Latest Stories

  1. A new role for Jack Witham

    A new role for Jack Witham

    Congratulations to Jack Witham, who has joined our Amenity Sales team as a Junior Sales Executive Find out what he had to say about his new role below.

    1. What will your new role at Johnsons involve?

    I am going into the Amenity sales team, so it involves several things to do with the Amenity side. Doing quotes is what I have started learning, but it also includes sorting sales orders and dealing with customers, new and old.

    2. How long have you been a part of the Johnsons team?

    I started at Johnsons when I was 17 during the summer holidays whilst I was at six form college. From then, I’d regularly come back in between term times whilst studying at university. After finishing university last year, I stayed on the nursery until taking this new role. My role was predominantly being an amenity lifter, preparing orders for customers making sure everything was to a high standard.

    3. What are you most looking forward to in your new role?

    Going into a different job role within the company is what I am most looking forward to, and working on a range of different things. This is my first job in an office, so it will be interesting to see what it is like inside.

    4. What do you think the challenges will be?

    Doing a job completely different from anything I have done before and learning all the different tips and techniques on computers. My I.T skills are O.K, but there is definitely room for improvement.

    5. Do you have any hobbies?

    I am a big cricket fan which shouldn’t come as much surprise working here. I am the Whixley cricket club captain, playing every weekend in summer when it doesn’t rain. I also have a membership at Yorkshire cricket club and watch them a lot when I can. I think that’s the only hobby I actually have.

    6. Favourite subject at school?

    Shockingly, it was P.E. Unfortunately, we hardly ever played cricket at school, and I wasn’t very good at other sports. I scored an own goal during my football examination, which brought my markdown.

    7. Favourite food?

    I love a Lamb pasanda from an Indian. It has to be the best meal out there. Any Indian food, though, is nice. Chinese is also very good. To be honest, I like a lot of food, just not mushrooms and cauliflower.

    8. Favourite holiday destination? 

    Barcelona is a wonderful city. It’s got everything, plenty of bars, a lovely beach, and lots of Estrella. I’d love to go back again if I get the chance to. Hopefully travelling between countries will be easier soon and I can go abroad again.

    Amenity Sales Manager, Tony Coles said: I would like to welcome Jack into the Amenity Sales Team, Jack brings with him the experience of working out on the Nursery lifting plants for the Amenity sector. I am confident  Jack will become an integral part of the team looking after customers and their requirements in the future and I look forward to working with him.

     

    Posted 4th Aug 8:56am
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  2. The Growers Plantspo - August Herbaceous

    The Growers Plantspo - August Herbaceous

    Are you in need of some inspiration for your next garden project and after some late-flowering herbaceous plants? check out some of our favourite August flowering varieties from Anemone to Rudbeckia.

    Achillea varieties such as ‘Terracotta’, ‘Cloth of Gold’ and ‘Moon Dust

    Achilleas are a great addition to a mixed border or cottage garden in full sun – partial shade with flat-topped flowers that bloom from June – September with many cultivars and colours to choose from ranging from yellow to white and pink.

    🌸Flowers:  June-September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade (depending on variety)

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Anemone varieties such as ‘September Charm’, ‘Honorine Jobert’ & ‘Hadspen Abundance’

    🌸Flowers:  August – October (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1.2m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moist, fertile, humus-rich soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Alchemilla Mollis

    🌸Flowers:  June-September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m

    Soil: Humus-rich soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L

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    Alstromeria varieties such as ‘White Magic’, ‘Indian Summer’ and ‘Inticancha Maya’

    🌸Flowers:  June-September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.9m (depending on the variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 3L

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    Agastache varieties such as ‘Morello’, ‘Little Adder’ & ‘Blue Fortune’

    🌸Flowers:  July – October (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on the variety)

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L. 3L

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    Agapanthus varieties such as Africanus, ‘Twister’ and ‘Polar Ice’

    🌸Flowers:  July – September (depending on the variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L  (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Astrantia varieties such as ‘Claret’, ‘Hadspen Blood’ and ‘Rosea’

    🌸Flowers: June – August (depends on the variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun -partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist, preferably humus-rich soil

     Pot size: 3L

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    Aster varieties such as ‘Monch’, ‘Bahamas’ & ‘Barbados’

    🌸Flowers: August – October (depends on the variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.9m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Well-drained, moderately fertile soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L

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    Campanula varieties such as ‘Perla Blue’, ‘Perla White’ & ‘White Clips’

    🌸Flowers: July – September (depends on the variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.3m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moist, well-drained, soil

     Pot size: 2L

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    Coreopsis varieties such as ‘Limerock Ruby’, ‘Golden Sphere’ and ‘Sunkiss’

    🌸Flowers: June – September (depends on the variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun -partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 3L

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    Crocosmia varieties such as ‘Lucifer’ and ‘George Davidson’

    🌸Flowers: August – September

    🌞 Position: Full sun -partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1.2m (depending on variety)

    Soil:Moderately fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 3L, 5L

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    Dahlia varieties such as ‘Happy Days Pink’, ‘Happy Days Red’ and ‘Happy Days Yellow’

    🌸Flowers: June – September (depends on the variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun -partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 3L

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    Echinacea varieties such as ‘White Swan’, ‘Magnus’ and ‘Alba’

    🌸Flowers: July – September

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Most soils, except very dry or boggy

     Pot size: 2L, 3L

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    Erigeron varieties such as ‘Sea Breeze’ and Erigeron karvinskianus

    🌸Flowers: May – October (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L

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    Eryngium varieties such as ‘Neptune’s Gold’

    🌸Flowers: July – August

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: dry, well-drained, poor to moderately fertile soil

     Pot size: 2L

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    Geranium varieties such as ‘Rozanne’ and ‘Max Frei’ 

    🌸Flowers: June – October (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L

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    Geum varieties such as ‘Totally Tangerine’, ‘Cosmopolitan’ and ‘Sunrise’

    🌸Flowers: June – August (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 3L

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    Helenium varieties such as ‘Moerheim Beauty’, ‘Short and Sassy’ and ‘The Bishop’ 

    🌸Flowers: July – August (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L

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    Leucanthemum ‘Banana Cream’ and ‘Snow Lady’

    🌸Flowers: June – September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L

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    Liatris varieties such as ‘Alba’, ‘Floristan’ & ‘Kobold’

    🌸Flowers: August – September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moderately-fertile, reliably moist soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L

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    Monarda varieties such as ‘Balmy Lilac’ and ‘Balmy Pink’

    🌸Flowers: July – August

    🌞 Position: Full sun- partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.4m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3L (depending on variety and subject to availability).

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    Nepeta varieties such as ‘Six Hills Giant’, ‘Walkers Low’ and ‘Junior Walker’

    🌸Flowers: June – September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun- partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.9m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3L, 5L (depending on variety and subject to availability).

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    Penstemon varieties 

    🌸Flowers: July – October

    🌞 Position: Full sun- partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3L (depending on variety and subject to availability).

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    Persicaria varieties such as ‘Darjeeling Red’, ‘Superba’ and ‘Delgado’

    🌸Flowers: June – October (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun- partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Any moist soil

     Pot size: 2l (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Perovskia varieties such as ‘Blue Spire’, ‘Lacey Blue’ & ‘Little Spire’

    🌸Flowers: August – September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1.2m (depending on variety)

    Soil:Well-drained, poor to moderately fertile

     Pot size: 2l, 5L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Rudbeckia varieties such as ‘Goldsturm’, ‘Maya’ & ‘Sunbeckia Mia’

    🌸Flowers: August – October (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.8m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moderately fertile, preferably heavy but well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Salvia varieties such as ‘Caradonna’, ‘Cherry Lips and ‘Sensation White’

    🌸Flowers: June – October (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1.2m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3L,5L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Sanguisorba varieties such as ‘Tanma’ & ‘Little Angel’

    🌸Flowers: June – September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Poor-to-average, moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Scabiosa varieties such as ‘Butterfly Blue’, ‘Flutter Deep Blue’ and ‘Flutter Deep Pink’

    🌸Flowers: June – September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moderately fertile, well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Sedum varieties such as ‘Touchdown Teak, ‘Autumn Joy’ ‘Herbstfreude’ & ‘Frosted Fire’

    🌸Flowers:  August – November (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moderately fertile, well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3L, 5L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Verbena varieties such as bonariensis and  ‘Lollipop’

    🌸Flowers: July – September

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 2m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Veronica varieties such as ‘Anniversary Blue’ 

    🌸Flowers: June – August

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Posted 29th Jul 2:10pm
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  3. Plant donations see NHS hospital gardens bloom

    Plant donations see NHS hospital gardens bloom

    We have recently donated plants worth hundreds of pounds to two Yorkshire NHS hospitals.

    The newly created Rainbow Garden at Doncaster Royal Infirmary has benefited from a donation of plants worth £500. The garden, which is situated near the main entrance of the hospital, was designed to create a place where visitors and staff could go to remember the town’s 900 plus Covid-19 victims.

    Colleagues at the hospital had been raising funds since June 2020 for the project, with almost 300 supporters providing donations both large and small.

    The memorial garden features flower beds, a central lawn, paving, a patio and a pergola, all of which our Doncaster-based customer, AWS Landscapes Ltd kindly provided at cost.

    Plants supplied and donated include Lavandula ‘Victory’, Prunus laur. ‘Rotundifolia’, Hydrangea pan. ‘Little Lime’, Cotinus ‘Royal Purple’, Magnolia soulangeana, Achillea ‘Walther Funcke’, Echinacea purpurea, Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’ and Persicaria affinis ‘Superba’.

    A similar garden has been created at the hospital’s sister facility at Bassetlaw.

    Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity have also received plants from Johnsons worth more than £300. The plants were first used at the Harrogate Flower Show earlier this year as part of a gold award-winning display created by Lisa Norton from Harrogate Garden Design.

    The display, entitled Escape Your Mind, featured an array of plants such as Buxus Sempervirens, Euphorbia, Pittosporum Magnolia Acuminata ‘Blue Opal’, Dahlia ‘Orange Sunshine, Phlox ‘Clouds of Perfume’, Cortaderia ‘Pink Feather’ and Salix ‘Golden Sunshine’. These have now been replanted at the hospital for staff and visitors to enjoy, providing an area of rest and reflection.

    Richard Parker OBE, chief executive at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: “On behalf of all within Team DBTH, I want to thank Johnsons of Whixley and AWS Landscapes Ltd for their contributions to our Rainbow Gardens. The generosity shown towards our Trust throughout the past 18 months or so has been nothing short of spectacular and I am so pleased that, together, we have been able to create these beautiful memorial spaces for those who are sadly no longer with us. Once again, thank you.”

    Harrogate Hospital’s business development charity and volunteer manager Sammy Lambert commented: “On behalf of the Trust I would like to thank Johnsons and Harrogate Garden Design for their generosity and donation of beautiful plants which have made such a difference to our outside areas.”

    David Sowerby, director of AWS Landscapes Ltd, said: “We are indebted to all the NHS staff who have given so much during the pandemic, and to those who sadly lost their lives. As a mark of our thanks and respect, we made our own donation and carried out all the works to create this garden for all to enjoy. We hope that the garden can be a beautiful space where staff and visitors can rest and reflect away from the stress of their busy working day.”

    We are incredibly pleased to be able to give something back to both hospitals via our donation of plants which has helped two outside areas bloom. We are forever grateful to the NHS staff who have given so much over the past 18 months and that they continue to do so. We hope our plants are enjoyed by staff and visitors for many years to come.

    This is one of many plant donations this year, as we pledged to donate plants to 12 different charities throughout our Centenary these donations have included plants to The Blue Cross, Thirsk, a memorial garden for Sir Captain Tom Moore and Henshaw’s Arts and Crafts.

    Posted 27th Jul 4:37pm
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  4. The Growers Plantspo - August Shrubs

    The Growers Plantspo - August Shrubs

    In need of some late-flowering shrubs for your August projects? check out some of our favourites below from Abelia to Vinca.

    Abelia Grandiflora & the variety ‘kaleidoscope’

    🌸Flowers: June – October (depending on the variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1.5m (depending on the variety)

    Soil: Well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + (subject to availability)

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    Buddleia varieties

    🌸Flowers: July – September

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 4m

     Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + (subject to availability)

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    Caryopteris varieties such as ‘Pink Perfection’, ‘Gold Crest’ & ‘Heavenly Blue’

    🌸Flowers: July – September

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m

    Soil: Moderately fertile, moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L,  (subject to availability)

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    Cotinus varieties such as ‘Royal Purple’

    🌸Flowers: July – August

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 5m (depending on variety)

     Soil: Moderately fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L (subject to availability)

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    Fuchsia varieties such as ‘Tom Thumb’ ‘Genii’ and ‘Mrs Popple’

    🌸Flowers: June-October

    🌞 Position: Full sun  or partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Haliumium libanotis

    🌸Flowers: June-August

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5m

    Soil: Well-drained soil

     Pot size: 3L,10L (subject to availability)

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    Hebe varieties such as ‘Little Leaves’, ‘Green Globe’ & ‘Rhubarb and Custard’

    🌸Flowers: July-September (depending on the variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on the variety)

    Soil: poor or moderately fertile, moist, well-drained neutral to slightly alkaline soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L (subject to availability)

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    Hydrangea varieties such as petiolaris, ‘Annabelle’ & ‘Limelight’

    🌸Flowers: June-September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade (depending on variety)

    📏 Height: Up to 1.5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moist, well-drained soil, fertile soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 7.5L,  10L + (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Hypericum varieties such as ‘miracle bliss’ and Hidcote

    🌸Flowers: June-October (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade (depending on variety)

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L,  10L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Lavatera varieties such as ‘Rosea’ and ‘Baby Barnsley’

    🌸Flowers: June-September

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 2m

    Soil: Fertile -well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L  (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Lavender varieties such as ‘Hidcote’ and ‘munstead’

    🌸Flowers: June-September

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m

    Soil:  Fertile -well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 7.5L, 10L  (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Potentilla varieties such as ‘Red Robin’ ‘Lovely pink’ ‘Goldfinger’ ‘Abbotswood’ and ‘Tangerine’ 

    🌸Flowers: May – October

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m depending on the variety

    Soil: moderately fertile, well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 7.5L, 10L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Spiraea varieties such as ‘Golden Princess’, ‘Goldflames’ and ‘Firelight’ 

    🌸Flowers: July – August (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 2m + (depending on variety)

    Soil: moderately fertile, well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 7.5L, 10L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Vinca varieties such as ‘major’, minor’ and ‘atropurpurea’ 

    🌸Flowers: April – September

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.45m depending on the variety

    Soil: any but very dry soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Posted 29th Jul 9:43am
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  5. A touching memorial for Capt Sir Tom Moore

    A touching memorial for Capt Sir Tom Moore

    We recently teamed up with a landscaping firm and our customer Ray Skelton (Harrogate) Ltd to help create a touching memorial for a national hero and campaigner, Capt Sir Tom Moore.

    This year we celebrate our Centenary while the late Capt Sir Tom, who raised millions of pounds for the NHS, celebrated his 100th birthday in April 2020. He passed away in February this year.

    The memorial was unveiled on the 7th July in front of World War II veteran Capt Sir Tom’s family, Junior Soldiers and sponsors such as Ray Skelton (Harrogate) Ltd and Johnsons.

    Chairman John Richardson and his grandaughter and Marketing Manager Eleanor Richardson attended with Director Stuart Skelton of Ray Skelton (Harrogate) Ltd and Colin Simpson.

    Ray Skelton (Harrogate) Ltd commissioned Kris Elvidge, a local Stone Mason, himself a Yorkshireman, to engrave the stones that can be seen on the front and back of the college headquarters identifying the start and finish of the Capt Sir Tom Moore Walk. They also created 4 seating areas that surround a centre stone halfway along the main walkway taken by junior soldiers on parade day.

    Through landscaper Ray Skelton (Harrogate) Ltd, Johnsons donated two Magnolia ‘Double Diamond’ 200-250 110L trees and 50 Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ worth a total of £765 to the memorial at Army Foundation College Harrogate, where he was an honorary colonel.

    The trees are among six planted by Junior Soldiers from the Army college in honour of Capt Sir Tom and to launch the Queen’s Green Canopy campaign across the country.

    The Queen’s Green Canopy is a tree planting initiative to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2021. People across the UK are being invited to ‘plant a tree for the jubilee’, with community groups and schools encouraged to take part from October, when the tree planting season begins.

    Capt Sir Tom captured the nation’s hearts when he raised over £32m for NHS Charities by walking 100 laps of his garden during the first lockdown. He was born in Keighley but more recently lived in Marston Moretaine in Bedfordshire.

    He inspired millions when his saying ‘Tomorrow will be a good day’ trended on social media and became the oldest ever recording artist to reach number one when his duet of You’ll Never Walk Alone with Michael Ball topped the charts. On his 100th birthday, he received thousands of cards from well-wishers across the world, including the Queen and Prime Minister, and was honoured with an RAF flypast.

    Eleanor Richardson, Johnsons of Whixley’s marketing manager, said: “We were delighted to be part of this fitting tribute to Capt Sir Tom Moore, who was a true inspiration. The donation is particularly fitting as the magnolia is native to Asia, where he served during World War II.”

    Stuart Skelton, Director of Ray Skelton (Harrogate) Ltd said “It has been an honour and a privilege to be involved in the Capt Sir Tom Moore Memorial, hopefully, this will continue to inspire future generations of Junior Soldiers”

    Posted 15th Jul 11:34am
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  6. July Gardening Reminders 2021

    July Gardening Reminders 2021

    Not sure what to do in the garden this month? check out our July gardening reminders put together by Chairman and Horticulturist John Richardson.

     

    1)   Keep control of soft, fast-growing weeds such as thistles, they harbour aphids and other problems.

     

    2)  Now is the time to make yourself a good big compost bin, just before you really need it!  Ideally, use 4 stakes as corners 1 metre apart in a square and staple wire netting (1 metre deep) around the square.

    This affords easy entry when you wish to empty it, or it can be made bigger or smaller at will.  If you would like a really permanent one, use pressure-treated plywood or boards instead of netting.

     

    3)  Treat 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.

     

    4)Prune shrubs grown on walls and pergolas to remove some of the top growth and further stimulate growth from the base of the plant.

     

    5) Evergreen hedges can be clipped this month (and some deciduous ones), but ensure there are no nesting birds in the hedge or bush. Cut laurel and Eleagnus hedges with secateurs to prevent cut leaves.

    In hot weather, spray newly planted container-grown hedge plant foliage with water as well as ensuring that the root zone continues to be kept moist.

     

    6) Lift tulip bulbs after they have fully died down and store them in paper bags in a dry and airy place over the summer.

     

    7) Keep hydrangeas well-watered, particularly those growing in containers, as they quickly show signs of drought, and it can be difficult to get them to fully recover.

     

    8) 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 that are going over.

     

    9) Divide established clumps of bearded iris immediately after blooming and plant in the ground or in containers and keep moist. Discard the older exhausted rhizomes, and cut back the foliage of the new plants to approximately 12-15cm.

     

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

     

    11) Remove spent rose flower heads and maintain spraying as necessary to combat greenfly, rust, mildew and black spot, as appropriate. Apply a summer rose feed in the middle of the month.

     

    12) Take softwood cuttings of a range of shrubs by selecting healthy young shoots, the cutting s to be 5-8cm long with 2 leaves retained at the top of the cutting. Cut the base cleanly with a knife, just below a node (leaf joint). Dip the base of the cutting in rooting hormone and insert around the edges of a plastic pot in a very gritty compost and cover with clear polythene supported above the foliage. Among many ideal subjects would be Asters, Ceanothus, Cistus, Escallonia, & Hydrangea.

     

    13) Keep a pair of secateurs in your pocket as you wander around the garden, being able to dead-head those flowers which have gone over will ensure a second flush of flowers in many cases.

     

    14) Be sure to keep the bird baths topped up in the hottest of weather!

     

    15) After the natural ‘June drop’ of many fruit trees, thin the remaining fruits to ensure the full development of the best trusses. Where branches are carrying heavy loads of fruit it is well worth considering support for the heaviest, particularly in the case of plums.

     

    16)  When Strawberries have finished fruiting trim back the foliage with shears and remove with any straw mulch which had been applied to protect and support the fruit. This waste can be composted.

     

    In need of more hints and tips for your projects? check out our solution page by clicking here 

    Posted 6th Jul 9:30am
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  7. Johnsons pledge support to York Cares Big Community Challenge 2021

    Johnsons pledge support to York Cares Big Community Challenge 2021

    We have continued our donation of hundreds of plants to Yorkshire charities as part of our centenary celebration.

    We celebrated our 100th birthday this June and are marking our centenary year with a donation of plants to a different charity each month. The latest donation we made was to York Cares Big Community Challenge 2021.

    The York Cares Big Community Challenge 2021  took place between the 9-30th June at Rowntree Park, with 17 volunteering sessions engaging more than 200 volunteers.

    We worked in partnership with the City of York Council Environment and Communities Team and the Friends of Rowntree Park, to prepare the park for its centenary celebration this July.

    York Cares has organised volunteers to clear and weed areas that have been affected by the floods. The volunteers will be replanting and starting the transformation of a part of the park into a new educational wildlife area, thanks to funding from Yorkshire Water.

    Our donation of plants to the value of £200 has been used to revitalise the family picnic garden, which will host families and friends over the summer who go to enjoy the park.

    The initiative is part of the York Cares Big Community Challenge 2021, where local businesses volunteer the services of their employees to transform a community space over the month of June.

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

    Eleanor Richardson, marketing manager at Johnsons, said: “We are pleased to have donated £200 worth of plants for the Big Community Challenge in June, which will make a transformative difference to Rowntree Park.

    “Many of us have benefited greatly from spaces like this throughout the pandemic so it is a wonderful opportunity to give something back while helping to celebrate both our own and the park’s centenary.”

    Katy Elliott, volunteering support officer at York Cares Big Community Challenge, added: “We are incredibly grateful to Johnson’s of Whixley for their donation of plants which will make a real difference to one of the areas of the park.

    Stu Small, Friends of Rowntree Park Gardener said: “Friends of Rowntree Park are pleased that Johnson’s was able to make a generous donation of plants to support our volunteer gardening programme. Like Johnson’s, Rowntree Park is also celebrating its centenary in 2021. The plants from Johnson’s have helped make an instant impact in our family picnic garden.”

    Posted 6th Jul 10:01am
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  8. The Growers Plantspo - July Shrubs

    The Growers Plantspo - July Shrubs

    In need of some flowering shrubs for your July projects? check out some of our favourite below from Convolvulus to Hebe and Vinca.

    Buddleia varieties

    🌸Flowers: July – September

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 4m

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + (subject to availability)

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    Convolvulus cneorum 

    🌸Flowers: May – July

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m

     Soil: Poor to moderately fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L (subject to availability)

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    Cotinus varieties such as ‘Royal Purple’

    🌸Flowers: July – August

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 5m (depending on variety)

     Soil: Moderately fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L (subject to availability)

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    Cistus varieties such as ‘Corbariensis,  ‘Sunset’ and ‘purpureus’. 

    🌸Flowers: June-July

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1m

     Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 7.5L, 10L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Escallonia varieties such as ‘Apple Blossom’, ‘Iveyi’ and ‘Pink Elle‘.

    🌸Flowers: June-July and usually again in September

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L  (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Fuchsia varieties such as ‘Tom Thumb’ ‘Genii’ and ‘Mrs Popple’

    🌸Flowers: June-October

    🌞 Position: Full sun  or partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Haliumium libanotis 

    🌸Flowers: June-August

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5m

    Soil: Well-drained soil

     Pot size: 3L,10L (subject to availability)

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    Hebe varieties 

    🌸Flowers: July-September (depending on the variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on the variety)

    Soil: poor or moderately fertile, moist, well-drained neutral to slightly alkaline soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L (subject to availability)

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    Hydrangea varieties 

    🌸Flowers: June-September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade (depending on variety)

    📏 Height: Up to 1.5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moist, well-drained soil, fertile soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 7.5L,  10L + (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Hypericum varieties such as ‘miracle bliss’ and Hidcote

    🌸Flowers: June-October (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade (depending on variety)

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L,  10L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Lavatera varieties such as ‘Rosea’ and ‘Baby Barnsley’

    🌸Flowers: June-September

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 2m

    Soil: Fertile -well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L  (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Lavender varieties such as ‘Hidcote’ and ‘munstead’.

    🌸Flowers: June-September

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m

    Soil:  Fertile -well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 7.5L, 10L  (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Potentilla varieties such as ‘Red Robin’ ‘Lovely pink’ ‘Goldfinger’ ‘Abbotswood’ and ‘Tangerine’ 

    🌸Flowers: May – October

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m depending on the variety

    Soil: moderately fertile, well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 7.5L, 10L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Roses (shrub varieties)

    🌸Flowers: July – September (depending on varieties)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1.5m depending on the variety

    Soil: fertile, humus-rich, moist, well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 4L, 5L, 10L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Spiraea varieties such as ‘Golden Princess’, ‘Goldflames’ and ‘Firelight’ 

    🌸Flowers: July – August (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 2m + (depending on variety)

    Soil: moderately fertile, well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 7.5L, 10L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Vinca varieties such as ‘major’, minor’ and ‘atropurpurea’ 

    🌸Flowers: April – September

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.45m depending on the variety

    Soil: any but very dry soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Interested in July flowering herbaceous for your planting plan also? click here

    Posted 29th Jun 9:25am
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  9. Named as runner-up in the Family Business Awards

    Named as runner-up in the Family Business Awards

    We were pleased to be crowned runner-up for the Yorkshire region at the prestigious Family Business of the Year Awards last week.

    The virtual awards evening, which celebrates the best of British family businesses, was organised by Family Business United and took place on Thursday 24th June.

    The UK’s leading supplier of safety products and services, Arco scooped up the Yorkshire Family Business of The Year title as well as Supreme Family Business of the Year 2021.

    Three generations of the Richardson family work at Johnsons including 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.

    We are incredibly proud to have made it to the finals alongside so many great family businesses and are over the moon to be crowned runner-up in our 100th year.

    Congratulations to all winners, finalists and runners-up.

     

    Posted 28th Jun 3:45pm
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  10. The Growers Plantspo - July Herbaceous

    The Growers Plantspo - July Herbaceous

    Are you in need of some inspiration for your next garden project and after some flowering July herbaceous plants? check out some of our favourite varieties from Alstromeria to Helenium, Penstemon and Veronica.

    Achillea varieties such as ‘Terracotta’, ‘Cloth of Gold’ and ‘Moon Dust

    Achilleas are a great addition to a mixed border or cottage garden in full sun – partial shade with flat-topped flowers that bloom from June – September with many cultivars and colours to choose from ranging from yellow to white and pink.

    🌸Flowers:  June-September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade (depending on variety)

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Alchemilla Mollis

    🌸Flowers:  June-September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m

    Soil: Humus-rich soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L

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    Alstromeria varieties such as ‘White Magic’, ‘Indian Summer’ and ‘Inticancha Maya’

    🌸Flowers:  June-September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.9m (depending on the variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 3L

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    Astilbe varieties such as ‘Fanal’

    🌸Flowers:  May – June, August (depends on the variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun -partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moist, humus, rich soil

     Pot size: 2L, 5L  (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Agapanthus varieties such as africanus, ‘Twister’ and ‘Polar Ice’

    🌸Flowers:  July – September (depending on the variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L  (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Astrantia varieties such as ‘Claret’, ‘Hadspen Blood’ and ‘Rosea’

    🌸Flowers: June – August (depends on the variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun -partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist, preferably humus-rich soil

     Pot size: 3L

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    Coreopsis varieties such as ‘Limerock Ruby’, ‘Golden Sphere’ and ‘Sunkiss’

    🌸Flowers: June – September (depends on the variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun -partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 3L

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    Dahlia varieties such as ‘Happy Days Pink’, ‘Happy Days Red’ and ‘Happy Days Yellow’

    🌸Flowers: June – September (depends on the variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun -partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 3L

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    Delphinium varieties such as ‘Galahad’ and ‘Magic Fountain Rose Blue White’

    🌸Flowers: June – July

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 2m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L

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    Digitalis varieties such as ‘Albiflora’ and ‘Excelsior Hybrids’

    🌸Flowers: June – July

    🌞 Position: Partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 2m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Humus, rich soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L

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    Echinacea varieties such as ‘White Swan’, ‘Magnus’ and ‘Alba’

    🌸Flowers: July – September

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Most soils, except very dry or boggy

     Pot size: 2L, 3L

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    Erigeron varieties such as ‘Sea Breeze’ and Erigeron karvinskianus

    🌸Flowers: May – October (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L

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    Eryngium varieties such as ‘Neptune’s Gold’

    🌸Flowers: July – August

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: dry, well-drained, poor to moderately fertile soil

     Pot size: 2L

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    Geranium varieties such as ‘Rozanne’ and ‘Max Frei’ 

    🌸Flowers: June – October (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L

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    Geum varieties such as ‘Totally Tangerine’, ‘Cosmopolitan’ and ‘Sunrise’

    🌸Flowers: June – August (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 3L

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    Helenium varieties such as ‘Moerheim Beauty’, ‘Short and Sassy’ and ‘The Bishop’ 

    🌸Flowers: July – August (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L

    ———————————————————————————————

    Leucanthemum ‘Banana Cream’ and ‘Snow Lady’

    🌸Flowers: June – September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L

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    Lupinus varieties such as ‘Gladiator’, ‘Persian Slipper’ and ‘Red Rum’

    🌸Flowers: June – July

    🌞 Position: Full sun- partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1.2m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3L, 5L (depending on variety and subject to availability).

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    Monarda varieties such as ‘Balmy Lilac’ and ‘Balmy Pink’

    🌸Flowers: July – August

    🌞 Position: Full sun- partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.4m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3L (depending on variety and subject to availability).

