Latest Stories

  1. New starters Edwina and Wendy

    New starters Edwina and Wendy

    A warm welcome to two of our new office starters, Edwina Hughes and Wendy Bartlett who joined the team recently. Here’s what they had to say about their new roles:

    Edwina Hughes

    What does your new role involve in the company? 

    Calculating, Processing and paying Wages, Salaries, Holidays, Pensions, Health Shield and associated paperwork.

    How have you found your first few weeks with the company?

    Its been extremely busy having to learn 3 new computer systems and process Year End changes, but I am really enjoying it.

    What’s one thing that surprised you about the company?

    How the company has evolved over the years and especially in terms of the technology that is used.

    What’s one thing people don’t know about you?

    That I went on a five-week development exchange to Kenya with Young Farmers and I am now President of Tadcaster and Wetherby Young Farmers Club.

    What would we most likely find you doing on the weekend?

    Getting my hand’s dirty helping on our family farm.

    Favourite band?  

     I don’t really have one, I love all kinds of music.

    Wendy Bartlett

    What does your new role involve at Johnsons?
    I put prices offered by our suppliers onto a spreadsheet to help the Plant Purchaser make buying decisions.   When the decision has been made I then do the purchase orders on the system and send them out.

    Where did you work previously, and what did you do?
    I worked at the Alzheimer’s Society as a member of the Training & Consultancy Team, arranging dementia awareness training sessions for care homes, local authorities and companies.  Before that I was a fundraiser for a Police charity in Harrogate.

    Anything interesting, you have learnt that you didn’t know before?
    Just how many different plants there are out there!  I can’t imagine how long I’d have to work here to know what some of my colleagues do!

    What have you enjoyed most about your first month here?
    Getting an insight into a whole new fascinating world – it’s a nice industry to work in and a great company.

    Favourite season?
    Autumn when it’s not raining (!) and Spring when everything turns green.

    Tell us an interesting fact about yourself:
    I was in the Guinness Book of Records back in the ’80s when I was a student.


    Posted 21st Oct 11:55am
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  2. A warm welcome to our new Procurement Manager, William Moss

    A warm welcome to our new Procurement Manager, William Moss

    A warm welcome to our new Procurement Manager, William Moss who joined the team last week. Find out what he had to say about his new role below:

    1.What are you most looking forward to in your new role?

    Speaking to and making relationships with our suppliers

    2.What do you think the challenges will be?

    I come from a background in contracting and procurement, however, the world of horticulture is new to me so the biggest challenge is the vast amount of on-the-job learning required

    3.Have you learnt anything that you didn’t know before?

    Virtually everything I have learnt here so far; everybody has been very helpful and full of knowledge they’re willing to share

    4.Favourite city in the world?

    San Francisco. I spent a year living out there back in 2011 and loved every minute

    5.Dog or cat?

    I’m definitely more of a dog person. My partner Lucy has a huge Irish Setter called Fin, who we take with us everywhere

    6.Have any hobbies?

    I play a lot of sports and compete in triathlon. I also love cooking and spend most of my time at home in the kitchen

    Will is one of five new starters to join johnsons in recent months, you can find out about our new starters Katie and Sarah here also.

    Posted 20th Oct 4:04pm
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  3. Welcome to the team Sarah and Katie

    Welcome to the team Sarah and Katie

    A warm welcome to two of our new office starters, Sarah Greenwood and Katie Short. Here’s what they had to say about their new positions at Johnsons:

    Sarah Greenwood – Admin Assistant 

    What does your new role include?

    My new role primarily involves putting sales orders on to SAP, so that the orders can be allocated and sent out for delivery. I also do jobs for other people, for example I have been updating our online Retail Availability List with the new plant deals for the next week or I have been creating production orders for plants to be grown onsite.

    What have you enjoyed most about your first few months at Johnsons?

