Latest Stories

  1. Thieves destroy thousands of our plants

    Thieves destroy thousands of our plants

    Thieves destroy thousands of our plants

    Thousands of our plants have been destroyed after a break-in at our main nursery site in Kirk Hammerton.

    The plants were deliberately run over by a dumper truck which was stolen at Johnsons of Whixley between 10 pm, and 12 am on Thursday 26th March.

    The stolen truck was used to remove a bowser containing 1,000 litres of fuel it was then driven through Johnsons perimeter fence and onto the A59 ploughing through the plants in the process. The truck was subsequently left, but the diesel was taken.

    Managing director Graham Richardson said the vandals drove the truck over tens of thousands of plants which were growing in readiness for next year, “because they could and they felt like it”.

    He said: “They deliberately drove over our production line of stock, damaging tens thousands of plants – hardy landscape plants of differing varieties, not saleable, but in production for the future.”

    North Yorkshire Police are currently investigating and you should get in touch with them on 101 if you have any information.

    Posted 28th Mar 8:53am
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  2. Plant supply to £15m retail park refurbishment

    Plant supply to £15m retail park refurbishment

    We have teamed up with one of the UK’s top landscaping firms, Ashlea Ltd, to enhance the grounds of a York retail park as part of a £15m refurbishment scheme.

    Monks Cross, just outside the city centre, was built in the 1990s and was in need of some TLC to help improve the outdated exterior.

    We have supplied plants for a number of makeover schemes at the park since it opened, with the two businesses located less than 15 miles apart.

    GMI Construction undertook the alteration and remodelling works to existing shop facades, canopies, walkways and car parks, as well as the construction of four new retail pods.

    The company enlisted Ashlea Ltd to carry out the soiling and soft landscaping package.

    The work included the soiling of newly installed raised planters and planting a total of 7,000 shrubs, hedging, herbaceous and several mature trees.

    These plants were supplied by Johnsons, and included 550 Ilex Crenata ‘Convexa’, 2,000 Carpinus betulus, 300 Festuca ‘glauca’, 200 Hebe’ Red Edge’, 250 Lonicera ‘Maygreen’ and 200 Lavandula ‘grosso’.

    The trees provided included Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’, Sorbus auc. ‘Sheerwater Seedling’ and Betula pendula ‘Fastigiata’.

    Rob Brooks, contracts manager at Ashlea Ltd, added: “This was a challenging scheme as the site is a live retail park open to the public on a daily basis. Johnsons’ logistics of delivering materials and moving them around the site to their specific locations was a key factor in completing our soft landscaping works, along with their high-quality plants.”

    It’s wonderful for Johnsons to have teamed up with long-standing customer Ashlea Ltd to supply a scheme so local to us.

    Our supply to Monks Cross goes back to the 1990s, so it’s great to supply this retail park once again. We have many year’s experiences in providing plants to retail and leisure sectors, with recent substantial supplies to Retail Parks Thorpe Park and Teesside Park.

    Posted 23rd Mar 11:51am
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  3. Covid-19 Customer Bulletin

    Covid-19 Customer Bulletin

    COVID-19 Update – Bulletin

    Dear Customer,

    By now the impact of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is occupying every waking moment of most UK citizens.

    As a result of the crisis our daily mode of operation is being adjusted on a daily basis to cope with the stresses and challenges that result. Trade has been and remains brisk – we very much remain open for business and irrespective of the unknown challenges ahead it is our intention to continue to ship trees and shrubs wherever practically possible.

    We can foresee a slow down in demand, reduced availability and much reduced resource in our attempts to maintain our operational business. A ‘wholesale’ shutdown is not envisaged nor is it planned at the moment. We will do our best!

    We are already working with reduced numbers of staff and home working has already been underway for a cross section of staff if applicable. Please be tolerant if our ability to communicate is reduced or somewhat slower.

    Our practical internal response is comprehensive – measures taken are listed on our latest Covid-19 New Bulletin visible at

    Our business has never been in a better position to withstand this unique challenge – our financial strength and reserves are considerable.

    We thank you for your custom to date and assure you of our best intentions at all times. Should we be able to assist in any way please do not hesitate to speak with your usual contact or any member of the Johnsons team.

    Thanks & regards

    The Directors and Senior Management Group at Johnsons of Whixley Ltd

    Posted 18th Mar 3:17pm
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  4. COVID-19 (coronavirus) notice

    COVID-19 (coronavirus) notice

    COVID-19 (coronavirus) notice

    The Covid-19 outbreak continues to make headlines with numbers of those infected rising daily and a lot of uncertainty for businesses remains.

    The preservation of the operational business is fundamental to the security of our entire workforce, the ability to operate, despatch, invoice and collect outstanding monetary sums is a close priority followed by the ongoing production of future crops.

