Latest Stories

  1. Johnsons of Whixley help enhance the grounds of a new luxury hotel in the centre of Manchester

    Johnsons of Whixley help enhance the grounds of a new luxury hotel in the centre of Manchester

    We recently worked on a project for the Dakota Hotel, a new luxury hotel in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, teaming up with PWP Design Ltd and Gavin Jones Ltd.

     

    We supplied a range of plants to the hotel, including clipped evergreen shrubs, sculptural feature trees and lush green groundcover for a series of planting areas and pots that frame the terrace and enhance the parking courtyard, main entrance and overall impression of the hotel.

     

    Our supply included hundreds of herbaceous, shrub and grass varieties for the hotel grounds, including Buxus spirals, Sarcococca confusa, Pachysandra ‘Green Carpet’ (to create attractive yet low maintenance ground cover), Agapanthus africanus, Viburnum davidii and Hakonechloa macra.

     

    The Dakota Manchester is situated on Dulcie Street, at the edge of the vibrant Northern Quarter, and features 137 rooms, a Dakota Grill restaurant, cocktail bar, waterside terrace, cigar garden and a grand deluxe penthouse, believed to be the largest in the city.

     

    A lot is happening in Manchester right now, especially in the Northern Quarter, so it’s fantastic to be supplying to this new project. It’s also great to be teaming up once again with Gavin Jones Ltd and PWP Design Ltd, both of whom are long-standing customers.

     

    The collaboration of our businesses allowed us to achieve the luxurious and highly visual impact the client required for the hotel, delivering the quality and style that is associated with the Dakota brand.

     

    This is not the first time we have worked on a luxury hotel, take a look at our recent project, supplying the stunning Grantley Hall near Ripon.

     

    Posted 15th Aug 5:01pm
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  2. Johnsons brings a touch of Chile to Yorkshire

    Johnsons brings a touch of Chile to Yorkshire

    We have recently added to our blooming repertoire with the launch of a new Senecio ‘Angel Wings’ plant line, just in time for our new catalogue in September.

    The award-winning plant, which originally derives from Chile, has been carefully cultivated over the winter by production manager Ian Nelson and the rest of our team.

    He put the plant through multiple tests, finding it able to withstand harsh conditions, require minimal care, as well as being suitable for use across a range of soil conditions.

    ‘Angel Wings’ is identifiable by its striking silver leaves and silky touch. It is also drought-tolerant and salt-tolerant, making it the perfect addition to a coastal garden.

    We debuted ‘Angel Wings’ on our stand at the National Plant Show in June where it attracted widespread attention.

    ‘Angel Wings’, which has also been seen in the Falklands and Argentina, was first discovered by plant developer Lyall Fieldes on a trip to the Patagonia region of Chile. It has since made its mark on the European market, winning a bronze medal at the Netherlands Plantarium in 2016 and the Glee new product award in 2017.

    Ian Nelson,  Production Manager said “We always strive to provide something unique and beautiful that will bring something special to a garden or larger-scale project.

    “As ‘Angel Wings’ is a very robust plant, it is perfect for most growing conditions, while still maintaining its soft and delicate appearance. It requires very little care due to its durable nature and will add a gorgeous touch to flower beds and pots alike.”

    Garden Centre Sales Assistant Manager, Paul Lamb, added:  “We are delighted to be able to offer the sought-after Senecio ‘Angels Wings’ to our customers. We are launching with a 5L version, and as we head into 2020 we will have the plant available in both a 3L and a 5L size.”If you’d like to find out more about Senecio ‘Angel Wings’ click here to contact a sales rep today

     

    Posted 15th Aug 8:48am
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  3. Jobs to do in the garden this August

    Jobs to do in the garden this August

    Looking to keep busy in the garden this August? Here are the jobs you should be keeping on top of this month:

    1. Cut back the long whippy growth of Wisteria to within 3 buds of the old wood, if they are not required, to extend the area covered by the plant.
    2. Keep dead-heading the best flowering plants to encourage new flowers and stop them from setting seed. Apply a liquid feed as plants will require added nutrition to counter dry weather and heavy watering.
    3. Complete the lifting of last seasons’ bulbs and dry them off naturally in light woven sacks for maximum ventilation.
    4. Collect the seed of the plant which you wish to regenerate next year. Place a brown paper bag over the seed head and shake out contents as they become free. Save the seed in the fridge and sow next spring.
    5. Clean up and dispose of early fallen fruits, such as apples, to prevent disease spread.
    6.  Damp down greenhouse floors to maintain humidity, and don’t forget to open the vents to improve air circulation. It’s best to water early morning/late evening, and not in the heat of the sun. Close doors at night at the end of the month as conditions become cooler, but be sure to open up again the following morning.
    7.  A good time to clean the pond and the pump filter, and perhaps reduce the amount of oxygenating plants.  A fountain will help oxygenate the water for the benefit of fish.
    8. Trim lavenders after flowering but don’t cut into older wood.
    9. Towards the end of the month cut back the canes of fruited cane fruits to ground level, and tie in the young shoots which will provide next year’s harvest.
    10. Divide and replant rhizomatous Iris and layer carnations and pinks, pegging into the soil after carefully cracking a small section of the stem.
    11. Weed between alpines and top up the surface with grit or gravel. Take cuttings of Aubretia, dwarf helianthemums etc., root in a warm propagator.
    12. Continue to water recent new lawns. Probably better to leave laying or sowing a new lawn until next month when the weather is cooler.
    13. Watch out for pests and diseases, warm dry weather encourages mildew and aphids can rapidly increase in numbers. Treat with specific garden chemicals.

    Check out our previous months gardening reminders here

    Posted 2nd Aug 12:02pm
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  4. Beautifying a sloping garden with plants and hard landscaping in the Harrogate area

    Beautifying a sloping garden with plants and hard landscaping in the Harrogate area

    Our wholesale Xpress department recently supplied a selection of plants to enhance the hard landscaping of a sloping garden designed by LWB Landscapes in the Harrogate area.

    LWB Landscapes proved that a garden doesn’t need to be flat and spacious to be beautiful, dealing with a steep slope requires imaginative thinking, and, adding stone terraced flower beds, Indian stone paving and Oak sleepers they have created a beautiful layered garden.

    Using a simple mix of Buxus Sempervirens balls and cones, Lavender Hidcote, Convolvulus cneorum, Carex morrowii ‘Vanilla Ice’ and Pieris jap, we were able to bring the space to life, creating an enviable garden that will be loved for years to come.

    See below for before and after shots of the garden

    Before

    After

     

    This isn’t the only project our wholesale Xpress department has supplied in the Harrogate area; you can read about our supply to Grantley Hall here  and see how our plants helped celebrate Bowcliffe Hall’s Georgian splendour here .

     

    Posted 1st Aug 2:54pm
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  5. Taxus topiary supply for Bowcliffe Hall

    Taxus topiary supply for Bowcliffe Hall

    We recently supplied a selection of Taxus topiary for Grade II listed Bowcliffe Hall, a historic Yorkshire venue that hosts weddings, corporate events and more. Guests can enjoy acres of glorious gardens designed to be perfectly in keeping with the hall’s Georgian heritage.

    As part of a topiary project at the hall, we were asked to provide a selection of yew plants, to celebrate its character and history whilst enhancing the arrival experience for guests. Yew was chosen to complement the existing clipped topiary in the gardens.

    An important consideration was the scale and proportion of the plants, to enable them to be seamlessly incorporated into the overall garden design, which includes both cone and standard (lollipop) shaped plants.

    We supplied 10 cone-shaped  Taxus baccata (Yew) root balls and 13 Taxus baccata (Yew) lollipop standards with a 100cm stem and 70-80cm head.

    In order to carefully maintain the plants, the garden team at Bowcliffe Hall has implemented an irrigation system and mulched their bases.

    The plans form an integral part of a stunning front garden, a traditional Georgian design that wows guests on arrival while remaining true to the building’s rich heritage.

    Posted 31st Jul 2:29pm
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  6. Lavender plants: our bestselling line for trade

    Lavender plants: our bestselling line for trade

    A true staple for any size project or garden, the humble lavender is a top favourite for many of our commercial customers. Last year we sold over 110,000 lavender plants, including ‘angustifolia’ ‘hidcote’, ‘munstead’ ‘vera’ and many more varieties.

    Lavender plants are well known for their wonderfully calming fragrance, but they are also a great plant for pollinators and are famed for the various shades of purple they come in. A truly versatile plant, it can instantly improve the appearance of any space, from the edge of a driveway to the surrounding of a public seating area.

    Commonly flowering from June to September, they’re easy to grow and care for making them an ideal solution for low maintenance areas.

    When it comes to planting, opt for a sunny to light shade position – a south or west facing location would be ideal. Place the lavender plants in a well-drained neutral to alkaline soil as they will not do well in wet, waterlogged soil.

    These plants need very little water once they become established, except for those planted in a pot or container as these will need regular watering when the pot becomes noticeably lighter.

    Caring and maintaining lavender plants is very easy. Ensure to cut back new angustifolia varieties in late August to September once they have finished flowering and have gone slightly grey, a second flush of flowers may appear after pruning. Pruning will help keep the plant compact and stop it from getting too leggy.

    Lavandula Hidcote

    Our bestselling lavender line, Lavandula Hidcote, is a compact English lavender that produces dense, fragrant, violet flowers that look great along a driveway, border or in a pot. It is very popular with pollinators throughout its flowering months.

    Flowers: June – September

    Position: Full sun – light shade

    Eventual height & spread: 75cm x 60cm

    Lavandula Munstead

    Our second bestselling lavender plant is the Lavandula Munstead, named after Gertrude Jekyll’s garden at Munstead Wood. This variety has blue-purple summer flowers that have a wonderful contrast against its grey-green leaves. It’s a firm favourite with bees and will look great at the edge of a path or border, or clipped to add a contemporary look to any space.

    Flowers: June – September

    Position: Full sun – light shade

    Eventual height & spread: 75cm x 60cm

     

    Lavandula ‘Little Lady’

    The final lavender plant on our list is Lavandula ‘Little Lady’. This variety has a lighter blue flower that is produced on upright stems against sage green foliage. It is a fantastic compact variety that can be used to make a vibrant low hedge.

    Flowers: July – September

    Position: Full sun – light shade

    Eventual height & spread: 40cm x 40cm

     

    Posted 25th Jul 9:51am
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  7. Caring for alstroemeria, the plant that doesn’t stop flowering

    Caring for alstroemeria, the plant that doesn’t stop flowering

    Looking for a semi-hardy herbaceous plant, that is long flowering with interesting foliage? Alstroemeria is the plant you have been searching for – and will not disappoint.

    Working well in borders combined with other plants, alstroemeria produces fantastic coloured flowers in a wide range of colours from June through to October every year.

    They also make for impressive displays for container pots or cut flowers that can be displayed inside.

    Caring for your alstroemeria

    Be sure to plant alstroemerias in full sun or partial shade in a fertile, moist, well-drained soil to ensure they keep on flowering. Remove the whole stem at the base once the flower on it has finished as this will encourage the growth of new flowers. To protect the plant during winter, make sure to wrap it with a protective fleece.

    Available at our Cash & Carry and for Garden Centre Customers

    We have some fantastic Inticancha Alstroemerias available this year – here’s a preview of what you can pick up from our onsite Cash & Carry or on our retail availability list:

     

    Alstroemeria Inticancha Bryce has large, stunning orange and yellow blooms with a brown speckle. They would make a great addition to a compliment a warm coloured border and will flower from June through to October.

     

     

    Alstroemeria Inticancha Sunshine has a dwarf habit, with large pink and yellow cantered flowers that will emerge come June right through to October.

    Alstroemeria Inticancha ‘Maya’ are known for their white flowers with a deep, blotched pink centre and a small flare of green at the end of each petal. These alstromerias will start flowering from the end of May/early June and through to October. They will stay nice and compact making them ideal for a patio pot.

    Alstroemeria Inticancha Red are a clump-forming plant with dark green leaves, and dark red funnel shaped flowers. This is another variety that usually flowers from June to October.

    Posted 23rd Jul 8:49am
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  8. Scandinavian plant supply for Saltwell Park, Gateshead

    Scandinavian plant supply for Saltwell Park, Gateshead

    Scandinavian plant supply for Saltwell Park, Gateshead

     

    We teamed up with the National Garden Scheme (NGS) Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and Gateshead Council to provide a Scandinavian plant supply to Saltwell Park.

     

    The Swedish inspired garden will open during the World Transplant Games in August, with the aim of attracting new visitors to the North East and promoting Gateshead to an international audience.

     

    The Scandinavian garden design was created to mark 10 years of strong cultural and trade links between Sweden and the North East of England. Garden designer Susie White created a classic 18th century English garden in the Västra Götaland region of Sweden back in 2017, featuring iris, peony, roses, allium, lupin, foxgloves and sage.

     

    Gateshead’s 55-acre Saltwell Park will feature a woodland, meadow area and elements of coastal landscape, with more than 600 new shrub and herbaceous varieties in addition to 11 trees. Our plants were also complemented with a supply of Swedish heritage plants to tie the theme together.

     

    Maureen Kesteven, NGS County Organiser, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, said: “This unique international project has been a major endeavour for the NGS volunteer team in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear. We are grateful for the assistance provided by our commercial sponsors. Being able to rely on Johnsons of Whixley for the bulk of the plants was a real confidence booster for us.”

     

    It’s great to be involved with such an exciting project that connects the UK and Sweden. We were delighted when the National Garden Scheme got in touch and asked us to provide the plants and we hope the garden is enjoyed by many people for years to come.

     

    In addition to Saltwell Park, we have worked on beautifying several parks across the UK to improve the space for the local communities. Our team recently partnered with Ashlea Ltd to enhance the new Gypsey Race Park in Bridlington [View case study here], a project partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

    Posted 17th Jul 7:59am
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  9. Jobs to do in the garden in July

    Jobs to do in the garden in July

    Jobs to do in the garden in July

    Take steps to protect plants in the heat of summer – and reap the rewards for the rest of the year – by following our tips on jobs you should do in the garden in July.

    1. Cut Delphiniums down to 10-15cm after they have flowered and keep them moist. They should produce another flush of flowers in the autumn.
    2. Remove the spent flowers from annuals to encourage the production of new flowers.
    3. The first flush of roses will be over in July, so ensure you cut off spent heads, reducing by approximately a third. However, don’t cut back roses that are being grown for autumn rose hips.
    4. Spray rose sawfly, if necessary, as they eat the foliage, leaving a fine skeleton of the veins. Lightly cover both sides of the leaves to help combat mildew.
    5. Keep on top of fast-growing soft weeds, such as thistles, as they harbour aphids etc.
    6. Continue to tie Dahlias to their stakes, and spray aphids and other insects as necessary.
    7. If caring for large chrysanthemums, remove the side shoots from all flowering shoots other than the limited number of blooms (often five) you wish to retain.
    8. Feed the shrubs that were cut back in the spring with a high sulphate of potash feed to encourage the production of flower buds for next year.
    9. Prune shrubs growing on walls and pergolas to remove some of the top growth and further stimulate growth from the base of the plant.
    10. When conditions are very dry, give recently planted trees and shrubs a thorough soaking – a far better method than ‘little and often’. Also, spray overhead in the evening in very dry conditions.
    11. Give newly purchased container-grown plants a really good soak in a bucket before planting.
    12. Evergreen hedges can be clipped this month, as well as some deciduous ones, but ensure there are no nesting birds in the hedge. Cut laurel and Eleagnus hedges with secateurs to prevent cut leaves. In hot weather, spray newly planted conifer hedges with water overhead as well as ensuring the root zone remains moist.
    13. July is a good month to take cuttings of heathers. Choose young, strong, half-ripe, non-flowering shoots, and treat the bottom 5cm with rooting hormone, and insert around the edge of a 9cm pot. Keep in a closed, shaded area, ensuring that water does not drip on to the cuttings from the underside of the glass. Don’t allow them to dry out.
    14. Remove dying water lily leaves from ponds as they appear.

    Want more guidance on what jobs you should carry out for a garden in July? Here are some more examples of recommendations from our expert team  Jobs to do in the garden this May

    Posted 5th Jul 4:31pm
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  10. Gorgeous Geranium varieties

    Gorgeous Geranium varieties

    They’re colourful, low maintenance and even act as a weed suppressant – so if you don’t already have a geranium in your garden, now is the time to put that right!

    These low maintenance ground cover plants are happiest in full sun – partial shade and are available in shades of whites, pinks, purples and blues, providing a dense carpet of foliage from May through to September.

    This versatile plant can be used at the front of an informal border, in a pot or in a rockery as groundcover – here are some of our favourite Geranium varieties:

    Geranium Johnsons blue –  a personal favourite of many here at Johnsons of Whixley, this Geranium variety has masses of lavender-blue flowers with bright green foliage. Cut back after flowering for a second flush of flowers later in the summer.

    Care level: easy

    Flowers: May – September

    Position: full sun – partial shade

    Soil: well-drained soil

    Hardiness: Hardy

    Height x spread: up to 60cm x 60cm

    Geranium miss Heidi – a fantastic clump-forming perennial with masses of small pink flowers, with deep violet veining throughout.

    Care level: easy

    Flowers: May – September

    Position: full sun – partial shade

    Soil: well-drained soil

    Hardiness: Hardy

    Height x spread: up to 45cm x 45cm

    Geranium macrorrhizum Spessart – a lovely variety that blooms with white or pale pink flowers, this Geranium originates from mountainous regions, making it best suited in rockery areas.

    Care level: easy

    Flowers: May – September

    Position: full sun – partial shade

    Soil: well-drained soil

    Hardiness: Hardy

    Height x spread: up to 50cm x 60cm

    Geranium phaeum – also known as ‘mourning widow’, it gets its name from its small, dark purple flowers that look beautiful against their light green foliage.

    Care level: easy

    Flowers: May – June

    Position: full sun – partial shade

    Soil: well-drained soil

    Hardiness: Hardy

    Height x spread: up to 80cm x 45cm

    Geranium Rozanne – named as a plant of the centenary at the Chelsea flower show 2013 by RHS, this gorgeous geranium has beautiful, large saucer-shaped, blue flowers with deep pink/purple veining and a white centre.

    Care level: easy

    Flowers: May – September

    Position: full sun – partial shade

    Soil: well-drained soil

    Hardiness: Hardy

    Height x spread: up to 60cm x 80cm

    Posted 2nd Jul 10:01am
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  11. Two large plant supplies for Darwin Escapes

    Two large plant supplies for Darwin Escapes

    We are delighted to have recently completed two large plant supplies totalling more than £50,000 to two Darwin Escapes holiday developments in the south of England.

    Situated in Kent – known as the Garden of England – Canterbury Reach Lodge Retreat offers holidaymakers luxurious lodges set within acres of rolling countryside. The resort enjoys a tranquil setting within easy reach of Canterbury town centre.

    Our team were appointed to provided 260 trees and more than 9,000 bulbs, including snowdrops (Galanthus Nivalis) and bluebells (Hyacinthoides Non-Scripta), as well as more than 8,500 shrubs and herbaceous and 8,000 bare root hedging plants,  completed the supply, worth £27,000 in total.

    The second of the two large plant supplies was worth £25,000 and used at the Darwin Escapes Cheddar Woods Resort and Spa in Somerset, where the extensive gardens were designed to reflect the beauty of the surrounding woodland.

    The resort, nestling in the Mendip Hills, boasts an Enjoy England five-star gold rating and has been awarded the Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor. Discerning guests can enjoy spacious plots within this area of outstanding natural beauty.

    Our supply comprised 75 trees including rowan (Sorbus Aucuparia), field maple (Acer Campestre) and silver birch (Betula Pendula) along with almost 10,000 bare root hedging transplants of hawthorn (Crataegus Monogyna), common hazel (Corylus Avellana), blackthorn (Prunus Spinosa) and sweet cherry (Prunus Avium).

    Four thousand shrubs of various sizes, from 2L to 10L) were also provided, including 310 10L New Zealand broadleaf (Grisellina Littoralis).

    We have built up many years’ experience of providing plants to clients in the holiday park sector, where another recent project undertaken for Darwin Escapes included an extensive supply of shrubs and hedging transplants for the award-winning Sandymouth Holiday Resort, as part of a substantial modernisation process.

    We also teamed up with long-standing client RPS Group plc at the recently opened Darwin Escapes Norfolk Woods Resort and Spa in Norfolk to provide products worth £50,000 for the resort, including a variety of ornamental and native plant stock.

    We are justifiably proud of completing the large plant supplies for Darwin Escapes. These resorts are noted for their luxury and high standards and we are delighted to contribute to this with our own high-quality trees and plants.

    For more information on the resorts, please go to https://www.darwinescapes.co.uk/

    Posted 26th Jun 3:43pm
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  12. Trees and plants for pollinators throughout the year

    Trees and plants for pollinators throughout the year

    This week marks National Insect Week where we educate people of all ages to about insects, but more importantly, we should be encouraging our customers and the general public the of benefits insects and pollinators.

    By taking the time to learn about how we can support pollinators for this specific week, we can educate people on how to support them throughout the year. Even though some insects hibernate, bees do surface when the temperatures are warm in autumn and early winter. Here’s our guide on the best trees and plants for pollinators for any season.

    Spring trees and plants for pollinators

    In a warmer spring, butterflies and bees start emerging from their autumn/winter hibernation and rely on pollen and nectar to survive. These trees and plants are pollinator friendly for this specific season:

    Helleborus (Christmas rose) – a great winter/spring addition to your shaded spot in a garden that will provide a much-needed source of pollen for bees and butterflies once they come out of hibernation.

    Mahonia ‘Winter Sun’ – this plant is found covered in bees during early spring. Their bright yellow flowers appear from November to March and are happiest when placed in full or partial shade.

    Apple and crab apple trees – these trees rely on pollinators, without them, the trees would not bear fruit. The beautiful blossom from these varieties, such as Malus Domestica, provide a much-needed spring feast for bees.

    Salix caprea (Goat/ Pussy willow) – another one that is hugely important to providing an early source of pollen for pollinators is this tree thanks to its golden catkins that come out in March.

    Crocus – this plant offers a great source of pollen. Bumblebees are often seen not only collecting the pollen but sheltering inside the flower overnight.

    Summer plants for pollinators

    Moving into the summer season, these plant varieties are great options for pollinators to use during the warmer months of the year.

    Echinacea’s (coneflower) – a great option for bees and butterflies as they pump out as much nectar in the morning as the afternoon, unlike other plant varieties.

    Buddleia (butterfly bush) – the clue is in the name with this one as this really is covered in butterflies come June a great addition to a sunny border.

    Lavender – an obvious (and popular) one as it has been loved by pollinators for hundreds of years. Place it in a sunny, dry and well-drained position.

    Digitalis (foxgloves) – its bell-shaped flowers are very popular with bees, especially the bumblebee. Plant these in dappled shade for it to grow well.

    Geraniums – this plant has a long blooming season which makes it a great addition to the garden for bees. Choose varieties such as Geranium Johnsons blue that will flower through to September.

    Verbena – a plant that produces lots of nectar from July to October, they are loved by hoverflies, butterflies, bees and even dragonflies – a great addition to the middle or back of a border.

    Autumn trees and plants for pollinators

    Moving into the colder end of the year for a change of seasons brings another round of trees and plants that are great for pollinators in the autumn.

    Sedum Autumn Joy – this will flower from late summer into early autumn where they are frequently visited by butterflies and bees.

    Hedera (Ivy) – this is vital in helping to aid bees in the late season with its mature plants flowering in October and November.

    Anemone Honorine Jobert – an option that will not only brighten up that shaded part of your garden but a favourite of bees as it flowers from August to October.

    Heptacodium miconoides – with clusters of white flowers, this tree provides a great source of pollen from September to November when other varieties have stopped flowering.

    Posted 21st Jun 3:41pm
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  13. Nigel’s final goodbye from working on the nursery

    Nigel’s final goodbye from working on the nursery

    Two families marked the end of an era of working together when Nigel Crowl retired from working on the nursery here at Johnsons of Whixley.

    Nigel worked here for 47 years – following in the footsteps of his father, Eric, who also spent many years with the company as a general nursery worker. Sadly, the Crowl family will be unable to match our three generations of Richardsons as Nigel’s son now lives abroad.

    Nigel spoke to our chairman, John Richardson – who himself has been with the company 55 years – about his time at Johnsons.

    JR: Did you work anywhere prior to Johnsons?

    NC: My first job after leaving school was as a joiner for the savages at Ouseburn until I had an accident with a circular saw that resulted in two badly cut fingers. While at savages, I also learned how to build coffins and dig graves! I only stayed there for about a year but I learned a lot.

     

    JR: What job roles have you had working on the nursery?

    NC: Since starting here, I have been involved with nursery work including budding 120 thousand bush roses, 12 thousand standard roses, growing trees from whips and numerous other nursery jobs. At 18, I started driving a 7.5 ton lorry before passing my HGV test, after which I delivered goods for six months of the year while the other six months would involve nursery maintenance. I enjoyed the change in jobs. Eventually, I gave up driving and concentrated on the maintenance.

     

    JR: What have you enjoyed the most about your job?

    NC: The thing I have enjoyed the most is the variation, no two jobs are the same. I also get on reasonably well with my immediate boss.

     

    JR: Tell us a funny story from your time at Johnsons

    NC: One that always springs to my mind is something that happened many years ago when the manager at the time was Danny Elliot. Chris Umpleby and I were sent up the field near to where the fire heap is now. There were rows of newly planted whips and we were told to stop them at head height. Neither myself nor Chris is very tall, so we stopped the rows of whips at 5ft. When Danny saw them, he blew his top as he wanted a foot taller – but how were we to know when he said head high, he meant the height of his own head! Needless to say, the whips went on to make excellent trees.

     JR: If you could have worked anywhere else, where would it have been?

    NC: I would have continued my job as a joiner but more on the furniture side rather than putting up farm buildings or fitting outhouses.

     

    JR: What changes have you seen in the company over the years?

    NC: Johnsons has changed a lot over the years from a small retail nursery where you could be packing a single rose for delivery to a house in the centre of Leeds to a large wholesale business that now delivers hundreds and thousands of plants to large landscapers and nursery businesses. The maintenance side has also changed as there are more sites and we cover things like covering the tunnels and so on.

     

    JR: Any exciting plans for retirement?

    NC: The only plans for retirement are more holidays abroad and to enjoy going fishing… It will also be nice for my partner, Shirley, and I to be able to go out for days and just take life at a more leisurely pace.

     

    John added: “Nigel has done most things on the nursery but is probably pleased that we stopped budding roses 25 years ago, his back has nearly finished aching! He really enjoyed driving jobs, and as the nursery got bigger, he took on so many of the woodworking and maintenance jobs. I’m sure he can look round the nursery anywhere and say ‘well, I had a hand in building that’.

    “It is not so easy now, but we could always find where he was – just find the way to the base of the smoke cloud. Nigel will be missed; he has a great deal to be proud of and we will certainly miss him.

    “Enjoy your retirement Nigel, you have deserved it, and we will be pleased to see you if you are ever at a loose end. With very best wishes from all of us at Johnsons.”

    Posted 20th Jun 8:30am
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  14. Working with Spa Landscaping to create a healing garden

    Working with Spa Landscaping to create a healing garden

    Working alongside Sheffield-based Spa Landscaping, our team delivered a plant supply that was used to create a new healing garden at the Royal Derby Hospital.

    Created to provide a calm and peaceful place for people to visit during their time on hospital grounds. The newly designed courtyard area was also sensitively landscaped to provide an area for people to plant a bulb in the memory of loved ones who sadly died at the hospital.

    To create the serene healing garden through landscaping, our supply included a number of plants and trees to the value of £3,000, which included hedging transplants Crataegus monogyna (Hawthorn), Acer Campestre (Field Maple) and Sorbus aucuparia (Rowan). To complement this, the supply also included different shrub varieties, including Escallonia ‘Donard Radiance’, Viburnum tinus and Acer campestre and Pyrus Chanticleer trees.

    The garden was officially opened during Dying Matters Week by the chief executive of the hospital Trust, Gavin Boyle who also planted the first bulb. There will also be up to three special occasions throughout the year where the public will be able to plant a bulb in memory of their loved ones.

    Mark Swift from Spa Landscaping said: “Naturally, we’re delighted to have been chosen to create such a wonderful and peaceful area for the hospital. It’s been a joy to witness this project blossom into life and we truly hope the area offers comfort to those who need it most.”

    As always, it’s great to see the end result of projects we are involved with, especially when it has such a lovely meaning behind it. We hope the garden brings comfort to those who have lost loved ones for many years to come.

     

    Posted 19th Jun 4:19pm
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  15. York Cares – and so does Johnsons

    York Cares – and so does Johnsons

    At Johnsons of Whixley, we take our corporate social responsibility very seriously, which is why we are always happy to help local schemes such as York Cares.

    We donated plants worth £300 and volunteered the services of four employees to transform an outdoor space at The Hut, a mental health charity based within Clarence Gardens in York, that provides meaningful activities for those with enduring mental health issues or learning disabilities.

    Our team of Eleanor Richardson, Corrina Mills, Jim Christmas and Darren Fawbert helped make the outdoor space at The Hut more attractive and usable, refreshing and reinvigorating the grounds to create an area where people can take part in activities, socialise and celebrate together.

    This included constructing a pergola, planting raised beds, making an outdoor store, painting railings and creating paths and seating areas.

    Plants supplied included Choisya ternata ‘White Dazzler’, Lavandula ‘Hidcote’ and Syringa vulgaris ‘Prince Wolkonsky’ along with various herbs such as parsley, sweet marjoram and apple mint.

    The Hut is a registered charity that offers a range of activities, from a men’s lunch club to creative writing, exercise and creative workshops.

    The initiative is part of the York Cares Big Community Challenge, where local businesses volunteer the services of their employees to transform a community space in just three days.

    York Cares aims to showcase the positive impact a green environment can have on health, wellbeing and social inclusion.

    This is the second project aimed at raising mental health awareness that we have undertaken recently. We also supplied plants for the Mental Health Garden, created by garden designer Jo Manfredi-Hamer, which took the gold award at the Harrogate Spring Flower Show.

    Posted 9th Jun 4:04pm
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  16. Impressive landscape plant supply for Grantley Hall

    Impressive landscape plant supply for Grantley Hall

    We are proud to have recently completed an impressive landscape plant supply to Grantley Hall, a new 5-star luxury hotel in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales that is set to open next month.

    Grantley Hall, a grade II* listed property, has undergone a complete restoration that included the addition of a new large wing, housing 47 exquisite rooms and suites, a wedding and banqueting suite, private event spaces, a tranquil spa, ELITE luxury gym, 18m swimming pool and executive wellness space.

    As part of this restoration, we were appointed to supply an impressive order of plants to restore the grounds to their former glory. Our plant supply included a number of large topiaries, including Fagus (Beech) domes and Buxus (Box) balls, as well as thousands of herbaceous, shrubs and grasses for decorational borders.

    To complete the project there were several large hedging elements, including Hedera Hibernica (Ivy) screens that will be used to create partitions in the Hall’s gardens.

    The Hall was built by the Norton family in the 1680s before it passed on to the Furness family who lived there at the turn of the 20th century. Lady Jane Furness was a very keen gardener and was behind the creation of its ornamental Japanese gardens using rock from the nearby Brimham Rocks.

    The Hall then passed to Sir William Aykroyd who hosted both Queen Mary and then Dame Vera Lynn who entertained convalescing troops in WW2. The current owner, Valerie Sykes, bought the property in 2015 with the vision of restoring the building and its landscape back to its original splendour by creating a unique wellness, dining and hotel experience in the North of England.

    Working with Grantley Hall has been a real privilege, we have watched the project progress from its inception into something unique to the area. This will undoubtedly attract new discerning visitors to the North Yorkshire area, we are delighted to have played a small part in creating an inspirational first impression.

    Posted 11th Jun 4:03pm
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  17. Tree supply for Ashlea Ltd’s Windermere museum project

    Tree supply for Ashlea Ltd’s Windermere museum project

    We recently teamed up with Ashlea Ltd to work with them on a new project to supply trees and shrubs to the new Windermere Jetty museum, home to some of the world’s oldest boats.

     

    The museum was officially opened in April by the Prince of Wales and is home to more than 40 vessels including the SL Dolly, which is thought to be the oldest mechanically powered boat in the world, dugout boats dating from between 1200 and 1320 AD and the famous tarn boat used in Beatrix Potter’s sketches.

     

    Housing boats both in and outside the building, a key element of the design incorporates spectacular views of Lake Windermere for visitors to enjoy.

     

    From the stock grown on our Yorkshire nursery, we supplied 70 trees, from 10-12 girth size up to 14-16, a range of shrubs in P9, 1L and 2L sizes, and thousands of bareroot hedging transplants.

     

    Including this supply, Ashlea Ltd’s work included planting locally collected wildflower seeds and bulbs.

     

    It’s great to be included in another fantastic project with Ashlea Ltd where we have supplied a number of items to enhance the outside space of a local attraction.

    Posted 5th Jun 8:34am
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  18. Supporting National Children’s Gardening Week

    Supporting National Children’s Gardening Week

    For this year’s National Children’s Gardening Week, we were eager to help inspire young pupils and their parents.

     

    Wanting to educate a younger audience on the opportunities our industry has to offer and to encourage the next generation of gardeners, our team recently visited Tockwith Church of England Primary Academy with a little gift.

     

    In support of National Children’s Gardening Week, we paid the school a visit with a donation of 180 lavender plants, with one for every pupil. After learning about how to plant and care for them, the pupils were encouraged to take a lavender home to plant with their parents over half term.

     

     

    During our time there, the pupils also learnt about how plants and trees play a vital role in attracting bees, and why bees are so important to our food chain. It is estimated that around one-third of the food we eat every day relies on pollination by honeybees, such as avocados, broccoli, celery and squash.

