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  1. 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,,  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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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 most places, it’s common for parks to be managed by the local authority, but in Milton Keynes, the Trust has ownership to ensure the city’s unique green landscape is managed and protected forever without having to compete for funds with other council departments.

    Caring for river valleys, ancient woodlands, lakesides, parks and landscaped areas alongside the main roads that represent 25% of the city, the Trust was created in 1992 and endowed with a substantial property and investment portfolio, that pays for the vital work of nurturing and enhancing the landscape, remaining entirely self-funded.

    Plants Supplied 

    Our supply to The Parks Trust included more than 20,000 hedging transplants including 9,000 Cornus, 3,500 Ligustrum ovalifolium, more than 1,200 Crataegus monogyna and over 1,000 Acer campestre. Shrub varieties included over 800 Hypericum ‘Hidcote’, 500 Pachysandra terminalis and 600 Euonymus ‘Emerald ‘n’ Gold.

    86 10-12 girth trees were also included with varieties such as Betula Jacquemontii, Carpinus betulus and Tilia Cordata all planted at Campbell Park.


    Graham Richardson, Group Managing Director at Johnsons, said: “We’re delighted to play a part in the project that is turning Milton Keynes green, with our plants, shrubs and trees ready to be showcased around the city. The Park Trust does an incredible job of caring for its much-needed green space, continuing to take ownership of additional areas as the city expands.

    Rob Riekie Landscape and Operations Director for The Parks Trust said: “Each year we plant between 30,000 – 40,000 shrubs and trees to help to maintain and develop the green spaces within our care in Milton Keynes. The high-quality plants supplied by Johnsons help us do this as well as helping to develop the city for future generations 

     This is one of many parks Johnsons have supplied in recent years including Saughton Park, Edinburgh, Hirst Park, Northumberland and Brooke Park, Ireland.

    For further information about The Parks Trust, visit


    Posted 6th Feb 10:06am
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