    We have been closely monitoring the government’s advice and have undertaken measures as recommended for the wellbeing of our staff and customers.

    It remains very much business as usual – albeit a challenge!!

    Actions taken include:

    • Covid-19 policy created
    • Covid-19 Checklist Created
    • Covid-19 Group formed to designate a lead for infection, prevention and control – weekly meetings underway
    • Specific bulletin to all staff
    • Risk assessments in place to prevent, detect and control the risk of infection
    • Audit control of newly introduced procedures
    • Posters with covid-19 information distributed
    • Employees to work from home where possible (subject to the role and work location, by and large, office staff) – purchase of relevant tech.
    • Sufficient resources including additional hand sanitizers and disinfectants have been distributed across all five sites
    • Rota to wipe down all door handles frequently shared equipment created and other high traffic apparatus
    • Extra cleaning and sanitising to high traffic risk areas
    • Meetings with external visitors postponed or rearranged over the phone or by skype
    • Non-essential training sessions cancelled
    • Liaising with an occupational health professional, HR Lawyer and Personnel resource
    • Monitor all staff and grade those at most risk and considered vulnerable

    If you have any further questions as to how this may affect your orders please contact your sales rep directly or call us on 01423 330234

    For further updates on the coronavirus please visit the NHS website.

    Posted 17th Mar 4:31pm
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  5. Our monthly favourites - March 2020

    Our monthly favourites - March 2020

    Make the most of yours and your clients garden this March with some of our favourite flowering plants that are sure to add interest to the garden this spring from Forsythia ‘Lynwood Gold’ to Pieris ‘katsura’, there’s something for everyone.

    1. Forsythia ‘Lynwood Gold’

    Yellow flowers smother branches from March – April providing a notable cheery sight to the start of spring. Try planting at the back of a dull border or even as a hedge with its full height reaching to 2 meters.

    ???? Flowers: February – April

    ???? Position: Full sun – light shade

    2. Prunus ‘Kojo-no-mai’

    A pretty deciduous shrub with zig-zag branches and crimson buds that open to display white flowers with pink centers in early spring. Its luscious green leaves appear after into the summer months and are then followed by bright reddish/orange leaves before falling in the Autumn. A perfect small compact tree for a smaller garden or patio pot.

    ???? Flowers: March – April

    ???? Position: Full sun

    3. Vinca minor

    A great low growing ground cover plant with pale blue flowers and lance-shaped dark green leaves. It is excellent at suppressing weeds and would make a great addition to the front of a border. It generally flowers from April – May.

    ???? Flowers: March – September

    ???? Position: Full sun or partial shade

    4. Spirea arguta

    Small delicate white flowers on arching stems have started to appear on our Spirea arguta plants this month. A hardy deciduous shrub perfect as a freestanding shrub or as a hedge. Prune immediately after flowering to guarantee abundant shows year after year.

    ???? Flowers: March-May

    ???? Position: Full sun

    5. 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: March – April

    ☀️ Position:  Sun – Partial shade

    6. Bergenia ‘Harzkristall ‘

    A clump forming perennial with large dark green glossy leaves, reddish brown stems and pink tinged white flowers that appear in spring. Great for a woodland garden or border.

    ???? Flowers: March – April

    ☀️ Position:  Sun – Partial shade

    7. Pieris ‘Katsura’

    A compact, evergreen shrub with clusters of pale pink, cream bell-shaped flowers in spring. It is well known for its foliage that emerges red, changes to pink, then cream and on to green. A great plant for a container on a patio.

    ???? Flowers: February – April

    ☀️ Position:  Sun – Partial shade

    8. Prunus cerasifera ‘Nigra’

    A striking medium-sized ornamental cherry tree that is known for its deep purple foliage and stems which can almost appear black. During March and April a mass of single pink flowers emerges providing an early source of pollen for bees. The deep purple leaves remain until autumn when they turn a bright red before falling.

    ???? Flowers: March – April

    ☀️ Position:  Full sun



    Posted 17th Mar 11:02am
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  6. Staff go the extra ‘mile’ to help raise money for Sports Relief

    Staff go the extra ‘mile’ to help raise money for Sports Relief

    Our staff went the ‘extra mile’ to raise money for Sports Relief on Friday 13th March.

    Thirty members of staff racked up a whopping 400 miles on two static bikes within an eight-hour working day at our head office in Whixley.

    The company sponsored the event, donating £2 for every mile staff cycled, with customers and suppliers also chipping in to boost the total raised to £1040.

    Staff with the most miles in half an hour included Martyn Osbourne with 18.6 miles, Gary Sutton with 15.5 miles, Luke Richardson with 15.3 miles and Graham Richardson with 15.1 miles.

    Two members of staff took to the bike twice with Catheryn Gauden contributing 30.5 miles and Mark Reynard 23.8 miles.

