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  1. Jobs for your garden in November

    Jobs for your garden in November

    Jobs for your garden in November

    1) 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 spring so much easier.

    2) There is a current move towards ‘no digging’ on vegetable plots, which involves digging the area to double depth (double digging) and incorporating organic matter throughout the two areas in
    order to cultivate an area of really deep soil and 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 at any time in the future, for either cultivations, harvesting or other reasons and thus prevent any soil compaction.

    3) The wind, frost and rain has suddenly brought down large quantities of leaves. If you can collect and compost them, they will make the best compost ever for use next year. Softer
    foliage from prunings around the garden can be incorporated into this compost, but woody branches and hard stems will take much longer to rot down. Be prepared to wait a long time for
    them to be usable, or hire a shredder and incorporate the product into the compost, or use as a mulch next year.

    4) Whilst busy doing the autumn trimming don’t get carried away by doing everything! Plants such as Viburnum bodnantense will carry sweetly-scented pink flowers right through the winter,
    as does Lonicera fragrantissima and the tree Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis.

    5) If you enjoy the picture of heavily-frosted shrubs, don’t remove the stems of Sedums. Many Ornamental grasses and trees with a fine branch system, such as birch, and plants which may be a
    focal point in the garden, will have character throughout the year.

    6) Clear out bird boxes and sterilise them with boiling water.

    7) Be sure to check for hibernating animals before lighting a bonfire.

    8) Have the lawnmower serviced and cleaned before rust becomes established.

    9) Think about planting tulip bulbs after the middle of the month.


    11) Insulate pots left out over winter.

    12) Winter prune fruit trees and bushes, and plant new or additional ones.

    13) Lift and store dahlias if not done already.

    14) Start amaryllis (hippeastrum) bulbs into growth urgently if required to flower by Christmas.

    15) Start pruning glasshouse grape vines when outdoor weather is inclement.

    16) When receiving consignments of new plants, soak the roots for 24 hours in a bucket of water before planting. If planting conditions are not suitable, take out a trench in a sheltered area of the garden and put the roots of the plants in the trench with the above ground parts of the plant at 45 degrees to stop wind blowing them about. Plant in final position when circumstance allow.

    17) When planting new trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants, make sure to firm in the soil around the roots as you fill back the planting hole.

    Posted 1st Nov 5:10pm
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  2. Johnsons guide to trees for different locations

    Johnsons guide to trees for different locations

    Johnsons guide to trees for different locations

    To celebrate National Tree Week (24th November to 2nd December), we have come up with some trees for different soils and locations.

    Clay soils – Malus John Downie
    Sandy Soils – Robinia Frisia
    Acid soils – Amelanchier lamarckii
    Wet soil – Salix chrysocoma
    Exposed sites – Crataegus Paul’s Scarlet
    Sheltered sites – Acer Bloodgood
    Coastal sites – Populus alba
    Hot sites – Sophora japonica
    Shade – Acer campestre
    Wildlife gardens – Prunus padus

    Posted 24th Nov 5:04pm
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  3. Johnsons Supply banking at Whinfell Forest Center Parcs

    Johnsons Supply banking at Whinfell Forest Center Parcs

    Johnsons Supply banking at Whinfell Forest Center Parcs

    We have been selected by Ashlea Ltd to supply over 250 10L shrubs to restore the waterfall banking at Center Parcs Whinfell Forest in Penrith.

    Whinfell Forest offers short breaks on the edge of the stunning Lake District National Park and includes indoor and outdoor activities. It even has its own onsite pub, restaurants and shops and is a sanctuary for the endangered red squirrel.

    Ashlea’s works included the clearance of the Rhododendron banking, a new design and the planting of over 250 10L shrubs.

    Varieties included Pinus mugo, Euonymus fort. ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold’, Cotinus cogg. ‘Royal Purple’, Polystichum setiferum, Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’, Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold’ and lots of other varieties.

    Johnsons of Whixley’s marketing co-ordinator, Ellie Richardson, said: This isn’t the first project we have been involved with where we have supplied Center Parcs through Ashlea Ltd so it’s great to supply another, especially with mature 10L varieties that will make an impact straight away.”


    Posted 1st Nov 9:20am
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  4. Johnsons supply large domestic garden via Lizzie Tulip

    Johnsons supply large domestic garden via Lizzie Tulip

    Johnsons supply large domestic garden via Lizzie Tulip an award winning garden designer. 

    We have been working with Lizzie Tulip Garden Design to supply plants to a local large domestic garden, Lizzie Tulip Garden Design is a specialist design consultancy renowned for creating beautiful, stylish gardens. Based in Yorkshire, they work on projects of all sizes, locations and for public and private clients.

