Latest Stories

  1. Plant supply to new retail and leisure destination at Thorpe Park, Leeds

    Plant supply to new retail and leisure destination at Thorpe Park, Leeds

    Working with Gavin Jones Ltd to supply a new retail and leisure destination at Thorpe Park, Leeds.

    We supplied nearly 20,000 plants worth more than £60,000 to transform the new leisure and retail complex at Thorpe Park, Leeds.

    Thorpe Park is an extension to the existing retail site off Junction 46 of the M1. The park boasts a new shopping area, The Springs, featuring high street giants such as Next, Boots, TK Maxx and M&S Food as well as a cinema, gym and several high-end restaurants.

    The adjacent country park has also benefited from our plants and trees, in a scheme design by Ares Landscape Architects Ltd that was installed by landscaping experts Gavin Jones Limited.

    Further additions to the complex include a business and enterprise centre, sport and leisure hub and railway station, while 300 new homes will form a residential quarter.

    Over 13,000 herbaceous plants were included in the supply, with over 1,500 Geraniums, 1,000 Persicaria Bistorta ‘Superba’, 2,000 Hemerocallis ‘Golden Chimes’ and over 1,000 Ajuga’s.

    A further 7,000 shrubs, grasses and herb varieties were also provided for the 140-acres of parkland and public open spaces.

    Gavin Jones Limited senior estimator Ricky Whiteman, said: “It has been great to see the progression of Thorpe Park, the site has really taken shape in the last year, we were appointed by GMI Construction to complete the soft landscaping package, we then called in leading commercial nursery Johnsons of Whixley to supply a large number of plants this really helped put the finishing touches to the scheme”

    We have many years’ experience of providing plants to the retail and leisure sector. Recent supplies include the Leicester Costco site and the Spinningfields urban regeneration development in Manchester.

    Posted 30th Sep 11:00am
    Read more >

  2. Johnsons shortlisted for not one but two York Press Business Awards

    Johnsons shortlisted for not one but two York Press Business Awards

    We are proud to have been shortlisted for not one but two York Press Business Awards including ‘Family business of the Year’ and ‘Large Business of the Year’, an excellent result for us on the back of a very successful year.

    The ‘Family business of the Year’ category is perfect for our three-generation family businesses. In total, 11 members of the Richardson family have roles within Johnsons, including Chairman John Richardson, Group Managing Director Graham Richardson, Directors Iain and Andrew Richardson, receptionist Tracey Richardson, accounts assistant Janice Richardson and grandchildren Luke, Robert, Eleanor, Paul and Shaun Richardson.

    John’s eldest grandson Luke Richardson took over the cash & carry side of the business in summer 2018 which has resulted in a 32% rise in revenue and a 29% increase in product offering, which has resulted in an additional 134,311 plants being sold.

    Robert Richardson is currently taking over production operations and will have responsibility for growing more than three million shrubs and trees annually with a seasonal team of up to 90.

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

    The second category we have been shortlisted for celebrates ‘York’s Large Business of the Year’ with achievements this year including attracting more than 400 new customers, a £1.37m increase in sales on the previous year (October – March), investments including a £70,000 potting line and numerous prestigious projects we have supplied including the luxurious Grantley Hall hotel, the new Event Complex, Aberdeen, the Dakota Hotel, Manchester, luxurious holiday lodges by Darwin Escapes and the Windermere Jetty boat museum.

    We hope our successes this year are recognised with an award but wish all of those who were shortlisted the best of luck; we look forward to attending the awards ceremony in November.

    Posted 25th Sep 12:49pm
    Read more >

  3. Johnsons work with the University of Sheffield to help inner-city infant school #GoGoGreen

    Johnsons work with the University of Sheffield to help inner-city infant school #GoGoGreen

    We are proud to be on board with a collaboration project between the Landscape Architecture Department at the University of Sheffield and Hunter’s Bar Infant School, Sheffield. The #GoGoGreen campaign will see 100’s of our plants used to help improve the air quality of the school’s playground.

    The plant supply will include a £300 donation made by Johnsons, and a further £3,200 worth of our plants will be purchased to help create a green barrier in the playground.