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    Nepeta varieties such as ‘Six Hills Giant’, ‘Walkers Low’ and ‘Junior Walker’

    🌸Flowers: June – September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun- partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.9m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3L, 5L (depending on variety and subject to availability).

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    Paeonia varieties such as ‘Felix Crousse’ and ‘Bowl of beauty’ 

    🌸Flowers: June – July

    🌞 Position: Full sun- partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moist, humus-rich, free-draining soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3LD (depending on variety and subject to availability).

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    Penstemon varieties 

    🌸Flowers: July – October

    🌞 Position: Full sun- partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3L (depending on variety and subject to availability).

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    Persicaria varieties such as ‘Darjeeling Red’, ‘Superba’ and ‘Delgado’

    🌸Flowers: June – October (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun- partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Any moist soil

     Pot size: 2l (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Salvia varieties such as ‘Caradonna’, ‘Cherry Lips and ‘Sensation White’

    🌸Flowers: June – October (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1.2m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3L,5L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Scabiosa varieties such as ‘Butterfly Blue’, ‘Flutter Deep Blue’ and ‘Flutter Deep Pink’

    🌸Flowers: June – September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moderately fertile, well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Tiarella varieties such as ‘Spring Symphony’ and ‘Pink Symphony’

    🌸Flowers: May – July

    🌞 Position: Partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.4m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Cool, moist, humus-rich soil

     Pot size: 3L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Verbena varieties such as bonariensis and  ‘Lollipop’

    🌸Flowers: July – September

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 2m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Veronica varieties such as ‘Anniversary Blue’ 

    🌸Flowers: June – August

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    For more ‘plantspiration’ head to our solutions section of the website here

    Posted 28th Jun 11:32am
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  11. Plants supplied to enhance the grounds of a Cotswold care home

    Plants supplied to enhance the grounds of a Cotswold care home

    We recently teamed up with Deacon Design and AWS Landscapes Ltd to supply thousands of plants and trees to create stunning landscaped gardens at a new care home in the heart of the Cotswolds.

    A colourful array of more than 3,000 plants and shrubs, including magnolia, cherry and apple trees, and evergreen hedges, have been used to transform the grounds of Upton Mill Care Home in Tetbury.

    In addition to the extensive gardens, the care home– part of the Porthaven Care Homes Group – offers residents the use of a cinema, gym, café, hair salon, activities lounge and even a private dining room.

    Working with long-standing client AWS Landscapes Ltd and Landscape Architects,  Deacon Design, we provided various plants and trees for the care home’s spacious grounds.

    AWS Landscapes Ltd carried out the soft landscaping elements of the project which included planting several apple and magnolia trees, along with several Betula jacquemontii (Himalayan beech), Fagus sylvatica ‘Dawyck Gold’ (golden beech) and Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’ (ornamental pear tree).

    Colourful flowers such as Camellia japonica ‘Elegans’ and Clematis Montana ‘Grandiflora’ 10L along with grasses like Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ were included in the plant supply, that have enhanced the home’s outdoor communal areas.

    Landscape Architects, Deacon Design, has worked closely with Porthaven Care Homes for many years. Since then, they have established an award-winning landscape design model that embraces Porthaven’s philosophy for the well-being of residents.

    The new care home at Tetbury offers a landscape design with a series of communal garden spaces, including dining terraces, a formal lawn, chessboard and games area that allow residents, families, and staff to relax, socialise and exercise outdoors.  Deacon Design’s approach includes private patio areas accessed directly from resident bedrooms and linked to a garden pathway that meanders through swathes of sensory planting.

    The variety of spaces creates a positive sensory environment for residents and families to enjoy the gardens and benefits of horticultural therapy.

    David Sowerby, Director of AWS Landscapes Ltd, said: “ This was a wonderful scheme to work on, and the design prepared by Deacon Design created a fantastic garden, which will be enjoyed by the residents for many years to come.

    We chose Johnsons of Whixley, who we have used for many years now on our Nationwide contracts to supply the stock for this High profile site as the quality of the stock and the attention to detail given by our contact Andrew Barker is second to none, it is comforting to know that when we place an order with Johnsons everything will be dealt with efficiently and deliveries will always be on time.”

    We have worked on similar projects previously, including a retirement village, Tattenhall, via Ashlea ltd.

    Posted 22nd Jun 8:50am
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  12. A new role for Tom Chilton

    A new role for Tom Chilton

    Congratulations to Tom Chilton, who has taken on the role of Roecliffe Assistant Manager as the previous Assistant Manager, Tony Tillet retired after 32 years.

    Find out what he had to say about his new role below:

    1.What are you most looking forward to in your new role?

    Managing the day to day running of the Roecliffe site and working with the team to produce great plants. It will also be great to see myself “grow” as a manager and further myself as a Horticulturalist.

    2. What was your previous role within the company?

    My main role within Johnsons has been on the production side of the company, I enrolled on the rising stars course soon after joining the company, and I have worked closely with Eric Buckby in the container unit potting shed, which I ended up managing for several weeks in his absence due to the Pandemic.

    3.What do you enjoy most about working at Johnsons?

    I have a general passion for plants. I have been around horticulture my whole life. The Johnsons community is also fantastic I have worked with so many great people here, the Richardson family make you feel very welcome, and I like the happy, upbeat environment in which we work.

    4.What did you do before working at Johnsons? Where did you study?

    Previous to Johnsons I worked for Summerfield Nursery at Poppleton, York. Summerfield grows a fantastic range of plants which they sell to the public and trade customers, I enjoyed my time there.  I had worked there since I was 15. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for them. I studied Horticulture at Askham Bryan College in York.

    5.What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

    I enjoy sport, including road/mountain biking and golf, and I have an allotment in which I grow exhibition vegetables and dahlias.

    6. Tell us a random fact about yourself

    At 21, I’m still a baby; I still can’t swim; no matter how much I try, I can’t do it!

    Posted 17th Jun 8:33am
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  13. Proud to have sold 220 million plants during our century of business

    Proud to have sold 220 million plants during our century of business

    We are proud to have sold around 220 million plants during our century of business.

    Our family business was founded by war veteran Eric Johnson in June 1921 and was bought by John Richardson in 1964; it has been owned by the Richardson family since.

    Notable projects include the Forth Road Bridge, HS1, Royal Parks, The Athletes Village at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, The National Trust, Studley Royal Gardens, a five-star hotel, Grantley Hall, and the UK’s largest science campus.

    Founder Eric Johnson started the company with minimum assets and a small piece of land bearing a couple of dozen fruit trees. He went on to produce a range of vegetables, fruit and garden plants that he sold directly from the nursery.

    After a year he took on his first employee and bought a model T Ford lorry. He began selling his stock from markets in Knaresborough and Otley markets while selling plants from home at weekends.

    As the business continued to flourish, he took on more employees and began to import plants from Holland.

    But the Second World War was a setback. Eric saw all but one of his staff join the war effort; he stopped growing ornamentals and concentrated instead on producing vegetables. He was given a commission with the Home Guard, with a platoon of 60 covering the area between Walshford Bridge and Skip Bridge along the River Nidd to Nun Monkton, back to Green Hammerton and the A1.

    Towards the end of the war, Eric bought seven acres of land in Whixley and ER Johnson Nurseries, based at Cattal & Whixley, was born. The nursery cropped Brussels sprouts, marrows, roses, ornamental trees and shrubs to name but a few.  The first large order was for 100,000 one-year seedling beech, sold to the Forestry Commission; they were all from one year’s crop and a single tree.

    By 1964, when Yorkshire horticulturist John Richardson and his Scottish wife Dorothy took over, the company was producing 150,000 plants annually, many of which were seedlings of hedge plants and rhododendron ponticum. The business employed 11 full-time staff and had a turnover of £30,500.

    John had spent much of his childhood on his grandparents’ market garden at Carlton, between Leeds and Wakefield. Aged 18, he went to Writtle College in Essex and completed a two-year college diploma in horticulture. Leaving college, John worked a full year for Willy and Robert Bean in East Yorkshire on intensive salad crops, while in his spare time he would grow rhubarb roots on borrowed land. He managed to sell the lot to the Bean brothers for £400 – a small fortune when the weekly wage at the time was just £6.50.

    In September 1958 John moved to Surrey to work on the specialist market garden of FA Secret Limited for three years. He spent six months driving lorry-loads of produce from there to Covent Garden wholesale vegetable market. On his return journey, he would have to hand-load either five tons of spent hops from the Guinness brewery in north London or a consignment of horse manure from the Royal Mews, beneath Buckingham Palace.

    He recalls: “On one occasion I was almost arrested as I drove down The Mall and through Admiralty Arch with a load of manure – lorries of any sort, particularly those full of manure, are not allowed down the Mall in front of the palace!”

    By 1961 John had joined Fisons as the commercial representative for horticulture in Scotland, where he met Dorothy. The couple were married in 1962. John knew his heart lay in practical growing so was intrigued when his uncle, who owned a garage in the North Yorkshire village of Whixley, told him the owner wanted to retire. After a grand total of 16 trips from Scotland, the sale of the business was finalized and John was the proud new owner of Johnsons of Whixley.

    Today, Johnsons has almost 200 acres of land and 120 employees, rising to 150 seasonally. The business sells between five and six million plants and trees each year. Despite the pandemic and Brexit, turnover for 2020 was £13.2m the second highest in the company’s history.

    It remains a true family business, with 11 members of the Richardson family performing a variety of roles within the company. John, now 83, is the company chairman and still works a four-day week. His son Graham is the group managing director and makes the business’s overall decisions, with support from his brothers Iain and Andrew, who are directors.

    John’s grandchildren Luke, Robert, Eleanor, Paul, Shaun and Jonathan Richardson are all involved with the business, as is his daughter-in-law Tracey.

    John said: “I always enjoyed physical work and growing things, so my life has been pretty ideal. There have been problems caused by things outside of our control, like the parks no longer buying directly from 1977, Dutch Elm Disease, COVID-19 and Brexit, but we have been able to survive them all so far. 

    “This has not been just my own doing but is thanks to the support of motivated and trusted colleagues who have run the different elements with such professionalism. It is with great pride that I have seen my sons continue to develop the business year on year, and now I watch my grandchildren take up the reins to the even further successful growth of the company.”

    Posted 14th Jun 2:15pm
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  14. The Growers Plantspo - June Herbaceous

    The Growers Plantspo - June Herbaceous

    Want to add colour to your garden projects this month? check out our guide to herbaceous varieties that are looking good this June from Achillea to Tradescantia.

    Herbaceous varieties looking good this June  

    Achillea varieties such as ‘Terracotta’, ‘Cloth of Gold’ and ‘Moon Dust

    Achilleas are a great addition to a mixed border or cottage garden in full sun – partial shade with flat-topped flowers that bloom from June – September with many cultivars and colours to choose from ranging from yellow to white and pink.

    🌸Flowers:  June-September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade (depending on variety)

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Alchemilla mollis

    🌸Flowers:  June-September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m

    Soil: Humus-rich soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L

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    Allium varieties such as ‘Purple Sensation’ and ‘Mount Everest’

    🌸Flowers:  May – June

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1.2m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L  (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Astilbe varieties such as ‘Fanal’

    🌸Flowers:  May – June, August (depends on the variety

    🌞 Position: Full sun -partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moist, humus, rich soil

     Pot size: 2L, 5L  (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Astrantia varieties such as ‘Claret’, ‘Hadspen Blood’ and ‘Rosea’

    🌸Flowers: June – August (depends on the variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun -partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist, preferably humus-rich soil

     Pot size: 3L

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    Coreopsis varieties such as ‘Limerock Ruby’, ‘Golden Sphere’ and ‘Sunkiss’

    🌸Flowers: June – September (depends on the variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun -partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 3L

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    Dahlia varieties such as ‘Happy Days Pink’, ‘Happy Days Red’ and ‘Happy Days Yellow’

    🌸Flowers: June – September (depends on the variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun -partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 3L

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    Delphinium varieties such as ‘Galahad’ and ‘Magic Fountain Rose Blue White’

    🌸Flowers: June – July

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 2m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L

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    Digitalis varieties such as ‘Albiflora’ and ‘Excelsior Hybrids’

    🌸Flowers: June – July

    🌞 Position: Partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 2m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Humus, rich soil

     Pot size: 2L, 3L

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    Erigeron varieties such as ‘Sea Breeze’ and Erigeron karvinskianus

    🌸Flowers: May – October (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, well drained soil

     Pot size: 2L

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    Geranium varieties such as ‘Rozanne’ and ‘Max Frei’ 

    🌸Flowers: June – October (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L

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    Geum varieties such as ‘Totally Tangerine’, ‘Cosmopolitan’ and ‘Sunrise’

    🌸Flowers: June – August (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil

     Pot size: 3L

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    Iris varieties such as pseudacorus, ‘Perry’s Blue’ and ‘Tamberg’

    🌸Flowers: May-June

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1.2m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Well-drained, moderately fertile, neutral to slightly acidic soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3L (depending on variety and subject to availability).

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    Lupinus varieties such as ‘Gladiator’, ‘Persian Slipper’ and ‘Red Rum’

    🌸Flowers: June – July

    🌞 Position: Full sun- partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1.2m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3L, 5L (depending on variety and subject to availability).

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    Paeonia varieties such as ‘Felix Crousse’ and ‘Bowl of beauty’ 

    🌸Flowers: June – July

    🌞 Position: Full sun- partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moist, humus-rich, free-draining soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3LD (depending on variety and subject to availability).

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    Persicaria varieties such as ‘Darjeeling Red’, ‘Superba’ and ‘Delgado’

    🌸Flowers: June – October (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun- partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Any moist soil

     Pot size: 2l (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Salvia varieties such as ‘Caradonna’, ‘Cherry Lips and ‘Sensation White’

    🌸Flowers: June – October (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1.2m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3L,5L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Scabiosa varieties such as ‘Butterfly Blue’, ‘Flutter Deep Blue’ and ‘Flutter Deep Pink’

    🌸Flowers: June – September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moderately fertile, well-drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil

     Pot size: 2l, 3L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Tiarella varieties such as ‘Spring Symphony’ and ‘Pink Symphony’

    🌸Flowers: May – July

    🌞 Position: Partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.4m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Cool, moist, humus-rich soil

     Pot size: 3L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Tradescantia ‘Sweet Kate’

    🌸Flowers: May – July

    🌞 Position: Full sun – Partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.3m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist but well-drained soil

     Pot size: 2L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Please note the above plants listed are subject to availability and is not an exhaustive list of what is available, please contact your sales rep direct for specific requests.

    Click here to view our list of June shrub plants that are looking good

     

    Posted 14th Jun 9:51am
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  15. The Growers Plantspo - June Shrubs

    The Growers Plantspo - June Shrubs

    Not sure what’s looking good in the plant world this month? check out our guide to shrub varieties that are looking good this June from Ceanothus to Spirea plants.

    Shrubs looking good this June

    Ceanothus varieties

    🌸Flowers: May – June (depending on variety, varieties such as ‘Puget Blue’ start flowering in April, and others flower for longer than June)

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 3m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L, 20L + (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Convolvulus cneorum 

    🌸Flowers: May – July

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m

    Soil: Poor to moderately fertile, well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L (subject to availability)

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    Cistus varieties such as ‘Corbariensis,  ‘Sunset’ and ‘purpureus’. 

    🌸Flowers: June-July

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1m

     Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 7.5L, 10L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Deutzia varieties like ‘Mont Rose’ and ‘Rosea’

    🌸Flowers: April – June

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial

    📏 Height: Up to 1m

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Escallonia varieties such as ‘Apple Blossom’, ‘Iveyi’ and ‘Pink Elle‘.

    🌸Flowers: June-July and usually again in September

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L  (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Fuchsia varieties such as ‘Tom Thumb’ ‘Genii’ and ‘Mrs Popple’

    🌸Flowers: June-October

    🌞 Position: Full sun  or partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Fertile, moist well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Haliumium libanotis 

    🌸Flowers: June-August

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5m

    Soil: Well-drained soil

    Pot size: 3L,10L (subject to availability)

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    Hydrangea varieties 

    🌸Flowers: June-September (depending on variety)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade (depending on variety)

    📏 Height: Up to 1.5m (depending on variety)

    Soil: Moist, well-drained soil, fertile soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 7.5L,  10L + (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Lavatera varieties such as ‘Rosea’ and ‘Baby Barnsley’

    🌸Flowers: June-September

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 2m

    Soil: Fertile -well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L  (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Lavender varieties such as ‘Hidcote’ and ‘munstead’.

    🌸Flowers: June-September

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m

    Soil:  Fertile -well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 7.5L, 10L  (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Potentilla varieties such as ‘Red Robin’ ‘Lovely pink’ ‘Goldfinger’ ‘Abbotswood’ and ‘Tangerine’ 

    🌸Flowers: May – October

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m depending on the variety

    Soil: moderately fertile, well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 7.5L, 10L  (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Philadelphus varieties such as ‘Virginal’ ‘Belle Etoile’ and ‘starbright’ 

    🌸Flowers: June – July

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1.5m depending on the variety

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L  (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Spirea ‘snowmound’

    🌸Flowers: June – July

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 2.5m

    Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L  ( subject to availability)

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    Syringa varieties 

    🌸Flowers: May-June

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 4m depending on the variety

    Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L, 12L, 20L + (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Viburnum opulus ‘Compactum’

    🌸Flowers: June – August

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1.5m

    Soil: Moist, well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L  (depending on variety and subject to availability)

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    Weigela varieties

    🌸Flowers: May-June

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 2.5m depending on the variety

    Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

    Pot size: 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L  (depending on variety and subject to availability)

    ———————————————————————————————

    Please note the above plants listed are subject to availability and is not an exhaustive list of what is available, please contact your sales rep direct for specific requests.

    Click here to view our list of June herbaceous plants looking good

    Posted 7th Jun 4:42pm
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  16. The Growers Guide - Watering in dry weather

    The Growers Guide - Watering in dry weather

    During warm and drought weather, it can be hard to ensure plants are getting the water they need to survive. Read our guide on watering in dry weather below.

    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.

    •  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.
    •  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.
    •  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.
    •  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.
    • 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.
    •  There are now many good water sprinklers on the market that have a wide range of spray patterns 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.
    •  Seep-hoses are particularly useful as they can be wound amongst plants that are susceptible to drought and left down all year.
    •  Whenever possible, use rainwater (collected in a rainwater butt) for watering lime hating plants, such as rhododendrons, camellias, etc.
    •  It’s worth noting that half an inch of rain equals approx. 13,600 galls/acre or 2.8 gall/sq.
    •  In hot weather, water container pots once a day.
    •  Remember, waterlogging can be as bad as drought!

    Posted 3rd Jun 4:06pm
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  17. The Growers Choice: Fragrant Garden Plants

    The Growers Choice: Fragrant Garden Plants

    Want to add fragrant plants to your garden project? has your client asked to surround the patio or decking area with fragrant plants? or do they want to add scent to their borders? Check out our guide to some of our favourite fragrant garden plants below.

    Lavender varieties

    Lavender plants have been used for thousands of years for their scent in the garden, including their use in essential oils with links to the Romans using it to perfume their baths.  It has also been used for many years, dried out and put in small packets to freshen linen, closets and drawers.

    Ideal for a pathway or patio pot flowering from July through to September, giving you months of fresh fragrance to enjoy.

    🌸 Flowers: July – September

    🌞Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Dependent on variety

    🌱 Soil: fertile, well-drained soil

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L and 10L pots (depending on variety)

     

    Trachelospermum jasminoides

    A climbing plant famous for its 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. Add to a sunny positioned wall or fence near your front or back door.

    🌸 Flowers: June – August

    🌞Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 9m

    🌱 Soil: fertile, well-drained soil

    Available in 5L, 10L and 20L pots (subject to availability)

    Syringa varieties

    While Syringa’s flowering period is short, its fragrance and bloom size makes up for it. Available in various colours, lilacs generally herald the beginning of warmer weather. Plant in a sunny well-drained spot for best results.

    🌸 Flowers: May – June

    🌞Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 5m (depending on variety)

    🌱 Soil: fertile, well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L, 20L + pots. (subject to availability)

    Sarcococca hookeriana ‘Winter Gem’

    Highly scented white flowers sit above large glossy, rich green leaves come late winter – early spring. It is a great addition to a shady border or a shaded patio spot where you can smell it every day.

    🌸 Flowers: Late winter-early spring

    🌞Position: Partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5m

    🌱 Soil: fertile, well-drained, moist soil

    Daphne aureomarginata

    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.

    🌸 Flowers: December – March

    🌞Position: Full sun –  Partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1.5m

    🌱 Soil: fertile, well-drained, humus-rich soil

    Rose varieties

    Some rose varieties, such as Rosa de L’hay, are known for their masses of heavily perfumed flowers rich purple in colour. It Would look great at the back of a shrub border and will flower from July to September.

    🌸 Flowers: July – September (depending on variety)

    🌞Position: Full sun –  Partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 2.5m (depending on variety)

    🌱 Soil: fertile, well-drained, moist humus-rich soil

    Head to our solutions page for more hints and tips here 

    Posted 3rd Jun 11:14am
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  18. The Growers Choice: Late summer blooms

    The Growers Choice: Late summer blooms

    Spring and early summer aren’t the only months where plants are in bloom choose from this selection of ‘late summer blooms’ for plants that go into late summer and beyond.

    Crocosmia varieties

    Choose Crocosmia varieties such as ‘Lucifer’  or ‘George Davidsion’ with funnel shaped flowers as bright as a red tomato, or as yellow as a lemon in ‘George Davidson’s case these plants flower from August to September. Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ will work best in a sunny herbaceous border alongside other bold colours, like Achillea and will reach up to 1m tall.

    🌸 Flowers: August- September

    🌞Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m tall (depending on variety)

    🌱 Soil: Well drained, Hummus-rich soil

    Available in 2L, 3L and 5L pots (depending on variety and availability)

    Hydrangea paniculata varieties

    Fantastic specimen plants ideal for a patio pot or mixed border in full sun – partial shade with some paniculata varieties flowering until October.

    🌸 Flowers: July – October (depending on variety)

    🌞Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m tall (depending on variety)

    🌱 Soil: Moist, well drained, Hummus-rich soil

    Available in 3L, 5L, 7.5L and 10L pots (depending on variety and availability)

    Sedum spectabile

    A great addition to the front of a sunny border and a great source of late nectar for pollinators flowering from August to October with pink flowers on top of grey-green succulent leaves.

    🌸 Flowers: August – October (depending on variety)

    🌞Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.45m (depending on variety)

    🌱 Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

    Available in 2l and 3L pots (depending on variety) 

    Echinacea varieties

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

    🌸 Flowers: July – September (depending on variety)

    🌞Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depending on variety)

    🌱 Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

    Available in 2l and 3L pots (depending on variety) 

     

    Rudbeckia varieties

    Rudbeckia varieties such as ‘Goldsturm’ are a great addition to a late sunny summer border and will look great planted amongst ornamental grasses.

    🌸 Flowers: August – October (depending on variety)

    🌞Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 075m (depending on variety)

    🌱 Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

    Available in 2l  pots (depending on variety) 

     

    Agapanthus varieties

    Globes of trumpet-shaped blue flowers on straight green stems that will last until September. They look fantastic in a pot or summer border.

    🌸 Flowers: July – September (depending on variety)

    🌞Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m (depending on variety)

    🌱 Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

    Available in 2l  pots (depending on variety) 

    Verbena bonariensis

    Tall branching stems with clusters of lilac-purple flowers from June to September ideal for the front or middle of a border in full sun.

    🌸 Flowers: June – September (depending on variety)

    🌞Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 2m  (depending on variety)

    🌱 Soil: Fertile, well-drained soil

    Available in 2l  pots (depending on variety) 

     

    Posted 2nd Jun 3:29pm
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  19. What to do in the garden this June

    What to do in the garden this June

    With warmer temperatures and extra sunlight this month, there’s plenty to be doing in the garden, from mowing the lawn to trimming topiary and filling in your borders with herbaceous or bedding plants.

    Check out our June gardening tips below, put together by Chairman and horticulturist John Richardson.

    1)Continue mowing established lawns frequently. Raise the blades a little in parched weather. Treat with weed killer if necessary. Remember to water new lawns in parched weather. Consider laying paving as stepping-stones in areas of high wear.

    2)  Dead-head roses and other plants with a succession of flowers to ensure large blooms and a constant display through the summer. Cut rose stems back to an actively growing bud. Seversuckers from the rootstock by tearing them off, or if too large, cut with a very sharp knife as close to the stem as possible.

    3) Complete the planting of hardy annuals, ensure they are well watered in and kept watered for the first month.  Ensure that slugs and snails do not cause too much damage by removing them by hand or treating them with appropriate slug and snail killer.

    4)   Lightly clip box edging and topiary to remove wandering shoots. Remember to provide feed and water, particularly if they are growing in containers. Trim back the flowering growth of Erica carnea varieties and top dress with peat.

    5)  Check the borders for unexpected gaps and fill them with bedding plants or herbaceous plants, remembering to water them in the coming weeks!

    6)  Plant out young dahlias now the potential for frost is past. Keep well-watered and control greenfly. Apply a mulch to conserve moisture and reduce weeds.

    7)  Water containers whenever the surface feels dry to the touch. Add a liquid feed to the water unless you have incorporated a long-release fertilizer earlier in the season.

    8)  Bright red lily beetles are already on the rampage again. Look for them on the upper surface of lily and Fritillaria leaves, where they take notches out of the leaves. They appear to move back down to soil level in the evening but need catching in daylight. They don’t fly, but any disturbance sends them falling back to ground level, where they remain with their black underside upwards.  Eggs are laid on the underside of the leaves, and larvae live within a mound of their own frass.

    9)  Remove self-sown seedlings of ash and sycamore before they become too established.

    10)  Take softwood or semi-ripe cuttings of cotoneasters, deutzias, fuchsias and philadelphus—root in a glasshouse or cold frame.

    11)  Reduce the number of floating plant leaves in the pond to allow light into the lower regions.

    12)  Tie in the soft young growth of raspberries, be careful not to break them off!.

    13)  Pinch out the growing tips of annual plants to encourage bushiness.

    14)  Sow winter pansies, primulas, violas and Brompton stocks under glass. Foxgloves and wallflowers can be sown outside in a weed-free area of the border to flower next year.

    15)  Earth-up main-crop potatoes and lift early potatoes when they have reached the size of a hen’s egg.

    16)  When watering greenhouse plants, spray a mist over benches, paths, and windows, and open doors and windows on hot days to help reduce the incidence of red spider.

    17)  Keep tying in the long shoots of climbing plants. Tie stronger stems to trellis or posts.

    Posted 1st Jun 1:44pm
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  20. Centenary plant donations help Yorkshire charities bloom

    Centenary plant donations help Yorkshire charities bloom

    We have donated hundreds of plants to Yorkshire charities as part of our centenary celebration.

    We celebrate our  100th birthday in June and are marking our centenary year with a donation of plants to a different charity each month.

    So far, we have gifted hundreds of plants worth more than £600 to Henshaw’s in  Knaresborough, Hope Pastures, Leeds, York Teaching Hospital Charity and, most recently, the Blue Cross at Thirsk.

    Plant varieties recently donated include a wide range of shrubs and herbaceous from Lavandula Hidcote to ‘Achillea’ new white 3L, and Digitalis dalmation rose 2L, Nandina Obsessed 5L, Paeonia  ‘white wings’ 2L, Phlox Emerald cushion blue 2L, Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’ 2L and Vinca minor 2L.

    Blue Cross Animal Welfare Assistant, Lyn Henderson said: “The team at Thirsk Blue Cross would like to thank Johnson’s of Whixley for their generous donation of plants for our site. It’s lovely that everyone who visits our centre will benefit from them and they are already creating a welcoming environment.”

    Hope Pastures Sanctuary Manager, Leonnie Martin said: “We were absolutely thrilled to be chosen as the winning charity from Johnson’s of Whixley and the prize selection of plants was amazing.  We have already installed some in our secret garden and we are using the others to create a peaceful piece of garden at the top of our site as a celebration of the people who leave us a legacy to help us do our work.”

    The last year has been a challenge for many charities; people haven’t had the funds to donate like they usually would. It’s great to give something back to local charities and help their outdoor spaces bloom.

    Posted 1st Jun 9:32am
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  21. Johnsons receive Plant Healthy certification

    Johnsons receive Plant Healthy certification

    We are delighted to announce that we are now Plant Healthy certified.

    The Plant Healthy certification scheme makes it easier to identify businesses that trade and grow plants to a high plant health and biosecurity standard. It reduces the risk of introducing/spreading destructive plant pests and protecting the horticultural industry, other cultivated plants and natural habitats.

    Plant Health is important to Johnsons and many other nurseries for many reasons, such as protecting our woodlands from pests and diseases such as ash-dieback and oak Processionary Moth, to safeguard native flora and fauna from non-native pests and diseases.

    Healthy plants are also fundamental for the creation of beautiful gardens and landscapes and are essential for life, making the oxygen we breathe and absorbing carbon dioxide. They are also essential for the food we eat and without them, we wouldn’t be here.

    Head of Production and Procurement, Jonathan Whittemore, said: “We are acutely aware of our plant Health responsibility which is why our staff are appropriately trained, and our plant health systems are robust. Our recent Plant Healthy certification, shows we are a business that trades and grows plants to a high plant health and biosecurity standard—reducing the risk of introducing or spreading destructive plant pests and protecting the horticultural industry, other cultivated plants, and natural habitats.”

    Click here to view our Plant Healthy certificate.

    Posted 20th May 2:30pm
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  22. The Growers Choice: Cottage garden plants

    The Growers Choice: Cottage garden plants

    Cottage style gardens are generally designed to include informal planting where the plants fill the air with beautiful scents; arches are filled with climbing roses, and borders full to the brim with a wide array of perennials and flowering shrubs.

    Want to include cottage garden plants in your next garden design project? here are some of our favourites

    1.Digitalis commonly known as foxgloves have been a cottage garden favourite for years with bell-shaped flowers available in an array of colours from pink to cream they are happy in a partial shade garden and are a favourite source of pollen for bees.