     

    The school itself is home to a colony of honeybees, that in their first year provided a 40lbs crop of honey that was sold to make £111 towards new bee suits for the children. All Year 4 pupils have lessons in beekeeping and observe the colony in action.

     

    And to support the bees that inhabit our own nursery, we launched a Trees for Bees initiative earlier this year, planting trees, wildflowers and shrubs at the company’s apiary.

     

    In the height of summer, up to 800,000 bees inhabit the company’s grounds to collect pollen; however, we wanted to encourage bees to continue to visit this later into the year when many species stop flowering.

     

    We are delighted to be supporting National Children’s Gardening Week for the first time and we hope that by giving each pupil something to take home and grow, we can capture children’s enthusiasm at a time when plants will grow quickly in the warmer weather.

     

    We are always keen to spread the message about the vital help that bees give us and to encourage a better understanding of how we can help to boost the bee population.

    Posted 27th May 9:49am
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  19. Environmentally friendly garden tips and recommendations

    Environmentally friendly garden tips and recommendations

    Environmentally friendly garden tips and recommendations

    World environment day is being celebrated this June on the first Wednesday of the month, and it’s the perfect time to remind ourselves how important it is to encourage others to protect our environment.

    To do our part in raising awareness we have come up with some tips on how to create an environmentally friendly garden, from conserving water to growing your own vegetables.

    Limit your use of water 

    Limiting the use of clean water is important for the environment, so why not recycle natural sources that can be used to water plants in any garden by installing a water butt.

    To preserve your water, we recommend directing the supply to the roots of plants without wasting it on the leaves or flowers. Removing weeds will ensure the water is going towards your plants and is not being wasted further.

    There have been several hosepipe bans in place across the country during the warmest periods of the year. You can help conserve your water usage by using a watering can in its place, and to consider the time of day; watering during the warmest part of the day would mean the water is more likely to evaporate in the heat and be ineffective. Prioritise young plants and seedlings over more established plants as these will survive longer periods without water.

    Use drought-tolerant plants

    Opting to use drought-tolerant plants, that require less watering, will be better for the environment in helping to save water.

    There are plenty of options for any garden. If you’re looking for plants that do well in full sun, we’d recommend shrub varieties like lavender, rosemary and buddleia, or herbaceous varieties like Iris, Kniphofia and salvia. Alternatively, there are drought resistant plants that do well for shaded areas, such as Sarcococca, Hypericum, Euphorbia and Digitalis.

    Plant a tree

    When it comes to purifying the air, and helping to reduce air pollution in built-up areas, we recommend planting a tree to decrease carbon dioxide levels. Choose varieties with larger leaves and wide crowns to maximise photosynthesis. Trees can also provide additional benefits such as providing a home for local wildlife and reducing noise pollution.

    Introduce pollinators

    One-third of our crop supply in the UK relies on bees pollinating our plants. By introducing stock that bees are highly attracted to helps encourage them, and other pollinators, into your garden.

    Protect wildlife habitats

    Looking after our environment doesn’t just mean caring for the space itself, but also giving nature helping hand. The colder months of the year can be a struggle for local wildlife, but by building birdhouses with feeders, log piles for hedgehogs or even insect hotels, we can provide a safe space for them all year round.

    Make organic compost

    Having an environmentally friendly garden means having a space where you are largely self-sufficient. Make your own compost by using recycled elements from your garden or home, including leaves, grass cuttings, branches, natural debris, leftover fruit peels, eggshells and old newspapers.

    Grow your own fruit and vegetables

    Growing your own food is not only cost effective but rewarding. The fresh fruit and vegetables taste great while helping to reduce the environmental impact the shipping and plastic waste has from produce sold in supermarkets. Start with something easy to grow, such as carrots, potatoes, apples or berries, before tackling more challenging produce.

    Posted 29th May 10:33am
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  20. Adding colourful plants in May: Rhododendrons and Azaleas

    Adding colourful plants in May: Rhododendrons and Azaleas

    Adding colourful plants in May: Rhododendrons and Azaleas

    May is the month where we see Rhododendrons and azaleas bursting into life as they produce their characteristic, brightly coloured flowers. With a choice of tubular, funnel or bell-shaped flowers, available in pinks, purples, yellows and oranges, there really is a Rhododendron and azalea for everyone.

    Rhododendrons

    Known for its spectacular flowers, Rhododendrons make a fantastic addition to an area of the garden where a pop of colour is needed during spring.

    When it comes to planting, we would recommend ensuring they are placed somewhere that has dappled shade. They thrive in a woodland setting as well as growing well in sunny areas, provided it is sheltered and accompanied with well-drained, moist soil with a PH level of 4.5-6. Avoid planting in full shade as this will result in a limited amount of flowering.

    For the best results, place your Rhododendrons in areas of high rainfall and plant in moist soil, using mulch to stop the plant from drying out.

    Rhododendrons are fairly low maintenance, and require little pruning, other than the removal of dead wood and the deadheading of spent flowers.

    Azaleas

    Azaleas belong to the Rhododendron genus, and therefore are very similar plants. Smaller in comparison, but just as bold in colour, azaleas have beautiful flowers that can last for several weeks during spring.

    For best results, we recommend planting azaleas in a cool, lightly shaded site to avoid burning the leaves. They can also be planted in the full sun as the leaves will be deprived of oxygen in heavy shade. Azaleas can work well in containers too, provided these are of the compact variety.

    For best results, use an acidic soil with a PH level of 5-6 and choose an ericaceous compost when planting.

    To maintain a more compact appearance, or to encourage a bushier growth, trim azaleas and cut their branches after their blooming period has finished as this helps to promote new growth.

    Top picks available from our Cash & Carry

    Rhododendron Golden Gate

    Dark green leaves with beautiful, apricot pink flowers with a dark pink margin. Loved by bees, these plants would grow best in partial shade or full sun if sheltered.

    Flowers: May – June

    Position: Full sun – partial shade

    Height: Up to 120cm

    Spread: Up to 120cm

    Rhododendron Kabarett

    A pretty variety with purply pink flowers and a burgundy red marking that appears in May, this shrub is moderately vigorous and will grow up to 1m high.

    Flowers: May – June

    Position: Full sun – partial shade

    Height: Up to 100cm

    Spread: Up to 150cm

    Azalea Jolie Madame

    Trumpet-shaped, pink scented flowers with an orange blotch in the centre that look fantastic against their glossy green leaves. The perfect addition to an acidic border with a height and spread of 150cm.

    Flowers: May – June

    Position: Full sun – partial shade

    Height: Up to 150cm

    Spread: Up to 150cm

     

    Azalea ‘Golden Eagle’

    Large trumpet-shaped, orangey yellow flowers bloom in May, with a lime green foliage that takes on a shade of bronze and purple in the autumn.

    Flowers: May – June

    Position:  Full sun – partial shade

    Height: Up to 200cm

    Spread: Up to 150cm

    Posted 22nd May 1:40pm
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  21. Beautifying new £5m Gypsey Race park

    Beautifying new £5m Gypsey Race park

    One of the greatest things about our business is being able to lend our products and services to beautifying parks visited by the local community. We have worked with Ashlea Ltd over many years, and our team were given the opportunity to team up with them once again to enhance the new Gypsey Race park in Bridlington.

    The work undertaken for Gypsey Race was partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Its location is an idyllic setting as it follows the banks of a stream that runs through the town centre of Bridlington, providing new walking and cycling routes, a play area and improved habitats for wildlife.

    Our team supplied over 6,000 plants and 180 trees that have been grown on our nursery, including Ulmus ‘New Horizon’, Tilia cordata ‘Greenspire’, Prunus ‘avium Plena’ and Pinus sylvestris.

    Managing Director Wayne Dand from Ashlea Ltd said: “We are delighted with the outcome of this project. As always Johnsons Of Whixley have excelled themselves in working closely with the construction team in supply and delivery.”

    The project is an important part of the regeneration plans for Bridlington, where a second phase will introduce more woodland areas and see a revised transport plan in place for locals and those visiting the coastal town.

    New signs will be fitted throughout the park celebrating the heritage of those who have worked and lived along the Gypsey Race, as well as providing information about the wildlife in the park.

    It’s great to see our plants bring this new £5m park project to life for the community to enjoy for many years to come. This is one of many parks we have supplied plants to over recent years, with other notable projects including Saughton Park in Edinburgh, Brooke Park in Ireland and the Valley Gardens in Harrogate.

    Posted 20th May 10:20am
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  22. Award recognition for our Variety Big Build donation

    Award recognition for our Variety Big Build donation

    Our joint Big Build donation with Bettys & Taylors Group to Springwater School, a special needs school in Harrogate, was recognised with a big build award at this year’s Variety Big Build Award at the annual Yorkshire Property Awards.

     

    Over £5,500 worth of plants were donated to the school for a special new, interactive and sensory-stimulating playground for its pupils aged between 2-19 years of age. To activate the sense of smell, a number of plants with an arousing aroma were used, including varieties such as lavender, mint and rosemary.

     

    The awards evening was hosted by Martin Bayfield, where over 1,000 guests attended the event to celebrate the many achievements of businesses in the Yorkshire commercial property sector.

     

    A three-course dinner was served at the black-tie evening, alongside the awards presentation with various fundraising activities throughout.

     

    A grand total of £250,000 was raised at this year’s annual awards for Variety, the children’s charity, that helps sick, disabled and underprivileged children across the UK.

     

    Our marketing co-ordinator, Eleanor Richardson, attended the evening to collect the award recognition on behalf of our company. It is great to have our contribution to Springwater School recognised, but most of all, we’re delighted to see the great impact our donation has had on the school already. We look forward to getting involved with the next Big Build project.

     

    This is one of many donations Johnsons of Whixley has made over the past few years, including a donation of £5,000 to BBC Children in Need and the DIY SOS team where they helped redevelop a community centre in Swansea with trees, hedging, shrubs and herbaceous.

    Posted 16th May 8:30am
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  23. Landscape supply to Cosco’s warehouse site

    Landscape supply to Cosco’s warehouse site

    Industrial and commercial spaces aren’t known for their greenery, but over recent years we have been more involved in beautifying these somewhat sparse landscapes. We are very happy to have been involved in a landscape supply for Costco’s new warehouse site in Leicester to do just that.

    Teaming up with Sheffield-based, Spa Landscaping Ltd, we were briefed to enhance the grounds of the new Costco site to make them more visually-pleasing, as well as improving the local environment.

    Using over £9,000 worth of plants that have been grown on our nursery in the Vale of York, this landscape supply was designed to not only improve the attractiveness of the area but to help add some privacy with hedging.

    To successfully achieve this, the plants chosen were 5L Carpinus Betulus and 10L Grisellina Littoralis to create a hedge border, complemented with a large number of shrubs and seven Tilia cordata ‘Greenspire’ rootball trees.

    Alex Anthony, managing director of Spa Landscaping Ltd, said “For the past three years we have developed and maintained many sites for Costco across the UK. The professional finish and quick turnaround times we provide wouldn’t be possible without our trusted suppliers, which is why we work closely with the team at Johnsons of Whixley. We can trust that they will deliver quality stock, on time, this allows us to carry out our work with no hold ups.”

    It is always a great experience for our team when working with Spa Landscaping, and it’s wonderful to see how our plants have been used to enhance a space such as this one.

    www.spalandscaping.co.uk

    Posted 7th May 4:17pm
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  24. Mental health garden takes gold at Harrogate Flower Show

    Mental health garden takes gold at Harrogate Flower Show

    We’re delighted to share the news that a project we have been involved with dedicated to mental health awareness has taken the top prize at this year’s Harrogate Flower Show.

     

    Taking the Gold Award at this year’s show, the Mental Health Garden, designed by Jo Manfredi-Hamer Garden Design, was created using plants supplied from our nursery. The garden was created in support of Leeds Mind, the mental health charity which provides help and information when people need it most.

     

    Jo was inspired to create the garden after seeing the impact of mental health issues on someone close to her and wanted to highlight the issues whilst communicating a message of positivity. The clever design was created to represent the different aspects of mental health. We worked closely with Jo to select and supply a number of trees and plants for the award-winning garden.

     

    It featured different shades of pebbles to represent depression and improved mental health through counselling and support, with the focal point of the garden design being a semicolon, a symbol associated and worn by some mental health sufferers.

     

    Other features of the mental health garden represented self-harm, strength and activities often chosen to combat mental health issues.

     

    The garden includes Kernel, a design by the award-winning sculptor David Harber. A beautiful polished stone sphere, Kernel has a mirror-polished stainless steel wedge cut into it to reveal a shiny core of oxidised steel that represents inner strength.

     

    We are absolutely delighted that this stunning garden has been awarded one of the top prizes at the prestigious Harrogate Flower Show. As a company, we are thrilled to have been able to add to the impact of Jo’s incredible design.

     

    While awareness of mental health issues has improved in recent years, thanks to campaigns such as Time To Change, it’s vital that this remains in the spotlight so that people receive the help and support that they need, when they need it.

    Posted 26th Apr 4:05pm
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  25. Patio perfect Pieris varieties

    Patio perfect Pieris varieties

     Pieris, also known as Lily of the Valley shrubs, are looking fantastic right now with their generous bell-shaped flowers that emerge at the end of March through to May in an array of colours. Best grown in a sunny or partial shade position with slightly acidic soil, they would make a great addition to a pot on the patio. With thousands available on our current stock list, we are sure there’s a Pieris for your next design or planting plan – but which one’s for you?

    Pieris ‘Mountain Fire’

    One of our favourite Pieris varieties, known for its decorative foliage that starts off entirely red and matures to green with age. Clusters of white flowers against the blood red and green foliage creates a dramatic effect between March and May.

     

    Pieris Katsura

    A great, compact evergreen shrub that provides pale pink bell-shaped flowers similar to those of Lily of the Valley. The flowers emerge in late March and are followed by deep mahogany shoots.

    Pieris ‘Flaming Silver’

    A variegated shrub with silvery white edges and elegant white bell-like flowers that flower from late March right through until May. Wonderful in a shaded spot in the garden or in a patio pot.

    Pieris ‘Passion’ 

    This is an eye-catching evergreen shrub with generous pink red bell-shaped flowers from March to May growing in full sun or partial shade. It’s the perfect addition to a large pot on your patio.

    Posted 24th Apr 12:31pm
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  26. Jobs for the garden this May

    Jobs for the garden this May

    Not sure what to do in the garden this month? Here’s a list of jobs to put together by the chairman and horticulturist John Richardson

    1. When staking weaker growing herbaceous plants, use pea sticks about 12-18 ins taller than required, so the tops of the sticks can be bent over the clump to provide better support to the plant stems in the centre of the clump.

     

    1. Tall iris can easily become top heavy in wet weather; use thin 3ft canes to which iris can be tied separately.

     

    1. Make sure that all mulching is completed this month in order to conserve moisture in the months to come.

     

    1. Adjust the mower to the summer cutting height. Complete the sowing of any lawn areas that need re-seeding.

     

    1. Propagate greenhouse plants, particularly foliage and climbing plants. Increase shading as necessary but watch out for that odd late frost.

     

    1. Complete the planting of root-balled hedging this month and ensure that previously planted hedges have not been displaced by wind. Water if necessary.

     

    1. Thoroughly water newly planted trees and shrubs as a really good soak is better than more frequent small applications. A general balanced feed will help newly planted trees and shrubs in mid-May, followed by a mulch to retain moisture.

     

    1. Clip established privet, Ivy and lonicera nitida varieties and give topiary a quick trim if it appears unkempt.

     

    1. Slugs will be out in force this month, with so much young, fresh foliage around. Control by picking off by hand or using a biological control such as Nemaslug or chemicals based on ferric phosphate.

     

    1. Tie in clematis, roses, climbing hydrangeas and other fast-growing climbers.

     

    1. Plant up and locate hanging baskets which may suffer from frost if placed outside too early. Add water-retaining gel and long-release fertilizer for a good show!

     

    1. When the weather has warmed up and frosts are over, purchase and plant bedding plants (check when your local parks department is planting).

    Posted 1st May 8:00am
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  27. Johnsons team up with Bettys & Taylors Group to beautify special needs school grounds

    Johnsons team up with Bettys & Taylors Group to beautify special needs school grounds

    We have teamed up with Bettys & Taylors Group to provide over £5,500 worth of plants to Springwater, a special needs school in Harrogate.

    The Harrogate based day school provides education to children between the ages of 2-19 years that have a range of complex life-limiting and learning limited conditions. The school also provides an Outreach service within North Yorkshire mainstream schools for pupils with learning difficulties.

    Samantha Gibson from Bettys & Taylors Group, said: “As a business we have a long history of working with Springwater School over the last two decades. With this background we were delighted to be able to be part of this project through our Trees for Life initiative in revitalising their sensory garden. “

    1,430 plants have been provided and donated for it’s new interactive and sensory stimulating playground that will allow children with disabilities to safely play alongside their friends. This is the second phase of the big build project which will really compliment the new state of the art sensory room and soon to be complete sunken trampoline for rebound therapy; phase three of the project. Plants have carefully been chosen with sensory varieties such as Lavender, Mint and Rosemary included in the planting plan.

    Managing Director Graham Richardson from Johnsons of Whixley, said: “I can think of few projects that are as deserving as ‘Springwater’ and our business is pleased to help in a small way. Our team up with Betty’s has worked particularly well, both being local employers with 100 or approaching 100 years of operating in the locality!”

    The ‘big build project’ was launched by Children’s charity Variety on the back of their visit to the school in 2017 when Yorkshire Regional Development Director of Variety, Charlotte Farrington recognised how restrictive the school was for the children. Variety managed to enlist numerous local businesses that attend the Yorkshire Property Awards each year to get on board with donations and services to help give the school a much-needed makeover.

    Johnsons and Bettys joint donation will be recognised with a Variety Big Build award at the Yorkshire Property Awards on Thursday 9th May at Rudding Park Hotel, Harrogate.

    Posted 7th May 11:19am
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  28. Bee keeping to help prevent a declining population

    Bee keeping to help prevent a declining population

    Bee keeping and plant growing go hand in hand, and it should come as no surprise we have an ever-expanding apiary onsite.

     

    Within the first few weeks of spring, we have grown our apiary with the addition of another 200,000 honey bees, with that set to increase once again to over 800,000 by summer.

     

    During a single pollen collection trip, a honey bee will visit anywhere between 50-100 flowers, making our nursery’s main 50-acre site the perfect home for bees. In the surrounding area, we have another 75 acres that will also be utilised by the bees as they have been known to travel over 2,000 miles to collect pollen.

     

    As we lead into the busiest time of the year on our nursery, we will have more and more plants for the bees to visit and feed from.

     

    Knowing about the declining bee population figures due to industrial agriculture and climate change, we contacted the Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers Association back in spring 2017 to help with increasing the growth in our area.

     

    We installed an onsite apiary where bee keeping could be managed directly from our site, starting with just a small number of beehives with the aim to increase this year on year. Since the launch of our apiary, we are delighted to have seen a substantial increase over the last two years, with thanks to beekeeper Keith Simmonds, vice president of Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers Association.

     

    Keith commented: “The mild winter has meant more colonies of bees have successfully survived through to the spring season. A mild spring will ensure that a good number of strong hives help the UK honey bee population to recover from the losses of recent times. Everyone can do their bit to help by ensuring that their garden, or planting scheme, includes something for the bees to live off.”

     

    We would like to remind everyone of the importance of bees; not only do they pollinate a third of our food, they pollinate 80% of flowering plants. Some crops rely on pollinators, for example blueberries are 90% dependent on bees, and most of all, honey must be produced by bees – all of which alone contributes millions to our economy.

     

    With the recent study that announced the decline to a third of the British wild bee and hoverfly population, we are very proud to be doing our bit for the environment and bee population. Our nursery is the perfect location for bee keeping, and we would like to encourage businesses with a similar landscape to create a home for bees too.

    Posted 23rd Apr 9:46am
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  29. Record-breaking trading figures: successful start to 2019

    Record-breaking trading figures: successful start to 2019

    Following the unpredictability of 2018’s weather, and the knock-on effect this has had on businesses in our industry, we have had an outstanding start to 2019 with our most successful half year of trading since the company was established almost 100 years ago.

    Over our three business sectors, Wholesale Commercial, Wholesale Xpress and Garden Centre Sales, our orders grew by 20% with sales totalling £8m between October and March, an impressive increase of £1.37m on the same period last year.

    More than 9,100 orders were placed and in excess of 3,000 deliveries carried out to locations across the UK.

    February, in particular, had seen a record number of orders, with both sales and top-up orders proving extremely robust.

    National infrastructure projects such as the redevelopment of the A50 trunk road in Staffordshire [link to blog] had given a boost to our clients in the landscaping sector, which in turn has benefited us here at Johnsons of Whixley.

    An early spell of good weather brought a brisk garden centre trade that saw order books swell by around a fifth competed to last year – despite the huge question mark of Brexit still hanging over the industry.

    We don’t know what’s on the horizon and as we are reliant on the economic and supply chain, Brexit has the potential to be catastrophic. It makes long-term planning very difficult for trading but one thing we can do is to invest in innovative new systems that will help us to retain the current buoyancy.

    One such system is a new plant retail line that will significantly improve efficiency for our team on the nursery. We have invested £70,000 in a new mechanical line capable of processing up to 7,000 plants a day while halving the number of workers required to perform the task manually – vital if Brexit has an effect on staff numbers. This equates to a saving of around 228 personnel hours a week, or £1,000 per day, at peak times.

    We are also looking to invest a further £100,000 in a substantial amount of covered growing and storage space at our Roecliffe site, to prepare for a Brexit eventuality that would affect imports of plants from Europe that we then grow and supply for our customers.

    Posted 16th Apr 8:31am
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  30. Recycling plant pots for egg-citing Easter activity

    Recycling plant pots for egg-citing Easter activity

    It’s that time of year where school children get egg-cited for some Easter-inspired activity, so this year we partnered up with local Tockwith Primary School by recycling plant pots for a fundraising Easter decorating competition.

    We donated and delivered over 200 two-lite plant pots to the local primary school, where children decorated them with a variety of designs, from classic Easter themes of chicks and eggs, to their favourite characters like Harry Potter.

    The pots were then judged by the teachers, and prizes were awarded before the pots to the children for their excellent designs. The finished pots were then sold at the Easter fair to raise money for the Parent, Teachers and Friends Association (PTFA).

    The ‘cracking’ idea of recycling plant pots to raise funds came from a group of girls in Year 5, Chloe, Georgia, Mia and Orlaith.

    Justin Reeves, Headteacher at Tockwith School, said: “Thank you so much Johnsons of Whixley for donating 200 plant pots for our Easter plant pot decoration competition. Not only did this help raise more money for the school, it helped the creative juices flow in Tockwith with some children creating some awesome designs. Thanks again for supporting a local school.”

    We love being at to help local schools and charities with their fundraising where we can, especially when there is a chance to encourage the next generation of gardeners into the great outdoors to learn new skills. It’s especially lovely to be able to encourage children to recycle while they’re having fun.

    The plastic crisis has been one of the most high-profile items in the news throughout the past year, with figures showing that more than 90% – or 6,300 million tonnes – of plastic waste has never been recycled.
    As a company, we take our environmental responsibilities very seriously, so we jumped at the chance to put 200 of our old and used plant pots to good use.

    Posted 16th Apr 8:23am
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  31. Hebe Magic varieties that really are spellbinding

    Hebe Magic varieties that really are spellbinding

    When we think of Hebes, we naturally think of Hebe ‘Pagei’, Hebe ‘green globe’ or Hebe ‘Mrs Winder’, which are all fantastic shrubs in their own right, but they aren’t as spellbinding as the fantastic Hebe Magic colours collection. Find out why we think so below:

    The Hebe Magic collection includes Hebe ‘Heartbreaker’, Hebe ‘Magic Summer’, Hebe ‘Frozen Flame’ and Hebe ‘Wild Romance’. All these plants change colour depending on the temperature and light intensity they are placed in. The plants can go from green, bronze and variegated in the summer, to wonderful reds, pinks and purples in winter – but which one tickles your fancy?

    Hebe ‘Heartbreaker’ was the first in the Hebe Magic collection, and it really is a fantastic variety that will put on a colourful display throughout the year. Its cream edged green leaves can be seen through spring and summer, with mauve flowers between June and August, followed by vivid pink displays when the temperatures drop.

    Hebe ‘Magic Summer’ has a grey green variegated leaf that turns a purple-red in winter and spring, which intensify as the temperature drops. It also has purple-blue flowers that will appear in early summer. This plant will look fantastic in a mixed border adding year-round interest to your garden or landscape.

    Hebe ‘Frozen Flame’ also offers year-round interest with subtle, pale green foliage that includes veins of cream and deep purple-pink. These colours then intensify to a deeper pink-purple as the weather turns colder. As a compact shrub, it would make a great addition to a patio pot.

    Hebe ‘Wild Romance’ is a great evergreen shrub that is ideal for beds, borders and containers – particularly when in a full sun to partial shade position. This hebe magic variety has dark green foliage that turns to deep burgundy at the end of each stem, that turns even darker going into the winter months.

    Posted 15th Apr 10:05am
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  32. Transforming spaces with recent plant supply

    Transforming spaces with recent plant supply

    Transforming spaces for a live-action show must include a varied and detailed plant supply to guarantee an impactful experience for the audience.

    A recently completed project saw our plant supply do just that, by bringing to life the myth and legend of the spectacular outdoor show of Kynren.

    Over 7,000 hedging plants and trees were supplied, along with thousands of planting sundries, including varieties such as Field Maple, Silver Birch, Hawthorn, Beech and many other fringe species. The plants have been used to help in transforming the space for the show, which will be performed during the summer by a 1000-strong case in Bishop Auckland, County Durham.

    The producers of the show, Eleven Arches, had approached our team to fulfil its landscape plan with an order that would bring to life the story of Arthur, the son of a mining family, on his spellbinding journey through time on an enormous scale.

    ‘Kynren’ is the Anglo-Saxon word for generation – and organisers hoped that the show will bring together generations of families for years to come. Our chairman, John Richardson, had previously attended one of the Kynren shows last year and was in awe of how the space had been transformed to produce a fantastic show.

    Looking to delight and dazzle the senses, Anna Warnecke, director of Cavalry and Estates, commented: “As Kynren grows and the site expands to include other attractions alongside the show, our aim is to provide a visually stunning visitor experience with an abundance of flora and fauna.

    “Across the site we will feature many heritage plants, which will not only enhance our visitor experience, but also increase biodiversity value and create more habitats for wildlife.”

    Although our team are experts at transforming spaces with plants, working with the UK’s leading outdoor live-action show has been an incredible experience in seeing how our products have been used. We are extremely proud to be able to add such quantities of native trees and shrubs to reinforce Kynren’s environmental credentials.

    Fancy visiting this fantastic show? go to www.kynren.com to book your tickets today.

    Posted 15th Apr 9:46am
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  33. Photinia ‘Red Robin’ VS Photinia ‘Carre Rouge’: which is best

    Photinia ‘Red Robin’ VS Photinia ‘Carre Rouge’: which is best

    We have been producing Photinia ‘Red Robin’ on our nursery for over 25 years, however, we are always on the lookout for new and developing plant trends in our industry for our team to test new lines. Over the last couple of years, we have trialled several of the new Photinia ‘Carre Rouge’ variety and found it to be a tidier, and much more compact plant, with stronger red colouring.

    So what are the highlights of both varieties, and what makes Photinia ‘Carre Rouge’ one to watch?

    Photinia ‘Red Robin’ is a versatile evergreen shrub that can be used for hedging, trained against a wall and even used as a ½ std tree once trained. It is happy in most fertile soils, in either a sunny or shaded position. If you wish to encourage its strong red growth and more flowers, it will be better planted in a full sun position. White flowers appear by April and into May once the plant is better established. We have found Photinia ‘Red ‘Robin’ to become ‘leggy’ over time if it is not properly maintained, and left to run away with themselves, they can grow up to 4m tall and up to 4 m wide.

    Photinia ‘Carre Rouge’ is a new compact variety that has blood red growth and smaller leaves reaching up to 2.5 m tall -nearly half the size of its mother plant Photinia ‘Red Robin’, – making it a much more appealing hedging variety, and an easily managed landscape shrub. Its red colouring is much more intense than that of ‘Red Robin’, while also being more tolerant of hard pruning and shaping. Similar to ‘Red Robin’, it produces white flowers come April and May if sited in a sunny position.

    Production Manager Designate Robert Richardson said ‘’Photinia ‘Carre Rouge’ stays red whereas Photinia ‘Red Robin’ fades to green. It is also compact where a ‘Red Robin’ tends to sprawl and become unmanageable. I believe it is a much more appropriate plant for most landscape and garden settings, and in time, I can only see its popularity increasing.’’

    Posted 9th Apr 10:10am
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  34. Jobs to do in the garden in April

    Jobs to do in the garden in April

    Spring is off to a slow start this year, which can mean the regular jobs to do in the garden in April might not be quite the same as last year. If you’re not sure what to do in the garden this month, here are our gardening reminders put together by chairman John Richardson.

    1) Plant evergreen trees and shrubs this month when soil conditions are good.
    2) A good time to move rhododendrons with a good root-ball.
    3) Hard prune Forsythia after flowering, along with Buddleia davidii varieties and Hydrangea paniculata and Chaenomeles varieties.
    4) Trim Lavenders to shape, but don’t cut back into the old wood.
    5) Propagate perennials by division such as Michaelmas daisies, Rudbeckias and Heleniums.
    6) Continue to dead-head spent daffodils, as well as other bulbs and winter flowering shrubs.
    7) Divide primroses when they have finished flowering.
    8) Tie in young shoots of climbing plants, including roses, ensuring their support structure is still sound.
    9) Build raised beds for easier vegetable production throughout the year.
    10) Mow lawns on a regular basis as growth increases.
    11) Remove the top two inches of compost on containers and replace with a fresh layer.
    12) Weeds will grow quickly this month, keep going around your space with a sharp hoe before they start getting too well established. Apply weed-killer to weeds in paved areas.
    13) Ensure any compost you buy has been recently manufactured and is not last year’s production. Check in Which? Magazine for recommendations on using the one for your needs.
    14) Make sure that all the old leaves have been removed from Hellebores.
    15) Ensure you have given herbaceous plants enough support in the form of canes or twigs, it is much more difficult the later you leave it!
    16) Be sure to ventilate greenhouses and cold frames on warmer days.
    17) If you have doubts about the condition of your soil, invest in a soil test kit from a garden centre, they are cheaper than you think and are easy to use!

    Posted 5th Apr 4:18pm
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  35. Landscaping with P1 Contractors on an iconic building

    Landscaping with P1 Contractors on an iconic building

    We teamed up with Edinburgh-based construction and maintenance firm P1 Contractors to supply thousands of plants for the landscaping of an iconic building originally known as Donaldson’s Hospital, Edinburgh.

    Since starting the project in 2017, we have supplied over £125,000 worth of plants to date, with varieties including 5,000 rootball Buxus (Box) for formal parterres, over 400 Taxus (Yew) rootballs for formal hedging, 7,000 shrubs and herbaceous plants, 83 trees, including 42 which were pleached specimens, and a large number of topiary boxed balls.
    The former Donaldson’s hospital site has been turned into luxury apartments with prices ranging from £250,000 to £1,625,000 making it one of the most expensive residential development in Scotland.

    The A-listed building was formally built as a hospital for destitute and vulnerable children and was opened in 1850 by Queen Victoria who is reported to have said that the building was more impressive than many of her own palaces.

    Residents of the new Donaldson’s development will enjoy 16-acres of private parkland which will include formal parterres, sweeping lawns and mature trees. Landscaping has also taken place in the chapel garden, morning and afternoon terrace, the park, the courtyard and parterre terrace.

    This is another fantastic project to be involved with in partnership with P1 Contractors. We’re delighted to see building that has stood derelict for 10 years transformed into accommodation in keeping with its impressive history.

    Richard McMonagle, Director of P1 Contractors Ltd, said: “Our client, City & Country place a lot emphasis on the landscape around their developments and this has been refreshing for us as a contractor. We are delighted to have been involved in this project which has seen us also secure the next three phases of the project for both hard and soft landscaping which gives us a long-term input.

    “Given some of the apartments in the development are on the market for over £1 million, the quality of the landscaping and plants must reflect this, so we turned to Johnsons who have again played a key part in achieving this.”

    Ellie Richardson, marketing co-ordinator at Johnsons of Whixley, said: “This is another fantastic project to be involved with via P1, a long-standing customer. It’s great to see a derelict building of 10 years be transformed into accommodation and in-keeping with its impressive history.”

    Posted 4th Apr 10:41am
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  36. Johnsons help transform Growth Corridor

    Johnsons help transform Growth Corridor

    We are helping transform a major trunk road linking the East and West Midlands.

    Thousands of plants have been supplied for a new junction on the A50 in Staffordshire, created as part of a £40m regeneration project in Staffordshire. The Growth Corridor project is managed by Staffordshire County Council and aims to reduce congestion and improve safety.

    Working with contractors ATM Ltd, we supplied 12,000 bare root hedging transplants, including native and non-native varieties. More than 7,000 Crataegus monogyna were included in this first phase of the landscaping, expected to be complete by autumn 2019.

    Phase two will see more varieties being planted while the entire 80,000 square metre site will be grass seeded.

    The A50 Growth Corridor project is funded by the Government and aims to reduce congestion, improve road safety, support local businesses and create jobs.

    Ellie Richardson, Johnsons of Whixley’s marketing co-ordinator, said: “We are delighted to be part of this major landscaping project that will make journeys quicker, easier and safer in addition to benefitting local employers.

    “The mix of varieties perfectly complements the scenery around the area and this scheme shows our ability to meet large orders and deadlines for our customers.”

