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  1. 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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  2. Our monthly favourites – January 2020

    Our monthly favourites – January 2020

    Despite January’s reputation of being dull, there’s actually plenty of bright and cheery looking plants this month that are sure to add some winter interest to your client’s gardens. Check out our favorites for this month below which include Jasminum nudiflorum, Hamamelis ‘Arnold Promise’, Mahonia ‘Winter Sun’ and Helleborus ‘Mont Blanc’

    Jasminum nudiflorum

    A deciduous climber with bright yellow flowers that appear on bare stems in winter and early spring helping to brighten up a dark winter’s day. This attractive climber will grow well against a trellis or low wall once trained as it is not self-clinging.

    ???? Flowers: January – March

    ???? Position: Full sun – partial shade

    Helleborus ‘Mont Blanc’

    A compact, clump-forming perennial with crisp white flowers and dark green, leathery leaves. A great border plant that will brighten up your garden when little else is flowering.

    ???? Flowers: December – March

    ☀️Position: Partial shade

    Cornus serc. ‘Flaviramea’

    White flowers in May – June with dark green leaves that redden in Autumn and fall to reveal bright yellow stems in winter. A great choice for a moist area of the garden.

    ????Flowers: May – June

    ☀️Position: Full sun – Partial shade

    Sarcococca confusa

    a sweetly scented evergreen shrub known for its pure white flowers from December – March with dark green leaves. Perfect in a deep shaded border spot or woodland garden. To appreciate its vanilla-like fragrance plant in a moist, well-drained soil.

    ???? Flowers: December – March

    ☀️ Position: Partial – Deep shade

    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.

    ???? Flowers: April- May

    ☀️ Position: Partial – Full shade

    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: December – April

    ☀️ Position: Full sun – partial shade

    Hamamelis ‘Arnold Promise’

    Spider-like yellow, fragrant flowers cover bare branches in January and February when little else is flowering. This is a great plant for the back of a shrub or woodland border.

    ???? Flowers: January – February

    ☀️ Position: Full sun – Partial shade

     Mahonia ‘Winter Sun’

    Is the perfect addition to a shaded spot in your garden as they prefer full – partial shade with spikes of yellow flowers from November through to March that has a fragrant reminiscent of lily-of-the-valley on dark green holly-like leaves. Prune in spring after flowering. Available in 2L,5L and 10L pots.

    ???? Flowers: November – March

    ☀️Position: Full sun – partial shade


    Posted 13th Jan 9:32am
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  3. January 2020 Gardening Reminders

    January 2020 Gardening Reminders

    Happy New Year to you all,  If your New Years resolution is to spend more time in the garden be sure you check out our January 2020 garden hints and tips by our chairman and horticulturalist, John Richardson.

    1) Now is a good time to move shrubs which have outgrown their allotted space. With big shrubs remove up to 25% of the older branches before you start digging. Dig a trench around the shrub 45-60cm from the base and remove the soil from the trench, this allows you to get a spade, angled downwards, under the shrub to dig under the roots and prise them out of the ground. Lift the rootball onto a piece of sacking or plastic and drag to the new planting location. The new hole should be 20-30 cm wider than the rootball but only the same depth. Fill back the hole with topsoil mixed with some good compost, firm in with the feet, and water well.

    2) A good time for a warm job, insert metal or wood lawn edging as clearly define edges add so much to the look of a good lawn. Make sure the edges will not be damaged by the lawnmower.

    3) If you have a large garden, buy in a load of well-rotted farmyard manure to mulch borders or dig into the ground or add to your compost heap to promote decomposition.

    4) Give the greenhouse a really good clean, both inside and out. Wash the glass, framework and staging with disinfectant to remove pests and diseases.

    5) Continue to plant new trees and shrubs in frost-free weather conditions.

    6) Thin out dead and diseased branches from established trees and shrubs together with those branches growing too strongly in the wrong direction. Be aware of the plant’s natural habit.

    7) Cut back the young shoots of Wisteria to within 8-10cm of the old wood.

    8) Examine stored Dahlia tubers, if they are shrivelling, place them in tepid water overnight, then dry them & replace in peat, sawdust or vermiculite. Cut off diseased areas & dust with sulphur.

    9) Where Cyclamen coum has spread naturally from seed, select the best seedlings with good leaf markings and replants into new areas which will benefit from the winter colour.  Did you know that ants carry the seed off to new locations?