    🌸 Flowers: June-July

    🌞Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m

    🌱 Soil: moist, humus-rich soil

    Available in 2L pots.

    2. No cottage garden is complete without a Lupin, a popular choice for a traditional cottage garden with tapering spires available in shades of pink, purple, yellow, red and even mixed adding height to the back of a cottage garden border.

    🌸 Flowers: June-July

    🌞Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1.2m

    🌱 Soil: fertile, well-drained, sandy soil

    Available in 2L pots.

    3.Roses are a great addition to a cottage garden, and in particular, climbing roses would look fantastic against a trellis, pergola or the walls of a house with some varieties adding fragrance to your garden.

    🌸 Flowers: July – September

    🌞Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Dependent on variety

    🌱 Soil: fertile, well-drained, moist soil

    Available in 2L pots.

    4. Lavender will add fragrance and colour to your cottage garden and will draw in the pollinators. A great addition to a path, or border. Place in a sunny, well-drained position for best results.

    🌸 Flowers: July – September

    🌞Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Dependent on variety

    🌱 Soil: fertile, well-drained soil

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L and 10L pots (depending on variety)

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

    🌸 Flowers: June – October

    🌞Position: Sun – Partial Shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m

    🌱 Soil: fertile, well-drained soil.

    6.Hydrangeas are another firm favourite with varieties producing large clusters of purple, pink, blue or white flowers in early summer.

    🌸 Flowers: July – August

    🌞Position: Sun – Partial Shade

    📏 Height: Depends on the variety

    🌱 Soil: moist, well-drained, fertile soil

    Other popular cottage garden plants include Alchemilla Mollis, Paeonia, Geranium, Phlox, Iris, Hollyhock, Dianthus, Delphinium and Heucheras. For more of our solutions click here

    Posted 18th May 11:36am
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  23. What to do in the garden during May

    What to do in the garden during May

    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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  24. Crowned as the region's 20th top business in our centenary year

    Crowned as the region's 20th top business in our centenary year

    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.”

    Click here to view the full York top 100 publication

    Posted 30th Apr 1:55pm
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  25. A new role for Isaac Onions

    A new role for Isaac Onions

    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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  26. Tockwith CE Primary Academy connects with African classroom to 'grow together.'

    Tockwith CE Primary Academy connects with African classroom to 'grow together.'

    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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  27. Finalists in the Family Business of the Year Awards 2021

    Finalists in the Family Business of the Year Awards 2021

    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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  28. 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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  29. 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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  30. The Growers Choice: Intruder proof hedging

    The Growers Choice: Intruder proof hedging

    Do you require hedging that will act as a deterrent? these hedging varieties offer a fantastic deterring method that will help keep human and animal intruders away. A great alternative to a wall or fence.

    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 and in container pots after the bare root season.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 3.5m

    🌱 Soil: any soil (except water-logged sites)

     

    Crataegus monogyna

    A popular native hedging plant is 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 and in container pots after the bare root season.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 10 metres

    🌱 Soil: any soil (except water-logged sites)

     

    Berberis varieties 

    Make a great intruder proof hedge due to its prickly foliage and are available in various colours and sizes as evergreens and deciduous varieties.

    They are available In 2L and 10L pots.

     

    Ilex aquifolium 

    A variety that is known for its spikey dark, glossy, green leaves which make it a great intruder proof hedging variety.  Commonly known as Holly, this plant has an abundance of red berries during autumn and winter attracting birds to feast.

    Available from a p9 pot up to a 20L.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – Full shade

    📏 Height: Up to 12 metres +

    🌱 Soil: normal, clay or chalk soils

     

    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.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 2 metres +

    🌱 Soil: well-drained, fertile soil

    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.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 3 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained, fertile soil

    Posted 26th Mar 12:12pm
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  31. Plants that look good this March

    Plants that look good this March

    With spring officially here, it’s time to start making the most of your garden and landscaping projects with some of our favourite March flowering plants that are sure to add interest to your project this spring and beyond.

    Viburnum tinus ‘Lisarose’

    An evergreen shrub with year-round interest that will produce redbuds and clusters of soft pink flowers. Ideal for brightening up a part shaded area of the garden over winter and into spring when little else is flowering.

    🌸 Flowers: Late November – April

    ☀️Position: Full sun – partial shade

    Available in 2L, 5L and 10L subject to availability.

    Vinca minor

    This groundcover shrub is filled with blue-violet flowers right now that will last through to September. Vincas are great low growing ground cover plants that are great at suppressing weeds and great at the front of a border.

    ☀️Position: Full sun – partial shade
    🌸Flowers: Late March – September

    Available in 2L pots subject to availability.

    Pieris ‘Passion’

    An eye-catching evergreen shrub with generous pink-red bell-shaped flowers from March-May growing in full sun – partial shade it’s perfect in a large pot or on a patio.

    Available in 3L and 5L pots subject to availability.

    🌸Flowers: March-May

    🌞  Position: Full sun – partial shade

    Forsythia ‘Lynwood Gold’

    A striking spring-flowering plant which is smothered in golden blooms from March-April. A great addition to the back of a border or as an informal hedge.

    🌞  Position: Full sun – Light Shade

    🌸Flowers: February – April

    Available in 2L, 4L and 10L pots subject to availability.

    Skimmia Rubella

    Are you in need of some autumn/winter colour? Skimmia Rubella are known for their dark red flower buds that are produced in autumn and last through to winter until the flowers open in spring — an excellent plant for a patio pot or border.

    Available in 2L, 5L, 7.5L and 10L pots subject to availabilty.

    🌸 Flowers: March – May

    ☀️ Position: partial – full shade

    Erysimum ‘Bowles’s Mauve’

    A long-flowering semi-evergreen with narrow, grey-green leaves. This perennial produces spikes of purple flowers from late February to July and will make a great addition to a long flowering sunny border.

    🌸 Flowers: February – July

    ☀️ Position: Full sun

    Available in 2L pots subject to availability.

    Euphorbia wulfenii

    Is filled with huge heads of yellow-green flowers with ‘bronze eyes’ from late March-May that tower above its bluish-green foliage. Great at the back of a sunny border.

    Available in 2L pots subject to availability.

    🌸Flowers:  Late March-May

    ☀️ Position:  Full sun

    Prunus ‘Kojo-no-mai’

    Is a great addition to a small garden, it’s wiry twigs burst into life in March when buds open to display pale pink flower. It’s green leaves turn to glorious shades of red and orange in Autumn.

    🌸Flowers: March-April

    ☀️ Position:  Full sun

    Available in 3L, 5L and 10L pots subject to availability.

     

    For further advise, hints and tips go to our solutions page here

    Posted 17th Mar 10:50am
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  32. The Growers Choice: Hedging for shade

    The Growers Choice: Hedging 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 from buildings, walls, trees and of course, the gardens natural position. Below we have put some together a list of hedging varieties that can tolerate shade from Taxus to Ilex.

    1.Taxus Baccata 

    A dark green evergreen hedging variety with needle-like leaves, ideal for your garden project’s shaded location, this variety is commonly known as ‘Yew’. It is a popular variety often used in stately homes grounds and private gardens. This hedging variety is easy to trim and can be used to create shapes for a statement feature or simply cut to create a clean line.

    Red berries are seen come Autumn, which are loved by birds but harmful to humans, pets and livestock if eaten. This slow-growing variety prefers fertile, well-drained soil.

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes and as a rootball from November – March (all sizes subject to availability)

    🌸Flowers: April

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 20 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained, fertile soil

    2. Ilex aquifolium 

    A variety that is known for its spikey dark, glossy, green leaves which make it a great intruder proof hedging variety.  Commonly known as Holly, this plant has an abundance of red berries during autumn and winter attracting birds to feast.

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes and as a rootball from November – March (all sizes subject to availability)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – Full shade

    📏 Height: Up to 12 metres +

    🌱 Soil: normal, clay or chalk soils

    3. Buxus sempervirens

    Are a great low growing hedging plant that only requires 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. Plant in partial shade for best results.

    🌞 Position: Partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 5 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained, fertile soil

    Available in 1.5L, 2L,  3L, 5L, 10L +pot sizes  and as cones and balls  (all sizes subject to availability)

    4. Aucuba japonica ‘Crotonifolia

    This plant is full of thick glossy green leaves with pale yellow splashes and is particularly popular in shady areas of the garden where little else will grow. A great plant to create a dense hedge.

    🌞 Position:  Sun – Full shade

    📏 Height: Up to 3 metres

    🌱 Soil: Most soil types (except waterlogged or alkaline soils)

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes (all sizes subject to availability)

    5. 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.  Its density makes it ideal for screening for privacy, and it is a great barrier to noise and wind. Commonly known as laurel, this hedging variety grows up to 60cm per year and is relatively happy in most soil conditions.

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes and as rootball and bare-root plants from November – March (all sizes subject to availability)

    🌸Flowers: April

    🌞 Position: Full sun – full shade

    📏 Height: Up to 5 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained, moist soil, do not plant in shallow chalk

    6. 3. Elaeagnus x ebbingei

    A tough evergreen shrub with dark green leaves with a silver speckle and attractive silver underside. This robust evergreen variety is ideal for a shady, dry, windy seaside site.

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pots. (all sizes subject to availability)

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 4 metres

    🌱 Soil: fertile, well-drained

    Other plants to consider as shaded hedging varieties include: Berberis, Pyracantha and Leylandii.

    Unsure how many you need to plant per m? check out our hedging guide here

    Posted 12th Mar 10:20am
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  33. The Growers Choice: Hedging for small gardens

    The Growers Choice: Hedging for small gardens

    In small gardens, most people favour a wall or fence, however, there are plants that can create privacy or a boundary without taking over too much room, here’s just a few of our favourite hedging plants for small gardens below.

    1. Taxus baccata is a dark, evergreen low growing hedging plant that creates 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.

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes and as a rootball from November – March

    🌸Flowers: April

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 20 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained, fertile soil

    2. Ilex crenata – This evergreen hedging variety is a great alternative to Buxus hedging, resistant to box blight and not prone to leaf scorch when pruned. It can be kept as a small neat hedge and would make a great addition to a path or border.

    🌸Flowers: May

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 5 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained, fertile soil

    Available in 2L and 5L pots and other sizes subject to availability 

    3. 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. This plant will also attract pollinators to your garden. Head to our pollinator-friendly plants guide for more bee loving plant varieties.

    🌸Flowers: July – September

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained, fertile soil

    4. Buxus sempervirens are a great low growing hedging plant that only requires 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. (see our Buxus alternative blog post if you are concerned about box blight)

    🌞 Position: Partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 5 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained, fertile soil

    5. Euonymus ‘Jean Hughes’ is a fantastic dense, compact shrub that can be used in borders and hedging, a great new alternative to Buxus.

    🌸Flowers: July – September

    🌞 Position:  Sun- Partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m

    🌱 Soil: moist normal soil

    6. Hebe ‘Red Edge’ – A small evergreen shrub that will make an attractive low hedging variety in full sun – partial shade.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – Partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 045m

    🌱 Soil: moist, well-drained slightly alkaline soil

    For more advise on plants for certain locations, head to our solutions page here

    Posted 11th Mar 4:34pm
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  34. The Growers Choice: Plants for shade

    The Growers Choice: Plants for shade

    Some projects and gardens arent always blessed with full sun positions, the good news is that there’s plenty of shade-loving plants that we supply from Vinca to Helleborus, see eight of our top-selling shade plants below.

    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.

    🌸 Flowers: April – September

    🌞Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.2 metres

    🌱 Soil: Very dry soil

    Available in 2L pots.

    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.

    🌸 Flowers: July-August

    🌞Position: Partial or full shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m (depends on the variety)

    🌱 Soil: moist, well drained soil.

    Available in 2L and 5L pots.

    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.

    🌸 Flowers: August – October

    🌞Position: Sun – Partial Shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1.2m

    🌱 Soil: moist, well drained soil.

    Available in 2L, 3L and 5L pots (subject to availability) 

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

    🌸 Flowers: June – October

    🌞Position: Sun – Partial Shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6m

    🌱 Soil: fertile, well drained soil.

    Available in 2L, 3L and 5L pots (subject to availability) 

    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.

    🌞Position: Partial Shade

    📏 Height: Up to 1m + (depending on variety)

    🌱 Soil: moist, rich soil

    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.

    🌸 Flowers: April-May

    🌞Position: Partial Shade

    📏 Height: 0.4m

    🌱 Soil: fertile, humus-rich, moist soil

     

    7. Helleborus  – 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.

    🌸 Flowers: January – February

    🌞Position: Partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.3 metres

    🌱 Soil: Neutral to alkaline soil

    Available in 2L pots.

    8. Astrantia – Are a great addition to a shaded area of the garden including under trees or in a shaded border.

    🌸 Flowers: June to August

    🌞Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.75 metres

    🌱 Soil: Fertile, moist, humus rich soil

    Available in 2L pots.

    Head over to our solutions page for more of ‘The Growers Choice’ here

    Posted 11th Mar 3:16pm
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  35. The Growers Choice: Plants and Trees for pollinators

    The Growers Choice: Plants and Trees for pollinators

    With the decline of bees and butterflies, we thought we would share some of our favourite pollinator-friendly plants and trees for spring, summer and autumn along with some tips.

    Tips

    • Always grow a mixture of plants that will provide year-round interest for pollinators.
    • Try to stick to single flowers. Double or multi petalled flowers hide pollen and nectar.
    • Go organic and avoid pesticides
    • Put up nest sites and bug hotels for solitary bees.
    • Provide water for pollinators.
    • Allow lawn weeds to flower by cutting less often.

    Spring plants and trees 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. A popular variety for queen bees, and mining bees.

    Crocus – 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.

    Salvias – Salvias are a real magnet to bees, butterflies and even hummingbirds with some varieties flowering from late spring through to Autumn, a great source of nectar for pollinators.

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

    Autumn plants and trees 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 11th Mar 1:30pm
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  36. The Growers Choice: Ground cover plants

    The Growers Choice: 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 some of our favourite groundcover plants.

    Alchemilla Mollis

    Show off their rounded light green leaves with green-yellow small flowers. It thrives positioned in full sun or partial shade, growing up to 1.5 metres. Flowering from June to September, it is an easy-to-use perennial making it a favourable option for ground cover in borders.

    🌸 Flowers: June – September

    🌞Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.6 metres

    🌱 Soil: Hummus-rich soil

    Available in 2L and 5L pots. 

    Vinca Minor

    One of our favourite ground cover plants is the evergreen Vinca Minor. It is well-known for its capability in ground-covering flaunting its star-like blue flowers which can be seen from April to September. Planting the Vinca Minor in very dry soil exposed to full sun or partial shade will allow them to flourish.

    🌸 Flowers: April – September

    🌞Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.2 metres

    🌱 Soil: Very dry soil

    Available in 2L pots.

    Persicaria ‘Darjeeling Red’

    Is a semi-evergreen perennial, well-known for its crimson upright flowers. It can be seen in the Autumn months from September to November, growing up to half a metre tall. For best results, soil moisture must be moist but well-drained.

    🌸 Flowers: September – November

    🌞Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 0.5 metres

    🌱 Soil: Moist but well-drained

    Available in 2L and 5L pots.

    Waldsteinia Ternata

    Is a semi-evergreen perennial with yellow flowers standing out against their dark green foliage. They work well alongside a path or when used for edging a border under a tree or banking. Flowering in Spring and Summer, they will require full to partial shade in most types of soil.

    🌸 Flowers: April – June

    🌞Position: Full shade – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 10cm 

    🌱 Soil: Moist but well-drained

    Available in 2L pots.

    Cornus Canadensis

    Also known as Creeping Dogwood, blossom white flowers in late Spring to early Summer followed by clusters of bright red berries in Autumn once the flowers have faded. They are best grown in full sun to partial shade.

    🌸 Flowers: May – June 

    🌞Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 10cm

    🌱 Soil: Moist but well-drained

    Available in 2L pots.

    Hedera Hibernica

    An evergreen, climbing plant which thrives in most soil types and can be used for ground cover once the shoots are pinned down. It is fast-growing so will require more attention than other ground cover varieties to stop them from growing out of control.

    🌸 Flowers: October – November

    🌞Position: Full sun – full shade

    📏 Height: Up to 10 metres

    🌱 Soil: Alkaline moist but well-drained soil

    Available in 2L pots.

    For further solutions for your garden head to ‘the growers choice’ section of our website here

    Posted 8th Mar 3:45pm
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  37. What our staff say - National Careers Week

    What our staff say - National Careers Week

    This week is National Careers Week so we decided to question a few of our existing staff members about their careers at Johnsons, see what they had to say below.

    Mick Huby 

    1)What was the year you started at Johnsons? I started on the 15th June 1976, First job was hoeing conifers at Cattal with Bill Beasley, Harry Kettlewell, Eric Crowl and Jim Bryon.

    2)What has made you stay here all these years? Still like the different challenges of growing new stock and seeing the good results. I like working outside. No one day has been the same and the friendships I have made with the other people who work here.

    3))How has Johnson’s supported you in your career? From starting straight away from school way back in 1976 I have been helped and backed all the way by the company right the way through my apprenticeship and college years. I have been on many courses over the years from ploughing fields, grafting trees up to NVQ and management training.  They have also sent me on nursery visits not only in the UK but to growers in France, Holland, Belgium, and Germany and Italy to help gain further knowledge on how the business works.

    4)What makes Johnson’s a good employee? I think that even though the company as grown so big over the years it is still a family run business and because of that reason, it cares for its staff as one big team.

    5)How has Johnson’s supported you in your career? From starting straight away from school way back in 1976 I have been helped and backed all the way by the company right the way through my apprenticeship and college years. I have been on many courses over the years from ploughing fields, grafting trees up to NVQ and management training.  They have also sent me on nursery visits not only in the UK but to growers in France, Holland, Belgium, and Germany and Italy to help gain further knowledge on how the business works.

    Claire Horner

    How many years have you been at Johnsons? Nearly 22 years.  I started work in the summer of 1999, I remember because it was the summer when we has a total solar eclipse.

    1)What do you enjoy most about Johnsons? The thing I enjoy the most about working here at JOW is that there are never two days alike. It’s certainly not boring.

    2)How have Johnsons supported you? JoW has supported my career by providing access to training courses and arranging meetings with other growers in the UK and in Europe. This has helped me have a greater understanding of the ways a nursery works and how to manage people.

    3) What’s your proudest career moment?  For me, my proudest career moment is being part of a really successful cash and carry team, which is going from strength to strength. I feel I belong to this team and think that what we achieve together is greater than any individual success.

    My greatest personal achievement would be meeting my husband here at work. It was love across the muddy trenches; we met while working with the field-grown trees one winter; that was 18 years ago.

    4) How do Johnsons show their appreciation?  I love all the special days we have which are oriented around foody treats. From fish and chips to our month-end butties, it may not seem like much but these treats are what make me feel appreciated.

    Tom Watkins

    1)Length of service? Coming up to three years

    2)What do you enjoy most about being employed by Johnsons?

    I have always got great satisfaction from growing plants; understanding plant biology, refining plant husbandry techniques and experimenting with different IPM strategy. Being employed by Johnsons has allowed me to home in on these skills. With each day comes different challenges and obstacles to overcome, which allows for a steep learning curve.

    3)How have Johnson’s supported you in your career?

    I have always been given help and advice from the experienced members of staff that work for Johnsons. Any queries I have had have been met with a willing and helpful response. From this, my knowledge has grown considerably. On the other hand, any ideas I have had for trials or projects have always been supported.

    The company has also given me the opportunity to work with one of our Dutch young plant suppliers. This was a great experience for me as it allowed me to understand the importance of building a good relationship with other companies that we do business with, as well as being able to work with highly skilled growers and improve my knowledge of young plant production.

    4)How does working at Johnson’s compare to previous jobs you’ve had?

    Every company is different, and the fact that Johnsons is a family run business has been reiterated by the ethos of the company. I have always felt that everyone I have worked with has been willing to get stuck in together to get each task done. Help is always there when needed and, although the company is split into several departments, we all sing from the same hymn sheet.

    If you are interested in a career at Johnsons, keep an eye out for new positions on our careers page, or click here

    Posted 4th Mar 2:58pm
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  38. Plant supply to Europe's leading Science and Innovation Campus

    Plant supply to Europe's leading Science and Innovation Campus

    We have notched up another impressive plant supply during our 100th year, teaming up with Whiting Landscape ltd to enhance outdoor areas at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Europe’s leading science campus.

    The Oxfordshire-based science, innovation and technology campus is the size of a small town and occupies over 700 acres. More than 200 organisations are based there; it is home to a scientific community of more than 6,000 people.

    Many global firsts have been achieved at the campus, including the discovery of the world’s largest prime number, the building of Europe’s first energy-producing fission reactor and the first transistorised computer.

    The UK’s first Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) is a recent ground-breaking addition to the site.

    Harwell is now looking to expand, adding millions of square feet of new buildings, additional public areas and campus amenities – consolidating Harwell as one of the fastest-growing sites dedicated to science and technology in the UK.  At 48,000 sq. ft, Zeus is the latest building on campus to reach practical completion.

    Landscape construction and maintenance firm Whiting Landscape Ltd has been responsible for the soft landscaping package across new areas of the site, such as the area surrounding Zeus since 2016 with further work still ongoing.

    We have supplied thousands of plants across the campus including more than 4,000 to enhance the grounds of the Zeus building, a multi-occupancy R&D, laboratory, office and engineering hub. Varieties include Vinca minor, Polypodium vulgare, Ajuga reptens, Carex pendula and Hypericum androsaemum.

    Outside space around the Cobalt building has been improved by the planting of more than 5,000 plants and trees, including varieties such as 114 Pinus Mugo’ Mops’, 337 Fagus Sylvatica, 373 Rubus ‘Green Carpet’ and 205 Mahonia ‘Apollo’.

    Kevin Jarvis, buyer for Whiting Landscapes Ltd said: “Whiting Landscape have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Johnsons of Whixley for the past 40 years.  This relationship continues to flourish and is based on the quick response offered at the tender stage through to the flexible and supportive approach at the point of delivery. With future development opportunities at Harwell we look forward to working alongside Johnsons to offer the client the best in terms of value and quality available to the market.”

    We are no stranger to campus plant supply, having worked with a number of universities including the Cambridge Medical Campus, Inverness Campus, University of Hull Campus, University of Newcastle Campus and Sheffield Hallam Campus.

    Posted 2nd Mar 10:08am
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  39. What to do in the garden during March

    What to do in the garden during March

    March Garden Reminders 

    Spring is on the way and by mid-March it will be light until 6 pm, allowing additional time for garden tasks. check out this month’s hints and tips put together by our chairman and horticulturist John Richardson.

    1) Prune decorative Cornus and Salix to within 5cm of the old shoots to encourage next year’s coloured winter stems. Don’t prune ‘Midwinter Fire’ types too hard.

    2)Use sharp shears to trim winter-flowering heathers as flowers fade away, trim to just below the bottom flowers.

    3) Arrange to plant summer flowering bulbs when planting condition is good. (Our cash & carry have a great range in-store at the moment)

    4) Finish pruning perennials that have not yet been cut back, don’t remove new green shoots.  It is still time to lift and divide large herbaceous clumps.  Re-plant or give away the outer sections of the clump and destroy the centre of the plant.

    5) Wait until Laburnums and Hawthorn are in full flower before planting out tender plants such as dahlias, begonias, fuchsias and pelargoniums.

    6) Hellebores are now very popular, lift seedlings around parent plant and pot up.

    7) Start preparing window boxes, always starting with new soil or compost.  Pot up using hardy annuals by the end of the month, tender annuals should not be planted until all possibility of frost is past.

    8) Forsythia will be in full flower this month. As the flower goes over, reduce older woody shoots by 25% and give a good much to ensure growth during the summer.

    9) New shrubs and herbaceous plants can be planted when soil conditions are good.

    10) Finish pruning soft fruit bushes by mid-month and give a high nitrogen feed.

    11) Lawns may require the first light cut towards the end of the month. Ensure that you brush off worm casts beforehand to prevent dulling the mower blades, and it may well, be worth-while not collecting the cutting so that a light mulch is left on the lawn.

    12) Apply a spring dressing of fertilizer high in nitrogen, medium potash towards the end of the month.

    13) When daffodils have flowered, remove dead heads to conserve energy.

    14) Prune strong growing Buddleias down to about 45cm for a good show by summer. Prune to 60-80cm for a denser but weaker overall growth.

    Check out our gardening calendar for further hints and tips here 

    Posted 2nd Mar 9:44am
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  40. The Growers Choice: Evergreen Hedging

    The Growers Choice: Evergreen Hedging

    Evergreen hedging provides leaf cover 365 days of the year, providing a natural screen to bring privacy and structure to your landscaping project.

    We have a wide range of evergreen hedging plants available, from Prunus rotundifolia to Cupressus Leylandii. Our selection of evergreen hedging plants includes colourful foliage to fast-growing varieties.

    See a selection of our favourite evergreen hedging varieties below.

    Photinia ‘Red Robin’

    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.

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes and as a rootball from November – March

    🌸Flowers: April – May

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 4 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained, fertile soil

    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.  Its density makes it ideal for screening for privacy, and it is a great barrier to noise and wind. Commonly known as laurel, this hedging variety grows up to 60cm per year and is relatively happy in most soil conditions.

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes and as a rootball and bare root plants from November – March

    🌸Flowers: April

    🌞 Position: Full sun – full shade

    📏 Height: Up to 5 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained, moist soil, do not plant in shallow chalk

    Taxus Baccata 

    A dark green evergreen hedging variety with needle-like leaves, ideal for your garden project’s shaded location, this variety is commonly known as ‘Yew’. It is a popular variety often used in stately homes grounds and private gardens. This hedging variety is easy to trim and can be used to create shapes for a statement feature or simply cut to create a clean line.

    Red berries are seen come Autumn, which are loved by birds but harmful to humans, pets and livestock if eaten. This slow-growing variety prefers fertile, well-drained soil.

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes and as a rootball from November – March

    🌸Flowers: April

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 20 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained, fertile soil

    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 which are loved by pollinators and red berries in the autumn which are very popular with birds.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 15 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained, moist soil, do not plant in shallow chalk

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes and as a rootball from November – March

    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. Regular clipper in summer and autumn can help achieve a dense formal hedge.

    🌞 Position: Full sun – partial shade

    📏 Height: Up to 12 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained soil

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes

    Grisellina littoralis 

    A great hedging plant for a seaside retreat with large glossy, apple green ovate leaves. Grow in moist well-drained soil in a sheltered sunny spot for best results.

    🌞 Position: Full sun

    📏 Height: Up to 12 metres

    🌱 Soil: well-drained soil

    Available in 2L, 3L, 5L, 10L + pot sizes

    Not sure how many hedging plants you need per meter? head over to our hedging guide here

    Posted 24th Feb 2:44pm
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  41. Plant donation helps rejuvenate Henshaws grounds

    Plant donation helps rejuvenate Henshaws grounds

    We are pleased to have donated £150 worth of winter interest plants to Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre in Knaresborough.

    As part of our nurseries 100-year celebration, we are giving away 12 donations in 2021 to charities across the Yorkshire region.

    Lucky winner Henshaws provides vocational training, including art and horticulture workshops, for people with a wide range of both learning and physical disabilities.

    Plants donated by us include Hamamelis, Skimmia, Sarcococca and Helleborus. The plants will be used in the sensory garden and other prominent places around the Centre, bringing a splash of colour for the art makers and staff currently attending to enjoy, and visitors too once the Centre is able to reopen to the public safely.

    Henshaws Fundraising Manager, Gemma Young, said: “We were so pleased to hear Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre were the first winners of this brilliant Centenary Charity Giveaway and can’t wait to see the blooms in their new home! Lorna and her team at Johnsons of Whixley were instrumental in the creation of the beautiful sensory garden at the Centre a couple of years ago, and their continued support means such a lot to the community here”.

    2020 was a challenging year for many charities, including Henshaws, who rely heavily on donations to survive. It’s great to support Henshaws once again, we hope our plants spread cheer amongst staff, students and visitors for many years to come. This is just one of 12 donations throughout the year.

    We have donated thousands of plants over the years; at the start of the pandemic in 2020, we donated hundreds of plants to local villages. Other donations include a cash donation of £5,000 to restore their village church stained glass window and a donation of over £800 worth of plants to the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford.

    Posted 18th Feb 12:58pm
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  42. Brexit stops plant supply to Northern Ireland

    Brexit stops plant supply to Northern Ireland

    We have had to stop supplying plants to Northern Ireland after new Brexit restrictions came into play in January.

    Before Brexit, we sold half a million pounds worth of plants a year to Northern Irish customers, but new and impractical restrictions have put a wedge between long-standing trading relationships.

    The new legislation stops nurseries like us supplying Rootball, Bare Root and Container plants into the EU and now Northern Ireland. Plants which originate from a bare root young plant, or those that have had any contact with the soil, even if container-grown, are considered a risk due to the likely legacy of soil residue which has the potential to carry pathogens or nematodes.

    While not impossible, soil residue removal is impractical and would defeat the object of rootballing and containerisation.

    Long-standing customers of Johnsons and many other nurseries are left with no choice but to go directly to EU suppliers as there are no restrictions on a legacy soil residue between EU members or affiliates in the guise of Northern Ireland.

    Johnsons Head of Production and Procurement, Jonathan Whittemore commented:

    “This legislation penalises UK growers and gives an immediate competitive advantage to EU suppliers who may go on to monopolise supply into an existing part of the UK at the expense of our business and the wider industry.”

    The Brexit ‘project’ was meant to reduce red tape and bureaucracy and was surely not intended to penalise UK Suppliers and active Northern Ireland/UK customers. The restriction was designed to protect the wider EU Flora and Fauna, under this scenario there is ‘nil’ risk to the EU from Johnsons traditional supply into NI be it from our own production or ironically imports sourced in the EU and supplied into NI!”