    Matt Harston, ATM Ltd Contracts Manager, Said: “ Its Great to see this site taking shape! Atm have been involved from the start with the initial De Vegetation of the site and all of the Fencing which is all for the Priciple Contractor, Tarmac Group. To have won the Landscaping and Maintenance contract direct for Staffordshire County Council is the icing on the cake as we get to put the finishing touches to the project. It’s been a great example of all the services that ATM Ltd can provide and the high standard of workmanship we deliver.

    Posted 28th Mar 1:34pm
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  37. Growing plant Trends for 2019

    Growing plant Trends for 2019

    Growing plant Trends for 2019

    As one of the UK’s leading nurseries we are always looking into growing plant trends and themes in our industry by trialling new and exciting lines. Below are just a few of the new product lines our production team are trialling before they are ready to hit the market later this year, but will they make it through the tests of production manager Ian Nelson?

    First on our plant trends list is the fantastic Helenium salud series that flowers from July to October. Some of its great characteristics include being drought-tolerant, heat-tolerant and pollinator-friendly.
    So far, our trials of growing this plant have gone well and the Helenium’s have retained fresh foliage through to November.

    Hakonechloa ‘All Gold’ is the second on our list. This popular grass has been around a while, and we are seeing an increasing demand for it across the market. It looks spectacular if grown in partial shade but does burn if subject to a lot of sunny summer days. This plant is fantastic in large numbers as it softens edges of pathways or borders, and it also works well in a patio planter.

    The third of our growing plant trends is Senecio ‘Angel Wings’. A favourite of ours as it is also a plant that won a Glee new product award for when grown by Wyevale Nurseries. It is known for its dramatic silver white round, silver white coloured leaves. It will make a great premium potted plant that is sure to look great alongside others. Our production manager, Ian Nelson, put this plant to the test over winter, finding that it withstood horrible weather and soil conditions.

    Cornus ‘Magic Flame’ is our final plant on trial. Although it will be difficult to beat the wonderful Cornus Midwinter Fire, known for its fiery coloured stems, its magic flame could offer a more intense hue through winter. Only time will tell, and with a small number on trial, we will see how it goes.

    Production Manager Ian Nelson said: “We are always on the look-out for something new and attractive but durable. Appearance alone is not enough – the plant has got to be a ‘do-er’. Only when we’ve trialled it thoroughly in different environments and soils am I happy to say it’s a good one. We were punting Photinia Carre Rouge at the end of 2017 which is really starting to prove popular and is an excellent plant.”

    Posted 12th Mar 4:06pm
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  38. Mental Health Garden at Harrogate Flower Show 2019

    Mental Health Garden at Harrogate Flower Show 2019

    We are delighted to have sponsored the trees and plants for a display dedicated to mental health awareness at this year’s Harrogate Flower Show.

    The Mental Health Garden has been designed by Jo Manfredi-Hamer Garden Design and is proudly supporting Leeds Mind, the mental health charity which provides support and information when people need it most.

    In addition to trees and plants, the 7.3m x 5.2m garden includes different shades of pebbles to represent depression and improved mental health through counselling and support.

    A semicolon, sometimes worn by mental health sufferers, has been incorporated into the design, along with features to represent self-harm, strength and activities often chosen to combat mental health issues.

    The garden also includes Kernel, a design by the award-winning sculptor David Harber. A beautiful polished stone sphere, Kernel has a mirror-polished stainless steel wedge cut into it to reveal a shiny core of oxidised steel, representing inner strength. Also involved in the garden’s creation are Marshalls and Stone Warehouse.

    Among the plants we have supplied are carex oshimensis, stachys byzantine ‘Silver Carpet’, Lamprocapnos spectabilis ‘Valentine’, Myosotis sylvatica and Choisya ternata sundance. Several Skimmia × confusa Kew Green were included in the supply, along with Tiarella Sugar and Spice,

    Helleborus x hybridus Pretty Ellen Red and four pleached trees.

    Designer Jo was inspired to create the garden after seeing the impact of mental health issues on someone close to her and wanted to highlight the issues whilst communicating a message of positivity.

    She said: “There is help available and, with help and support, people can learn to manage their mental health.”

    Research shows that gardening can be extremely beneficial for people with mental health problems. It improves communication with others, teaches practical skills and enhances concentration.

    Gardening is the ultimate feel-good pastime – it gets people out in the fresh air, it’s great exercise and it allows them to express their creativity – therefore it seems fitting that we support this project.

    The Harrogate Flower Show runs from April 25-28, where the Mental Health Garden can be viewed, with garden construction commencing on April 15.

    Posted 6th Mar 11:26am
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  39. Great for ground cover plants

    Great for ground cover plants

    Ground cover plants are a great addition to open landscapes and gardens of all sizes by filling in gaps and brightening up bare patches beneath trees. Here’s a list of our top six plants that will work in any environment.

    1. Alchemilla mollis has rounded light green leaves with green-yellow small flowers. Flowering from June through to August, it is known for growing in many conditions and is a fully hardy perennial, making it a great option for ground cover in borders.
    2. Vinca minor is well known for its capability in ground covering. This is one of our favourite ground cover plants as its pretty, star-like, blue flowers appear through most of the year, flowering through spring, summer and autumn. Another reason why it made our top six is down to the fact that is grows well in deep shade.
    3.  Persicaria Darjeeling red flowers in autumn, but this ground cover plant is also referred to as knotweed. Well known for its crimson upright flowers, which can be seen from September through to November, it will thrive best in well-drained soil when placed in full to partial shade.
    4. Waldsteinia ternata is a semi- evergreen with a ‘creeping’ growing quality that makes it a great ground cover plant. With bright yellow flowers against its green foliage, it works perfectly alongside a path or when used for edging a border under a tree or banking.
    5. Cornus canadensis, also known as creeping dogwood, is best grown in full sun to partial shade. Not only do they provide pretty white flowers in late spring to early summer, they follow with clusters of bright red berries in autumn.
    6. Hedera hibernica will thrive in most soil types and can be used as ground cover once the shoots are pinned down. It is a very fast growing plant, and may need more attention than other ground cover varieties to stop them growing out of control.

    Posted 11th Feb 11:15am
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  40. Johnsons freshen up the grounds of Omega plc’s warehouse

    Johnsons freshen up the grounds of Omega plc’s warehouse

    Our Wholesale Commercial team recently completed a project in supplying plants to Omega plc’s site at Capitol Park, Doncaster.

    Working alongside one of our long-term customers, Ashlea Ltd, we supplied over 6,000 shrubs grown on our nursery; including over 600 2L Photinia ‘Red Robin’, 450 2L Euonymus ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’ and 200 2L Viburnum ‘Eve Price’.

    Adding height and contrast to the project, the supply also included 16 trees with a girth size of 16-18 inches. Some of the varieties used were Betula pendula, Pyrus chanticleer, Liquidamber styraciflua and 10 MST Amelanchier lamarckii 125-150 size.

    Omega plc’s 320,000 square foot warehouse is used by the company to produce high-quality fitted kitchens and furniture across the UK.

    Yorkshire contract manager at Ashlea Ltd, Rob Brooks, said “Ashlea was awarded the soft Landscaping package by Tolent Construction for works to be carried out once Omega plc had moved into the new premises.

    “This required us to complete a large amount of work in a short space of time with restricted access. Once again, Johnsons of Whixley was able to deliver on time, meet the specification and site requirements as well as maintaining a high standard of products.”

    Our team are delighted with the outcome of Omega plc’s warehouse landscape. It’s always great to see large quantities of our shrubs going out the door. As always Ashlea Ltd has done a great job and we’re looking forward to working with them again on future projects.

    Posted 2nd Feb 11:07am
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  41. Jobs to do in the garden this February

    Jobs to do in the garden this February

    Here are our Gardening Reminders for the month of February

    1) Cut back ornamental grasses.
    2) Divide and replant Snowdrops as the flowers go over.
    3) Clean out existing bird nesting boxes and put up new ones.
    4) Take hardwood cuttings of forsythia, deutzia, honeysuckle, jasmine, Virginia creeper, holly,
    privet, cotoneaster, poplar, willow, gooseberries, etc
    5) Pot up or transplant last year’s hardwood cuttings.
    6) Consider planting shrubs or trees to provide winter colour in those dull conrners.
    7) Repair broken fences, trellices,steps, and walls.
    8) Repair any uneven areas of the lawn when the ground is firm.
    9) Push single seed potatoes into half-filled plastic pots, adding compost as they grow.
    10) Invest in a soil thermometer, when the soil temp. exceeds 5°C start sowings of hardy crops such as carrots, lettuce and radish direct into the ground.
    11) Ensure that borders have been forked over in preparation for summer growth or new planting. Apply a general fertilizer around the beds at 2-3oz per sq. yd, also apply to new areas.
    12) If weather warms up, take the opportunity to prepare compost and boxes for sowing half hardy annuals by the end of the month. You should have a heat source available for cold nights.
    13) Plant roses as soil conditions permit, prune stems of new roses down to an outward facing bud 3-5” above the crown. Cut the stem cleanly just above the bud. Plant graft union just below soil level. Apply bone meal at 2oz. per sq. yd. and prick into surface. Firm soil around roots.
    14) Prune climbing roses this month, keep 5 to 7 strong shoots and prune back all side shoots to within 3 buds of the base. Tie in all shoots securely. Prune Rambler roses in the autumn.
    15) Prune shrub roses late February to encourage growth from the base. Remove some old shoots but don’t reduce height too much as they tend to flower on older wood.
    16) Cut back Clematis Jackmanii and C. Viticella groups to about 12”. Pyracantha should be pruned to within 2 buds of the main frame except for extensions, if not done last autumn.
    17) Complete formative pruning of trees by the month end. It may be necessary to limit growth to one leader to avoid a fork in the main stem, or removal of the leader if a bush form is required.
    18) Do not apply heavy applications of fertilizer to naturalized bulbs as this will only encourage the surrounding grass.

    Posted 1st Feb 10:53am
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  42. Meet our new sales executive, Hannah Smith

    Meet our new sales executive, Hannah Smith

    We recently welcomed a new face to our Wholesale Commercial team. Hannah Smith joined our sales team in January as a sales executive/administrator. Here’s what she had to say about her first two weeks at Johnsons of Whixley.

    1. Welcome to the team! How have you found your first two weeks as our new sales executive?

    My first two weeks have been absolutely jam packed! In my first week I got to spend a day with each department, both out on the nursery and in the office. I was able to see how everyone, from sales to despatch, played a vital part in ensuring a customer order was put together efficiently from start to finish.

    2.What have you enjoyed the most so far?

    I really enjoyed being out on the nursery for a day (even if it was absolutely freezing!), lifting plants and packing them into boxes ready for delivery. It made me realise how much work goes into putting an order together which will be beneficial in my role. Oh, and I got to ride round on the back of a tractor 😊

    3.What will your new role include?

    My role as a sales executive will include account management, pricing quotes for customers, dealing with any questions or queries customers might have about any existing or new orders and ensuring their order are processed quickly and correctly.

    4.Where did you work prior to joining Johnsons of Whixley?

    Prior to Johnsons I worked at a farm shop in Harrogate for two and a half years.

    5.What are you most looking forward to while working here?

    I’m looking forward to a completely new challenge! I’ve only ever worked in face-to-face retail so working in sales at Johnsons is a big change for me. Hopefully I’ll be able to use some of the skills I already have to help me along the way, plus everyone has been so kind and helpful so I’m sure I’ll find help if I ever get stuck!

    6.What do you think you biggest challenge will be?

    I think the biggest challenge for me will be learning all the different varieties of plants and trees we grow and sell. I can’t believe how many there are! Wish me luck!

    Posted 5th Feb 10:48am
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  43. New trees for Spinning Acres conservation area

    New trees for Spinning Acres conservation area

    We worked with client Brambledown Landscape Services to supply plants and trees for an exclusive £40m development within a secluded conservation area in Leeds.

    Spinning Acres, at Far Headingley, has transformed the six-acre former Tetley Hall University of Leeds site. Originally, the area was a prime location for wealthy mill owners who built impressive villas within glorious landscaped grounds.

    We worked with Brambledown Landscape Services and Smeeden Foreman Landscape Architects to supply four large trees and plants worth £5,000 for the first and second phases of this prestigious Spinning Acres development.

    Brambledown installed high specification timber fencing and gates to all the gardens, turfed front and rear lawns and planted trees and shrubs around communal areas of the development.

    Johnsons supplied a total of 1,250 shrubs for the project, including a mixture of 1L, 2L and 5L plants in addition to the trees.

    Developers Pickard Properties will offer the properties for long-term rent. Phase one of the scheme includes a range of four-bedroom homes, an imposing five-bedroom semi-detached option and a two-bedroom converted stable, in individual designs.

    Phase two is the transformation of the Cloth Halls into 31 one- and two-bedroom apartments, retaining the Victorian architecture and using Yorkshire stone.

    A third phase is currently in the planning stages and involves the conversion of existing stone-built villas into private apartments. The final stage will see other building conversions as well as new-build accommodation, all of which will be available to rent.

    We were delighted to be involved with this highly acclaimed scheme and to play our part in transforming the grounds of this development to their original splendor.

    Nick Rogers, assistant contracts manager at Brambledown Landscape Services, added: “This has been an exciting project to be part of, working alongside Smeeden Foreman Landscape Architects, who have been involved with the development from its early stages. Brambledown are looking forward to continuing our relationship with Pickard Properties and Johnsons in the future.”

    Posted 1st Mar 4:32pm
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  44. New sensory garden for Henshaw’s Arts & Crafts Centre, Knaresborough

    New sensory garden for Henshaw’s Arts & Crafts Centre, Knaresborough

    We have teamed up with local garden designer Lorna Batchelor to supply plants to a new sensory garden at the Henshaw Arts & Crafts Centre in Knaresborough.

    The new sensory garden will create a safe place for students to learn and explore and includes nearly £4,000 worth of plants with scented varieties such as Sarcococca confusa, Hamamelis mollis and Viburnum bodnantense, grasses for sound and touch with varieties of Stipa, Carex and Phormium included. Around 60 Rhododendrons and Azaleas give a splash of colour in the woodland garden with Ferns and Acers creating a tranquil area around the new waterfall.

    The waterfall was taken from Lorna’s Gold Award winning garden ‘Eden’ at the Harrogate Spring Flower Show 2018 and was put together by stone mason/ sculptor Jonny Clasper.

    Henshaw’s is a northern charity supporting people living with sight loss and other disabilities for over 180 years, its college provides specialist education for its students, supported housing, community centres and an Arts & Craft Centre. The Arts & Crafts Centre was formerly Knaresborough Zoo. It is open for the public to enjoy and has extensive gardens, workshops and a café.

    Eleanor Richardson, Marketing & sales coordinator at Johnsons of Whixley said: “It’s wonderful to be involved with a charity so close to home, working with our customer and local garden designer Lorna Batchelor to provide a garden that will really benefit the students at Henshaw’s for years to come”

    Lorna not only provided the design but was hands-on with the planting too.

    Lorna said “I have visited the Arts & Crafts Centre with my family for many years and it is a place close to my heart. It has been a joy to help redevelop the gardens for the people of Knaresborough to enjoy. Thank you, Johnsons, for all the lovely plants!”

    The garden will re-open to the public on Mother’s Day (31st March)

    Posted 7th Mar 2:13pm
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  45. Plant supply for Darwin Escapes’ new lodge and retreat

    Plant supply for Darwin Escapes’ new lodge and retreat

    Our Wholesale Commercial team worked with Darwin Escapes to supply plants for a new lodge and retreat, the Norfolk Woods Resort & Spa.

    The new Norfolk complex, which opened in January, includes luxury self-catering lodges, many with their own private hot tub facilities, an on-site restaurant, tropically-heated swimming pool and an on-site spa.

    We worked with leading multi-disciplinary consultancy firm RPS Group plc on creating a variety of environmental aspects for the project, including the landscaping planning and design, arboriculture and ecology.

    We provided products worth over £50,000 to be planted at the resort, including a variety of ornamental and native plant stock, all container-grown to accommodate the park’s construction programme.

    David Cox, associate landscape architect of RPS Group Plc, said: “We’re really pleased to see yet another Darwin Escapes scheme is coming together well. The quality of plant stock and efficiency of Johnsons has also been second-to-none.”

    It was great to be involved with another Darwin Escapes project and to be working with RPS again. Another Darwin Escapes resort we worked on in 2016, Keswick Reach, won ‘Best Large Park in Britain’ in the 2017 Hoseasons Annual Awards and Norfolk Woods Resort & Spa is sure to be recognised for its luxury and high standards.

    Want to find out more about Norfolk Woods Resort & Spa? visit www.darwinescapes.co.uk

    Posted 11th Feb 9:05am
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  46. Think outside the 'box' with these Buxus sempervirens alternatives

    Think outside the 'box' with these Buxus sempervirens alternatives

    Think outside the ‘box’ with these Buxus sempervirens alternatives

    Due to the ever-increasing problems of box blight, we have thought outside the ‘box’ with these Buxus sempervirens alternatives.

    1. Sarcococca confusa -Try Sarcococca confusa for a fragrant evergreen hedge. It grows up to 60cm tall, in sun or partial shade.

    2. Give Lonicera nitida a go. It forms a dense, fast-growing evergreen hedge and can be trimmed into various topiary shapes.

    3.Why not try evergreen Berberis? Especially stenophylla, it forms a prickly, fast-growing hedge. Trim after flowering to keep it dense.

    4.Give Ilex crenata a try. With its small glossy leaves, it has a similar appearance to Buxus and can make an attractive parterre.

    5. Use Euonymus ‘Green Spire’. Its green foliage is an ideal substitute for Buxus and it will easily trim into a low hedge.

     

    Posted 6th Jan 3:28pm
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  47. Trade sales and public sales – what’s the difference?

    Trade sales and public sales – what’s the difference?

    Trade sales and public sales – what’s the difference?

    Johnsons of Whixley is a supplier to DIY chains, independent garden centres and amenity projects across Europe.

    We’re proud to enjoy strong relationships with such a wide range of clients, and the service we provide reflects the requirements of our customers in trade and amenity sector.

    It’s important that our customers understand how this works in a trade environment and, more specifically, that we are unable to sell to customers of registered trade account holders shopping independently, even if they have the permission of the account holder.

    Members of the public may only visit the site accompanied by the registered account holder and plants cannot be sold directly to non-account holders.

    As a wholesale company, we are not rated for retail sales purpose and so it is a legal requirement that we do not sell directly to the general public.

    This means that an invoice can only be prepared in the account holder’s name, and payment can be taken from the account holder only.

    We are unable to discuss prices, provide planting advice or accept payment from anyone who is not a registered account holder with ourselves.

    We hope that our customers are not offended by requests for proof of trade, or if we ask you to verify your account details.

    The measures will protect our customers’ ability to invoice their own customers at their discretion, reduce the chances of us providing contrasting or conflicting advice and, ultimately, allow us to provide genuine trade customers with the best possible levels of value and service.

    Posted 15th Jan 3:24pm
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  48. Six must have late-flowering perennials

    Six must have late-flowering perennials

    With summer slowly disappearing before our eyes, and plants going over and ready to be cut back, there are still some late-flowering perennials, which are a must if you eager to add some much-needed late summer colour.

    Six must have late-flowering perennials

    1) Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ are funnel shaped flowers as bright as a red tomato, which flower from August to September. Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ will work best in a sunny herbaceous border alongside other bold colours, like Achillea or even Crocosmia ‘George Davison’. Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ will reach up to 1m tall.

    2) Crocosmia ‘George Davidson’ are Another Crocosmia with funnel shaped flowers in a yellow as bright as the sun. Growing slightly smaller at 80 to 90cm, Crocosmia ‘George Davidson’ will sit nicely in front of its bold brother, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, until September.

    3) Rudbeckia ‘Summerina Orange’ are a stunning clump-forming perennial with rusty-coloured flowers with chocolate centres on long dark green stems. Giving colour from July to October a perfect addition to your summer border.

    4) Echinacea ‘Magnus’ is not only is a favourite of butterflies, it’s one of mine too! Fantastic daisy like bright pink flowers with bright orange centres flower from July through to September – a must have for your herbaceous border.

    5) Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’ adds a fantastic splash of interest for late summer. Bright white flowers with yellow centres on long stems growing over 1 to 1.2 metres tall, which are great in partial shade, or at the back of a herbaceous border. They last from August to October.

    6) Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ are little rays of sunshine featuring golden yellow flowers with dark centres, which flower from August to October. They are ideal for a summer border, mixed with grasses.

    Posted 9th Aug 2:14pm
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  49. Autumn is for planting

    Autumn is for planting

    Autumn is for planting

    Summer may be disappearing before our eyes, but autumn is the best time to plant bulbs.

    As we prepare for the changing of the seasons, Johnsons of Whixley’s Ellie Richardson provides a step-by-step guide to planting bulbs this autumn.

    1) Choose a bulb. Make sure you research the area you are planting. Is it shady? In full sun or partial shade? Choose snowdrops for a shady spot, tulips for full sun and daffodils for partial shade.

    2) Plant at the right time. Don’t plant bulbs any earlier than September. They will not do well.

    3) Dig your hole. Dig a hole three times as deep as the bulbs height. Place the bulbs at least three bulb widths apart.

    4) Put your bulb in. Make sure the roots point down and the bottom of the bulb touches the soil.

    5) Feed your bulb. Add empathy bulb starter to give your bulbs a head start.

    6) Sit back and wait ‘til Spring!

    Posted 22nd Aug 2:12pm
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  50. Six spring bulbs to mark the end of winter

    Six spring bulbs to mark the end of winter

    There’s nothing like a meadow of golden daffodils to raise your spirits. But daffodils aren’t the only spring bulbs to mark an end to dark winter days and bring colour to the garden. Here’s six of our favourites.

    For best results plant between September – October.

    1) Daffodil Tete-a-Tete – A miniature bright yellow daffodil growing up to 15cm tall from March to April that will do well in partial shade. Think about planting around the edge of a tree or in a pot.

    2) Crocus Ruby Giant – An early flowering Spring bulb, which flowers from February to March and will give you vibrant purple flowers at 5cm tall. They will look great naturalized on lawns.

    3) Allium Purple Sensation – Purple globes on long stems that flower from May to June. They would look great amongst ornamental grasses or in the middle of a sunny perennial border.

    4) Tulip Mistress – A beautiful pink tulip flowering in April and growing up to 60cm tall. Great planted in mass in either a mixed tulip pot or in a border situated in Partial shade or full sun.

    5) Fritillaria-meleagris – Also known as snakehead fritillary with pink / purple checkboard flowers, and flowering from April to May. Perfect in a wildflower garden or woodland.

    6) Hyacinthoides non-scripta – bell-shaped blue flowers that flower from April to May. Best in partial shade and would do great in a woodland area.

    Posted 1st Sep 1:48pm
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  51. Six shade loving plants

    Six shade loving plants

    Looking for plants that will do well in a shaded spot? Here’s six shade loving plants

    Almost every garden has a bit of shade, this could be shade cast by buildings, trees, fencing or simply the positioning of your garden but don’t see this as a problem with these six shade loving plants.

    1. Vinca Minor – A great low growing spreading ground cover with lavender purple flowers flowering from April to September – great for suppressing weeds and great at the front of a border in partial shade.

    2. Hostas do great in partial shade and thrive in damp soil conditions but be sure to keep the slugs and snails away which create holes in the leaves. The darker the foliage of the hosta the better it will do in the shade.

    3. Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’ – Great to add a splash of colour at the end of summer into mid-autumn. These Anemone will flower from August to October and grow up to 120cm tall. Best at the back or the middle of a border.

    4. Geranium Rozanne – A perfect plant doing well in partial shade to full sun, it’s great for under planting or filling in any empty gaps in your border, adding beautiful purple flowers from June through to September.

    5. Ferns – Not only are ferns low maintenance, but they also thrive in a shady spot. Try Dryopteris filix-mas or polystichum setiferum for your shady planting plan.

    6. Brunnera Jack Frost – I absolutely love the silvery foliage of a Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’. They would look great next to tiarellas, heucheras and ferns. Plant at the front of your shady border.

    Posted 15th Sep 1:38pm
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  52. Intruder proof hedging range

    Intruder proof hedging range

    Intruder proof your hedge this planting season with our intruder proof hedging range that offers a fantastic deterring method that will help keep human and animal intruders away.

    1)Prunus spinosa – A prickly native hedging plant covered in thorns, great as a mixed native hedge with bright white flowers in Spring followed by green foliage and sloes which appear in Autumn. (Great for making Sloe Gin if you get to the sloes before the birds) Available as a bare root transplant at 40-60cm tall up to 200cm tall.

    2)Crataegus monogyna – A popular native hedging plant known for its large thorns which can be seen after its green leaves fall in Autumn. It is also known for its white scented flowers which can be seen in Spring. Available in bare root sizes from 40-60cm up to 200cm tall.

    3)Berberis varieties – Make a great intruder proof hedge due to its prickly thorns. They are available In 2L and 10L pots.

    4)Ilex aquifolium – An evergreen with attractive leaves with a prickly edge that form a dense hedge. Ideal for keeping intruders out and available from a p9 pot up to a 20L.

    5)Rosa canina – A prickly native variety that is fast growing with pale pink flowers in Summer. Bright Red rose hips come autumn, which are attractive to birds.

    6)Pyracantha varieties – Known for their colourful berries available in yellow, reds and oranges which will last from Autumn through to Spring if left untouched by birds. Great against a back wall these Pyracantha will stop intruders. Available potted throughout the year.

    Posted 11th Oct 1:35pm
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  53. Trees with autumn interest

    Trees with autumn interest

    Looking for trees with autumn interest? here’s a few of our favourites looking fantastic right now.

    1. Euonymus alatus – Dark green leaves that turn to a bright attractive red in Autumn. Once its leaves are shed you are left with its unusual winged stems and branches that create winter interest.

    2. Liquidambar styraciflua ‘worsplendon’ – Attractive Loped leaves that are green in Spring/Summer and go from yellow to orange and then red in Autumn before falling from the tree.

    3. Amelanchier lamarckii – A tree with lots of interest through the seasons from its white star shaped flowers in Spring with bronze leaves that turn to dark green and in Autumn turn orange and red.

    4. Parrotia persica – A fantastic tree with year round interest with its flowers in late Winter and early spring with yellows, reds and purples on the leaves come Autumn.

    5. Acer ‘Autumn Moon’ – Bright green leafs in Spring and Summer followed by dramatic pink, peach and flame colours in Autumn. Perfect addition to a Japanese garden.

    6. Parthenocissus quinquefolia – Known for its Autumn colour a vigorous climber that goes from green in Spring and Summer to a bright red and orange in Autumn.

    Posted 17th Oct 1:31pm
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  54. Fast growing hedging plants

    Fast growing hedging plants

    Fast growing hedging plants

    With the bare root and root ball planting season just around the corner here is our guide to some popular fast growing hedging varieties.

    Fast growing varieties are a cost effective way of establishing a fully formed garden parterre and are available in various pot sizes and root balls.

    1.Cupressus Leylandii – a very fast growing hedging variety that can grow up to 3ft per year with its eventual height reaching up to 12m tall. Great as a windbreak, general barrier and for noise reduction. Available in various different pot sizes and heights.

    2.Prunus Rotundifolia (common laurel) – A great fast growing dense evergreen hedging plant which can grow 2ft per year and is available container grown throughout the year or as a root ball from November – March.

    3.Prunus lusitanica (Portuguese Laurel) – A hardy evergreen shrub offering screening throughout the year with growth rates of 60cm + a year. Fantastic for screening, noise reduction and wind protection. Available container grown throughout the year or as a root ball from November – March.

    4.Thuja plicata (Western Red Cedar) – a hardy hedging plant that will form a dense hedge and grow on average 75cm per year. Doesn’t require as much trimming as leylandii. Available as container grown throughout the year or as a root ball from November – March.

    5.Photinia ‘Red Robin’ an attractive garden hedge growing up to 2ft per year keeping its leaves in the winter. Characterised by its brilliant red new growth. Available container grown throughout the year or as a root ball from November – March.

    6.Ligustrum ovalifolium (Common Privet)– Growing 40-60cm per year this popular semi-evergreen hedging plant is known for its neat oval leaves that are pollution tolerant, great for screening and effective for noise reduction. Available throughout the year as a container grown plant or as a rootball come November – March.

    Posted 27th Oct 1:12pm
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  55. Our guide to the bare root season

    Our guide to the bare root season

    Check out our guide below for the bare root and root ball seaso

    1. Choose your hedging variety – Make sure you research the area that you are planting. What is it you are needing. Is it functional or ornamental? If its privacy plant Laurel, Yew, Leylandii or Thuja.

    2. For security plant Hawthorn, Blackthorn, Pyracantha or Berberis.

    3. Plant at the right time – planting between November to March is the best time for bare root and root ball plants ensuring the best possible start whilst dormant.

    4. Dig your hole – Dig the right size hole for your bare root or root ball. Aim to ensure that the planting depth is equal to depth of the ball or recognises the obvious planting band on a bare root plant.

    5. Spread the roots and firm – Before planting gently spread out the roots or tease them out of a root ball. Back fill with soil and gently firm in to eliminate any air ensuring soil is in contact with the newly planted root.

    6. Water – Winter can be just as dry so ensure you water in well and monitor the soil moisture level thereafter.

    Posted 31st Oct 12:59pm
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  56. Reasons to plant a bare root or root ball hedge

    Reasons to plant a bare root or root ball hedge

    There are lots of compelling reasons to plant a bare root or root ball hedge, see some of our reasons below.

    Save Money – Planting a bare root or root ball hedge is usually much cheaper than planting an equivalent container grown hedge.

    Attract wildlife – Planting a hedge provides a home for insect’s birds and other mammals. It is also a great source of shelter and food.

    Stop intruders – Planting a hedge can deter thieves. There is a host of ‘spiky’ plant options – ornamental and native!

    Reduces noise and Assists with Privacy – Planting a hedge reduces noise pollution and creates a green screen barrier that softens any boundary thus ensuring privacy.

    A wider range is available – A wider range of sizes and varieties are available throughout the bare root and root ball season to suit both ‘situation & pocket’!

    Absorb rainfall – Hedging absorbs rainfall and reduces run off this mitigates the impact of waterlogging and flooding.

    Posted 1st Nov 12:41pm
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  57. Tree size guide

    Tree size guide

    Not sure what size tree you need this bare root and root ball season? Check out our tree size guide above.

    Note: Girth is measured as circumference at 1m high. For example a 6-8cm Girth Tree is a hefty broom handle thickness.

    Posted 15th Nov 12:36pm
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  58. Jobs to do in the garden this January

    Jobs to do in the garden this January

    Jobs to do in the garden this January

    1) Rake dead leaves out of ponds to prevent water stagnating.

    2) Plant winter aconites.

    3) Remove dead and dying foliage from hellebores.

    4) Plant fruit trees and cane fruits, mulch newly planted trees (do not build compost up around the trunks of trees).

    5) If the grass needs cutting due to mild weather, remove mowings as too cold for decomposition.

    6) Lift self-sown Cyclamen coum seedlings and replant where most effective for winter display.

    7) Cut out reverted stems from variegated evergreens. These will be green only, and appear stronger than variegated stems.

    8) Pick up all fallen foliage in the greenhouse to prevent disease establishment.

    9) Clean rainwater gutters from all garden related buildings to prevent over-flow.

    10) If very hard frosts are anticipated wrap tender plants such as Agapanthus with straw or bubble-wrap and tie securely.

    11) Continue to remove fallen leaves and twigs in the shrubbery and lightly fork soil over.

    12) Shorten the summer growths of Wisteria (already reduced in September) to 2 buds.

    13) Nets draped over the branches are the only reliable way to prevent birds from damaging the buds of flowering cherries.

    14) Check all trees and fruit trees to ensure that the root-stock of the tree is not growing in competition with the scion variety.

    15) Prune overgrown hedges hard in winter, during frost-free weather. Cut back yew and privet severely to within 15cm of the main stem. For hornbeam and beech cut right back to the main stem to prevent tufty growth. Prune one side one year and the other side the following year.

    16) In freezing conditions ensure that the ice on ponds is broken to allow the escape of toxic gases. Do NOT hammer the ice as it may stun the fish. Apply bottles containing hot water.

    17) If water remains on the lawn surface for some time after rain, check for blocked drains. If there is no system, make plans to put such work in hand.

    18) Take the frosty weather and dark nights to look up the answers to the questions you keep asking yourself whilst you are doing a whole rage of jobs during better gardening conditions!

    Posted 1st Jan 11:37am
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  59. Plants that are guaranteed to encourage birds into your garden

    Plants that are guaranteed to encourage birds into your garden

    Its national bird feeding month so we have come up with some plants that are guaranteed to encourage birds into your garden!

    1) Holly (Ilex) is definitely a bird’s favourite. Its dense prickly leaves offer windproof shelter along with berries for a Christmas feast. Blackbirds and thrushes are usually the first to strip a holly bush of its berries. Available as root balls in the winter and container plants in a multitude of sizes throughout the year.

    2) Mature Ivy (Hedera) offers masses of autumn berries. Song thrushes and Wood pigeons are usually the first to enjoy these.

    3) Pyracantha (Firethorn) are an attractive heavily berried prickly plant providing not only protection from predators but is a tasty food source too, a favourite with finches, sparrows, starlings and song thrushes.

    4) Hawthorn (Quickthorn) berries are a favourite for Chaffinches, Starlings, Blackbirds and Greenfinches. The leaves are the food plant for Caterpillars of many species of moth, providing food for baby birds in spring. We have a great selection of bare root hedging available from 40-60cm tall up to 175-200cm tall.

    5) Cotoneaster branches are always full of small red berries from autumn onwards and provide great shelter for a nesting site. They are popular with thrushes, Blackbirds and Waxwings.