    10) Shrubs to enjoy in January: Chimonanthus fragrans, Daphne mezereum, Garrya eliptica,Hamemellis, Jasminum nudiflorum, Lonicera fragrantissima, Mahonia.

    11) Now is the time to contemplate sowing sweet peas under glass over the next 4-6 weeks, but only in a mild heat of about 39 degrees F.

    Enjoyed our January 2020 Gardening Reminders?  Look back at last years here > January 2019 Gardening Reminders

    Posted 8th Jan 11:29am
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  4. Plant supply to help create green oasis at Teeside Park

    Plant supply to help create green oasis at Teeside Park

    We recently teamed up with Gavin Jones Ltd, part of the Nurture Landscape Group to supply plants as part of a make-over at one of the UK’s busiest retail parks (Teeside Park).

    Our supply included thousands of flowering shrubs and trees for a landscaped central area at Teeside Park, a major shopping and retail development at Stockton-on-Tees that includes all the major high street names, from River Island to Showcase Cinema, as well as a large food court area.

    The park was created in 1988 but since then, footfall has increased dramatically, leading to some issues with traffic and parking. A revamp scheme was drawn up by owners British Land, that relocated parking, transforming the existing area into a new pedestrianised food and shopping area known as The Spark. A newly landscaped area will also be created along the park’s eastern terrace.

    Grounds maintenance specialists Gavin Jones Ltd, worked with landscape architects Macgregor Smith and Key Property Solutions, to help with the make-over at Teeside Park including the soft landscaping that included planting 1000’s of Johnsons plants and the installation of soft artificial turf for children’s play areas.

    Darren Hardman, North East regional Contracts Manager at Gavin Jones, said: “We recognise that family time is valuable and wanted to create a space that offers families the opportunity to interact and bond. Retail parks and landscaping are now trending towards being family-orientated spaces as recently demonstrated in the recently completed Glasgow Fort shopping complex, and we are determined to lead the way.”

    Johnsons supply included more than 34,000 plants that included over 17,000 Ornamental grasses and 11,000 ferns with varieties such as Polystichum setiferum, Sesleria nitida and Polypodium vulgare all used.

    Over 6,000 herbaceous varieties were also included with Achillea, Salvia and Astrantia’s all proving popular in the planting plan.

    Tony Coles, Amenity Sales Manager at Johnsons, said: “Teeside Park is one of the busiest retail developments in the UK and we are delighted to be involved in this ambitious landscaping scheme. Hopefully, it will attract even more visitors to the park, who can take a break from shopping in a green oasis.”

    We have considerable expertise in working with retail and leisure landscaping schemes, with past projects including the Glasgow Fort Shopping Centre, Thorpe Park Retail Park and Spinningfields in Manchester.

    Posted 8th Jan 10:59am
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  5. Plant supply to new £15m health centre in Barrow-in-Furness

    Plant supply to new £15m health centre in Barrow-in-Furness

    We recently teamed up with one of the UK’s largest landscaping companies, Ashlea Ltd, to supply thousands of plants to a new £15m health centre in Barrow-in-Furness.

    The state-of-the-art Alfred Barrow Health Centre, in Duke Street, occupies the site of the former Alfred Barrow School.

    The facility provides a variety of primary, community and social care services to the Morecambe Bay community with three GP practices, the Morecambe Bay Clinical Commissioning Group, two foundation trusts and a Boots Pharmacy.

    The original Victorian building has been retained as a response base for the North West Ambulance NHS Trust.

    Commercial landscaper Ashlea Ltd provided the groundworks and planting that surround the new centre then turned to us to provide the thousands of plants required.

    Plants supplied incorporated 4,000 shrubs, including Griselinia littoralis, Hebe ‘Wiri Mist’, Pachysandra ‘Green Carpet’, Euonymus ‘Ovatus Aureus’, Vinca minor ‘atropurpurea’ and Hedera helix. Several trees were also included in the supply, with Betula jacquemontii among the varieties provided.

    Ashlea Ltd Contracts Director Wayne Dand said: “Due to programme delays, the scheme became a challenge to all. Once again, Johnsons Of Whixley excelled themselves with delivery and quality. The scheme was handed over on time, to specification and budget.”

    This is just one of many health facility projects we have been involved with recently including Baird Family Hospital, Aberdeen, Royal Derby Hospital and Maggies Centre in Oldham.

    Posted 6th Jan 4:58pm
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