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  1. Johnsons invest in bespoke management training programme

    Johnsons invest in bespoke management training programme

    We have invested in upskilling 12 team members through a bespoke management and leadership training programme in partnership with BHP Consulting.

    The programme, designed specifically to meet the commercial nursery’s needs, is part of Johnsons’ long-term commitment to providing opportunities for growth and progression within the horticulture industry.

    Luke Richardson, Sales Director at Johnsons of Whixley said: “As the business continues to grow and transitions to the third generation of family ownership, we believe that investing in and developing our management team is more important than ever, and we are committed to providing long-term opportunities for people in the horticulture industry.

    “As a company, we have worked closely with BHP board advisor and training provider, Mark Roberts, for four years. Mark is well-versed in our entire operation and perfectly positioned to deliver the training. “

    Johnsons also run a rising stars programme which aims to develop the skill set of existing staff members to enable them to one day take on more of a senior role within the business.

    Vicky Newell, Amenity Sales Manager at Johnsons of Whixley and leadership training delegate, said: “I have enjoyed the leadership programme, which has helped me tackle some issues within my department. I have also found a better way to manage my time to get the important tasks done when I am most effective. I have also enjoyed listening to others on the course and discussing common work issues within our breakout sessions. It has also enabled me to approach other managers within the business to solve problems which will ultimately improve the service we offer our customers.”

    Mark Roberts, training provider and board advisor at BHP Consulting, added: “We developed the programme to specifically help support the managers in their current roles. It included practical hints and tips that can be used in their daily business activities, we also had the opportunity to discuss some of the current challenges and develop some new ideas and potential solutions.

    Throughout the sessions, there has been a very high level of engagement from all participants, and it shows the business has a management team in place to support its future growth.”

    Congratulations to the following employees who completed the leadership training programme – Darren Smith, David Barrett, Eleanor Richardson, Hannah Smith, Katalin Dacre, Lee Cooper, Matt Campey, Simon Harrison, Steven Morton, Tom Watkins, Tomasz Kedra and Vicky Newell.

    Posted 27th Feb 12:02pm
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  2. Johnsons plants decorate major charity event

    Johnsons plants decorate major charity event

    Back in November, we loaned almost £20,000 worth of our stock to the Yorkshire Children’s Charity to support their landmark ‘A Night Under the Stars’ celebration event.

    Held at the prestigious Grantley Hall, our trees, topiary and shrubs were used to dress the marquee at the event, which hosted guests from Europe, including H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco.

    Our supply contained over 35 varieties including Betula jacquemontii, Acer plat. ‘Cleveland’, Photinia fraseri ‘Red Robin’ and Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’.

    The Yorkshire Children’s Charity, which was established in 2022, has a focus on helping disadvantaged children in Yorkshire living in poverty or living with a disability. With the charity raising over £500,000 in the last year to support families and children living at a disadvantage, we are proud to have supported the star-studded event to celebrate their successful year, whilst toasting to the future plans of the regional charity.

    Supported by Grantley Hall and Berry’s, the event was held on 4 November 2022 in a beautiful orangery and dressed by florist to the stars, Fulford Flowers. The plants we loaned were incorporated into the event design by the esteemed Party Architect and legendary Royal party planner, Johnny Roxburgh.

    The exclusive, invite-only event raised over £800,000 for the charity and featured a champagne reception, an exceptional four-course banquet, a fireworks display and entertainment including the Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra. The event successfully brought together some incredible highlights to achieve the charity’s goal of raising over £1,000,000 in its first year.

    Some other events the charity undertook to raise this money include the Yorkshires Residential Real Estate Awards 2022, which raised over £151,693 for children across Yorkshire, the Yorkshire Ladies Lunch, as well as other beneficiary events and fundraising events by supporting businesses.

    Johnsons has worked with Grantley Hall previously, when it was first opening up as a new five-star luxury hotel and spa in the Yorkshire Dales and was looking for our expert touch in the grounds. We were asked to provide thousands of plants to restore the grounds to their original splendour, in keeping with the hall’s rich history.

    This project saw great success, with a number of large topiaries, including Fagus (Beech) domes and Buxus (Box) balls, as well as thousands of herbaceous, shrubs and grasses for decorational borders. To complete the project there were several large hedging elements, including Hedera Hibernica (Ivy) screens that will be used to create partitions in the Hall’s gardens.

    Posted 15th Feb 4:09pm
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  3. February Gardening Reminders 2023

    February Gardening Reminders 2023

    February is a great month for gardening as spring is in sight, with bulbs starting to emerge, lighter evenings and birds starting to chirp.  Be sure to prune, tidy and look after plants that struggle in the cold this month.

    Divide and replant snowdrops as the flowers go over.

    Pot up or transplant last year’s hardwood cuttings.

    Brush snow off conifers and heathers if there is heavy snowfall in order to prevent branches and stems from being broken.

    Plant some lilies in deep pots and keep them in the greenhouse, ready for transfer to the flower border when the flowers develop.

    Prune shrub roses in late February to encourage growth from the base. Remove some old shoots, but don’t reduce height too much as they tend to flower on older wood.

    Don’t apply heavy fertiliser applications to naturalized bulbs as this will only encourage the surrounding grass.

    Make sure the hellebores have been tidied up with the removal of all the old leaves to make way for the new flowers and leaves, which will arise very shortly.

    Plant roses as soil conditions permit, and prune stems of new HT and Floribunda roses down to an outward-facing bud, 75 to 150cm above the graft. Firm the soil around the roots.

    When the weather is too cold to do much else, turn the compost heap upside down and inside out to ensure that all the outside materials will be rotted down as soon as possible.

    Cut back Clematis Jackmanii and C. Vitticella groups to about 30cm. Pyracanthas should be pruned to within two buds of the main framework except for required extensions, if not already completed last autumn.

    Continue to plant new fruit trees and bushes when conditions allow and apply a 12cm thick mulch of well-rotted compost to the root zone, allowing a 10cm space between compost and the trunk or stem to prevent future stem rot.

    Prune-established fruit trees other than damsons and cherries. Prune newly planted fruit trees to shape and reduce leading shoots by half.

    Check that house drains and other run-off areas from the garden are not choked by rotting leaves. Also applies to the lawn!

    Check stored fruits for signs of rot, and throw out partially damaged fruit for the birds.

    Check fruit trees for mummified fruits still retained in the branches, and remove and destroy them to help prevent further disease in the coming summer.

    Prune out old fruiting canes on autumn fruiting raspberries down to soil level. Remove a quarter of the old branches to the base to encourage strong new growth.

    Before you start clearing leaves or forking over bare areas, check for bulbs which have started growing and are just below the surface.

    Take hardwood cuttings of forsythia, deutzia, honeysuckle, jasmine, Virginia creeper, holly, privet, cotoneaster, poplar, willow, gooseberries etc.

    Invest in a soil thermometer. When the soil temperature exceeds 5 deg. C, start sowings of hardy crops such as carrots, lettuce, and radish direct into the ground.

    Clean out bird boxes again and sterilize them with a kettle full of boiling water before new nesting materials are introduced.

    Apply a mulch of garden compost, mushroom compost or similar, to all trees and shrubs in potentially dry sites. No need to incorporate it into the soil; worms will be pleased to do it for you!

    Don’t apply mushroom compost, which has a high lime content, to acid-loving plants such as rhododendrons and azaleas.


    Posted 6th Feb 10:28am
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