Summer is on its way as temperatures increase and days get longer, herbaceous plants start to emerge, and the grass is getting longer, there’s plenty to be doing in the garden this month, check out our latest hints and tips for May put together by chairman and horticulturist, John Richardson.
1)Thoroughly water newly planted trees and shrubs, a really good occasional soak is better than frequent small doses of water. A generally balanced feed in mid-May will help new plantings. A subsequent mulch of crushed bark or compost will help to retain moisture.
2)Tie in new growth of clematis, roses, climbing hydrangeas, honeysuckle and other fast-growing climbers.
3)Complete the planting of bare-root and root-balled hedging this month, and ensure that previously planted hedges have not been displaced by wind. Water in again if conditions remain dry.
4)Give a final clip to established privet, Ivy and Lonicera nitida varieties, and give topiary a quick trim if it is beginning to appear unkempt. Check for nest-building birds before clipping.
5)Slugs will be on the attack this month, control by picking off by hand or using a biological control such as ‘Nemaslug’ or chemicals based on ferric phosphate.
6)Plant up hanging baskets this month, but don’t place outside until the prospect of frost is over. Add a water-retaining gel and long release fertilizer for a good show!
7)Trim lawn edges frequently when dry to develop a firm edge to the lawn, which will not sink when walked upon.
8)If you did not apply a weed killer to the lawn this spring, use the grass mowings to mulch trees and hedge plants.
9)Pick off the flower-heads of Rhododendrons and Azaleas as they die back. The flower head will break off easily if bent over just below the old flower head. This encourages the new growth to develop and will be helped with a much of leaf-mould.
10)Plants should be staked before they become too big and start to flop. Methods to use include pea sticks, bending the tops across to form a canopy or use upright canes around each clump with twine tied around the canes, or wire netting supported by canes in a cylinder around tall plants or extra tall plants tied to canes of the ultimate plant size.
11)When the danger of overnight frost has passed, purchase your bedding plant requirements. It is a good idea to check when the local parks plant out their summer bedding as a guide
12)As the weather warms up, ensure that glass areas are shaded and open during the day. To maintain humidity, damp down the paths and other surfaces with a hosepipe.
13)Dahlias may begin to sprout in mild conditions under glass, don’t plant out until the possibility of frost is past. Consider taking cuttings of the first shoots.
Posted 30th Apr 3:02pm
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We are delighted to have been crowned as the regions 20th top business in our centenary year.
We have appeared in the York Top 100 Businesses report for four consecutive editions – but this year have moved into the top 20 for the first time. We are now at number 20, up from 47 in the 2019 list.
The list is compiled jointly by York Business School at the city’s St John University, Make it York and The Press newspaper.
Placings are calculated using an algorithm devised by York Business School that includes critical performance factors such as turnover, profit, growth and staff numbers.
Johnsons was founded in 1921 by World War I veteran Eric Johnson. The firm’s current chairman, John Richardson, took over the business in 1964. It is still run by three generations of the Richardson family, with 120-160 members of staff seasonally and a turnover of over £13 million.
The company supplies up to six million plants each year to major landscaping schemes across the UK and Northern Ireland with notable projects including The National Trust, Studley Royal Gardens, the Forth Road Bridge, luxury hotel Grantley Hall, royal parks and even the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Chairman, John Richardson commented: “This is an excellent achievement for our 100th year; we are extremely proud to have been crowned as York’s 20th leading business, alongside so many elite businesses in the region. Congratulations to everyone.”
Posted 30th Apr 1:55pm
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Centenary Charity Giveaway – 12 plant donations up for grabs throughout 2021
We are marking our centenary with a competition where 12 lucky Yorkshire charities will have the chance to win a plant donation worth over £150 each.
At the end of each month in 2021, Johnsons will be giving away £150 worth of seasonal plants to a Yorkshire-based charity.
To nominate a Yorkshire charity or enter your Yorkshire charity comment on this post or email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting ‘Centenary Giveaway’ commenting on where this donation would be planted and why you deserve to win.
Please read the full terms and conditions listed below before applying:
April terms and conditions
Posted 28th Apr 5:21pm
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Congratulations to Isaac Onions, who has now taken on the role of Plant Centre Sales Assistant.
Isaac joined Johnsons in May 2020 as an agency worker and was soon taken on full time as an outside cash & carry worker; before fulfilling this new role recently, below we asked him some questions:
1)What does your new role include? My new role will include processing customer orders, quoting and general front of house tasks such as answering the phone and scanning trollies.
2) What was your first job at Johnsons, and what did it involve? On my first day, I was outside weeding on the nursery. It was a sunny day so it was pretty fun.
3)What are you most looking forward to In your new role? I’m looking forward to a completely new challenge and it’s another step forward in the company.
4)What do you think the challenges will be? Learning the processes and trying to remember the plant names.
5)What have you enjoyed about your time at Johnson’s? I love the people that work here, everyone’s really friendly and there’s a nice atmosphere. In Cash and Carry we get sandwiches at the end of every month which gives us something to look forward to.
6)What do you like to get up to outside of work? I’m quite adventurous, I like going out hiking in the Moors, I even walked from Osmotherley to Saltburn a couple of years ago. I love running and I do MMA.
7)Favourite food? Chicken and jalapeños pizza
8)Favourite holiday destination? I like going back to Malawi to visit my family.
Cash & Carry Manager Alice Knowles said: “Isaac has been a great addition to our team since joining us and we are very much looking forward to him progressing his role in sales. He joins us at a busy time however he has already demonstrated great customer service to our customers who visit the c+c and when Hannah leaves will be competent in all aspects of sales.”