    Working with air quality experts from the Landscape Architecture Department of the University of Sheffield, the school wants to plant shrubs, herbaceous, hedging and trees to create a green barrier in the playground to help protect children from harmful gases produced by exhaust fumes; an issue that is affecting many inner-city schools.

    The school has already raised £10,000 to buy plants and equipment to create the soil bed needed to build the barrier – and Johnsons have helped by donating plants for the scheme. Included in our supply are Phyllostachys nigra, Thuja occidentalis smaragd, Lavender Hidcote, Heathers in variety, Heuchera ‘Palace Purple’, Salvia off. Purpurescens, Sarcococca confusa, Bergenia cordifolia ‘purpurea’ and Juniperus virginiana ‘blue arrow’.

    Working with PhD student María to monitor the air in the playground, data will be collected to enable air quality experts and specialist plant scientists to identify the best vegetation and planting configuration to improve air quality. Children will also learn the value of green spaces for learning and emotional wellbeing.

    PhD researcher María del Carmen Redondo Bermúdez said: “Different plants have different capacities to reduce air pollution, depending on the characteristics of their leaves and bark and how they are arranged in space. By using a mix of plant types – trees, shrubs, climbers and herbaceous perennials – we will try to cover all the mechanisms for pollution mitigation. Planted together, they will form a barrier against the wind that brings contaminants to the playground. We chose Johnsons of Whixley because of the high quality of their plants, their recycling initiatives of plastic containers and their strict ISO standards (for example the 9001 for Quality Management and 14001 for Environmental Management), and equally important, the ethics of their team and their friendly and effective communication. Those are part of the reasons why the Landscape Department of The University of Sheffield have always considered them as a top nursery”.

    #GoGoGreen campaigners hope the project will help identify workable solutions for not only Hunter’s Bar Infant School but for other inner-city schools looking to improve air quality.

    Graham Richardson, Group Managing Director at Johnson’s, said: “ We look forward to being associated with a scheme that will not only provide an immediate aesthetic impact but will also go on to improve air quality and help reduce pollution, our environmental credentials are important to us, so it’s great to be on board with this fantastic #GoGoGreen campaign ”.

    To find out more about this project visit the #GoGoGreen website or donate here

    Posted 25th Sep 12:05pm
    Read more >

  4. Plant supply to Chapel Wharf apartments, Manchester

    Plant supply to Chapel Wharf apartments, Manchester

    A new community of almost 1,000 concept apartments in the centre of Manchester will benefit from nearly 8,000 of our plants.

    The Chapel Wharf development will see four towers between 12 and 22 storeys high created on the banks of the River Irwell, next to the five-star Lowry Hotel.

    The one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments are mostly open plan with a private balcony or terrace and will be partially constructed off-site using the very latest manufacturing techniques.

    Part of a significant regeneration of the Chapel Street area by developer Dandara, the scheme will also create public spaces, walkways and parking for almost 400 cars.

    Working with Ashlea Ltd, we provided over 1,500 ferns and grasses, 3,000 herbaceous plants, over 3,000 shrubs and over 50 trees to help create a green oasis in the communal areas, with trees including Himalayan birch, Sorbus aucuparia (Rowan), Amelanchier lamarckii (Juneberry) and Betula pendula (Silver birch) all included in the order.

    Wayne Dand, Contracts Director of Ashlea Limited, said “ We are delighted with the outcome of this project at Chapel Wharf. As always Johnsons Of Whixley have excelled themselves in working closely with us on the supply and delivery from start to finish. “

    Herbaceous species include more than 600 Bergenia Silberlicht (elephant’s ears), 500 English lavender plants and almost 150 of the Johnsons Blue variety of geranium.

    More than 700 of the evergreen shrub Euonymus Fortunei Emerald Gaiety’ along with hundreds of grasses and ferns were also provided.