    Johnsons’ plant supply was worth over £25,000 and included a full garden renovation which included over 80 buxus balls in various sizes, pleached carpinus trees, over 200 root ball Taxus for hedging, Taxus beehives and 1000’s of herbaceous and shrubs.

    Lizzie Tulip designed the gardens in North Yorkshire as a series of spaces to be enhanced by the beautiful context of the surrounding landscape and to make the most of the views out to the Vale of York.

    The Front Garden and Cloister Garden provide a warm welcome to visitors, with a unique circular step linking the two gardens gracefully together. A tall Cercideiphyllum japoincum tree bridges the height of the house and in autumn the fallen foliage fills the air with the heady scent of bunt sugar.

    As you venture into the garden, four formally planted Viburnum carlcephalum and a row of pleached Carpinus betulus trees frame views into the white garden and formal lawns. Through the understory of the pleaching is the central Grass Border planted with ordered structure of Buxus semperviren balls, surrounded by tall swaying grasses such as Miscanthus and Molinia varieties together with spires of Salvia and Veronicastrum.

    A new loggia provides a prestigious backdrop to the formal lawns where long perennial borders, both sun and shade loving, flank the main lawn.
    From the main lawns you can enjoy a walk onto the North Lawn to take in views of the surrounding fields, set within the backdrop of the informal annual and wildflower border, or visit the Pool Garden with its sunny borders of cordoned fruit trees, cloud pruned Buxus and Wisteria covered pergola.

    You can also venture onto the Upper Terrace where a ‘double lavender walk’ draws you toward the seating area for views out to the White Horse. A formal pond, set within the lawn and framed with pillars of Taxus baccata, offers reflections of the sky during the day and a lit fountain to enjoy at night.

    A journey to the back of the Loggia, through a bespoke domed ‘Hornbeam Arbour’ takes you from the more formal parts of the garden to the lush and exotic Stumpery. Here a stream flows down to a pond, with a series of small bridges along the way.

    Ellie Richardson, marketing co-ordinator for Johnsons of Whixley, said: “It’s been fantastic working with Lizzie on this for the past couple of years, it’s great to see the garden coming to life now as everything has matured, a truly beautiful design by Lizzie Tulip.”

    Posted 14th Nov 9:09am
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  5. Johnsons supply BALI award winning inner-city development

    Johnsons supply BALI award winning inner-city development

    Johnsons supply BALI award winning inner-city development

    Johnsons of Whixley teamed up with award-winning landscaping firm, Kingston Landscape Group, to supply Colindale Gardens – a substantial inner-city re-development by Redrow Homes worth £1 billion located in the heart of North West London.

    The BALI award winning Colindale Gardens will see over 2,900 new homes with a mixture of one, two, three and four-bedroom homes surrounded by nine acres of space, the new London neighbourhood includes cycle paths, walkways landscaping, cafes, restaurants and its very own resident-only gym.

    Located in London, Colindale Gardens has excellent public transport links into the centre of the capital. Redrow has invested £11 million in the Colindale Underground Station and Northern Line to support the new development.

    Collindale has not only received a BALI Award for category Soft Landscaping Construction (Non-Domestic) – cost between £300k-£1.5m it has now been shortlisted for not one but two APL awards in the soft landscaping and commercial garden category.

    Abigail Evans Director of Kingston Landscape Group said “Redrow required us to complete a large amount of work in a short space of time. To enable us to achieve this, it was paramount that plant deliveries arrived on time, were true to spec and the correct numbers. Johnson’s delivered on this, which contributed to the overall success of the contract along with the organisation and strong team work between KLG and Redrow on site.

    Johnsons of Whixley’s contract to Kingston Landscapes started in late 2017 and was worth over £90,000. It included over 5,000 herbaceous plants, nearly 7,000 shrubs including 2L, 5L and 10L plants, over 900 hedging plants and some instant hedging.

    Senior Amenity Sales Manager, Tony Coles said: “We were delighted to get this contract and have since been able to secure the supply of more plants for Colindale. We relished the opportunity to provide a high level of service and product quality for this scheme. It was particularly pleasing to hear that the project has been commended by BALI, and that it will be showcased at the BALI Awards in Dec. We look forward to strengthening our relationship with Kingston Landscape Group over the coming months and years.”

    Posted 15th Nov 9:08am
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  6. Johnsons supply Glasgow Riverside Campus via Ashlea Ltd

    Johnsons supply Glasgow Riverside Campus via Ashlea Ltd

    Johnsons supply Glasgow Riverside Campus via Ashlea Ltd

    To celebrate National Tree Week (24th November to 2nd December), we look back at the supply of a number of trees to Glasgow Riverside Campus via customer Ashlea Ltd in 2016.