    6) It’s great to leave seed heads on over winter as they provide an additional food source for birds – particularly Greenfinches and Goldfinches.

    Posted 1st Feb 11:34am
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  60. Jobs to do in the garden this February

    Jobs to do in the garden this February

    Jobs to do in the garden this February

    1) Cut back ornamental grasses.

    2) Divide and replant Snowdrops as the flowers go over.

    3) Clean out existing bird nesting boxes and put up new ones.

    4) Take hardwood cuttings of forsythia, deutzia, honeysuckle, jasmine, Virginia creeper, holly,privet, cotoneaster, poplar, willow, gooseberries, etc

    5) Pot up or transplant last year’s hardwood cuttings.

    6) Consider planting shrubs or trees to provide winter colour in those dull conrners.

    7) Repair broken fences, trellices,steps, and walls.

    8) Repair any uneven areas of the lawn when the ground is firm.

    9) Push single seed potatoes into half-filled plastic pots, adding compost as they grow.

    10) Invest in a soil thermometer, when the soil temp. exceeds 5°C start sowings of hardy crops such as carrots, lettuce and radish direct into the ground.

    11) Ensure that borders have been forked over in preparation for summer growth or new planting. Apply a general fertilizer around the beds at 2-3oz per sq. yd, also apply to new areas.

    12) If weather warms up, take the opportunity to prepare compost and boxes for sowing half hardy annuals by the end of the month. You should have a heat source available for cold nights.

    13) Plant roses as soil conditions permit, prune stems of new roses down to an outward facing bud 3-5” above the crown. Cut the stem cleanly just above the bud. Plant graft union just below soil level. Apply bone meal at 2oz. per sq. yd. and prick into surface. Firm soil around roots.

    14) Prune climbing roses this month, keep 5 to 7 strong shoots and prune back all side shoots to within 3 buds of the base. Tie in all shoots securely. Prune Rambler roses in the autumn.

    15) Prune shrub roses late February to encourage growth from the base. Remove some old shoots but don’t reduce height too much as they tend to flower on older wood.

    16) Cut back Clematis Jackmanii and C. Viticella groups to about 12”. Pyracantha should be pruned to within 2 buds of the main frame except for extensions, if not done last autumn.

    17) Complete formative pruning of trees by the month end. It may be necessary to limit growth to one leader to avoid a fork in the main stem, or removal of the leader if a bush form is required.

    18) Do not apply heavy applications of fertilizer to naturalized bulbs as this will only encourage the surrounding grass.

    Posted 1st Feb 11:27am
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  61. Create a ‘fragrant garden’ with these plants

    Create a ‘fragrant garden’ with these plants

    Create a ‘fragrant garden’ with these plants

    Ever wanted to create a ‘fragrant garden’ but not sure what to plant? Check out our guide below.

    1) Lavender has been used for thousands of years for its scent in the garden including its use for essentials oils. It has also been used for many years, dried out and put in small sachets to freshen linen, closets and drawers. Lavenders will flower from July through to September giving you months of fresh fragrance to enjoy.

    2) Trachelospermum jasminoides are a climbing plant famous for their smell which is often recognised in many perfumes. They prefer full sun and flower from June – August. Its dark green leaves turn to bronze come autumn.

    3) Sarcococca humilis offers some winter scent, it flowers between December & February. They are renowned for their vanilla like aroma and will grow well in shade.

    4) Looking for a scented cloud on your walk through the garden? Daphne aureomarginata is another fantastic fragrant plant that flowers from January until April. It is known for its pale pink flowers and thrives best in a sunny sheltered position.

    5) Lonicera Graham Thomas flowers from June through to August and creates a colourful feature up a trellis or garden wall in sun or in partial shade. Its creamy white flowers are highly scented.

    6) Rosa de L’hay is known for its masses of heavily perfumed flowers that are a rich purple in colour, it would look great at the back of a shrub border and will flower from July to September.

    Posted 12th Feb 11:11am
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  62. Six cottage garden favourites

    Six cottage garden favourites

    Six cottage garden favourites

    Ever wanted to create a cottage garden? Here’s our top 6 plants to create that cottage garden feel.

    1) Digitalis offer height with their long tubular bells in bright colours that offer a fantastic feast to bees. Digitalis flower from June – July.

    2) Lupins will also add height to the back of a cottage garden bed but do stake to stop them from falling over. Lupins will flower from June – September In bright purples, pinks and various other colours.

    3) No cottage garden would be complete without roses, climbing roses would look fantastic against a trellis, pergola or the walls of your house. Some of the old fashioned rose varieties are sure to add lots of fragrance to your garden between June – August.

    4) Lavender would look great either side of a pathway up to your cottage door, adding fragrance and colour from early – midsummer.

    5) Choose a Geranium like ‘Johnsons blue’ that are low growing and will creep around other plants, spill on to pathways and often repeat flower.

    6) Hydrangeas are a great addition to a large cottage garden with their large clusters of white, pink or blue flowers in August – September that do best in full sun or partial shade.

    Posted 20th Feb 11:08am
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  63. Plants to attract butterflies to your garden

    Plants to attract butterflies to your garden

    Plants to attract butterflies to your garden

    To celebrate butterfly week we thought we would share some of a butterflies favourite plants. It is said that 70% of the UK’S butterfly population are in decline. By planting some of these you could help save butterflies from any further decline.

    1) Just one Buddleja in your garden is enough to attract a hoard of butterflies, after all its known as the ‘butterfly bush.’ Buddleja is full of nectar which is a butterfly’s primary food source.

    2) Scabiosa were very popular with butterflies last year, flowering from June to September they provide a good amount of nectar for butterflies throughout the season. These plants thrive in full sun as do Butterflies!

    3) Lavender is full of nectar which means it’s never short of a butterfly or two, three four etc. Lavender will do best in a sunny position and fill flower from July to September.

    4) Last summer our Escallonia ‘Pink Elle’ were full of butterflies from June through to August. Escallonia’s not only look great in summer but their dark glossy foliage looks great throughout the year.

    5) It’s no wonder Echinacea are attractive to butterflies with their large cone shaped flowers, they prefer full sun and will flower from July to September.

    6) Verbena bonariensis are sure to keep butterflies happy in late summer when they flower from June right through to September they will do great in full sun.

    Posted 12th Mar 10:53am
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  64. How to attract butterflies to your garden

    How to attract butterflies to your garden

    How to attract butterflies to your garden

    Want to attract butterflies to your garden? Here’s our top tips:

    1) “Butterflies like a lot of sunlight”! Be sure to choose plants that do well in full sun like Echinacea, Verbena and Lavender.

    2) Do choose native and non-native plants to encourage different butterflies to your garden

    3) Try to provide nectar throughout the butterfly season choosing early and late bloomers.

    4) Prolong flowering by deadheading flowers, this will encourage a second lot of flowers – meaning more nectar for butterflies!

    5) Do try to plant along a fence, building or hedge to protect butterflies from the wind.

    6) Place a rock in a sunny spot for butterfly basking and resting.

    Posted 10th Mar 10:49am
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  65. 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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  66. The benefits of gardening to your health

    The benefits of gardening to your health

    The benefits of gardening to your health

    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 1st May 10:34am
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  67. 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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  68. Jobs to do in the garden this May

    Jobs to do in the garden this May

    Jobs to do in the garden this May 

    1) Plants should be staked before they become too big and start to flop. Methods to use include pea sticks, bending the tops across at the top to form a canopy, upright canes around each clump with twine tied around the canes, wire netting supported by canes in a cylinder around tall plants, or tall plants tied to individual canes of the ultimate plant size.

    2) Still time to plant container roses to replace those that have deteriorated over winter, or to fill that hole in the border, Water new plants thoroughly. Spray against greenfly in early morning or evening, but not when wet. Check for specific advice on sprays against black spot and other diseases.

    3) Apply a balanced fertilizer around shrubs and water shrubs which have been spring planted and will still have limited root systems. May is a good time to plant evergreens if there is significant rain or water will need to be applied. Keep new growths of wall plants tied which help when pruning in late June. Prune clematis montana types quite hard after flowering to ensure a good show next year.

    4) Keep weeds down by hoeing or chemical weed control, use Roundup against perennial weeds. A 10cm layer of mulch (mushroom compost or well-rotted garden compost ) will
    supress weeds and help conserve moisture.

    5) Complete the planting of root-balled or pot grown evergreen hedges, water the hedge line the day before planting and again when planting is completed. When conifer hedges have reached
    the required height, cut back the leader shoot to 6” below this height to encourage branching lower in the stem and a neat compact top to the hedge.

    6) Pick off dead flower heads of Rhododendrons and Azaleas to allow new growth to develop and mulch with leaf-mould.

    7) Clip Lonicera nitida hedges monthly to maintain a good shape. Clip Privet regularly. Clip Forsythia and flowering Currant hedges after flowering. Weed and hoe under hedges.

    8) Feed top fruit and soft fruit and use nets to protect bushes from birds as flowers develop.

    9) Cut back Ivy and Ceanothus which has finished flowering.

    10) 1f you have not used weed-killer to treat the lawn this spring, use the grass mowings to mulch trees and hedge plants.

    11) Some plants like Forget-me-nots can spread very rapidly, to contain them pull up the plants as soon as they finish flowering to prevent them seeding every-where.

    12) Watch out for the vivid red Lily beetles which will be apparent from mid-month, hold a hand underneath them when trying to catch them as the try and drop to the ground. They lay their
    eggs under the leaves and the grub covers itself with its own faeces. SQUASH them!

    13) Trim lawn edges frequently when dry to develop a firm edge which will not sink when walked upon.

    14) Set the mower blades to their final height for the summer, and apply a top-dressing of a nitrogen fertilizer in late May. Water when conditions require it, don’t under-water, but make
    sure that water is getting to the roots of trees and bigger shrubs.

    Posted 1st May 10:28am
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  69. Plants to create that ‘Chelsea’ feel

    Plants to create that ‘Chelsea’ feel

    Plants to create that ‘Chelsea’ feel

    Feeling inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show this week? Here are’s some plants to create that ‘Chelsea’ feel.

    1) Digitalis is available in an array of fantastic colours and are sure to impress the neighbours through May – July.They prefer partial shade and will look great in the middle or the back of a border.

    2) Get the Chelsea look by using Lupins, known for their bright colours, they are great for that cottage garden feel and will flower from June – September.

    3) Another Chelsea favourite is, Geum, we’d recommend using a bright colour like Geum totally tangerine – these are great when used in your Chelsea border alongside Salvia.They prefer full sun and will flower from June – August.

    4) Salvia are available in pinks and purples, and Salvia Caradonna is one of our favourites. It would and look great with both Geums and Achillea.

    5) Buxus shaped as cones or balls add great formality to a garden with minimum upkeep.They look great at the front of a border or in between plants.

    6) Agapanthus make the perfect Chelsea plant, and if you don’t have enough room to create a full Chelsea garden, a few pots filled with Agapanthus will do the trick.

    Posted 15th Jan 10:17am
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  70. Great plants to encourage children to garden

    Great plants to encourage children to garden

    Great plants to encourage children to garden

    Want to get your kids excited about gardening? Here are our top six plants

    1) Echinacea Magnus – its bright pink flowers are sure to attract bees and butterflies, which is great when teaching your child all about pollination. They will also look great in a vase on the window sill once picked.

    2) Sunflowers are great to grow from seed. Not only do they germinate quickly, but you can start the seed growing inside. This is the perfect flower to grow with siblings as you can have competitions to see whose grows biggest.

    3) Stachys, also known as lambs ears, are known for their soft woolly leaves, making them a must0touch plant for your child and a great addition to a sensory garden.

    4) Planting Bulbs like daffodils, tulips and crocus is not only an easy task to get your kids involved with in the autumn, but it will also be great for them to see come spring when they bloom.

    5) Mint and other herbs are easy to grow in a small pot and can be used in the kitchen.

    6) Tomatoes grow very easily from seed and can be grown in hanging baskets if you’re lacking space. It’s fun to watch them grow, and it’s always great to eat freshly-grown veg!

    Posted 25th May 10:07am
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  71. Five ideas to get your children into gardening this summer

    Five ideas to get your children into gardening this summer

    Five ideas to get your children into gardening this summer

    Want to include your child in your next Saturday afternoon in the garden? Here are our top tips to get them interested.

    1. Choose flowers that are easy to grow from seed like sunflowers, poppies and marigolds. This will encourage your child and show them how rewarding gardening can be.

    2. Pointing out wildlife and pollinators is not only educational but shows just how important they are to us.

    3. Grow your own vegetables and let your children pick them ready for their tea.

    4. Make gardening fun by creating a fairy garden, a pizza garden or even make a scarecrow – get creative!

    5. Choose activities your child can easily get involved with, like watering!

    Posted 19th May 10:06am
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  72. Half a dozen home-grown flowers to mark British Flowers Week

    Half a dozen home-grown flowers to mark British Flowers Week

    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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  73. Jobs to do in the garden this July

    Jobs to do in the garden this July

    Jobs to do in the garden this July

    1) July is set to be the driest month ever recorded in the UK. Water is best applied to plants in the form of a good soak, and not a spray over, which evaporates in no time at all, and little
    gets to the deeper roots. Don’t forget to leave fresh water for birds and small animals.

    2) Applications of water at the rate of 1 inch (2.5 cm) per application will replace the water deficit when applied weekly in mid-summer. Ensure that your sprinkler is producing an even pattern, and there is no water run-off on a slope. Check application rates and uniformity with a rain gauge or plant saucers spread across the sprinkler area. Never water during the heat of the day,best times are early morning or late evening.

    3) If the garden is to be left for some time in mid-summer, consider cutting back the tops of all flowering plants to stop seed being set and germinating without control. This should also lead to a good display of flowers later in the season.

    4) Lawns may turn brown in dry conditions in summer, but will rapidly green up as soon as rain comes or irrigation is applied. Let grass grow a little bit longer to reduce stress and cut the lawn weekly to prevent it becoming too long. You can leave the grass mowing’s on the lawn in dry weather to act as a mulch and further help to save moisture. Remove obvious weeds as these too
    will compete for water.

    5) Hoeing lightly is an effective way of reducing water loss, not only does it eliminate weed competition for water, but a fine tilth on the soil surface helps prevent transpiration, but don’t hoe too deeply. A mulch of garden compost is another very good method of helping reduce water loss, and also helps increase soil organic matter.

    6) Check the moisture level of hanging baskets every morning and water thoroughly if dry. Feed plants with a soluble or liquid feed once per week and remove flower heads which are going over.

    7) Prune pyracanthas by cutting back side-shoots to 2-3 leaves from their base for a good show next year. Wear gloves!! When the first flush of hardy geranium and Alchemilla is over, cut them hard back for a spectacular second flush of flowers.

    8) Clear foliage from ponds and remove weeds from around the edges, and excess growth from water lily foliage. Make sure the soil in bog gardens doesn’t dry out.

    9) Remove spent rose flower heads and maintain the sprays to combat greenfly rust, mildew andblackspot if appropriate. Apply a summer rose feed fertilizer in the middle of the month.

    10) Trim quickthorn hedges and continue to keep hedge bottoms clean by hoeing or the use of Gramoxone. Always check for nesting birds before cutting hedges in summer.

    11) Check all plant ties, and that all herbaceous forms of support are strong enough for the new growth.

    12) Be sure to keep hydrangeas well-watered, they are very quick to show the shortage of water bydropping heavily.

    13) Keep hardy and half-hardy annuals well-watered and weed-free. Try not to walk on the beds as the plants damage easily. It is usual to place a plank across two boxes to help with weeding and the removal of spent flowers.

    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 Jul 9:43am
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  74. Six white plants for Wimbledon

    Six white plants for Wimbledon

    Six white plants for Wimbledon

    This week marks the start of Wimbledon and to celebrate we have put together a list of six of our favourite white plants that are flowering now.

    1) Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’ has a lovely fragrance with flowers up to 5cm across. Suitable in any aspect of the garden but particularly great at the back of a border.

    2) Anemone Wild Swan flowers earlier in the season than other anemone. It prefers a sheltered spot to grow in.

    3) Achillea The Pearl produces little white buttons of flowers and was favoured by designer Gertrude Jeykll.

    4) Campanula White Clips is a low grower, which produces masses of large bell-like flowers; looks great in a rockery.

    5) Rosa Kent is great for producing masses of white flowers and good ground cover.

    6) Leucanthemum Freak are great for giving height to borders and have a long flowering season if you deadhead regularly.

    Posted 5th Jul 9:39am
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  75. Get a lawn as good as a golf course

    Get a lawn as good as a golf course

    Get a lawn as good as a golf course

    To celebrate the British Open Golf tournament this week, we have come up with some tips to help you get a lawn as good as a golf course.

    A regular maintenance programme will help avoid the need to renovate later.

    1) Mowing – this should be done regularly between spring and autumn,with once a week being the ideal amount during these seasons. In summer, cut twice a week, unless in drought conditions, then drop back to one. Never mow wet, dewy or frosted grass.

    2) Remove Moss – Moss forms in grass when there is a poor growing condition, such as shaded, waterlogged or compacted soil. Scarification in the autumn is ideal on smaller lawns. Organic moss control can be applied after the grass has been cut short.

    3) Feeding – In March and April, apply a spring feed which will help increase vigour and help tackle weeds and moss. It is always best applied to wet grass, and not dry. If vigour is lost between April and August, repeat the spring feed application in cool conditions.

    4) Watering – Water to a depth of 10cm as the soil becomes dry, but before the grass starts turning brown. If the ground has become hard and compacted, aerate with a garden fork before watering. Watering once a week should be sufficient unless in drought conditions. Water either early morning or evening, and don’t over water as this can encourage shallow roots.

    5) Repairing – Damaged grass caused by pets or diseases should be repaired in the spring.

    Posted 16th Jul 9:29am
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  76. Flowers to see you through until the end of summer

    Flowers to see you through until the end of summer

    Want a good selection of late flowering perennials? Choose from these flowers that are sure to see you through until the end of summer.

    1) Rudbeckia ‘Little Gold Star’ – a compact Rudbeckia standing at 50cm high, these plants will last you all the way through to October and are known for their mounds of bright yellow flowers.

    2) Agapanthus ‘Columba’ – One of our favourite perennials, it has globes of trumpet-shaped blue flowers on straight green stems that will last until September. They look fantastic in a pot or summer border.

    3) Echinacea ‘Magnus’ – a firm favourite of butterflies with its fantastic daisy Iike, bright pink flowers and orange centres. Flowering from July to– September, it’s a must have for your late flowering border.

    4) Agastache ‘Black Adder’ – great for the back of a border and grow up to 90cm tall. They will flower until October and thrive in full sun.

    5) Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ – funnel shaped flowers as bright as a red tomato, which will flower from July to September. They will work best in a sunny herbaceous border alongside other bold colours like Achillea.

    6) Sedum ‘Matrona’ – this plant has purple stems with clusters of soft pink flowers that will last until October, also, they are great for cut flowers.

    Posted 24th Jul 9:25am
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  77. Gardening reminders for the month of August

    Gardening reminders for the month of August

    Here’s our gardening reminders for the month of August:

    1) Now is the last chance to prune stone fruits such as cherries and plums. Choose a dry day in order to prevent disease entry through the wound. If you have peaches or apricots under protection, prune them now to prevent silver leaf disease.

    2) Cut back the long whippy growth of Wisteria to within 3 buds of the old wood if they are not required to extend the area covered by the plant.

    3) Keep watering those containers! Placing the plant in a saucer-shaped dish will be a great help in making the water you apply remain available to the plant.

    4) With the weather so dry it is an ideal time to concentrate on the removal of perennial weeds, either by hand or with the aid of the chemical Glyphosate.

    5) Check that weeds are not spreading under larger shrubs where the shade has kept them that little bit more moist and able to seed.

    6) Towards the end of the month cut back the canes of fruited cane fruits to ground level, and tie in the young shoots which will provide next year’s harvest.

    7) Keep dead-heading the best flowering plants to encourage new flowers and stop them setting seed. Apply a liquid feed as plants will require added nutrition to counter the dry weather and heavy watering.

    8) Keep hardy and half-hardy annuals well-watered and weed-free. Try not to walk on the beds as the plants damage easily.It is usual to place a plank across two boxes to help with weeding and the removal of spent flowers.

    9) Trim fast growing hedges, and don’t forget the weeds in the hedge bottoms!

    10) Remove rose blooms as they fade and don’t apply feed after the end of July, as late soft growth would not be hardy before winter.

    11) Complete the lifting of last seasons’ bulbs and dry them off naturally in light woven sacks for maximum ventilation.

    12) Take cuttings of shrubs, heathers, hydrangeas and fuchsias.

    13) Keep an eye on the whole garden and spray as necessary against pests on dahlias and Chrysanthemums in particular.

    14) When going on holiday and concerned about indoor containers being watered, try placing a full bucket of water on the garage floor and placing your pots around it on their own saucers.
    Using a piece of wet string about the thickness of a bootlace, tie one end to a piece of old cutlery and place in the bucket. Push the other end into the compost of a pot. Place strings from bucket to all pots.

    Posted 1st Aug 9:21am
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  78. Six great plants to keep the weeds at bay

    Six great plants to keep the weeds at bay

    Are weeds taking over your garden? If you choose ground cover plants they will naturally smother weeds, they cover the ground and don’t leave any spaces where weeds can grow.

    Here are six great plants to keep the weeds at bay.

    1) Alchemilla Mollis is a great ground cover plant that is best in full sun or partial shade and flowers in June – September. Its round broad leaves are perfect for edging a path and smothering any weeds.

    2) Ajuga is a great ground cover for a shady area that will form a quick carpet of foliage flowering in early summer. They are great for filling in gaps, edging paths or even used to spill over the edge of a pot.

    3) Pachysandra terminalis are known for their dark glossy green leaves that form dense mats of groundcover in full sun or full shade. A perfect addition between shrubs and trees.

    4) Vinca Major is perfect for supressing weeds under trees, and even on sloping banks, as they are happiest in full sun to partial shade, flowering from April – September. If you have a small garden try Vinca minor instead.

    5) Geranium Johnsons blue has a beautiful saucer-shaped purple flower that appears from May through to August. They are perfect for the front of a border and will create a dense carpet that will supress weeds, they are happy in full sun – partial shade.

    6) Hostas love shade and look fantastic at a path edge. Alternatively, plant them at the front of a border in contrast with ferns, once they’re established the foliage will supress weeds.

    Posted 23rd Aug 9:18am
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  79. Want to attract bee's to your garden? Here's six great blooms

    Want to attract bee's to your garden? Here's six great blooms

    Want to attract bee’s to your garden? Here’s six great blooms to do just that.

    1) Lavender is one of a bees favourites, largely because of their bright purple tones as bees see this colour more clearly. A two year study at Sussex University found them to be one of the most popular plant varieties to the insect, flowering from July – September, they are the perfect plant for bees with plenty of nectar through summer.

    2) Echinacea flowers are not only loved by bees, but butterflies too due to its large landing pad, bright colour and pollen, making it well worth the visit. Seed heads will also feed birds in the fall and winter.

    3) Foxgloves are known for their long tubular shape and are great for long-tongued bees, flowering from June – September.

    4) Scabiosa plants have a steady supply of nectar, making them a great choice for any garden hoping to attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. It’s also perfect for a summer border.

    5) Agastache is a great plant that bees make their way around systematically on the many tiny flowers. It looks great in mixed herbaceous borders and is a bees’ favourite.

    6) Geranium have a long flowering period making them great for bees. The purple varieties tend to be favoured, again, for their colour, and will last from May – August,. Make sure to remove old flowers and leaves so they can rejuvenate.

    Posted 1st Sep 9:00am
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  80. What to do in the garden this September

    What to do in the garden this September

    What to do in the garden this September

    1) August has been another dry month here in North Yorkshire, we had a few showers and some prolonged rain on the 26th/27th, but not enough serious volumes to replenish the water table. Just that fresh feeling in the mornings now, but overnight temperatures are still staying above 10 degrees.

    2) Summer Branch Drop (SBD) has been apparent on several trees in the area, no-one appears to have identified the cause, but it does seem to occur after rain following a very dry spell.

    3) If you have heavy soil, dig over the garden borders as bedding plants need to be removed. This will make digging easier as the soil will not be at full water capacity as in later months.

    4) Now is the time to make yourself a good, big compost bin, just before you really need it! Ideally, use four stakes as corners, one metre apart in a square, and staple wire netting (one metre deep) around the square. This allows easy entry when you wish to empty it, or it can be made bigger or smaller at will. If you would like a permanent one, use pressure treated plywood or boards instead of netting.

    5) On a fine evening, have a walk around the garden and make a note of what has done really well, and also not so well, so that when time comes to replant the borders you will have a good idea of what will be successful! Why not have a visit to Harlow Carr Gardens or one of the other splendid gardens in the area, and make a note of which plants you are really motivated by?

    6) Towards the end of the month and into October is the best time to move evergreens as the soil is still warm and new roots will take hold before winter. Make sure the planting hole is big enough so the plant is at the same depth as before, firm soil back around the root-ball and water in well.

    7) Take hardwood cuttings from your favourite roses. Ideal cuttings are about pencil thickness and 30cm long, remove the top 8cm of young growth down to just above a bud. Cut the bottom of the stem at about 2-3mm below a bud and trim off all the leaves, with the exception of the top three sets of leaves.Make a slot with a spade in an area of good soil and push in the cuttings (base first!) so that about one third remains above ground. If the soil is heavy, run some sharp sand down the planting slot to improve drainage. The cuttings should be ready to plant out next autumn.

    8) Keep dead-heading the best flowering plants to encourage new flowers and stop them setting seed.

    9) Newly planted perennials will do well when planted over the next 6 weeks. Give the roots of new plants a good soaking before planting, firm in well to the original depth and place a good mulch around the plant to prevent moisture loss and winter damage to young roots.

    10) Continue to trim fast-growing hedges, and don’t forget the weeds in the hedge bottoms!

    11) Now is the time to sort out your bulb order to give you maximum choice. Bulb catalogues are really helpful and a pleasure to look at. Planting early has benefits for all bulbs, but leave tulips until late November in order to prevent disease infection.

    12) Complete the lifting of last seasons’ bulbs and dry them off naturally in light woven sacks for maximum ventilation.

    13) Crocosmias form large mounds of roots and corms after a few years, try separating them with a fork, pulling them apart, or removing the soil and untangling them with the help of a hosepipe jet.

    14) This month and next month the lawn can be mown less frequently, but will really benefit from echanical scarifying or the regular use of a spring tine rake to remove the old ‘thatch’. Aerating by means of a machine or a garden fork will work wonders, in conjunction with a specific lawn weed killer and an autumn lawn fertilize dressing.

    Posted 15th Sep 8:54am
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  81. Q&A with our beekeeper for National Honey Month

    Q&A with our beekeeper for National Honey Month

    Q&A with our beekeeper for National Honey Month

    To celebrate National Honey Month this September, we asked Keith Simmonds from Harrogate Beekeepers Association, who looks after our onsite apiary, some questions.

    1) How many years have you been a beekeeper and what do you like most about it?
    I started in 2006 on a beekeeping course run by Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers Association, so 13 seasons. Bees often surprise you by not behaving as you expect, so you are always learning.

    2) How much training did it take to become a beekeeper?
    The course was some 20 weeks long, consisting of 12 weeks’ theory and 8 weeks’ practical. It was a very comprehensive course, but shorter courses are available. You never stop learning, and belonging to a beekeeping association gives you plenty of contact with more experienced beekeepers to help you learn.

    3) What is the main responsibility for a beekeeper?
    The main job is to ensure that the bees are happy with sufficient space when they need it during the summer months, and most importantly, that they are healthy. Bees are under pressure from all sorts of environmental and habitat problems, keeping them healthy gives them the best chance of survival.

    4) Our apiary isn’t the only one you look after, how many bees do you estimate you look after in one year?
    I have three apiary sites with 22 colonies or hives. On average, at full summer strength, each will have 50,000 bees, so more than a million bees.

    5) How much honey do the bees you look after produce a year?
    This, like any other food product, depends on lots of outside influences, such as weather, crops and other forage available to the bees. I would think somewhere between 500 and 700 lbs of honey per annum. A lot of this is left with the bees as winter feed.

    6) Most people do not react well to the sight of swarming bees, were you afraid of the bees when you first started out as a beekeeper?
    No not really, I was fascinated by the bees. Most people on beekeeping courses are keen to get into their hive for the first time. A swarm of bees is more intent on finding a new home than spending time attacking you. Swarming bees are often very calm.

    7) How many times do you think you’ve been strung over the years?
    This must now be in the hundreds, I have reached the stage where I no longer react to stings, however let me make one thing clear, each sting still hurts.

    8) Is there a way of calming the bees?
    One of the best ways to keep bees calm is to be calm yourself, no sudden movement, noise or knocks. Beekeepers use a smoker to help manage the bees, these burn wood, paper or cardboard, well, anything organic in the smoker. The smoke will cause the bees to fill themselves with honey as they believe a fire could be nearby and they may need to leave. Well-fed bees are usually calmer.

    9) We all use the phrase “as busy as the bee”, but do bees sleep or rest at all?
    Bees don’t sleep or hibernate, in the summer they are busy collecting nectar and pollen to feed themselves and the new brood in the hive. The Queen will lay 2,000 eggs a day during summer, and sometimes more. So you see, the hive is busy all the time in the late spring and summer. In winter the bees are mostly confined to the hive due to bad weather where they form into a compact ball of bees to keep warm.

    Posted 15th Sep 8:44am
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  82. Six reasons why you should love and protect bees

    Six reasons why you should love and protect bees

    Here are six reasons why you should love and protect bees this National Honey Month.

    1) 1 out of 3 bites of food is originally sourced from a bee-pollinated plant.
    2) Bees pollinate 80% of flowering plants on earth.
    3) Bees have been producing plants for over 100 million years.
    4) Only bees can make honey.
    5) A colony pollinates 4,000 fruit trees.
    6) Some crops are 90% dependent on bee pollination.
    7) Bees contribute millions to our economy.

    Posted 7th Sep 8:39am
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  83. Hedging varieties for small gardens

    Hedging varieties for small gardens

    Hedging varieties for small gardens

    In small gardens, most people favour a wall or fence, however these are plants that can create privacy or a boundary without taking over too much room.

    1. Buxus sempervirens are a great low growing hedging plant that only require clipping once or twice a year. Perfect for edging a path or border these hedging plants will only grow 10-20cm per year. Buxus is often used in a formal garden and is great shaped.

    2. Taxus baccata are an evergreen low growing hedging plant that create a dense screen in a garden they can be clipped back to keep a low formal hedge and will grow in sun to partial shade.

    3. Ligustrum vulgare are great for nesting birds and have small white flowers in the spring. 20cm -40cm growth a year with an eventual height of 4m, keep them trimmed for a lower hedge.

    4. Cornus Alba are grown for the bright red stems during the winter months, these will get to a height approx. 4m. Cut some stems back at the end of March to help keep the bright colour.

    5. Fagus Sylvatica Purpurea a mix of copper and purple colours spring to autumn. Grows to 5m with a yearly growth of 40-60cm.

    6. Lavender Hidcote – why not choose a lavender plant for a scented small hedge, Perfect for the edge of a path or small hedge at the front of a garden, growing 10-20cm per year.

    Posted 12th Sep 5:35pm
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  84. Hedging varieties for shade

    Hedging varieties for shade

    Hedging varieties for shade

    Some plants can survive with only a few hours of sun a day, whether that be early morning or late evening. Shade can be caused by a number of reasons, but to help your plants grow, plant with rootgrow to help the plant establish a good root system.

    Here is a list of our favourite hedging options for planting in shaded areas:

    1. Ilex aquifolium is most commonly recognised for its spikey green leaves and red berries in winter, this versatile plant can grow in full shade to a height of 8m.

    2. Aucuba japonica has thick glossy leaves, providing colour and structure all year and the plants will grow in most soils. Small flowers are produced in summer but the berries from autumn to spring are more noticeable. Eventual height of around 3m.

    3. Elaeagnus x ebbingei is one of the best hedging plants to use nearer the house as these plants produce white, highly scented flowers and have an attractive silver underside to the leaves. Growing 30-45cm a year its mature height can be around 4m tall.

    4. Corylus avellana is a great base plant if trying to grow a native hedge. Distinctive pale-yellow catkins can be found on the bare stems in late winter, before large soft leaves appear. One of the faster growing hedge plants, eventual height can reach up to 8m.

    5. Pyracantha make a great hedge in shade and look great against a north facing wall or fence adding vibrant colour to your garden.

    6. Taxus baccata is a dark, dense, native evergreen hedge with bright red fruit attractive to birds, and is happy in dry shade or sun.

    Posted 12th Sep 5:30pm
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  85. Conifer varieties for every garden

    Conifer varieties for every garden

    Conifer varieties for every garden

    When conifers are mentioned, most people think of the large overgrown hedges which can become the source of arguments between neighbours. However, this conifer week, we will be looking at how they can be used in all gardens as they give great colour and structure all year round.