    Last Christmas, we supplied festive foliage to the nearby Spinningfields district, home to around 200 businesses, retailers such as Mulberry and high-end restaurants including The Ivy and Restaurant MCR. You can find out more about our supply here – – – – > Johnsons deliver Christmas trees to Spinningfields

    Posted 23rd Sep 10:26am
    Read more >

  5. Plant supply to the new £330 million pound Aberdeen TECA Development

    Plant supply to the new £330 million pound Aberdeen TECA Development

    We recently teamed up with p1 Contractors Ltd to supply over £150,000 worth of plants for a multi-million-pound Scottish conference/exhibition centre and largest new entertainment complex in Europe.

    Replacing the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre (AECC), The Event Complex Aberdeen (TECA) is a £330 million development that opened in August 2019; it includes a new arena, conference halls, a multi-purpose space, hotels and more.

    The new arena will host acts such as Rod Stewart, Michael Buble, Lewis Capaldi and Elton John in the coming months; it is set to attract an additional 4.5 million visitors bringing £113m of extra spend to the Scottish economy.

    Our supply included nearly 40,000 shrubs, 170 three-metre-wide hedera screens, over 30,000 bare-root transplants and more than 400 trees.

    Linlithgow-based p1 was responsible for all the soft landscaping on the project, soiling all areas around the complex along with seeding works and tree, shrub and woodland planting around the site.

    Ronnie Blair Contracts Manager for the project on behalf of p1 Contractors Ltd, added: “Having a company such as Johnsons of Whixley working with us on such a large-scale project has been very reassuring, Iain has taken the time to come up to Scotland and walk the site offering information on the planting to help me with the contract. With the opening of the new complex on the horizon, I am excited about the prospect of returning in a few years to see what it looks like with a bit of maturity something which should be in keeping with the ambitious company we are.

    Other plant supply to Scotland includes Donaldsons, Edinburgh and the iconic Forth Road Bridge

    Posted 14th Sep 12:27pm
    Read more >

  6. Plant supply for £2.29m revival of historic Hirst Park

    Plant supply for £2.29m revival of historic Hirst Park

    We have recently been recruited by Brambledown Landscapes to provide a plant supply for the latest phase of a multi-million-pound project to revamp the historic Hirst Park in Northumberland.

    Our plant supply, including both plants and trees, was worth £20,000 and was funded by a £2.29m Parks for People grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

    Project planting

    Consisting of more than 50 trees worth £9,000, our plant supply also included a range of plants including 262 Stipa Tenufolia, 188 Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and 250 Sedum spectabile ‘Brilliant’, as well as a range of rhododendron varieties and 126 Persicaria ‘Darjeeling Red’.

    The first stage of the Hirst Park project began in early 2018 with the removal of dead, dying and dangerous trees. The replacement trees were planted over the winter of 2018 to ensure minimum disruption during bird nesting and bat roosting seasons.

    It is estimated that the project to transform Hirst Park, where legendary footballers Jackie Milburn and the Charlton brothers played as youngsters, will take five years to complete.

    Landscaping work is being carried out by our client, Brambledown Landscape Services, and will include the creation of a formal garden, water play feature, horticultural training building where families can learn to grow their own vegetables and a New Food Circle, operated in partnership with Northumberland College.

    Director of Brambledown Paul Curry said: “We have a wonderful relationship with Johnsons of Whixley, who have been supplying trees on our schemes for many decades. This prestigious multi-million-pound Heritage Lottery Fund Park at Hirst Park in Ashington, Northumberland is one of many large park improvement schemes we have carried out over the years alongside Johnsons.”

    The future for Hirst Park

    Once the scheme is complete, events will be held at the newly refurbished park to help people learn more about the heritage of Hirst park, the local area and the people in it.

    We are really excited to be able to get involved in this project. Our products will bring life back to Hirst Park and ensure it is a place to be enjoyed for many years to come as it has been in the past.

    We have worked with Brambledown on lots of other projects, including Haggerston Castle in Northumberland and the conservation area at Spinning Acres in Leeds.


    Posted 6th Sep 3:09pm
    Read more >

  7. Office staff tuck into honey from onsite apiary

    Office staff tuck into honey from onsite apiary

    Our staff are tucking into some delicious honey treats this week – produced by thousands of their co-workers.

