Latest Stories

  1. Congratulations Jack Witham

    Congratulations Jack Witham

    Congratulations to Jack Witham, who has been appointed Key Accounts Manager. Jack will be looking after several key Accounts nationally. Find out about Jack and his new role below:

    1)Congratulations on your new role Jack; how will you be celebrating?

    I am moving house so I will do a joint celebration when I move in there to celebrate, probably just get a takeaway and a few beers.

    2) How will your new role differ from your previous one?

    There are a lot fewer customers to look after now, but the amount of work won’t decrease. Some of the customers have a wide range of offices throughout the UK.

    3) What are you most looking forward to in your new role?

    It is always nice getting to meet and dealing with different people. I am looking forward to getting out on the road more and seeing customers.

    4) Any challenges so far?

    Not many at the moment, I suppose one of the challenges has been getting everyone informed that Andrew has left and I am looking after them. There is a lot of customers whom I have had to tell.

    5)How will your experience on the wider nursery help in your new role?

    Having good knowledge of the nursery helps massively when working in the office, you learn about plants and also about the timings it takes things to be done. This can help when deciding how late to put orders on.

    6) Tell us something we don’t know about you: Nothing interesting really but I have a degree in Sports Journalism. I probably said that in my last Q and A.

    7) What would we find in your packed lunch?

    There is always a yoghurt and an orange. The rest varies. My main course often depends on what is still in the fridge. I don’t have the most glamorous lunches ever.

    8) What do you like to get up to on a weekend?

    Throughout summer, I play cricket for Whixley. I’m not really sure what I do in winter; I will find out. Probably take the dog for lots of walks and explore new places around Thirsk.

    9) One item you couldn’t live without?

    Tomato Ketchup

    10) What is your dream holiday?

    Barbados has to be up there, definitely. Or I wouldn’t mind watching the Ashes in Australia.


    Posted 16th Sep 2:45pm
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  2. Onsite apiary struggles during the summer heatwave

    Onsite apiary struggles during the summer heatwave

    The bees at our onsite apiary had a good start to the year, with the early spring bringing plenty of nectar which increased bee numbers significantly and helped produce a good amount of honey.

    The apiary is managed by Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers Association. , located at the top of our Newlands site, houses up to 800,000 bees during the summer months, with the insects pollinating flowering plants from all of our local sites.

    The heatwave meant that many flowering plants flowered early and for a shorter period than usual; the bees also used a lot of energy to keep the hives cool they do this by fanning their wings and collecting water to help prevent brood drying out. When honeybees are exposed to temperatures over 42 C for more than a few hours they are likely to suffer from heat stress which can result in death.

    The high temperatures weren’t the only threat to the hives this summer, as wasps benefitted from the warmer weather, causing some of our hives a problem in defending themselves. Wasps typically attack honeybee hives to steal nectar stores or even take larvae to feed their own young.

    Keith Simmonds, vice president of Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers Association said: “Despite our bees’ challenges this summer, they have come through with their usual determination to survive and are preparing well for a long winter ahead.”

    The autumn worker bees are different to those in the summer as their fat-producing gene is switched on, so they put on as much weight as possible to stay warm. In comparison, overwintering bees can live for up to six months, while their siblings born during spring and summer survive for no more than six weeks as they work so hard collecting nectar and pollen for the colony.

    Tips on how to help bees

    • Provide water during summer – shallow dishes or bird baths with water will help.
    • Keep bee-friendly plants well hydrated.
    • Include drought-tolerant plants in your planting plans
    • Include pollinator-friendly plants and trees in your planting plans – click here for our blog post
    • Choose plants for bees throughout the seasons.
    • If you have a small garden, plant up seasonal containers to encourage bees.
    • Avoid using pesticides.
    • Provide shelters for bees such as stumps or even create your own bee hotel.

    Posted 15th Sep 12:58pm
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  3. Plant donation to York dementia care home

    Plant donation to York dementia care home

    We recently teamed up with award-winning garden designer Luke Arend to donate and supply plants to a Dementia care home in York.

    St Catherine’s in Shipton by Beningbrough is a dementia specialist care home run by Wellburn Care Homes, which has recently gone through a complete transformation after months of research, development, planning and design.

