Latest Stories

  1. Celebrating team development – first cohort complete our horticultural training course

    Celebrating team development – first cohort complete our horticultural training course

    At Johnsons, we are committed to helping our team develop, so we are thrilled to announce that the first cohort of Johnsons employees have completed the bespoke horticultural training course we have created in conjunction with Askham Bryan College.

    Fourteen team members were awarded with their certificates at a small celebration with plenty of cake!

    Celebrating our team

    Completing the course were Adam Davis, Matt Campey, Gary Hardwicke, Ashley Robinson, Tomasz Kedra, Gergo Kontos, Chris Edgar, Chris Pearce, Matthew Goodwin, Elliot Green, Katie Burlingham, Dmytro Orlov, Filippo Pellizon and Louise Roberts.

    Commenting on the course, Gary Hardwicke, said: “Attending the tailored Asakham Bryan Collage Course was a great experience. The tutor’s knowledge and passion for plants shone through and they made learning easy and enjoyable.

    I have gained knowledge useful to my role here at Johnsons, I have much more understanding of plants now.Thank you to Johnsons for setting this up, the course also increased my confidence in choosing plants for my own garden at home too.”

    Steve Bassford, Curriculum Area Manager , said: “Overall the tutors who delivered the course were very impressed with the prior knowledge of the employees that attended the course. They were fully engaged throughout and have shown the eye for quality and professionalism that any business should be proud of. Overall the course met and exceeded some expectations and the feedback was very positive from the students.

    On our part, this was a big move from a departmental at the college taking on a course that was tailored to suit and also over the summer period. The course ran smoothly and any issues were dealt with promptly.”

    Creating the course

    Having worked with Askham Bryan, our local agricultural and horticultural college, since the 1970s, we knew they would be the perfect training partner for us.

    As well as having a longstanding history with Johnsons, Askham Bryan is an Ofsted outstanding college that recently launched a new £2.7million training facility at its York site and won a prestigious Educate North Award for its innovation in digital learning and skills.

    Earlier this year, we reached out to the Askham Bryan team about working together in partnership to ensure our team can stay at the forefront of horticultural knowledge, benefiting from its specialist training and facilities.

    And so ‘An Introduction to Horticulture’, our bespoke 12-week course, was created! The course covers all key areas from plant identification and planting locations to the impact of plant choices, helping our team to boost their skills, knowledge and confidence within their horticultural careers.

    To find out more about becoming part of the Johnsons of Whixley family, head to our careers page.

    Posted 27th Oct 3:36pm
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  2. Creating a garden fit for the King at York Minster Refectory

    Creating a garden fit for the King at York Minster Refectory

    Earlier this year, we teamed up with York-based landscapers, Wild Landscapes, to support the firm’s landscaping project at a new restaurant in York, the York Minster Refectory.

    Our supply to the project included plants and soft landscaping for the new restaurant grounds, which were officially opened by Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort on 6 April 2023.

    The King and Queen Consort visited York for the Royal Maundy Service at York Minster and revealed a plaque at the restaurant to celebrate their visit and the opening of the new brasserie.

    The York Minster Refectory is based in the Grade II-listed former York Minster school and provides unique views of York Minster. The new brasserie will offer evening restaurant dining, an easy-to-use kiosk for takeaway drinks and snacks as well as private dining.

    The restaurant is a joint venture between GEM Construction and The Star Group Restaurants, headed by the owner of the Starr Inn at Harome, Andrew Pern, who appointed Wild Landscapes to provide the soft landscaping for the project. Wild approached us in turn to supply the plants for the grounds in time for the royal reveal.

    Plants used in the garden design included hundreds of shrubs, herbaceous, hedging and trees. Over 170 Ilex crenata plants were used to create neat edging for shrub and herbaceous borders, while cherry tree Prunus ‘The Bride’ were used as feature trees with outstanding displays of pink flowers.

    Tom Davis, Director of Wild Landscapes said: “This was a really exciting project for us, made even more special by the official opening by Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort.

    “We chose Johnsons to support on this project as we knew they could deliver top quality plants that would enhance the Refectory’s classic style against the backdrop of the stunning Minster building.”

    Johnsons’ Marketing Manager, Eleanor Richardson, said: “It’s an honour to have been involved in such a prestigious project located on our doorstep. We have worked with Wild Landscapes for a number of years and were pleased to help add the finishing touches to their project in time for the royal visit. I look forward to watching the plants grow and mature and hope they are enjoyed by visitors to York for many years to come.”

    Our plants have been used in a number of royal-worthy grounds over the years, including Holyrood Palace, Blenheim Palace, Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park and Seaham Hall. Get in touch with the team today if you’d like to enquire about how we can support your next project.

    Posted 18th Oct 9:17am
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