Happy 80th birthday to our Chairman John Richardson!

Happy 80th birthday to our Chairman John Richardson!

Happy 80th birthday to our Chairman John Richardson! John has been at the head of our business for more than 50 years and says he has no plans to retire.

John first took ownership of Johnsons of Whixley in 1964. Under his leadership, the business has grown to become one of the largest commercial nursery businesses in Europe, and a trusted supplier of plants and trees to commercial projects throughout the UK.

These days John’s role mainly revolves around the management of the company’s administrative tasks, including health and safety, quality and environmental requirements.
But he has no plans to put his feet up, following a lifetime of working in agriculture.

“Retiring is something you do when you go to bed!” he said.

“I love my association with my work, the staff, our customers - and the plants! - too much to consider stopping.”

John began life in the industry at an early age, working on a farm owned by his mother’s family, before going on to study for a diploma at Essex College.

“During my time with the business, climate change and the impact of foreign holidays has revolutionized the range of plants now used in private gardens,” he reflected.

"50 years ago, there were no plastic pots, no poly tunnels and no polythene bags, and there were fewer summer sales because nothing was in pots.

“And as the industry has evolved it’s been extremely satisfying to see the business grow with the help of different generations of the family,” he added.

“My advice to anybody starting their own business, either within horticulture or outside of it, would be to attack the project with fire and enthusiasm and gain as much knowledge as possible.

“You will have one or two set-backs but skill, enthusiasm, personality and quick thinking will carry you through. No job will be as rewarding as working for yourself.”

Posted 5th Oct 1:51pm