Latest Stories

  1. Ellie's Eight: National Insect Week

    Ellie's Eight: National Insect Week

    In this edition of Ellie’s Eight, Ellie Richardson of Johnsons of Whixley identifies eight plants that will help attract and provide a hub for insects. The list is in support of National Insect Week, which runs between  19th and 26th June.

    • Plant Echinacea in two or three clumps to attract bees and butterflies. Most Echinaceas will flower from July to September.


    • Achillea are loved by bees and many other insects, including ladybirds and hoverflies. They will generally flower from June-September.


    • Plant Ajuga to attract insects in to your garden, including bees and butterflies. It is on the RHS ‘Perfect for Pollinators’ list. They flower from April to June.


    • Buddleias are also known as ‘butterfly bush’, but attract lots of other insects too, and will flower from July to September.


    • Scabiosa are ideal for attracting bees and butterflies and other insects to the garden, and will keep on flowering from June to October.


    • The flower on eryngium attracts bees and hoverflies. It’s a great addition to your garden and will flower from July to September.


    • Lupins are not only a cottage garden favourite, but a favourite for bees too, and will flower from June to September.


    • Coreopsis are another bee and butterfly favourite and will flower from June through to September.


    Posted 14th Jun 11:21am
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  2. Ellie’s Eight: Patio Plants

    Ellie’s Eight: Patio Plants

    In this edition, Ellie Richardson of Johnsons of Whixley identifies eight ways to enhance any patio.

    1. Acers look great on a patio or decking and will make a great focal point to your garden. They will do best in semi shade with moist soil and will need protection from the wind and the frost.


    1. Bay trees (Laurus Nobilis) will thrive in a pot if positioned in a sheltered semi sunny spot and watered regularly. If the temperature reaches -5°C be sure to protect from frost and cold winds, which would only damage the foliage.


    1. A potted lavender will do best in full sun and will thrive better if it has good drainage holes. How great does this Lavender ‘Victory’ look against our Knight pot in our image above?


    1. A buxus ball or cone will look great on your patio or at either side of your door and will be happy in sun or partial shade. If in full sun make sure the soil doesn’t dry out and when cutting your buxus make sure your shears are clean to avoid the fungal disease box blight.


    1. Why not create a herb garden in a trough planter for outside your kitchen with Rosemarinus, thyme, mint, chives and parsley? Great for garnishing, or adding to sauces and fish dishes.


    1. Agapanthus make great patio plants if given a sunny spot. They will flower from June – August. It is best to water them a couple of times a week in the summer. We think they look great in a terracotta pot.


    1. Why not try a cordyline in a pot to create interest all through the year? You could surround your cordyline with gravel or cobbles, or even under a plant.


    1. A patio rose would look great in your garden on the patio or on your decking. You could surround with perennial plants to add different interest to the pot throughout the year.

    Posted 6th Jun 11:40am
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  3. Ellie’s Eight for May

    Ellie’s Eight for May

    Get the Chelsea Look! …with Ellie’s Eight for May


    • Grasses are great at adding movement and creating texture. They vary in size and colour, with different seed heads.

    • Lupins are used year on year out at Chelsea and are available in different colours. They will flower from May through to July and usually reach 50cm tall. They will thrive best in full sun.

    • Digitalis are great to create a cottage garden. We love the Dalmatian varieties and this Digitalis Dalmatian rose is one of our favourites. It will flower from May through to July.

    • Add a Chelsea pot or trough to create structure, or use as a feature in the corner of your garden.

    • Salvia Caradonna will add colour to your garden from early summer to early autumn and always attract hordes of bees and butterflies.

    • Cupressus puramindalis will create great structure and height in your garden. It will also help to create the classic Mediterranean look.

    • Iris varieties will add a splash of colour and additional height when they flower from May through to June. These Iris Sparkling rose prefer partial shade to full sun.

    • Finally, get the Chelsea Look using Buxus balls and cones to create shapes in a formal garden.