    Low growing/ Spreading
    Prostrate or spreading conifers are ideal on a steep bank, or in areas where the soil is too poor to plant shrubs, but some green is required. These conifers also help keep weeds at bay meaning less maintenance time is required.
    • Picea pungens Waldbrunn – blue/grey with silver tinged spring growth 50cm x 100cm
    • Juniperus Blue Carpet – bright blue/ grey 50cm x 200cm
    • Juniperus Old Gold – yellow to deep bronze 100cm x 200cm

    Miniature conifers
    Yes, they really can stay small. In this case they can be used on alpine rockeries as most only grow to 40cm in 10 years. Another option is to grow them in containers alongside annuals to give an extra layer of interest.
    • Juniperus Blue Star – bright blue/grey bun shaped habit 50cm x 100cm
    • Podocarpus Kilworth Cream – bushy pale green edged with cream, pink tips in spring 50cm x 50cm
    • Picea J W Daisy’s White – conical shape, cream tips fading to green 1m x 1m

    Narrow conifers
    Narrow, Pencil, Column, call them what you like, but these conifers are great at adding height whilst not taking over your garden. These are a must if you are looking to create a Mediterranean-feel to your space.• Cupressus pyramidalis – retains dense thin shape well. 15m but can be trimmed to height easily.
    • Juniperus Blue Arrow – vivid steel blue foliage retained year-round. Compact habit with eventual height of 2.5m
    • Taxus baccata fastigiate – deep green needles. Becomes broader with age. 8m x 4m

    Interesting foliage
    Boring green flat leaves will be a thing of the past with these more unusual conifers. Great for adding texture year round to formal and informal gardens.
    • Ginkgo biloba – fan shaped leaves which turn yellow in autumn. Grows well in containers. Buy as a standard to add extra interest.
    • Thuja Whipcord – pendulous, cord-like branches. Slow growing mound. 1.5m x 1.5m
    • Pinus mugo – spiral clusters of needles. Candle like new growth in spring which can be pinched put. Reddish brown cones. 1.5m x 1.5m

    Posted 12th Sep 5:29pm
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  86. Hedging varieties for an exposed site

    Hedging varieties for an exposed site

    As well as challenging exposure to wind and rain, hedges can protect more delicate plants from coastal sea spray and snow drifts. Native hedging plants are great for use in this instance as they can establish the best of their situation.

    Try –
    Acer campestre is a field Maple hedge that can work as either a single species or mixed together with other native species. The foliage turns a lovely buttery yellow colour in the autumn. Suitable in most soils and locations, apart from full shade, this will grow to 5m.

    Sambucus Nigra has a distinctive large, flat flower head that is produced in June, followed by elderberries which can be eaten. Even though it is a deciduous shrub, leaves can drop as late as November and grow back in a good winter in sheltered locations around January. It’s a fast-growing plant, reaching an ultimate height of 4m.
    Viburnum opulus is a plant with something for every season but best in the autumn with bright red berries, which the birds love and fiery red foliage. Its best in full sun as this plant will grow to around 5m.

    Carpinus betulus has a similar look to Fagus, this semi evergreen produces green catkins spring to autumn, which then turn fruit which a number of wildlife will feast on. This plant is also very happy to grow in poor soils. Makes a great screen of up to 5m.

    Posted 25th Sep 5:24pm
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  87. Hedging varieties for full sun

    Hedging varieties for full sun

    Hedging varieties for full sun

    For hedges in full sun you also need to consider if the plant will be drought tolerant. This means the plants can handle being in direct sunlight for longer periods of time.

    Here are some of our top favourites:

    Prunus spinosa, more commonly known as Blackthorn, is a dense and prickly plant that has one of the earliest blossoms as pure white flowers against black stems appear in March. Its autumn fruits (sloes) can be made into tasty food and drink, as long as you beat the birds to them.

    Cragaegus monogyna is possibly the most recognised native hedging plant, it gets its common name of ‘May Blossom’ from the beautiful show of white scented flowers during May. Birds will then feast on the glossy red berries in autumn. This hedge is suitable for most gardens as can easily be kept between 1–5m.

    Osmanthus Burkwoodii is similar to Elaeagnus, this hedge has sweetly scented white flowers in spring, and is becoming a good substitute for Box Hedging due to it being easily cut in to a variety of shapes. Growing to 3m, this acts as a good screen for mid-way through a long garden.

    Photinia Red Robin is one the best alternative hedges, this is quickly becoming popular in gardens due to the fiery red show of the new leaves growing up to 4m. Trim in spring and summer to help make a denser hedge and continue the colourful show.

    Posted 25th Sep 5:23pm
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  88. 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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  89. 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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  90. Jobs for your garden in November

    Jobs for your garden in November

    Jobs for your garden in November

    1) The earlier any winter digging can be done, the better, as this allows rain, snow, frost and ice to break down clods of soil and make cultivations in spring so much easier.

    2) There is a current move towards ‘no digging’ on vegetable plots, which involves digging the area to double depth (double digging) and incorporating organic matter throughout the two areas in
    order to cultivate an area of really deep soil and encourage the increase of worms and other creatures by applying an annual top dressing of organic matter or ‘compost’ which will be taken
    down into the soil. Small paths should be made across the area so that it is not necessary to walk on the growing area at any time in the future, for either cultivations, harvesting or other reasons and thus prevent any soil compaction.

    3) The wind, frost and rain has suddenly brought down large quantities of leaves. If you can collect and compost them, they will make the best compost ever for use next year. Softer
    foliage from prunings around the garden can be incorporated into this compost, but woody branches and hard stems will take much longer to rot down. Be prepared to wait a long time for
    them to be usable, or hire a shredder and incorporate the product into the compost, or use as a mulch next year.

    4) Whilst busy doing the autumn trimming don’t get carried away by doing everything! Plants such as Viburnum bodnantense will carry sweetly-scented pink flowers right through the winter,
    as does Lonicera fragrantissima and the tree Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis.

    5) If you enjoy the picture of heavily-frosted shrubs, don’t remove the stems of Sedums. Many Ornamental grasses and trees with a fine branch system, such as birch, and plants which may be a
    focal point in the garden, will have character throughout the year.

    6) Clear out bird boxes and sterilise them with boiling water.

    7) Be sure to check for hibernating animals before lighting a bonfire.

    8) Have the lawnmower serviced and cleaned before rust becomes established.

    9) Think about planting tulip bulbs after the middle of the month.

    10) KEEP OFF THE LAWN IN FROSTY WEATHER!

    11) Insulate pots left out over winter.

    12) Winter prune fruit trees and bushes, and plant new or additional ones.

    13) Lift and store dahlias if not done already.

    14) Start amaryllis (hippeastrum) bulbs into growth urgently if required to flower by Christmas.

    15) Start pruning glasshouse grape vines when outdoor weather is inclement.

    16) When receiving consignments of new plants, soak the roots for 24 hours in a bucket of water before planting. If planting conditions are not suitable, take out a trench in a sheltered area of the garden and put the roots of the plants in the trench with the above ground parts of the plant at 45 degrees to stop wind blowing them about. Plant in final position when circumstance allow.

    17) When planting new trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants, make sure to firm in the soil around the roots as you fill back the planting hole.

    Posted 1st Nov 5:10pm
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  91. Johnsons guide to trees for different locations

    Johnsons guide to trees for different locations

    Johnsons guide to trees for different locations

    To celebrate National Tree Week (24th November to 2nd December), we have come up with some trees for different soils and locations.

    Clay soils – Malus John Downie
    Sandy Soils – Robinia Frisia
    Acid soils – Amelanchier lamarckii
    Wet soil – Salix chrysocoma
    Exposed sites – Crataegus Paul’s Scarlet
    Sheltered sites – Acer Bloodgood
    Coastal sites – Populus alba
    Hot sites – Sophora japonica
    Shade – Acer campestre
    Wildlife gardens – Prunus padus

    Posted 24th Nov 5:04pm
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  92. Jobs to do in the garden this January

    Jobs to do in the garden this January

    Jobs to do in the garden this January

    1) Now is a really good time to tidy up the hellebores. Remove old leaves and make way for the
    Flowers, which will be with us shortly. Plant winter aconites to improve the early spring show.

    2) Be sure and remove dead leaves which have built up in the pond to prevent stagnation.

    3) Service the lawnmower, spring will be with us before we realise it! If grass needs cutting,
    remove it as it is too cold for it to decompose.

    4) Make sure the water has been turned off to all outside taps.

    5) Plant new fruit trees and bushes as conditions allow, applying a mulch of well-rotted material,
    but leave a 10cm gap between the stem and the mulch to prevent potential stem rot.

    6) Where Cyclamen coum has spread naturally from seed, select the best seedlings with good
    leaf markings and replant into new areas which will benefit from the winter colour. Did you
    know that ants carry the seed off to new locations?

    7) Plant some lilies in deep pots and keep in the greenhouse ready for transfer to the flower
    border when the flowers develop.

    8) Placing a couple of forks of well-rotted manure on top of rhubarb crowns will encourage
    them to make early growth. And, if covered with an upturned dustbin or similar, you will get
    the beautiful red leaf stalks and yellow leaves we see in the shops in early spring.

    9) Have a walk around the garden merely to see what additional colour you would like at this time of year and purchase new and attractive shrubs such as Hamamelis (Witch Hazel), snowdrops,
    Cornus and decorative stemmed willows. Do you have enough interesting conifers in a range of sizes and colours?

    10) If you have a grape vine under glass, now is the time to prune it, before the sap starts to rise.
    Don’t leave it until next month as the wounds tend to bleed.

    11) If you enjoy making an early start to the growing year, cover some areas with polythene or
    cloches to protect the soil from the hardest frost and the heavy spring rains. This can improve
    the soil temperature by up to six degrees when it is time for you to plant or sow.

    12) Brush snow off conifers and heathers if there is a heavy fall, in order to prevent branches being
    broken.

    13) On a cold day when you are trying to keep warm, turn you compost heap sides to middle and
    top to bottom, and this will ensure a good friable compost in late spring, ideal for potting on
    plants of all kinds.

    14) In rock gardens and raised beds, ensure that fallen leaves have been removed in order to
    prevent botrytis.

    15) Sit in front of a warm fire when there is a gale outside together with a blizzard, and go through
    all the new seed catalogues for this coming spring and draw up a sowing/planting programme!
    We hope you enjoyed our jobs for January, have you read our latest blog piece on “Hedging for 365 days of the year”?

    Posted 1st Jan 5:01pm
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  93. What to do in the garden this December

    What to do in the garden this December

    What to do in the garden this December

    1) After a week of November rain, often heavy, fallen leaves are becoming a congealed mass in many garden corners. Try and clear them away to the compost heap before they start to rot and affect so many plants such as herbaceous, alpines, low-growing shrubs and plants in containers.

    2) Any plants which are now too big for their location or ‘in the wrong place’ can be safely moved, and the soil in December is usually warm enough to stimulate the production of new roots.
    Stake tall new plants to prevent wind rock until well-rooted and reduce their size if appropriate.

    3) Ensure that house drains and run-off areas from the garden are not choked by leaves. It’s a time of year when water can often be found backing up in the most surprising places!

    4) When lower temperatures and frost is forecast, make sure your bird feeding stations are clean and regularly refilled. The same applies to an accessible water supply. Remember, cooked food as
    opposed to bird seed, may well attract vermin.

    5) With long periods of rain expected, don’t forget to put a glass or plastic sheet over your alpine plants to keep off the majority of the rain.

    6) Place under cover any tender plants which have been overlooked earlier in the autumn and ensure that such plants growing in the ground are wrapped in straw and hessian. Polythene is not the best material as it prevents air from getting to the plant.

    7) Ensure that outside taps, and taps in unheated buildings, are well insulated for the winter months. Turn off the stop-taps if this is possible to prevent the potential for them freezing.

    8) Take the opportunity on dry days to treat fences and sheds with a form of creosote which is not harmful to plants. If you have to remove climbers from the wall, take the opportunity to
    prune them whilst you have full access, and also check for damage to the fence or wall.

    9) If you intend to get on with the winter digging, cover a suitable area with polythene so that the ground is not waterlogged when you wish to dig.

    10) Clean moss and lichens from paths and walls. There are several commercial brands of cleaner available, but bleach is equally as good. A power washer will make light work of the job,
    which is impressive when completed!

    11) Cut back the long shoots of ornamental vines, thin them out and then cut side shoots back to two buds.

    12) Any damaged areas of turf can be replaced by new turfs or exchanged for a similar piece of turf in a less obvious position in the lawn. Do not perform this task when the soil is frozen.

    13) Check apples and other stored fruits for signs of rotting and throw out damaged fruit for the birds.

    14) Take the opportunity to cut back overgrown hedges, either mechanically on deciduous plants, or by the use of a saw or secateurs on large leafed evergreens such as laurel or rhododendrons.
    Wait until growth starts in the spring before pruning conifer hedges.

    Posted 1st Dec 5:01pm
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  94. Hedging for 365 days of the year

    Hedging for 365 days of the year

    Wanting a hedge 365 days of the year? An evergreen hedge provides structure and privacy throughout the year, here’s 6 of the best.

    Hedging for 365 days of the year

    1. Prunus Rotundifolia – a vigorous, dense evergreen shrub suitable for almost all locations. Large, glossy green leaves make this a go-to plant above other Prunus varieties. Growing up to 60cm a year, trim in spring and autumn to keep a good shape.

    2. Taxus Baccata – a dark green evergreen hedging plant great for shade and happy to be pruned. It is not the fastest growing evergreen variety but will grow 30-40cm per year.

    3. Cupressus Leylandii – is one of the fastest evergreen hedging varieties that can grow up to 3ft per year with its eventual height reaching up to 12m. Great as a windbreak, general barrier and for noise reduction. Available in various different pot sizes and heights.

    4. Buxus Sempervirens – offer a low slow growing evergreen hedging plant that will be easy to keep clipped, making it the perfect edge to a pathway, formal hedge or as a topiary shape. It is happy in full sun – full shade and can grow up to 10cm per year.

    5. Prunus Lusitanica -also known as Portuguese laurel, boast luscious dark green glossy leaves on deep maroon stems with small, fragrant white flowers in the summer and red berries in the autumn which are very popular with birds.

    6. Griselinia Littoralis – are known for their glossy, apple green foliage and make a fantastic dense hedge that offers screening and year-round interest. Griselinia is perfect for a formal hedge as it can be clipped neatly. It is perfect in a full sun position.

    Needing hedging for shade? full sun? and an exposed site? check out our other hedging blogs –

    Shade hedging plants
    Hedging plants for full sun
    Hedging for an exposed site

     

    Posted 9th Jan 4:55pm
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  95. Pupils get planting for National Tree Week

    Pupils get planting for National Tree Week

    Pupils get planting for National Tree Week

    Pupils from Kirk Hammerton C of E Primary School received a lesson in the importance of planting trees this week from our procurement manager Jonathan Whittemore.

    We also donated 45 bulbs, one for each child at the school to plant as part of National Tree Week which is organised each year by The Tree Council.

    National Tree Week which took place from 26 November – 4 December is the UK’s largest tree celebration annually launching the start of the winter tree planting season and a chance for communities to do something positive for their local treescape.

    Jonathan Whittemore presented to pupils on Tuesday 29 November about the importance of trees in the environment and also gifted a tree and plant pot for the entrance to the school.
    Jonathan said:

    “As a socially responsible business and one of the very few net contributors to the environment it’s very important to us to work with the local community to promote trees more than ever and to help ensure a green future for everything from humans and wildlife to bugs.

    “Without trees, our towns and countryside would look bleak and uninspired.

    “We enjoy working with the school and know that by visiting this week it has helped develop the children’s appreciation of the importance of tree planting and the sustainability of the local environment.”

    Class 1 teacher, Brogan Fraser said:

    “Following the event, the children took time to notice the trees around the school grounds, admiring their beautiful shapes and qualities. In the classroom they have been more aware of all the resources in school which are made from wood. Great fun was had by all!”

    Executive Headteacher, Elizabeth Mellor said:
    “I would like to add my sincere thanks to Johnsons of Whixley for their support of the school. The children benefitted enormously from the whole experience and as a result have a better understanding of how important trees are and also how to care for our environment.”

    As part of our continued work in the local community, we also delivered 32 miniature Christmas trees to every child at Kirk Hammerton Nursery School.

    Posted 4th Dec 4:42pm
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  96. Why bees are so important to us

    Why bees are so important to us

    Why bees are so important to us

    1) Every third mouthful of food we eat relies on pollinators.
    2) Approximately 250,000 species of flowering plants depend on other plants to help them pollinate.
    3) Broccoli, Asparagus, Cucumbers, Apples, Cherries, Almonds and Watermelons are among foods that would no longer be available if bees ceased pollinating.
    4) Bees pollinate 70 of the top 100 food crops we eat.
    5) By keeping flowers pollinated, bees help floral growth and provide attractive habitats for other insects and birds.
    6) Imagine a Summer’s day without flowers. Bees help beautify our planet.
    7) Honey bees help contribute to our economy. Inn 2008, the British Bee Keepers Association estimated that they contribute £165 million annually.

    8) And last but not least, bees are the only insect in the world that produces food eaten by man (honey).

    Posted 10th Jul 4:34pm
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  97. Keeping your garden green is more important than ever before

    Keeping your garden green is more important than ever before

    Keeping your garden green is more important than ever before

    With the rise of low-maintenance gardens, and plant-free drives, it is important to remind ourselves just how important our gardens and green fronts are.

    Johnsons of Whixley’s Ellie Richardson shares eight reasons why you should be like us – and keep you garden green!
    1) Trees and plants help prevent flooding by absorbing water
    2) Gardens increase a feeling of wellbeing
    3) Trees and plants filter air pollution
    4) You will attract bees and butterflies, even if you don’t have a large garden
    5) You will increase the aesthetic appeal of your neighborhood
    6) Your trees and plants give nature a home
    7) Your hedging and trees help create a sound barrier
    8) Porous drives soak up 50% more rain then tarmac or paving

    Posted 27th Jul 4:29pm
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  98. Johnsons plays key role in boosting UK tree population

    Johnsons plays key role in boosting UK tree population

    Johnsons plays key role in boosting UK tree population

    We’ve grown and supplied more than 2.5 million trees during the last 12 months, placing us as one of the UK’s biggest net contributors to the nation’s tree population.

    This week is National Tree Week (25 November – 3 December) which is organised by the UK Tree Council to mark the start of the winter tree planting season and aims to encourage communities to do something positive for their local treescape.Just 13% of the UK’s total land area is covered in trees, compared with an average elsewhere in the EU of about 35%. In England, the figure is just 10%.

    It is estimated that we have grown and supplied a total of 110 million trees and hedging plants since our chairman John Richardson purchased the business in 1964, and we are continuing to supply plants and trees to high-profile projects up and down the country.

    The variety of trees grown ranges from forest trees and woodland plantings, to smaller hawthorn and fringe hedging species.

    Our group managing director, Graham Richardson, said: “National Tree Week provides an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the many benefits trees bring, including improved air quality, flash flood prevention and shelter for wildlife, and acknowledges the importance of protecting and nurturing British woodland.”

    “The benefits of strong woodland coverage in the UK are clear, not least of all because wood is an essential material in construction, and we are proud to play such a significant role in boosting the nation’s tree population.”

     

    Posted 27th Nov 4:19pm
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  99. How to create a bird friendly garden

    How to create a bird friendly garden

    How to create a bird friendly garden

    Want to create a bird friendly garden but not sure how? Check out our guide below.

    1) Grasses not only provide cover their seed heads provide food and material for birds’ nests.
    2) Providing birds with a feeder encourages them into your garden. Once they know there’s a food source there they will be back again for more.
    3) Why not add a bird bath or small pond to your garden to encourage birds. Birds love a good splash and can quench their thirst.
    4) Certain shrub varieties provide great cover, nectar, attract insects and some even provide birds with berries.
    5) Adding a bird house to your garden will provide birds with additional shelter and more options on when it comes to building their nest.
    6) Trees are great as they provide a natural location for birds to build a nest, some provide nectar, berries and trees often attract insects.
    7) Ground cover like Ivy provides cover for birds and also attracts insects.

    Posted 14th Jan 4:10pm
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  100. 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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  101. 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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  102. Tips for your allotment

    Tips for your allotment

    Check out our allotment tips for national allotment week.

    •Crop rotation – this is a great practice to follow which helps with soil fertility, weed control and pest and disease control. Split your plot into sections depending on how much of one group you want to grow then each year rotate by one plot. This is normally done over 3 or 4 years
    3 Year
    • Year one
    Section one: Potatoes
    Section two: Legumes, onions and roots
    Section three: Brassicas
    • Year two
    Section one: Legumes, onions and roots
    Section two: Brassicas
    Section three: Potatoes
    • Year three
    Section one: Brassicas
    Section two: Potatoes
    Section three: Legumes, onions and roots
    4 Year
    • Year one
    Section one: Legumes
    Section two: Brassicas
    Section three: Potatoes
    Section four: Onions and roots
    • Year two
    Section one: Brassicas
    Section two: Potatoes
    Section three: Onions and roots
    Section four: Legumes
    • Year three
    Section one: Potatoes
    Section two: Onions and roots
    Section three: Legumes
    Section four: Brassicas
    • Year four
    Section one: Onions and roots
    Section two: Legumes
    Section three: Brassicas
    Section four: Potatoes

    • Clear weeds from the site 1st. Do not use a rotavator as this can spread the roots of weeds such as Nettles and Bindweed which will then re grow. Instead cut down to a manageable height and use a fork or spade to dig out. This may seem labour intensive but worth it for great soil.

    • Consider what you want to grow as some crops can be in the ground years or take up large amounts of room. Soft fruit bushes will require cages with netting to protect from birds.

    • Weeding between rows with a hoe in dry weather will help keep weeds under control.

    • Watering – plants need to be encouraged to search for water deeply, so water well once a week instead of a light sprinkling every day. If you have a shed on your plot, invest in a water butt. This helps create a convenient supply of water.

    • Sun – Ideally a plot should be in sun which is ideal for most crops. If you have a more shaded location, then hose crops wisely. Currents and berries along with chards, kale and lettuces will grow well if planted out with an established root system.

    • Soil – some crops won’t grow in particular soil so get dirty and test your soil. It is also worth doing a pH test as you may need to add soil improvers. Ideally you are looking for a pH level between 6.1 and 7 as most plants will grow in this as it is high in nutrient. It is always worth adding good rich organic matter each year.

    • Pest and Diseases – the most common issue is with slugs and snails. They can devastate a crop over night so try and use organic control such as Wool pellets or go on a hunt overnight and pick them off. Watch out for diseases such as Allium Leaf Minor, Potato and Tomato Blight and Club Root.

    • Make you own compost – from 1 simple compost bin to 3 large crates, there is a way to make your own compost for every size plot. Starting in the spring mix green, nitrogen-rich material with brown, carbon-rich material. Keep adding to the pile, breaking up larger items and if it becomes dry spray with water. Turn regularly with a fork as it starts to cool down. This method should see compost ready in 4 months.

    • Mulching – one of the best for nutrients and cost effective is leaf mulch. Simply take a black bin liner and put a few holes in the side and bottom. Collect your leaves and put them in the bag along with a spray of water. Tie the back and place it in a shaded area until the following autumn when you can apply to the plot. Try to exclude conifer and evergreen as these take several years to decompose. If you have a larger area and a lot of leaves to collect, make a leaf bin out of stakes and chicken netting.

    • Wildlife friendly plots – help to encourage bees, butterflies, hedgehogs and frogs especially in more urban areas. Avoid using harsh chemicals buy using companion planting or manually removing pests. Think about creating a wild flower section which may also include a small pond. Set up bee-boxes, hedgehogs-homes and log piles.

    Posted 14th Aug 3:47pm
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  103. Why Butterflies are important to the world

    Why Butterflies are important to the world

    To mark National Butterfly Awareness Day on Saturday, Johnsons of Whixley shares six reasons why we should all try to protect our winged friends:

    1. Butterflies are great for educational purposes. Their life cycles are fascinating and watching them go from egg to caterpillar to butterfly is incredible.
    2. Butterflies have been used scientifically for centuries to investigate many areas of biological research.
    3. Butterflies play an important role in pollinating flowers. Pollen collects on the butterfly’s body as it feeds on a flower’s nectar. As the butterfly moves on to a new flower, it carries the pollen with it.
    4. Thousands of people travel abroad each year looking for butterflies. Eco-tours bring valuable income to many countries.
    5. Butterflies are sensitive to climate change. Scientists monitor butterflies as a method of watching for warning signs of the more widespread effects of the phenomenon.
    6. Butterflies are an important part of the food chain, particularly to birds and bats.

     

    Posted 31st May 3:33pm
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  104. How we are helping the bees

    How we are helping the bees

    How we are helping the bees

    1) Our plants and trees provide pollen and shelter throughout the seasons.
    2) We grow 100’s of varieties of plants that are good pollinators including lavenders, Echinacea’s, Buddleia and many more.
    3) Our onsite apiary houses up to 400,000 bees during the summer months.
    4) Bees travel up to three miles for pollen, meaning all of our local sites will be used by our bees.
    5) Our onsite ponds and reservoirs provide water for bees to keep hydrated.

    Posted 16th Jul 3:20pm
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  105. Why Johnsons are net contributors to the environment

    Why Johnsons are net contributors to the environment

    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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  106. Our guide to outdoor watering in dry weather

    Our guide to outdoor watering in dry weather

    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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  107. Johnsons supply West Kensington memorial garden

    Johnsons supply West Kensington memorial garden

    Johnsons supply West Kensington memorial garden

    Johnsons of Whixley were selected by The Landscape Group id verde to supply Gwendwr Gardens in West Kensington.

    Gwendwr Gardens is a public garden that was built in memory of those killed in the Blitz.

    We secured the contract, worth £13,000, following a competitive tender issued by Coventry-based The Landscape Group, part of the id verde Group.

    id verde Group is the European market leader for the management, maintenance and construction of natural and urban landscapes.

    As part of the renovation works, overgrown foliage was cut back to make way for the new planting scheme supplied by us, comprising of approximately 6,000 plants, mainly shrubs and herbaceous and of 44 different varieties.

    The new planting complements the different growing conditions within the site and provides colour and interest throughout the year.

    A sunken garden, which is the focal point at the centre of the park, has also been filled with colourful plants and native flowers in shaded areas to help boost biodiversity.

    The garden first opened in 1949 after being gifted to what was then Fulham Council by the Gunter Estate and was built to remember residents from West Kensington who lost their lives in the Second World War bombings.

    Posted 1st Dec 1:32pm
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  108. 5 star planting scheme at luxury Lake District holiday resort

    5 star planting scheme at luxury Lake District holiday resort

    5 star planting scheme at luxury Lake District holiday resort

    We recently won a large contract to supply a new, 5 star luxury holiday resort in the Lake District.

    Landscape architect, RPS Group – one of the UK’s leading multi-disciplinary consultancies advising on all aspects of the built and natural environment – selected stock from our nursery including over 300 trees, 13,000 native hedging and woodland mixes and over 2,000 ornamental shrubs for the new holiday park.

    Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat is set to be opened this winter by Darwin Escapes, which operates 16 holiday parks across the UK. Since purchasing the site, previously known as North Lakes Caravan Park, Darwin Escapes has been undertaking a complete redevelopment of the resort in order to create a market-leading holiday destination, which, as well as featuring a new restaurant, bar and outDavid Cox, Technical Director at RPS said:

    “Darwin Escape’s new development at Keswick Reach has been carefully designed to provide a bespoke holiday experience. The planting designs use carefully selected plant and tree species which complement the local landscape and provide a high quality setting to the holiday park.

    “We have a well-established, successful relationship with Johnsons of Whixley that has enabled a specific plant and tree stock list to be developed, with high quality stock checked at the nursery and delivered to site expediently.

    “Johnsons’ flexibility, market knowledge and commercial attitude has aided the project landscape architects to positively achieve a fantastic naturalistic landscape setting,” he concludes.
    Tony Coles, our amenity sales manager said:

    “We have supplied holiday parks before, but never on this scale and were extremely delighted to be chosen as the preferred supplier by the RPS Group and Darwin contractors.

    “The mix of trees, native hedging and woodland varieties, with ornamental shrubs, perfectly complement the natural scenery, hills and woodlands surrounding the new resort and the planting scheme truly shows what we have to offer in terms of quality stock and the ability to meet large orders and deadlines for our clients.”door activity centre also includes a new landscaping and planting scheme.

     

    Posted 21st Oct 1:28pm
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  109. We’re celebrating 30 years of being in business with Wentworth Garden Centre

    We’re celebrating 30 years of being in business with Wentworth Garden Centre

    We’re celebrating 30 years of being in business with Wentworth Garden Centre

    Over the years we have established relationships with clients from across a number of sectors through its amenities, garden centre sales and cash and carry services.

    And our work with Wentworth Garden Centre, near Rotherham, is one such relationship with roots tracing back three decades.

    We initially worked alongside one other in the Garden Centre’s first months as a business, providing high-quality stock at attractive rates.

    The relationship has continued since then, and we recently supplied Yew (Taxus Baccata) to the Garden Centre as part of the renovation of their ‘Millennium Maze’.

    Posted 7th Mar 1:22pm
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  110. Johnsons supply colour to Culzean Castle, Scotland

    Johnsons supply colour to Culzean Castle, Scotland

    Johnsons supply colour to Culzean Castle, Scotland

    We’re working alongside The National Trust of Scotland to add vibrant colour to the newly re-modelled entrance to Culzean Castle, and the surrounding country park, on the Ayrshire coast.

    The Castle, and the 600-acre park that surrounds it, is The Trust’s second most popular property and attracts more than 200,000 visitors a year.

    P1 Contractors appointed Johnsons to the project to ensure the exacting specification was met or exceeded.

    This included the supply of 150no multi-stem betula, specimen azaleas, instant hedging, 1300no rootballed taxus, specimen taxus balls, ranging from 30cm to two-metre diameter, and ground cover shrubs.

    We’re working in conjunction with P1 Contractors. The total value of the contract is in excess of £70,000.

    Posted 14th Mar 1:21pm
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  111. Johnsons win contract to Revive the Royal Edinburgh Hospital

    Johnsons win contract to Revive the Royal Edinburgh Hospital

    Johnsons win contract to Revive the Royal Edinburgh Hospital

    We’ve secured a contract worth £122,000 to supply the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland.

    The new planting scheme is part of a £48m revamp of the hospital, which cares for patients with mental health problems, after a new state-of-the-art facility was granted the go-ahead in 2014.

    External work has so far included the removal of shrubbery, trees and other debris, the demolition of the Scottish Ambulance Service building, as well as the development of a therapeutic garden activity area.

    A large landscape contractor selected Johnsons of Whixley to supply two phases of the project.

    The initial phase, which we secured in November 2015, involved planting for the internal courtyards and the second phase, won in August 2016, was to supply the external planting areas, which is due for completion in April 2017.

    In total, 280 specimen trees up to 25-30cm girth and 45,000 container shrubs are being delivered to the scheme, with over 70 different species.

    Posted 17th Mar 1:14pm
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  112. Johnsons supply 12,000 plants to former Arla Foods site

    Johnsons supply 12,000 plants to former Arla Foods site

    Johnsons supply 12,000 plants to former Arla Foods site

    We will be supplying more than 12,000 plants as part of the retail and leisure development on the former Arla Foods site in South Ruislip.

    We were selected ahead of other bids following a competitive tender process and will supply a range of shrubs and herbaceous plants as part of the project.

    The contract, agreed with landscape construction and maintenance company Whiting Landscape and landscape architects Macgregor Smith, is worth more than £30,000 and is our latest ‘contract grow’ project.

    The development will include a new 11-screen cinema, family restaurants, a new Asda supermarket and petrol filling station, and create more than 530 new jobs.

    Work commenced on site in October 2015 and it is anticipated that the facilities will be open to the public this summer.

    Johnson of Whixley senior amenity sales manager Tony Coles said: “It is a privilege for Johnsons to be making such a significant contribution to a project that will not only revitalise the site, but also create new jobs and opportunities for local residents.

    “Johnsons has a proven track record of meeting the demands of large, high-volume projects and delivering plants to a high-quality and at an attractive rate.

    “We’re proud to be working alongside Whiting Landscape on this project, and eager to see the wider project unfold in the months ahead.”

    Posted 20th Mar 1:08pm
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  113. Johnsons supply plants to 'Best in show' at the RHS Cardiff Flower Show

    Johnsons supply plants to 'Best in show' at the RHS Cardiff Flower Show

    Johnsons supply plants to ‘Best in show’ at the RHS Cardiff Flower Show

    Johnsons of Whixley has congratulated Chris Myers on winning ‘Best in Show’ at the RHS Show Cardiff for his garden celebrating the mythical tale of ‘Bloudeuwedd’.

    According to the myth, Blodeuwedd was a woman created from flowers, and the wife of the hero Lleu.

    While her husband was away, Blodeuwedd fell in love with a neighbour and together they hatched a plan to kill Lleu while he bathed.

    But Lleu thwarted death, and transformed into an eagle to flee, before returning to human form.

    As punishment, Lleu turned Blodeuwedd into a tawny owl and she was banished to live a solitary life in the woods.

    Elements from this magical story were represented in the garden.

    Chris also received a Gold Medal in recognition of the high standard of his garden.

    Johnsons is proud to have supplied plants to the award-winning garden, including ferns, ivy, blackthorn and oak.

    RHS Cardiff was held at Bute Park in the heart of the city centre, and celebrated the best of springtime while encouraging visitors to learn and grow as gardeners.

    Chris, who is best known as the presenter of Channel 4’s ‘Wild Things’, is a regular guest blogger on the Johnsons website.

    Posted 11th Apr 12:57pm
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  114. Johnsons supply Spring Flower Show's largest ever show garden

    Johnsons supply Spring Flower Show's largest ever show garden

    Johnsons supply Spring Flower Show’s largest ever show garden

    After supporting and supplying plants to the largest ever show garden at Harrogate Spring Flower Show, as part of a project being delivered in conjunction with Help For Heroes, we are proud to announce that the garden, named ‘A Homecoming Prayer’ won gold – taking top honours at the show.

    Johnsons supplied plants including bamboos, grasses, acers, specimen conifers and trees, at a heavily subsidized rate as part of their sponsorship of the project.

    The garden will now be relocated, in its entirety, to its final home at Dishforth Airfield, near Thirsk, where it will serve as a memorial space for the 6th Regiment Royal Logistics Corps, who recently returned to the UK from Germany.

