Latest Stories

  1. Taxus topiary supply for Bowcliffe Hall

    Taxus topiary supply for Bowcliffe Hall

    We recently supplied a selection of Taxus topiary for Grade II listed Bowcliffe Hall, a historic Yorkshire venue that hosts weddings, corporate events and more. Guests can enjoy acres of glorious gardens designed to be perfectly in keeping with the hall’s Georgian heritage.

    As part of a topiary project at the hall, we were asked to provide a selection of yew plants, to celebrate its character and history whilst enhancing the arrival experience for guests. Yew was chosen to complement the existing clipped topiary in the gardens.

    An important consideration was the scale and proportion of the plants, to enable them to be seamlessly incorporated into the overall garden design, which includes both cone and standard (lollipop) shaped plants.

    We supplied 10 cone-shaped  Taxus baccata (Yew) root balls and 13 Taxus baccata (Yew) lollipop standards with a 100cm stem and 70-80cm head.

    In order to carefully maintain the plants, the garden team at Bowcliffe Hall has implemented an irrigation system and mulched their bases.

    The plans form an integral part of a stunning front garden, a traditional Georgian design that wows guests on arrival while remaining true to the building’s rich heritage.

    Posted 31st Jul 2:29pm
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  2. Garden visits with Helen Taylor Garden Design

    Garden visits with Helen Taylor Garden Design

    Earlier this month we joined Helen Taylor Garden Design for her annual Garden Visits Day to see recently completed gardens in the Ilkley area.  As a supplier to Helen, it was a great opportunity to see many of our plant supplies in their final destination and to see how they have been used.

    Sales Administrator of our Wholesale Xpress department, Alice Knowles, and Marketing Co-ordinator, Eleanor Richardson, attended the garden visits alongside other suppliers of Helen Taylor Garden Design with prospective & current clients.

    Growing produce, Burley in Wharfedale

    The day of garden visits started in Burley in Wharfedale, with a south-facing garden remodelled to create a space focused on growing produce. The design included raised hardwood beds filled with vegetable plants, and trained fruit trees growing against a fence. The garden also featured a  Rhino greenhouse, carrots growing in bins and hostas surrounding a pond.

    An enviable front garden, Burley in Wharfedale

    The second garden on Moor Lane had a large, front sunny bed edging the large driveway. The planting combinations by Helen Taylor Garden Design were just stunning, making use of some lovely combinations, with mass planting of Lavandula ‘Alba’ and Rosa Kent at the entrance to the drive, and the main border consisting of a soft mix of whites, purple and blue coloured perennials  including  Nepetas, Salvia Caradonna, Alliums, Agapanthus and Delphiniums, with the silvery Stachy lanata Silver Carpet as an edging punctuated by Buxus balls. It was great to see such a beautiful design incorporating so many plants from our nursery.

    Country garden design, Burley Woodhead

    The final garden of the morning was a terraced country garden on the edge of the moor. This private space included dry stone walling and newly planted cottage style perennials, including Erigeron which softened the dry-stone walls beautifully, Knautias, Astrantias, Lavenders, Astilbes and Erysimums.

    Impactful use of colour, Ilkley

    As the tour progressed, we visited a small town garden Ilkley with a contemporary style in the use of materials and plants. The garden was designed to include a lower terrace with a raised lawn surrounded with a hot colour pallet of plants. It had a fantastic impact on arrival, and a wonderful combination of plants including red Achilleas, Salvia Caradonna, Miscanthus Morning Light, Heuchera, Nepeta and Alliums.

    Subtle tonal colours, in Ilkley

    Our next visit was at the opposite end of the colour spectrum using a mix of tonal greens, whites and purples. The flagged courtyard included dry stone raised beds and grey painted trellis to complement the soft planting. The photos show the Brunnera Jack Frost and Astrantias, underplanting a purple Acer in a shaded area of the garden.

    A formal delight, Ilkley

    As the morning was drawing to an end, so was our time in Ilkley. The sixth garden we visited was also a personal favourite of ours due to the stunning design and use of space, paired with the plant varieties used throughout. Over lunch, we admired the views this large, formal, back garden that had its own tea house and grotto, as well as featuring a box parterre, a rose border and a woodland front garden with ornamental borders.

    Other plant varieties included David Austin Roses, lavenders, ½ std variegated ilex, a large number of herbaceous plants, ferns, and various specimen shrubs.