    The number of bees at our on-site apiary has increased to 800,000 this summer, with the creatures helping to pollinate flowering plants at our main 50-acre site, that produces more than a million plants every year.

    The bees are managed by Keith Simmonds, Vice President of Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers, who said that the bees, Johnsons and most importantly the environment all benefited from their presence in equal measure.

    He said honeybees contributed significantly to our economy, helping plants to grow and produce food by transferring pollen between flowering plants. The majority of plants we need for food rely on pollination, particularly by bees.

    It is estimated that bees will fly 55,000 miles to make a single pound of honey – the equivalent of going around the world more than twice.

    Staff from our Johnsons office are tucking into honey on toast to celebrate National Honey Month this September.

    Graham Richardson, Group Managing Director at Johnsons of Whixley, said: “ What could be better than fortifying our staff with honey harvested via our own bees, pollen and ultimately the plants that they have so carefully tended in the recent month – a truly efficient food cycle!”

    Want to find out more about our bees? Click here  

    Posted 6th Sep 11:31am
    Read more >

  8. Jobs to do in the garden this September

    Jobs to do in the garden this September

    Not sure what you should be doing in the garden this month? here are our top tips for the month of September.


    • The first 10 days of September is the last time to be taking cuttings of tender perennials such as pelargoniums and fuchsias, roots will form much quicker before the cooler weather sets in. When taking cuttings at this late stage, it is better to root them round the edge of a pot and leave them in the pot until transplanting next spring. Alternatively, bring the old plants under cover in a cool but frost-free room and take cuttings early next year.


    • Ever thought of buying yourself a greenhouse? Now is a good time to buy at a discounted price, with the whole winter to erect it and have it ship-shape for the start of next spring. Don’t forget, it is really useful for it to be connected to water and a electricity supply.


    • It is well worth checking the bigger trees around the garden. September can be a windy month and worth the knowledge that boughs are not likely to come crashing down on the house, the garden or the new greenhouse in the winter gales!


    • When you have a weekend hour to spare, take a notebook around the garden and note those plants which are not happy in their location, are growing too big, have the wrong colour combination with their neighbours, or really need more space. It will make your winter sort-out in the shrubbery so much easier.


    • Planting new shrubs in the autumn has the benefit of warm soil to get the plants established before winter and the soil is usually moist. Delay bare-root tree planting until November and be sure to install a stake at the time of planting. Always put the stake on the windward side and secure with a proper tree tie.


    • September is a good month to plant spring-flowering bulbs, but leave tulips until November, as this will help prevent the fungal disease ‘tulip fire’. If you find mice are digging up your crocus bulbs, cover them with fine chicken wire, which won’t affect grass mowing but should dissuade the mice.


    • If you have heavy soil, dig over the garden borders later this month as the 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.


    • Crocosmias form large mounds of roots and corms over the years. Separate them with two forks either by pulling them apart or remove the soil and untangle them with the help of a hosepipe jet.


    • Continue to trim fast-growing hedges – and don’t overlook the weeds in the hedge bottoms!


    • Newly planted perennials will do well when planted over the next six weeks. Give the roots of new plants a good soaking before planting and firm in well to the original depth, placing a good mulch around the plant to prevent moisture loss and winter frost damage to young roots.


    • During this month and next, 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 the lawn by means of a machine or a garden fork will work wonders, in conjunction with a specific lawn weed-killer and an autumn lawn fertilizer dressing.

    Posted 3rd Sep 11:06am
    Read more >

  9. National Honey Month Competition

    National Honey Month Competition

    This month is National Honey Month and to celebrate we are giving away a hamper that includes honey from our beehives. To enter, simply like our Facebook page and comment with a bee emoji ????

    National Honey Month Competition

    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 with a chance to win.
    3. The competition is open to all UK residents aged over 18 and above.
    4. There is only one prize available (1 x bee hamper). The contents include:  2 jars of honey, 1 x Lavender Hidcote, 1 x  Echinacea ‘Delicious Candy’, 1 x Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’ and a bag of Mini Meadow.
    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 noon on Monday 9th September
    9. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 10th September 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. Entrants 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 2nd Sep 10:36am
    Read more >