    There are plans to construct a new Cenotaph as part of the garden.

    It is hoped that the garden will not only enhance the barracks, but also kick start wider gardening initiatives, including workshops for military wives and partners.

    The garden is a collaborative effort, led by the 6th Royal Logistics Core, working with Help for Heroes, in support of wounded, injured and sick veterans around the country.

    Members of the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI) have helped to support the design and build of the show garden.

    The project is also being sponsored by HESCO, a globally renowned manufacturer of defensive barriers used to protect military personnel overseas and to save homes and businesses from flooding.

    Posted 21st Apr 12:51pm
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  115. Johnsons helps National Trust at Studley Royal restore its 18th c garden

    Johnsons helps National Trust at Studley Royal restore its 18th c garden

    Johnsons helps National Trust at Studley Royal restore its 18th c garden

    We’re helping The National Trust at Studley Royal & Fountains Abbey near Ripon, North Yorkshire, to restore an important element of its 300-year-old Georgian garden.

    Since 1983 we’ve been supplying specimen container grown hedging plants to the World Heritage Site to replace its yew ‘bosquet’ hedges which have become overgrown causing them to lose their formal appearance.

    The work is part of a massive programme of works that has been taking place at the Studley Royal water garden. Since taking over the site from North Yorkshire CC in 1983, the estate has invested millions of pounds in its work to safeguard this unique garden which was designated a World Heritage Site in 1987.

    A bosquet is a group or plantation of trees and shrubs, often planted in straight lines or geometric shapes; they can be but not always are surrounded by formal hedges (green walls) or paths of gravel.

    Influenced by late 17th century French fashion for formality the garden makers at Studley Royal used bosquets throughout the water garden using English yew as their favoured hedging plant.
    The current overgrown, and in some places dying yew ‘bosquet’ hedge which is just over 800 metres in length, will be removed from the garden in autumn/winter 2018 and replaced with specially selected 125cm specimen container plants, which will be planted in the garden in 2019.

    The specimen container plants, which were planted in October 2016, are currently growing and being nurtured at our Newlands nursery, and have already started to take shape. At the end of April the plants were shaped and another trim will be undertaken later this year.

    If required, stock may be transferred into air pots to stimulate root development and returned to our Thornville site.

    Group director Graham Richardson from Johnsons of Whixley, said: “We’re delighted to be working again at Studley Royal & Fountains Abbey, and are excited to be helping to restore such a beautiful garden which has so much of Yorkshire’s history behind it.

    “We have a long history of working closely with the National Trust and a proven track record of delivering to a precise specification that produces an effective result.

    “Growing large hedges is a genuine horticultural challenge where attention to detail is critical throughout the process.”

    Head of Landscape at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal, Michael Ridsdale, said: “The yew bosquet is a key feature of the landscape here in the water garden. We’re pleased to be working with Johnsons of Whixley to grow new yew trees specifically for the project we have in mind, it means we can grow them to an appropriate size off-site before planting, which significantly reduces the impact of the work on the landscape.”

    Posted 27th Jul 12:48pm
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  116. Johnsons help Maggie’s Centre garden blossom with plant supply

    Johnsons help Maggie’s Centre garden blossom with plant supply

    Johnsons help Maggie’s Centre garden blossom with plant supply

    Our Wholesale Commercial team has supplied plants to a new garden, built in the grounds of Maggie’s Centre in Oldham.

    Maggie’s Centre offers practical, emotional and social support for those with cancer, along with their family and friends.

    The structure and space were designed by dRMM, under the guidance of garden designer Rupert Muldoon. It was planted by Wrights Landscapes.

    The garden will provide a peaceful and beautiful setting for people with cancer, friends and family members to relax and reflect.

    We supplied a selection of shade tolerate herbaceous, edible and screening plants.

    Our area sales manager, Vicky Newell, said: “The garden truly is beautiful. It is arranged on three levels and features beautiful Betula pendula Szechuanica multi-stem, cocooned in a ceiling to floor undulating clear window. The tree lets in so much light to the building that it lifts your spirits as you enter.

    “The majority is made from recycled materials and water from the roof is drained via a single rainwater pipe hovering above a water bowl, and the next level has an edible garden featuring fruit trees and culinary herbs. Underneath the building is a swath of shade tolerate plants and a disabled access walkway so patients can enjoy their environment.”

    DRMM garden designer, Rupert Muldoon, said: “Maggie’s Centre in Oldham presented the opportunity to design an ornamental forest floor, which is lushly planted and flows below the sculptural birch and pine trees on a sloping, shaded site.

    “My design was based upon mixes of plants species that would knit together and thrive alongside one other, resulting in a very intricate planting schedule of perennials and shrubs. And working alongside Johnsons, I was assured of the best quality plants, which are all British-grown on site.”

    The establishment of Maggie’s Centres was inspired by the story of Maggie Keswick Jencks, who was told she had cancer in a hospital corridor, and vowed that no one else with cancer should be treated in that way.

    This led to the first Maggie’s Centre being opened in Edinburgh in 1996, and since then 21 Centres have opened in the UK and abroad.

    Posted 4th Sep 12:16pm
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  117. Johnsons supply plants to UK Remembrance Centre

    Johnsons supply plants to UK Remembrance Centre

    Johnsons supply plants to UK Remembrance Centre 

    We have supplied tens of thousands of plants  to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

    A total of 38,000 plants, including a mixture of shrubs and herbaceous varieties, were supplied to the project as part of a contract grow in partnership with Grace Landscapes and landscape architect Andy Webster of Fira.

    Situated in Staffordshire, on the edge of the National Forest, the National Memorial Arboretum is the UK’s year-round centre of Remembrance.

    The site’s maturing woodland landscape is home to more than 300 memorials, which commemorate fallen soldiers and members of the emergency services, alongside charity and civilian organisation tributes.

    Johnsons of Whixley senior amenity sales manager Tony Coles said: “It was a privilege to be a part of such a prestigious and meaningful project, and help add an extra element of colour and beauty to an already picturesque setting.

    “Whilst the contract has since concluded, it is always pleasing to see the results of our work at a later date. It’s a truly magnificent location and we feel enormous pride at having helped to enhance it further.”

    Grace Landscapes head of estimating, Ricky Whiteman, said: “We were very proud to be awarded the soft landscaping package for such a prestigious and well-known site.

    “We were pleased to be working alongside Johnsons of Whixley for the plant supply, having already developed a healthy relationship with the business over a number of years.”

    Posted 13th Oct 12:06pm
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  118. Johnsons help kick-start Leeds City Council’s new nursery

    Johnsons help kick-start Leeds City Council’s new nursery

    Johnsons help kick-start Leeds City Council’s new nursery

    Our Garden Centre Sales division has supplied approximately 64 trolleys worth of stock to The Arium in Leeds, a new City Council led initiative to provide horticultural support to all areas of Leeds.

    The Arium is the name for the newly-opened Leeds Parks Plant Nursery, which will grow more than three million plants a year for the city’s parks, roundabouts, flower beds, school grounds and other locations across the city.

    The new nursery opened for business on Thorner Lane in the Scarcroft area of the city on Saturday 7 October and has enjoyed excellent footfall and levels of interest during its open weeks of trade.
    The Arium is open to members of the general public and facilities on site include a café, shop and outdoor children’s play area.

    The products we’ve supplied include a broad selection from across our range.

    Our garden centre sales manager, Mark Reynard, said: “The Garden Centre Sales side of our business has enjoyed a relationship spanning more than 10 years with Leeds City Council, while commercially the two parties have worked together for more than 40 years.

    “It’s pleasing to be able to further enhance an already strong relationship by helping the Council kick-start their new project at The Arium. We wish them every success during their first year of trade, and look forward to working closely with them in the future.”

    The Arium’s senior supervisor, Lee Cawood, said: “As a council, we’ve enjoyed an excellent relationship with Johnsons of Whixley for generations.

    They’ve been a key supplier to our amenity projects for a number of those years, and we’re delighted to be partnering with them for The Arium.

    “The level of service and the overall quality of product that we’ve received from Johnsons has been first class, and we look forward to further strengthening our relationship with the business in the years ahead.”

    Posted 1st Nov 12:05pm
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  119. Johnsons help renovate York Cemetery with plant supply

    Johnsons help renovate York Cemetery with plant supply

    Johnsons help renovate York Cemetery with plant supply

    We have helped renovate areas of York Cemetery, with the help of garden designer Lizzie Tulip.

    Lizzie Tulip is a Chelsea Flower Show Medal winner, who has served as a trustee for the Cemetery for the last four years and helped shape the landscape of the 24-acre site.

    As part of the latest project, we have supplied an order worth more than £2,000, including spectacular taxus beehive shapes, which have helped to enhance the formal Victorian section of the cemetery, and provide structural planting for the newly-named Hanley Avenue area.

    An opening ceremony to mark the completion of the improvements was held on Sunday 26th November, attended by the trustees of the cemetery and invited guests.

    Our Xpress office and administration supervisor, Ellie Richardson, said: “We we supply projects large and small across the UK and Europe, but local landmarks and beauty spots are equally as important to us.

    “We’ve worked alongside Lizzie on many projects over the years, and it’s been great to link up with her once again to help further improve the wonderful landscape at York Cemetery.”

    York Cemetery is a grade II listed landscape and one of only two privately owned Victorian cemeteries in the UK.

    Founded in 1837, it now encompasses 24 acres and is administered by The York Cemetery Trust, with support of the Friends of York Cemetery.

    The cemetery received a Gold Award in the Open Spaces Category of the RHS Yorkshire in Bloom Competition 2017.

    Posted 7th Dec 11:58am
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  120. Johnsons supply Haggerston Castle via Brambledown Landscapes Ltd

    Johnsons supply Haggerston Castle via Brambledown Landscapes Ltd

    We have completed a three year long project supplying plants to a Northumberland Holiday Park, supplying plants to two landscaping and construction companies as part of a major long-term project at Haggerston Castle.

    The first phase of stock included native trees, hedging, ornamental and specimen shrubs which was supplied to Brambledown Landscapes Ltd in Durham, who undertook the initial landscaping, between Autumn 2013 and Spring 2015.

    The 200-acre nursery then supplied various phases of stock to P1 Solutions from Edinburgh who undertook the second phase of landscaping between February 2016 and Spring 2017.

    This included mature specimen trees, instant hedging, a large range of ornamental shrubs, grasses, heathers, and native structure planting.

    Haggerston Castle Holiday Park is a caravan park which stands out from the crowd due to having a castle in the grounds. It is set around several lakes and is surrounded by beautiful scenery, as well as being close to beaches and castles.

    Andrew Richardson, Joint Managing Director at Johnsons of Whixley, said: “We have a proven track record of supplying an excellent quality of products and services to businesses in the leisure industry and it was a pleasure to be a part of such a fantastic development at Haggerston Castle.

    “Our current systems at Johnsons of Whixley contain over 45,000 stock variants which ensures that we can offer a solution for every scheme and budget.”

    Andy Aitken, Operations Director at P1 Solutions, said: “P1 Solutions can confirm that Johnsons of Whixley have provided top quality plants and service on the two phases of work we have carried out at Haggerston Castle in 2016 and 2017.”

    Posted 4th Feb 11:54am
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  121. Johnsons supply ‘Best Large Park in Britain’

    Johnsons supply ‘Best Large Park in Britain’

    Johnsons supply ‘Best Large Park in Britain’

    We’re proud to have supplied our stock to a holiday resort which has been awarded as the ‘Best Large Park in Britain 2017’.

    We supplied 346 trees and 15,000 hedge, shrub and herbaceous plants to Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat in the Lake District, which has been named as the Best Large Park in Britain 2017 at the Hoseasons Best in Britain awards.

    The prestigious awards recognise holiday parks and resorts from across the UK for their dedication to tourism and providing exceptional experiences.

    Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat, which opened in December 2016, is set within a secluded area of the Lake District, surrounded by breath-taking mountains and lakes, making it ideal for people wanting a relaxing break.

    Our amenity sales manager, Andrew Barker, said: “We’re thrilled that Keswick Reach Lodge Retreat has been awarded Best Large Park in Britain.

    “At Johnsons of Whixley, we supply plants to landscape schemes throughout the UK. The Keswick Reach holiday lodges are set in such a beautiful location and it was a delight to supply our stock to such an idyllic setting. Our current systems contain over 45,000 stock variants ensuring that we offer a solution for every scheme and budget.

    “Huge congratulations to everyone involved at the Retreat, what a fantastic first year for the team!”

    Posted 8th Feb 11:53am
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  122. Johnsons help restore Harrogate’s grade II listed Valley Gardens

    Johnsons help restore Harrogate’s grade II listed Valley Gardens

    Johnsons help restore Harrogate’s grade II listed Valley Gardens

    We have supplied more than £3,000 worth of plants as part of the ongoing Heritage lottery funded restoration of Harrogate’s grade II listed Valley Gardens.

    The horticultural nursery, which is based equidistant between York and Harrogate, has supplied products including evergreen azaleas, ferns, camellias and rhododendrons for work on the restoration of the 1930’s Japanese Garden.

    In addition to the planting the garden’s stream has been drained and desilted, additional footpaths and entrance archways have been created and three new bridges have been constructed, as part of the area’s transformation.

    The order has been fulfilled by the Johnsons Xpress arm of the business, which operates alongside thriving commercial and garden centre sales divisions.

    Johnsons of Whixley Plant Centre manager Robert Richardson, said: “Following a series of recent projects in North Yorkshire, we’re proud to once again have played a small role in helping transform a local green space.

    “We were very pleased to be given the opportunity to contribute to the restoration of the gardens, particularly considering the sympathetic and considered approach to both design and planting being taken by the friends of Valley Gardens, Harrogate Borough Council and the Japanese garden society.

    “We now look forward to seeing the rest of the redevelopment unfold, and the garden mature in the months ahead.”

    Johnsons Xpress is the trade only cash and carry arm of Johnsons of Whixley, one of the longest established and largest commercial nurseries in Europe.
    Xpress’s customers include landscape gardeners, garden designers, tree surgeons, estates, caravan parks and universities.

    Posted 8th Feb 11:50am
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  123. Johnsons supply plants to Manchester Airport link road

    Johnsons supply plants to Manchester Airport link road

    Johnsons supply plants to Manchester Airport link road

    We have supplied a range of trees, plants and grasses as part of the construction of a new £15m link road at Manchester Airport.

    The products were supplied to the new Enterprise Way at Airport City North throughout the month of November, in partnership with landscapers Blue Wigwam.

    The range supplied includes large single and multi-stem trees, ground cover flowering plants and low maintenance grasses.

    The construction of the new link road, which is a part of Airport City North at Manchester Airport, marks a major milestone that will help underpin future development, including the creation of offices, advanced manufacturing units and new hotel beds, creating a total of 11,400 new jobs.

    Enterprise Way will connect new development plots to the rest of the landmark site and the wider transport network.

    Our senior amenity sales manager, Tony Coles, said: “The development at Airport City North is truly exciting, and it’s been a privilege to provide products to Enterprise Way section of the wider project.

    “Working with our partners at Blue Wigwam, we have delivered to an exacting specification and deadline.”

    Blue Wigwam director, Richard Hughes, said: “I have worked with Johnsons for the last 17 years, and in the last year they have given me support and a quality of service and product that I can’t get from other tree nurseries.

    “I believe that my loyalties lie with Johnsons of Whixley, and for a good reason – they look after me and my company.”

    Posted 15th Feb 11:39am
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  124. Johnsons supply Glasgow Fort Shopping Centre

    Johnsons supply Glasgow Fort Shopping Centre

    Johnsons supply Glasgow Fort Shopping Centre

    We have completed the supply of a range of more than 20 varieties of shrubs and herbaceous plants to a landscape upgrade scheme at the Glasgow Fort Shopping Centre.

    Following a competitive tender process, we secured the five-figure contract to supply more than 7,500 plants in partnership with commercial landscapers Grace Landscapes, based in Mirfield, West Yorkshire.

    Our work on the 5.6 ha site helped to earn Grace Landscapes an award in the Soft Landscaping (£300k to £1.5m) category at the recent BALI Awards.

    As part of an ambitious upgrade scheme, we worked alongside other partners, including property developer British Land and Landscape Architect McGregor Smith and main contractor McLoughlin Harvey to create a new identity for the facility.

    The landscape strategy was combined with a public art initiative to create a setting that reflects the character of the local area, including the surrounding Scottish woodlands, while encouraging visitors to spend time in the external, green spaces.

    Our senior amenity sales manager, Tony Coles, said: “We were delighted to land this contract in April of last year, and have since relished the opportunity to provide our usual high level of service and product quality to help upgrade the Glasgow Fort facility.

    “It’s great to see the work commended by BALI, and we look forward to maintaining and further strengthening our relationship with Grace Landscapes, and our other partners in the commercial sector, during the next 12 months.”

    Grace Landscapes North East regional manager, Darren Hardman, said: “The landscaping on this high-profile development has been well received by both the Centre Management Team and the public.

    “It brings a different experience to the development, combining soft play for the younger members of the family, and a place to relax for parents.

    “Grace Landscapes and Johnsons of Whixley liaised very closely on the scheme, from procurement of the plant material to specific timed deliveries, and Johnsons were always on hand to provide appropriate and helpful advice.”

    Macgregor Smith director, Rupert Grierson, said: “Macgregor Smith has been working on Glasgow Fort for a number of years, and highlighted at an early stage in the project the requirement for high quality plant material as part of delivering the client’s vision.

    “We are pleased to see that the quality of the plant material and installation has come together well and look forward to seeing new spring growth in 2018.”

    Posted 15th Feb 11:32am
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  125. Johnsons help Restore Terry’s Factory to its former glory

    Johnsons help Restore Terry’s Factory to its former glory

    Johnsons help Restore Terry’s Factory to its former glory

    We have supplied a range of trees and shrubs totalling £20,000 to a recently-completed residential development on an iconic site in York.

    The work is part of the conversion of the Grade 11 listed Terry’s Factory. The art deco building, which will be known as The Residence, first opened in 1926 and was the home of famous brands including Terry’s Chocolate Orange and All Gold Chocolates.

    The factory closed in 2005 and it fell into serious disrepair in the years that followed, which resulted in the building being officially declared ‘at-risk’ by English Heritage.

    The building has since been purchased by Henry Boot Developments, who have converted it into 170 apartments across five floors.

    We have supplied 40 mature trees and 2,000 shrubs as part of the wider development, equating to the majority of the plants on site.

    Our amenity sales manager, Andrew Barker, said: “The new development at The Terry’s Factory looks fantastic, and it’s been a pleasure to work alongside developers Henry Boot and David Wilson, alongside Bob Gascoyne Landscape Seeding, on the project.

    “We have an excellent track record in the house building and residential development sector, and take particular pride in the quality of our products, the level of service and our ability to meet tight deadlines.”

    The luxury apartments and penthouses at The Terry’s Factory will range in price from £194,950 to £649,950, and the building will feature a landscaped boulevard, boutique-style lobby and concierge desk. The total cost of the development is £38m.

    Posted 16th Feb 11:28am
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  126. Donating plants to two award winning Harrogate Flower Show gardens

    Donating plants to two award winning Harrogate Flower Show gardens

    Donating plants to two award winning Harrogate Flower Show gardens

    We have donated £600 worth of plants to two gold award winning gardens at the Harrogate Spring Flower Show.

    We donated £300 worth of plants to the charity Horticap’s ‘All Characters Great & Small’ show garden, and £300 worth of shrubs and herbaceous plants to Yorkshire Garden Designs for its ‘Eden’ show garden.

    Horticap is based in Bluecoat Wood Nurseries in Harrogate and provides adults with learning and other disabilities training in horticulture, allied crafts and rural skills.

    Its garden, handcrafted by students and staff, is inspired by iconic Yorkshire landmarks and is brought to life with well-known characters from across the region including Olympic gold medallist boxer, Nicola Adams, and cricket commentator, Geoffrey Boycott.

    A combination of season perennials, shrubs and trees have been used to create the patriotic garden.

    Meanwhile, Yorkshire Garden Designs’ show garden is inspired by the Garden of Eden and aims to represent a perfectly balanced eco-system.

    Yorkshire Garden Designs worked with Yorkshire stone mason Johnny Clasper and Wetherby-based Aquascapes & Landscaping who used flowing freeform walling to create stone streams complete with water sprouts to represent the four biblical rivers.

    The design also incorporates flowers, fruits and edible herbs, along with insect friendly and aquatic plants.

    The garden will find a permanent home after the show at Henshaw’s Arts & Crafts Centre in Knaresborough.

    We have a long standing relationship with both Horticap and Yorkshire Garden Designs. Students at Horticap have regular visits to the nursery and we have been supplying plants to Yorkshire Garden Designs for ten years.

    Ellie Richardson, of Johnsons of Whixley, said: “We have an excellent relationship with Horticap and Yorkshire Garden Designs so we were excited to donate plants to their show gardens at this year’s Harrogate Spring Flower Show.

    “The gardens they have created are fantastic and show lots of skill and creativity. We’re looking forward to our continued work with the designers and can’t wait to see what gardens they create in the future.”

    Lorna Batchelor, owner and garden designer at Yorkshire Garden Designs said: “The biggest part of putting together a successful show garden is finding the right people for the job, the right materials, the right suppliers and getting everything in the right place at the right time. Johnsons of Whixley never disappoint!”

    Phil Airey, assistant manager at Horticap, said: “Our show garden at the Harrogate Flower Show went really well, we’d like to thank Johnsons of Whixley for all of their support.”

    Posted 2nd May 11:24am
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  127. Johnsons support York Cares 'Big Community Challenge'

    Johnsons support York Cares 'Big Community Challenge'

    Johnsons support York Cares ‘Big Community Challenge’

    We recently offered support to this year’s York Cares initiative that aims to improve outdoor spaces at various local community organisations.

    Johnsons of Whixley staff members Ellie Richardson, Corrina Mills, Vicky Newell, Darren Fawbert and Chairman John Richardson, volunteered their time and expertise to support this year’s Big Community Challenge, organised by York Cares, which aims to showcase the positive impact a green environment can have on health, wellbeing and social inclusion.

    York Cares is a partnership of the city’s leading employers committed to making the city a better place through employee-volunteering.

    This year’s activities included growing and caring for plants, while improving York’s green spaces to benefit different communities in the city, including older people and adults with learning disabilities at Gale Farm Court Independent Living Community; young people experiencing acute mental health issues at Mill Lodge NHS Community Unit, and patients, staff and visitors that use Clarence Gardens at York Hospital.

    The Johnsons team of volunteers helped improve the outside space at Mill Lodge, a mental health community unit for 12-18-year olds. The morning involved unloading the plants they supplied, digging and creating stepping stones in the garden, whilst other volunteers made raised beds for vegetables and sensory plants, removing weeds and old plants.

    Johnsons of Whixley’s Ellie Richardson said: “This is our second volunteering project with York Cares. It’s great to offer our support and help a local charity by not only offering volunteers but donating plants to help improve the outside spaces too. We had a mixture of staff attend from Johnsons including our Chairman John Richardson, who at 80 was just as involved in digging and weeding as the younger ones.

    “As workers within the horticultural industry, we’re very much aware of the positive impact a green environment can have on those who use it, and we were pleased to lend our time and knowledge to the project, as part of a fantastic team from a range of backgrounds.”

    Posted 2nd Jul 11:22am
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  128. Johnsons help beautify Exhibition Square as part of Bloom Festival

    Johnsons help beautify Exhibition Square as part of Bloom Festival

    Johnsons help beautify Exhibition Square as part of Bloom Festival

    Johnsons of Whixley has loaned £5,000 worth of plants to the upcoming Bloom Festival, to help beautify York’s Exhibition Square.

    The plants were delivered on the morning of the 4 July, ahead of the Festival, which runs between 5 and 7 July, and celebrates York’s rich and varied horticultural heritage.

    The jam-packed programme includes the involvement of more than 70 regional businesses and more than 100 fringe events, connecting horticulture with art, music, literature, cinematography, gastronomy and science.

    The brain child of Make It York, the festival is supported by York Business Improvement District and dozens of local businesses and organisations.

    Johnsons of Whixley’s Ellie Richardson said: “Johnsons has a growing track record of supporting local initiatives and an event of this nature is obviously something we jumped at the chance to be involved with.

    “We’re pleased to supply a range of plants to assist with the projects and we look forward to seeing the results, and enjoying the rest of the Festival, in the days ahead.”

    Managing director of Making it York, Steve Brown, said: “Inspired by the unique Ancient Society of York Florists, we’re bringing together green-fingered people, creatively-minded individuals and businesses to create a festival which will celebrate York’s horticultural heritage and the equally vibrant activity taking place within the city today.”

    Posted 5th Jul 11:16am
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  129. Johnsons of Whixley supply garden display for global coffee brand

    Johnsons of Whixley supply garden display for global coffee brand

    Johnsons of Whixley supply garden display for global coffee brand

    We have worked with a promotional equipment specialist to deliver a UK pop-up brand promotion for a world-renowned coffee brand.

    We supplied over £7,000 worth of plants and materials including ginkgo and bay trees, grasses, bamboo, shrubs, ferns, Ivy screens and ivy on canes, to a pop-up garden in Manchester to promote the coffee brand, which operates cafes and sells its products in shops worldwide.

    The project is being delivered in conjunction with DHB Group that provides a full range of bespoke, quality and mobile promotional equipment solutions to blue chip clients in the UK and throughout Europe.

    The garden features hanging chairs and a decorative birdcage alongside the greenery to create “an oasis to pause and rest “and is open to the public for 12 days on Wednesday 8th August at St. Ann’s Square, Manchester.

    The display will also feature an insight into the history of coffee, from its legendary origins in 9th century Ethiopia, plus information on how people can support the brand’s charitable initiatives.
    Johnsons of Whixley’s Ellie Richardson said: “For close to 100 years, Johnsons has established working relationships with companies large and small across many sectors in the UK and beyond, and we value each of them. However, it’s rare to be given an opportunity to work on a horticultural project for a true world-renowned brand.

    “It was also great to get properly ‘hands on’ with the project – from quoting, to helping plant, to seeing the final finished garden in Manchester. It’s rare we have the opportunity to be involved in a project so comprehensively, from start to finish, but it’s a challenge the business has relished.”

    Posted 8th Aug 10:58am
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  130. Plants good enough for Alan Titchmarsh

    Plants good enough for Alan Titchmarsh

    Plants good enough for Alan Titchmarsh

    We recently donated over £500 worth of plants to ITV’s Love Your Garden.

    Plants included Lavenders, Geraniums, Alchemilla, grasses and many more varieties.

    The team transformed Jim Cowlings’ garden in the Yorkshire Dales into a personal retreat for him and his family. Jim was diagnosed with prostate cancer at 57, and went through lots of trail therapy, he now campaigns to raise awareness about the importance of regular check-ups.

    This is the third round of donations we have made to Alan and his team at ITV’s Love Your Garden this year with a following two to DIY SOS.

    Posted 5th Sep 10:58am
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  131. 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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  132. Johnsons helps keep village’s mining heritage alive with plant supply

    Johnsons helps keep village’s mining heritage alive with plant supply

    Johnsons helps keep village’s mining heritage alive with plant supply

    We have supplied more than £5,000 worth of plants to help renovate a local community garden.

    1,000 plants, including shrubs, grasses and trees, were planted by a team of volunteers in Pegswood, Northumberland, on the grounds at the junction of Front Street and Longhirst Road.

    The garden, which has been designed in collaboration with award-winning garden designer Sean Murray of Garden Narratives, and contractors PH Partnership, reflects the mining and brickworks heritage of the village.

    The design includes 24 oak sleepers, reflecting the 24 fathoms depth of the first coal shaft that was sunk in the village, and the themed flowers will include iris coal seams and canary bird roses.

    A retaining wall uses rubble from a number of old buildings in the village and there will be as many Pegswood bricks within the garden as possible.

    Funding for the project was secured from numerous sources by Pegswood Parish Council.

    Johnsons of Whixley’s Ellie Richardson said: “Johnsons has a proud history of supporting community projects in our community and beyond, and we’re proud to have been able to support the construction of a new community garden.

    “We value the history and heritage of our own village, so it’s pleasing to be able to help another village pay homage to theirs.”

    Pegswood Parish Council chairman, Paul Williams, said: “This is a project that we’ve been talking about for some time now.

    “This community garden is intended to inform people of our history, while providing a great focal point for residents today and into the future.”

    Johnsons of Whixley is a family-run horticultural nursery with roots tracing back almost 100 years. The business is today recognized as one of Europe’s largest commercial suppliers.

    Posted 25th Sep 10:41am
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  133. 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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  134. 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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  135. 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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  136. 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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  137. 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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  138. Johnsons Supply banking at Whinfell Forest Center Parcs

    Johnsons Supply banking at Whinfell Forest Center Parcs

    Johnsons Supply banking at Whinfell Forest Center Parcs

    We have been selected by Ashlea Ltd to supply over 250 10L shrubs to restore the waterfall banking at Center Parcs Whinfell Forest in Penrith.

    Whinfell Forest offers short breaks on the edge of the stunning Lake District National Park and includes indoor and outdoor activities. It even has its own onsite pub, restaurants and shops and is a sanctuary for the endangered red squirrel.

    Ashlea’s works included the clearance of the Rhododendron banking, a new design and the planting of over 250 10L shrubs.

    Varieties included Pinus mugo, Euonymus fort. ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’, Cotinus cogg. ‘Royal Purple’, Polystichum setiferum, Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’, Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’ and lots of other varieties.

    Johnsons of Whixley’s marketing co-ordinator, Ellie Richardson, said: This isn’t the first project we have been involved with where we have supplied Center Parcs through Ashlea Ltd so it’s great to supply another, especially with mature 10L varieties that will make an impact straight away.”

     

    Posted 1st Nov 9:20am
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  139. Johnsons supply large domestic garden via Lizzie Tulip

    Johnsons supply large domestic garden via Lizzie Tulip

    Johnsons supply large domestic garden via Lizzie Tulip an award winning garden designer. 

    We have been working with Lizzie Tulip Garden Design to supply plants to a local large domestic garden, Lizzie Tulip Garden Design is a specialist design consultancy renowned for creating beautiful, stylish gardens. Based in Yorkshire, they work on projects of all sizes, locations and for public and private clients.

    Johnsons’ plant supply was worth over £25,000 and included a full garden renovation which included over 80 buxus balls in various sizes, pleached carpinus trees, over 200 root ball Taxus for hedging, Taxus beehives and 1000’s of herbaceous and shrubs.

    Lizzie Tulip designed the gardens in North Yorkshire as a series of spaces to be enhanced by the beautiful context of the surrounding landscape and to make the most of the views out to the Vale of York.

    The Front Garden and Cloister Garden provide a warm welcome to visitors, with a unique circular step linking the two gardens gracefully together. A tall Cercideiphyllum japoincum tree bridges the height of the house and in autumn the fallen foliage fills the air with the heady scent of bunt sugar.

    As you venture into the garden, four formally planted Viburnum carlcephalum and a row of pleached Carpinus betulus trees frame views into the white garden and formal lawns. Through the understory of the pleaching is the central Grass Border planted with ordered structure of Buxus semperviren balls, surrounded by tall swaying grasses such as Miscanthus and Molinia varieties together with spires of Salvia and Veronicastrum.

    A new loggia provides a prestigious backdrop to the formal lawns where long perennial borders, both sun and shade loving, flank the main lawn.
    From the main lawns you can enjoy a walk onto the North Lawn to take in views of the surrounding fields, set within the backdrop of the informal annual and wildflower border, or visit the Pool Garden with its sunny borders of cordoned fruit trees, cloud pruned Buxus and Wisteria covered pergola.

    You can also venture onto the Upper Terrace where a ‘double lavender walk’ draws you toward the seating area for views out to the White Horse. A formal pond, set within the lawn and framed with pillars of Taxus baccata, offers reflections of the sky during the day and a lit fountain to enjoy at night.

    A journey to the back of the Loggia, through a bespoke domed ‘Hornbeam Arbour’ takes you from the more formal parts of the garden to the lush and exotic Stumpery. Here a stream flows down to a pond, with a series of small bridges along the way.

    Ellie Richardson, marketing co-ordinator for Johnsons of Whixley, said: “It’s been fantastic working with Lizzie on this for the past couple of years, it’s great to see the garden coming to life now as everything has matured, a truly beautiful design by Lizzie Tulip.”

    Posted 14th Nov 9:09am
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  140. Johnsons supply BALI award winning inner-city development

    Johnsons supply BALI award winning inner-city development

    Johnsons supply BALI award winning inner-city development

    Johnsons of Whixley teamed up with award-winning landscaping firm, Kingston Landscape Group, to supply Colindale Gardens – a substantial inner-city re-development by Redrow Homes worth £1 billion located in the heart of North West London.

    The BALI award winning Colindale Gardens will see over 2,900 new homes with a mixture of one, two, three and four-bedroom homes surrounded by nine acres of space, the new London neighbourhood includes cycle paths, walkways landscaping, cafes, restaurants and its very own resident-only gym.

    Located in London, Colindale Gardens has excellent public transport links into the centre of the capital. Redrow has invested £11 million in the Colindale Underground Station and Northern Line to support the new development.

    Collindale has not only received a BALI Award for category Soft Landscaping Construction (Non-Domestic) – cost between £300k-£1.5m it has now been shortlisted for not one but two APL awards in the soft landscaping and commercial garden category.

    Abigail Evans Director of Kingston Landscape Group said “Redrow required us to complete a large amount of work in a short space of time. To enable us to achieve this, it was paramount that plant deliveries arrived on time, were true to spec and the correct numbers. Johnson’s delivered on this, which contributed to the overall success of the contract along with the organisation and strong team work between KLG and Redrow on site.