    Posted 11th May 1:46pm
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  4. Ellie’s Eight - Top Tips for the Easter Weekend

    Ellie’s Eight - Top Tips for the Easter Weekend

    A four-day weekend for the majority means ample opportunity to enjoy some time in the garden.

    • Ensure watering is a priority, especially with the wind we have had up north this week, and take particularly good care of newly planted plants. This especially applies to the larger hedging plants like laurels, which were planted in the root ball season – aftercare is crucial.
    • Time to remove any faded flowers from those early spring flowering bulbs. Daffodils are usually one of the first to go. Leave the foliage intact allowing it to die back naturally.
    • Top up your pots with fresh compost and feed to ensure a good start to the summer season, which will shortly be upon us.
    • Protect the new shoots of delphiniums, lupins, hostas and other vulnerable plants from slugs and snails. Why not try SLUG GONE wool pellets, which are available to buy on our cash & carry.
    • Give your Lawn some much needed TLC. After a long hard winter your lawn will benefit from a feed. If your lawn contains moss or weeds try using a lawn weed and feed treatment.
    • Prune early flowering shrubs like forsythia and Berberis immediately after flowering.
    • Sow hardy annuals such as clarkia and herb seeds directly into the beds or pots.
    • Spring is a great time to divide perennials such as Alchemilla, Salvia, Brunnera and Dicentra if you haven’t had time to do so in winter.

    Posted 13th Apr 2:03pm
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  5. Ellie’s Eight plants for Mother’s Day – and beyond!

    Ellie’s Eight plants for Mother’s Day – and beyond!

    Check out these plants, that we’re sure your mum will love!

    While they’d make the perfect Mother’s Day present, these plants will bring joy throughout the year.

    1. Euonymus Alatus is best known for its unusual bark and fiery red leaves in autumn, which is where it gets the nickname ‘fire bush’ from. When its leaves shed in winter it showcases its unusual bark, before it its bright green leaves return for summer.

    1. This viburnum mariesii certainly catches the attention come in May and June, with its lacecap-like white flowers against dark green leaves, which turn deep red come autumn. It will look great at the back of a sunny border.

    1. Malus Red sentinel, also known as a crab apple, produce masses of delicate white flowers in spring, followed by small red fruits in autumn that follow through to winter, and provide a food source for birds. You can also gather the fruits to create crab apple jelly.

    1. Pieris forest flame provides dramatic red and green foliage in spring, and cream, bell-shaped flowers in April and May. They will can add e a great splash of colour to a woodland or shaded border.Pieris ‘Forest Flame’

    1. Taxus baccata cone may be simple, but the perfect fit for a formal garden, or for outside the front door. Add fairy lights or tinsel at Christmas for extra sparkle.

    1. Mahonia winter sun is known for its dark, holly-like leaves, and bright yellow flowers that last from November through until March, and are followed by purple berries. It is best kept in full or partial shade and will look great as a standalone feature plant or at the back of a border.

    1. Amelanchier lamarckii is a small tree offering year-round interest, starting in March, when it produces white star-shaped flowers. Small red berries follow in summer, turning black in autumn. This is the perfect tree for a small garden.

    1. Acer George Forrest is known for its unique red bark and dark green leaves. This is a great tree for all seasons.

    Posted 10th Mar 4:15pm
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  6. Ellie's eight great for wildlife

    Ellie's eight great for wildlife

    Check out Ellie’s eight great for wildlife, these varieties were full of bees and butterflies last year as you can see from the photos. Be sure to include them in your planting plans for summer borders.


    Echinacea Magus the perfect addition to a sunny perennial border flowering from July – September it’s a bee and butterflies favourite and thrives in full sun.

    Agastache ‘black adder’ great for the back of a border to create height throughout the summer flowering in July right through to October it would great behind Echinacea Magnus in a sunny border.

    Buddleia varieties – There’s a reason Buddleia’s are also known as butterfly bush and that’s because there a butterflies favourite they will thrive in full sun or partial shade and will flower from June through to October.

