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  1. Plant donation to Leeds Mind

    Plant donation to Leeds Mind

    A garden border designed by Jo Manfredi-Hamer Garden Design for the recent Harrogate Flower Show will find a new home as it is to be donated to the charity Leeds Mind.

    The plants will be moved to the Leeds Mind Garden at Clarence House in Horsforth.

    Plants used in the urban boost border will be donated by Johnsons and are worth over £1,500 with plant varieties including Taxus, Prunus lusitanica, Malus Evereste, Viburnum tinus, Hebe ‘Green Globe’, Heathers, Choisya ‘Sundance’, Heuchera, Tiarella and more.

    Jo’s 3.6m x 1.2m design features Johnsons plants, a red willow-weaved fox and a wired hedgehog by renowned sculptor Emma Stothard. The garden design highlights that we can all do our bit to reduce pollution and feed insects in urban areas along with the mental health benefits a garden can have.

    Leeds Mind promotes positive mental health and well-being and provides help and support to anyone who needs it in and around Leeds. Services they offer include counselling, employment support, suicide bereavement, mental health training and more.

    Gemma Community Fundraiser at Leeds Mind said: “We are so grateful for the donation of plants to give some TLC to our office garden. It makes such a difference to be able to offer clients and partners a welcoming space, as the connection between green spaces and well-being is well-evidenced. A huge thank you from us to Jo and Johnsons of Whixley.”

    Jo Manfredi-Hamer said: “It’s been a tough few years for the garden at Leeds Mind because the pandemic meant the staff and volunteers couldn’t get in to give it the attention it needed. So, it’s great to be donating the gorgeous plants from Johnsons to them. I know they are delighted with the donation. To be able to highlight ways in which plants can help environmental issues at the same time is the icing on the cake.”

    Eleanor Richardson, Marketing Manager at Johnsons of Whixley said: “We are pleased to have sponsored Jo’s latest design at the Harrogate Flower Show and that we are able to donate the plants after the show to Leeds Mind.

    Johnsons have recently invested time in mental health training for all staff and now has two mental health first aiders. As a local company, we are acutely aware of the work done by the charity Mind, and the network of local Minds, so it’s great to offer our support to Leeds Mind via a plant donation which will have a positive impact on the office grounds for staff and visitors to enjoy.”

    Posted 28th Apr 11:24am
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  2. Johnsons launch 15m step challenge in support of Perennial

    Johnsons launch 15m step challenge in support of Perennial

    Johnsons has launched a 15 million step challenge as part of Move More Month in April to raise vital funds for the horticultural mental health charity, Perennial.

    Perennial supports people in the horticultural industry, including those who work at Johnsons, with health and wellbeing advice, housing and financial support and debt advice.

    We recently became a Platinum Partner for the charity, and mental health is a top priority. We have successfully delivered mental health training to our whole workforce, with 34 managers and deputies receiving additional mental health first aid training from MHFA England qualified team members.

    Marketing and office manager, Eleanor Richardson, and amenity operations unit manager, Dave Barrett, was the first to complete the mental health first aid course via MHFA England and since qualifying in October, they have been training other members of staff on how to support each other’s mental wellbeing alongside health and safety advisors.

    Speaking of the challenge, Eleanor Richardson, marketing and office manager and qualified mental health first aider at Johnsons of Whixley, said: “At Johnsons, we believe that taking care of our employees’ mental health is just as important as their physical health, so that’s why this challenge is such an important one for us.

    “Not only will we be supporting Perennial, which has helped a number of our team members in the past, but we will be getting together as a team and building bonds across departments, getting some exercise and supporting one another towards a shared goal.

    “We have seen first-hand the impact mental health issues can have, and we want to do everything we can to support our employees.”

    Li Crane, the fundraising administrator at Perennial, added: “I would like to thank the whole team at Johnson’s of Whixley for undertaking this fantastic Steps Challenge throughout the month of April. It is a great example of how our industry can support Perennial through fundraising initiatives and by finding ways of spreading our message that Perennial is here for all those working in horticulture that need our help.”

    In addition to the investment in training, Johnsons of Whixley has created a number of resources to support its staff. This includes monthly updates to notice boards and a brochure for staff on how to spot and manage negative mental health triggers. The brochure also contains information on how to support positive mental health both at work and at home, advice on how to open up about issues, and details on various support networks and helplines.

    We plan to continue our efforts to spread awareness of mental health issues and provide support throughout 2023, with support services readily available, creating a positive and supportive work environment for all employees.

    You can sponsor staff via the JustGiving page below

    Posted 21st Apr 9:31am
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  3. April Gardening Reminders 2023

    April Gardening Reminders 2023

    Spring is in full swing with longer days, the arrival of many flowering varieties and milder weather. There’s plenty to do in the garden this month to reap the rewards in summer. Check out our full April hints and tips below.

    Finish cutting back the past years’ growth of Cornus and Salix, which are being grown for colourful young stems this coming summer.

    Continue to divide herbaceous perennials as required. Pull them apart or use a knife on thick fleshy roots such as paeonies or two garden forks back to back to pull apart really tough roots. Replant the best of the pieces from the outside of the root, as these are the most viable.

    Dead-head spent daffodil flower heads and their seed pods to ensure the energy of the bulb goes into the bulb itself and not into developing and ripening seed.


    Apply a high Nitrogen lawn fertilizer and also a lawn weedkiller to established lawns if appropriate. Water in the fertilizer if conditions are very dry.

    A reversion may occur in variegated coloured leaf trees and shrubs, resultant green shoots grow strongly. Cut out affected shoots just into the variegated/coloured foliage.

    Lightly trim Lavenders (but not into the older wood) to stop them from getting leggy .


    Plant potatoes from the middle of the month, planting under black polythene sheeting if there is a risk of frost, alternatively chit the tubers to encourage sprouting before planting by placing them in a tray in a light position, perhaps by a window, where there is no risk of frost.

    Plant new Strawberries or bring on existing Strawberries early by covering them with cloches or clear polythene tunnels. Ensure that there is adequate ventilation between cloches, and lift the polythene for a couple of inches on the leeward side of low polytunnels.


    Still a good time to plant an evergreen hedge, such as hollies, laurels and escallonias. Ensure that plants are firm in the ground, and remember to water them in dry weather.

    Now is a good time to make a new lawn from purchased turf or direct sowing.

    To improve old or worn-out lawns, now is the time to aerate, apply spring fertilizer, scarify, and if necessary overseed with an appropriate mixture of 15gm of grass seed.

    Hoe between herbaceous plants to keep down weeds whilst they are still small. Even if soil has been recently dug, a fresh crop of annual weeds will soon germinate and hoeing the crop will also benefit the soil aeration.

    Protect fruit trees trained on walls by covering the early flowering blossoms with fleece to ensure a satisfactory crop, even after frosty conditions.


    Posted 6th Apr 3:20pm
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