Latest Stories

  1. New roles for familiar faces at our onsite Cash and Carry

    New roles for familiar faces at our onsite Cash and Carry

    We have made some management changes to our onsite cash and carry. The unit is often seen as a showpiece for the company for any visiting architect and client as well as being a one-stop-shop for landscape affiliated trades in the North of England including Landscape Gardeners, Garden Designers, Property Developers, Estates, Hotels and more offering an extensive range of shrubs, herbaceous, trees, hedging and sundries.

    The current Cash & Carry Manager Luke Richardson has now returned to our main office to focus on commercial sales. He will continue overseeing the day to day activities on the cash & carry but will leave the managing of the unit in the capable hands of two familiar faces, Alice Knowles, and Claire Horner.

    Between the two employees, they have over forty years of working experience which they can apply to their new roles. Alice Knowles, who has a background in horticultural retail outlets and has previously worked at Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate, will be concentrating on the quotes, customer orders and internal functionality of the unit.

    Claire Horner, who has worked at Johnsons for over twenty years, will be focused on the external elements of the cash and carry, such as the stocking and cultural work. Together they will ensure that the high standards are preserved, and customer-focused service is maintained.

    Our cash and carry which is located between Harrogate and York, just off the A1 at junction 47 serves over 1000 landscape affiliated customers a year and has gained over 133 new customers since the beginning of lockdown.

    New Cash & Carry Manager, Claire Horner said: “A quality service is assured to our customers, who are our top priority. Being able to offer a wide range of quality plants which reflects seasonality and to always have a variety for our customer to chose from off the beds is our aim. “


    Posted 31st Jul 2:25pm
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  2. August 2020 Gardening Reminders

    August 2020 Gardening Reminders

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

    1) Prune plum trees when cropping has finished. Cut out all dead and diseased wood. Cut back lateral branches of fan trained plums by a third.

    2) Cut back the long whippy growth of Wisteria to within 3 buds of the old wood if they are not required to extend the area covered by the plant.

    3)  Stop greenhouse tomatoes, and stop outdoor tomatoes when 4 or 5 trusses have set. Remove 50% of the lower foliage and reduce watering to allow fruits to ripen.

    4)  Pinch back trailing plants such as ivy-leaved pelargoniums that are becoming straggly. Pelargoniums grown as bedding or container plants will root easily from cuttings. Select sturdy shoots about 10cm long, cutting just below a node. Place in a pot of very sandy compost and shade from the sun in a greenhouse or cold frame.

    5)  Maintain the water level in ponds to prevent stress to fish, plants and other plant life.

    6)  Give container plants a liquid feed as long release fertilizers may not provide enough boost to keep the plants growing.

    7)  Collect and dispose of fallen apples showing signs of brown rot. Do not compost them.

    8)  Cut down to ground level the recently fruited canes of Raspberries. Tie in strong young canes spaced 8-10cm apart.  Remove surplus young canes and burn them.

    9)  Sow spring cabbage early in the month for planting out mid-September.

    10)  Plant Freesia corms now in large pots to begin flowering in March.

    11)  Plant spring-flowering crocus and Muscari during the month.

    12)  Give a high Potash feed (Sulphate of Potash or tomato fertilizer) to plants which will provide a display next year. Water in, if conditions are very dry.

    13)  Continue deadheading roses and tie in and secure young shoots of climbers.  Watch out for Black Spot and Greenfly, spray at once and apply a foliar feed if prolific.

    14)  Keep annual beds free from weeds and remove faded flowers. Lift bearded Iris every 3 years when they become crowded. Discard old material from the centre of the plant. Cut back foliage of new plants to 20-30cm before planting.

    15)  Pot up seedlings of self-sown herbaceous plants.

    16)  Trim Lavenders as the flowers go over, but don’t cut into the last seasons wood as this may prevent future regrowth.

