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Yorkshire plant nursery creates a rainbow of plants for hope

Yorkshire-based nursery Johnsons of Whixley has created a rainbow display of small shrubs, grasses and perennials in a range of foliage and flower colours as a symbol of hope for all those affected by coronavirus.

The trade plant nursery, located between Harrogate and York, was approached with the idea by garden designer Helen Taylor after the site was targeted by vandals last week, leaving the nursery with serious damage to its plant production beds.

Helen Taylor says: “I’d been noticing all the lovely rainbow pictures drawn by children in windows and I realised I could design and create a rainbow made from plants which would be a living piece of art. I use Johnsons of Whixley for sourcing tree, shrubs, perennials for gardens we design and wanted to help the nursery in their current difficulties and to send a symbol of hope out to everyone.”

Johnsons has had to bear these losses on top of the very grave situation the horticultural industry finds itself in now that gardens centres have been closed due to the coronavirus restrictions on non-essential retail. All suppliers for ornamental horticulture are likely to encounter huge financial losses as they have no outlet for their plants. The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) believes that millions of plants could be binned in the coming weeks.

Johnsons’ managing director, Graham Richardson says: “We welcomed Helen’s idea to put out a symbol of hope, particularly to our own horticultural industry and as an opportunity to do something positive. In these testing times we hope it will lift our staff and trade customers’ spirits as they see the large rainbow display with its promise of sunshine after the storm.”

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