Latest Stories

  1. Garden Centre Sales Division celebrates record-breaking year

    Garden Centre Sales Division celebrates record-breaking year

    We are celebrating a record-breaking year within our Garden Centre Sales Division.

    The Garden Centre Sales Division, which is run by Mark Reynard has had a turbulent year, to say the least when garden centres were forced to shut leading to postponed and cancelled orders of thousands of perishable plants.

    The retail division has relied heavily on online plant retailers during the lockdown and has now surpassed its original budget figure to achieve a record-breaking year despite all of the challenges faced.

    A tunnel full of retail phormiums 

    We had to think outside of the box during the lockdown period and come up with initiatives to save what would otherwise be wasted stock by donating hundreds of plants to local villages as well as creating ‘Garden Rescue Packs‘ which were sold by online plant suppliers, Hedges Direct.

    Over 300 ‘Garden Rescue Packs’ were shipped from April – May including one to the investor, Deborah Meaden. The packs included a selection of x50 2L or x25 5L mixed shrubs.

    Image of Garden Rescue Packs

    Once the Garden Centres could re-open we experienced unprecedented demand for our plants. Over 700,000 plants have made it down our plant preparation line from April – now.

    The division’s successes are due to the publics newfound love of gardening and home improvements with companies such as Notonthehighstreet seeing a 230% increase in garden-related searches in August alone. Our staff did a fantastic job of fulfilling the high demand, working overtime, including weekends and evenings to produce and collate all of the orders.

    Retail lifting supervisor, Martyn Osborne 

    Retail Sales Manager, Mark Reynard, said: “A notable year in my 40-year career at Johnsons. It’s astonishing to have come out of the ‘other end’ in what we initially thought was going to be the most challenging year the division had ever faced.  We are so grateful for all our staff’s hard work and all of the orders and support from our customers new and old.

    We know there are lots of challenges ahead for all of us in the coming months but hope the publics newfound love of gardening continues into next year. ”

    Retail Sales Manager, Mark Reynard

    Posted 28th Sep 10:56am
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  2. Wholesale Xpress - HELP US, HELP YOU

    Wholesale Xpress - HELP US, HELP YOU

    Our cash & carry wants to improve its service and you can help them, help you…

    This season has thrown up challenges like no other that the nursery has faced in its near 100-year history. The collation of small orders can be time-consuming and take staff away from important work such as stocking up the beds. With this in mind, we are making a few changes to how we process your orders. This will be implemented from the 1st of October

    £0-£250 spend

    Any customer whose order is below £250 we ask that you lift the plants yourself off the beds here and take away with you on the day. We can on occasion hold your order if you need to call back with a van. We will hold for no longer than four days.

     £250-£500 spend 

    Customers who are spending between £250 and £500, we can quote for these orders and lift the plants. However, it would be appreciated if you can still lift some of the plants off cash and carry especially if you have seen the plants already and know you want particular specimens. These orders would not qualify for delivery; collection only, which can if needed, be held in our customer bays for a limited time.

    £500 + spend

    Any order which has a value of over £500 can be delivered; by either our own transport or by use of a carrier service (charges may apply). We will quote for these orders, lift and pack them for despatch. You can still lift the plants off the beds and take them away in your own vehicle

    Have a question? call us on 01423 332324 or email


    Posted 21st Sep 3:46pm
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  3. Plant supply to create a private sanctuary for a family home

    Plant supply to create a private sanctuary for a family home

    Johnsons of Whixley team up with LDC Ltd and Studio Loci to create a private sanctuary for a family home

    We recently teamed up with award-winning landscapers, LDC Limited and Landscape Architects, Studio Loci to create an elaborate private garden for a residence in Surrey.

    The Springhill Garden is based at a private residence in Guildford. The owners commissioned a total redesign of the outdoor space to showcase the views over North Downs and to create a garden fit for all the family.

    The jewel in the crown is a stunning tiered garden to the rear of the property. The first level features an entertainment space including a large area for seated guests, with access via a grand entrance with a 23-step staircase connecting it to the main garden. The steps are bordered by a prairie style planting scheme to provide year-round vibrancy and colour.

    The second tier of space is a lawn that provides a flat, open space for children to play. This area is surrounded by a planting scheme of pleached trees and yew hedging that separates the area from the rest of the garden whilst also protecting the views over the downs.

    The final level, which is accessed by an additional set of steps, leads down to the private tennis court that is shielded by an embankment.

    The garden was designed by Studio Loci and the contract work carried out by LDC Ltd, using more than 800 plants supplied by Johnsons.

    Among the plants supplied were Lavandula ‘Hidcote’, Calamagrostis acut. ‘Karl Foerster’, Pennisetum alop. ‘Hameln’, and Stipa tenuissima.

    Landscape Architect, Tom Prince from Studio Loci said: ” LDC have been more than happy with the service provided by Johnsons over the last few years. The quality of nursery stock has always been to a very high standard and we look forward to working with Johnson well into the future.”

    We hope the garden provides amazing memories for the family for many years to come. It is an incredible space, with every area being utilised and surrounded by wonderful plants and trees.