    Glasgow Riverside Campus, situated at the edge of a major crossing at the River Clyde, won 12 architectural and design awards and was shortlisted for architecture’s most prestigious accolade, the RIBA Stirling Prize.

    Ashlea Ltd carried out the groundworks at the campus back in 2016 and our plant supply included 14 large MST Betulas, thousands of Vinca’s, hundreds of Ferns and a large number of other mixed shrubs.

    Ellie Richardson, marketing co-ordinator for Johnsons of Whixley, said: “It’s great to look back at projects where our trees and plants have beautified inner-city areas, it was another great project to be involved with Ashlea Ltd on.”

    Posted 23rd Nov 8:59am
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  7. Johnsons remembrance memories for armistice day

    Johnsons remembrance memories for armistice day

    Johnsons remembrance memories for armistice day

    As the nation commemorated Remembrance Sunday, we wanted to share this piece from our Group Director, Graham Richardson, on the impact war hero, Eric Johnson, has made on our company – an impact we are truly grateful for and respectful of his remarkable time fighting for our country.

    At this time of year, the nation has been reflecting on the Great War and the Victorious Armistice signed 100 years ago on November 11th, at 11am, 1918.

    From a personal perspective, it evokes powerful boyhood memories of our business founder, Mr Eric Johnson.

    I recall badgering him about his wartime experiences – the response was his usual warm smile, a chuckle and a twinkle in his eye – little else!

    On occasion, we would go to the nursery house, open a large cupboard in an unused room and I’d see a range of artefacts collected in order that his experiences would never truly be forgotten.

    Mr Eric Johnson

    His Webley Scott service revolver (decommissioned) was in pristine condition and was still in its highly-polished walnut brown leather holster – I can still smell the rifle oil and leather to this day!

    Components of standard issue ‘Mills Bomb’ (Hand Grenade). Bayonets gathered from a distant Flanders battlefield (Allied and German), his Trench Great Coat. All items of wonder to a small boy.
    To this day, I retain the Fuse of a ‘Stokes’ mortar bomb kept as a relic by Mr Johnson and passed on to me via his family. It sits pride of place on my desk!

    Type 146 Percussion Fuse – 3” Stokes Mortar

    Mr Johnson rarely discussed his experiences. We know that he lost many members of his immediate platoon on more than one occasion. He expressed his revulsion at the smell of whisky, which always brought back horrific memories of drinking heavily following a particularly ‘costly raid’. An extract from the war diaries of his regiment (1/7th Middlesex) paints a vivid, and terrible,

    No’s 2 and 2a Parties – Enemy Trench Raid 18/29 May 1918 – Wancourt Road
    Zero Hour – 11pm.

    “A hostile party was also encountered between trench running from L to D. These were also engaged. Estimate hostile casualties 32. The platoon found a considerable number of German dead in the trenches. A few of the enemy threw themselves down and pretended to be dead. All ‘dead’ men were bayoneted on passing out.”

    Centre Platoon
    The Lewis Gun fired two magazines and accounted for 20 of the enemy. Range less than 50yds. Panic stricken enemy were observed running about in front of the trench of which 3 were killed by Lieut Mackenzie. One wounded prisoner and one light machine gun was captured by this platoon. The platoon claims having inflicted 35 casualties which can be taken as reliable. ORKNEY Trench was strongly held and the men went over with the intention killing and they carried out this intention.

    Mr Johnson applied for a commission as an officer after having served in Leeds University’s cadet force. His records say that he stood 5ft 8in tall, with an expanded chest of 34 inches and a weight of 120lbs (8.5 stone). He was above average height and build for the time.

    On mobilisation, he was made a private in the 3/5th Battalion of the Buffs (East Kent Regt) a training unit of the territorial force. He never actually joined his unit, instead joining number 8 officer cadet battalion in Lichfield Staffordshire in March 2016, at the age of 19. He passed the course in September 2016 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant.

    He was seconded to the 1/7th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment and the war diaries note his arrival at ‘La Gorgue’ near the town of Estaires – here he joined his colleagues for the first time as they rested ‘out of the line’.

    His division (167th Infantry Brigade in 56th London Division) had seen action at the Battle of the Somme and were relieved, exhausted on October 9th.

    His battalion next went into action at Neuvile Vitasse nr Arras when the Britsh Third Army launched another massive attack in April 1917. In July, they moved out to the rear of YPRES (Called ‘Wipers’ by Mr Johnson) – the Third Battle of Ypres unfolded.

    On August 16, the division attacked through two strongly-held positions called Glencorse Wood and Nonne Bosschen – soon after they were relieved having suffered 2,900 casualties.

    Mr Johnson then went on to serve at the Battle of Cambrai (I recall his ref to Cambrai Wood). As the war ground on the German massed for a massive counter attack in March 2018 and his division fought a magnificent rear-guard defence against a many time greater number of German Attackers.