    Johnsons of Whixley’s contract to Kingston Landscapes started in late 2017 and was worth over £90,000. It included over 5,000 herbaceous plants, nearly 7,000 shrubs including 2L, 5L and 10L plants, over 900 hedging plants and some instant hedging.

    Senior Amenity Sales Manager, Tony Coles said: “We were delighted to get this contract and have since been able to secure the supply of more plants for Colindale. We relished the opportunity to provide a high level of service and product quality for this scheme. It was particularly pleasing to hear that the project has been commended by BALI, and that it will be showcased at the BALI Awards in Dec. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with Kingston Landscape Group over the coming months and years.”

    Posted 15th Nov 9:08am
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  141. Johnsons supply Glasgow Riverside Campus via Ashlea Ltd

    Johnsons supply Glasgow Riverside Campus via Ashlea Ltd

    Johnsons supply Glasgow Riverside Campus via Ashlea Ltd

    To celebrate National Tree Week (24th November to 2nd December), we look back at the supply of a number of trees to Glasgow Riverside Campus via customer Ashlea Ltd in 2016.

    Glasgow Riverside Campus, situated at the edge of a major crossing at the River Clyde, won 12 architectural and design awards and was shortlisted for architecture’s most prestigious accolade, the RIBA Stirling Prize.

    Ashlea Ltd carried out the groundworks at the campus back in 2016 and our plant supply included 14 large MST Betulas, thousands of Vinca’s, hundreds of Ferns and a large number of other mixed shrubs.

    Ellie Richardson, marketing co-ordinator for Johnsons of Whixley, said: “It’s great to look back at projects where our trees and plants have beautified inner-city areas, it was another great project to be involved with Ashlea Ltd on.”

    Posted 23rd Nov 8:59am
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  142. Johnsons deliver Christmas trees to Spinningfields

    Johnsons deliver Christmas trees to Spinningfields

    Johnsons deliver Christmas trees to Spinningfields

    We have teamed up with award-winning landscaping firm, Ground Control Ltd, to supply and install Christmas trees to Spinningfields, Manchester.

    Spinningfields is one of Europe’s most successful urban regeneration projects. Home to over 165 world class financial and commercial service organisations, Spinningfields is a vibrant destination with luxury international fashion brands, bars and restaurants, such as Mulberry, Tattu and The Ivy.

    Johnsons supply of Christmas trees to Spinningfields via Ground Control Ltd, included 50 Picea Omorika (commonly known as Serbian spruce) – a medium-sized evergreen tree frequently used at Christmas due to its striking crown.

    These trees were a beautiful addition to Hardman Square and were installed prior to The Ivy’s launch on 27 November. Ellie Richardson, the marketing coordinator for Johnsons of Whixley, said: “It’s fantastic to be associated with such an exciting city-centre estate as well as to be working with a long-standing customer, Ground Control Ltd. “

    Ground Control Ltd’s construction manager, Steven Yates, said: “ Ground Control are very pleased to have carried out the hard and soft landscaping on Hardman Square Furthermore the trees supplied by Johnsons beautifully compliment Spinningfields’ iconic Pavillion – Manchester’s largest timber-frame building, which hosts The Ivy.

    Posted 1st Dec 8:51am
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  143. Johnsons supply plants to £100 million infrastructure

    Johnsons supply plants to £100 million infrastructure

    Johnsons work with Whiting Landscape Ltd to supply plants to £100 million infrastructure.

    We have teamed up with Whiting Landscape Ltd to supply plants to East Midlands Gateway Logistics Park, a £100 million infrastructure by SEGRO and Roxhill.

    With up to 6,000,000 sq. Ft. of logistics accommodation. The development also includes a 50-acre Strategic Rail Freight Interchange that is capable of handling 775m of freight trains.
    East Midlands Gateway is positioned in a prime location adjacent to East Midlands Airport with direct access to the M1 and J24. The freight line will provide a direct line to major ports, the channel tunnel and other UK/air freight interchanges.

    Whiting Landscape Ltd’s works included semi-mature and extra heavy standard tree planting; ornamental shrub planting; forestry planting; turfing and seeding.

    Kevin Jarvis, buyer at Whiting Landscape Ltd, said: “The supply of shrub and forestry stock for this project was placed with Johnsons because we were confident that the quality would be good and that they could meet the demanding call-off schedule required to get stock to site on time.”

    Johnsons’ plant supply included over 13,000 2-3L in size shrubs and over 20,000 bare root transplants which were mixed and non-native.

    Senior Amenity sales manager at Johnsons of Whixley, Tony Coles, said: “It was great to be chosen by Whiting Landscape Ltd to provide the plants for this £100 million infrastructure, working with Whiting Landscape Ltd we have been able to supply and meet deadlines, it’s great to see it coming together”

    Posted 7th Dec 8:42am
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  144. Johnsons supply two award-winning developments via Plant Style Ltd

    Johnsons supply two award-winning developments via Plant Style Ltd

    Johnsons supply two award-winning developments via Plant Style Ltd

    We are proud to have supplied plants to two award-winning developments via Plant Style Ltd called ‘Great Kneighton, Trumpington, Cambridge’ and Tadpole Garden Village, Swindon, Wiltshire’.

    ‘Great Kneighton, Trumpington, Cambridge’ by Countryside Properties.

    The Cambridge development, by Countryside Properties, also saw the firm win a gold award in the ‘Best Public Realm’ category at the prestigious What House Awards 2018.
    The development includes 120 acres of country parkland, lakes and green spaces and includes a bird reserve, woodlands, allotments and over 14,000 new trees which were planted in the community.

    Plant Style Ltd was contracted to complete the landscaping which saw Johnsons supply £50,000 worth of plants such as more than 9,000 shrubs – including over 1,000 10L Buxus sempervirens and over 300 Skimmia ‘Rubella 5L’ and specimen trees.

    Tadpole Garden Village, by Crest Nicholson Strategic Projects

    Meanwhile, Tadpole Garden Village, by Crest Nicholson Strategic Projects, was awarded a silver in the ‘Best Public Realm’ category at the What House Awards 2018. Its grounds include a mature woodland, ponds, hedgerows and a 100- acre park which is committed to encouraging wildlife.

    Plant Style Ltd carried out the landscaping for this project too which included over £90,000 of Johnsons’ plants from 2015-2018. Varieties included nearly 150 trees over 20-25 girth size, 80 large mixed native hedging units and over 12,000 shrubs and grasses.

    Plant Style Ltd’s managing director, Colin McDowell, said: “Working with Johnsons to deliver these projects was an easy choice as they have proven to be one of our most reliable suppliers. The awards are great recognition for all involved and we congratulate Countryside Properties and Crest Nicholson on their success. “

    Ellie Richardson, marketing co-ordinator for Johnsons of Whixley, added: “We are extremely proud to be associated with not only Plant Style Ltd but the prestigious What House Awards 2018. A huge congratulations must go to both developers and Plant Style Ltd who carried out the landscape works.”

    Posted 12th Dec 3:44pm
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  145. Luke Richardson makes Pro Landscaper’s 30 under 30

    Luke Richardson makes Pro Landscaper’s 30 under 30

    Luke Richardson makes Pro Landscaper’s 30 under 30

    We are proud to announce that our very own Luke Richardson has been named on Pro Landscaper Magazine’s prestigious 30 under 30 list.

    Pro Landscaper launched the initiative again this July to find another 30 young inspiring people in the industry, following the success of the inaugural ‘30 Under 30: The Next Generation’ last year.

    The award ceremony has been designed to help young people within the horticulture and landscape sectors gain recognition and celebrate their achievements.

    This year, a high volume of applications were received from all sectors of the industry, including garden design, landscaping, landscape architecture, arboriculture and suppliers.

    Luke attended the 30 under 30 presentation evening on November 15th at Sandown Park Racecourse where he received his certificate. Luke’s achievement was also covered in the magazine.
    Congratulations Luke!

    Posted 5th Dec 3:40pm
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  146. Q&A with our safety experts for World Health and Safety Day

    Q&A with our safety experts for World Health and Safety Day

    To mark World Health and Safety Day (Friday 28th April) we have asked Johnsons’ resident Health and Safety experts, Dave and Terry from Sound Safety, some questions around the subject and their work with us.

    How long have you worked with Johnsons of Whixley?
    We started working with Johnsons in June 2006, so just over 10 years!

    What systems have you helped put in place during your time with Johnsons?
    Initially we focused on getting senior managers, managers, supervisors and shop floor personnel involved and talking about health and safety, and started to hold regular executive and general committee meetings discussing, planning and actioning health and safety issues on site. We’ve monitored how effective our systems are through regular audits and inspections. This model has been instrumental in achieving all the improvements that have been made over the past ten years at Johnsons.

    What’s been the most frequently reported incident you have come across working with different businesses?
    That’s a difficult question, as we work with many different companies who operate in different environments. But there is always a human element in reported accidents and incidents. Often someone has failed to do something they should have done, or someone has done something they shouldn’t have done. Incidents involving vehicles contribute to most of the incidents reported here at Johnsons.

    How often do you work with Johnsons?
    We work with Johnsons one day per week, but we are always on call in the event of an emergency, or if anyone requires support or advice.

    What does a day working at Johnsons entail?
    In the morning, we review any accidents or incidents from the previous weeks, prepare for committee meetings that we may be attending, and work on any documents around systems and risk assessments – in other words any paperwork that needs doing. Usually in the afternoon we investigate any accidents or incidents, carry out a scheduled workplace inspection at one or two of the sites, and spend time with managers who may have raised a concern.

    What do you like most about working with Johnsons?
    When trying to develop a robust health and safety culture in any organisation there has to be a genuine commitment and practical involvement at senior management level. Without this commitment, it’s difficult to encourage middle management and supervisors to get on board – we believe Johnsons have those elements in place. Having an open an honest relationship with management is one of the keys to job satisfaction.

    How did you both get into the health and safety industry?
    For me (Terry), it just seemed a natural progression in my career, coming from an engineering background in a highly regulated chemical industry. I (David) applied for the job as Safety Officer as it meant a promotion and more money than I was getting working as a chemist – hat was 27 years ago when I had a full head of hair!

    Have you been involved in any accidents or incidents yourselves in your career?
    About 20 years ago I (Terry) was working on a scaffold with a colleague, when one of the scaffold boards snapped in half and I fell about four metres injuring my back. I (David) haven’t suffered any injuries at work but I once nearly electrocuted myself at home trying to fix the washer while it was still plugged in! Fortunately for me the RCD tripped so I was not injured too badly. It’s worth noting that many more injuries are caused by accidents in the home than they are by accidents in the workplace.

    Finally, what health and safety advice would you give to people working in the horticulture industry?
    Listen and take on board any health and safety advice you’ve been given, adhere to any training or instruction that you have received, challenge anything that may potentially put you or your colleagues at risk, and report anything that has the potential to hurt someone.

    Posted 24th Apr 3:23pm
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  147. Johnsons named runner up in Family Business Awards 2017

    Johnsons named runner up in Family Business Awards 2017

    Johnsons named runner up in Family Business Awards 2017

    Johnsons of Whixley’s status as one of the county’s leading family businesses has been further enhanced after being named Runner-Up for the Yorkshire region at the prestigious Family Business of the Year Awards earlier this month.

    Following a thorough application process, the Whixley-based plant nursery business, first established in 1921, was named on the final shortlist of 14 by organising body Family Business United, the magazine and resource centre that champions and celebrates the family business sector.

    The awards were held on Thursday 8 June at the luxurious May Fair Hotel in London, where Grimsby-based wholesale food exporter Ramsden International was awarded the top prize.
    Graham Richardson, managing director at Johnsons of Whixley, said: “We are incredibly proud to have made it so far in the competition, and were delighted to make the final shortlist, so to be named as overall runner-up is a huge achievement.

    “Across three generations, family values are at the heart of everything we deliver and it is pleasing that our long-standing commitment to these values has been rewarded in this way.
    “I’d like to congratulate Ramsden International on their worthy victory, and all of the other finalists for making the shortlist. We enjoyed a great night in wonderful company and left feeling immensely proud of all that we have achieved.”

    John Richardson, who will celebrate his 80th birthday in September, has been the chairman of the Johnsons Group since 1964 and still takes an active daily role in governance, strategy, quality and environmental systems, and health and safety.

    Two of John’s sons, Andrew and Iain, are joint managing directors, alongside sibling and group managing director, Graham.

    John’s grandchildren also take an active role. Luke is a senior key account manager, Robert is manager of the wholesale cash and carry unit, and Ellie is an office and administration supervisor, with a customer-facing role within the Xpress Cash and Carry division.

    A further two grandsons and a granddaughter also have sales and admin responsibilities.

    Posted 14th Jun 3:05pm
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  148. Johnsons of Whixley have invested more than £1,000 in drone technology

    Johnsons of Whixley have invested more than £1,000 in drone technology

    Johnsons of Whixley has invested more than £1,000 in drone technology as the company continues to drive innovation in the horticultural industry.

    The new airborne cameras will enable Johnsons staff members to remotely monitor stock levels across more than 200 acres of fragmented sites, as well as crop quality and irrigation levels.

    A dedicated team of staff members will be trained to operate the technology, which has a 3.5-mile range and can capture Ultra HD (4K) quality video.

    Established over 90 years ago, Johnsons of Whixley has a long history of technological innovation, and finding solutions to common industry problems. Many of the solutions implemented are bespoke to the business.

    Johnsons of Whixley group manging director, Graham Richardson, said: “There are a variety of envisaged uses for the new technology and we are excited about the possibilities around stock monitoring and management.

    “As a business we are always eager to find ways to boost our efficiency, streamline processes and embrace technology that can help us ultimately deliver a higher quality of product to our customers.

    “And by training staff members to use the technology we are aiding their continued professional development.”

    Posted 14th Jun 3:04pm
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  149. Johnsons of Whixley meet the staff - Laszlo Csanyi

    Johnsons of Whixley meet the staff - Laszlo Csanyi

    Meet our Potting Supervisor Laszlo – he’s been working at Johnsons of Whixley for four years, after moving to the UK from his hometown in Hungary.

    In his profile, Laszlo talks about what he enjoys about working at our nursery, what brought him to the UK and what he likes about living here.

    This is the first of a number of profiles from our staff who have moved to the UK after living in other European countries.

    Name: Laszlo Csanyi
    Age: 20
    Hometown : Baja, Hungary

    How long have been in the UK?
    Four Years

    What were your reasons for choosing to settle in the UK?
    My older brother and father came over to the UK in February 2014 to work. After they had being living in the UK for a while my mum, myself and my younger brother and sister moved over here. My parents sold everything back home to live and work here.

    Who did you come to the UK with?
    My family

    How did you come to work for Johnsons?
    I couldn’t carry on the studies I had done in Hungary so I got better with my English over the first 6 months here and an agency firm called Jark phoned me to ask if I wanted to work at Johnsons.

    What is your current role within the company?
    Potting supervisor

    What does a typical day for you at Johnsons consist of?
    I start off with a team brainstorm and plan the day, then I get my team together and talk through what needs to be done. We generally pot 5L & 10L plants.

    Has this been your only role at Johnsons? (promoted etc.)
    I have always worked on potting and learnt from my previous supervisor Brian who helped me with the knowledge I have now. I was then offered a full time contract and a promotion to be the Potting Supervisor in April 2016.

    What’s your favourite thing about working for the company?
    I enjoy what I do and enjoy a challenge. I get on well with everyone and have always had great support from the management.

    What’s your favourite thing about living in the UK?
    I enjoy the loud music in pubs and clubs and there are lots of choices here compared to in Hungary, such as more music.

    What are your ambitions, in work and in life?
    I would say it was a big step becoming a supervisor I am really happy with that as a first step.

    Posted 20th Jun 2:32pm
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  150. Johnsons of Whixley meet the staff - Gergo Kontos

    Johnsons of Whixley meet the staff - Gergo Kontos

    Johnsons of Whixley meet the staff – Gergo Kontos

    Name: Gergo Kontos

    Age: 27

    Hometown:
    Szolnok, Hungary. I now live in Leeds, but visit home once or twice a year to see my family.

    How long have been in the UK?
    I moved here when I was 24, so it’s been just over three years.

    What were your reasons for choosing to settle in the UK? I just felt like England had more to give.

    Who did you come to the UK with? I travelled over with a friend of mine.

    How did you come to work for Johnsons?
    The friend I travelled over with found me a job at Johnsons, at first through an agency, and I am now employed full-time by the company.

    What is your current role within the company?
    I am a senior nursery worker.

    What does a typical day for you at Johnsons consist of?
    I mostly work in the potting shed, but I sometimes drive the tractor, or the dumper, when helping to lift amenity orders.

    Has this been your only role at Johnsons?
    My job and the roles I carry out have varied over the last three years I have been here, and I am happy to work wherever I am needed.

    What’s your favourite thing about working for the company?
    The people that work here are friendly, and this has really helped make my time enjoyable.

    What’s your favourite thing about living in the UK?
    The football! I support Liverpool and enjoy watching the matches on TV. I also like that my girlfriend lives in the UK, and I love the fact that Slash from Guns N’ Roses is English. I love the band and I went to see them live in London two weeks ago.

    What are your ambitions, in work and in life?
    I would love to travel some more, and maybe live In Australia or New Zealand with my girlfriend, but I would come back to Johnsons if I ever returned to the UK. I may end up in Australia or New Zealand once we’ve saved up enough money.

    Posted 29th Jun 2:30pm
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  151. Horticap’s students gain industry insight from nursery visit

    Horticap’s students gain industry insight from nursery visit

    Horticap’s students gain industry insight from nursery visit

    Students and staff from the charity, Horticap, enjoyed a tour and hands-on work experience at our nurseries on Wednesday 12 July.

    Horticap’s qualified staff and team of volunteers provide adults with learning difficulties with training in horticulture, allied crafts and rural skills.

    The group enjoyed a visit to the board room and a guided tour of the Johnsons nursery site and gained a first-hand insight into operations in the Xpress Cash and Carry division of the business.

    The tour was hosted by Johnsons of Whixley chairman John Richardson, who celebrates his 80th birthday in September, and who still plays an active role in the running of the business.

    John said: “We were delighted to welcome the students from Horticap, alongside their excellent supervisors, Phil and Erica, who were also keen to pick up production ideas which might be useful at Horticap.

    “I always enjoy talking to visitors, particularly when they are young and motivated by growing plants, and the delight and surprise on the faces of these youngsters as they saw the volumes and variety of large scale production, was wonderful to see.

    “As youngsters they were keen to see inside one of our big trucks, which was about to leave for Scotland, and insisted on having their photos taken in the driving seat. It was a totally new experience for all of them.

    “Horticap is a truly admirable organisation, and they need, and truly deserve, the support of all our horticultural friends.”

    Horticap assistant manager, Phil Airey, said: “We were made to feel so welcome by Johnsons of Whixley. Our students had a great time and learnt a lot about the industry.
    “One of our student said afterwards said it was one of the best days he’s had, so we are grateful to Johnsons for hosting us, and for being so supportive of our efforts in general.”

    Johnsons of Whixley has provided empty pots to Horticap for many years, whilst also supplying plants and other horticultural products to their charitable projects.

    Based in Harrogate, Horticap’s students complete work under supervision throughout their local community.

    The charity also raises funds by selling gardening accessories and gifts, as well as perennials, bedding plants and shrubs cultivated by Horticap’s own students and staff.

    Posted 17th Jul 2:18pm
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  152. Honey is in sight as bees get to work at our nursery

    Honey is in sight as bees get to work at our nursery

    Honey is in sight as bees get to work at our nursery

    Life is sweet at our nursery as colonies of bees have been busy creating their first batch of honey.

    We installed an apiary at our 200-acre nursery three months ago as part of a project in partnership with Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers Association, which recognises the crucial role bees play on our eco-system.

    We installed the apiary to help the UK’s bee population and are now very close to seeing our first batch of honey.

    Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers Association has been visiting the nursery fortnightly to check up on the bees. We’re looking forward to trying the first batch once the honey is ready.
    Honey can be used for a variety of purposes; from medicinal use such as treating wounds and allergies, to beauty purposes such as hair conditioners and lip balms. And of course, it can simply be used to sweeten up food such as toast and pancakes.

    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.

    Our group managing director, Graham Richardson, said: “We’re excited to see that the first batch of honey is almost ready and we’re looking forward to trying it!

    “Our nursery is an ideal location for bees as it utilizes the many varied plant stocks grown at Johnsons of Whixley and provides foraging within the surrounding countryside.”

    Keith Simmonds, Vice President of Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers Association, said: “The bee colonies at Johnsons of Whixley have made good progress following a slow start to the year and I am hoping for a good first harvest from them.

    “Honey bees have many problems to face in their short lives, with the loss of wild flowers and the increase in the various external factors effecting their survival, a site such as Johnsons which offers so many nectar and pollen producing plants will help the long term survival of the honey bee.

    “I would encourage as many people as possible to offer sites for bee colonies and I would like to say a big thank you to Johnsons of Whixley for providing an apiary site.”

    Posted 21st Jul 2:13pm
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  153. On the road with Johnsons of Whixley driver Tim Smith

    On the road with Johnsons of Whixley driver Tim Smith

    On the road with Johnsons of Whixley driver Tim Smith

    How have you found your first year on the road working for Johnsons?
    It has been an enjoyable year that has flown by and proved to be very different from my previous job.

    What is the difference between this job and your last job?
    My last job was Frozen food distribution, delivering to large supermarket distribution centres nationwide, on timed deliveries. They are very impersonal places where you are just a number. There was no customer interaction, unlike at Johnsons, where it is positively encouraged. I engage with customers on a daily basis and I feel like a valued member of staff.

    What has been the biggest challenge?
    As part of everyday life as a delivery driver, finding new addresses that can be in the most awkward places is a big challenge. Sometimes the places are inaccessible to the size of vehicle I am driving, so we have to sometimes think hard to find solutions.

    Where have you travelled most to in the last year?
    Holland. I go on a regular basis each month.

    What is your favourite part of the job?
    I drive a well-kept truck that I am proud of.

    Where is the furthest delivery you have done?
    I drove to Wick, which is North East Scotland, and nearly 500 miles away from Johnsons. This was to deliver Ashlea landscaping to a new school.

    If you could go anywhere in your truck where would it be?
    I would like to go into the South West more. I don’t get the opportunity to go in that direction much.

    How do you cope with the various challenges of long-distance driving?
    Driving an HGV is unlike driving a car and it brings with it its own challenges. As a professional driver, we have many more laws to adhere to; driver’s hours to name one. Together with this, the vehicles themselves are huge advertising billboards, so concentration is imperative. The long distances are something you quickly get used to.

    Posted 7th Aug 2:10pm
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  154. Johnsons of Whixley meet the boss - John Richardson

    Johnsons of Whixley meet the boss - John Richardson

    Johnsons of Whixley meet the boss – John Richardson

    Meet our chairman John Richardson, who has been at the head of our business for more than 50 years and says he has no plans to retire.

    John first took ownership of Johnsons of Whixley in 1964. Under his leadership, the business has grown to become one of the largest commercial nursery businesses in Europe, and a trusted supplier of plants and trees to commercial projects throughout the UK.

    Most 80 year olds are at home reading a book or watching TV. At 79 you are still at work four or five days a week. What does an average day entail?My average day at work involves managing a series of administrative tasks related to quality and environmental systems, health and safety, packaging waste, agricultural census requirements, as well as answering letters with no other obvious recipient. I maintain a number of ongoing historical records and attend meetings appropriate to my role.

    How will you be celebrating turning 80 this year?
    Possibly by going out for a meal with family one evening.

    What got you interested in horticulture and what has kept you motivated all these years?
    I grew up on the traditional West Riding farm run by my mother’s family, producing cereals, vegetables and 200 acres of rhubarb. I worked from age 11 on the farm during every non-school hour. I wasn’t motivated by classroom subjects – only woodwork!

    On leaving school I applied to go to Askham Bryan College, but the principal suggested that I should go to Writtle College in Essex and do a two-year Diploma course, which I did.
    I tried salad production, tomatoes, vegetables and spent three years selling fertilizer to commercial growers before deciding to focus on nursery stock production.

    What are you most proud of?
    I’ve never owed anyone money, other than a mortgage, and I am delighted to have the family I have got.

    If you hadn’t opened a successful nursery what career path would you have gone down?
    Almost certainly I would have gone in to some sort of mechanical engineering. Aged 16, I applied for an apprenticeship with Rolls Royce, but was turned down, as my maths results were not good enough.

    Was there any point at which you felt like quitting?
    I’ve never felt like quitting anything other than Latin! Every time we’ve had a problem I try and see the way out, never look back and consider what we might have done differently.

    Is there anything you would have changed, knowing what you know now?
    I may have developed a garden centre if any of my sons had been motivated to run it.

    What are the biggest changes you have seen in the industry over the last 50 years?
    Climate change and the impact of foreign holidays has revolutionised the range of plants now used in private gardens. There have also been big changes around the use of plastic. 50 years ago there were no plastic pots, no poly tunnels and no polythene bags. And there were fewer summer sales because nothing was in pots. Mechanisation has also increased significantly.

    What is the biggest change in shopping trends you have seen over the last 50 years?
    The first garden centres were seen on the outskirts of London just 50 years ago. The first supermarkets followed soon after. The local authorities used to order plants for their own parks departments to plant – now local authority work is almost entirely through contractors.

    Is it nice to see the different generations of the family coming into the business?
    It’s really satisfying!

    Do you have any advice for people starting out in horticulture or their own business?
    Attack the project with fire and enthusiasm and gain as much knowledge as possible related to the entire project area you are interested in. Learn about it as much as you can. Watch every episode of Dragons’ Den and you will then realise how many people don’t know the basic facts relating to their proposals but expect support from others. You will have one or two setbacks – but skill, enthusiasm, personality and quick thinking will carry you through. No job will be as rewarding as working for yourself.

    …and finally, will you ever retire?
    Retiring is something you do when you go to bed! I love my association with my work, the staff, our customers – and the plants! – too much to consider packing in. What would I do? I have 14 books waiting to be read, and I try and get through them, but only very slowly!

    Posted 5th Oct 1:57pm
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  155. Johnsons of Whixley Meet the boss - Tony Coles

    Johnsons of Whixley Meet the boss - Tony Coles

    Johnsons of Whixley Meet the boss – Tony Coles

    Johnsons of Whixley’s Senior Amenity Sales Manager, Tony Coles, recently took part in the York Press Meet the Boss feature. Check out his interview below.

    What job would you like to have other than your own and why?
    It sounds daft but I would have liked to have been an Astronaut. I have always had an interested in space and the sense of seeing the earth from space is appealing. But, in reality, that was never going to happen, so I was very proud to instead serve in HM Forces before joining Johnsons of Whixley. I served in the Royal Navy for 14 years, and enjoyed every moment of that. Being part of a team that was defending your country was a great feeling, plus I got to travel and visit many places around the world.

    Greatest achievement?
    This is not an easy question to answer, but I have been lucky enough to have never been out of work. Since leaving school I have only ever had three jobs, and I have spent 22 and a half years at Johnsons of Whixley, doing a variety of roles during that time. I’m very proud of what I have achieved during my professional career.

    What makes you most angry?
    I think that would have to be those people you sometimes find who walk down the street looking at their mobile phones and not looking where they are going. I have to say that is something that really annoys me, and I’m sure other share my frustrations, especially when you’re in a rush!

    Biggest mistake?
    I’d say one of my biggest regrets was probably not working hard enough at school. I should have done better than I did, and then who knows where I might have ended up. But then I also think that the biggest mistake someone can make is not learning from their mistakes!

    What do you need to make life complete?
    Health is a very important factor for happiness, alongside feeling the comfort of knowing that I would not have to rely on anybody in my old age. You certainly appreciate the importance of overall health and wellbeing as you get older.

    Why do you make a difference?
    Not an easy one this, because I think we all make a difference to the world in our own small ways. I think the most important thing is to just do your best at what you do, whether it being in your workplace, at home or anywhere else. I believe that if you do that then you can certainly make a difference.

    Posted 6th Oct 1:44pm
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  156. Johnsons teams up with Children in Need to help transform community centre

    Johnsons teams up with Children in Need to help transform community centre

    Johnsons teams up with Children in Need to help transform community centre

    Johnsons of Whixley teamed up with BBC Children in Need and the DIY SOS team to help a local charity in Swansea rebuild their community centre.


    We donated a range of large trees, hedging and shrubs as part of the redevelopment of the centre and its grounds.


    The centre is operated by The Roots Foundation, which has spent the last two years in a dilapidated wooden hut, and the lack of space and facilities was making it difficult for the team to provide its services to those who need it.


    The Roots Foundation provides help and support to young people who are leaving the care system and preparing for the challenges of the next chapter in their lives.


    The DIY SOS team was challenged to construct a new support centre from scratch, which is spacious and suitable for the users’ specific needs, in just 11 days.


    The new development includes a large youth club space, therapy room, kitchen for cooking classes and a Life Skills Garden. The build also included four self-contained apartments.


    ‘DIY SOS: The Big Build’ is the BBC’s flagship home renovation programme. It has been running for 18 years, and attracts up to five million viewers per episode in its prime-time slot on BBC One.


    The results of renovation will be revealed when the programme airs in November.


    Johnsons of Whixley group managing director, Graham Richardson, said: “Across our business, Johnsons of Whixley is involved in a diverse range of projects, of which many provide care and support to the local community.


    “We’re proud to have been able to give our support to a cause as worthwhile as The Roots Foundation, who provide such a valuable service to young people in their community.”


    A spokesperson for BBC Children in Need said: “DIY SOS completely relies on the support and generosity of the local community, tradespeople and suppliers to help transform the lives of truly deserving families.


    “It’s great to have Johnsons of Whixley on board for this – their donation is huge and is of great support to the project.”

    Posted 27th Oct 1:41pm
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  157. Our Chairman John has won a Lifetime of Achievement Award

    Our Chairman John has won a Lifetime of Achievement Award

    Our Chairman John has won a Lifetime of Achievement Award.

    John Richardson has been named as one of the first recipients of a Lifetime Achievement Award in The Yorkshire Post newspaper’s Rural Excellence Awards.

    John received the honour at the inaugural edition of the awards, held at the Pavilions of Harrogate at the Great Yorkshire Showground on Thursday 12 October.

    He was honoured alongside Roger Nicholson, whose family operate Cannon Hall Farm near Barnsley, and agronomist Dave Clark, a pioneer of new techniques who was the first to advise on the use of fungicides for wheat, and use novel products to both control disease and improve grain quality.

    John’s own achievements in the horticultural industry span well over half a century, having purchased the business in 1964 with just eight full-time staff in 1964, and grown it to employ more than 100, rising to 150 seasonally.

    Under John’s reign, Johnsons has had continuous success. During the last 12 months, the business has delivered a turnover of just over £12m, representing our best ever annual performance.
    Today, Johnsons is a true Yorkshire family business, employing three generations of the Richardson family; John’s sons, Graham, Ian and Andrew serve as directors.

    Johnsons of Whixley chairman, John Richardson, said: “It was a tremendous honour to be shortlisted alongside such worthy nominees, and an even greater privilege to be named as one of the inaugural winners of the Rural Excellent Awards’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

    “I’d like to congratulate Roger and Dave on their outstanding achievements in their respective industries. They have both proven themselves to be true pioneers and it is humbling to have been named in their company.”

    Posted 12th Oct 1:22pm
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  158. Honey all round as we collect our first batch from our onsite apiary

    Honey all round as we collect our first batch from our onsite apiary

    Honey all round as we collect our first batch from our onsite apiary

    We’re delighted to have collected our first batch of honey, after installing an on-site apiary earlier this year.After recognizing the important role that bees play in the UK’s natural eco-system, we partnered with Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers Association to offer the insects a home at a new apiary, constructed in May.

    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.

    The new apiary has already provided a boost to the local bee population, and several jars of honey have now been collected.

    Each bee can make half a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime, meaning it takes approximately 180 bees to fill a full jar.

    Our group managing director, Graham Richardson, said: “The installation of the on-site apiary has proven a hugely worthwhile exercise. It’s our duty to protect and nurture our eco-system, and this is a small way that we can do just that.”

    Have you read our blog on planting trees for bees? you can read it here ‘Planting trees for bees’ 

    Posted 28th Sep 1:13pm
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  159. Welcome to the Johnsons team Laura Holmes

    Welcome to the Johnsons team Laura Holmes

    Welcome to the team Johnsons Laura Holmes

    Congratulations to Laura Holmes who has joined the sales team as a Sales Administrator from her previous HR admin role at the City of York Council, here’s what she had to say about her new job.

    1) Where did you work prior to Johnsons?
    City of York Council

    2) What was your previous role at the City of York Council?
    HR Administrator – Recruitment

    3) What does your role include at Johnsons?
    My role at Johnsons is a Sales Administrator. This includes putting orders on, completing and returning quotes, dealing with customer inquiries, telephone calls, logging complaints and much more.

    4) How have you found your last few weeks at Johnsons?
    I have found the last few weeks at Johnsons very interesting. I am learning a lot of new things and dealing with many different people. It has also been busy which is good for me, because it gives me lots of practice.

    5) What are you looking forward to in your new role?
    I am looking forward to learning new skills and picking up challenges I will of not of faced in my old role.

    6) What do you think the challenges will be?
    A challenge I have already come across is learning all the different plant names and varieties also identifying what they look like. I think this will take some time as there are so many to learn!
    Senior Amenity Sales Manager Tony Coles said “It is great to welcome Laura into the Amenity sales Team, Laura will help provide vital administrative support for the section, her support will help the Area Managers focus on bringing in new business for the company whilst retaining excellent relationships with our existing clients.”

    Posted 8th Feb 1:06pm
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  160. Johnsons mark Employee Appreciation Day

    Johnsons mark Employee Appreciation Day

    To mark Employee Appreciation Day, some of our members of staff have shared with us what they enjoy about working at Johnsons of Whixley and how the business has supported them in their career.