    I have enjoyed learning how Johnson’s operate, having a tour of the nursery was perfect for this. I have also enjoyed learning how to use SAP and beginning to build my horticultural knowledge. Working in a new environment has been exciting for me as I last worked in a café, so this office environment is very different. And of course, I have enjoyed meeting all the lovely people who work here.

    What was your first job from leaving school?

    After school, I went straight to university to study Geography and then my first job was at York Recourse working as part of the Front of House team in the hospitality boxes.

    If you could add one thing to the office, what would it be?

    A room with big comfy sofas to have lunch in!

    Do you have any hobbies outside of work?

    I have recently taken up horse riding again after a break due to university and I have been loving it. During the summer months, you will find me watching Whixley CC. Or I can be found washing my car on a weekend.

    Favourite holiday?

    Lucca, Italy, 2018. Everywhere we visited was beautiful and the weather was perfect! I also had the best pizza I have ever eaten in my life there. It was a called white pizza, so was basically a garlic bread but had spicy Italian sausage on it. Also fulfilled my love for cars with visiting the Ferrari Museum and the Lamborghini factory.

    Katie Short – Logistics Administrator

    Describe your new role at Johnsons:

    I help to support my Manager Hannah Smith organise the day to day transport. I communicate with our European suppliers to get loading dimensions so we can work out the wagon and space requirements and organise any returns and book ferries for the drivers.

    I contact customers to confirm delivery dates and help resolve any queries they may have and deal with any other tasks as is required.

    How have you found your first few weeks at Johnsons?

    I have really enjoyed my first few weeks, it has been quite challenging at times but very interesting. There is lots to learn so never a dull moment, everyone has been so helpful and informative which has been a great help.

    I’m looking forward to developing in my new role.

    The best thing about Johnsons?

    The best thing about Johnson’s of Whixley is the people and how everyone is so helpful and how everyone is rewarded for their hard work with the cakes & lunches etc.

    What do you enjoy outside of work?

    I love spending time with my family and friends. I love to go walking and the dales and the coast are my favourite places to go. I love Cooking, baking and learning new skills.

    What’s one item you couldn’t live without?

    I couldn’t live without my hairbrush.

    Favourite food?

    My favourite food is sushi


    Posted 20th Oct 2:31pm
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  4. Plant supply to new luxury Peak District lodge resort

    Plant supply to new luxury Peak District lodge resort

    We have supplied plants worth more than £50,000 to help transform a new luxury lodge resort set in the heart of the Peak District.

    Rivendale Lodge Retreat, previously known as Rivendale Caravan Park, has been redeveloped by leading lodge resort operator Darwin Escapes. The new lodge resort opened in September and offers luxury self-catering lodge accommodation alongside a bistro restaurant and bar.  Bespoke treehouses will also be added to the site.

    Our supply included more than 20,000 plants including hedging, shrubs, herbaceous and aquatics to the modernisation scheme, that includes hard and soft landscaping around the site.

    Included in the supply were more than 4,000 ferns such as Dryopteris affinis, thousands of grasses, including Luzula sylvatica, and hundreds of geraniums.

    The 36-acre resort on the edge of Alsop-en-le-Dale village is set in a former quarry, and the site includes woodland areas, pastures and a pond that attracts ducks, geese, frogs and even newts.

    We have supplied thousands of plants to Darwin Escapes resorts across the UK, from Kent and Somerset to Cornwall and Norfolk. Resorts have included Sandymouth Holiday Resort and Cheddar Woods

    The UK’s tourism industry is booming with staycations proving incredibly popular. People realise they don’t need to go abroad to enjoy a break so new destinations such as Rivendale will be on many people’s lists to visit next year.

    Our plants have beautified and enhanced the new luxury resort’s grounds.  We hope holidaymakers and wildlife enjoy the plants for many years to come.