    Scabiosa ‘Pink Mist’ These scabiosa’s were full of bees last year and are sure to be full of them this summer when they flower in June – September.

    Achillea ‘Terracotta’ look great in a perennial border alongside salvias, and will flower from June – September. It will be full of bees.

    Lavender Hidcote – in a study it was found that lavenders were one of the most attractive plants to bees, our lavender are always full of bees throughout July – September they make a great edging plant in a border.

    Coreopsis Sunfire a great addition to a sunny border or patio pot flowering from June – October it’s perfect for attracting bees and butterflies to your garden.

    Erysimum ‘Golden Jubilee’ one for bees and butterflies preferring full sun or partial shade.

    Posted 28th Feb 11:30am
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  7. Ellie's eight great for ground cover

    Ellie's eight great for ground cover

    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 it is great for ground cover in borders.

    Alchemilla mollis

    Vinca minor is well known for its capability in ground covering with its pretty star like blue flowers appearing through spring, summer and autumn. It even grows well in deep shade.

    Vinca minor

    Persicaria Darjeeling red is a late summer flowering ground cover also known as knotweed it is well known for its crimson upright flowers which can be seen from September through to November. It will thrive best in well-drained soil in full – partial shade.

    Persicaria affine Darjeeling Red

    Waldsteinia ternata a semi evergreen creeping ground cover with yellow flowers against its green foliage they are great alongside a path or for edging a border under a tree or banking.

    waldstinia ternata

    Pachysandra terminalis is a great low maintenance evergreen ground cover happiest in partial – full shade with small white flowers in Spring.

    Pachysandra terminalis

    Cornus canadensis also known as creeping dogwood is best grown in full sun – partial shade not only do they provide pretty white flowers in late spring – early summer they follow with clusters of bright red berries in autumn.

    cornus canadensis

    Cotoneaster dammeri a vigorous evergreen ground cover best in full sun or partial shade with wide spreading growth with small white flowers in early summer which are particularly attractive to bees and bright red berries in winter which help feed the birds.

    Cotoneaster dammeri

    Hedera hibernica will thrive in most soil types and can be used as ground cover once the shoots are pinned down. They are very fast growing and may need more attention than other ground cover variety’s to stop them growing out of control.

    Hedera hibernica

    Posted 17th Feb 1:39pm
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  8. Ellie's Eight for Valentine's Day

    Ellie's Eight for Valentine's Day

    With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, this edition of Ellie’s Eight focuses on plants with a love them.

    All of the plants listed can be found at our Cash & Carry or in the wider nursery.

    1. Why not try a Pieris japonica ‘Valley Valentine’? It’s known for its unusual deep pink-red flowers that blossom from March through to May against their dark green glossy leaves.
    2. Spread the love with these Dicentra spectablis, also known as bleeding heart. Rose pink heart-shaped flowers appear from spring through to early summer, making them the perfect addition to any cottage border.
    3. The Hebe heartbreaker is a perfect addition to a pot or front border, and guaranteed to bring colour and character to your garden throughout the year. It produces mauve flowers from June to August.
    4. Plant this Veronica ‘First love’ for someone you love. Numerous spikes of fluorescent pink flowers keep butterflies and bees happy from early summer through to mid-autumn.
    5. Send some love and happiness with this Exochorda × ‘The Bride’ would make a perfect wedding present, especially between April and May, when it will be full with white open flowers.
    6. Hibiscus ‘Red Heart’ are trumpet-shaped white flowers with a red centre that attract butterflies and even hummingbirds. It also can be infused to make a citrus flavoured tea. Ideal for your patio pot.
    7. Most Mahonias are known to be prickly but Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’ isn’t. It features fantastic spikes of fragrant golden blooms against green spine free foliage. No wonder it won “Plant of the Year” at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2013 – It’d make a great addition to a border or patio pot.
    8. Last, but not least, Heuchera Little Cutie ‘Blondie’ would make the perfect addition to a border with its caramel foliage and creamy blonde flowers.

    Posted 10th Feb 11:44am
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