    By now, the Allies were in the ascendancy and his division was to assist in piercing the impregnable ‘Hindenburg Line’ between Cambrai and Saint-Quentin. The German defensive structure was broken forever in the west.

    Extract from war diary on 11/11/1918 – Armistice

    Following the end of hostilities, Mr Johnson remained with his unit ensuring order and assisting with refugees until demobilisation in 1920 when he was ‘stood down’.

    The rest is history, as they say, he returned to his native Yorkshire and started cultivating garden and landscape shrubs on his wife’s land Nr Cattal Station.
    His business soon expanded and, by 1964, he was growing on 11 acres of land with 11 staff members.

    John Richardson took over soon after and developed a great friendship with Mr Johnson based on respect.

    We are hugely proud of Mr Johnson and the business’s pedigree – remembrance Sunday and the Armistice is a wonderful time when we reflect on Mr Johnson, his lost pals and the sacrifices made by all our armed forces at this time and indeed in every conflict since.

    Whilst our business has now been in ‘Richardson’ ownership longer than that of Mr Johnson, our name will always reflect Mr Johnson what he created and the sacrifices he made along the way.

    Posted 11th Nov 9:00am
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  8. Johnsons are crowned as one of the region’s best businesses

    Johnsons are crowned as one of the region’s best businesses

    We are proud to have been crowned as one of the region’s best businesses for the second year running.

    Compiled by York Business School, York St John University, Make it York and The Press publication, the ‘York Top 100 Businesses’ report has nominated Johnsons as 34th place in the ‘Top 100 Businesses’ awards for 2018.

    The Top 100 shortlist is calculated using an algorithm devised by York Business School and considers key performance factors such as turnover, profit, growth and staff numbers – with Johnsons placed at number 55 in 2017 – the report’s inaugural year.

    Johnsons was first established in 1921 by World War One veteran, Eric Johnson, the firm’s current chairman, John Richardson, took over the business in 1964 and established it as Johnsons of Whixley Ltd in 1993.

    John joined Johnsons marketing co-ordinator, Ellie Richardson, at the Top 100 Businesses breakfast held on 14th November at York St John University to find out their company’s official placing.
    He said: “It’s fantastic to be featured alongside so many first-class businesses in the Top 100 list. The company continues to work hard to ensure that the right decisions are made to keep the business pushing forward during uncertain times. The Top 100 accolade is testament to the staff who, as always, are extremely supportive of the company’s objectives and ambitions and we look forward to continuing to be a significant contributor to the ‘green’ environment.”


    Posted 14th Nov 10:00am
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  9. Johnsons raise £300 for Children in Need

    Johnsons raise £300 for Children in Need

    Johnsons raise £300 for Children in Need on Friday 16th November.

    Staff raised the money by taking part in a ‘wear your pyjamas to work day’ where staff put in £1 for wearing pyjamas and £2 for those who didn’t, staff also made buns and biscuits to sell to help boost the funds further.

    BBC Children in Need is the BBC’s UK corporate charity, they provide grants to projects in the UK which focus on children and young people who are disadvantaged. 2,400 projects are currently supported by Children in Need, a great charity which we are happy to support.

    Ellie Richardson, marketing co-ordinator for Johnsons of Whixley, said: “It’s fantastic to have raised £300 for Children in Need, we raised £350 for Macmillan’s biggest coffee morning back in September so it’s great to have raised a substantial amount for another well known charity”

    For more information on Children in Need you can visit their website here Children in Need.

    You can also contact us with charity enquiries here Contact us

    Posted 16th Nov 5:00am
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  10. Johnsons trial plant pots aimed at reducing landfill

    Johnsons trial plant pots aimed at reducing landfill

    Johnsons trial plant pots aimed at reducing landfill.

    We are excited to be trialling a revolutionary new type of plant pot to fight the industry battle against plastic waste.

    The new taupe-coloured plant pots, in collaboration with pot manufacturer Aeroplas UK, are made from 98 per cent of recycled plastic and are detectable by domestic waste separation systems which means they can be put back into the recycling stream.

    They are distinct from standard pots, which feature a carbon pigment that compromises recognition, and results in millions of pots ending up in landfill every year.
    The new product is set to be tested throughout 2019 to identify any impact on growing performance. If no issues are found, the new pots will be available to the company’s garden centre customers across 2020.

    Mark Reynard, Johnsons of Whixley’s Garden Centre sales manager, said: “As an industry we need to work together on ways to reduce landfill to keep our environment thriving.
    “This innovative way is a small part of a much wider issue so we are really keen to find out how the tests go and hopefully this can be the beginning of various ways we, as a business and industry, continue to keep taking care of our surroundings.”

    Posted 2nd Nov 10:00am
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