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  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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