    Click here for further details regarding plant health and growing media

     

     

    Posted 2nd Feb 1:02pm
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  43. Centenary Charity Giveaway - March 2021

    Centenary Charity Giveaway - March 2021

    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 marketing@nurserymen.co.uk 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:

    March terms and conditions 

    • The promoter is Johnsons of Whixley Ltd
    • Entrants must comment on the post or email marketing@nurserymen.co.uk quoting ‘Centenary Giveaway’ letting us know where this donation would be planted and explaining why they deserve to win by Friday 9th April 2021.
    • The prize is open to Yorkshire charities – a valid charity number will be required to redeem the prize.
    • The March prize will include the following plants: 1 x Anemone Harmony Blue 2L, 1 x Anemone Harmony Orchid 2L, 1 x Aucuba ‘Crotonifolia’ 5L, Bergenia Harzkristall, 2 x Euphorbia Robbiae 2L,  1 x Forsythia ‘Lynwood Gold’, 1 x Hebe ‘Red Edge’ 2L, 1 x Hebe ‘Sutherlandii’ 2L, 1 x  Magnolia stellata 3L, 1 x Photinia Carre Rouge 5L, 1 x Phormium ‘Jester’ 2L, 1 x Picea glauca ‘conica’ 3L, 1 x Pieris ‘Debutante 3L, 1 x Pieris ‘Passion’ 3L, 1 x Prunus Kojo-no-mai 10L, 1 x Sarcococca ‘Winter Gem’ 5L,  1 x Scabiosa ‘Pink Mist’ 2L, 1 x Skimmia ‘Rubella’ 5L,  1 x Thuja ‘Tiny Tim’ 2L, 1 x Vinca minor ‘Atropurpurea’ 2L, 2 x Vinca minor 2L.
    • Charities based within North, West, South and East Yorkshire can apply.
    • The nominator must be aged 18 or over.
    • The promoter will deliver at a convenient time to the winning charity for free.
    • The winner must agree to use their charity name and share photos with Johnsons for marketing purposes.
    • The promoter will contact the winner directly by email, telephone or social media depending on submission.
    • The winner will also be announced on social media during early April 2021 please share your social media details on the application.
    • There is only one prize available per winner, per month (£150 worth of seasonal plants).
    • Entries who did not win will not be contacted.
    • The promoter will not take responsibility for any failure to the plant once the prize is received, replacements cannot be issued.
    • The Promoter reserves the right to withdraw this offer or amend these Terms and Conditions at any time without notice.
    • In the event of any dispute regarding the terms and conditions, the conduct, results and any other matters relating to this prize draw, the decision of the Promoter shall be final, and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.
    • By entering applicants agree to the above terms and conditions.

    Posted 31st Mar 1:11pm
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  44. Centenary Charity Giveaway - February 2021

    Centenary Charity Giveaway - February 2021

    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 marketing@nurserymen.co.uk 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:

    February terms and conditions 

    • The promoter is Johnsons of Whixley Ltd
    • Entrants must comment on the post or email marketing@nurserymen.co.uk quoting ‘Centenary Giveaway’ letting us know where this donation would be planted and explaining why they deserve to win by Friday 26th February 2021.
    • The prize is open to Yorkshire charities – a valid charity number will be required to redeem the prize.
    • The January prize will include the following plants: 1x Acorus ‘Ogon’ 2L, 1x Asplenium scolopendrium 2L, 1 x Azalea evergreen in variety 3L, 1 x Carex ‘Everest’ 2L,  1 x Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima’ 3L, 1 x Cornus ‘Cardinal’ 3L, 1 x Cornus ‘Flaviarmea’ 3L, 1 x Crocosmia George Davision bulbs pack, 1 x Dahlia Purple Gem bulbs pack, 1 x Dryopteris erythorosa 2L, 1 x Euonymus Marieke 10L, 2 x heathers in variety 1L, 1 x Helleborus ‘Diego Ice’ 2L. 1 x Leucotheo ‘curly red 5L, 1 x Lily asiatic mixed bulb pack, 1 x Mahonia ‘Winter sun’ 10L, 1 x Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’ 1L,  1 x pack of Nerine alba bulbs, 1 x Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’ 2L, 1 x Skimmia Finchy 2L, 1 x Skimmia Rubella, 1 x Tulipa Spring Green 1L.
    • Charities based within North, West, South and East Yorkshire can apply.
    • The nominator must be aged 18 or over.
    • The promoter will deliver at a convenient time to the winning charity for free.
    • The winner must agree to use their charity name and share photos with Johnsons for marketing purposes.
    • The promoter will contact the winner directly by email, telephone or social media depending on submission.
    • The winner will also be announced on social media during early March 2021 please share your social media details on application.
    • There is only one prize available per winner, per month (£150 worth of seasonal plants).
    • Entries who did not win will not be contacted.
    • The promoter will not take responsibility for any failure to the plant once the prize is received, replacements cannot be issued.
    • The Promoter reserves the right to withdraw this offer or amend these Terms and Conditions at any time without notice.
    • In the event of any dispute regarding the terms and conditions, the conduct, results and any other matters relating to this prize draw, the decision of the Promoter shall be final, and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.
    • By entering applicants agree to the above terms and conditions.

    Posted 18th Feb 2:08pm
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  45. Centenary Charity Giveaway - January 2021

    Centenary Charity Giveaway - January 2021

    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 marketing@nurserymen.co.uk 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:

    January terms and conditions 

    • The promoter is Johnsons of Whixley Ltd
    • Entrants must comment on the post or email marketing@nurserymen.co.uk quoting ‘Centenary Giveaway’ letting us know where this donation would be planted and explaining why they deserve to win by Friday 5th February 2021
    • The prize is open to Yorkshire charities – a valid charity number will be required to redeem the prize
    • The January prize will include the following plants: 1x Amanthele lessoniana 2L, 1x Bergenia ‘Winterglut’ 2L, 1 x Carex ‘Ice Dance’ 2l, 1 x Centranthus rubber ‘Albus’ 2L, 1 x Cornus sang. ‘Midwinter Fire’ 10L, 1x Festuca ‘Elijah Blue’ 2L, 1 x Guara lindheimeri 2l, 1 x Hamamelis ‘Ruby Glow’ 5L, 1 x Heucherella ‘Art Noveau’ 3L, 1 x Heuchera ‘Cherry Cola’ 2L, 1 x Helleborus nigercors, Diego Ice’ 2L, 1 x Hydrangea Alice 3L, 1 x Lavandula Munstead 2L, 1 x Leucothoe ‘Burning Love’ 5L, 1 x Penstemon Garnet 2L, 1 x Rosmarinus Officinalis 2L, 1 x Sarcococca ‘Winter Gem’ 5L, 1 x Skimmia Rubella 5L.
    • Charities based within North, West, South and East Yorkshire can apply
    • The nominator must be aged 18 or over
    • The promoter will deliver at a convenient time to the winning charity for free
    • The winner must agree to use their charity name and share photos with Johnsons for marketing purposes.
    • The promoter will contact the winner directly by email, telephone or social media depending on submission.
    • The winner will also be announced on social media on Monday 8th February 2021 please share your social media details on application.
    • There is only one prize available per winner, per month (£150 worth of seasonal plants)
    • Entries who did not win will not be contacted
    • The promoter will not take responsibility for any failure to the plant once the prize is received, replacements cannot be issued.
    • The Promoter reserves the right to withdraw this offer or amend these Terms and Conditions at any time without notice.
    • In the event of any dispute regarding the terms and conditions, the conduct, results and any other matters relating to this prize draw, the decision of the Promoter shall be final, and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.
    • By entering applicants agree to the above terms and conditions.

    Posted 29th Jan 10:44am
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  46. Shortage of trees and shrubs - BALI investigation into price increases within the industry

    Shortage of trees and shrubs - BALI investigation into price increases within the industry

    An investigation conducted by the British Association of Landscape Industries has revealed shortages of trees and shrubs are behind price increases within the industry.

    Last week one of BALI’s Board Directors contacted BALI regarding the current availability of trees and shrubs. He advised stock of a wide range of planting material both in UK and Europe has become limited. Native trees and shrubs are most affected and, where they are available from suppliers, prices have increased significantly in a matter of a few months.

    Having now spoken to several nurseries and wholesalers in the UK and Europe, BALI can confirm the issue and the potential to affect landscape contractors and specifiers if it has not already done so.

    There are several reasons for this shortfall, some of them obvious and others less so. While COVID-19 and Brexit are contributory factors, they are less important than a widespread increase in demand for planting material, together with historic events to which the industry has little control.

    The age of conspicuous concern for the environment has arrived. The negative impact of human activity on the planet is now being recognised by the public and, more importantly, forcing leaders around the globe to respond with initiatives that seek to tackle the problem.

    Caring for the environment and human activity are not mutually exclusive, which means many projects now include extensive environmental elements. Whether to offset the carbon used in manufacturing, to screen a new motorway junction or mitigate habitats lost to the construction of the HS2 corridor, the environment has become a bargaining tool and plants the very latest currency.

    Tree planting is a particularly popular venture. From large infrastructure projects to the government or charitable initiatives and local authority schemes, large scale tree planting is gaining traction. Due partly to the role trees can play in offsetting carbon emissions, governments the world over have set high targets for tree planting. In the UK alone, the government has set a target of establishing 30,000 ha of new woodland in England by 2025 and planting 11 million trees by 2022. HS2 is responsible for planting up to 7 million trees and even the BBC One Show aims to plant 750,000 trees during the next 12 months.

    Predictably, global restrictions on movement during 2020 led to attention being turned to domestic gardens and public open spaces. BALI’s own 2020 trade survey revealed that, despite the financial and societal pressures of COVID, domestic spending on gardens – either on mail order or overall garden projects – increased significantly. In the case of mail-ordered materials, most BALI members recorded a record number of domestic sales.

    If providing sufficient volumes of material for the burgeoning number of tree planting projects isn’t hard enough, suppliers are faced with many other issues which have been compounded in the last few years. Increasing demands on the material would put even the most robust supply chain under pressure, but growers have had many other pressures to deal with.

    Between 2008 and 2013 the world was plunged in a recession. This period of fiscal austerity had an impact on growers in England and Europe, many of whom scaled back propagation and growing because of reduced demand and lack of capital. Fast-forward 10 years, and while growers have now invested in propagation and growing ventures, the recession has created gaps in stocks of planting material which is having repercussions for specifiers seeking the largest specimens for their project.

    More recently, COVID has had an impact on the production of planting material. From shortages of labour to physically lift material from fields to missing deadlines for potting and planting stock last year, the pandemic has hampered most production operations to some extent. This has meant that lower numbers of material has been presented to market during the past 12 months, and is likely to be limited while the pandemic has a grip on the health of the global population.

    Last but by no means least, large numbers of plants were purchased towards the end of 2020 and stockpiled to ensure any interruption in the trade as a result of a ‘no deal’ Brexit did not result in shortages of planting material. This is believed to have caused a spike in demand towards the end of 2020 which skewed availability of planting material in the early part of 2021. The last-minute Brexit deal has allowed trade to continue but delays to inspection regimes mean the effect of new trading relationships is unlikely to take effect until later this year.

    Collectively, these events have resulted in a shortage of material and higher costs. Conversations with nurseries suggest this situation is likely to be more of an evolution rather than a short-term event. While many of the factors discussed are temporary, their impact is likely to be felt for several years.

    While this evolution is likely to represent a challenge for landscape professionals, who may see this development as a backward step, suppliers of planting material are keen to stress that, while supply chains have evolved over recent years, the time invested in plants to grow remains the same, as do the challenges associated with a living thing.

    To prevent disappointment, plant suppliers urge specifiers and contractors of all sizes to engage with them as early as possible regarding all orders for material. In contrast to the ‘next-day’ business models that are prevalent in consumer products, a longer order period is seen as a likely development.

    Forward procurement planning is common in many other industries where there is a need to highlight upcoming purchases of goods or services and has recently been successfully implemented by landscape contractors working on the HS2 scheme under contract growing initiatives with nurseries. Given the investment in time and money required for planting material, this model may become more common in the future, to ensure this costly investment by the grower is protected.

    The culture of next day delivery and immediate results has not escaped the landscape and horticulture industries, who have embraced supply chain developments and enabled specifiers and contractors to access a diverse range of plants. But when the commodity being sold requires years of investment and care at every stage, there is a limit to what is possible.

    This document was made possible thanks to BALI’s contractor and affiliate generously sharing their time and knowledge with BALI’s technical officer, Owen Baker.

    Group Managing Director, Graham Richardson said: “ We like many other nurseries across the UK and Europe are facing stock shortages. We are trying to keep prices and time delays to a minimum and appreciate our customers understanding of the current climate; we urge all customers to give us additional time for all orders to avoid disappointment.”

    Posted 22nd Jan 9:00am
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  47. Production at Johnsons 100 years on

    Production at Johnsons 100 years on

    2021 is our Centenary year, and a lot has changed for our business over the past 100 years, but what has changed and what remains the same?

    First off, we speak to Chairman John Richardson and his Grandson, Robert Richardson, the companies, Production Manager, about production changes during the past 100 years.

    1.Firstly, how did it all start, tell us about the first plant variety Johnsons produced and sold?

     John: It is now 100 years since Johnsons produced their first plants and I don’t remember the detail too well!! Mr Johnson minimally started on his own and grew vegetables, some roses, polyanthus, fuchsias, daffodils, and tomatoes for sale locally.

    2. John, what knowledge of production did you have before purchasing Johnsons, and what did you learn from Mr Johnson?

    John: My horticulture education was founded at my grandparents’ market garden at Rothwell and then at the Essex Institute of Horticulture, which covered most elements during the 2-year course.

    On leaving I did a year working on a market garden in Brough, East Yorkshire, followed by four years on a big market garden in Surrey. Having realized that I didn’t have enough money to start vegetable production on my own, I joined Fisons, a national fertilizer company as an advisor to commercial veg growers to the whole of Scotland.  Whilst it was a brilliant experience, after four years I wanted to get back to actual production and found that Nursery Stock was the answer as it was usually on a small scale, with the big benefit (or so I thought!!) that if you didn’t sell plants this year, they would sell for more money next year.

    Mr Johnson was an excellent tutor from day one. One of the people I have most respected in my entire life. When he retired, he built a bungalow on the site and was on hand to help if I needed additional advise.

    3.What challenges and triumphs did Eric tell you about his 43 years of producing plants before your purchase?

    John: Mr Johnson started with the minimum of assets on a small bit of land bearing a couple of dozer fruit trees. He never learned to drive and had to wait until he got his first employee before he could sell through Knaresborough and Otley markets.  His wife was a tremendous help to him, and they never had children. In the second world war, he had to grow for food products only and was also heavily involved in the regional Home Guard movement. The business grew slowly and steadily over the years, but Mr Johnson was a real plantsman, his main objective in selling plants was to make room to grow some more!

    4.When you took over the business in 1964, roughly how many plants were Johnsons producing?

    John: I estimate that it would be in the region of 150,000, many being seedlings of hedge plants and rhododendron ponticum, of which he sold 20,000 annually to Coles of Leicester as grafting stocks with a turnover of £30,500.

    5.Rob, How does that compare to current figures?

    Rob: Approx 2 million plants in pots and 1 million in the field, although we do have significant numbers grown for us on contract. We now sell over 5 million plants per year and our last turnover was 13.2 million.

    6.And what about trends? What did we produce and sell most of? And what’s popular now?

    John: The most frequently asked for plants over generations must have been hedge plants such as beech, thorn hornbeam etc., which have been grown for 500 years to use as field markings and animal enclosures.  The seed is collected in the autumn and subjected to a period of cold winter treatment before being sown in the following spring.  In recent years the number of plants grown from seed has increased, but not as much as the increase in plants propagated vegetatively in order to develop the continued expansion of ‘new’ varieties continually in demand by the public.

    With the continued expansion of plants in demand, it is now relatively common for species requiring specific propagation techniques to be grown by a specialist to order, with some significant growers not undertaking propagation at all.

    Roses and fruit trees have always been high on any propagators list, but over the last 30 years, demand has fallen to such an extent that propagation is now in the hands of a few companies.

    Hedging | Johnsons of Whixley Commercial

    Rob: There are some staple lines which are ever-popular and remain our best sellers year on year such as Lavandula Hidcote and Crataegus monogyna.

    The most apparent upward trend over the last ten years has been in perennial/grasses planting, with shrub planting (mainly deciduous utility varieties) waning as a result; however, we are starting to see a bit of an increase in genus such as potentilla that hasn’t been fashionable for a while.

    I can imagine that over the next few years there will be a revival in demand for varieties with traditional names such as Garrya’ James roof’ or Eucryphyia’ Nymansay’ at the expense of novelty varieties named after cocktails or emoji’s.

    Mirroring the recent fashion for houseplants, I can also see foliar interest plants such as fatsia, hedera, and Colocasia that mimic these effects becoming popular.

    7.Have there been more challenging years than others?

     John: I look back to the early years when we had no summer sales; all our efforts were focussed on weed control and the training of young trees and shrubs. At that time, we had retail customers come and look around the nursery and place orders for autumn delivery. This could vary from a single rose costing 25p to a York Corporation order for £250. 1981 was our most challenging year, the frost set in at Christmas and the ground was frozen to a depth of more than 20″ solid for 13 weeks until we had to make the decision that staff would be laid off. That same week it began to thaw, and we kept everyone on, but it was a further three weeks before the frost was finally out of the ground.

    2020 was also a challenging year with Covid-19 and Brexit bringing problems we have never had to face before.

    Rob: Managing the production department from June this year means that I don’t have another year to compare it to. Coronavirus has been a bit of an unknown, but no more challenging than all the other complexities that growing plants bring.

    8.What has changed most over the years?

    Rob: I would think that the biggest change has been the loss of/reduction in seasonality. Most plants are now available and can be planted almost all year round.

    From a sales/landscaping perspective, this is positive, but it does remove some of the variety and interest from what we see and do throughout the year.

    9.Rob, you’ve worked in varied roles within the business, what do you enjoy most about this one?

    Rob: I enjoy the constant problem solving that my job requires and the fact it allows me to explore lots of different disciplines at times in detail, but I think the most rewarding element of the job is the clear connection I can see with the results of my work. If I make the right decisions, we grow good plants, and I get to witness this first-hand.

    10.And finally, Rob, what does the future of production look like? (will we be getting a static shock from robots?)

    Rob: The obvious answer is greater automation, with more of the picking, packing and plant care processes likely to be mechanized particularly for commodity and large volume crops. This would involve more complex machines with a degree of intelligence. Still, most nursery processes are uniform enough not to need the differentiation ability of what I would think of as a Robot.

    However, I think automation of commodity high volume lines will allow a more precise separation of/focus on added value products that require specialist skills or labour-intensive practices. The products that don’t fit automated systems may be the ones we see less of but pay a fair price for as a result.

     

     

    Posted 20th Jan 1:09pm
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  48. Winter Interest Plants - five of our favourites

    Winter Interest Plants - five of our favourites

    Winter is full of hidden gems in the plant world from bright coloured stems to attractive buds, so we thought we would share five of our favourites.

    Cornus

    Cornus varieties offer great interest throughout the year but in particular during the winter months when their bare stems are visible in fiery shades of red-orange and yellow.

    For best results plant in moist moderately fertile soil in a full sun position to attain the best colour.

    Popular varieties we sell include Cornus alba ‘Sibrica’, Cornus  ‘Flaviramea’ and Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ we have a great selection from a 2L to a 10L pot.

    Skimmia

    Skimmia Rubella is a firm favourite with their fantastic dark green elliptic leaves with panicles of redbuds showing in winter and fabulous white fragrant flowers in early spring.

    Plant in partial shade in neutral to acidic soil for best results. Avoid planting in full sun, which can cause yellowing to the leaves. A perfect addition to a patio pot or border.

    Choose varieties such as Skimmia Rubella, Skimmia Finchy and Skimmia reevesiana.

    Helleborus

    Hellebores are compact, clump-forming perennials with dark green, leathery leaves and stunning flowers.

    A tremendous shade-loving border plant that will brighten up your garden when little else is flowering from December – March.

    It would help if you planted in partial to full shade for best results and cut back old leaves in January – February to show off new flowers.

    Hamamelis

    Hamamelis plants are covered in branches of distinctive, spider-like, fragrant flowers in red, yellow, and orange shades from January to early spring.

    Whilst slow growing this plant variety can become a large spreading shrub or small tree. A fantastic specimen plant that will make a great addition to the middle or back of a border.

    Plant in well-drained, neutral acid soil in full sun to partial shade for best results.

    Evergreen Viburnums such as tinus are a great shrub for winter interest with dark green leaves and clusters of tiny white flowers from December to April.

    A great low maintenance easy to grow shrub which can brighten a part shaded area of the garden when little else is flowering.

    Happiest in fertile, moist, well drained soil positioned in full sun – partial shade.

    Posted 18th Jan 1:58pm
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  49. Johnsons shortlisted for Family Business of the Year Award 2021

    Johnsons shortlisted for Family Business of the Year Award 2021

    We are proud to have been shortlisted for Family Business of The Year in the 2021 Family Business United Awards.

    Our 100-year-old company will have the chance to scoop the Yorkshire, regional and supreme champion titles for 2021.

    Family 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.

    Despite the challenges the company faced in 2020, including COVID-19, a break-in that destroyed thousands of plants and Brexit, turnover reached a remarkable £13.2 million, the second-highest figure on record. In 2020, we sold 5.3 million plants, welcomed 495 new customers, made 25 donations, completed over 10,000 quotes and made 11,000 safe deliveries throughout the UK.

    We are one of the largest commercial nursery businesses in the UK, supplying stock for high-profile schemes including the Forth Road Bridge, HS1, Royal Parks, the Athletes’ Village at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the five-star hotel Grantley Hall.

    Chairman John’s eldest grandson Luke Richardson oversees the running of the cash and carry side of the business and is a senior member of both the commercial sales team and senior management group. Thanks to Luke and his team, the cash and carry side of the business celebrated a record-breaking 2020. Since Luke took charge of the unit in 2018, sales revenue has increased by 35%.

    Robert Richardson runs the production operation, with responsibility for growing more than three million shrubs and trees annually, managing a seasonal team of up to 150.

    John’s granddaughter Eleanor Richardson is Johnsons’ first full-time staff member for marketing. She has been instrumental in raising the company’s profile via traditional and modern marketing methods, while managing the company website, social media platforms and PR.

    The company is no stranger to awards success, taking two titles at the 2019 York Press Awards – Family Business of the Year and the overall Business of the Year award.

    Graham Richardson commented: “It’s great to start 2021 with some positive news. We are incredibly proud to have been shortlisted amongst many other fantastic family businesses. It would be a great result to win, especially during our centenary year. We wish all the other businesses the best of luck and look forward to the awards evening in June.”

    Posted 7th Jan 10:51am
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  50. Helping to keep the nation planting - lockdown III

    Helping to keep the nation planting - lockdown III

    After the recent news of another lockdown in England, we would like to confirm that we remain open under the Government’s guidelines. We will continue helping the nation to keep planting, supplying shrubs, hedging, herbaceous and trees safely.

    Our business is a key supplier into the construction industry, operates as a manufacturing entity within the Agricultural Sector and supplies Garden Centres that are remaining open and are classified as ‘essential retail’.

    We are continually monitoring the Government’s advice and continue to undertake measures as recommended for the safety and wellbeing of our staff and customers.

    We thank you for your support and custom in 2020 and assure you of our best intentions at all times in 2021.

    Should we be able to assist in any way please do not hesitate to speak with your usual contact or any member of the Johnsons team.

    You can read our full Covid-19 notice here

    Posted 5th Jan 10:55am
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  51. What to do in the garden this January - 2021

    What to do in the garden this January - 2021

    Another year has been and gone and with another lockdown just announced there’s plenty of jobs you can be doing in the garden this month.

    Check out our January garden reminders put together by horticulturalist and Chairman, John Richardson.

    1) In rock gardens and raised beds to ensure that fallen leaves have been removed in order to prevent Botrytis as they rot down.

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

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

    4) Make sure the hellebores have been tidied up with the removal of all the old leaves to make way for the new flowers, which will arise very shortly.

    5) When the weather is too cold to do much else, turn the compost heap sides to middle and top to bottom in order to ensure the compost is evenly rotted down.

    6) Continue to plant new fruit trees and bushes when conditions allow and apply a 12cm thick mulch of well-rotted compost to the root zone, allowing a 10cm space between compost and the trunk or stems to prevent future stem rot.

    7) Take root cuttings of a wide range of plant species by lifting the root system and selecting a few roots the thickness of a little finger and 8-10cm long. Cut the top horizontal and the base diagonal to prevent confusion. Plant in the compost a couple of cms. below the surface and cover with approx. 2cm of sharp sand. Place in a cold frame or frost-free glasshouse for the rest pf the winter. New shoots should begin to appear in early spring.

    8) Spray fruit trees and bushes with a tar-oil winter wash to kill overwintered aphid eggs. Do not spray in frosty or windy weather and protect evergreens or lawns in the area as they are subject to being burned by the spray. It will also kill moss and lichen.

    9) Prune wisterias, cutting back all but required extension shoots. The reason for the 2-stage pruning is to concentrate nutrients in the shoots to aid the formation of flower buds.

    10) Mid-winter is the best time to take chrysanthemum cuttings as they root easily.

    11) Prune established fruit trees other than damsons and cherries. Prune newly planted fruit trees to shape and reduce leading shoots by half.

    12) Dead-head winter flowering pansies to ensure they continue to flower freely.

    13) If you need to move a shrub which has outgrown its space, dig around the plant with a vertical spade to a depth of 45-60cm and then use the spade to cut under the roots from all sides until the rootball is free. Ease a piece of thick polythene under the root system and drag it out of the hole, to its new location. Once firmly in place, fill backspace around the rootball, firm the soil by treading it in, and water thoroughly to eliminate air pockets.

    14) Prune out old fruiting canes on autumn fruiting raspberries down to soil level. Remove a quarter of the old branches to the base to encourage strong new growth.

    15) Before you start clearing leaves or forking over bare areas check for bulbs which have started growing and are just below the surface.

    16) Check the plant labels on plants around the garden, many will have faded or broken.

    17)Now the garden is bare, take an objective look around from all angles and consider if an ornament, seating or a structure of some sort would add to the interest.

    18) If hard weather is forecast, wrap up tender plants such as Agapanthus in bracken or straw for added protection.

    19) Mark areas in which bulbs come into flower with twigs so that future cultivations can be made safely. They will be easier to find if you wish to move them at a later date.

    Click here to view other hints and tips for the rest of the year

    Posted 5th Jan 9:34am
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  52. Brexit impact - Q & A with head of Procurement and Production

    Brexit impact - Q & A with head of Procurement and Production

    The Brexit transition period is fast approaching as new controls come into effect from the 1st January, we asked our head of Production and Procurement, Jonathan Whittemore, some questions about the challenges the nursery faces ahead.

    What challenges will the new changes bring?

    We will have to have stock inspected and a phytosanitary certificate issued prior to dispatch, so this will add additional cost and time into the dispatch process. We are often asked for the stock by our clients that will have to be procured in the EU, in terms of plant health inspections this could mean an inspection in the EU prior to collection, an inspection on arrival in Great Britain, an inspection prior to dispatch from Great Britain and an inspection on arrival in Northern Ireland – four inspections in one week.

    How are we preparing for these new checks and controls?

    Much time has been spent trying to understand what we will need to do – conversations with DEFRA, APHA, the HTA, and customs agents in the UK and EU. The process is complex but preparations for EU exit have always been presented to UK businesses as ‘Just get an EORI number and a customs agent and everything will be fine’ that is far from the reality of the situation.

    What are your concerns about the increased cost and health certificates?

    Plant health and biosecurity are critically important to UK horticulture, but we are finding it difficult to see the value that the required process of inspections will bring to us. The majority of the additional cost in what we are required to do will come from the phytosanitary certificates and inspections around them. We need proportionate systems, clarity of operation, administrative burden and costs kept to a minimum.

    Do you envisage issues after the transition period?

    Really difficult to say. Until we get into next year, we won’t know for sure, but we are preparing for the worst-case scenario and hoping things are better. There has to be some disruption but who knows how damaging that will be. Supply chains will definitely be slowed down and imported plants more expensive.

    Any other issues around BREXIT that are of concern?

    I am sure that in Brexit the industry will find opportunities but at the moment they are not evident, and rather than being able to focus on finding them, we seem to be scrabbing to understand what we need to do to keep trading.

    We have not been given sufficient time to prepare properly, I feel compromised and like we have little support in navigating our way through the unknown. The uncertainty of our predicament is, at times, crippling.

    Posted 11th Dec 11:44am
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  53. Employees reach 185 years of service combined

    Employees reach 185 years of service combined

    Six members of our staff have reached 185 years of service combined.

    Head of Production and Procurement, Jonathan Whittemore, Sales Manager, Tony Coles and Spray & Irrigation Controller Wayne Atkinson have all reached 25 years of service each. While Operations Manager Steven Green and Assistant Senior Production Manager, Ian Nelson both reach 35 years.

    Our retail Sales Manager, Mark Reynard, pictured below also celebrated his 40th anniversary at the company back in June.

    To highlight their combined anniversary of long service at Johnsons, each staff member will receive a certificate and vouchers valued between £750 and £250.

    An additional 27 members of staff have racked up over 830 years combined with Johnsons Directors and Chairman having served 157 of those years between them.

    Steven Green who joined the company from leaving School said: “The variation, the chance to learn, the opportunity to travel, the people I have worked with over the years and the relationship I have with the Richardson’s who I grew up with in Whixley have all contributed to my length of service at Johnsons.”

    Ian Nelson also commented “I’ve been fortunate to have the chance to grow my career alongside the growth of the company itself. I genuinely love plants, but ultimately it is about the people you work with, and there’s always been a good team here. Retaining that spirit is precious.”

