Urban Jungle Blogs, News and Press Releases


#CreateYourUrbanJungle Indoors

06 December 2018 - Posted by Rachel Bannon

#CreateYourUrbanJungle Indoors Since opening almost 20 years ago, Co-owners Liz and Malcolm have created something extraordinary in the heart of Norfolk and at UJ2, now in its second year at Urban Jungle Beccles, Suffolk. Urban Jungle is designed to provide a source of inspiration, something totally exotic and seemingly unattainable, made possible for your own Urban environment.

Create Your Urban Jungle
Create Your Urban Jungle - The Suffolk Cafe
The recipe for creating this exotic paradise in you own home follows just a few simple rules using a few simple ingredients. Here's how to #CreateYourUrbanJungle indoors this winter... Maximalism If there is one word to describe this style it is this. It is a an unapologetic revolt against years of minimalism in interior design. Controversial perhaps, but why cant 'more be more'? It's so full of contrast and contradiction. Weird and romantic, peculiar yet glamorous; it's mysterious and in-your-face all at the same time. Whatever your version of maximalism is, it's guaranteed to evoke feelings of reverence, joy and wonder.
Jen's Jungle
Nursery Assistant Jen's own maximalist Jungle
And, it's your version of maximalism that is the key ingredient here. It can be uncomfortable and intimidating if unnatural. The colours, patterns and textures you choose should first and foremost make you happy. To make this style work , pieces must feel connected, and that link to make this happen is you. Pick out a colour or pattern that sings to you and layer the space with elements of this, drawing your eye from one piece to the next. Symmetry helps to make sense of the finished look too.

 Create Your Urban Jungle Shelves
The insta-famous shelves at Urban Jungle Norfolk

In the Jungle Liz uses reds, purples and golds as her go-to shades for cushions, throws, rugs and soft furnishings. This softens rustic, chunky furniture and highlights the charm and love created and discovered in each and every piece.
Create Your Urban Jungle
Nighttimes in the Jungle
The finishing touch? The piece of personality that absolutely must take over every spare space? Liz's aphorism, maxim and truth? Plants, plants and yet more beautiful plants. This is the most essential ingredient in creating your look. Although Nursery Manager Uhi struggled to narrow this down, here's a few fundamental foliage picks when #CreatingYourUrbanJungle.
Suffolk Sofa
One of our Cafe sofas surrounded by the key ingredient, plants.

Monstera deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant)

Monstera
Monstera deliciosa
The name says it all. A deliciously domineering monster of a houseplant, and a great way to begin the creation of your Urban Jungle at home. The huge holey leaves take over and fill corners and spaces with gorgeous, glossy greenery. This houseplant will become a focal point, a showstopper and star of any indoor Jungle. They're also incredibly easy to care for and are perfect for beginners. Place in a fairly bright room with plenty of shade too (direct sunlight will damage the leaves). Allow the soil to dry within the top couple of inches between watering and mist now and then. To grow them tall they will have to be trained, which is fairly easy when using a moss stick. Epipremnum aureum (Golden Pothos, Devil's Ivy, Money Plant, Silver Vine, and many others.)
Epipremnum
Epipremnum 'Njoy'
When growing in the wild, this plant attaches itself to other items through aerial roots. It then sends shoots of the stems down until it reaches the soil beneath it, where the stems themselves take root and begin to grow across the ground. In your home you can hang this houseplant to fill a shelf or ceiling space up high, or train to grow tall. The leaves will add real beauty and colour to the room, with a marbled yellow and green combination; each leaf is completely unique to the others on the vine. You can pinch off the leaves at the stems in order to shape the plant and control where it grows too. This plant does best in partial shade conditions year-round. Too much light will burn the leaves, causing them to lose their marbled quality. Epipremnum aureum requires watering only when the first quarter inch of soil begins to feel dry to the touch. Over-watering will cause the plant's roots to rot. Under-watering is not an issue, as this plant will withstand a high degree of abuse. It will only stunt the growth of the plant. Dracaena
Dracaena
Dracaena fragrans cornstalk
The Dracaena is a tall, full houseplant with one or more trunks from which fantastic leaves in green, yellow and gold emerge that can have touches of pink or red around the edges. Depending on your choice of species they'll suit any interior style and with similarities in look to palms, these houseplants will give your Urban Jungle that all important exotic feel. It grows best in bright and indirect light. Low light can be handled pretty well, but the plant will grow much slower. These plants are very sensitive to fluoride so try your best to use pure water and not tap water. Calathea
 
