Latest Stories

  1. 40 Year's service for Retail Sales Manager, Mark Reynard

    40 Year's service for Retail Sales Manager, Mark Reynard

    Our Retail Sales Manager, Mark Reynard, has just celebrated 40 years with the company, so we asked him some questions about his time at Johnsons, see what he had to say below:

    1. What was the year you started at Johnsons? 23rd June 1980

    2. How did you come about working at Johnsons?

    I came for an interview on a sunny day in June, and it looked a nice place to work – a few months later in the winter digging trees up with rain running down your neck was a slightly different experience.

    3. Did you work anywhere else prior to Johnsons? I only did a paper round; I started work at Johnsons just a few days after my 16th birthday!

    4. What was your first position in the company?

    My first position was an apprenticeship for three years with work-based learning mixed in with college work.

    5. How has the company changed over the years?

    Wow – beyond belief really, from 20-30 staff to the 110-160 staff there are now, it is an incredible change, and a tribute to all the hard work people have put in over the years.  The nice thing we have maintained is the friendly Family Business feeling as the company has grown.  People are treated as individuals and not just numbers on a payroll – those of us that haven’t worked anywhere else probably don’t’ appreciate this enough.

    6. What is your most memorable day at Johnsons?

    For different reasons:

    1. Washing out seed trays all day in Jeyes fluid, which I smelt of for the next 3 months.
    2. My first day out on the road selling and getting my first order – came out 2 foot taller and thought this is definitely for me in a strange way it gave me the same buzz as playing well at sport, which is my passion outside of work.

    7. If you could have chosen another career what would it have been?

    Anything to do with sport really – playing it or coaching.

    8. What has made you stay at Johnsons for all those years?

    Although 40 years sounds like a very long time the first 10 years were very different, from growing plants to loading and delivering plants and then on to sales where no two days are ever the same.

    Running the Garden Centre Sales side of Johnsons is a bit like running a separate business within the main business, I set different goals each year to keep driving me forward, we have made some good progress recently but still feel there are a few things to achieve before I hang up my order pad.

    During my time at Johnsons I’ve had some up’s and down’s which the Richardson family have always supported me through and I feel it’s nice to repay that in a small way.

    Group MD Graham Richardson added: “Mark has been a valued member of the team since June 1980, I can’t believe how fast the years have gone by.  

    “Mark joined Johnsons as a 16-year-old apprentice and over the years, with hard work and dedication, has progressed throughout the business. He is a valued member of the team and is a key part of our business and history.”

    To mark his four-decade milestone, as is customary the company will formally recognise this extraordinary achievement at the Christmas shutdown.

    Posted 28th Aug 9:12am
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  2. Plant supply for Whinfell Forest Center Parcs new look

    Plant supply for Whinfell Forest Center Parcs new look

    We recently teamed up with one of the UK’s top landscape and maintenance contractors, Ashlea Ltd to complete the soft landscaping at the Whinfell Forest Centre Parcs Visitor Centre, giving it a new look for reopening after lockdown restrictions.

    The popular holiday destination is situated at Penrith, on the edge of the Lake District National Park. Set within 400 acres, Whinfell Forest is the largest of Center Parcs’ five UK villages, offering a range of indoor and outdoor activities, restaurants and shops that attracts thousands of holidaymakers every year.

    Landscape and maintenance specialist Ashlea Ltd has completed several hard and soft landscaping projects at the site in recent years. The latest includes clearing and replanting the banking at the visitor centre.

    Our supply included more than 250 plants to complete the banking’s transformation including a mixture of shrubs, grasses, and ferns with varieties such as Euonymus ‘Emerald Gaiety’, Pinus mugo, Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’, Cotinus’ Royal Purple’, Mahonia x media ‘ Charity’, Miscanthus sinensis ‘ Zebrinus’ and Dryopteris erythrosora.

    Wayne Dand, Contracts Director at Ashlea Ltd, said: Once again Johnsons Of Whixley excelled in the delivery and supply of mature shrubs to enhance the Visitors Centre embankment prior to the park opening In July 2020. The embankment is situated on a busy route to the visitors centre and is always far too busy to close the footways for completion of the works. Due to the park being closed during the lockdown, the opportunity came to remove the old and tired planting and replace with a new mature planting design to freshen the area for reopening.

    It’s great to have supplied another area of the well-loved Whinfell Forest Center Parcs via our long-standing customer Ashlea Ltd. Thousands of families visit here each year, so it’s fantastic to be enhancing the already beautiful outside space with hundreds of our plants.

    Posted 10th Aug 4:08pm
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