    While Jonathan Whittemore added “I have always enjoyed the people at Johnsons – we are a good bunch. The constant challenge that the company has been able to provide me has always given me enjoyment, but mostly it is working for a company of which I am incredibly proud.”

    The company’s chairman, John Richardson, said: “It is with pleasure and sincere thanks that we enjoy the real contribution made by such long-serving staff. We look forward to them being with us for many more years to come.”

    To find out more about Jonathan and Tony’s 25 years at Johnson’s click here

    You can also read about Marks 40 years here and Ian and Stevens 35 years, here

     

    Posted 11th Dec 8:50am
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  54. 50 combined years at Johnsons, Jonathan Whittemore and Tony Coles

    50 combined years at Johnsons, Jonathan Whittemore and Tony Coles

    Congratulations to Jonathan Whittemore and Tony Coles who have reached a combined service of 50 years, see what they had to say about their time at Johnsons below:

    Jonathan Whittemore

    1.What was the date you started at Johnsons? 

    2. What was your first position within the company? 

    I came in as a management trainee – one of the first two –  I remember the interview process well; it was over two days and included meeting the whole board during the first afternoon, and then two interviews the following day.  Two highlights of that process were feeling completely out of my depth because I knew nothing about Leeds United and in one of the interviews I described bedding plant production as immoral!  I spent my first three months in the field at Endfield lifting and grading stock.

    3. What have you enjoyed most during your 25 years at Johnsons?

    I have always enjoyed the people at Johnsons – we are a good bunch – and the constant challenge that the company has been able to provide me has always given enjoyment, but mostly it is working for a company of which I am incredibly proud.

    4. Greatest career achievement? 

    If you speak to Dave Bramley he may say my greatest career achievement is still being here – he didn’t think I would last a month!  I am not sure there would be one single achievement and whilst I am still focused on developing the people and the areas for which I am responsible, I hope the best is yet to come.

    5. Looking back, what’s your favourite memory from your time here?

    Managing the production unit at Roecliffe.  I loved being responsible for that unit and being in the heart of growing plants.

    6. What do the next 25 years look like?

    Crickey, don’t ask me that now!!  With Brexit on the Horizon, it looks incredibly challenging at the moment, and to be honest, until we can get Brexit done it is difficult to look too far into the future.

    Tony Coles

    1.How did you come about working for Johnsons?

    I was working at Thorpe Tree at the time and I saw an advert in the local paper for a Sales Assistant and applied.  I remember being interviewed by Andrew and Steve Jones, and at one point they left me in Board Room with a typewriter to type a letter, one of the old metal clunky typewriters, how things have changed!

    2. Tell us about your careers pre Johnsons:

    I left school at 17 and followed my father’s footsteps and joined the Royal Navy and served 14 years, I was lucky enough to see a lot of the world, one of my Sons has also joined the RN so I am proud that 3 generations of my family have served.  I left he RN and moved up to Yorkshire with Sandra and got a part-time seasonal job at Thorpe Trees at Thorpe Underwood, before being taken on full time by the late Alistair Taylor, I was there about 1 year before I started at Johnsons of Whixley.

    3. First position at johnsons?

    Sales Assistant, in Amenity sales at that time there was only 3 of us, and quotes would normally arrive by post and sometimes fax.

    4. What are you most grateful for during your career?

    Looking back over my working life, being able to see the World whilst in Royal Navy has to be a highlight particularly 1 trip where we circumnavigated the globe visiting a variety of places.  Working at Johnsons has been a pleasure, to be still here after 25 years says it all really!

    5. Most memorable day at Johnsons?

    Some of the trips we take our customers on can get quite eventful, with customers let’s say, letting their hair down a bit!!!

    6. How has the company changed over the years?

    Wow! Massively – Everything from IT systems, Production, even sales. When I first started almost everything was paper-based, now we are using less paper, things have become more automated in lots of areas, and still evolving,  I think over the years the sales side has got a lot more demanding, we are dealing with a lot more customers, we are having to find a lot more variety of plants.  It’s great to see that some businesses are still going strong that have been using Johnsons for years, way before my time– Brambledown, S&S, Deerness (formerly Sones), Whitings. Plus I have certainly got greyer and have less hair!

    Staff members Steven Green and Ian Nelson both reached 35 years service recently also, you can find out more about their time at Johnsons here

    Posted 4th Dec 11:13am
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  55. 70 years service between two Johnsons employees

    70 years service between two Johnsons employees

    Two members of staff have reached 70 years service combined here at Johnsons.

    Operations Manager, Steven Green and Assistant Senior Production Manager, Ian Nelson have both reached 35 years service.

    The company will highlight their long service with vouchers and certificates.

    Find out what they had to say about their time at Johnsons below:

    Ian Nelson

    1.What have you enjoyed most about your 35 years at JOW? – I’ve been fortunate to have the chance to grow my career alongside the growth of the company itself. I genuinely love plants but ultimately it is about the people you work with and there’s always been a good team here. Retaining that spirit is precious.

    2. Tell us about your career at JOW, what was your first role etc? – I remember Day 1 as a ‘middle-year’ student. Jim Bryan & myself weed-spraying – with trainers on I think….don’t tell Terry & Dave. I guess I found a niche once the then Prod Mgr, Danny E, asked me to put my brains into weed-control programmes & pest & disease control. I wanted to have the Production Manager role and was lucky enough to do that for 18 years. It has been nice to pass the role onto Rob Richardson and feel assured it’s in good hands.

    3.What has motivated you to come to work each day? – Keeping people in a job, seeing staff develop their own roles.

    4. What has your greatest accomplishment at Johnsons been? – That’s really for others to judge!!   Perversely my best (and most personally rewarding) work is probably when we’ve been struggling, having more challenging years. Perhaps those difficult times brought the team closer together and played to my strengths of ‘winging it’.

    5. Most memorable day at JOW?  – it seems funny now but at the time it wasn’t. We are going back 30+ yrs, the nursery was very different, I was driving the planting machine & right in front of the Boss (I’ve always called JMR the boss) I managed to squash the end of a 10m long aluminium irrigation pie which was hiding in the weeds. He gave me such a roasting              Those irrigation pipes were near god-like & I recall Pete Jacques burying one he’d squashed to avoid John’s wrath!!!

    Another memorable day has to be the time I was in charge of taking some staff abroad, I checked to make sure they all had their passports in the car and at the check-in desk realised I’d picked up my girlfriends passport and had to get the next flight out.

    6. If you could have chosen any other career, what and where would it have been? – a misspent youth where study and work were not part of the plan didn’t help a career. Looking back I would like to have been an architect (buildings not landscapes), have something that would be there for years & my kids could say ‘My Dad did that’ – but the only architect I know personally specialises in toilet and shower cubicles. Wouldn’t aspire to that.

    Steven Green

    1.How did you come about working for Johnsons?  I followed my Fathers footsteps, he worked for Mr Johnson in the 60s, and latterly Mr Richardson.

    We also had just short of an acre of land at home which my Father grew Roses and cut flowers for resale as well as fruit and veg, I spent what seemed like hours de-budding chrysanthemums and digging the garden, Though I expect it was much less. I worked school holidays at Johnsons nursery through the summer so knew a little of what I was letting myself in for.

    2.Did you work anywhere else prior to Johnsons?

    I worked on Alistar Taylor’s (Thorpe Trees founder) farm picking potatoes during half term, it paid really well. I also worked most weekends from 15-16 years old with a friend, we a had a window cleaning round in Whixley village which was a good cash earner but was hard work as we had to carry ladders, step ladders and buckets to every job.

    3.First position within the company?

    I started the day after I left school at johnsons and was sent trimming trees with Chris Umpleby. This did not last long as I had to wear wrist support due to breaking my wrist playing football a number of weeks earlier.  I was then sent to Whixley to work for a couple of weeks hand potting with Paul Lamb. I then spent my first years tying trees for John Walker and Dave Bramley both were excellent trainers of all aspects of life at Johnsons and horticulture.

    4.If you could have chosen another career, what would it have been?

    Other than a sports superstar I did try and get a Job with T Backhouse and Son at Hunsingore prior to leaving School as one of the few lessons I attended was woodwork, Backhouses were the local undertakers and supplied fencing posts, sheds benches as they still do now.

    5.What has made you stay at Johnsons for all these years?

    The variation, the chance to learn, the chance to travel, the people I have worked with over the years and the relationship I have with the Richardson’s who I grew up with in Whixley.

    6.Favourite memory from working here?

    Trips abroad with groups of colleagues, On one particular trip I remember Adrian Shippey looking after me on the roadside after a particularly rough crossing on the ferry.

    The company’s chairman, John Richardson, said: “It is with pleasure and sincere thanks that we enjoy the real contribution made by such long-serving staff. We look forward to them being with us for many more years to come.”

    Posted 2nd Dec 3:24pm
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  56. December 2020 Gardening Reminders

    December 2020 Gardening Reminders

    Check out our gardening reminders for the month of December put together by chairman and horticulturist John Richardson.

    1.After long periods of November rain, often heavy, fallen leaves have become a congealed mass on lawns and 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.Place undercover 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.

    4.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.

    5.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!

    6.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 birdseed may well attract vermin.

    7.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.

    8.Now is a good time to plant roses, heel then in if soil conditions are not suitable for immediate planting.

    9.Before planting trees and shrubs ensure roots are moist by soaking in a bucket or similar.

    10. This month is a good time to prune Birch and Acers.  Trim the lawn edges for a quick lift!

    11. Check apples and other stored fruits for signs of rotting and throw out damaged fruit for the birds. Remove mummified fruits from the apple trees.

    12. Start Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) bulbs into growth urgently if required to flower by Christmas.

    13. Tidy up the greenhouse during inclement weather, and also prune glasshouse grown grapevines.

    14. Be ready to plant tulip bulbs after the middle of the month to reduce tulip disease (Tulip Fire).

    15. Insulate with bubble-wrap and hessian those plant containers which are to be left outside over winter, in order to prevent the pots cracking in frosty periods.

    16. Thoroughly clean and grease the lawnmower and sharpen or replace the blades.

    17. 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 cultivation in the spring so much easier.

     

    Posted 2nd Dec 11:07am
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  57. Response to the plant health problem

    Response to the plant health problem

    Our Group Managing Director, Graham Richardson,  has responded to the Tree Council’s Jon Stokes, who said last week councils need to look more locally to counter the potential £15bn cost of diseases such as ash dieback.

    “There can be no argument about the catastrophe unfolding with regards to the impact of ash dieback.

    However, the suggestion that the discerning plant buyer should somehow only look for local stock appears to be a one-dimensional answer to the problem. It will only result in less choice, limited availability and a much poorer UK landscape at a time when planting is increasingly considered a key component in our ambitious targets to offset carbon emissions.

    “Balance is an essential component in this discussion, for every diseased imported tree/shrub, you will find millions that are adding untold value to the landscape and subsequently much pleasure to the populous. Every tree and every shrub that is planted is incrementally adding to our appreciation for nature and wellness. This has never been more apparent than in the seismic shift in perception that has happened organically as a result of the pandemic.

    Stock from the near continent has embellished the UK landscape and private gardens since Roman times, so much so that there is almost no genetic distinction between European and UK originating species. Diseases and pathogens are naturally occurring and are just as likely to erupt on our shores as they are in Europe. Science points to windborne infection from the continent as being as likely a source as imported supply.

    The easy answer is to try and pull up the drawbridge as an attempted defence, however, make no mistake that there will be consequences in terms of supply and ultimately both volumes and range available. Undoubtedly, the answer is in a well funded and capable international plant health and biosecurity process that inspects growing plants during the growing season in situ, with a view to identifying substandard and diseased stock and growers whose methods are not exercising sufficient control. The fact that existing processes have on occasion failed us is symptomatic of process or resource failures and should not be an acceptance of not to do it all!

    UK growers are plucky souls; however, our industry is fragmented and without the natural and commercial advantages enjoyed by the climate, soil and an already evolved and centralised industry. The fact is that ornamental horticulture in the UK is never likely to command the support and influence as enjoyed by our European neighbours whose industry accounts for a significant proportion of national GDP.  Our production process is lengthy and begins well in advance of sales intelligence – we are therefore naturally cautious in the extent of home production, which, if inaccurate is just as likely to land on the compost heap as it is to achieve a profitable sale.

    I for one accept the need to incrementally increase production in line with an assured demand but being a realist fully understand the value of imports in supporting our landscape and gardens whilst commercially helping to reduce our exposure.” – Graham Richardson

    Posted 20th Nov 10:39am
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  58. Plant supply to historic York St John University

    Plant supply to historic York St John University

    We have supplied over 1,000 trees, plants and shrubs for a revamp of York St John University’s Lord Mayor’s Walk campus.

    Borders along the walk, at the front of the university’s main campus, were replanted with more than 30 varieties.

    We have enjoyed a long-term partnership with the university, supplying high-quality plants for more than 15 years.

    Included in our supply was a range of trellis varieties and three Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’, along with Hypericum Calycinum, and Euonymus fort. ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’.

    Over 50 Gillenia trifoliata were introduced, in addition to 40 Doronicum plantagineum ‘Excelsum’ and 10 Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’.

    More than 200 Calamagrostis acut. ‘Karl Foerster’ grasses were planted, with 160 Lavender Munstead and more than 70 Hemerocallis ‘Red Rum’ and ‘Corky’ among the colourful varieties chosen for the borders.

    Lord Mayor’s Walk forms a link with Gillygate, Clarence Street, Monkgate and Goodramgate in the centre of the city of York. Designated a Character Area, the site has been home to educational provision since the mid-19th century.  York St John University is the main feature of the area, that runs along the northern side of the city wall.

    Rob Scott, Head Gardener at York St John University, said: “We strive to create welcoming and beautiful outdoor spaces for students, staff and visitors. It’s a privilege to have this visible, central location in the heart of York and we want our gardens to stand out from the crowd. This partnership with trusted local supplier Johnsons helps us to maintain a green and vibrant campus with year-round colour.”

    We have worked with several universities recently, including creating a green buffer zone for a project between Sheffield University and a nearby infant school, and supplying plants for a £200m redevelopment of the University of Hull campus.

     

    Posted 30th Nov 1:29pm
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  59. Our year in review Oct 19 - Oct 20

    Our year in review Oct 19 - Oct 20

    At the end of September, we finally reached the end of another remarkable year. A year that will be remembered for weather extremes (floods to drought), the resurgence of the Brexit debate but most of all the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Following restrictions and the lockdown commencing March 23rd we experienced a slowdown in sales like never before, this coupled with daily changes to regulations, and our determination to maintain business operations at all cost created challenges that our business has never faced in its 99-year long history.

    They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and I firmly believe this will prove to be the case when the crisis finally recedes, and life returns to a less restricted ‘new normal’. Much of our response has been remarkable – we adapted to reduced demand almost overnight creating new stock offers and opening up new previously untapped markets.

    Staff numbers reduced rapidly with some staff furloughed, some shielding and at least ten office staff having the capacity to work from home to allow distancing in the space-restricted office building.

    Our reaction and determination to follow the rules, coupled with a regimented sanitation regime and a naturally well-ventilated working environment have so far kept us mostly safe. Our resolve to ensure job security for all by continuing to ship and make much needed new plants throughout is a proven recipe!

    The end result in our season 2019-20 is in my opinion, more remarkable than the previous year, which witnessed recording-breaking sales of over £14m.

    Our sales of over £13.2m are our second-highest ever, and our success in reducing what could have easily been a mountain of unsold stock (otherwise known as waste) is almost miraculous when you consider the challenges. Profitability and cash generation has followed, and this creates a great buffer for the remaining challenges of the pandemic and Brexit that lie ahead.

    Unfortunately, the challenges that we still face are no less significant than the battles we have fought, the pandemic refuses to let go, and the onset of winter will be a challenge.

    Furthermore, we now face an exit from the European Union which offers little but uncertainty, confusion and increased cost. There is a misconception that a ‘deal’ will remove any potential limitations, and we will be able freely trade with our EU suppliers in an unchanged manner. This is not the case – new restrictions/regulations will limit what we can buy, will increase supply timescales significantly and will add between 5 to 10% to the cost of our plants, which might go on to have a limiting effect on what we sell.

    The challenges we face are both unique and significant, but so is our resolve and core strength. We have the utmost respect for our ‘remarkable workforce’, customers and suppliers and remain eternally grateful for your loyalty, hard work and support. None of us know what the coming months will bring but individually and collectively, we can work together to limit the impact and maximise opportunities. This is what we did in the year gone and this is what we will do in the year coming.

    With respect and gratitude to you ahead of our ‘Centenary Year’. – Group Managing Director, Graham Richardson

    Posted 20th Nov 9:53am
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  60. Meet our rising stars

    Meet our rising stars

    Firstly, a huge well done to the 13 applicants who applied for our rising stars programme, you we’re all great candidates and made our decision very difficult.

    Below are the six chosen candidates of whom we asked some questions to, here is what they had to say below:

    Andrew Nicholls

    1.What are you looking forward to within the rising star programme?

    I am looking forward to where this could take me within the company and the new skills I could learn.

    2.What is the worst job you’ve ever had? Emptying dog poo bins for York Council (this wasn’t what I was contracted to do)

    3.Favourite film? Into the wild

     

    Tom Chilton

    1.Favourite day at Johnsons so far?

    It has to be the responsibility of working on my own, when Eric has left me on the potting machine and when I’ve gone spraying.

    2.What do you enjoy outside of work? When I am not working, I am at my allotment – I also enjoy golf.

    3.Favourite band? Oasis

    Nedoyalko Antonov

    1.How long have you been at Johnsons?

    Directly employed since August 2017 but worked with the agency prior to that.

    2.What do you like most about working here? Love being outdoors amongst nature, seeing birds, bees and other wildlife.

     Ned is also a star in the kitchen with his international cuisine.

    Richard Csanyi

    1.Favourite hobby?

    Guitar – my favourite song to play is ‘House of the Rising Sun’.

    2.What makes work enjoyable? My colleagues, I have made good friends.

    3.What do you miss about home? I miss the great food you can get in Hungary.

     

    Kieran Pattison

    1.Favourite TV shows? Crime dramas.

    2.Ideal holiday destination? Would have to be Australia.

    3.What are you looking forward to the most within the programme? Learning new skills and progressing at Johnsons.

    Wiktor Zygnerski

    1.What do you like most about England?

    Love the nature, the hills, and rivers.

    2.Best thing about Johnsons? All of it, the job I do, the people here, including the bosses.

    3.Favourite Takeaway

    Chinese, Sweet & Sour Chicken

    Mentor, Ian Nelson, said: “I’m right at the end of my Johnsons career but the guys who are coming on to the Rising Stars programme are at or near the beginning. I’m a little jealous.

    It is a bit of a cliché to say that now is a time of great opportunity. I’m confident though that the period upcoming, the next 5/10 years, will offer just that for the business.

    I better be careful not to be age-ist, but it’s fact that there is a generation who’ll be hanging up their snips not so long from now and a new cohort of managers will be in charge & will be responsible for meeting challenges.

    That was recognized and had to be addressed and that’s what the Rising Stars programme is all about. Giving staff with loads of potential the managerial & horticultural skills that they, & the business, are going to rely upon.

    The partnership with Dutton Fisher, with Helen at the Personnel Partnership & Terry from Sound Safety and Johnsons is strong and between us I believe we can deliver a comprehensive, enjoyable and valuable package.”

    Posted 6th Nov 3:36pm
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  61. Nurturing the business leaders of the future...Our rising stars

    Nurturing the business leaders of the future...Our rising stars

    We are nurturing the leaders of the future through an innovative in-house training scheme.

    The latest crop of delegates for our Rising Stars programme has just been chosen, with six employees – Tom Chilton, Richard Csyani, Andrew Nicholls, Wiktor Zygnaki, Kieron Pattison and Ned Antonov – selected to participate.

    Rising Stars was first introduced by the company five years ago with the aim of developing the skillset of existing staff members to enable them to one day take on a more senior role within the business. We have made a significant financial investment in the programme to ensure its success.

    The programme was open to staff from all parts of the business and includes training experiences, technical modules, horticultural sessions, operational nursery activities, as well as the opportunity to earn a formal qualification in team leading.

    The programme is being delivered in conjunction with external training providers and includes a mixture of on-site training and external activities, including learning from supply and technology partners. Candidates work in various departments across the business and are assessed continuously.

    Mentoring the growing stars is Ian Nelson, who will draw on his experience as production manager at Johnsons to guide the delegates through the various challenges to ensure they are equipped with the skills and knowledge they will need as managers of the future.

    One graduate of the scheme is Terry Cooper. Terry started his Johnsons career with the plant production team at Cattal; however, after progressing through the Growing Stars programme, he now works in the IT department alongside manager Darren Earle. His role includes maintaining and updating hardware and software, providing user support, system testing and cyber security.

    Terry said: “I found the program a great help and have it partly to thank for ending up working where I am today. After finishing the course, I had a better understanding of horticulture as an industry and acquired some really helpful practical skills and theoretical knowledge.”

    New delegate Andrew Nicholls commented: “I’m looking forward to where this could take me in the company and the new skills I could learn.”

    Graham Richardson, group managing director at Johnsons, said the future of the business was intrinsically linked with the abilities of the workforce.

    “Geographically we are isolated from the main hubs of horticultural activity and consequently the vast majority of relevant training programmes. It made perfect sense therefore for us to draw on our considerable experience to create our own bespoke training scheme that will help us nurture the next generation of managers and supervisors.

    “We are confident that within our own pool of employees, there is the talent to lead us towards the future.”

    Posted 6th Nov 2:21pm
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  62. Plant supply to make a garden of 'Eden' in Scotland's capital

    Plant supply to make a garden of 'Eden' in Scotland's capital

    We have teamed up with P1 Contractors Ltd and EMA Architects to make an ‘Eden’ in the grounds of Urban Eden, contemporary residential development in Edinburgh.

    EMA Architects designed Urban Eden to create a ‘leave the city behind without leaving the city’ feel, designed in a triangle of colony houses which are very much a part of the city’s history.  It’s gardens, and outdoor space is at the centre of the design with views of Calton Hill, Arthurs Seat and Salisbury available to view from the new developments.

    P1’s works included the full soft landscaping package across two phases of the development which has now spanned four years.

    Richard McMonagle, Director of P1 Contractors, said: “ P1 has had involvement in both phases of the development from an early stage, being just a stone’s throw from our Head Office it was development we were keen to be involved in. We turned to Johnsons to help our bid initially at tender stage, and this early involvement was key to winning the project, we knew that despite the contract duration Johnsons would continue to supply the high-quality stock we required to make this project a success.”

    Our plant supply included over 13,000 shrubs, 4,000 herbaceous plants and over 200 trees.

    Pollinator-friendly varieties such as lavender, nepeta and geranium were included making it wildlife friendly too.

    The residential development won ‘Large Housing Development Of The Year’ at the Scottish Home Awards 2017.

    So many housing developments have limited planting these days to maximise parking facilities, it’s no wonder there’s a decline in bees.

    It’s great to be associated with this fantastic new residential development that’s green spaces and wildlife are at the forefront of its design.

    Other Scottish projects we have been involved with include The Helix Project at Falkirk, the new Queensferry Crossing at Edinburgh, Donaldsons ,  The Event Complex The Torridon Hotel, and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

    Posted 6th Nov 1:40pm
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  63. November 2020 Gardening Reminders

    November 2020 Gardening Reminders

    Check out our latest gardening reminders for November 2020 put together by chairman and horticulturist John Richardson.

    1)  There is a current move towards ‘no digging’ on vegetable plots, which firstly involves digging the area to double depth (double digging) and incorporating organic matter throughout both areas in order to cultivate an area of really deep soil. This will 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 in the future for either cultivations, harvesting or other reasons, and thus prevent soil compaction.

     

    2)  The recent wind and rain have caused the sudden defoliation of almost all deciduous trees. Collect the leaves and store them in a cage made of wire netting around four wooden stakes. You will have perfect compost by next autumn, and you can also incorporate the trimmings from herbaceous plants. If you intend to incorporate twigs and small branches, these are best put through a shredder before incorporation.

     

    3)  Be sure to check for hibernating animals in bonfires to be lit over winter.

     

    4)  Lift and store dahlias if not done already, alternatively, protect the tubers by a good surface mulch.

     

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

     

    6)  Plant winter bedding such as wallflowers, pansies, primulas etc.

     

    7)  Lift and divide rhubarb crowns ensuring that each division has a good crown. Replant when soil conditions allow.  Divided crowns will survive for at least a month in the open without further protection.

     

    8)  Start Amaryllis (Hippeastrum) bulbs into growth urgently if required to flower by Christmas.

     

    9)  Tidy up the greenhouse during inclement weather, and also prune glasshouse grown grape vines.

     

    10) Be ready to plant tulip bulbs after the middle of the month.

     

    11)  Put grease bands (available from garden centres) around the trunks of apple trees against female winter moth caterpillars which climb the trunk when hibernation is completed..

     

    12)  If weather is mild and the grass still growing, give the lawn a final cut with the blades set relatively high, and remove fallen leaves to prevent bare patches in the spring.

     

    13) Insulate with bubble-wrap and hessian those plant containers which are to be left outside over winter. in order to prevent the pots cracking in frosty periods.

     

    14) Thoroughly clean and grease the lawnmower and sharpen or replace the blades.

     

    15) Prepare chrysanthemum stools, dahlia tubers and gladioli corms for protective winter storage.

     

    16) On a fine afternoon have a walk around the garden and make a note of what has done really well, and also not so well so that when the 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?

     

    17) Hang protective fleece out to dry before placing in storage for next year.

     

    18) 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 the spring so much easier.

    Posted 5th Nov 1:26pm
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  64. New starters Edwina and Wendy

    New starters Edwina and Wendy

    A warm welcome to two of our new office starters, Edwina Hughes and Wendy Bartlett who joined the team recently. Here’s what they had to say about their new roles:

    Edwina Hughes

    What does your new role involve in the company? 

    Calculating, Processing and paying Wages, Salaries, Holidays, Pensions, Health Shield and associated paperwork.

    How have you found your first few weeks with the company?

    Its been extremely busy having to learn 3 new computer systems and process Year End changes, but I am really enjoying it.

    What’s one thing that surprised you about the company?

    How the company has evolved over the years and especially in terms of the technology that is used.

    What’s one thing people don’t know about you?

    That I went on a five-week development exchange to Kenya with Young Farmers and I am now President of Tadcaster and Wetherby Young Farmers Club.

    What would we most likely find you doing on the weekend?

    Getting my hand’s dirty helping on our family farm.

    Favourite band?  

     I don’t really have one, I love all kinds of music.

    Wendy Bartlett

    What does your new role involve at Johnsons?
    I put prices offered by our suppliers onto a spreadsheet to help the Plant Purchaser make buying decisions.   When the decision has been made I then do the purchase orders on the system and send them out.

    Where did you work previously, and what did you do?
    I worked at the Alzheimer’s Society as a member of the Training & Consultancy Team, arranging dementia awareness training sessions for care homes, local authorities and companies.  Before that I was a fundraiser for a Police charity in Harrogate.

    Anything interesting, you have learnt that you didn’t know before?
    Just how many different plants there are out there!  I can’t imagine how long I’d have to work here to know what some of my colleagues do!

    What have you enjoyed most about your first month here?
    Getting an insight into a whole new fascinating world – it’s a nice industry to work in and a great company.

    Favourite season?
    Autumn when it’s not raining (!) and Spring when everything turns green.

    Tell us an interesting fact about yourself:
    I was in the Guinness Book of Records back in the ’80s when I was a student.

     

    Posted 21st Oct 11:55am
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  65. A warm welcome to our new Procurement Manager, William Moss

    A warm welcome to our new Procurement Manager, William Moss

    A warm welcome to our new Procurement Manager, William Moss who joined the team last week. Find out what he had to say about his new role below:

    1.What are you most looking forward to in your new role?

    Speaking to and making relationships with our suppliers

    2.What do you think the challenges will be?

    I come from a background in contracting and procurement, however, the world of horticulture is new to me so the biggest challenge is the vast amount of on-the-job learning required

    3.Have you learnt anything that you didn’t know before?

    Virtually everything I have learnt here so far; everybody has been very helpful and full of knowledge they’re willing to share

    4.Favourite city in the world?

    San Francisco. I spent a year living out there back in 2011 and loved every minute

    5.Dog or cat?

    I’m definitely more of a dog person. My partner Lucy has a huge Irish Setter called Fin, who we take with us everywhere

    6.Have any hobbies?

    I play a lot of sports and compete in triathlon. I also love cooking and spend most of my time at home in the kitchen

    Will is one of five new starters to join johnsons in recent months, you can find out about our new starters Katie and Sarah here also.

    Posted 20th Oct 4:04pm
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  66. Welcome to the team Sarah and Katie

    Welcome to the team Sarah and Katie

    A warm welcome to two of our new office starters, Sarah Greenwood and Katie Short. Here’s what they had to say about their new positions at Johnsons:

    Sarah Greenwood – Admin Assistant 

    What does your new role include?

    My new role primarily involves putting sales orders on to SAP, so that the orders can be allocated and sent out for delivery. I also do jobs for other people, for example I have been updating our online Retail Availability List with the new plant deals for the next week or I have been creating production orders for plants to be grown onsite.

    What have you enjoyed most about your first few months at Johnsons?

    I have enjoyed learning how Johnson’s operate, having a tour of the nursery was perfect for this. I have also enjoyed learning how to use SAP and beginning to build my horticultural knowledge. Working in a new environment has been exciting for me as I last worked in a café, so this office environment is very different. And of course, I have enjoyed meeting all the lovely people who work here.

    What was your first job from leaving school?

    After school, I went straight to university to study Geography and then my first job was at York Recourse working as part of the Front of House team in the hospitality boxes.

    If you could add one thing to the office, what would it be?

    A room with big comfy sofas to have lunch in!

    Do you have any hobbies outside of work?