Calathea
Calathea 'Network' The zebra plant (marantaceae)
Calathea varieties are much smaller in size and although a little fussy, the care is well worth the reward. There are over 300 varieties, and Urban Jungle always stocks a beautiful range with perfectly striped patterns and foliage including the zebra and pin striped Calathea. They work perfectly in filling in gaps on shelves or the floor, add to stands or table tops for prominence. The leaves will add texture and layers to the maximalist feel of the space too. Succulents Luscious and juicy, succulents make an awesome addition to indoor Jungles. We have an incredible range to choose from, lots with soft, rich leaves, some with perfectly geometry adding to the much needed symmetry in a maximalist space, others with a gnarly, spiky appeal, verging on what we might consider to look like cacti. The trick in keeping these houseplants happy is with the watering. Use the 'Soak and Dry' method. You must have well draining soil in a pot with holes, then completely soak the soil and then let it dry out again completely before you water again. In general, succulents that have bright colours (such as reds, purples and oranges) don’t do well indoors. They require some direct sun and more light than is generally available indoors.A great place to start is with succulents that are naturally green and these will still benefit from as much light as possible for the most amount of time in the day, so these are the ones to pop by the window.
Cacti and Succulents
Cacti soften with succulents and layers of juicy leaves behind
Cacti Cacti are in-fact succulents with robust, fleshy stems, and spines instead of leaves. Cacti add obvious texture amongst other houseplants and their common geometric form adds symmetry and calm amongst the chaos of maximalism. They also compliment natural materials used in shelves, seating and other furniture made with wood, glass and metal. Placing these amongst softer, more rounded leaves balances any negative energy from the spikes - you can also reduce this energy further by placing at different heights, on steps and in terrariums surrounded by glass. Being a variety of succulent, the care is much the same. Bright light and a good soaking, allowing the cacti to dry out in between.

And lastly, Cosiness The Danish do this very well with Hygge, and are some of the happiest people in the world. It simply means creating a warming environment and atmosphere of contentment with which to enjoy the good things in life, with good people.

Create Your Urban Jungle
Cosiness in the Jungle Cafes
Think warmth - Blankets (Granny blankets are key), throws, rugs, cushions, comfy sofas, hot water bottles, open fires. A place to relax - Turn off your phone, remove distractions by surrounding yourself with leaves, your favourite music and people, candles and soft lighting. Refresh - A really, really good cup of coffee, indulge in luxurious food and rich treats, full of big bold flavours – calories don't count in your Urban Jungle. We’ll delve deeper into what maximalism means in food at Urban Jungle in another blog soon, and how this new way of eating will change everything you ever thought you knew about food.
Create Your Urban Jungle
Jungle dining space
Wellbeing - With the miserable weather, long, dark nights it's certainly time to embrace such a concept and boost your spirits with some beautiful houseplants. With the colour and texture from your furnishings, you’ll already be surrounded by things that bring happiness and improve your environment, with the addition of houseplants, you'll find they improve the air quality and help you reconnect with nature, improving your mood and general health and well being.

So there you have it – when you #CreateYourUrbanJungle you're actively going to improve your health and happiness, and now you have the three main ingredients for creating your own version of Urban Jungle at home.
If you need any help or advice from the Nursery team don't hesitate to get in touch and discuss your space with us – they'll be happy to talk houseplants all day long!
In 2019 we'll be focusing on how to #CreateYourUrbanJungle outdoors with workshops, blogs and articles to help you along the way. If you haven't already, sign up to our newsletter HERE to get the latest events and articles first.

 
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Press Release - Night times are back, at Urban Jungle Suffolk

07 November 2018 - Posted by Rachel Bannon


Night time in the Jungle


Press Release – Night Times in the Jungle

The story... 

“Our winter menu is all about slow cooked, roasted, and baked dishes, laden with passion, luxury and nostalgia and packed with all of our favourite flavours, bringing back memories of cosy winter evenings with family and friends. Meats slow cooked in wine, local game, rich flavours, seasonal vegetables, and indulgent puddings that we all love for a special treat.”

What we love about our cafes over Christmas is the abundance of tropical foliage. On a cold grey day, when the trees outside are leafless, and all of nature appears dormant, walking in to the cafes is like being transported to another country and climate. 

On Friday and Saturday evenings customers can enjoy hearty food with great wine and a big side order of plant therapy - nourishment for body and soul!” Liz Browne, Co-owner


Urban Jungle Suffolk Cafe Team
From L-R; Lilly (Cafe Supervisor), Amelia (Cafe Manager and Co-owner), Maddy (Cafe Assistant), Liz (Co-owner), Karma (Cafe Assistant) and Katie (Cafe Assistant). 


Why is Urban Jungle different to the rest?

There are many fantastic restaurants in Suffolk, however Urban Jungle are looking to fill a void of hearty, seasonal dishes that we would all love to eat more of, but may not have the time to prepare. 
Urban Jungle are all for forward thinking and moving with the times, but why can't we go back in time too? These dishes are designed to evoke the very best memories, leaving you with that warm, fuzzy feeling we all crave. 