    Head of production and procurement manager, Jonathan Whittemore started the day off with a 45-minute stint where he racked up 25 miles for the company along with Tony Green who contributed 19.4 miles.

    This is one of many charity donations we have made in previous months, including a recent contribution of plants worth over £700 to the Marie Curie hospice in Bradford and a £5,000 cash gift to a local church stained glass window restoration project.

    Group Managing Director Graham Richardson said: “This is another great team effort for the best of causes. The sporting theme brought together directors, salesmen, administrators, nursery workers and accountants to make a worthwhile contribution to Sport Relief. Well done to all who took part.”

    Sports Relief brings together the worlds of entertainment and sport to get active and raise money to help poor and disadvantaged people in the UK.

    Posted 16th Mar 11:20am
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  7. Plant supply to help Aberdeen Rainbow Garden bloom

    Plant supply to help Aberdeen Rainbow Garden bloom

    We have teamed up with Aberdeen-based landscapers Life Landscaping to help create a memorial garden at Hazlehead Park.

    The Rainbow Garden is a peaceful haven away from the bustle of the park, where bereaved parents and families can reflect. At the centre of the garden is a stunning bronze sculpture, Fleeting, with a flowing design of flying birds encircling a seat.

    The garden has an arched entrance and further private seating areas, in addition to a dedicated area where flowers can be left.

    The Rainbow Garden opened in summer 2019 in response to a request from families affected by past practices around the cremation of babies at Aberdeen Crematorium. Parents had input into the design of the garden, by TGP Landscape Architects, taking inspiration from the song ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’.

    Soft landscaping works were completed by Life Landscaping, including installing lawns, trees and thousands of plants supplied by us.

    Among the plants, supplied were 335 Miscanthus sin. ‘Morning Light’, 260 Aquilegia vulgaris 2L, 250 Rhodendron in variety 7.5L, 160 Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ 2L, and over 100 Lavandula ‘Hidcote’ 2L.

    Hazlehead Park is rich in history, including land gifted to Aberdeen by King Robert the Bruce as part of the ‘Freedom Boundary’ in 1319. Today the 180-hectare park is enjoyed by families, walkers and runners and includes two golf courses, a maze, mini zoo, woodland walks, nature trails, a café, children’s playground and two formal rose gardens, the Queen Mother’s Rose Garden and the North Sea Memorial Rose Garden.

    Life Landscaping owner Ryan Pedersen said: “It was such an important project to be a part of and we were very honoured to take part.  With this space, families now have a place to remember those who have passed and it can be visited all year round.”

    Johnsons hope the garden provides an area where bereaved parents can remember and reflect in a quieter area of the park that is surrounded by beautiful flowers, sculptures and outdoor space.

    This is one of many projects we have supplied in Aberdeen in recent times including  The Event Complex and Baird Family Hospital.


    Posted 5th Mar 4:07pm
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  8. March 2020 Gardening Reminders

    March 2020 Gardening Reminders

    Gardening reminders for March 2020

    Check out our latest gardening reminders for March 2020 put together by chairman and horticulturalist John Richardson.

    1) Prune strong growing Buddleias down to about 18” for a good show by summer. Prune to 30-40” for a denser but weaker overall growth.

    2) Plant climbing and wall plants. Prune clematis species and hybrids that flower on current season’s growth if not already done. Ensure they are well watered.

    3) Prune decorative Cornus and Salix to within 5cm of the old shoots to encourage next year’s coloured winter stems. Don’t prune ‘Midwinter Fire’ types too hard.

    4) Many herbaceous plants do better planted in spring rather than autumn, particularly on heavy clay.

    5) Snowdrops re-establish best when moved whilst still in leaf. Split and replant those in tight clusters, or buy in new ones ‘in the green’.

    6) Arrange to plant summer flowering bulbs when planting condition are good.

    7) Finish pruning perennial which has not yet been cut back, but don’t remove new green shoots.

    8) When daffodils have flowered, remove dead heads to conserve bulb energy.

    9) Hellebores are now very popular, lift seedlings around parent plant and pot up.

    10) Alpines can still be planted, and also check that existing plants have not been lifted by recent frosts.

    11) As the weather improves, weed growth will begin in earnest, hoe off seedling weeds with a really sharp hoe and treat perennial weeds with Roundup.

    12) Finish pruning soft fruit bushes by mid-month and give a high nitrogen feed.

    13) Lay fleece or polythene on bare soil to warm it up before planting vegetables or sowing seeds. Remember to apply slug pellets.

    14) Consider re-potting those plants in containers which have been in the same compost for too long. Carefully remove the pot, cut back two or three of the old roots and remove some soil. Re-pot into a slightly larger pot, add a little fertilizer and firm in the compost on all sides. Give the plant a good watering.

    Interested in further advise or solutions? visit our ‘solutions’ section here

    Posted 5th Mar 1:35pm
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