When a third of an acre garden became too small for Elizabeth to indulge her plant passion, she looked upon her local nursery with hungry eyes. When the site became available back in 2001 she couldn’t resist. An obsessional hobby became a business. Although she spends a great deal of time now at a desk, she ensures she finds inspiration from visiting nurseries and gardens throughout the country.
Usually found juggling accounts, techie stuff, mail order and the unfathomable complexities of the UJ koi pond filtration system. Keen gardener, fisherman, and chicken keeper, after co running the business for 21 years Malcolm is looking forward one day to less of the former and more of the latter.
Our home grown General Manager. Chris began his journey with Urban Jungle in 2011, as the 15 year old son of a regular customer, before joining us as our weekend help. After Chris was made a permanent member of staff he decided to embark upon a plant science degree, working part time for Urban Jungle before rejoining us full time on completion. Chris’s expansive plant knowledge and passion for order and processes helps keep the business on track.
Chez is truly obsessed with houseplants and her passion for them is evident in her meticulous approach to plant care. When she’s not talking to the plants she spends her time talking to customers to make sure their purchases are going to receive the best possible aftercare. She spends her free time tending to her own extensive collection of houseplants and experimenting with new ways to display them. With her expertise and attention to detail, Chez ensures that every plant in our care is thriving and healthy.
Meet Lauren, our passionate horticulturalist who has made a career change from estate agency to horticulture. Lauren is an active outdoor girl who says she enjoys the feeling of a good healthy tiredness at the end of the working day. Her love for outdoor activities is reflected in her passion for outdoor swimming, whether it’s in a river or the sea, come rain or shine. Her interest in horticulture has led her to develop an appreciation for shade-loving plants and she is excited to create her own jungle garden.
Rosie joined us in 2023 after completing her RHS exams and currently helps look after our unique range of trees, grasses and tender perennials. She adores prairie and woodland planting styles and hopes to design her own ‘food forest’ one day. A keen veg grower, she likes to combine edibles with ornamentals in her city garden. Though it can be high maintenance, she believes gardening with containers provides flexibility if you have a small outdoor space. Displays can be refreshed season to season as pots are added and moved around.
Nursery assistant & maintenance Norwich
Mark joined us for work experience in 2015, was given a permanent position within weeks, and is a much-valued member of the team. He gets stuff done, builds things for us, knows where everything is and how it works, and makes the nursery look lovely. A family man with 3 children Mark is deaf, lip-reads, and never misses out on the gossip.
Putting Skinny Pete in his place.
Pest Control and Rascality
Ollie McArthur Tring
After working for a local rose grower, Ollie joined us in early spring 2023, first as an assistant, then as a supervisor, and now as a manager. It was obvious from his first week that he is a natural leader, an efficient organiser, a plantsman, is aligned with our values, and an all-round super chap. He ensures our plants, customers, and team have everything they need, and is so dedicated has to be reminded to go home sometimes. However, when he is at home he makes the most beautiful and unique pottery.
Jake joined us as a cafe assistant in 2018, but his horticultural knowledge and enthusiasm meant that it wasn’t long before he was working in the nursery. He can still whip up a pretty mean latte when required. Known as Hoodiculturalist on Instagram, his page is full of interesting and insightful plant info.
Grounds & Maintenance Supervisor
Kyle is the site maintenance supervisor and delivery driver at our company. With years of supervisory experience working offshore, he has developed a keen eye for detail and a passion for keeping things running smoothly. Born and raised in Suffolk, Kyle has a deep love for the area. He also has a deep love and fascination (some might say obsession) for tools, and is always on the lookout for the latest gadgets to help him perform his tasks even more efficiently.
Pest Control and Cuteness
Sister of Basjoo, recipient of endless customer fusses, unless she’s having a moody day in which case we are all ignored. Loves to be walked around the gardens in the evening when she has to fight off many attacks from her brother. Crazy moments of playfulness include running up and down all our cordylines and using our cork oak as a scratching pole, which is ok because it does actually have cork for bark!
Pest Control and Cuteness
The statuesque brother of Musa. Much shyer – skittish even. We are all honored if he’s feeling brave and comes down to the nursery while we’re open, in which case he sometimes forgets his nerves and is up for any amount of fuss. Loves to be walked around the gardens in the evening and attack his poor sister.
Nursery Assistant Beccles
A career change for chef Agnessa. Nessa is crazy about plants and gardening. Latvian, and fluent in Russian, she keeps us entertained with her unique take on regional British accents and colloquialisms. Nessa does everything, including maintaining our gardens, propagation, and serving nursery and cafe customers.
The owners’ daughter. Press ganged into helping out as a surly teenager, she became a full-time team member in 2016. Former stressed-out manager of the 2 Urban Jungle restaurants, now finding life slightly less frenetic as the manager of the 2 Urban Jungle coffee shops. Mother to teenage granddaughter Erica. History may very soon repeat itself.
Always ready with a warm welcome for coffee seekers, Tasha has been with us since 2016 and we’d be lost without her. And now that the plant bug has bitten, Tasha is helping out with the houseplants too (it had to happen eventually).
Kelsey lives locally and joined us in early 2023. She’s a super competent barista, and like all our staff, she participates in our plant training programme so that she can tend to, and offer advice about our houseplants between frothing up cappuccinos.