    17)  As soon as strawberries stop cropping, cut off old leaves about 10cm above the crown. Cut off all runners other than those required to fill gaps. Rake off all old foliage and any straw around the plants, Burn all this rubbish. It is suggested that the plants are dug up after cropping for three years, and virus free new stock is purchased.

    18) Make a list of the bulb varieties, quantities and planting locations for planting this autumn.

    Posted 30th Jul 12:21pm
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  3. Creating extra growing capacity for plants of the future

    Creating extra growing capacity for plants of the future

    We have created over 5000 sqm of additional bed space for plants of the future at two of our nursery sites located In Kirk Hammerton and Roecliffe, North Yorkshire.

    Group Managing Director, Graham Richardson stood amongst the new beds

    Production capacity has increased as a result of reduced sales brought about by the recent crisis and as a reaction to potential Brexit trading constraints.

    New beds

    Recent projects have delivered sufficient growing space to produce an extra 320,000 extra landscape and garden plants per year. The facilities comprise of external beds and covered ‘polytunnel’ space all profiled and watered via automated systems.

    New beds

    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 its accreditation to the environmental standard ISO14001.

    New tunnel 

    Group Managing Director, Graham Richardson said: “Investment in new production facilities provides extra facilities to hold over crops otherwise destined for the waste heap and reduces our exposure to reduced availability should trading constraints with Europe begin to bite

    Posted 15th Jul 11:14am
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  4. Pollinator-friendly shrubs and herbaceous for spring and summer

    Pollinator-friendly shrubs and herbaceous for spring and summer

    When we think of pollinator-friendly shrubs and herbaceous, we automatically think of lavenders, but this doesn’t suit everybody’s taste or garden position, so we have put together a list of other pollinator-friendly plants for different positions in your garden during the spring and summer months.


    1.Primula veris

    Flowering period: April – May

    Position: Full sun or partial shade

    2. Helleborus varieties 

    Flowering period: January – March (some varieties flower earlier, and for longer)

    Position: Partial shade

    3. Prunus Kojo-no-mai

    Flowering period: March – April

    Position: Full sun

    4.Berberis darwinii 

    Flowering period: April – May

    Position: Full sun or partial shade

    5. Pulmonaria Diana Clare

    Flowering period: February – May

    Position: shade – Partial sun

    6. Ribes King Edward 

    Flowering period: April – May

    Position: Full sun

    7. Viburnum tinus

    Position: Full sun or partial shade

    Flowering period: April – December

    8.  Mahonia ‘Winter sun’ 

    Position: November – March

    Flowering period: Full sun – partial shade




    Flowering period: May – September (some varieties may flower earlier and for longer)

    Position: Full sun or partial shade

    2. Echinacea’s

    Flowering period: July – September (most varieties)

    Position: Full sun

    3. Buddleia’s 

    Flowering period: July – September (mot varieties)

    Position: Full sun or partial shade

    4. Scabiosa varieties 

    Flowering period: July – September (most varieties)

    Position: Full sun

    5. Lavender varieties 

    Flowering period: July – September (most varieties)

    Position: Full sun

    6. Verbena varieties 

    Flowering period: June – September (most varieties)

    Position: Full sun

    7. Agastache varieties 

    Flowering period: June – October (most varieties)

    Position: Full sun

    8.Caryopteris ‘Heavenly Blue’

    Flowering period: August – September

    Position: Ful sun

    Posted 6th Jul 2:53pm
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  5. July 2020 Gardening Reminders

    July 2020 Gardening Reminders

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

    1) Water recently sowed or turfed new lawns in dry weather to ensure establishment. Don’t forget to sweep up fallen apples and heavy fallen leaf concentrations before mowing.

    2) Plant bulbs in the grass to flower next autumn as soon as bulbs are on sale.

    3)  If the garden is to be left for some time in mid-summer, consider cutting back the tops of all flowering plants to stop seed being set and germinating without control.  This should also lead to a good display of flowers later in the season.