    I have recently taken up horse riding again after a break due to university and I have been loving it. During the summer months, you will find me watching Whixley CC. Or I can be found washing my car on a weekend.

    Favourite holiday?

    Lucca, Italy, 2018. Everywhere we visited was beautiful and the weather was perfect! I also had the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life there. It was a called white pizza, so was basically a garlic bread but had spicy Italian sausage on it. Also fulfilled my love for cars with visiting the Ferrari Museum and the Lamborghini factory.

    Katie Short – Logistics Administrator

    Describe your new role at Johnsons:

    I help to support my Manager Hannah Smith organise the day to day transport. I communicate with our European suppliers to get loading dimensions so we can work out the wagon and space requirements and organise any returns and book ferries for the drivers.

    I contact customers to confirm delivery dates and help resolve any queries they may have and deal with any other tasks as is required.

    How have you found your first few weeks at Johnsons?

    I have really enjoyed my first few weeks, it has been quite challenging at times but very interesting. There is lots to learn so never a dull moment, everyone has been so helpful and informative which has been a great help.

    I’m looking forward to developing in my new role.

    The best thing about Johnsons?

    The best thing about Johnson’s of Whixley is the people and how everyone is so helpful and how everyone is rewarded for their hard work with the cakes & lunches etc.

    What do you enjoy outside of work?

    I love spending time with my family and friends. I love to go walking and the dales and the coast are my favourite places to go. I love Cooking, baking and learning new skills.

    What’s one item you couldn’t live without?

    I couldn’t live without my hairbrush.

    Favourite food?

    My favourite food is sushi

     

    Posted 20th Oct 2:31pm
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  67. Plant supply to new luxury Peak District lodge resort

    Plant supply to new luxury Peak District lodge resort

    We have supplied plants worth more than £50,000 to help transform a new luxury lodge resort set in the heart of the Peak District.

    Rivendale Lodge Retreat, previously known as Rivendale Caravan Park, has been redeveloped by leading lodge resort operator Darwin Escapes. The new lodge resort opened in September and offers luxury self-catering lodge accommodation alongside a bistro restaurant and bar.  Bespoke treehouses will also be added to the site.

    Our supply included more than 20,000 plants including hedging, shrubs, herbaceous and aquatics to the modernisation scheme, that includes hard and soft landscaping around the site.

    Included in the supply were more than 4,000 ferns such as Dryopteris affinis, thousands of grasses, including Luzula sylvatica, and hundreds of geraniums.

    The 36-acre resort on the edge of Alsop-en-le-Dale village is set in a former quarry, and the site includes woodland areas, pastures and a pond that attracts ducks, geese, frogs and even newts.

    We have supplied thousands of plants to Darwin Escapes resorts across the UK, from Kent and Somerset to Cornwall and Norfolk. Resorts have included Sandymouth Holiday Resort and Cheddar Woods

    The UK’s tourism industry is booming with staycations proving incredibly popular. People realise they don’t need to go abroad to enjoy a break so new destinations such as Rivendale will be on many people’s lists to visit next year.

    Our plants have beautified and enhanced the new luxury resort’s grounds.  We hope holidaymakers and wildlife enjoy the plants for many years to come.

    Group Grounds and Utilities Manager for Darwin Escapes, Kris Sutton said: “We’re delighted to have worked with the Johnsons of Whixley team again at our newly redeveloped Rivendale Lodge Retreat. They have been our main suppliers for many resorts in the Darwin Escapes portfolio, and we always receive top-quality stock.  The recent supply of plants for Rivendale has ensured the resort blends with the natural surroundings, and we are really pleased with the finished look.

     

    Posted 20th Oct 1:38pm
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  68. Garden Centre Sales Division launches first digital catalogue

    Garden Centre Sales Division launches first digital catalogue

    Our Garden Centre Sales Division has launched its first digital catalogue.

    The division which has supplied over 700,000 plants to Garden Centres this year would usually have its catalogue printed and sent out to customers, this year they have gone paperless for the first time in 50 years to reduce paper wastage.

    We are one of the few businesses that can claim to be a real net contributor to the environment from growing and supplying over 7 million plants and trees per year to low emission vehicles. Our irrigation system uses rainfall and runoff water from its reservoirs. The plants we supply beautify UK wide planting schemes and private gardens helping reduce Carbon Dioxide from the air and greenhouse gases which create pollution.

    Our BSI ISO 9001:2015 & 14001:2015 Quality, and Environmental standard credentials have underpinned business operations since 1992, the new digital catalogue is one of many changes to our company’s systems with order processing going digital too.

    Our new catalogue can be viewed here – to access you will need to be a customer and have the password – please contact us on 01423 332309 or email paull@nurserymen.co.uk to gain access.

    This was an obvious step for our Garden Centre Sales department. In going paperless, we have saved 10’s of thousands of pages which, by the end of the next year would have ended up in the bin or recycled and would have taken time to process. The benefits are significant from both an efficiency perspective.

    Posted 13th Oct 10:23am
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  69. October 2020 Gardening Reminders

    October 2020 Gardening Reminders

    Check out our latest gardening reminders for October 2020 put together by chairman and horticulturist John Richardson.

    1) Take hardwood cuttings from shrubs and fruit bushes, lift and divide rhubarb crowns when the leaves have died away.

    2) With only 50-65mm of rain expected in October in the north, together with a number of sunny days, try and make a start on some of the winter jobs completed before the real winter weather sets in. Dispose of fallen apples as they will not store and may carry over disease if left outside.

    3) Collect seeds of those plants you wish to increase. Store dry seeds in paper bags in an airtight container on the bottom shelf of the fridge. If unsure when to sow, sow half the seed on the collection and the other half in spring.

    4) Frequently collect fallen leaves from around the garden and store in a wire-netting mesh bin using four wooden posts at the corners. Filled in October and November you should have a rich compost by next autumn. Do not leave fallen leaves on the lawn.

    5) Clear leaves from around all alpine plants. If they are to be left outside, provide the protection of a cold frame, or even a glass or plastic cloche, to prevent plants becoming waterlogged.

    6) When the foliage is dropping from tall shrubs such as Buddleias and Lavatera, cut them back to half the height to which they will be pruned in the spring, which will prevent winter gale damage.

    7) It is fine to plant Daffodils and many other spring-flowering bulbs this month, but leave tulip bulbs until November to reduce the incidence of Tulip Fire disease.

    8) Move non-hardy plants grown in containers e.g figs, olives, bay trees and palms, under the shelter of a greenhouse or sunroom.

    9) Apply grease bands around the trunks of apple trees as a barrier to winter moths. Apply the correct grease the trees with rough or smooth bark. Rake up leaves around rose bushes to prevent Black Spot being carried over to next year.

    10) Berries are popular with birds in winter, but they dislike yellow ones such as viburnum, Holly and Pyracantha.

    11) Remove any shading applied to glasshouse roofs and fit bubble insulation to the sides.

    12) Plant up containers with winter bedding such as pansies, violas, polyanthus, variegated ivy, bulbs and Conifers etc.

    13) Clean out ponds and remove water pumps for the winter.

    14) Give conifer hedges a final trim, and finish planting evergreen shrubs whilst the soil is still warm.

    15) Raise the blades on the lawnmower a little now that growth has slowed significantly.

    Posted 6th Oct 9:55am
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  70. Garden Centre Sales Division celebrates record-breaking year

    Garden Centre Sales Division celebrates record-breaking year

    We are celebrating a record-breaking year within our Garden Centre Sales Division.

    The Garden Centre Sales Division, which is run by Mark Reynard has had a turbulent year, to say the least when garden centres were forced to shut leading to postponed and cancelled orders of thousands of perishable plants.

    The retail division has relied heavily on online plant retailers during the lockdown and has now surpassed its original budget figure to achieve a record-breaking year despite all of the challenges faced.

    A tunnel full of retail phormiums 

    We had to think outside of the box during the lockdown period and come up with initiatives to save what would otherwise be wasted stock by donating hundreds of plants to local villages as well as creating ‘Garden Rescue Packs‘ which were sold by online plant suppliers, Hedges Direct.

    Over 300 ‘Garden Rescue Packs’ were shipped from April – May including one to the investor, Deborah Meaden. The packs included a selection of x50 2L or x25 5L mixed shrubs.

    Image of Garden Rescue Packs

    Once the Garden Centres could re-open we experienced unprecedented demand for our plants. Over 700,000 plants have made it down our plant preparation line from April – now.

    The division’s successes are due to the publics newfound love of gardening and home improvements with companies such as Notonthehighstreet seeing a 230% increase in garden-related searches in August alone. Our staff did a fantastic job of fulfilling the high demand, working overtime, including weekends and evenings to produce and collate all of the orders.

    Retail lifting supervisor, Martyn Osborne 

    Retail Sales Manager, Mark Reynard, said: “A notable year in my 40-year career at Johnsons. It’s astonishing to have come out of the ‘other end’ in what we initially thought was going to be the most challenging year the division had ever faced.  We are so grateful for all our staff’s hard work and all of the orders and support from our customers new and old.

    We know there are lots of challenges ahead for all of us in the coming months but hope the publics newfound love of gardening continues into next year. ”

    Retail Sales Manager, Mark Reynard

    Posted 28th Sep 10:56am
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  71. Wholesale Xpress - HELP US, HELP YOU

    Wholesale Xpress - HELP US, HELP YOU

    Our cash & carry wants to improve its service and you can help them, help you…

    This season has thrown up challenges like no other that the nursery has faced in its near 100-year history. The collation of small orders can be time-consuming and take staff away from important work such as stocking up the beds. With this in mind, we are making a few changes to how we process your orders. This will be implemented from the 1st of October

    £0-£250 spend

    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 

    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 or by use of a carrier service (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

    Have a question? call us on 01423 332324 or email wpc@nurserymen.co.uk

     

    Posted 21st Sep 3:46pm
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  72. Plant supply to create a private sanctuary for a family home

    Plant supply to create a private sanctuary for a family home

    Johnsons of Whixley team up with LDC Ltd and Studio Loci to create a private sanctuary for a family home

    We recently teamed up with award-winning landscapers, LDC Limited and Landscape Architects, Studio Loci to create an elaborate private garden for a residence in Surrey.

    The Springhill Garden is based at a private residence in Guildford. The owners commissioned a total redesign of the outdoor space to showcase the views over North Downs and to create a garden fit for all the family.

    The jewel in the crown is a stunning tiered garden to the rear of the property. The first level features an entertainment space including a large area for seated guests, with access via a grand entrance with a 23-step staircase connecting it to the main garden. The steps are bordered by a prairie style planting scheme to provide year-round vibrancy and colour.

    The second tier of space is a lawn that provides a flat, open space for children to play. This area is surrounded by a planting scheme of pleached trees and yew hedging that separates the area from the rest of the garden whilst also protecting the views over the downs.

    The final level, which is accessed by an additional set of steps, leads down to the private tennis court that is shielded by an embankment.

    The garden was designed by Studio Loci and the contract work carried out by LDC Ltd, using more than 800 plants supplied by Johnsons.

    Among the plants supplied were Lavandula ‘Hidcote’, Calamagrostis acut. ‘Karl Foerster’, Pennisetum alop. ‘Hameln’, and Stipa tenuissima.

    Landscape Architect, Tom Prince from Studio Loci said: ” LDC have been more than happy with the service provided by Johnsons over the last few years. The quality of nursery stock has always been to a very high standard and we look forward to working with Johnson well into the future.”

    We hope the garden provides amazing memories for the family for many years to come. It is an incredible space, with every area being utilised and surrounded by wonderful plants and trees.

    This is one of many private gardens we have supplied via our customers in recent times including a parterre garden in Ilkley, a large domestic garden in North Yorkshire and a sloping garden in Harrogate.

     

    Posted 21st Sep 10:28am
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  73. Plant donation for 'Magical Garden' at the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford

    Plant donation for 'Magical Garden' at the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford

    We have donated plants worth hundreds of pounds for a magical garden to help children cope with grief.

    The garden, at the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford, will be a tranquil space where children can be themselves, explore their surroundings and escape their reality for a short while.

    Our plant donation was worth more than £800 to the hospice, that cares for terminally ill patients and their families while Leeds Landscapers, Aire Valley Landscaping Services gave up their time to design and plant the garden.

    Included in our supply were perennials such as Verbena bonariensis, Tiarella ‘Spring Symphony’, Salvia ‘Caradonna’, Crocosmia ‘George Davidson’ and Lavandula ‘Hidcote’.

    Climbing varieties included Trachelospermum jasminoides, Hydrangea petiolaris and Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’ perfect for covering trellises and fences in the new garden. Several Amelanchier alnifolia ‘obelisk’ trees were provided, along with grasses such as Ophiopogon ‘Nigrescens’.

    The garden aims to provide a safe yet stimulating space where children can go with an adult to enjoy some time out and enjoy being a child again.

    The magical space includes surprise elements such as fairy doors and toadstools hidden among the greenery, along with sensory sections with running water and scented plants.

    A hospice spokesman explained: “Children may be worried about having fun due to an awareness of their wider family’s emotional needs. However, this space is for them. The Magical Garden will enable children to spend ‘time out’ exploring and having fun during very stressful and upsetting times. This will be their space to play, relax, explore, gain a sense of normality and be themselves.

    “We also hope that through engaging in creative thinking, this will strengthen their bond with the adult and help them to have difficult conversations about grief and death.”

    We are delighted to support this initiative to help children through what will, in all probability, be the most difficult time of their young lives. The garden will offer them a valuable space to take time out and be a child again, as well as helping them to talk about how they feel.

    This is one of many projects we have donated to in recent years including Springwater School and the BBC Children in Need, DIY SOS ‘Big Build Project’.

    Posted 7th Sep 10:10am
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  74. September 2020 Gardening Reminders

    September 2020 Gardening Reminders

    Check out our latest gardening reminders for September 2020 put together by chairman and horticulturist John Richardson.

    1) 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.

    2) Now is the time to make yourself a good big compost bin, just before you really need it! Ideally, use 4 stakes as corners 1 metre apart in a square and staple wire netting (1 metre deep) around the square. This affords 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.

    3) 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 the 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?

    4) 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.

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

    6) Take hardwood cuttings of 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 3 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.

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

    8) Prune rambler roses when they have finished flowering.

    9) Now is the time to sort out your bulb order to give you maximum choice. Bulb catalogues are now 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.

    10) New construction such as rock gardens or raised beds started this month should be completed before the days get too short and the soil has become wet.

    11) 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.

    12) This month and next month the lawn can be mown less frequently, but will really benefit from mechanical 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-0killer and an autumn lawn fertilizer dressing.

    13) Cheap insecticide – 3 pounds of rhubarb leaves infused in 6 pints of water with added soap solution makes a good insecticide. It is poisonous, take the usual necessary precaution.

     

    Posted 1st Sep 1:11pm
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  75. 40 Year's service for Retail Sales Manager, Mark Reynard

    40 Year's service for Retail Sales Manager, Mark Reynard

    Our Retail Sales Manager, Mark Reynard, has just celebrated 40 years with the company, so we asked him some questions about his time at Johnsons, see what he had to say below:

    1. What was the year you started at Johnsons? 23rd June 1980

    2. How did you come about working at Johnsons?

    I came for an interview on a sunny day in June, and it looked a nice place to work – a few months later in the winter digging trees up with rain running down your neck was a slightly different experience.

    3. Did you work anywhere else prior to Johnsons? I only did a paper round; I started work at Johnsons just a few days after my 16th birthday!

    4. What was your first position in the company?

    My first position was an apprenticeship for three years with work-based learning mixed in with college work.

    5. How has the company changed over the years?

    Wow – beyond belief really, from 20-30 staff to the 110-160 staff there are now, it is an incredible change, and a tribute to all the hard work people have put in over the years.  The nice thing we have maintained is the friendly Family Business feeling as the company has grown.  People are treated as individuals and not just numbers on a payroll – those of us that haven’t worked anywhere else probably don’t’ appreciate this enough.

    6. What is your most memorable day at Johnsons?

    For different reasons:

    1. Washing out seed trays all day in Jeyes fluid, which I smelt of for the next 3 months.
    2. My first day out on the road selling and getting my first order – came out 2 foot taller and thought this is definitely for me in a strange way it gave me the same buzz as playing well at sport, which is my passion outside of work.

    7. If you could have chosen another career what would it have been?

    Anything to do with sport really – playing it or coaching.

    8. What has made you stay at Johnsons for all those years?

    Although 40 years sounds like a very long time the first 10 years were very different, from growing plants to loading and delivering plants and then on to sales where no two days are ever the same.

    Running the Garden Centre Sales side of Johnsons is a bit like running a separate business within the main business, I set different goals each year to keep driving me forward, we have made some good progress recently but still feel there are a few things to achieve before I hang up my order pad.

    During my time at Johnsons I’ve had some up’s and down’s which the Richardson family have always supported me through and I feel it’s nice to repay that in a small way.

    Group MD Graham Richardson added: “Mark has been a valued member of the team since June 1980, I can’t believe how fast the years have gone by.  

    “Mark joined Johnsons as a 16-year-old apprentice and over the years, with hard work and dedication, has progressed throughout the business. He is a valued member of the team and is a key part of our business and history.”

    To mark his four-decade milestone, as is customary the company will formally recognise this extraordinary achievement at the Christmas shutdown.

    Posted 28th Aug 9:12am
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  76. New Cash & Carry Saturday Opening Hours

    New Cash & Carry Saturday Opening Hours

    From Saturday 3rd October, our cash & carry will re-open by appointment only due to the current circumstances and difficulties surrounding COVID-19 (rules do apply as stated below)

    We hope to keep everyone safe whilst offering the additional Saturday opening times for our customers. The extra hours will be reviewed to ensure it is both commercially viable and safe for all. Email wpc@nurserymen.co.uk to pre-book your Saturday morning appointment. 

    Posted 17th Aug 1:43pm
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  77. Plant supply for Whinfell Forest Center Parcs new look

    Plant supply for Whinfell Forest Center Parcs new look

    We recently teamed up with one of the UK’s top landscape and maintenance contractors, Ashlea Ltd to complete the soft landscaping at the Whinfell Forest Centre Parcs Visitor Centre, giving it a new look for reopening after lockdown restrictions.

    The popular holiday destination is situated at Penrith, on the edge of the Lake District National Park. Set within 400 acres, Whinfell Forest is the largest of Center Parcs’ five UK villages, offering a range of indoor and outdoor activities, restaurants and shops that attracts thousands of holidaymakers every year.

    Landscape and maintenance specialist Ashlea Ltd has completed several hard and soft landscaping projects at the site in recent years. The latest includes clearing and replanting the banking at the visitor centre.

    Our supply included more than 250 plants to complete the banking’s transformation including a mixture of shrubs, grasses, and ferns with varieties such as Euonymus ‘Emerald Gaiety’, Pinus mugo, Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’, Cotinus’ Royal Purple’, Mahonia x media ‘ Charity’, Miscanthus sinensis ‘ Zebrinus’ and Dryopteris erythrosora.

    Wayne Dand, Contracts Director at Ashlea Ltd, said: Once again Johnsons Of Whixley excelled in the delivery and supply of mature shrubs to enhance the Visitors Centre embankment prior to the park opening In July 2020. The embankment is situated on a busy route to the visitors centre and is always far too busy to close the footways for completion of the works. Due to the park being closed during the lockdown, the opportunity came to remove the old and tired planting and replace with a new mature planting design to freshen the area for reopening.

    It’s great to have supplied another area of the well-loved Whinfell Forest Center Parcs via our long-standing customer Ashlea Ltd. Thousands of families visit here each year, so it’s fantastic to be enhancing the already beautiful outside space with hundreds of our plants.

    Posted 10th Aug 4:08pm
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  78. New roles for familiar faces at our onsite Cash and Carry

    New roles for familiar faces at our onsite Cash and Carry

    We have made some management changes to our onsite cash and carry. The unit is often seen as a showpiece for the company for any visiting architect and client as well as being a one-stop-shop for landscape affiliated trades in the North of England including Landscape Gardeners, Garden Designers, Property Developers, Estates, Hotels and more offering an extensive range of shrubs, herbaceous, trees, hedging and sundries.

    The current Cash & Carry Manager Luke Richardson has now returned to our main office to focus on commercial sales. He will continue overseeing the day to day activities on the cash & carry but will leave the managing of the unit in the capable hands of two familiar faces, Alice Knowles, and Claire Horner.

    Between the two employees, they have over forty years of working experience which they can apply to their new roles. Alice Knowles, who has a background in horticultural retail outlets and has previously worked at Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate, will be concentrating on the quotes, customer orders and internal functionality of the unit.

    Claire Horner, who has worked at Johnsons for over twenty years, will be focused on the external elements of the cash and carry, such as the stocking and cultural work. Together they will ensure that the high standards are preserved, and customer-focused service is maintained.

    Our cash and carry which is located between Harrogate and York, just off the A1 at junction 47 serves over 1000 landscape affiliated customers a year and has gained over 133 new customers since the beginning of lockdown.

    New Cash & Carry Manager, Claire Horner said: “A quality service is assured to our customers, who are our top priority. Being able to offer a wide range of quality plants which reflects seasonality and to always have a variety for our customer to chose from off the beds is our aim. “

     

    Posted 31st Jul 2:25pm
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  79. August 2020 Gardening Reminders

    August 2020 Gardening Reminders

    Check out our latest gardening reminders for August 2020 put together by chairman and horticulturist John Richardson.

    1) Prune plum trees when cropping has finished. Cut out all dead and diseased wood. Cut back lateral branches of fan trained plums by a third.

    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)  Stop greenhouse tomatoes, and stop outdoor tomatoes when 4 or 5 trusses have set. Remove 50% of the lower foliage and reduce watering to allow fruits to ripen.

    4)  Pinch back trailing plants such as ivy-leaved pelargoniums that are becoming straggly. Pelargoniums grown as bedding or container plants will root easily from cuttings. Select sturdy shoots about 10cm long, cutting just below a node. Place in a pot of very sandy compost and shade from the sun in a greenhouse or cold frame.

    5)  Maintain the water level in ponds to prevent stress to fish, plants and other plant life.

    6)  Give container plants a liquid feed as long release fertilizers may not provide enough boost to keep the plants growing.

    7)  Collect and dispose of fallen apples showing signs of brown rot. Do not compost them.

    8)  Cut down to ground level the recently fruited canes of Raspberries. Tie in strong young canes spaced 8-10cm apart.  Remove surplus young canes and burn them.

    9)  Sow spring cabbage early in the month for planting out mid-September.

    10)  Plant Freesia corms now in large pots to begin flowering in March.

    11)  Plant spring-flowering crocus and Muscari during the month.

    12)  Give a high Potash feed (Sulphate of Potash or tomato fertilizer) to plants which will provide a display next year. Water in, if conditions are very dry.

    13)  Continue deadheading roses and tie in and secure young shoots of climbers.  Watch out for Black Spot and Greenfly, spray at once and apply a foliar feed if prolific.

    14)  Keep annual beds free from weeds and remove faded flowers. Lift bearded Iris every 3 years when they become crowded. Discard old material from the centre of the plant. Cut back foliage of new plants to 20-30cm before planting.

    15)  Pot up seedlings of self-sown herbaceous plants.

    16)  Trim Lavenders as the flowers go over, but don’t cut into the last seasons wood as this may prevent future regrowth.

    17)  As soon as strawberries stop cropping, cut off old leaves about 10cm above the crown. Cut off all runners other than those required to fill gaps. Rake off all old foliage and any straw around the plants, Burn all this rubbish. It is suggested that the plants are dug up after cropping for three years, and virus free new stock is purchased.

    18) Make a list of the bulb varieties, quantities and planting locations for planting this autumn.

    Posted 30th Jul 12:21pm
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  80. Creating extra growing capacity for plants of the future

    Creating extra growing capacity for plants of the future

    We have created over 5000 sqm of additional bed space for plants of the future at two of our nursery sites located In Kirk Hammerton and Roecliffe, North Yorkshire.

    Group Managing Director, Graham Richardson stood amongst the new beds

    Production capacity has increased as a result of reduced sales brought about by the recent crisis and as a reaction to potential Brexit trading constraints.

    New beds

    Recent projects have delivered sufficient growing space to produce an extra 320,000 extra landscape and garden plants per year. The facilities comprise of external beds and covered ‘polytunnel’ space all profiled and watered via automated systems.

    New beds

    Through the sale of 7 million Trees & Shrubs annually, we are one of the few businesses that can claim to be a true net contributor to the environment. Our green credentials are monitored continuously via its accreditation to the environmental standard ISO14001.

    New tunnel 

    Group Managing Director, Graham Richardson said: “Investment in new production facilities provides extra facilities to hold over crops otherwise destined for the waste heap and reduces our exposure to reduced availability should trading constraints with Europe begin to bite

    Posted 15th Jul 11:14am
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  81. Pollinator-friendly shrubs and herbaceous for spring and summer

    Pollinator-friendly shrubs and herbaceous for spring and summer

    When we think of pollinator-friendly shrubs and herbaceous, we automatically think of lavenders, but this doesn’t suit everybody’s taste or garden position, so we have put together a list of other pollinator-friendly plants for different positions in your garden during the spring and summer months.

    Spring

    1.Primula veris

    Flowering period: April – May

    Position: Full sun or partial shade

    2. Helleborus varieties 

    Flowering period: January – March (some varieties flower earlier, and for longer)

    Position: Partial shade

    3. Prunus Kojo-no-mai

    Flowering period: March – April

    Position: Full sun

    4.Berberis darwinii 

    Flowering period: April – May

    Position: Full sun or partial shade

    5. Pulmonaria Diana Clare

    Flowering period: February – May

    Position: shade – Partial sun

    6. Ribes King Edward 

    Flowering period: April – May

    Position: Full sun

    7. Viburnum tinus

    Position: Full sun or partial shade

    Flowering period: April – December

    8.  Mahonia ‘Winter sun’ 

    Position: November – March

    Flowering period: Full sun – partial shade

     

    Summer

    1.Geraniums 

    Flowering period: May – September (some varieties may flower earlier and for longer)

    Position: Full sun or partial shade

    2. Echinacea’s

    Flowering period: July – September (most varieties)

    Position: Full sun

    3. Buddleia’s 

    Flowering period: July – September (mot varieties)

    Position: Full sun or partial shade

    4. Scabiosa varieties 

    Flowering period: July – September (most varieties)

    Position: Full sun

    5. Lavender varieties 

    Flowering period: July – September (most varieties)

    Position: Full sun

    6. Verbena varieties 

    Flowering period: June – September (most varieties)

    Position: Full sun

    7. Agastache varieties 

    Flowering period: June – October (most varieties)

    Position: Full sun

    8.Caryopteris ‘Heavenly Blue’

    Flowering period: August – September

    Position: Ful sun

    Posted 6th Jul 2:53pm
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  82. July 2020 Gardening Reminders

    July 2020 Gardening Reminders

    Check out our latest gardening reminders for July 2020 put together by chairman and horticulturist John Richardson.

    1) Water recently sowed or turfed new lawns in dry weather to ensure establishment. Don’t forget to sweep up fallen apples and heavy fallen leaf concentrations before mowing.

    2) Plant bulbs in the grass to flower next autumn as soon as bulbs are on sale.

    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)  lower the cutting height on the lawnmower (but not too short!) and cut lawn edges with a half-moon cutter, long-handled shears or an electric nylon line trimmer. Remove perennial lawn weeds.

    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!!

    8) When the first flush of hardy geranium and  Alchemilla is over, cut them back hard for a spectacular second flush of flowers.

    9)  Lift tulip bulbs after they have fully died down and store them in a dry, airy place over summer (Better stored in paper bags, definitely not polythene).

    10)  Feed roses with a specialist rose fertilizer if not already done. On light soils, a mulch of rotted compost will provide long term slow feed but will also help preserve moisture.

    11) Trim quickthorn and privet 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. When trimming Laurels and Elaeagnus, cut back straggly shoots with secateurs.

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

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

    14)  Keep an eye open for pests and diseases such as greenfly, lily beetle, mildew and blackspot.

    15)  Root heather cuttings in boxes or small pots using a mixture of 50% peat and 50% acid sand. Take cuttings of young half-ripe shoots from the middle of July to mid-August, dipping the ends of the cuttings in rooting hormone. Don’t allow cutting to dry out, but don’t over-water.  Provide shade for the cuttings.

    16)  In the north, July is probably as late as possible to achieve good results from sowing beetroot, lettuce, spinach and carrot seed.  Harvest beans and peas as they are ready, as this will encourage the production of a further crop.

    Posted 2nd Jul 1:59pm
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  83. Plant supply for innovative lakeside services scheme

    Plant supply for innovative lakeside services scheme

    Motorists stopping for a break at the new Skelton Lakes service station on the M1 near Leeds can enjoy glorious landscaped lakeside gardens thanks to us and Landscaping firm Brambledown Landscape Services Ltd.

    Our plant supply to the scheme was worth more than £110,000, which aims to bring new levels of design and quality to visitors when it opens this summer.

    The area, at Junction 45, will include a business centre and community facilities, in addition to a range of food and drink outlets, a visitor area and lakeside viewing deck across a total of 30 acres. The main building will feature exposed timber beams and a ‘living green roof’ to reflect the landscape.

    Our supply included more than 25,000 plants for the landscaping scheme, including more than 3,900 Persicaria ‘Darjeeling Red’, 3,600 Carpinus betulus, 2,800 crataegus monogyna and 1,100 Euphorbia griffithii ‘Fireglow’.

    Also incorporated in the supply was over 400 trees, with varieties including over 60 Acer camp. ‘Streetwise’, 120 Betula pendula, 60 Alnus glutinosa and 45 Pinus sylvestris.

    Brambledown Director, Paul Curry said: “It was a pleasure to work with Johnsons of Whixley again on such a large Commercial Landscape Project near Leeds. We have continued to plant thousands of trees and shrubs at Skelton Lakes Service Station throughout the Covid-19 pandemic while implementing all necessary Public Health England and Government industry safe working practices. It has been a very challenging project, but we have worked very closely with the client, and the main contractor to ensure our programmed landscape works could progress.

