Yorkshire plant nursery creates a rainbow of plants for hope

3 April 2020

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 were delighted when their customer Helen Taylor Garden Design approached them with the idea after they were targeted by vandals last week, leaving them with serious damage to their plant productions beds.

Johnsons have 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 HTA Horticultural Trade Association believe that millions of plants could be binned in the coming weeks.


Helen Taylor
Helen Taylor


Group Managing Director, Graham Richardson said:

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.



Garden Designer, Helen Taylor, said:

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 Johnson’s 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 to out to everyone.

The rainbow has been made of a series of arcs of contrasting plants to represent the colours of the rainbow:

  • Reds: Photinia ‘Carre Rouge’, Berberis thunbergii’ Harlequin’ and Photinia ‘Little Red Robin’
  • Oranges: Physocarpus’ Amber Queen’, Berberis thunbergii ‘Admiration’, Carex comans ‘Bronze Form’, Spiraea japonica ‘Firelight’
  • Yellows: Spiraea japonica ‘Goldmount’ and Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald and Gold’
  • Greens: Hemerocallis Stella d’Or
  • Blues: Hebe Blue Star’, Lavandula in variety and Festuca ‘Elijah Blue’
  • Indigo: Anemone ‘ Harmony Blue’
  • Violet: Anemone blanda ‘Blue Shade’


  1. How wonderful. As for plants that may even do up in the bin why not do a click and collect service for the general public to purchase plants on line then you don’t waste money or do a delivery service your staff still have employment and people can carry on gardening and nothing goes to waste just a thought

  2. There are many In Bloom groups around North Yorkshire who may be struggling to find plants for their displays this year. You might like to contact them and arrange to have them either delivered or collected. No choices or orders – just fill up a van. The groups may also be happy to take on plants to sell on or give away within their villages. My group Darley in Bloom may well be interested. Please don’t throw plants away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.



Go toTop