    Contrasting neighbouring gardens, Addingham

    At the next two gardens, we saw a contrasting pair of new cottage style townhouses in Addingham. These smaller gardens had roughly the same square footage, but it was great to see how Helen Taylor Garden Design had taken two very different approaches.

    The first had a symmetrical vegetable parterre with gravel paths and repeat planting that included varieties such as lavender, salvia and Buxus. At the end of the garden were large pleached hornbeams to provide screening and privacy from the houses behind.

    The second garden included a small lawn space, unlike the previous, and featured tidy borders, a rosemary hedge and a fantastic trellis screen and rose arch. Some of the plant varieties used included nepeta, climbing roses and lupins, with the bottom section of the garden through the arch leading to a shady summer house retreat.

    Established back garden, Addingham

    The final garden visit of the day was also in Addingham. This time we visited a well-established, back cottage garden. Enclosed by an old stone barn, it included a summer house, wildlife pond and a vegetable and fruit garden, along with Delphiniums, Astrantia, heucheras and penstemon plants.

    We had a truly lovely time being able to see first-hand the work done by Helen Taylor Garden Design, not only as finished gardens but seeing how the plants picked from our nursery have been used.


    Posted 26th Jul 12:12pm
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  3. Lavender plants: our bestselling line for trade

    Lavender plants: our bestselling line for trade

    A true staple for any size project or garden, the humble lavender is a top favourite for many of our commercial customers. Last year we sold over 110,000 lavender plants, including ‘angustifolia’ ‘hidcote’, ‘munstead’ ‘vera’ and many more varieties.

    Lavender plants are well known for their wonderfully calming fragrance, but they are also a great plant for pollinators and are famed for the various shades of purple they come in. A truly versatile plant, it can instantly improve the appearance of any space, from the edge of a driveway to the surrounding of a public seating area.

    Commonly flowering from June to September, they’re easy to grow and care for making them an ideal solution for low maintenance areas.

    When it comes to planting, opt for a sunny to light shade position – a south or west facing location would be ideal. Place the lavender plants in a well-drained neutral to alkaline soil as they will not do well in wet, waterlogged soil.

    These plants need very little water once they become established, except for those planted in a pot or container as these will need regular watering when the pot becomes noticeably lighter.

    Caring and maintaining lavender plants is very easy. Ensure to cut back new angustifolia varieties in late August to September once they have finished flowering and have gone slightly grey, a second flush of flowers may appear after pruning. Pruning will help keep the plant compact and stop it from getting too leggy.

    Lavandula Hidcote

    Our bestselling lavender line, Lavandula Hidcote, is a compact English lavender that produces dense, fragrant, violet flowers that look great along a driveway, border or in a pot. It is very popular with pollinators throughout its flowering months.

    Flowers: June – September

    Position: Full sun – light shade

    Eventual height & spread: 75cm x 60cm

    Lavandula Munstead

    Our second bestselling lavender plant is the Lavandula Munstead, named after Gertrude Jekyll’s garden at Munstead Wood. This variety has blue-purple summer flowers that have a wonderful contrast against its grey-green leaves. It’s a firm favourite with bees and will look great at the edge of a path or border, or clipped to add a contemporary look to any space.

    Flowers: June – September

    Position: Full sun – light shade

    Eventual height & spread: 75cm x 60cm


    Lavandula ‘Little Lady’

    The final lavender plant on our list is Lavandula ‘Little Lady’. This variety has a lighter blue flower that is produced on upright stems against sage green foliage. It is a fantastic compact variety that can be used to make a vibrant low hedge.

    Flowers: July – September

    Position: Full sun – light shade

    Eventual height & spread: 40cm x 40cm


    Posted 25th Jul 9:51am
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  4. Caring for alstroemeria, the plant that doesn’t stop flowering

    Caring for alstroemeria, the plant that doesn’t stop flowering

    Looking for a semi-hardy herbaceous plant, that is long flowering with interesting foliage? Alstroemeria is the plant you have been searching for – and will not disappoint.

    Working well in borders combined with other plants, alstroemeria produces fantastic coloured flowers in a wide range of colours from June through to October every year.

    They also make for impressive displays for container pots or cut flowers that can be displayed inside.

