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  1. Jobs for the garden during October

    Jobs for the garden during October

    Jobs for the garden during October

    1) Autumn colours are almost always at their best for the next six weeks, and the relatively drySeptember and the colder nights will continue to develop the colours. For one of the best displays visit the Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire, Dunham Massey in Cheshire,
    Gibside in Tyne and Wear, and Winkworth Arboretum in Surrey. Most trees which carry the strongest colour are not native to the UK, most are from North America and Asia, but they have
    added so much to our landscape over the last 400 years.

    2) Frosts will become common from now on, it is wise to lift any plants from the border which are tender and place in a frost-free room or glasshouse. Overwinter cuttings from them on a windowsill!

    3) Whilst it is still reasonably light in the evening, make a start on the winter digging, especially on heavy clay soils. Clods will break down much easier after a winter of snow, frost, wind and rain. Try and incorporate as much organic matter as possible to increase drainage and fertility. Riding
    stables are a good source of cheap manure.

    4) With only 50 to 65mm of rain expected in October in the north, together with a number of sunny days, try and get as much winter work completed as possible before the really harsh weather sets in. Don’t forget to collect all those fallen apples! There are a number of local people now willing to offer juicing facilities for a small fee, remember that if they have fallen, fruits will be bruised and will not store, other than by preparing and freezing. Dispose of unwanted fallen fruits as they may well carry over disease from year to year.

    5) Use this period to give the glasshouse a thorough clean when all of the plants can be put outside on a mild day. Clean the glass inside and out, and scrub down benches with a mild disinfectant before hosing down the entire area. If you use electricity in the glasshouse, check that the earth breaker is clean and acting effectively.

    6) Collect seeds of those plants you may wish to increase, store dry seeds in paper envelopes in an airtight container on the bottom shelf of the fridge. If unsure when to sow the seed, sow half on collection and the other half in the spring.

    7) Fix grease bands to apple and pear tree trunks.

    8) Clean out ponds and remove pumps for the winter.

    9) Give conifer hedges a final trim and finish planting evergreen shrubs.

    10) Take hardwood cuttings from shrubs and fruit bushes, lift and divide rhubarb crowns.

    11) Lift and store carrots and potatoes. Cut back tall shrubs like Lavatera and Buddleia to half their length to prevent winter damage. Complete cutting them back in early spring.

    12) Clean out leaves from round all alpine plants, if left outside provide the protection of a cold frame or even a sheet of glass or plastic to prevent the plants becoming waterlogged.

    13) Frequently collect leaves from around the garden and store in a wire mesh bin using four wooden posts at the corners to produce excellent leaf mould compost by next autumn. Leaves left on the lawn will kill the grass and can also attract slugs and snails.

    14) Can compost can be harmful in holes dug for new trees? Guy Barter, chief horticultural adviser at the RHS, says: “The compost rots and the tree settles down too far in the soil and as a
    result root and stem rot can set in. It’s best to plant trees in plain old soil.”

    Posted 1st Oct 5:14pm
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  2. Our guide to apple trees

    Our guide to apple trees

    The 21st October marks national Apple day and to celebrate we have listed some of our favourites for cooking, eating and for cider.

    For cooking
    • Granny Smith – great for baking whole, sweet and crisp with a green skin
    • Braeburn – makes a great apple sauce – tart, sweet and aromatic with a bright colour
    • Bramley – icon for apple pies and crumbles – sharp and juicy

    For Eating
    • Gala – bright red flushed fruit with a sweet almost perfumed taste.
    • Coxs Orange Pippin – Considered the best eating apple in the world
    • Red Delicious – iconic ruby red skin with sweet juicy white flesh.

    For Cider
    • Katy – heavy cropper with a sharp flavour. Very juicy. Also enjoy straight from the tree.
    • Kingston Black – only grown for juicing, turn this into a vintage cider.
    • Golden Spire – has an cider-like flavour flesh. Also good for cooking with.

    Posted 21st Oct 5:11pm
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  3. Johnsons get green fingered for Greenfields community garden

    Johnsons get green fingered for Greenfields community garden

    Johnsons get green fingered for Greenfields community garden

    Staff from horticultural nursery Johnsons of Whixley got stuck in with their third volunteering project with York Cares on Thursday, 18th October.

