posted 26th Jun 4:31pm
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