    Caring for your alstroemeria

    Be sure to plant alstroemerias in full sun or partial shade in a fertile, moist, well-drained soil to ensure they keep on flowering. Remove the whole stem at the base once the flower on it has finished as this will encourage the growth of new flowers. To protect the plant during winter, make sure to wrap it with a protective fleece.

    Available at our Cash & Carry and for Garden Centre Customers

    We have some fantastic Inticancha Alstroemerias available this year – here’s a preview of what you can pick up from our onsite Cash & Carry or on our retail availability list:


    Alstroemeria Inticancha Bryce has large, stunning orange and yellow blooms with a brown speckle. They would make a great addition to a compliment a warm coloured border and will flower from June through to October.



    Alstroemeria Inticancha Sunshine has a dwarf habit, with large pink and yellow cantered flowers that will emerge come June right through to October.

    Alstroemeria Inticancha ‘Maya’ are known for their white flowers with a deep, blotched pink centre and a small flare of green at the end of each petal. These alstromerias will start flowering from the end of May/early June and through to October. They will stay nice and compact making them ideal for a patio pot.

    Alstroemeria Inticancha Red are a clump-forming plant with dark green leaves, and dark red funnel shaped flowers. This is another variety that usually flowers from June to October.

    Posted 23rd Jul 8:49am
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  5. Scandinavian plant supply for Saltwell Park, Gateshead

    Scandinavian plant supply for Saltwell Park, Gateshead

    Scandinavian plant supply for Saltwell Park, Gateshead


    We teamed up with the National Garden Scheme (NGS) Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and Gateshead Council to provide a Scandinavian plant supply to Saltwell Park.


    The Swedish inspired garden will open during the World Transplant Games in August, with the aim of attracting new visitors to the North East and promoting Gateshead to an international audience.


    The Scandinavian garden design was created to mark 10 years of strong cultural and trade links between Sweden and the North East of England. Garden designer Susie White created a classic 18th century English garden in the Västra Götaland region of Sweden back in 2017, featuring iris, peony, roses, allium, lupin, foxgloves and sage.


    Gateshead’s 55-acre Saltwell Park will feature a woodland, meadow area and elements of coastal landscape, with more than 600 new shrub and herbaceous varieties in addition to 11 trees. Our plants were also complemented with a supply of Swedish heritage plants to tie the theme together.


    Maureen Kesteven, NGS County Organiser, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, said: “This unique international project has been a major endeavour for the NGS volunteer team in Northumberland and Tyne and Wear. We are grateful for the assistance provided by our commercial sponsors. Being able to rely on Johnsons of Whixley for the bulk of the plants was a real confidence booster for us.”


    It’s great to be involved with such an exciting project that connects the UK and Sweden. We were delighted when the National Garden Scheme got in touch and asked us to provide the plants and we hope the garden is enjoyed by many people for years to come.


    In addition to Saltwell Park, we have worked on beautifying several parks across the UK to improve the space for the local communities. Our team recently partnered with Ashlea Ltd to enhance the new Gypsey Race Park in Bridlington [View case study here], a project partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

    Posted 17th Jul 7:59am
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  6. Jobs to do in the garden in July

    Jobs to do in the garden in July

    Jobs to do in the garden in July

    Take steps to protect plants in the heat of summer – and reap the rewards for the rest of the year – by following our tips on jobs you should do in the garden in July.

    1. Cut Delphiniums down to 10-15cm after they have flowered and keep them moist. They should produce another flush of flowers in the autumn.
    2. Remove the spent flowers from annuals to encourage the production of new flowers.
    3. The first flush of roses will be over in July, so ensure you cut off spent heads, reducing by approximately a third. However, don’t cut back roses that are being grown for autumn rose hips.
    4. Spray rose sawfly, if necessary, as they eat the foliage, leaving a fine skeleton of the veins. Lightly cover both sides of the leaves to help combat mildew.
    5. Keep on top of fast-growing soft weeds, such as thistles, as they harbour aphids etc.
    6. Continue to tie Dahlias to their stakes, and spray aphids and other insects as necessary.
    7. If caring for large chrysanthemums, remove the side shoots from all flowering shoots other than the limited number of blooms (often five) you wish to retain.
    8. Feed the 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.
    9. Prune shrubs growing on walls and pergolas to remove some of the top growth and further stimulate growth from the base of the plant.
    10. When conditions are very dry, give recently planted trees and shrubs a thorough soaking – a far better method than ‘little and often’. Also, spray overhead in the evening in very dry conditions.
    11. Give newly purchased container-grown plants a really good soak in a bucket before planting.
    12. Evergreen hedges can be clipped this month, as well as some deciduous ones, but ensure there are no nesting birds in the hedge. Cut laurel and Eleagnus hedges with secateurs to prevent cut leaves. In hot weather, spray newly planted conifer hedges with water overhead as well as ensuring the root zone remains moist.
    13. July is a good month to take cuttings of heathers. Choose young, strong, half-ripe, non-flowering shoots, and treat the bottom 5cm with rooting hormone, and insert around the edge of a 9cm pot. Keep in a closed, shaded area, ensuring that water does not drip on to the cuttings from the underside of the glass. Don’t allow them to dry out.
    14. Remove dying water lily leaves from ponds as they appear.