    York Cares is a partnership of the city’s leading employers committed to improving outdoor spaces at various community organisations across the city through employee-volunteering.

    The project included renovating part of the Greenfields community garden on Haxby road which included cutting back brambles, pruning fruit bushes, pulling up weeds and turning compost.
    The garden is heavily used by residents, scouts and the local primary school.

    The five volunteers from Johnsons of Whixley included Ellie Richardson, Laura Holmes, Claire Horner, Darren Fawbert and Jim Christmas, they joined forces with Lend a Lease – a leading international property and infrastructure group.

    Steven Graham, Community Liaison Manager at Lend a Lease, said: “It’s great to get out the office and give something back to our local community, especially when two businesses can come together and really make a positive impact to a volunteer-run charity. We hope to continue to support Greenfields for many years to come.”

    Volunteer and Marketing co-ordinator, Ellie Richardson from Johnsons of Whixley, said: “This is the third project we have got involved with for York Cares, it’s great to give something back to the local community and make a visible difference.”

    Posted 18th Oct 10:45am
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  4. Plant donation for ITV Love Your Home and Garden

    Plant donation for ITV Love Your Home and Garden

    Plant donation for ITV Love Your Home and Garden

    Earlier on in the year we teamed up with the Love Your Home and Garden team to supply a number of plants to the value of over £600.

    The supply was for a single mum and her severely disabled son in Mansfield. Josh is 16 and the equipment he needs to support him and enable his mum, Benita, to move him around was getting so big that he was confined to one room in the house.

    The project included not only an indoor renovation to help add some much needed open space, but a complete outdoor makeover too.

    The plant donation included Helleborus, Heucheras, vincas, ceanothus trellis and a number of other shrubs and herbaceous varieties.

    We donated 55 different plant lines and made the 72-mile trip to deliver the plants.

    We hope Benita and Josh get to enjoy their newly renovated home and garden for many years to come.

    Posted 11th Oct 10:40am
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  5. Johnsons work with P1 Contractors Ltd to supply Saughton Park, Edinburgh

    Johnsons work with P1 Contractors Ltd to supply Saughton Park, Edinburgh

    Johnsons work with P1 Contractors Ltd to supply Saughton Park, Edinburgh

    We have been working with P1 Contractors Ltd to supply plants for the restoration of Saughton Park, Edinburgh.

    The £6.7 million renovation project began back in July 2017 and included the restoration of the walled garden, winter garden – including the winter glasshouse – and the restoration of the 110-year-old bandstand and garden.

    Further redevelopment of the seven acre garden included:
    • A brand new café
    • The redevelopment of a rose garden with pergolas, and a seating area
    • A new playground which is wheelchair-friendly and includes a train, bird’s nest climbing tower and lots more exciting play equipment
    • Newly restored paths which include LED lighting
    • A new car park
    • A new entrance
    • An outdoor gym
    • A roller hockey and basketball court
    • A new courtyard where the former stables have been turned into the parks offices
    • New toilets including ones suitable for people with learning and physical disabilities

    Edinburgh-based p1 has been responsible for the majority of the planned works including all the soft landscaping, landscape conservation, refurbishment of the winter garden and bandstand, the refurbishment of paths, benches, lighting, gym, car park and signage.

    Richard McMonagle, Director of P1 Contractors Ltd, said: “We are delighted with the outcome of this project, it hasn’t been an easy task by any means with over 1,000 plant varieties on the order. Johnsons has excelled itself in only having to offer minimal substitutes from the original specifications and sourcing a lot of stock that we don’t normally see on our usual day to day schemes.”

    Johnson’s contract to p1 was worth over £100,000. The plant supply was split over five different areas of the garden and included 70 pleached Carpinus, 90 trees over 16-18 girth size, 11 MST Betulas and over 5000 hedging plants.

    The rose garden supply was worth over £40,000 and included eight thousand herbaceous plants, shrubs and roses. The bandstand renovation saw over 5,000 plants which included a mixture of shrubs and herbaceous with the white border including over 3,000 plants that included varieties like 400, Hakonechloa macra, 175 Helleborus ‘Silver Lace’ and 210 Brunnera ‘Mr Morse’.

    The herbaceous border also saw over 6,000 plants used including over 350 Allium purple sensation, another 700 shrubs and herbaceous plants were used in the Italian garden also.