    The transformation sees innovative dementia-friendly interiors, gardens and exteriors added, all of which were installed with the needs of patients with dementia in mind.

    Garden designer Luke Arend worked to a brief to tempt residents outside and enjoy the garden with family members. It included functional requirements such as wheelchair access, safe paths with no anxiety-inducing dead-ends and clear edges, safe sensory plants (no poisonous, spiky, or thorny), plants which mark seasonal change, a safe water feature, dappled shade, clear views from the building and raised beds for interaction with the planting.

    Luke created concept plans and mood boards and spoke to residents and family members about the design and considered garden features, materials, furniture, lighting and safe plants to invoke a positive, beautiful environment and memories.

    Speaking about the benefits of the garden, garden designer Luke Arend said: “ there is now a strong body of evidence of the enormous physical and mental benefits of just being in a garden and nature for patients with dementia, including evoking memories, increasing confidence and socialisation, and importantly decreasing agitation.”

    The garden is now complete and includes wet-poor rubber flexible non-slip paths, a beautiful Victorian-style central Gazebo, raised beds, a water feature, furniture, sculptures and memory-invoking plants.

    The plant donation from Johnsons of Whixley was worth over £500 and included Hydrangeas, Skimmias, Echinaceas, Geraniums, Geums, Helleborus, Hostas, Lavenders, Lupins, Nepeta, Paeonia, Roses, Pulmonaria, Salvias, Vincas, Clematis, Buddleia and fatsia.

    The aim was to include plants that residents are familiar with to help invoke positive memories, including lavenders, tulips, geraniums and roses.

    Garden designer Luke Arend said: “It’s so rewarding to see residents and family members enjoying the garden and savouring being outdoors. A huge thank you to Johnsons of Whixley for supporting this project and making it a reality.”

    Discussing the donation, Johnsons marketing manager, Eleanor Richardson, said: “It’s great to give something back to our local community; there are currently around 900,000 people with dementia in the UK so it’s great to support our local Dementia care home. We hope our plants bring joy to residents, staff and visitors of the care home for many years to come.”

    Posted 8th Sep 2:27pm
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  4. A new role for Kieron Pattison

    A new role for Kieron Pattison

    Congratulations to Kieron Pattison, who was recently promoted to Deputy Despatch Unit Manager from Deputy Amenity Operations Manager, the shift in roles will see him working with the Despatch department, ensuring that stock is checked and entered into the correct bays ready for delivery. Find out what he had to say about his new role below:

    1. Any planned celebrations for the new role?

    I might take the family out over the weekend and enjoy what is left of the summer with a few cocktails, depending on the weather.


    2. How will it differ from your previous deputy amenity operations position?

    I will now be contributing towards despatching orders, ensuring orders are all in the correct bays and up to our quality standards. As well as dealing with customers who come and collect


    3. You recently passed the rising stars programme, how will this help you in your new position?

    The rising star programme will help with managing the team most efficiently and adapting to change, which is definitely required in my new role.


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

    Learning and facing new challenges, I am the type of person who thrives off new challenges and learning new skills, as it gives me that sense of achievement when I learn new skills and put them into practice. Also, this new role will give me a wider view of how the company operates from our yard to the main offices


    5. What do you think the challenges will be?

    I would say understanding how to load wagons (especially mixed loads) in the most safe and secure way, as this is an area where I have little to no experience, but I am looking forward to it


    6. Tell us something we don’t know about you:

    I enjoy binge-watching true crime documentaries on Netflix late at night when everyone is in bed


    7. What do you like to get up to outside of work?

    I sometimes go to the gym to keep myself active but mainly spend time with family and watch football.


    8. Favourite cuisine?

    Has to be Chinese; Singapore chow mein every time


    9. What is your favourite season?

    I would say spring as it’s not too hot or too cold. It is also a good feeling when you start seeing all plants start flowering.


    10. Are you a morning or night person?

    If I would have to choose, I would say night as I enjoy the peace and quiet when everyone in bed and I can breathe and relax.


    Posted 5th Sep 2:20pm
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