Latest Stories

  1. Cash & Carry notice: Shopping guidelines, help us, help you

    Cash & Carry notice: Shopping guidelines, help us, help you

    This season has thrown up challenges like no other and increased demand is outstripping availability. Your understanding and patience are greatly appreciated but we ask that you help us, help you and observe the following shopping guidelines. With your help, we can provide a first-class service that meets our varied trade affiliates demands.

    The first two quarters have seen Cash & Carry experience unprecedented demand and sales. We are currently tracking for a third straight record year with a 26% increase in sales (YTD) on last year, a 19% increase in customers and a 20% increase in transactions. We have grown significantly in the space of three years and are working from an ageing site, that has limited capacity and was never intended for its current use. In the near future, we hope to move to a new site but for now, we are constrained to the limitations of our current location.

    Unfortunately due to the closure of nurseries in the first lockdown availability is much reduced and plant source is becoming very difficult. Demand is outstripping availability and we anticipate issues for a number of years ahead until production and site work has caught up. Brexit poses it’s own challenges and lead times have increased significantly due to regulations and checks.

    We are currently navigating the above challenges and your support, understanding and patience is greatly appreciated. We ask that you help us, help you and observe the below guidelines to better improve your service.

    Shopping guidelines 

    £0-£250 spend

    For any customer whose order is below £250 we ask that you lift the plants yourself off the beds here and take away with you on the day. We can on occasion hold your order if you need to call back with a van. We will hold for no longer than four days.

    £250-£500 spend 

    For customers who are spending between £250 and £500, we can quote for these orders and lift the plants. However, it would be appreciated if you can still lift some of the plants off cash and carry especially if you have seen the plants already and know you want particular specimens. These orders would not qualify for delivery; collection only, which can if needed, be held in our customer bays for a limited time.

    £500 + spend

    Any order which has a value of over £500 can be delivered; by either our own transport  (charges may apply). We will quote for these orders, lift and pack them for despatch. You can still lift the plants off the beds and take them away in your own vehicle if you wish.

     

    Posted 13th Apr 3:52pm
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  2. Plant supply helps restore historic Studley Royal to its former glory

    Plant supply helps restore historic Studley Royal to its former glory

    We have supplied thousands of plants to help restore the grounds of the historic Studley Royal water garden to their former glory.

    The estate is just 18 miles from Johnsons’ HQ in North Yorkshire and is one of Europe’s finest examples of an 18th-century garden. 

    The planting is part of the National Trust’s long-term vision for the garden. The scheme involves planting thousands of Taxus baccata (yew), supplied by Johnsons, to replace overgrown and dying hedges. The work includes restoring all bosquets – formal plantations of trees and shrubs with growing space inside, designed to give the effect of an enclosed room.

    Where possible, the aim is to help restore the garden with the bosquets providing an essential part of the structure recreating the experience visitors would have had on their visit during the 18th century.

    Following his father’s death in 1741 William Aislabie became a tour de force creating gardens at Hackfall near Grewelthorpe and at Kirby Fleetham returning back to Studley periodically to enhance and extend his father’s garden. This work was to move into realms others could only dream of when William purchased the lands belonging to Fountains Abbey. By 1770 Studley Royal now including the ruins of the abbey became a ‘breathtaking’ experience. It was said after visiting that you had been ‘kissed’ by a genius.

    Work to restore Aislabies’ yew bosquets has been ongoing since 1983; the hedges are part of one of England’s most spectacular water garden ever to have been built & survived with influences coming from earlier French, Dutch, Italianate gardens.

    But before all of this situated in a secluded valley, Fountains Abbey was established by a breakaway group of Benedictine monks from St Mary’s Abbey in York in 1131. The abbey operated for 400 years and was prosperous, owning vast acres of land across Yorkshire, with sheep farming being a significant income source.

    Michael Ridsdale, Head Gardener at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, said: “Working with our local industries is key to the continuing success of the Yorkshire economy. Johnson’s and their former partners have been involved with this great estate for well over 50 years; locally produced stock is extremely important to us, even more so now as climate change is becoming a major issue for us all.

    ‘Keeping it local’ allows us to keep in constant contact with Johnsons; nothing can better for the buyer than being able to jump in the van and see how their stock is growing. We have a lovely relationship with all the staff at Johnson’s and it must be gratifying for them to be able to walk round the estate with their families and say we were part of that. “

    Johnsons’ marketing manager, Eleanor Richardson, added: “We feel privileged to be a part of more than 300 years of history. Since we were children, me & other members of our family have visited Fountains Abbey hundreds of times. The abbey’s past is genuinely fascinating and were excited to watch the hedging grow and flourish, returning the grounds to their former 18th-century glory.”

    Find out more about the National Trust’s conservation work and donate via this link below www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fountainsabbey

    Interested in other projects we have supplied? click here to view our case study section

    Posted 12th Apr 2:52pm
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  3. How to keep your box plants healthy

    How to keep your box plants healthy

    Box plants (Buxus) are incredibly versatile and attractive plants in any garden or landscape. They provide high impact evergreen structures, and their slow growth is ideal for hedges and topiary.

    Unfortunately, box plants in the UK are under attack from two serious problems; the box blight fungus and the box tree caterpillar. The good news is that with a small amount of care and attention, these problems can be managed.

    Managing box blight

    In the same way that rose growers can expect to encounter rose blackspot, box growers will inevitably encounter box blight at some point. The fungus (Cylindrocladium buxicola) is particularly problematic in mild wet weather.

    Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce the impact of box blight:

    • Boost the vigour of the plant with a regular foliar feed such as Topbuxus Health mix. Vigorous healthy plants are better able to withstand disease.
    • Disinfect your tools before and after working in a garden with box plants.
    • Clip box hedges and topiary in dry weather between May and August. The sticky fungal spores are produced in damp conditions and are easily spread between plants on tools. Spores occur in the highest numbers in spring and autumn.
    • If you notice box blight, treat it promptly with a fungicide approved for use on ornamental plants1.
    • Infections on mature plants can be pruned out and disposed of. Box blight does not infect the roots of the plant, and the shoots will slowly regrow.
    • Apply a protectant fungicide in spring and autumn when the blight fungus is most likely to infect your plants. It can also be beneficial to apply a preventative fungicide before clipping box plants.
    • Sweep up and dispose of fallen box leaves (do not compost). The fungal spores can survive on fallen leaves for up to 6 years and act as a future infection source.
    • Encourage an open structure and looser form where possible. Tightly clipped plants are more prone to blight.
    • Ensure that plants are well spaced where possible and not covered by overhanging vegetation. Crowding creates humid conditions and encourages the box blight fungus to grow.
    • Avoid highly susceptible box varieties, including Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’. Buxus microphylla ‘Faulkner’ appears to be less susceptible to box blight.

    Managing the box tree caterpillar 

    Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce the impact of the box tree moth:

    • Isolated caterpillars can be removed by hand. They often shelter between leaves and webbing so careful searching is needed.
    • Prune and dispose of shoot tips of infested plants in the winter. Young caterpillars overwinter between leaves in the shoot tips.
    • Extensive infestations can be treated with an insecticide. The caterpillar hides within silken webbing which means that insecticide sprays need to be forceful enough to penetrate the webbing and thoroughly coat the plant.
    • The natural biological insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis var kurstaki selectively kills caterpillars and is very effective in treating box tree caterpillar. This is available as a licenced professional product1.
    • Organic contact pesticides are effective but will need repeated applications. More persistent synthetic insecticides are also available.
    • The nematode biological control sold as ‘Fruit and Vegetable Protection’ has been shown to reduce caterpillar numbers.
    • Gardeners have seen jackdaws and bluetits feeding on the caterpillars. Encouraging wildlife may therefore have the added benefit of reducing box tree caterpillar populations.

    Box alternatives 

    If you would prefer not to think about box blight or box tree moth, many plants can be used as an alternative.

    Traditional green replacements:

    • Ilex crenata
    • Euonymus japonicus
    • Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Golf Ball’
    • Taxus baccata
    • Lonicera nitida ‘Maigrun’
    • Osmanthus x burkwoodii

    Or something a bit different:

    • Lavandula angustifolia
    • Berberis darwinii
    • Photinia ‘Little Red Robin’
    • Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Gold Star’

    Please note that all professional chemicals should be applied by a licenced user and applied according to the label instructions. Chemicals should be tested initially on a small area of the plant to rule out adverse reactions. Alternating between two or more different fungicides can reduce the likelihood of the fungus becoming resistant.

    For further ‘solutions’ for your next order click here

    Posted 6th Apr 2:22pm
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  4. What to do in the garden during April

    What to do in the garden during April

    Spring is officially here, and there’s plenty to be doing in the garden this month, from removing the old leaves of Hellebores to building raised beds for vegetables, and what better time to do this than over the extended Easter bank holiday?

    1)  Prune early flowering shrubs such as Forsythia after flowering is over.

    2)  Check that all the old leaves have been removed from flowering Hellebores.

    3)  Divide primroses that are in good-sized clumps after they have finished flowering.

    4)  Mow the lawn at frequent intervals as the grass begins to grow strongly. Apply a spring fertilizer dressing as the weather warms up.

    5)  Ventilate greenhouses and cold frames as the days get warmer.

    6)  If you are buying Growbags or bags of compost, check that they have this year’s date; out of date bags are renowned for providing poor results.

    7)  Cut off dead hydrangea flowers down to the top 2 strongest growth buds.

    8)  Apply weed and moss killer to established lawns.

    9)  Complete the final pruning trim of roses, add fertilizer and a mulch to the base.

    10)  Rake lawns to level worm casts, twigs and old grass before the first mowing.

    11)  Make an early start looking out for dandelions, bindweed, etc., and dig them out. Check over the lawn for established perennial weeds before the grass hides them.

    12)  Towards the end of the month, collect woody twigs to support perennials before they get too long and straggly.

    13)  Trim lavenders and Santolinas to shape but do not cut back into the older wood.

    14)  Propagate perennials such as Rudbeckias, Michaelmas daisies and Heleniums by division, save the younger, more active areas of the clump and throw away the old bits.

    15)  Check stakes and ties of trees planted in the last two years. Stakes should still be sound, and the tree ties not strangling the tree. Ease the tie if necessary.

    16)  Continue to dead-head spent daffodils and other winter flowering plants.

    17)  Plant new raspberry canes in a weed-free area; it will be some years before lifting them.

    18)  Build raised beds for easier vegetable production throughout the year.

    19)  Lavateras need to be cut back hard to ensure a good flower display later in the season.

    20)  Apply grass seed to areas of the lawn that appear rather thin; cover the seed with fleece for a few days to prevent the birds from stealing the seed.

    Posted 1st Apr 10:35am
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