    Ellie Richardson, Marketing & Sales Coordinator at Johnsons of Whixley, said: “It’s great to be involved with a full renovation of a well-known Scottish park with a long-standing customer. The supply has been ongoing for over a year so it’s great to see the finished result that includes so many different lines.”

    Posted 12th Oct 10:32am
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  6. Johnsons work with Ashlea Ltd to supply A21 Tonbridge

    Johnsons work with Ashlea Ltd to supply A21 Tonbridge

    Johnsons work with Ashlea Ltd to supply A21 Tonbridge

    We were selected by Ashlea Ltd in February 2017 to supply thousands of bare root hedging and trees to the new Tonbridge dual carriageway, Kent.

    This was part of the two-year, £70 million project which set to create a new dual carriageway to follow the line of the existing A21.

    The new dual carriageway follows the line of the existing A21 with a new junction at Fairthorne (by the petrol station) and at Longfield Road, replacing the existing roundabout at the southern end of the scheme. Parts of the existing A21 were retained to provide access to houses, businesses, fields and woodland. A new bridleway for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders was provided along the whole length of the scheme.

    Planting and earth mounds were provided to ensure that existing residence would not be affected by the noise of the new dual carriageway.

    Plant varieties included over 40,000 native and non-native hedging and a selection of trees and shrubs.

    Green-tech also supplied the following:
    • 20,000 x 1.2m standard plus tree shelters 80-120mm dia
    • 20,000 x 1.2m x 32mm square fsc tree stakes
    • 2,000 x 60cm Acorn treeguards for shrubs 170-200mm dia with stakes
    • 2,500 x bags of tree planting compost
    • 10,000 x spirals (60cm x 38mm) and canes (90cm)

    Johnsons of Whixley marketing co-ordinator, Ellie Richardson, said: “This was another great project with Ashlea Ltd. We have been involved with lots of roadside planting schemes over the years so it was great to supply another well-known carriageway, we cant wait to see it mature over the next few years.

    Green-tech sales manager, Andrea Questari, said: “We were delighted to be involved with Ashlea Ltd on this project. Ashlea Ltd are very well known within the industry for their landscaping on the UK’s highways. Wayne Dand and his team managed this sensitive site very well which made our job a lot easier logistically.”

    Posted 26th Oct 10:26am
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  7. Johnsons Supply Dream Wedding Venue in the Yorkshire Dales

    Johnsons Supply Dream Wedding Venue in the Yorkshire Dales

    Johnsons Supply Dream Wedding Venue in the Yorkshire Dales

    We have been supporting Ray Skelton (Harrogate) Ltd in the supply or Trees & Shrubs to assist in the creation of a new outdoor space linked with the renovation of an original and historic ‘Tithe Barn’ at a prestigious Yorkshire Estate.

    The Grade II listed, newly-renovated barn is set within the grounds of the Duke of Devonshire’s majestic Bolton Abbey Estate in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. Built in the 1500s, the Tithe Barn overlooks the priory ruins and the River Wharfe and is set to create a unique wedding venue which could be described as the most romantic and complete venue of its kind in the region.

    The barn still holds a lot of its original features including its timber beams from the 1500s. The barn can host up to 400 guests and the build has included a new access road off the B6160 and a car park for guests.

    The developers, Cripps Barn Group, aimed to make the barn one of the largest, spectacular and most prestigious spaces in which to get married and the results speak for themselves.
    Ray Skelton (Harrogate) Ltd, one of the largest horticultural service providers in North Yorkshire carried out the ground works which included ground preparation and grading, seeding, turfing , shrub, herbaceous and tree planting to specification.

    Colin Simpson, senior estimator at Ray Skelton (Harrogate) Ltd, said: “It has been such a privilege for us to be associated with the renovation of Tithe Barn. I can see the beautifully landscaped gardens and magnificent views being on many Wedding photographs for years to come.

    Johnsons’ supply was worth over £19,000 and included 78 trees all above 12-14 girth size, 13 pleached Quercus Ilex (Holly/Holm Oak) which are situated around the edge of the garden and over 3,000 shrubs/herbaceous varieties for its borders.