    This is one of many private gardens we have supplied via our customers in recent times including a parterre garden in Ilkley, a large domestic garden in North Yorkshire and a sloping garden in Harrogate.


    Posted 21st Sep 10:28am
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  4. Plant donation for 'Magical Garden' at the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford

    Plant donation for 'Magical Garden' at the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford

    We have donated plants worth hundreds of pounds for a magical garden to help children cope with grief.

    The garden, at the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford, will be a tranquil space where children can be themselves, explore their surroundings and escape their reality for a short while.

    Our plant donation was worth more than £800 to the hospice, that cares for terminally ill patients and their families while Leeds Landscapers, Aire Valley Landscaping Services gave up their time to design and plant the garden.

    Included in our supply were perennials such as Verbena bonariensis, Tiarella ‘Spring Symphony’, Salvia ‘Caradonna’, Crocosmia ‘George Davidson’ and Lavandula ‘Hidcote’.

    Climbing varieties included Trachelospermum jasminoides, Hydrangea petiolaris and Clematis ‘Etoile Violette’ perfect for covering trellises and fences in the new garden. Several Amelanchier alnifolia ‘obelisk’ trees were provided, along with grasses such as Ophiopogon ‘Nigrescens’.

    The garden aims to provide a safe yet stimulating space where children can go with an adult to enjoy some time out and enjoy being a child again.

    The magical space includes surprise elements such as fairy doors and toadstools hidden among the greenery, along with sensory sections with running water and scented plants.

    A hospice spokesman explained: “Children may be worried about having fun due to an awareness of their wider family’s emotional needs. However, this space is for them. The Magical Garden will enable children to spend ‘time out’ exploring and having fun during very stressful and upsetting times. This will be their space to play, relax, explore, gain a sense of normality and be themselves.

    “We also hope that through engaging in creative thinking, this will strengthen their bond with the adult and help them to have difficult conversations about grief and death.”

    We are delighted to support this initiative to help children through what will, in all probability, be the most difficult time of their young lives. The garden will offer them a valuable space to take time out and be a child again, as well as helping them to talk about how they feel.

    This is one of many projects we have donated to in recent years including Springwater School and the BBC Children in Need, DIY SOS ‘Big Build Project’.

    Posted 7th Sep 10:10am
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  5. September 2020 Gardening Reminders

    September 2020 Gardening Reminders

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

    1) If you have heavy soil, dig over the garden borders as bedding plants need to be removed. This will make digging easier as the soil will not be at full water capacity as in later months.

    2) Now is the time to make yourself a good big compost bin, just before you really need it! Ideally, use 4 stakes as corners 1 metre apart in a square and staple wire netting (1 metre deep) around the square. This affords easy entry when you wish to empty it, or it can be made bigger or smaller at will. If you would like a permanent one, use pressure-treated plywood or boards instead of netting.

    3) On a fine evening have a walk around the garden and make a note of what has done really well, and also not so well, so that when the time comes to replant the borders you will have a good idea of what will be successful! Why not have a visit to Harlow Carr gardens or one of the other splendid gardens in the area, and make a note of which plants you are really motivated by?

    4) Towards the end of the month and into October is the best time to move evergreens as the soil is still warm and new roots will take hold before winter. Make sure the planting hole is big enough so the plant is at the same depth as before, firm soil back around the root-ball and water in well.

    5) Keep dead-heading the best flowering plants to encourage new flowers and stop them from setting seed.

    6) Take hardwood cuttings of your favourite roses. Ideal cuttings are about pencil thickness and 30cm long, remove the top 8cm of young growth down to just above a bud. Cut the bottom of the stem at about 2-3mm below a bud and trim off all the leaves with the exception of the top 3 sets of leaves.Make a slot with a spade in an area of good soil and push in the cuttings (base first!) so that about one third remains above ground. If the soil is heavy, run some sharp sand down the planting slot to improve drainage. The cuttings should be ready to plant out next autumn.

    7) Complete the lifting of last season’s bulbs and dry them off naturally in light woven sacks for maximum ventilation.

    8) Prune rambler roses when they have finished flowering.

    9) Now is the time to sort out your bulb order to give you maximum choice. Bulb catalogues are now really helpful and a pleasure to look at. Planting early has benefits for all bulbs, but leave tulips until late November in order to prevent disease infection.

    10) New construction such as rock gardens or raised beds started this month should be completed before the days get too short and the soil has become wet.

    11) Crocosmias form large mounds of roots and corms after a few years, try separating them with a fork, pulling them apart, or removing the soil and untangling them with the help of a hosepipe jet.

    12) This month and next month the lawn can be mown less frequently, but will really benefit from mechanical scarifying or the regular use of a spring tine rake to remove the old ‘thatch’. Aerating by means of a machine or a garden fork will work wonders, in conjunction with a specific lawn
    weed-0killer and an autumn lawn fertilizer dressing.

    13) Cheap insecticide – 3 pounds of rhubarb leaves infused in 6 pints of water with added soap solution makes a good insecticide. It is poisonous, take the usual necessary precaution.


    Posted 1st Sep 1:11pm
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