    Skelton Lakes aims to bring a new concept of the motorway service station to Yorkshire, with unprecedented levels of design set in acres of gardens.

    The development will form part of a ‘Green corridor’ linking Grade 1 listed Temple Newsam House to the north and Rothwell Country Park to the south.

    Posted 30th Jun 11:55am
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  84. Creating a vertical Living Wall

    Creating a vertical Living Wall

    One of our amenity sales reps, Andrew Barker, has set about creating a vertical living wall in his backyard during the lockdown period.

    Andrew was influenced to create his living wall after seeing customer Brambledown Landscapes Ltd build a living wall for retail giant Barker and Stonehouse along with the many benefits it has for the environment.

    Barker and Stonehouse’s living wall planted and maintained by Brambledown Landscapes Ltd

    A variety of our plants including, Cyrtomium fortunei P9, Carex oshimensis ‘Everest’ P9, Heuchera ‘Caramel’  P9, Pennisetum alop. ‘Hameln’ P9 and Asplenium scolopendrium P9 were used to complete his living wall project.

    A living wall has many benefits, including the improvement of air quality, reducing energy costs (if placed alongside a building), reducing noise levels, aesthetically pleasing and water management.

    We asked Andrew his top tips for creating a living wall and what he used to do so, here is what he had to say below:

    1. What equipment did you need to create a living wall? Pressure-treated timber, premade plant pocket material and a lot of screws.

    2. What plants did you choose and why? I wanted a mixture of evergreen and deciduous perennials to achieve some structure with seasonal interest and tried to use some older lines that we had on the nursery to reduce waste.

    3. How long did it take you to build?  It took a day to build the frame, half a day to fix in place and nearly a full day to plant up

    4. What aftercare does a living wall require? With a small amount of substrate in each pocket water monitoring or an automatic irrigation system is needed—also, the use of a balanced liquid feed schedule throughout the year. The rest of the work will be standard cultural work to the individual plants to keep them looking their best.

     

    Posted 1st Jul 9:24am
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  85. A warm welcome to Yvette Adams

    A warm welcome to Yvette Adams

    A warm welcome to Yvette Adams who joins our front of house team as a Receptionist and will be working alongside Chris, Tracey, and Cath. Here’s what she said about her new position at Johnsons:

    Welcome to the team Yvette, how are you finding your new role?

    I am really enjoying my new job; everyone has made me feel very welcome.

    Where did you work before Johnsons?

    I worked in the office at Boroughbridge High school.

    What are you looking forward to most while working here?

    Getting to know my colleagues and understanding the running of the company.

    What have the challenges been so far?

    Trying to pronounce and spell suppliers’ names.

     Anything new you have learnt since joining?

    Yes, working on the plant production line was something I had never done before.

     What do you enjoy outside of work?

    Seeing Family and Friends, Walking and grooming my dogs, and Gardening.

     How did you celebrate your new role?

    Had Fish and Chips and a glass of cider.

    Tell us a random fact about yourself:

    I once played Bass guitar in a punk rock band

    Posted 25th Jun 8:47am
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  86. Topiary garden supply for England cricket hero

    Topiary garden supply for England cricket hero

    England cricket hero Ben Stokes has a stunning new-look garden thanks to us and the team at Brambledown Landscape Services Ltd.

    The current England vice-captain – voted Sports Personality of the Year 2019 after his heroics in the Cricket World Cup and in the test match at Headingley when England beat Australia – visited our onsite trade cash & carry with Brambledown’s Director to select several plants for his garden.

    Brambledown Director Frank Curry with cricket hero Ben Stokes and one of Johnsons Directors, Iain Richardson

    He chose several topiary plants including Buxus cones in 170L pots, varying from 130cm in height to 200cm, and 110cm wide Buxus balls.

    Ben Stoke’s impressive topiary plants 

    Brambledown, one of the UK’s top landscape and maintenance contractors, has been undertaking soft and hard landscaping works – including planting the topiary plants – at the cricketer’s Co Durham property.

    Topiary loaded ready for delivery to Ben Stokes

    Frank Curry, Brambledown Director, said: ” It’s a pleasure to be working with Ben and his wife Clare on their garden plans. They enjoyed the opportunity to visit Johnsons of Whixley and see the vast variety of quality plant material.

    Eleanor Richardson, Johnsons’ marketing manager, added: “The men in our family business are big cricket fans, so were starstruck when Ben Stokes attended our onsite trade cash and carry.

    “As always, it’s a pleasure to work with our long-standing customer Brambledown Landscape Services Ltd who are guaranteed to do a great job for the England cricket star. We look forward to seeing the end result of the garden project.

    Posted 19th Jun 1:51pm
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  87. Helping Waterfront Business Park Bloom

    Helping Waterfront Business Park Bloom

    We have teamed up with one of the UK’s largest landscaping companies, Ashlea Ltd to help the grounds of the new Waterfront Business Park in Barrow-In-Furness bloom.

    The £3.5 million project comprises of offices, workshops and industrial buildings that are already home to several businesses including BAE, that has occupied a sizeable unit since phase one of the scheme opened in 2017.

    Located at the gateway to Britain’s ‘energy coast’, the development is regarded as a hotspot for growing businesses.

    The team at Ashlea completed the groundworks and planting for the grounds of the business park.

    Johnsons supplied trees, hedging, grasses and shrubs for the scheme, including varieties such as Betula pendula, Pinus Nigra, Miscanthus sinensis, Stipa tenuissima, Crataegus monogyna, Prunus spinosa and Viburnum opulus.

    Ashlea Ltd Contracts Director Wayne Dand said: ”Once again Johnsons Of Whixley has excelled themselves with the quality of plants, trees and service provided. The coastal landscape design of ornamental grasses is starting to develop well.”

    We are delighted to have been Ashlea’s chosen supplier for this project. This is one of many similar projects we have supplied in recent years, and it is great to see our plants help this new business park to ‘bloom’. We look forward to working with Ashlea Ltd again soon.

    Posted 16th Jun 11:41am
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  88. Gin giveaway for World Gin Day

    Gin giveaway for World Gin Day

     

     

    To celebrate World Gin Day on Saturday 13th June, we are giving away a 20cl bottle of our ‘Quixley Gin’

    For your chance to win simply like our Facebook page, like the post and tag the friend, you would share a bottle with. 🍸

    Terms and conditions do apply below ⬇️

    1. The promotor is Johnsons of Whixley Ltd
    2. Entrants must like the Johnsons of Whixley Facebook page and have liked and commented on the post as requested to be in for a chance to win.
    3. The prize is open to all UK residents aged over 18 and above.
    4. There is only one prize available
    5. Only one prize per entrant (a 20cl bottle of Quixley gin) can be claimed, multiple entries from the same applicant will be discounted.
    6. The prize is as stated, no cash or alternative prize is available.
    7. The Winner will be picked at random from all eligible entries.
    8. The competition will close at 12 pm Monday 15th June
    9. The Winner will be announced on Monday 15th June on the Johnsons of Whixley Facebook page.
    10. Winners will be asked for their details for postage or collection.
    11. Winners will receive their prize by post or on collection.
    12. The winners are allowed up to five calendar days to claim the prize from the date they are announced. If the Winner fails to come forward, then the prize shall be forfeited.
    13. Entries who did not win will not be contacted.
    14. Johnsons of Whixley will not take responsibility for any lost items in the post – replacements cannot be issued.
    15. If you are a winner, the Promoter may request you to participate in any publicity or promotion organised by the Promoter, including promotional photographs.
    16. The Promoter reserves the right to withdraw this offer or amend these Terms and Conditions at any time without notice.
    17. In the event of any dispute regarding the Terms and Conditions, the conduct, results and any other matters relating to this prize draw, the decision of the Promoter shall be final, and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.
    18. By entering applicants agree to the above terms and conditions.

    Posted 9th Jun 9:59am
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  89. June 2020 Gardening Reminders

    June 2020 Gardening Reminders

    Check out our latest gardening reminders for June 2020 put together by chairman and horticulturist John Richardson.

    1) The very dry weather in May has made us realise just how important it is to organise an efficient watering system. Garden centres will have excellent drip-feed watering systems on sale, which are ideal for plants in containers, grow bags, window boxes and hanging baskets, and are relatively easy and quick to install. Money well spent!

    2) Anything planted during the last 2 months is almost certain to be suffering from the effect of the drought. When watering, ensure that plants are given a really good soak and not just having the soil surface dampened down.

    3) Hoe weeds wherever possible in the dry weather, they collapse quickly, and leaving a tilth on the soil surface helps conserve moisture and prevents the growth of new weed seedlings.

    4) Make sure that supports are now in place for herbaceous plants which are growing quickly, the support is also needed if they become short of water and lose rigidity.

    5) Forsythia and other early flowering shrubs will benefit from having some of the old flowering shoots removed in order to stimulate new young shoots which will carry flower buds next year.

    6) Don’t forget to prune topiary plants such as Buxus and Taxus, if you leave it too long it is very easy to lose the original shape, and extremely difficult to recover.

    7) If you have never had the opportunity to read a copy of ‘Gardening Which’, either borrow a copy or take out a subscription, it is worth every penny!

    8) Complete the planting of hardy annuals, and ensure they are well watered-in and kept watered for the first full month.

    9) Ensure that slugs and snails cannot do too much damage by picking them off plants in the late evening by hand or treating them with appropriate slug and snail killers.

    10) Plant out young dahlias now there is no chance of frost. Keep well-watered and control greenfly. Apply a mulch of spent compost to retain moisture and reduce weeds and slugs.

    11) Sow winter pansies, primulas, violas and Brompton stocks under glass. Foxgloves and wallflowers can be sown outside in a weed-free area of the border to flower next year.

    12) Bulb foliage will have died down by now, remove it once it has gone dry and yellow. Daffodil bulbs will be fine left in situ, but tulip bulbs are better lifted carefully, cleaned, and dried off in shallow boxes.  Keep cool and well ventilated until replanted in the autumn.

    13) Watch out for those bright red lily beetles, they are on the march!  Make sure to keep a hand underneath when trying to catch them, as they drop into the soil beneath when touched.

    14) Keep removing the side shoots of tomatoes by breaking them out of the leaf axils, to ensure the energy of the plant goes into the fruit.

    15) Now that wholesale nurseries and garden centres are open once again, a walk around any of them will be useful as no doubt they will have a number of unsold lines at attractive prices.

    16) Trim back the flowering growth of Erica carnea varieties and top-dress with peat.

    17) Watch out for woolly aphids on apple trees, scrub off with soap and water.

    18) Dead-head roses after they have flowered,. Cut down to the axil of a bud with secateurs.

    “If you have two pennies, spend one for a loaf and one for a flower.

    The bread will give you life, the flower a reason for living’. (Chinese Proverb, & Maurice Baren)”

    Posted 1st Jun 9:33am
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  90. What horticulturalists do in their spare time… Horticulture

    What horticulturalists do in their spare time… Horticulture

    A staff member has set about creating a new wildlife haven at one of our nurseries 50-acre sites.

    Our Newlands site is located in the heart of Yorkshire and surrounded by open landscapes, it now enjoys a new pond courtesy of our long-standing employee Darren Fawbert.

    Darren Fawbert and Office Dog Isla 

    This new feature is located close to the nursery’s on-site apiary and woodland area which is already home to an array of birds, insects, rabbits, hares, deer and many other wildlife species.

    The pond is now one of five across 200 acres of our land, these are mainly left untouched and are currently homes to ducks, geese, grey herons, frogs, a swan and plenty of fish.

    Fawberts Folly 

    Darren set about his mission just weeks ago in his spare time and has transformed the area with a pond, native tree planting, a bench, and his very own sign ‘Fawberts Folly.’

    Isla swimming in Fawberts Folly

    We are one of the few businesses that can claim to be a true net contributor to the environment as our produce is a true natural offset to climate change and the country’s commitment to Carbon Neutrality.

    Graham Richardson, Group Managing Director at Johnsons of Whixley said: “ During the current crisis the public have recognised the value of outside spaces and the natural world. In a matter of weeks, Darren has created a hugely valuable natural space, some of our staff have even taken to having their lunch in this unique oasis located on the edge of a natural escarpment offering 360 views of the Dales, North York Moors and even the iconic spire of York Minster.”

    Posted 29th May 9:30am
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  91. Helping to rejuvenate local playing fields and Caravan site

    Helping to rejuvenate local playing fields and Caravan site

    We have donated a number of trees and hedging plants to help rejuvenate and enhance the local playing fields and caravan site at a local village, Rufforth.

    Redevelopment of Rufforth cricket pavilion, changing rooms, bar and caravan park are all part of planned works by the Rufforth Playing Fields Association.

    Over the winter months, members have been busy litter picking and planting spring bulbs, along with 250 cell grown trees and shrubs donated by the Forestry Commission.

    We donated 300 Crataegus Monogyna (hawthorn), nine fruit trees including Malus Domestica and Prunus dom ‘Victoria’ and associated rabbit protection, tree ties and stakes.

    The forestry commission trees have been used to create a woodland walkway for dog walkers while our donation has been used to create a community orchard and segregation hedge around the campsite area.

    Andrew Barker, who works in the sales department at Johnsons and lives in Rufforth village, said: “This has been a fabulous project that has brought together the community and various stakeholders of the playing fields. All would not have been possible without these kind donations.

    “One of the great aspects of working for a company like Johnsons is their view on corporate social responsibility and the way they use their capabilities by providing local charitable projects such as this with plant material.”

    Posted 14th May 10:46am
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  92. May 2020 Gardening Reminders

    May 2020 Gardening Reminders

    Gardening reminders for May 2020

    Check out our latest gardening reminders for May 2020 put together by chairman and horticulturist John Richardson.

    1. Make sowing of hardy and half-hardy annuals and plant out when the risk of frost has passed.
    2. Mulch shrubs and fruit bushes when weather begins to warm up, but not deeply into the centre of the shrub, when growing from a stool.
    3. Plant evergreen shrubs, water before and after planting.
    4. Now is a good time to think about building that raised rockery bed you have contemplated for years. Choose a location not under trees and lay a foundation of broken stones for good drainage. For the walls, use stone, sleepers, stout branches,
      bricks or similar, leaving spaces in the walls for plants to grow from, subject to the type of plants you wish to grow. the soil should be acid for rhododendron types and neutral for most other plants. A few large rocks on the surface will add character,
      together with upright plants and conifers as well as ground cover.
    5. Apply a high Nitrogen lawn fertilizer, and water-in if conditions are dry, in order to prevent scorch to the grass.

    6. In mild weather slugs and snails may well begin to eat the shoots of newly growing perennials. Use environmentally approved slug pellets as a control.

    7.  Dahlias may begin to sprout in mild conditions under glass, but don’t plant out until frost is past. Consider taking cutting of the first shoots.

    8. Towards the end of the month collect woody twigs to use as supports for perennials before they get too long and straggly.

    9. Apply residual weedkillers to gravelled driveways and footpaths. Be careful to ensure that the application is confined to the treated area and not surroundings. Significant drift can occur when using a pressurised sprayer.

    10. Begin mowing the lawn weekly, but with the blades set quite high until the rate of growth increases. Dig out those perennial weeds that suddenly appear.

    11. Check stakes and ties of trees planted in the last 2 years, stakes should still be sound and the tree ties not strangling the tree.

    12. As the danger of night frost diminishes apply mulches to the soil to help conserve moisture.

    View our full list of gardening reminders for the year, here 

     

    Posted 5th May 2:26pm
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  93. Working with Make it Wild to plant the trees of the future

    Working with Make it Wild to plant the trees of the future

    Another local, Family Business, Make it Wild have been working with us and other nurseries to help plant the trees of the future, having pledged to plant 100,000 trees this decade, to form part of the ‘Northern Forest’.

    The North of England has significantly fewer trees than other parts of the country, with just 7.6% of the region covered in woodland. The Woodland Trust is working with several partners including Make it Wild to plant over 50 million trees across northern sites and cities including Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Hull and Sheffield which will help to form the ‘Northern Forest’.

    Since the beginning, Make it Wild have planted a whopping 36,000 trees across their land with Yorkshire suppliers including Johnsons of Whixley. Their mission is to support biodiversity and carbon sequestration.

    The eco-friendly family that run Make it Wild set about their mission nearly ten years ago when they purchased 25 acres of land on the banks of the River Nidd. The land, which is adjacent to the village of Kirk Hammerton, located on the outskirts of York, is now known as Sylvan Nature Reserve. The project showed them how good land management could create a haven for wildlife and humans with 18,000 British, deciduous trees planted along with 8 acres of wild-flower meadow.

    Following on from their successes at Sylvan Nature Reserve, the Neave family purchased a further 111 acres just outside Summerbridge near Harrogate, that has formed ‘Bank Woods’, a far larger habitat project incorporating ancient woodland.

    Make it Wild encourage people to take responsibility for their carbon footprint. They offer individuals and businesses the possibility of offsetting their own carbon footprint through planting trees. This proved very popular as a Christmas gift, and also with businesses wanting to improve their ‘green’ credentials.

    They plant trees and promote the purchase of eco-friendly, plastic-free and zero waste products on their website, such as Bee Wax Food Wraps and Bamboo Cotton Buds. Furthermore, they educate people about the benefits of protecting natural environments.

    Tree varieties supplied and planted over the last nine years include Betula pendula, Prunus avium, Prunus padus, Sorbus Aucuparia, Acer campestre, Malus Sylvestris, Corylus avellana, Crataegus monogyna, Prunus spinosa, Viburnum opulus, Rosa canina and Ilex aquifolium.

    These tree-planting projects aim to help tackle climate change, reduce the risk of flooding, clean the air and improve health and wellbeing.

    Founder of Make it Wild, Christopher Neave said: “Johnsons of Whixley have been wonderful partners in our mission to help nature. It has been great having such a helpful business so close to us. They have always been able to assist us with good advice and high-quality trees.”

    Posted 29th Apr 2:57pm
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  94. Meet our new Transport and Logistics Manager, Hannah Smith

    Meet our new Transport and Logistics Manager, Hannah Smith

    We recently welcomed a new face to our office, Hannah Smith who joined our team as a Transport and Logistics Manager. Here’s what she had to say about her new role at Johnsons of Whixley.

    1. What does your new role as a transport and logistics manager involve?

    Managing the goods coming in and out of the business ensuring that all sales order stock is met by the incoming purchase stock.

    2. How have you found your first few weeks?

    Challenging but I am certainly looking forward to the future

    3. What did your last job involve?

    I have always worked in transport but my last job was transporting race horse throughout Europe for all occasions sales, racing, vets, breeding, yard moves.

    4. What skills has it helped you develop for this job?

    Multi-tasking, patients & straight-talking

    5. What are you looking forward to in your new role?

    Developing the transport side of the business

    6. Have Johnsons supported you well with your new role?

    Amazingly- everyone has been really supportive!

    7. How will you be celebrating your new role?

    A bottle of wine by the fire

     

    Posted 21st Apr 10:50am
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  95. Plant supply to help beautify medieval castle grounds after restoration works

    Plant supply to help beautify medieval castle grounds after restoration works

    We have teamed up with our long-standing customer, Ashlea Ltd to beautify the grounds of Lancaster Castle, following multimillion-pound conservation works.

    The scheme has seen 5,000 sq ft restored to provide a new courtyard, café, gallery space, teaching suite and ticket office.

    The building dates back to the 11th century and has a varied history, having been used as a defensive fortress, a royal castle, a crown court, a civil court and even a prison.

    The medieval castle forms part of the Duchy of Lancaster, a royal inheritance that began 750 years ago. The castle itself has had many royal visitors over the years including King John, Robert the Bruce, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Queen Victoria and, in 2015, the      Queen, who is the current Duke of Lancaster.

    In the last 100 years, the castle has been used by the county council to train police officers. It was a prison office from 1954 until 2011 before it was decommissioned by the Ministry of Justice and returned to the Duchy of Lancaster. Since then, the focus has been to preserve and restore the historic site and to open the castle to the public.

    Over the last seven years, the duchy team has worked closely with heritage architects, archaeological specialists and structural engineers to complete this project.

    Ashlea Ltd’s groundworks for the project included soiling to the new planters, tree pit construction, drainage and laying of artificial grass and trees, as well as planting hundreds of shrubs and herbaceous plants, provided by Johnsons of Whixley.

    Our plant supply comprised of hundreds of shrubs and herbaceous plants with varieties such as Buxus ‘suffruiticosa’, Euonymus fortunei, Hebe rakaiensis, Helleborous Anna’s Red’ and Heuchera Ruby Bells included in the project.

    The supply also included four large Carpinus betulus ‘Frans Fontaine’ trees with a girth of 30-35ins, in 100L pots.

    Ashlea Ltd’s contracts director, Wayne Dand, said: “We are delighted, as are the clients, with the outcome of the scheme, especially the excellent standard of trees and shrubs. Logistically the project was complicated to deliver, due to restricted access through the castles main gate.”

    This is one of many projects we have supplied through Ashlea Ltd, including Monks Cross Retail Park and Windermere Boat Museum.

    Posted 21st Apr 9:40am
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  96. Thank you for all your support and orders

    Thank you for all your support and orders

    On March 23rd 2020 the government announced comprehensive lockdown restrictions for the entire nation. At a stroke, many businesses simply ceased to trade and have remained in a state of suspended animation ever since.

     At Johnsons, our approach has been driven by the need to ensure both the personal safety and job security of all staff.

    Staff numbers have reduced by 40%, and this conversely has created a uniquely well-spaced and naturally ventilated working environment with 70 staff spread out over five sites totalling 150 acres.

     During this period we have still dispatched 230,000 plants(Mar 23 to Apr 16th) fulfilling orders into all sectors in both an ethical and safe manner.

    Our remote workers are dialling in daily and continue to answer enquiries, fill in quotes, pay suppliers, pay workers, and ask for payment from customers. They attend regular zoom meetings, organise incoming goods and our limited dispatch. Some of our colleagues are isolating at home or are furloughed due to the slow down in productive work – the contribution and support they are making is perhaps not as obvious but nevertheless remains essential.

     We still need to grow the plants that we will sell in recovery – our potting machines are busy churning out new crops, and our production teams are frantically tending the plants that are vigorously growing in the sunshine on the nursery to ensure they remain saleable for as long as possible.

     We thank all our customers and colleagues for your continued support; we remain open for business and capable of scaling up overnight when at long last the restrictions ease. Should you need anything at all, please do not hesitate to ask.

    Posted 16th Apr 5:29pm
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  97. Our monthly favourites - April 2020

    Our monthly favourites - April 2020

    Wanting to add a splash of colour to the garden this April? Check out this month’s highlights from Cytisus ‘Allgold’ to Clematis ‘Early Sensation’, there is something for every garden.

    1. Cytisus x praecox ‘Allgold’

    A great deciduous shrub with arching sprays of bright yellow flowers from April – June. A fantastic addition to a mixed border.

    ???? Flowers: April – June

    ???? Position: Full sun

    2. Clematis ‘Early Sensation’

    A great evergreen that is happiest in full sun-partial shade, use a trellis or wire support to grow up a fence or wall.

    ???? Flowers: March – April

    ???? Position: Full sun – partial shade

    3. Vinca minor

    A great low growing ground cover plant with pale blue flowers and lance-shaped dark green leaves. It is excellent at suppressing weeds and would make a great addition to the front of a border. It generally flowers from April – May.

    ???? Flowers: March – September

    ???? Position: Full sun or partial shade

    4. Spirea arguta

    Small delicate white flowers on arching stems have started to appear on our Spirea arguta plants this month. A hardy deciduous shrub perfect as a freestanding shrub or as a hedge. Prune immediately after flowering to guarantee abundant shows year after year.

    ???? Flowers: March-May

    ???? Position: Full sun

    5. Viburnum tinus

    Our Viburnum tinus plants are full of bud and flowers right now… An excellent evergreen shrub with dark green leaves and clusters of small white flowers.  Ideal for brightening up a part shaded area of the garden over winter and into spring when little else is flowering.

    ???? Flowers: March – April

    ????Position:  Sun – Partial shade

    6.Halimium libanotis

    A small evergreen shrub, with small glossy, green leaves and primrose-like yellow flowers from April – June. Great at the front of a border, rock garden or in a container.

    ???? Flowers:  April – June

    ☀️ Position: Sun

    7. Ribes ‘King Edward VII’

    Are full of clusters of deep pink, tubular flowers right now that will be followed by blue-black fruit. It would make a great informal, flowering hedge or work well at the back of a border.

    ???? Flowers: April – May

    ☀️ Position:  Full sun

    8. Primula veris

    Primula veris, a semi-evergreen perennial is in full flower right now, a great addition to a wildflower meadow flowering from April till the end of May.

    ???? Flowers: April – May

    ☀️ Position:  Full sun – partial shade

    Posted 16th Apr 10:17am
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  98. Plant donation to our local community during isolation

    Plant donation to our local community during isolation

    We have donated hundreds of plants to surrounding local communities during isolation.

    A range of seasonal garden plants have been distributed to villages situated close to our headquarters in Kirk Hammerton, North Yorkshire.

    Residents picked up the plants from collection points – while observing social distancing and as part of their daily exercise.

    Our nursery supplies three channels to market including the commercial sector, garden centres and via our trade counter. We are particularly concerned about the potential waste of perfectly good plants due to the current lockdown. Like all fresh produce, garden plants have a shelf life before they are past their best or require significant cost investment to hold them over.

    The crisis could not have come at a worse time for us and other growers, who are usually at their busiest around the Easter period. It is estimated, that nationally,  the current surplus stock is worth more than £250m!  Rather than allow some of our plants to be wasted, we chose to donate some of our Garden Centre quality stock to boost the spirits of local communities’ and help with mental wellbeing for those in lockdown.

    Throughout this week, staff have delivered various varieties to different locations for people to take home. Villages to benefit include, Whixley, Roecliffe, Marton Cum Grafton, Kirk Hammerton, Cattal, Little Ouseburn and Nun Monkton.

    Plants donated include cheerful flowering varieties such as include Viburnum tinus , Vinca minor and Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’. The colourful Photinia fraseri’ Red Robin, Pieris’ Forest Flame’ and Bergenia Harzkristall are also included, along with geranium and Californian lilac – all perfect for spring and summer planting.

    We regularly make donations to causes within the community, including £5,000 to help restore the stained glass windows at Whixley church, and plants worth thousands of pounds to a number of schools in the area, including a donation worth more than £5,000 to Springwater, a special needs school in Harrogate.

    Eleanor Richardson, Johnsons marketing manager, said: “We thought it would be nice to share some springtime colour with our local villagers, who might be feeling anxious or pent up at this difficult time.

    “Our business is approaching its centenary in 2021, and we value our long-standing relationship with each of the local villages who have always been a rich source of key employees”.

    “There are clear links between gardening and mental wellbeing. Hopefully, these donations will help people to get through this situation, giving them a reason to be outdoors in the fresh air, caring for their plants.”

    Posted 8th Apr 12:10pm
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  99. Creating a rainbow of plants for hope with Garden Designer Helen Taylor

    Creating a rainbow of plants for hope with Garden Designer Helen Taylor

    We have created a rainbow display of small shrubs, grasses and perennials in a range of foliage and flower colours as a symbol of hope for all those affected by coronavirus.

    Initial planting design plan of the rainbow by Helen Taylor Garden Design.

    We were delighted when our customer Helen Taylor Garden Design approached us with the idea after we were targeted by vandals last week, leaving us with serious damage to our plant productions beds.

    We have had to bear these losses on top of the very grave situation the horticultural industry finds itself in now that gardens centres have been closed due to the coronavirus restrictions on non-essential retail.

    Eleanor Richardson, Johnson’s of Whixley and garden designer Helen Taylor putting the final touches to the planted rainbow at Johnson’s Wholesale Cash and Carry.

    All suppliers for ornamental horticulture are likely to encounter huge financial losses as they have no outlet for their plants. The HTA Horticultural Trade Association believe that millions of plants could be binned in the coming weeks.

    Because of this Johnsons have teamed up with Hedges Direct to create a garden rescue pack pallet of plants to those who are self-isolating and want to get out in the garden. Read more here 

    Group Managing Director, Graham Richardson said: “We welcomed Helen’s idea to put out a symbol of hope, particularly to our own horticultural industry and as an opportunity to do something positive. In these testing times we hope it will lift our staff and trade customers spirits as they see the large rainbow display with its promise of sunshine after the storm.

    A rainbow of hope from above taken by a drone camera. 

    Garden Designer, Helen Taylor, said: “I’d been noticing all the lovely rainbow pictures drawn by children in windows and I realised I could design and create a rainbow made from plants which would be a living piece of art. I use Johnson’s of Whixley for sourcing tree, shrubs, perennials for gardens we design and wanted to help the nursery in their current difficulties and to send a symbol of hope to out to everyone.

    The rainbow has been made of a series of arcs of contrasting plants to represent the colours of the rainbow:

    Reds: Photinia ‘Carre Rouge’, Berberis thunbergii’ Harlequin’ and Photinia ‘Little Red Robin’.

    Oranges: Physocarpus’ Amber Queen’, Berberis thunbergii ‘Admiration’, Carex comans ‘Bronze Form’, Spiraea japonica ‘Firelight’.

    Yellows: Spiraea japonica ‘Goldmount’ and Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald and Gold’.

    Greens: Hemerocallis Stella d’Or.

    Blues: Hebe Blue Star’, Lavandula in variety and Festuca ‘Elijah Blue’.

    Indigo: Anemone ‘ Harmony Blue’.

    Violet: Anemone blanda ‘Blue Shade’.

    Garden Designer Helen Taylor with the rainbow. 

    Posted 3rd Apr 11:04am
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  100. Teaming up with Hedges Direct to deliver garden plants to your door

    Teaming up with Hedges Direct to deliver garden plants to your door

    We are excited to announce that we are teaming up with our customer Hedges Direct to beat the crisis with garden rescue packs delivered directly to your Garden.

