Last week, staff member Ellie Richardson gained a close insight into activity within the apiary and discovered that site now houses more than 200,000 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 400,000 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 2:47pm
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Johnsons of Whixley were proud to be sponsors of the Balloon Raffle at the Sir Ogden Macmillan Centre’s recent charity ball.
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.
Posted 22nd Jun 9:58am
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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 4:35pm
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Johnsons of Whixley is marking 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 3:17pm
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Here are our gardening reminders for the month of June:
1) Continue mowing established lawns frequently. Raise the blades a little in very dry weather. Treat with weed killer if necessary. Remember to water new lawns in very dry weather. Consider
laying paving as stepping stones in areas of high wear.
2) Dead-head roses and other plants with a succession of flowers to ensure large blooms and a constant display through the summer. Cut rose stems back to an actively growing bud. Sever
suckers from the rootstock by tearing them off, or if too large, cut with a very sharp knife as close to the stem as possible.
3) Complete the planting of hardy annuals, ensure they are well watered in, and kept watered for the first month. Ensure that slugs and snails do not cause too much damage by removing them by
hand or treating with appropriate slug and snail killer.
4) Cut back oriental poppies to ground level when finished blooming. May produce more flowers on the new growth.
5) Continue to stake fast growing plants with appropriate materials such as pea sticks, nets and canes.
6) Lightly clip box edging and topiary to remove wandering shoots. Remember to provide feed and water, particularly if they are growing in containers.
7) If you don’t have time to mow the lawn, it will look much tidier if you just cut the edges with a mechanical strimmer.
8) Plant out young dahlias now the potential for frost is past. Keep well-watered and control greenfly. Apply a mulch to conserve moisture and reduce weeds.
9) Cut out spent flowering stems of brooms to prevent seeding, but avoid old wood. Remove dead flower heads of lilacs and laburnums to prevent the energy of the plant being focussed on seed production.
10) Trim back the flowered growth of Erica carnea varieties and top dress with peat.
11) Sow winter pansies, primulas, violas and Brompton stocks under glass. Foxgloves and wallflowers can be sown out-side in a weed-free area of the border to flower next year.
12) To increase the number of your strawberry plants, select strong runners and dig a hole deep enough for a 3 inch pot under the leaves of the young runner plant. Fill the pot with compost
and plant into it the rosette of leaves, holding it firm with a forked twig or wire staple.
13) Bulb foliage will be dying down this month, do not remove until it has gone dry and yellow.
Daffodil bulbs will be fine left in situ, but tulips need lifting carefully, cleaning, and drying off in shallow boxes. Keep well ventilated until ready for re-planting.
14) June is the worst month for weed growth, water with a contact weed-killer under hedges, among shrubs or roses and on paths or crazy paving. Alternatively use a sharp hoe to keep
stirring the soil to prevent the growth of seedlings.
Posted 5th Jun 8:30am
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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 8:41am
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Johnsons of Whixley has strengthened its workforce with the addition of three new staff members.
The new starters will occupy roles across the business as Johnsons continues its growth following a highly-successful last 12 months, during which the business enjoyed its best-ever financial performance.
The three new starters will strengthen the cash and carry, incoming goods and sales administration departments at Johnsons’ 200-acre site in the heart of Yorkshire.
With ten years’ experience in the horticultural industry, Alice Knowles joins the cash and carry department, where she will handle customer enquiries, provide quotes and make sales.
Laura Holmes has been appointed to the role of sales administrator, having previously worked in the HR department at York City Council. Laura will place orders, complete and return orders and manage customer calls.
Finally, Simon Harrison joins the Johnsons incoming goods team, where he will be responsible for checking incoming deliveries and organising customer stock. Simon was formerly a chef for the NHS and arrives equipped with many transferable skills.
Johnsons of Whixley group managing director, Graham Richardson, said: “We are pleased to welcome Alice, Laura and Simon to Johnsons, and we are confident that each will help us improve of our level of service across a range of departments.
“Johnsons is proud of its identity as a family business, but we feel equally gratified by our track record of introducing new staff to the business and watching them develop over a number of years. We hope the arrival of our latest new starters marks the start of a long relationship with the business.”
Posted 1st Jun 4:51pm
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|Tuesday||8am - 4.30pm|
|Wednesday||8am - 4.30pm|
|Thursday||8am - 4.30pm|
|Friday||8am - 4.30pm|
|Saturday||8am - 12pm|
Set in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside, why not visit our nursery to discover what we have to offer?