    Andrew Barker, Amenity sales rep at Johnsons, said: “It is wonderful to be involved in projects like this where the planting really finishes the project. Hopefully It will provide a backdrop for some fantastic wedding pictures. As always great working with true professional contractors such as the team at Ray Skelton Horticulture”

    Ellie Richardson, marketing co-ordinator at Johnsons, said: “It’s fantastic to have been involved in the transformation of Tithe Barn, we have supplied the Bolton Abbey Estate for many years so it’s lovely to be able to supply another high profile part of the estate. As always Ray Skelton (Harrogate) Ltd has done a wonderful job of the outdoor space and the barn itself is truly spectacular.”

     

    Posted 29th Oct 10:14am
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  8. Johnsons supply exciting new 5-star lodge and spa retreat

    Johnsons supply exciting new 5-star lodge and spa retreat

    Johnsons supply exciting new 5-star lodge and spa retreat

    Johnsons of Whixley has been working with Darwin Escapes to supply plants to its newest lodge and spa retreat, Norfolk Woods Resort & Spa.

    The new Norfolk complex will open in January 2019 and will be bringing Darwin Escapes’ luxury accommodation and high standards of service to the region for the first time. Norfolk Woods is just one of Darwin’s 22 parks and as the newest park in the portfolio, it is one not to be missed.

    The resort will include luxury self-catering lodges, many with their own private hot tub facilities, an onsite restaurant, a tropically-heated swimming pool and an on-site spa.
    One of the UK’s leading multi-disciplinary consultancies, RPS, has been advising on a variety of environmental aspects of the project, including the landscape planning/design, arboriculture and ecology.

    David Cox, of RPS, said: “we’re really pleased to see that yet another Darwin Escapes scheme is coming together well; the quality of plant stock and efficiency of Johnsons is second to none”
    Over £50,000 worth of plants have been planted at the new resort, including a variety of ornamental and native plant stock, all container grown to accommodate the park’s construction programme.

    Ellie Richardson, marketing co-ordinator at Johnsons of Whixley, said: “It’s great to be involved with another Darwin Escapes project and to be working with RPS again.
    “Back in 2016, another Darwin Escapes resort, Keswick Reach, won “Best Large Park in Britain” at the 2017 Hoseasons Annual Awards and it was great to be associated with this. I’m sure Norfolk Woods Resort & Spa will undoubtedly be recognised for its luxury and high standard.”

    Andrew Barker, amenity sales rep at Johnsons of Whixley, said: “Really happy to be working on yet another Darwin site. It is tremendous working with the project management team on such high spec and impressive sites”

    Posted 14th Oct 10:06am
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  9. Welcome to the team George Metcalfe

    Welcome to the team George Metcalfe

    We would like to welcome George Metcalfe to the team who joins us as part of a two year management trainee programme which Johnsons hopes will provide a vocational platform from which the business’s future leaders can emerge.

    1. Have you had any previous experience in horticulture?
    Yes both as a gardener and a grower.

    2. Where did you study?
    Askham Bryan College

    3. Have you had any previous jobs?
    Yes, as a gardener and grower – in my last role i grew mostly bedding plants, pansies and violas.

    4. What will your training at Johnsons involve?
    Working at the various different sites, getting familiar with many aspects of what we do here and why.

    5. What have you enjoyed so far?
    Meeting the team and working closely with various plants down at the Whixley unit.

    6. What are you looking forward to in your new role?
    I’m mostly looking forward to an external nursery work placement in August, I expect this will give me a chance to learn a great deal.

    7. What do you think the challenges will be?
    Moving around a lot will keep me on my toes and ill have to learn to adapt quickly.

    8. Tell us a random fact about yourself?
    My favourite tree is Betula pendula because of its aesthetics and its many uses.

    Have you read what our other management trainee Tom Watkins had to say? You can read his blog post here: ‘ A warm welcome to Tom Watkins ‘ 

    Posted 8th Oct 3:26pm
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  10. A warm welcome to Tom Watkins

    A warm welcome to Tom Watkins

    A warm welcome to Tom Watkins who joins the Johnsons of Whixley team as part of a two year management trainee programme which Johnsons hopes will provide a vocational platform from which the business’s future leaders can emerge.

    1. Where did you work prior to Johnsons and what did your role include?
    Battlefield farms, Virginia. Large scale commercial greenhouse that specialised in ornamentals, predominately annual bedding plants. I was an intern working as a grower.

