Johnsons and Ashlea Ltd team up on £15m refurbishment

Leading horticultural nursery Johnsons of Whixley has teamed up with one of the UK’s top landscaping firms, Ashlea Ltd, to enhance the grounds of a York retail park as part of a £15m refurbishment scheme.

Monks Cross, just outside the city centre, was built in the 1990s and was in need of some TLC to help improve the outdated exterior. Johnsons has supplied plants for a number of makeover schemes at the park since it opened, with the two businesses located less than 15 miles apart.

GMI Construction undertook the alteration and remodelling works to existing shop facades, canopies, walkways and car parks, as well as the construction of four new retail pods. The company enlisted long-standing Johnsons customer Ashlea Ltd to carry out the soiling and soft landscaping package.

The work included the soiling of newly installed raised planters and planting a total of 7,000 shrubs, hedging, herbaceous and several mature trees.

These plants were supplied by Johnsons, and included 550 Ilex Crenata ‘Convexa’, 2,000 Carpinus betulus, 300 Festuca ‘glauca’, 200 Hebe’ Red Edge’, 250 Lonicera ‘Maygreen’ and 200 Lavandula ‘grosso’.

The trees provided included Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’, Sorbus auc. ‘Sheerwater Seedling’ and Betula pendula ‘Fastigiata’.

Johnsons of Whixley marketing manager Eleanor Richardson said: “It’s wonderful to have teamed up with long-standing customer Ashlea Ltd to supply a scheme so local to us. Our supply to Monks Cross goes back to the 1990s, so it’s great to supply this retail park once again.”

Rob Brooks, contracts manager at Ashlea Ltd, added: “This was a challenging scheme as the site is a live retail park open to the public on a daily basis. Johnsons’ logistics of delivering materials and moving them around the site to their specific locations, was a key factor in completing our soft landscaping works, along with their high-quality plants.”

Johnsons of Whixley has many years’ experience of providing plants to the retail and leisure sector, with recent substantial supplies to Retail Parks Thorpe Park and Teesside Park. In 2019, the company was named the York Press Business of The Year and Family Business of The Year.

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