    4)  lower the cutting height on the lawnmower (but not too short!) and cut lawn edges with a half-moon cutter, long-handled shears or an electric nylon line trimmer. Remove perennial lawn weeds.

    5)  Hoeing lightly is an effective way of reducing water loss, not only does it eliminate weed competition for water, but a fine tilth on the soil surface helps prevent transpiration, but don’t hoe too deeply. A mulch of garden compost is another very good method of helping reduce water loss, and also helps increase soil organic matter.

    6)  Check the moisture level of hanging baskets every morning and water thoroughly if dry. Feed plants with a soluble or liquid feed once per week and remove flower heads which are going over.

    7)  Prune pyracanthas by cutting back side-shoots to 2-3 leaves from their base for a good show next year. Wear gloves!!

    8) When the first flush of hardy geranium and  Alchemilla is over, cut them back hard for a spectacular second flush of flowers.

    9)  Lift tulip bulbs after they have fully died down and store them in a dry, airy place over summer (Better stored in paper bags, definitely not polythene).

    10)  Feed roses with a specialist rose fertilizer if not already done. On light soils, a mulch of rotted compost will provide long term slow feed but will also help preserve moisture.

    11) Trim quickthorn and privet hedges and continue to keep hedge bottoms clean by hoeing or the use  of Gramoxone.  Always check for nesting birds before cutting hedges in summer. When trimming Laurels and Elaeagnus, cut back straggly shoots with secateurs.

    12)  Check all plant ties, and that all herbaceous forms of support are strong enough for the new growth.

    13)  Be sure to keep hydrangeas well-watered, they are very quick to show the shortage of water by drooping heavily.

    14)  Keep an eye open for pests and diseases such as greenfly, lily beetle, mildew and blackspot.

    15)  Root heather cuttings in boxes or small pots using a mixture of 50% peat and 50% acid sand. Take cuttings of young half-ripe shoots from the middle of July to mid-August, dipping the ends of the cuttings in rooting hormone. Don’t allow cutting to dry out, but don’t over-water.  Provide shade for the cuttings.

    16)  In the north, July is probably as late as possible to achieve good results from sowing beetroot, lettuce, spinach and carrot seed.  Harvest beans and peas as they are ready, as this will encourage the production of a further crop.

    Posted 2nd Jul 1:59pm
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  6. Creating a vertical Living Wall

    Creating a vertical Living Wall

    One of our amenity sales reps, Andrew Barker, has set about creating a vertical living wall in his backyard during the lockdown period.

    Andrew was influenced to create his living wall after seeing customer Brambledown Landscapes Ltd build a living wall for retail giant Barker and Stonehouse along with the many benefits it has for the environment.

    Barker and Stonehouse’s living wall planted and maintained by Brambledown Landscapes Ltd

    A variety of our plants including, Cyrtomium fortunei P9, Carex oshimensis ‘Everest’ P9, Heuchera ‘Caramel’  P9, Pennisetum alop. ‘Hameln’ P9 and Asplenium scolopendrium P9 were used to complete his living wall project.

    A living wall has many benefits, including the improvement of air quality, reducing energy costs (if placed alongside a building), reducing noise levels, aesthetically pleasing and water management.

    We asked Andrew his top tips for creating a living wall and what he used to do so, here is what he had to say below:

    1. What equipment did you need to create a living wall? Pressure-treated timber, premade plant pocket material and a lot of screws.

    2. What plants did you choose and why? I wanted a mixture of evergreen and deciduous perennials to achieve some structure with seasonal interest and tried to use some older lines that we had on the nursery to reduce waste.

    3. How long did it take you to build?  It took a day to build the frame, half a day to fix in place and nearly a full day to plant up

    4. What aftercare does a living wall require? With a small amount of substrate in each pocket water monitoring or an automatic irrigation system is needed—also, the use of a balanced liquid feed schedule throughout the year. The rest of the work will be standard cultural work to the individual plants to keep them looking their best.


    Posted 1st Jul 9:24am
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