Posted 20th Apr 3:59pm
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We have helped a local Primary Academy connect with classmates in Africa as part of a British Council initiative.
The scheme, Connecting Classrooms, will see the Umar Bin Alkhatab Primary School in Sierra Leone work on a project on growth with Tockwith Church of England Primary Academy, North Yorkshire.
We donated more than 200 pots and sunflower seeds for the children at Tockwith to grow. Meanwhile, children at Umar Bin Alkhtab Primary will be growing trees as part of a national scheme in Sierre Leone, that aims to plant 3.8 million trees by June 2024.
The initiative aims to connect classrooms through global learning, equipping children with knowledge and skills whilst tackling issues such as climate change and gender equality.
The Yorkshire Primary Academy’s project has a dual purpose as it will symbolise the end of lockdown three and the growth the children will experience by being back amongst friends and staff.
As well as the donation of sunflower seeds and pots we have donated a Prunus Tai-Haku tree in support of BBC Countryfile’s Plant Britain campaign.
Headmaster at Tockwith Church of England Primary Academy, Justin Reeves, said: “We are grateful to Johnson’s of Whixley for their generous donation and for supporting us with our project. After this last year, it will be delightful to see our sunflowers shoot up, symbolising our growth coming out of lockdown. It is also fantastic to link this reciprocal project with our friends in Sierra Leone. ”
We will also be donating £1,800 worth of plants to local charities during 2021 as part of the business’s centenary celebration.
Posted 19th Apr 4:39pm
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We are delighted to announce that we are finalists in the Family Business of the Year Awards 2021.
Our family business will have the chance to scoop the Yorkshire regional and supreme champion titles for 2021.
We are incredibly proud of our identity as a family business and, in many ways, heritage and associated values which define what the company is today and how we operate.
Those values include absolute team spirit and a ‘workaholic’ attitude. The current managing directors all adopt a hands-on style and are just as likely to be found driving a truck, sweeping up or selecting plants as they are being seated at the board room table.
Three generations family business members who work at Johnsons include Chairman John Richardson, Group Managing Director Graham Richardson and Directors Iain and Andrew Richardson. Also on the team are Tracey Richardson and John’s grandchildren Luke, Robert, Eleanor, Paul, Shaun and Jonathan Richardson, who perform a variety of roles from Production Manager to Sales Manager.
Family members are only a small proportion of the business, with 120-150 employees, many of whom have been with the company for 25 years + and have become extended family members.
Staff appreciation is ‘a mantra’ and we continually invest in small but regular rewards in the shape of ‘Extra Mile Awards’, seasonal vouchers, themed food events and on tap ice lollies throughout the summer. These are ongoing targeted ‘thank-you’s that compliment an annual financial bonus in the form of profit share and an attendance bonus. We believe that this is a successful strategy that is evidenced by our staff’s general satisfaction and a rolling 12-month pandemic absence level of only 1.3%!
Staff will also be given an additional day’s holiday this year in recognition of their hard work and dedicationn during their career.
Group Managing Director Graham Richardson said: “Winning this award would be a huge achievement, and what better year than on our 100th.
We look forward to attending The Family Business awards virtual ceremony, which will take place on June 24th. We would like to thank the judges and wish all finalists the best of luck. ”
You can find out about the history of our company here
Posted 15th Apr 9:22am
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Our plants have beautified a purpose-built ‘Yorkshire Dales’ in the town centre of Harrogate.
The mini-Yorkshire Dales was created at the front of The Yorkshire Hotel, overlooking the town’s Stray, with tonnes of soil, shrubs, and grass laid along with dry stone walling to create a beer garden in time for the ease of lockdown restrictions on April 12.
The beer garden was named ‘Ales in the Dales’ and is now open for alfresco dining and drinks. It will remain open for five weeks until the hotel can reopen its doors for indoor dining as part of stage three on May 17.
The ambitious project required: 120 tonnes of topsoil, 100 tonnes of Yorkshire Stone, 350 plants, shrubs and trees and 300 sq metres of grass.
Our plants will be loaned to the hotel for the duration of the project and include varieties such as Viburnum tinus, Betula nigra, Prunus rotundifolia, Ligustrum, Fagus sylvatica, Sesleria nitida, Anemanthele lessoniana, Ilex aquifolium and Cornus ‘Winter Beauty’.
Other local businesses who have supported the project include Charity Horticap, Nicholas Edward Gardens, Living Stone, The Hacs Group, Welcome to Yorkshire, Akula Living, David Griffin Artist and Lindum Turf.
Managing Director of the hotel group, Simon Cotton, said: “I can’t thank Ellie and the team at Johnson’s of Whixley enough for their kind and generous support of this outdoor hospitality project as part of the roadmap out of the pandemic.
The Ales In The Dales landscape has very much been a community effort and has importantly brought a lot of happiness to people passing as much as it has to those stopping by for a drink or bite to eat. ”
Marketing Manager at Johnsons, Eleanor Richardson said: “We are excited to be involved with the prestigious Yorkshire Hotel’s ‘Ale in The Dales’ as it marks the end of another lockdown.
The garden will see over 260 of our plants used to beautify the area; the plants will be loaned to the hotel for the duration of the project. We look forward to seeing the metamorphosis of the hotels outside space and have no doubt that it will entice people back to the pub and hotel after a difficult 13 months for the hospitality industry. “
To book your table at The Yorkshire Hotel’s ‘Ales in the Dales’ visit www.thepickledsprout.co.uk
Posted 14th Apr 3:30pm
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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.
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.
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.
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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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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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:
Managing the box tree caterpillar
Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce the impact of the box tree moth:
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:
Or something a bit different:
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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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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