    2. Did you go to a horticultural college?
    Yes Askham Bryan College, York

    3. What makes the industry attractive to you?
    I like the satisfaction of seeing a crop throughout its growth cycle and enjoy that each season is different.

    4. What will your training at Johnsons involve?
    Understanding how the business is run by working on different placements within Johnsons including getting to know the customers and suppliers.

    5. What have you learnt so far?
    As well as general nursery duties that are to be carried out on site I am starting to understand how orders are received, processed, prepared and despatched.

    6. What are you looking forward to in your new role? I am looking forward to taking on interesting projects and gaining management experience.

    7. What do you think the challenges will be?
    In an industry that is constantly changing I think the challenges will lie in adapting to those changes, that and learning everyone’s name.

    8. What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
    I enjoy cooking and I am a keen fisherman

    Have you read what our other management trainee George Metcalfe had to say? You can read his blog post here: ‘Welcome George Metcalfe’

    Posted 10th Oct 3:22pm
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  11. Johnsons Landscape Architect training day 2018

    Johnsons Landscape Architect training day 2018

    Johnsons Landscape Architect training day 2018

    We hosted our Landscape architect training day on Thursday, 4th October, where we invite landscape architects and garden designers for a free one-day course to help broaden their knowledge of plants, planting and to gain an insight into what we do.

    The full course date was taken up by nine members of Macgregor Smith, a landscape architect and award-winning practice, based in Bath that consists of landscape architects, urban designers and architects.

    This is our third course, having first started in 2016, and the in-depth training day was led by our production manager, Ian Nelson, who has 40 years’ experience in the horticultural industry. Ian holds a HND in Horticulture and is a panel member on the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB). The session covered topics including natural hybridisation, basic propagation, planting and after care, contract grows and new plants.

    Ian was assisted by Johnsons’ key account sales member, Andrew Barker.

    Andrew said: “This is a great learning experience for new and experienced landscape designers and architects to help build knowledge of what we do and why we do it. It also provides an effective opportunity for a two-way discussion between the nursery and landscape architects.”

    There are limited spaces available to attend our courses which are free to attend. To register your interest, or to book onto a course for next year, contact Ian Nelson on: iann@nurserymen.co.uk or Andrew Barker on: andrewb@nurserymen.co.uk

    Posted 12th Oct 2:58pm
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  12. New Dynamic Dispatch Duo Steve Morton & Matt Campey

    New Dynamic Dispatch Duo Steve Morton & Matt Campey

    New Dynamic Dispatch Duo Steve Morton & Matt Campey

    Congratulations to Matt Campey who will be taking on a new role as Deputy Dispatch Manager from November 1st, this follows on from our new Dispatch Manager, Steve Morton, who took on the management role back in July this year.

    With over 12,000 deliveries per year and on average 120 deliveries per week during our busiest season, the dispatch unit is very much at the heart of what we do.

    Matt started with us in summer 2016 as a Dispatch Operative where he helped assist with the dispatch unit, he then went on to be a Senior Nursery Worker before returning to the dispatch unit where he became Dispatch Supervisor.

    As Deputy Dispatch Manager, Matt’s role includes assisting the Dispatch Manager, checking orders off for quality control, making sure all internal transport is complete and all wagons leave our site correctly loaded.

    Steve joined us in 1998 and has worked on multiple sites doing roles like lifting, potting and propagation. His last role was retail lifting manger and stock control.

    With Steve’s knowledge, management skills and Matt’s experience in the dispatch unit, we already know our orders and trucks are in more than capable hands.

    Steve said: “Congratulations to Matt on his new role. I am looking forward to working alongside him to improve the dispatch department. I am sure myself and Matt will learn off one another in our new roles together.”

    Steve said: “Congratulations to Matt on his new role. I am looking forward to working alongside him to improve the dispatch department. I am sure myself and Matt will learn off one another in our new roles together.”

    Matt said: “I’m very happy to have achieved this role in the Despatch Department. I’m looking forward to working alongside Steve Morton, where between us we can not just learn from each other, but help to improve the efficiency of the department as well. Tom and Chris have played a large role in helping both myself and Steve to gain the knowledge needed in our department roles. As a team we work extremely well together, and I look forward to the years to come.”

    Posted 26th Oct 2:50pm
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