    Group Grounds and Utilities Manager for Darwin Escapes, Kris Sutton said: “We’re delighted to have worked with the Johnsons of Whixley team again at our newly redeveloped Rivendale Lodge Retreat. They have been our main suppliers for many resorts in the Darwin Escapes portfolio, and we always receive top-quality stock.  The recent supply of plants for Rivendale has ensured the resort blends with the natural surroundings, and we are really pleased with the finished look.


    Posted 20th Oct 1:38pm
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  5. Garden Centre Sales Division launches first digital catalogue

    Garden Centre Sales Division launches first digital catalogue

    Our Garden Centre Sales Division has launched its first digital catalogue.

    The division which has supplied over 700,000 plants to Garden Centres this year would usually have its catalogue printed and sent out to customers, this year they have gone paperless for the first time in 50 years to reduce paper wastage.

    We are one of the few businesses that can claim to be a real net contributor to the environment from growing and supplying over 7 million plants and trees per year to low emission vehicles. Our irrigation system uses rainfall and runoff water from its reservoirs. The plants we supply beautify UK wide planting schemes and private gardens helping reduce Carbon Dioxide from the air and greenhouse gases which create pollution.

    Our BSI ISO 9001:2015 & 14001:2015 Quality, and Environmental standard credentials have underpinned business operations since 1992, the new digital catalogue is one of many changes to our company’s systems with order processing going digital too.

    Our new catalogue can be viewed here – to access you will need to be a customer and have the password – please contact us on 01423 332309 or email to gain access.

    This was an obvious step for our Garden Centre Sales department. In going paperless, we have saved 10’s of thousands of pages which, by the end of the next year would have ended up in the bin or recycled and would have taken time to process. The benefits are significant from both an efficiency perspective.

    Posted 13th Oct 10:23am
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  6. October 2020 Gardening Reminders

    October 2020 Gardening Reminders

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

    1) Take hardwood cuttings from shrubs and fruit bushes, lift and divide rhubarb crowns when the leaves have died away.

    2) With only 50-65mm of rain expected in October in the north, together with a number of sunny days, try and make a start on some of the winter jobs completed before the real winter weather sets in. Dispose of fallen apples as they will not store and may carry over disease if left outside.

    3) Collect seeds of those plants you wish to increase. Store dry seeds in paper bags in an airtight container on the bottom shelf of the fridge. If unsure when to sow, sow half the seed on the collection and the other half in spring.

    4) Frequently collect fallen leaves from around the garden and store in a wire-netting mesh bin using four wooden posts at the corners. Filled in October and November you should have a rich compost by next autumn. Do not leave fallen leaves on the lawn.

    5) Clear leaves from around all alpine plants. If they are to be left outside, provide the protection of a cold frame, or even a glass or plastic cloche, to prevent plants becoming waterlogged.

    6) When the foliage is dropping from tall shrubs such as Buddleias and Lavatera, cut them back to half the height to which they will be pruned in the spring, which will prevent winter gale damage.

    7) It is fine to plant Daffodils and many other spring-flowering bulbs this month, but leave tulip bulbs until November to reduce the incidence of Tulip Fire disease.

    8) Move non-hardy plants grown in containers e.g figs, olives, bay trees and palms, under the shelter of a greenhouse or sunroom.

    9) Apply grease bands around the trunks of apple trees as a barrier to winter moths. Apply the correct grease the trees with rough or smooth bark. Rake up leaves around rose bushes to prevent Black Spot being carried over to next year.

    10) Berries are popular with birds in winter, but they dislike yellow ones such as viburnum, Holly and Pyracantha.

    11) Remove any shading applied to glasshouse roofs and fit bubble insulation to the sides.

    12) Plant up containers with winter bedding such as pansies, violas, polyanthus, variegated ivy, bulbs and Conifers etc.

    13) Clean out ponds and remove water pumps for the winter.

    14) Give conifer hedges a final trim, and finish planting evergreen shrubs whilst the soil is still warm.

    15) Raise the blades on the lawnmower a little now that growth has slowed significantly.

    Posted 6th Oct 9:55am
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