    At present, garden centres everywhere are closed, which means that UK nurseries now have a surplus of garden centre stock and no available outlet.

    Hedges Direct has kindly offered to support us to ensure surplus stock can find a home and garden.

    The mixed shrub pallet deal of garden centre plants will be available as two different options.

    CHOOSE FROM TWO OPTIONS:

    Option 1: 50 x 2L shrubs – made up of the following plants :

    Aucuba Japonica (‘Crotonifolia’ and ‘Rozannie’)
    Berberis Thunbergii (Atropupurea Nana’ and ‘Golden Dream’)
    Buddleja (‘Buzz Sky Blue’ and ‘Buzz Ivory’)
    Ceanothus (‘Blue Sapphire’, ‘Italian Skies’ and Caeanothus thyrsiflorous repens)
    Choisya ternata and Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’
    Convolvulus cnoreum
    Coprosma (‘Inferno’, ‘Pacific Dawn’ and ‘Pina Colada)
    Cytisus ‘Lena’ and Cytisus praecox ‘Allgold’
    Escallonia (‘Apple Blossom’,’ Gold Carpe’t, ‘Glowing Embers’ and ‘Iveyi)
    Euonymus fortunei ‘Blondy’
    Euonymous japonicas (‘Microphyllus Albovariegatus’ and ‘Microphyllus Aurea’)
    Genista ‘lydia’
    Halimium libanotis
    Hebe (‘Blue Star’, ‘Champion’, ‘High Voltage’, Purple Shamrock’)
    Lavatera ‘Baby Barnsley’ and Lavatera olb. ‘Rosea’)
    Photinia (‘Carre Rouge’, ‘Red Robin’, ‘Little Red Robin’ and ‘Pink Marble’)
    Pittosporum tenuifolium (‘Gold Star and ‘Tom Thumb’)
    Spirea arguta, Spirea japonica ‘Firelight’ and ‘Golden Princess and Spiraea nipp. ‘Snowmound’
    Vinca minor (Atropurpurea and ‘Ralph Shugert’)
    Weigela florida (‘Minor Black and ‘Kosteri Variegata’)

    Option 2: 25 x 5L specimen shrubs – made up of the following plants:

    Aucuba Japonica ‘Crotonifolia’
    Berberis thunbergii ‘Harlequin’
    Ceanothus ‘Skylark and Caeanothus thyrsiflorous repens
    Choisya ‘White Dazzler’
    Convolvulus Cnoreum
    Coprosma (Ignite and Pacific Dawn)
    Cotnius cogg. ‘Royal Purple and Cotinus dummeri ‘Grace’
    Crinodendron hookerianum
    Euonymus jap. ‘Greenspire’
    Euonymus jap. ‘Marieke’
    Euonymus jap. ‘Paloma Blanca’
    Euonymus ‘Kathy’
    Euonymus ‘Pierrolino’
    Halimium libanotis
    Hydrangea pan. ‘Limelight’ and Hydrangea pan. ‘Silver Dollar’
    Leucothoe axil. ‘Curly Red’
    Nandina domestica ‘Gulf Stream’
    Osmanthus x burkwoodii
    Photinia fras. (‘Pink Marble’, ‘Carre Rouge’ and ‘Little Red Robin’)
    Pittosporum ‘Golf Ball’ and Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Gold Star’)
    Skimmia x con. ‘Kew Green’
    Viburnum tinus

    Once selected, delivery will be arranged straight to your garden.

    Posted 2nd Apr 3:30pm
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  101. Johnsons ask for Government support for Ornamental Horticulture during COVID-19

    Johnsons ask for Government support for Ornamental Horticulture during COVID-19

    Johnsons ask for Government support for Ornamental Horticulture during COVID-19

    Our Group Managing Director, Graham Richardson has sent out a template letter calling for government support for ornamental horticulture during the coronavirus crisis.

    Pre-approval for consideration was received with Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and Defra secretary of state George Eustice having been informed.

    Group Managing Director Graham Richardson said: “This is the basis of a letter sent to our MP seeking support for the industry. We would urge all growers to do something similar.”

    “I promised to brief you on the emerging impact of the current crisis on commercial ornamental horticulture. You have perhaps seen relevant footage on BBC national news this morning?

    “Growers have to commit way in advance to ensure the availability of garden and landscape plants at windows of seasonal demand. Easter, in particular, is a focal point for the general public who emerge from winter and turn their attention to their spring garden.

    Landscape | Johnsons of Whixley Commercial

    “The ongoing crisis and the necessary lockdown has withdrawn that demand at a stroke resulting in an industry-wide surplus of at least £250m. Many of these crops have a limited window for sale, have limited shelf life, incur significant cost to maintain and then become a long term dilemma as the carried over surplus buts up against subsequent crops of the same item that have had to be produced to meet forecast future demand.

    “Without being alarmist, this is simply the most significant issue that our industry has ever faced.

    “We believe there is a strong case for government support that will provide financial backing in compensation for wasted stock and for future stock that will waste as a result of postponed contracts, orders and insufficient longevity in the allocated stock. ‘Support is required now and should be capable of providing assistance to growers who will have no option but to waste significant tranches of saleable stock both now and in the coming months.’

    “I understand that a business case was made to the treasury via the UK Farming Round Table/NFU and HTA on Friday 27 March and that pre-approval for consideration was received. I am also told that Rishi Sunak and George Eustice have been informed.

    “In the longer term, our industry will be called on to grow the trees to assist in our meeting an ambitious carbon reduction target, putting it bluntly the industry has to exist in order to do this!

    “I would be very grateful for your support and a direct plea to any appropriate instruments of government, including DEFRA and the Treasury.”

    We have also created a petition asking for the Governments support for Ornamental Horticulture during COVID-19.

    We are asking everyone in the horticultural industry to get on board and sign it, with over 100,000 signatures needed for a discussion to be formed in parliament.

    The link can be found here:  https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/312821/sponsors/new?token=oOooLvlpHXQNKWlSy5fZ.

    The industry is facing a lot of pressure and we urge trade customers to continue sending quotes, orders and calls as the business operates with skeleton staff.

    To make matters worse our main 50-acre site was broken into last Thursday, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to plants and existing boundaries.

    The police are still investigating this incident and are asking people with information to contact them on 101.

    Posted 1st Apr 11:30am
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  102. Thieves destroy thousands of our plants

    Thieves destroy thousands of our plants

    Thieves destroy thousands of our plants

    Thousands of our plants have been destroyed after a break-in at our main nursery site in Kirk Hammerton.

    The plants were deliberately run over by a dumper truck which was stolen at Johnsons of Whixley between 10 pm, and 12 am on Thursday 26th March.

    The stolen truck was used to remove a bowser containing 1,000 litres of fuel it was then driven through Johnsons perimeter fence and onto the A59 ploughing through the plants in the process. The truck was subsequently left, but the diesel was taken.

    Managing director Graham Richardson said the vandals drove the truck over tens of thousands of plants which were growing in readiness for next year, “because they could and they felt like it”.

    He said: “They deliberately drove over our production line of stock, damaging tens thousands of plants – hardy landscape plants of differing varieties, not saleable, but in production for the future.”

    North Yorkshire Police are currently investigating and you should get in touch with them on 101 if you have any information.

    Posted 28th Mar 8:53am
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  103. Plant supply to £15m retail park refurbishment

    Plant supply to £15m retail park refurbishment

    We have teamed up with one of the UK’s top landscaping firms, Ashlea Ltd, to enhance the grounds of a York retail park as part of a £15m refurbishment scheme.

    Monks Cross, just outside the city centre, was built in the 1990s and was in need of some TLC to help improve the outdated exterior.

    We have supplied plants for a number of makeover schemes at the park since it opened, with the two businesses located less than 15 miles apart.

    GMI Construction undertook the alteration and remodelling works to existing shop facades, canopies, walkways and car parks, as well as the construction of four new retail pods.

    The company enlisted Ashlea Ltd to carry out the soiling and soft landscaping package.

    The work included the soiling of newly installed raised planters and planting a total of 7,000 shrubs, hedging, herbaceous and several mature trees.

    These plants were supplied by Johnsons, and included 550 Ilex Crenata ‘Convexa’, 2,000 Carpinus betulus, 300 Festuca ‘glauca’, 200 Hebe’ Red Edge’, 250 Lonicera ‘Maygreen’ and 200 Lavandula ‘grosso’.

    The trees provided included Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’, Sorbus auc. ‘Sheerwater Seedling’ and Betula pendula ‘Fastigiata’.

    Rob Brooks, contracts manager at Ashlea Ltd, added: “This was a challenging scheme as the site is a live retail park open to the public on a daily basis. Johnsons’ logistics of delivering materials and moving them around the site to their specific locations was a key factor in completing our soft landscaping works, along with their high-quality plants.”

    It’s wonderful for Johnsons to have teamed up with long-standing customer Ashlea Ltd to supply a scheme so local to us.

    Our supply to Monks Cross goes back to the 1990s, so it’s great to supply this retail park once again. We have many year’s experiences in providing plants to retail and leisure sectors, with recent substantial supplies to Retail Parks Thorpe Park and Teesside Park.

    Posted 23rd Mar 11:51am
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  104. Covid-19 Customer Bulletin

    Covid-19 Customer Bulletin

    COVID-19 Update – Bulletin

    Dear Customer,

    By now the impact of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is occupying every waking moment of most UK citizens.

    As a result of the crisis our daily mode of operation is being adjusted on a daily basis to cope with the stresses and challenges that result. Trade has been and remains brisk – we very much remain open for business and irrespective of the unknown challenges ahead it is our intention to continue to ship trees and shrubs wherever practically possible.

    We can foresee a slow down in demand, reduced availability and much reduced resource in our attempts to maintain our operational business. A ‘wholesale’ shutdown is not envisaged nor is it planned at the moment. We will do our best!

    We are already working with reduced numbers of staff and home working has already been underway for a cross section of staff if applicable. Please be tolerant if our ability to communicate is reduced or somewhat slower.

    Our practical internal response is comprehensive – measures taken are listed on our latest Covid-19 New Bulletin visible at https://nurserymen.co.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-notice-johnsons-of-whixley/.

    Our business has never been in a better position to withstand this unique challenge – our financial strength and reserves are considerable.

    We thank you for your custom to date and assure you of our best intentions at all times. Should we be able to assist in any way please do not hesitate to speak with your usual contact or any member of the Johnsons team.

    Thanks & regards

    The Directors and Senior Management Group at Johnsons of Whixley Ltd

    Posted 18th Mar 3:17pm
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  105. COVID-19 (coronavirus) notice

    COVID-19 (coronavirus) notice

    COVID-19 (coronavirus) notice

    The Covid-19 outbreak continues to make headlines with numbers of those infected rising daily and a lot of uncertainty for businesses remains.

    The preservation of the operational business is fundamental to the security of our entire workforce, the ability to operate, despatch, invoice and collect outstanding monetary sums is a close priority followed by the ongoing production of future crops.

    We have been closely monitoring the government’s advice and have undertaken measures as recommended for the wellbeing of our staff and customers.

    It remains very much business as usual – albeit a challenge!!

    Actions taken include:

    • Covid-19 policy created
    • Covid-19 Checklist Created
    • Covid-19 Group formed to designate a lead for infection, prevention and control – weekly meetings underway
    • Specific bulletin to all staff
    • Risk assessments in place to prevent, detect and control the risk of infection
    • Audit control of newly introduced procedures
    • Posters with covid-19 information distributed
    • Employees to work from home where possible (subject to the role and work location, by and large, office staff) – purchase of relevant tech.
    • Sufficient resources including additional hand sanitizers and disinfectants have been distributed across all five sites
    • Rota to wipe down all door handles frequently shared equipment created and other high traffic apparatus
    • Extra cleaning and sanitising to high traffic risk areas
    • Meetings with external visitors postponed or rearranged over the phone or by skype
    • Non-essential training sessions cancelled
    • Liaising with an occupational health professional, HR Lawyer and Personnel resource
    • Monitor all staff and grade those at most risk and considered vulnerable

    If you have any further questions as to how this may affect your orders please contact your sales rep directly or call us on 01423 330234

    For further updates on the coronavirus please visit the NHS website.

    Posted 17th Mar 4:31pm
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  106. Our monthly favourites - March 2020

    Our monthly favourites - March 2020

    Make the most of yours and your clients garden this March with some of our favourite flowering plants that are sure to add interest to the garden this spring from Forsythia ‘Lynwood Gold’ to Pieris ‘katsura’, there’s something for everyone.

    1. Forsythia ‘Lynwood Gold’

    Yellow flowers smother branches from March – April providing a notable cheery sight to the start of spring. Try planting at the back of a dull border or even as a hedge with its full height reaching to 2 meters.

    ???? Flowers: February – April

    ???? Position: Full sun – light shade

    2. Prunus ‘Kojo-no-mai’

    A pretty deciduous shrub with zig-zag branches and crimson buds that open to display white flowers with pink centers in early spring. Its luscious green leaves appear after into the summer months and are then followed by bright reddish/orange leaves before falling in the Autumn. A perfect small compact tree for a smaller garden or patio pot.

    ???? Flowers: March – April

    ???? Position: Full sun

    3. Vinca minor

    A great low growing ground cover plant with pale blue flowers and lance-shaped dark green leaves. It is excellent at suppressing weeds and would make a great addition to the front of a border. It generally flowers from April – May.

    ???? Flowers: March – September

    ???? Position: Full sun or partial shade

    4. Spirea arguta

    Small delicate white flowers on arching stems have started to appear on our Spirea arguta plants this month. A hardy deciduous shrub perfect as a freestanding shrub or as a hedge. Prune immediately after flowering to guarantee abundant shows year after year.

    ???? Flowers: March-May

    ???? Position: Full sun

    5. Viburnum tinus

    Our Viburnum tinus plants are full of bud and flowers right now… An excellent evergreen shrub with dark green leaves and clusters of small white flowers.  Ideal for brightening up a part shaded area of the garden over winter and into spring when little else is flowering.

    ???? Flowers: March – April

    ☀️ Position:  Sun – Partial shade

    6. Bergenia ‘Harzkristall ‘

    A clump forming perennial with large dark green glossy leaves, reddish brown stems and pink tinged white flowers that appear in spring. Great for a woodland garden or border.

    ???? Flowers: March – April

    ☀️ Position:  Sun – Partial shade

    7. Pieris ‘Katsura’

    A compact, evergreen shrub with clusters of pale pink, cream bell-shaped flowers in spring. It is well known for its foliage that emerges red, changes to pink, then cream and on to green. A great plant for a container on a patio.

    ???? Flowers: February – April

    ☀️ Position:  Sun – Partial shade

    8. Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’

    A striking medium-sized ornamental cherry tree that is known for its deep purple foliage and stems which can almost appear black. During March and April a mass of single pink flowers emerges providing an early source of pollen for bees. The deep purple leaves remain until autumn when they turn a bright red before falling.

    ???? Flowers: March – April

    ☀️ Position:  Full sun

     

     

    Posted 17th Mar 11:02am
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  107. Staff go the extra ‘mile’ to help raise money for Sports Relief

    Staff go the extra ‘mile’ to help raise money for Sports Relief

    Our staff went the ‘extra mile’ to raise money for Sports Relief on Friday 13th March.

    Thirty members of staff racked up a whopping 400 miles on two static bikes within an eight-hour working day at our head office in Whixley.

    The company sponsored the event, donating £2 for every mile staff cycled, with customers and suppliers also chipping in to boost the total raised to £1040.

    Staff with the most miles in half an hour included Martyn Osbourne with 18.6 miles, Gary Sutton with 15.5 miles, Luke Richardson with 15.3 miles and Graham Richardson with 15.1 miles.

    Two members of staff took to the bike twice with Catheryn Gauden contributing 30.5 miles and Mark Reynard 23.8 miles.

    Head of production and procurement manager, Jonathan Whittemore started the day off with a 45-minute stint where he racked up 25 miles for the company along with Tony Green who contributed 19.4 miles.

    This is one of many charity donations we have made in previous months, including a recent contribution of plants worth over £700 to the Marie Curie hospice in Bradford and a £5,000 cash gift to a local church stained glass window restoration project.

    Group Managing Director Graham Richardson said: “This is another great team effort for the best of causes. The sporting theme brought together directors, salesmen, administrators, nursery workers and accountants to make a worthwhile contribution to Sport Relief. Well done to all who took part.”

    Sports Relief brings together the worlds of entertainment and sport to get active and raise money to help poor and disadvantaged people in the UK.

    Posted 16th Mar 11:20am
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  108. Plant supply to help Aberdeen Rainbow Garden bloom

    Plant supply to help Aberdeen Rainbow Garden bloom

    We have teamed up with Aberdeen-based landscapers Life Landscaping to help create a memorial garden at Hazlehead Park.

    The Rainbow Garden is a peaceful haven away from the bustle of the park, where bereaved parents and families can reflect. At the centre of the garden is a stunning bronze sculpture, Fleeting, with a flowing design of flying birds encircling a seat.

    The garden has an arched entrance and further private seating areas, in addition to a dedicated area where flowers can be left.

    The Rainbow Garden opened in summer 2019 in response to a request from families affected by past practices around the cremation of babies at Aberdeen Crematorium. Parents had input into the design of the garden, by TGP Landscape Architects, taking inspiration from the song ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’.

    Soft landscaping works were completed by Life Landscaping, including installing lawns, trees and thousands of plants supplied by us.

    Among the plants, supplied were 335 Miscanthus sin. ‘Morning Light’, 260 Aquilegia vulgaris 2L, 250 Rhodendron in variety 7.5L, 160 Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ 2L, and over 100 Lavandula ‘Hidcote’ 2L.

    Hazlehead Park is rich in history, including land gifted to Aberdeen by King Robert the Bruce as part of the ‘Freedom Boundary’ in 1319. Today the 180-hectare park is enjoyed by families, walkers and runners and includes two golf courses, a maze, mini zoo, woodland walks, nature trails, a café, children’s playground and two formal rose gardens, the Queen Mother’s Rose Garden and the North Sea Memorial Rose Garden.

    Life Landscaping owner Ryan Pedersen said: “It was such an important project to be a part of and we were very honoured to take part.  With this space, families now have a place to remember those who have passed and it can be visited all year round.”

    Johnsons hope the garden provides an area where bereaved parents can remember and reflect in a quieter area of the park that is surrounded by beautiful flowers, sculptures and outdoor space.

    This is one of many projects we have supplied in Aberdeen in recent times including  The Event Complex and Baird Family Hospital.

     

    Posted 5th Mar 4:07pm
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  109. March 2020 Gardening Reminders

    March 2020 Gardening Reminders

    Gardening reminders for March 2020

    Check out our latest gardening reminders for March 2020 put together by chairman and horticulturalist John Richardson.

    1) Prune strong growing Buddleias down to about 18” for a good show by summer. Prune to 30-40” for a denser but weaker overall growth.

    2) Plant climbing and wall plants. Prune clematis species and hybrids that flower on current season’s growth if not already done. Ensure they are well watered.

    3) Prune decorative Cornus and Salix to within 5cm of the old shoots to encourage next year’s coloured winter stems. Don’t prune ‘Midwinter Fire’ types too hard.

    4) Many herbaceous plants do better planted in spring rather than autumn, particularly on heavy clay.

    5) Snowdrops re-establish best when moved whilst still in leaf. Split and replant those in tight clusters, or buy in new ones ‘in the green’.

    6) Arrange to plant summer flowering bulbs when planting condition are good.

    7) Finish pruning perennial which has not yet been cut back, but don’t remove new green shoots.

    8) When daffodils have flowered, remove dead heads to conserve bulb energy.

    9) Hellebores are now very popular, lift seedlings around parent plant and pot up.

    10) Alpines can still be planted, and also check that existing plants have not been lifted by recent frosts.

    11) As the weather improves, weed growth will begin in earnest, hoe off seedling weeds with a really sharp hoe and treat perennial weeds with Roundup.

    12) Finish pruning soft fruit bushes by mid-month and give a high nitrogen feed.

    13) Lay fleece or polythene on bare soil to warm it up before planting vegetables or sowing seeds. Remember to apply slug pellets.

    14) Consider re-potting those plants in containers which have been in the same compost for too long. Carefully remove the pot, cut back two or three of the old roots and remove some soil. Re-pot into a slightly larger pot, add a little fertilizer and firm in the compost on all sides. Give the plant a good watering.

    Interested in further advise or solutions? visit our ‘solutions’ section here

    Posted 5th Mar 1:35pm
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  110. April 2020 Gardening Reminders

    April 2020 Gardening Reminders

    Gardening reminders for April 2020

    Check out our latest gardening reminders for April 2020 put together by chairman and horticulturalist John Richardson.

    1) Prune early flowering shrubs after flowering is over.

    2) Prune foliage shrubs if cut foliage will be required later in the year.

    3) Mulch shrubs and fruit bushes when the weather begins to warm up, but not deeply into the centre of the shrub.

    4) Continue to divide herbaceous plants if necessary.

    5) Plant evergreen shrubs, soak root-balls before planting and water in after planting.

    6) If dry spells continue, remember to water those trees and shrubs that have been planted since Christmas.

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

    8) Plants growing on the edge of ponds can be lifted, divided, and replanted as required. Remove pond heaters or other frost preventive objects.

    9) Pick off the flower heads from spent daffodils, tulips and other spring-flowering bulbs which have gone over, and give a top-dressing of general fertilizer.

    10) In mild weather slugs and snails may well begin to eat the shoots of newly growing perennials. Use environmentally approved slug pellets as a control.

    11) Dahlias may begin to sprout in mild conditions under glass, but don’t plant out until frost is past. Consider taking cutting of the first shoots.

    12) Towards the end of the month collect woody twigs to use as supports for perennials before they get too long and straggly.

    13) Apply residual weedkillers to gravelled driveways and footpaths. Be careful to ensure that the application is confined to the treated area and not surroundings.

    14) Begin mowing the lawn weekly, but with the blades set quite high until the rate of growth increases. Dig out those perennial weeds that suddenly appear.

    15) Apply a high Nitrogen lawn fertilizer, and water-in if conditions are dry, in order to prevent scorch to the grass.

    16) Check stakes and ties of trees planted in the last 2 years, stakes should still be sound and the tree ties not strangling the tree.

    17) Remove raspberry suckers coming up away from the row. Thin new canes to 15cm apart on the support wires.

    Interested in further advise or solutions? visit our ‘solutions’ section here

    Posted 8th Apr 10:15am
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  111. Join the team we're hiring - 3 roles available

    Join the team we're hiring - 3 roles available

    Deputy Cultural Manager and Deputy Manager (Whixley)

    Hours: 39 per week

    Salary: £21,525/annum

    Location: York

    We have two Deputy Manager roles available, one based at our Whixley site carrying out general deputy duties and one with a specific focus on cultural tasks.  We’re looking for people who are motivated and eager to learn and who want to take the next step on their career ladder into a management role.       

    In these roles you’ll be supporting the Unit Managers, planning and managing the work of nursery employees and fully deputising for the Managers in their absence.  You must have some experience of managing small teams as you’ll be responsible for managing resources and stock to ensure that we have great plants ready, just when we need them. These are key and exciting roles in our business with a wide variety of “hands-on” tasks and specific responsibilities.

     

    ———————————————————————————————————–

    Potting supervisor

    Hours: 39 per week

    Hourly rate: £9.52 (rising to £10.12 in April)

    Location: York

    In this role, you’ll be supporting the Unit Manager, planning and supervising the work of the potting team and fully deputising for the Manager in their absence.  You’ll need to make decisions around effective resource allocation to ensure our output is maintained to our excellent standards. This is a “hands-on” role with the opportunity to work with a great team.

    ———————————————————————————————————–

    Further information 

    For all of these roles, you must have some plant knowledge and have experience of procedures related to growing.  We need you to be able to work on your own initiative, be a team player and be a great communicator too.

    Due to our production and operational demands a ‘can do’ attitude is essential. You’ll be juggling a variety of tasks, all within prescribed timescales and we’ll need you to have an eye on quality at all times.

    We’ll also need you to be flexible around working hours as you may be required to work additional hours when needed and there may be occasional weekend working.

    With our Headquarters in Whixley, North Yorkshire, we are one of the largest commercial nurseries in the country, a family-owned business, selling over 7 million plants a year into both landscape and retail sectors. We are an ambitious and growing company with an enviable reputation of being a great place to work.

    We offer some great benefits, such as enhanced pension options, healthcare packages, generous holiday entitlement, regular treats and opportunities for further learning and development.

    If you want to grow your career with us, please send your CV to Chris Davis, Chrisd@nurserymen.co.uk,  along with a covering letter which explains how you think you have the experience, skills, abilities and knowledge to do this job as set out in our job description and employee specification, by Friday 20th March.

     

    Posted 19th Feb 1:32pm
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  112. Giving birds a home during National Nest Box Week

    Giving birds a home during National Nest Box Week

    Giving birds a home during National Nest Box Week

    We have provided an additional 16 bird homes at our 50-acre headquarters site in Whixley during National Nest Box Week (14th – 21st  February).

    National Nest Box Week is an annual event that takes place around the time when birds pair up for the new breeding season.

    We have recognised the vital role that birds play in the natural eco-system this includes the control of pests, plant pollination and the natural spread of seeds.

    With this in mind, we have installed the nest boxes at our main site and plan to install additional boxes on our other sites in the coming months.

    Our site is located in the heart of North Yorkshire, surrounded by open landscapes which are home to a broad range of wildlife.

    Staff regularly enjoy watching the antics of foxes, rabbits, hares, deer, butterflies and a wide range of birds including robins, blue tits, sparrow hawks, kites, buzzards, oystercatchers, and owls.

    Ponds and water interceptors are also a regular feature of the nursery environment; they provide valuable irrigation reserves as well as significant ecological diversity.

    Through the sale of 7 million Trees & Shrubs annually, we are one of the few businesses that can claim to be a true net contributor to the environment.

    Our green credentials are monitored continuously via accreditation to the environmental standard ISO14001.

    The environment is at the heart of our operation,  we invest time and money each year in making improvements which include the reduction of non-recyclable plastics to low emission vehicles.

    Within the last few years, we have installed our very own onsite apiary which houses up to 800,000 bees, the installation of extra nesting boxes throughout the nursery can only go on to further embellish our surroundings.

    Want to find out more about National Nest Box Week? Click here 

    Posted 14th Feb 1:41pm
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  113. Why Plant Health matters to us

    Why Plant Health matters to us

    2020 is the International Year of Plant Health and it is a great opportunity for us to celebrate our healthy plants and to promote our responsible practices that reduce the spread of plant pests and diseases.

    Here are some of the reasons why plant health matters to us:

    Protecting our woodlands

    Trees are under increasing threat from pests and diseases such as ash-dieback and oak Processionary Moth. We regularly review our Plant Health Policy to ensure that we operate to the highest of standards.

    Creating beautiful gardens and landscapes

    Healthy plants are fundamental to the creation of beautiful gardens and landscapes. We work to produce robust and healthy plants which will thrive after they are planted.

    Safeguarding native flora and fauna

    Non-native pests and diseases can be very damaging to our native plants and wildlife. We work closely with the plant health authorities and carefully source and inspect any imported plants to minimize risk.

    Healthy plants are essential for life

    Plants produce the oxygen we breathe and absorb carbon dioxide, they are essential for the food we eat and the environment we live in. Without them, we could not be here.

    As well as working with plant health authorities and reviewing our policies regularly, we also employed our very own plant health specialist, Rebekah Robinson, you can find out all about her and her role in the following blog post > Plant Health Specialist

    You can also find out more about the International Year of Plant Health on the Defra Plant Health portal here.

    Posted 23rd Jan 10:48am
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  114. February 2020 gardening reminders

    February 2020 gardening reminders

    Gardening reminders for February 2020

    Check out our latest gardening reminders for 2020 put together by chairman and horticulturalist John Richardson.

    1) Plant container-grown perennials for an early start to the spring. If they are large plants, consider carefully dividing them before planting.

    2) Be sure to water root-balls before planting, if there is a dry spring it may slow growth in dry days.

    3) Apply a mulch of garden compost,  to all trees and shrubs in potentially dry sites.

    4) Finish winter pruning this month, first principles are to remove dead and diseased stems, then crossing branches, followed by a reduction in the height of the main stems.

    5) Cut bushy Eucalyptus back to within 2-3” of the main stem to stimulate a flush of bushy growth.

    6) Plant up window boxes and tubs for seasonal colour.

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

    8) Repair broken fences, patios, trellises, steps, fall pipes and walls.

    9) Divide and replant Snowdrops ‘in the green’ as the flowers go over.

    10) Clean out existing bird nesting boxes and put up new ones and of course, feed the birds!

    11) Take hardwood cuttings of Forsythia, Deutzia, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Virginia creeper, Holly, Privet, Cotoneaster, Poplar, Willow, Gooseberries, Blackcurrants etc

    12) When the ground is firm, repair any uneven areas of the lawn, or where the grass has died out.

    13) 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.

    14) If the 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.

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

    16) Do not apply heavy dressings of fertiliser to areas of naturalised bulbs as this will only encourage the growth of the surrounding grass.

    17) Propagate a wide range of woody shrubs by layering, towards the end of the month,  Peg down a young shoot into the soil under the tree without detaching it from the tree, but make a cut in the underneath of the stem, or twist it at the point where it will turn it upwards.

    Pin this down with a suitable forked twig into a couple of handfuls of compost and hold firm with a proper stone. Tie the growing shoot to a small cane to keep it upright, and trim to prevent being moved in the wind.

    Posted 4th Feb 2:08pm
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  115. Plant supply to The Parks Trust to help turn Milton Keynes green

    Plant supply to The Parks Trust to help turn Milton Keynes green

    The Project

    We have supplied more than 25,000 plants to The Parks Trust, an independent charity that cares for around 6,000 acres of parkland and green space across Milton Keynes.

    In mo