    Group Managing Director Graham Richardson said ” In a largely manual industry we remain very reliant on our employees for every aspect of what we do. The level of motivation and commitment never ceases to amaze us and it couldn’t be more apparent at times of extreme weather or hard-ship. To the team at Johnsons – “thank you all”!

    Today is Employee Appreciation Day (2nd March), what do you enjoy about be-ing an employee at Johnsons of Whixley?

    Bev Elsworth, Senior Nursery Worker, said: “I love seeing the colourful flowers and foliage of the variety of plants.”

    Darren Earle, IT & Systems Manager, said: “I enjoy the variety of work that I get to be involved with. Also the people I work with make it a good environment to be in.”

    Jason Clement, Senior Wholesale Plant Centre Assistant, said: “I enjoy being an employee at Johnsons because I’m working outside in the fresh air, the work I do is appreciated, I work in a stress free and friendly environment and I learn new things most days.”

    Matt Campey, Despatch Team Member, said: “I enjoy how every day is different and you are always kept busy – the days fly by.”

    Describe a typical day at Johnsons of Whixley.

    Andrew Barker, Sales Account Manager, said: “Usually very busy, quoting new work, making sure that orders go out and are not delayed and dealing with any issues that arise.”

    Eric Buckby, Deputy Manager Container Unit, said: “Setting up the potting machine for crops we intend to pot that day and when the team arrive, and organising what everyone is doing throughout the day.”

    Sara Szabo, Retail Senior Supervisor, said: “Quality control, final checking of orders, watering glasshouse, sorting orders for garden centres, deputise for the retail line manager, and sorting out delivery notes for wagons to give to despatch.”

    What previous positions have you had at Johnsons?

    Bev Elsworth, Senior Nursery Worker, said: “I first started working on the retail line, then I moved onto the amenity orders.”’

    Nige Crowl, Maintenance Operative, said: “I was a HGV delivery driver and before that I worked at Johnsons as a general nurseryman“

    Sara Szabo, Retail Senior Supervisor, said: “I used to work at the Cattal site with the potting team but had many other tasks including tying and trimming.”

    How has Johnsons of Whixley supported you in your career?

    Andrew Barker, Sales Account Manager, said: “I have gradually increased my responsibilities and Johnsons of Whixley have provided further training where required.”

    Darren Earle, IT & Systems Manager, said: “When I have expressed an interest to be involved in specific areas, I have been given the opportunity to do so. I have had the chance to develop systems in the ways I want which has provided new experiences whilst being the best fit for the business.”

    Paul Lamb, Assistant Retail Sales Manager, said: “I have had a number of roles in my time at Johnsons of Whixley, whatever I have done I have never doubted that I didn’t have their full support.”

    Tracey Richardson, Receptionist, said: “Johnsons of Whixley have provided me with in house training, and have helped with time off for child care during Summer holidays.”

    How does working at Johnsons of Whixley compare to previous jobs you’ve had?

    Andrew Barker, Sales Account Manager, said: “It is surprisingly similar to the food industry supply but with not as many cakes!”

    Eric Buckby, Deputy Manager Container Unit, said: “When I was farming I was working and on call seven days a week and any holiday was a rarity.”

    Matt Campey, Despatch Team Member, said: “Different, At Johnsons on the despatch unit we work as a team, whereas in other jobs I have mainly worked on my own.”

    What do you think is the best way to make an employee feel appreciated?

    Bev Elsworth, Senior Nursery Worker, said: “Talk to them, explain what’s going on, don’t leave them left out, understand what they are going through, look after them during difficult times.”

    Jason Clement, Senior Wholesale Plant Centre Assistant, said: “I think communication is important and being thanked for your hard work is always good.”

    Paul Lamb, Assistant Retail Sales Manager, said: “Still keep paying them is a good start! Seriously, it is just the simple things like saying good morning, knowing your name and the fact you’re not a number, and thanking you for your effort.”

    What’s your proudest career and personal achievement?
    Bev Elsworth, Senior Nursery Worker, said: “Getting 100% in my Spray certificate, teaching myself the different varieties of plants.”

    Eric Buckby, Deputy Manager Container Unit, said: “Being appointed as Deputy Manager and always trying to improve output and quality of the team.”

    Nige Crowl, Maintenance Operative, said: “I passed my HGV test first time and I have never really fallen out with anyone.”

    Paul Horner, Junior Supervisor, said: “Being promoted from nursery worker to supervisor and I met my wife Claire at work.”

    Tell us a random fact about yourself

    Andrew Barker, Sales Account Manager, said: “We once had a pet chicken called ‘Nuggets’.”

    Bev Elsworth, Senior Nursery Worker, said: “Working here is like doing a work out everyday, no need to go to the gym! Also, I enjoy springboard diving at the Hydro in Harrogate.”

    Matt Campey, Despatch Team Member, said: “I’ve been fortunate enough to work abroad in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.”

    Tracey Richardson, Receptionist, said: “I would love to be an 80s DJ.”

    Posted 1st Mar 1:00pm
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  161. Congratulations to Terry Cooper new system support assistant

    Congratulations to Terry Cooper new system support assistant

    Congratulations to Terry Cooper who has taken on the system support assistant role and will be working alongside IT Manager Darren Earle.

    Where did you work prior to Johnsons?
    I’ve done quite a bit, worked as an engraver with my uncle for a few months, which seemed interesting but I only really scratched the surface whilst there. I also worked at a guitar shop in York but had to quit as there were just too many strings attached. I have also been a call centre android, supermarket vegetable wrangler, construction site high visibility statue and a chef.

    What was your previous role at Johnsons?
    I have been working in operations, generally ensuring all orders are processed and allocated correctly,before that I was outside on the nursery, mainly with the plant production team at Cattal.

    What will your new role include at Johnsons?
    It’s quite a varied role, but mainly I will be involved with providing direct user support, some development and System testing, Cyber security,
    General monitoring, Maintaining and updating of the Company’s IT Hardware and Software, I will also have to buffer the calibrated pixel-layer memory matrix to ensure that the quantum-core kernel correctly defrags the encrypted data mainframe and vector-cache.…and of course the classic turning it off and on again.

    Have you always had an interest in IT ?
    Yeah definitely, us early ‘millennials’ were kids during the time the internet became widely accessible and it was hard not to be influenced by such a fascinating communications revolution.
    I also remember getting in trouble at school for repeatedly changing the homepage from askjeeves to google, despite it being the superior search engine.

    What are you looking forward to in your new role?
    The opportunity to acquire knowledge of a constantly evolving progressive industry sector and seeing tangible benefits where I.T improvements have been implemented.

    What do you think the Challenges will be?
    Without a doubt remembering what all the acronyms/initialisms stand for, MAC, HTTP, DBMS, DHCP, DNS, TCP/IP, SMTP…. The list is endless!

    Is there any specific courses you will be attending to help with your new role?
    I have enrolled with the exclusive Darren Earle School of Information Technology which is fantastic, i will also be ‘attending’ various webinars on database administration and SQL, working towards a Microsoft accreditation.

    IT Manager Darren Earle said “Seeing Terry’s involvement in a few projects he has worked on in his old role I recognised that he had a flair for IT. Coming from a User role into a Systems role will provide a great benefit to developing new projects. I’m looking forwards to working together”

    Posted 6th Mar 12:58pm
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  162. 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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  163. 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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  164. 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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  165. Johnsons of Whixley mark National Volunteers’ Week by helping adults with learning difficulties

    Johnsons of Whixley mark National Volunteers’ Week by helping adults with learning difficulties

    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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  166. Johnsons of Whixley sponsor balloon raffle for local charity ball

    Johnsons of Whixley sponsor balloon raffle for local charity ball

    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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  167. Johnsons staff member gains a close insight to onsite apiary

    Johnsons staff member gains a close insight to onsite apiary

    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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  168. York Cares Big Community Challenge 2018

    York Cares Big Community Challenge 2018

    York Cares Big Community Challenge 2018

    We recently offered support to this year’s York Cares initiative that aims to improve outdoor spaces at various local community organizations.

    Johnsons of Whixley staff members Ellie Richardson, Corrina Mills, Vicky Newell, Darren Fawbert and Chairman John Richardson, volunteered their time and expertise to support this year’s Big Community Challenge, organized by York Cares, which aims to showcase the positive impact a green environment can have on health, wellbeing and social inclusion.

    York Cares is a partnership of the city’s leading employers committed to making the city a better place through employee-volunteering.

    This year’s activities included growing and caring for plants, while improving York’s green spaces to benefit different communities in the city, including older people and adults with learning disabilities at Gale Farm Court Independent Living Community; young people experiencing acute mental health issues at Mill Lodge NHS Community Unit, and patients, staff and visitors that use Clarence Gardens at York Hospital.

    The Johnsons team of volunteers helped improve the outside space at Mill Lodge, a mental health community unit for 12-18-year olds. The morning involved unloading the plants they supplied, digging and creating stepping stones in the garden, whilst other volunteers made raised beds for vegetables and sensory plants, removing weeds and old plants.

    Johnsons of Whixley’s Ellie Richardson said: “This is our second volunteering project with York Cares. It’s great to offer our support and help a local charity by not only offering volunteers but donating plants to help improve the outside spaces too. We had a mixture of staff attend from Johnsons including our Chairman John Richardson, who at 80 was just as involved in digging and weeding as the younger ones.

    “As workers within the horticultural industry, we’re very much aware of the positive impact a green environment can have on those who use it, and we were pleased to lend our time and knowledge to the project, as part of a fantastic team from a range of backgrounds.”

    Need a plant donation? we love giving something back to the community and getting our hands dirty, supporting local, regional and national charities and projects.

    Over the years we have provided plants and trees to improve outdoor spaces at numerous organizations across the country.

    If you, or a charity or initiative you know, would benefit from a donation or support, feel free to get in touch using the contact form on our ‘Contact Us page’

     

    Posted 2nd Jul 4:16pm
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  169. Johnsons of Whixley help staff beat the heat with ice lollies

    Johnsons of Whixley help staff beat the heat with ice lollies

    Johnsons of Whixley help staff beat the heat with ice lollies.

    We have pulled out all the stops to help staff beat the heat during the latest heatwave sweeping the UK.

    We have purchased and installed freezers at key locations through our 200-acre site – and filled them with complimentary ice creams and ice lollies for staff to enjoy.

    Johnsons of Whixley group managing director, Graham Richardson, said: “We recognise the hard work of staff throughout our business, but those that work outside are obviously finding the heat heavy going at the moment.

    “We value the wellbeing and happiness of our staff more than anything, so we were glad to make a small investment in freezers and ice lollies to help provide some cooling respite from the searing temperatures.”

    Posted 2nd Jul 4:06pm
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  170. Congratulations to Steve Morton on his new role of Despatch Manager

    Congratulations to Steve Morton on his new role of Despatch Manager

    Congratulations to Steve Morton on his new role of Despatch Manager.

    1. How many years have you worked for the company?
    I have worked here for 20 years, starting in 1998 and working towards an NVQ Level 2 in nursery stock.

    2. What previous roles have you had within the company?
    I have worked on multiple sites doing roles like lifting, potting and propagation. My last role was retail lifting manager and stock control.

    3. What will your new role include at Johnsons?
    I am now the despatch manager. The job role includes checking orders off for quality control, making sure all internal transport is complete, and all wagons leave our site.correctly loaded. As well as that, I am responsible for ensuring all health and safety rules are followed.

    4.What are you looking forward to in your new role?
    I am looking forward to new challenges from my previous roles and being able to be more hands on due to my last role being more computer based.

    5.What do you think the challenges will be?
    My biggest challenge of this role is learning the despatch side of the business, as this is all new to me.

    6.Are there any specific courses you will be attending to help with your new role?
    I would like to attend a course so that I can learn about rules and regulations for the drivers, so I can have a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities.

    7.Any plans for celebrating your new role?
    I may treat myself to some Star Wars collectables.

    Posted 16th Jul 4:03pm
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  171. Congratulations to Luke Richardson new cash & carry manager

    Congratulations to Luke Richardson new cash & carry manager

    Congratulations to Luke Richardson who has now taken on the role of cash & carry manager.

    1.How many years have you worked at Johnson’s? 12 Years in varying different positions. My last role was in Amenity Sales managing southern accounts which was a successful period and I achieved a goal of becoming the company’s biggest sales rep last year.

    2.What do you like about working in your family’s business? It has it’s challenges but it’s all I know! Sometimes the boundaries between work and home are blurred but in the main it’s only positives. There’s more of a togetherness and as a family we have real pride in our business for what John’s achieved but also gratitude for the sacrifices made to get here.

    3.What makes your new role different from your last? In the Cash & Carry I’m responsible for a department and people. Whereas my last role was fulfilling the requirements of large commercial accounts in the amenity landscape sector.

    4.What do you think the challenges will be? On a personal level not to be as self-centric which you could say is a sales trait. And for the C&C the age old problem of the weather – I sit here following a tough 6 weeks of heatwave wondering how on earth to plan a budget a year in advance… We are very much at the behest of the elements!!!

    5.What are you looking forward to in your new role? There’s a lot more variety to the role and it’s essentially a microcosm of the nursery.

    6.What changes do you hope to make during your management of the cash & carry? Nothing drastic as the C&C guys are doing such a good job – it’s about consolidation more than anything!
    Operationally there will be a few small changes and I’ll look to revamp the quote process. We have recently implemented a new till system which should improve functionality.

    7. Do you think your previous role will help in your new role? My time in amenity has given me an excellent foundation and I feel it will particularly help with sales elements, operations and general organisation. In the past few years I have worked with some great people and to draw experience from someone as knowledgeable as Tony has been invaluable

    Posted 8th Aug 3:49pm
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  172. New till system for Johnsons of Whixley cash & carry unit

    New till system for Johnsons of Whixley cash & carry unit

    New till system for Johnsons of Whixley cash & carry unit

    As part of our ongoing investment programme we have recently concluded a project to update our Plant Centre EPOS (Electronic point of sale) Software. Our new iVend software offers improved functionality, an improved interface and greater compatibility with our main SAP Business One system.

    New cash & Carry Manager Luke Richardson, previously Johnsons’ southern area sales rep, has worked for the business for 12 years and has experience of working with some of the company’s largest customers.

    He said: “Our £12k investment is significant and means that we can have a system that ensures greater stability, better reporting and – above all – a smoother and more efficient customer shopping experience.

    “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in my previous role and I’m proud for what we achieved in a very successful period. The opportunity to manage the cash and carry division wasn’t one I could refuse, and I look forward to the challenge. Rob has built a strong foundation and I’d like to build upon that success.”

    Posted 12th Sep 3:46pm
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  173. 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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  174. 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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  175. Plant donation for Love Your Home and Garden

    Plant donation for Love Your Home and Garden

    Plant donation for 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.

    Ellie Richardson, marketing co-ordinator for Johnsons of Whixley, said: “It’s great to donate a number of plants to the Love Your Home and Garden team, our plants are very visual so to make such an impact for a great cause is wonderful”

    Missed the episode? you can click on the link here to find out more information Love Your Home and Garden Episode 1

    Need a plant donation? we love giving something back to the community and getting our hands dirty, supporting local, regional and national charities and projects.

    Over the years we have provided plants and trees to improve outdoor spaces at numerous organizations across the country.

    If you, or a charity or initiative you know, would benefit from a donation or support,feel free to get in touch using the contact form on our Contact Us page

    Posted 11th Aug 4:00pm
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  176. 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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  177. 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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  178. Johnsons remembrance memories for armistice day

    Johnsons remembrance memories for armistice day

    Johnsons remembrance memories for armistice day

    As the nation commemorated Remembrance Sunday, we wanted to share this piece from our Group Director, Graham Richardson, on the impact war hero, Eric Johnson, has made on our company – an impact we are truly grateful for and respectful of his remarkable time fighting for our country.

    At this time of year, the nation has been reflecting on the Great War and the Victorious Armistice signed 100 years ago on November 11th, at 11am, 1918.

    From a personal perspective, it evokes powerful boyhood memories of our business founder, Mr Eric Johnson.

    I recall badgering him about his wartime experiences – the response was his usual warm smile, a chuckle and a twinkle in his eye – little else!

    On occasion, we would go to the nursery house, open a large cupboard in an unused room and I’d see a range of artefacts collected in order that his experiences would never truly be forgotten.

    Mr Eric Johnson

    His Webley Scott service revolver (decommissioned) was in pristine condition and was still in its highly-polished walnut brown leather holster – I can still smell the rifle oil and leather to this day!

    Components of standard issue ‘Mills Bomb’ (Hand Grenade). Bayonets gathered from a distant Flanders battlefield (Allied and German), his Trench Great Coat. All items of wonder to a small boy.
    To this day, I retain the Fuse of a ‘Stokes’ mortar bomb kept as a relic by Mr Johnson and passed on to me via his family. It sits pride of place on my desk!

    Type 146 Percussion Fuse – 3” Stokes Mortar

    Mr Johnson rarely discussed his experiences. We know that he lost many members of his immediate platoon on more than one occasion. He expressed his revulsion at the smell of whisky, which always brought back horrific memories of drinking heavily following a particularly ‘costly raid’. An extract from the war diaries of his regiment (1/7th Middlesex) paints a vivid, and terrible,

    picture:
    No’s 2 and 2a Parties – Enemy Trench Raid 18/29 May 1918 – Wancourt Road
    Zero Hour – 11pm.

    “A hostile party was also encountered between trench running from L to D. These were also engaged. Estimate hostile casualties 32. The platoon found a considerable number of German dead in the trenches. A few of the enemy threw themselves down and pretended to be dead. All ‘dead’ men were bayoneted on passing out.”

    Centre Platoon
    The Lewis Gun fired two magazines and accounted for 20 of the enemy. Range less than 50yds. Panic stricken enemy were observed running about in front of the trench of which 3 were killed by Lieut Mackenzie. One wounded prisoner and one light machine gun was captured by this platoon. The platoon claims having inflicted 35 casualties which can be taken as reliable. ORKNEY Trench was strongly held and the men went over with the intention killing and they carried out this intention.

    Mr Johnson applied for a commission as an officer after having served in Leeds University’s cadet force. His records say that he stood 5ft 8in tall, with an expanded chest of 34 inches and a weight of 120lbs (8.5 stone). He was above average height and build for the time.

    On mobilisation, he was made a private in the 3/5th Battalion of the Buffs (East Kent Regt) a training unit of the territorial force. He never actually joined his unit, instead joining number 8 officer cadet battalion in Lichfield Staffordshire in March 2016, at the age of 19. He passed the course in September 2016 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant.

    He was seconded to the 1/7th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment and the war diaries note his arrival at ‘La Gorgue’ near the town of Estaires – here he joined his colleagues for the first time as they rested ‘out of the line’.

    His division (167th Infantry Brigade in 56th London Division) had seen action at the Battle of the Somme and were relieved, exhausted on October 9th.

    His battalion next went into action at Neuvile Vitasse nr Arras when the Britsh Third Army launched another massive attack in April 1917. In July, they moved out to the rear of YPRES (Called ‘Wipers’ by Mr Johnson) – the Third Battle of Ypres unfolded.

    On August 16, the division attacked through two strongly-held positions called Glencorse Wood and Nonne Bosschen – soon after they were relieved having suffered 2,900 casualties.

    Mr Johnson then went on to serve at the Battle of Cambrai (I recall his ref to Cambrai Wood). As the war ground on the German massed for a massive counter attack in March 2018 and his division fought a magnificent rear-guard defence against a many time greater number of German Attackers.

    By now, the Allies were in the ascendancy and his division was to assist in piercing the impregnable ‘Hindenburg Line’ between Cambrai and Saint-Quentin. The German defensive structure was broken forever in the west.

    Extract from war diary on 11/11/1918 – Armistice

    Following the end of hostilities, Mr Johnson remained with his unit ensuring order and assisting with refugees until demobilisation in 1920 when he was ‘stood down’.

    The rest is history, as they say, he returned to his native Yorkshire and started cultivating garden and landscape shrubs on his wife’s land Nr Cattal Station.
    His business soon expanded and, by 1964, he was growing on 11 acres of land with 11 staff members.

    John Richardson took over soon after and developed a great friendship with Mr Johnson based on respect.

    We are hugely proud of Mr Johnson and the business’s pedigree – remembrance Sunday and the Armistice is a wonderful time when we reflect on Mr Johnson, his lost pals and the sacrifices made by all our armed forces at this time and indeed in every conflict since.

    Whilst our business has now been in ‘Richardson’ ownership longer than that of Mr Johnson, our name will always reflect Mr Johnson what he created and the sacrifices he made along the way.

    Posted 11th Nov 9:00am
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  179. Johnsons are crowned as one of the region’s best businesses

    Johnsons are crowned as one of the region’s best businesses

    We are proud to have been crowned as one of the region’s best businesses for the second year running.

    Compiled by York Business School, York St John University, Make it York and The Press publication, the ‘York Top 100 Businesses’ report has nominated Johnsons as 34th place in the ‘Top 100 Businesses’ awards for 2018.

    The Top 100 shortlist is calculated using an algorithm devised by York Business School and considers key performance factors such as turnover, profit, growth and staff numbers – with Johnsons placed at number 55 in 2017 – the report’s inaugural year.

    Johnsons was first established in 1921 by World War One veteran, Eric Johnson, the firm’s current chairman, John Richardson, took over the business in 1964 and established it as Johnsons of Whixley Ltd in 1993.

    John joined Johnsons marketing co-ordinator, Ellie Richardson, at the Top 100 Businesses breakfast held on 14th November at York St John University to find out their company’s official placing.
    He said: “It’s fantastic to be featured alongside so many first-class businesses in the Top 100 list. The company continues to work hard to ensure that the right decisions are made to keep the business pushing forward during uncertain times. The Top 100 accolade is testament to the staff who, as always, are extremely supportive of the company’s objectives and ambitions and we look forward to continuing to be a significant contributor to the ‘green’ environment.”

     

    Posted 14th Nov 10:00am
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  180. Johnsons raise £300 for Children in Need

    Johnsons raise £300 for Children in Need

    Johnsons raise £300 for Children in Need on Friday 16th November.

    Staff raised the money by taking part in a ‘wear your pyjamas to work day’ where staff put in £1 for wearing pyjamas and £2 for those who didn’t, staff also made buns and biscuits to sell to help boost the funds further.

    BBC Children in Need is the BBC’s UK corporate charity, they provide grants to projects in the UK which focus on children and young people who are disadvantaged. 2,400 projects are currently supported by Children in Need, a great charity which we are happy to support.

    Ellie Richardson, marketing co-ordinator for Johnsons of Whixley, said: “It’s fantastic to have raised £300 for Children in Need, we raised £350 for Macmillan’s biggest coffee morning back in September so it’s great to have raised a substantial amount for another well known charity”

    For more information on Children in Need you can visit their website here Children in Need.

    You can also contact us with charity enquiries here Contact us

    Posted 16th Nov 5:00am
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  181. Johnsons trial plant pots aimed at reducing landfill

    Johnsons trial plant pots aimed at reducing landfill

    Johnsons trial plant pots aimed at reducing landfill.

    We are excited to be trialling a revolutionary new type of plant pot to fight the industry battle against plastic waste.

    The new taupe-coloured plant pots, in collaboration with pot manufacturer Aeroplas UK, are made from 98 per cent of recycled plastic and are detectable by domestic waste separation systems which means they can be put back into the recycling stream.

    They are distinct from standard pots, which feature a carbon pigment that compromises recognition, and results in millions of pots ending up in landfill every year.
    The new product is set to be tested throughout 2019 to identify any impact on growing performance. If no issues are found, the new pots will be available to the company’s garden centre customers across 2020.

    Mark Reynard, Johnsons of Whixley’s Garden Centre sales manager, said: “As an industry we need to work together on ways to reduce landfill to keep our environment thriving.
    “This innovative way is a small part of a much wider issue so we are really keen to find out how the tests go and hopefully this can be the beginning of various ways we, as a business and industry, continue to keep taking care of our surroundings.”

    Posted 2nd Nov 10:00am
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  182. Johnsons get into the ‘Christmas Spirit’ with a company gin!

    Johnsons get into the ‘Christmas Spirit’ with a company gin!

    Johnsons get into the ‘Christmas Spirit’ with a company gin!

    Following a successful project to develop corporate ales ‘Whixley Gold’ and ‘Copper Beech’, the next exciting step was the creation of our own high-quality London Dry Gin.

    Discussions with local distilling experts ‘Corks & Cases’ of Masham helped the project to proceed… and we have now proudly taken delivery of our first batch.

    Our ‘Quixley Gin’ is named after the village of Whixley formally known as ‘Quixley’ in the 14th century. For many years, Quixley (now Whixley) was famous for cherries which were originally cultivated by the friars from the Priory of Knaresborough and, in later times, were sold in London at Covent Garden. A great day of celebration was the annual Whixley Cherry Feast held on the first Sunday in August. The word feast meant “festival” rather than the scoffing of huge amounts of the fruit too!

    The ‘Quixley Gin’ concept is the brainchild of Ellie Richardson who is a third-generation member of the Richardson family who bought the now-Johnsons of Whixley business from First World War veteran, Eric Johnson, in 1964.

    The gin was first produced at the Spirit of Masham’s distillery following a ‘Gin Experience’ gin creation afternoon. A group of Johnsons employees worked alongside Derek and Jake (Gin Experience experts) to create a range of cherry-themed gins before reducing the shortlist to our collective favourite.

    The label features an illustration taken from a bygone photo of the village, along with cherry blossom graphics to enhance the ‘Quixley’ story.

    The gin will be given to long-term customers and suppliers as a thank you for their custom over the years.

    Johnsons of Whixley’s marketing co-ordinator, Ellie Richardson, said: “I’m extremely proud of my heritage and where I have grown up and, along with a natural love of gin, I thought Quixley Gin was the perfect concept.

    “We think our horticulturally-themed gin creates a fitting connection between Whixley village and Johnsons of Whixley who still sell 50,000 cherry trees annually.”

    Posted 4th Dec 8:00am
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  183. Four employees reach 105 years of service combined

    Four employees reach 105 years of service combined

    Four employees reach 105 years of service combined.

    Group Managing Director, Graham Richardson, has achieved 35 years with us, alongside assistant retail manager, Paul Lamb for as many years, as well as Adrian Price who has been with us since 1993, with a total service of 25 years, and Gary Sutton, our accounts manager, who has been with us for ten years.

    To celebrate their long service, each staff member has received a certificate and vouchers to the value of £350 for 35 years, £250 for 25 years and £100 for ten years.

    We asked them some questions about their time at Johnsons, see what they had to say below:

    Paul Lamb, Retail Assistant Manager – 35 years’ service

    1. How did your career at Johnsons start?
    25th May 1983, I left school then the next day I had a job interview at Johnsons of Whixley before starting on a trial basis with the company on 1st June of the same year. I was then offered a job on 15th June during a time when there were nearly three million unemployed, so I was happy to be in work.

    2. Was this your first job?
    I was supposed to start on the tree unit (Newlands – that’s when it was full of trees) but John came into the canteen on my first day and said they were short staffed at Whixley propagation unit. So, I went up there to help out for a couple of weeks… and I’m still there eight years later!
    My first job was knocking out rooted cuttings at Whixley in tunnels on a very wet day with a fella called Iain Richardson. Not sure what became of him?!

    3. Does it feel like you’ve been here 35 years?
    It’s a bit strange really as I don’t feel 35-years older, but the numbers don’t lie. It really does only seem like 10 or 15 years ago since I started and I feel very proud to have worked at JOW for so long. I’m even more proud of the fact that they still want me after 35 years.

    4. What has changed most at Johnsons in the last 35 years?
    Just about everything… Spades in particular! How many of those do you see on the nursery now? There was a time when everybody had their own and, woe betide, if you picked up the wrong one. So many aspects of the business have changed over the years, from the way we produce to the way we despatch. But the end goal has never changed.

    5. What have you enjoyed most about your time at Johnsons?
    This one is easy. It’s when I have spent a lot of years at Johnsons working outside and being involved in producing something which is an environmental benefit to us all, this is a pleasure in itself. But my biggest enjoyment over the years has been the people I’ve worked with.I have been lucky enough to work on some units for the past 35 years and the people and characters you meet along the way have given, and are still giving me, some great memories.

    6.What’s your proudest career and personal achievement?
    Having had seven different roles at Johnsons so far! This has given me lots of great opportunities over the years to implement changes and to see the benefit they have made.
    To be still here 35 years on is excellent too. Nobody starts a job thinking, “I’ll be here in 35 years time,” but I am, and I still want to be. Johnsons is a family business and it is great to be still involved in its future.

    Graham Richardson, Group Managing Director – 35 years’ service

    1. How does it feel to have reached 35 years at Johnsons?
    Saying it sounds longer than it feels!

    2. Was this your first career?
    Yes, from school to one year of work experience on a nursery near Skipton and then an official start at Johnsons.

    3. What have you liked most about your 35 years in the company?Working with family and colleagues who you consider friends, not just fellow employees.

    4. What’s your proudest career and personal achievement?
    Contributing to the success and security of the business. My personal achievement has to be my relationship with my kids.

    5. And finally what do you hope for the future of the family business?
    Continued security and success for those reliant on a living from Johnsons of Whixley.

    Posted 20th Dec 8:48am
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  184. A warm welcome to Jozsef Szabo

    A warm welcome to Jozsef Szabo

    A warm welcome to Jozsef Szabo who joins the cash & carry team as Plant Centre Assistant.

    Jozsef’s role will include serving customers, helping load customer orders, helping put down stock and sales admin.

    Cash and Carry Manager, Luke Richardson said: “We are delighted to have Joszef on board. He’s a great guy with a strong work ethic and I have been impressed with his astute ability to adapt to our unique systems. It’s testament to his hard work that he’s already contributed in helping achieve our best November on record (by some distance)”.

    1.Is this your first job at Johnsons?
    No, I worked at the Cattal site for 6 months.

    2.What did your previous role include?
    I started at Cattal with the potting team, after a few months I moved to the lifting department where I helped pick orders.

    3. What did you work as back in Hungary?
    I worked for Puma as a shop assistant and stock room assistant for 5 years.

    4. Is this your first job in the UK?No, I started working in a hotel as a house keeper and linen porter around 4 years ago when I moved to the UK. The hard work paid off when I was promoted to head of housekeeping, I spent a year and a half in that role then decided I wanted a change so decided to apply for a job at Johnsons.

    5. What do you like most about the UK?
    I like that People are so polite and helpful.

    6. What do you like least about the UK?
    The weather

    7. What do you like to do outside of work?
    I like watching football, playing poker or reading a book if I get any spare time.

    8. What do you miss about your country?
    My family and friends

    You can find out what previous cash & carry administrator Ellie Richardson is now up to here ” A change of roles – Ellie Richardson “

    Posted 6th Dec 4:00pm
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  185. A change of roles - Ellie Richardson - Marketing & Sales Coordinator

    A change of roles - Ellie Richardson - Marketing & Sales Coordinator

    A change of roles – Ellie Richardson – Marketing & Sales Coordinator

    Ellie is set to start a gradual withdrawal from her ‘Xpress Plant Centre” focus which will be complete by December 2018.

    As a victim of her own success Ellie assumes responsibility for Social Media, Website and Electronic communications and a coordinators role for all things marketing.

    Group MD Graham Richardson says “Ellie has been instrumental in relaunching and managing our Marketing Focus, her natural flair and drive coupled with a ‘young persons’ understanding of electronic media has been nothing short of spectacular” – “working alongside our marketing partners Faith PR we have gone from having a very limited marketing and PR profile to be industry leading in a very short period of time, an increased focus will bring even more positives”!

    Ellie’s time will be spent managing our various social media platforms, content management, cultivating prospects, press release co-ordination/management, website management and development, staff events such as year-end celebrations and rewards, charity events and some other internal duties.

    Ellie will also be looking at taking on HR elements in the New Year alongside Chris Davis and Helen Straw, she plans to attend a CIPD course in 2019 as well as various marketing courses.

    Ellie commented “ I could not have had a better grounding than my 6 years working in the plant centre which is a micro business within wider business operations, during this time I have loved interacting with customers (old and new) and have managed some fabulous key accounts – Lizzie Tulip and Helen to name but a few” I am looking forward to this next and exciting opportunity and have no doubt that an increased focus on Marketing and PR, particularly through new media platforms has a very obvious benefit for customers, staff and ultimately business performance, I also look forward to the challenges.

    Posted 10th Dec 5:00am
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  186. Johnsons - Planting Trees for Bees

    Johnsons - Planting Trees for Bees

    Johnsons – Planting Trees for Bees

    When we think of plants for bees we naturally think of Lavender, Echinacea and other predominantly flowering species.

    Rarely, however, do we think of trees as a major source of pollen for bees.

    A tree is larger in size and therefore has lots more flower head area which, in-turn, provides a plentiful food source in one place.

    Trees provide a source of food in early spring and autumn when a lot of other species have stopped flowering.

    In recognition of this we are committed to planting a range of bigger trees which will help provide a wider source of food over a longer period of time. Species include:

    Heptacodium miconoides, which will provide a rich pollen source in autumn.

    For spring, we will plant Prunus cerasifera (Plum Cherry), Prunus spinosa (Blackthorn) ,Malus sylvestris (Wild Crab), Sorbus aucuparia (Rowan) and Tilia europaea (European lime) which will ensure a rich summer feast.

    As an aperitif we will be sowing a rich mix of wild flower seed in the immediate vicinity.

    We are delighted with our ‘Apiary’ success to date and hope that this extra TLC will pay dividends in terms of the extent and health of our already successful honey bee community.

    Want to create a bee friendly garden ? check out our guide ‘Creating a bee friendly garden”Creating a bee friendly garden”

    Posted 8th Jan 3:45pm
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