    Want more guidance on what jobs you should carry out for a garden in July? Here are some more examples of recommendations from our expert team  Jobs to do in the garden this May

    Posted 5th Jul 4:31pm
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  7. Bees Needs Week Competition

    Bees Needs Week Competition

    Between 8-14 July is Bees’ Needs Week, and to celebrate our buzzing little friends we are giving away six bee-friendly plants. To enter simply like our Facebook page and comment on our giveaway post with a bee emoji ????

    1. The Promotor is Johnsons of Whixley Ltd
    2. Entrants must like the Johnsons of Whixley Facebook page and have 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 (six bee-friendly plants) with one winner of all six plants. The contents of which include: Lavender Hidcote, Monarda balmy rose, Achillea red velvet, Penstemon arabesque violet, Nepeta walkers low and Kniphofia lemon popsicle.
    5. 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 12pm on Monday 15th July 2019
    9. The Winner will be announced on Thursday 18h July 2019 on the Johnsons of Whixley Facebook page.
    10. Winners will be asked for their details for collection.
    11. Winners will receive their prize 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 than 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 failure to the plant once the prize is received, 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 5th Jul 11:28am
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  8. Gorgeous Geranium varieties

    Gorgeous Geranium varieties

    They’re colourful, low maintenance and even act as a weed suppressant – so if you don’t already have a geranium in your garden, now is the time to put that right!

    These low maintenance ground cover plants are happiest in full sun – partial shade and are available in shades of whites, pinks, purples and blues, providing a dense carpet of foliage from May through to September.

    This versatile plant can be used at the front of an informal border, in a pot or in a rockery as groundcover – here are some of our favourite Geranium varieties:

    Geranium Johnsons blue –  a personal favourite of many here at Johnsons of Whixley, this Geranium variety has masses of lavender-blue flowers with bright green foliage. Cut back after flowering for a second flush of flowers later in the summer.

    Care level: easy

    Flowers: May – September

    Position: full sun – partial shade

    Soil: well-drained soil

    Hardiness: Hardy

    Height x spread: up to 60cm x 60cm

    Geranium miss Heidi – a fantastic clump-forming perennial with masses of small pink flowers, with deep violet veining throughout.

    Care level: easy

    Flowers: May – September

    Position: full sun – partial shade

    Soil: well-drained soil

    Hardiness: Hardy

    Height x spread: up to 45cm x 45cm

    Geranium macrorrhizum Spessart – a lovely variety that blooms with white or pale pink flowers, this Geranium originates from mountainous regions, making it best suited in rockery areas.

    Care level: easy

    Flowers: May – September

    Position: full sun – partial shade

    Soil: well-drained soil

    Hardiness: Hardy

    Height x spread: up to 50cm x 60cm

    Geranium phaeum – also known as ‘mourning widow’, it gets its name from its small, dark purple flowers that look beautiful against their light green foliage.

    Care level: easy

    Flowers: May – June

    Position: full sun – partial shade

    Soil: well-drained soil

    Hardiness: Hardy

    Height x spread: up to 80cm x 45cm

    Geranium Rozanne – named as a plant of the centenary at the Chelsea flower show 2013 by RHS, this gorgeous geranium has beautiful, large saucer-shaped, blue flowers with deep pink/purple veining and a white centre.

    Care level: easy

    Flowers: May – September

    Position: full sun – partial shade

    Soil: well-drained soil

    Hardiness: Hardy

    Height x spread: up to 60cm x 80cm

    Posted 2nd Jul 10:01am
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