Food with heart... 

From 1st December Urban Jungle Suffolk will be open every Friday and Saturday evening, serving customers in Beccles, Norfolk and Suffolk, hearty, seasonal, nostalgic but timeless dishes.
And, as darkness descends on London Road, the fusion of dramatic leaves, twinkly lights, and great cocktails and wine will make for an unforgettable experience.

Dishes include...

This winter our menu will consist of warming favourites - lots of slow cooked casseroles and aromatic puddings, as well as old favourites too to fuel those looking for something a little special from a night out. 

Crab cocktail 
Crab, crisp lettuce, fennel, avocado, and classic Marie Rose sauce 

Rabbit with boozy prunes
Rabbit, shallots,  red wine, brandy soaked prunes, roast potatoes

Sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream 


It's the perfect venue for celebrating with friends, family and colleagues this Christmas – we have dinner packages and free room hire for exclusive parties available, just get in touch for more information or find out more HERE. 

Book a table throughout January and enjoy a complimentary cocktail on arrival!

Urban Jungle will be open at both Nurseries and Cafes every day from 10am over the festive season, except Christmas Day and Boxing day, and including Friday and Saturday evenings from the 1st December. 

Urban Jungle Suffolk, London Road, Beccles, NR34 8TT. 01502 559103. Book online HERE. 

 
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Pumpkins are for life, not just for Halloween...

02 November 2018 - Posted by Rachel Bannon, in Norfolk, Cafe Jungle, Nursery, Propagation, Suffolk, NewsLetter

It's no secret that we just love autumn and everything it brings. Cosy coffees by the fire in Cafe Jungle, hot spiced soups and cassoulets amongst the exotics and exploring the rainbow of reds, oranges, browns and golds throughout the Norfolk and Suffolk Nurseries. Make no mistake though, the real star of the show at Urban Jungle is always the pumpkin.



Acorn, Butternut, Turks Turban, White, Cheese and Blue Hokkaido pumpkins, squashes and gourds have all made Autumn truly awesome this year at the Jungle.


DID YOU KNOW? Once upon a time, it was tradition to carve turnips and potatoes. Now, we're eternally grateful to Cinderella adding a touch of glamour to gourds in the 17th century fairy tale, allowing us to unashamedly celebrate the beauty of the pumpkin every October.

Save our pumpkins

 Our beautiful British pumpkins can contain up to 500 seeds and take around 5 months to grow, yet in the UK we are wasting around 18,000 tonnes each year. So here's 5 easy ways to make the most of these marvellous vegetables...

1 Grow your own...
Great fun to grow and easy to cultivate. Save your seeds for spring and grown your very own pumpkins. Find out how.

2 Seed snacks...
They're high in iron, and can be roasted to eat. Spread the seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes to dry them out. Toss the seeds with olive oil, salt and your favourite spices. Return to the oven and bake until crisp and golden. Tip | The flowers that grow on pumpkin vines are also edible.

3 Compost them...
Create the most nourishing soil with your Halloween pumpkin. If you already have a compost area just add as you would other vegetable scraps. If not, find a sunny spot at the bottom of the garden, cover with leaves and let the worms do the hard work.

4 Make soup!
Café Jungle's Squash and Nigella seed soup is a real favourite this time of year, and if you're making at home it can be easily frozen and enjoyed at another time.

5 Feed the birds...
Birds and small mammals love dried pumpkin seeds, just leave them out in your garden. Or you canLarge birds and small mammals will eat pumpkin seeds if you offer them in your yard. Collect seeds from your pumpkins, before composting them, and let the seeds dry.

6 Turn it into a planter...
Post-Halloween pumpkins make for a unique addition to your winter garden. Cut a large hole at the top and hollow out the 'brains'. Drill a small hole at the bottom for drainage and fill the pumpkin half full with potting soil. Add some seasonal flowers or herbs, water thoroughly and enjoy.

If you would like to try any of these ideas, pop down to the Jungle and pick up a pumpkin for free. We'd love to see what you get up to with them too, so feel free to share on our social media channels.



#SaveThePumpkins #PumpkinRescue

 
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The Jungle has everything you need this Christmas...

01 November 2018 - Posted by Rachel Bannon

The Jungle has everything you need this Christmas...

Whether you're looking for a place to celebrate or some gift ideas with a difference, for friends, family and colleagues look no further – Urban Jungle has you covered!

Gift Vouchers

Urban Jungle Gift Vouchers offer a totally unique way to treat that special someone. A perfect present for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries. In fact any special occasion. Purchase for a value, a workshop or event, or brunch, lunch, dinner or afternoon tea in the Cafe.

Redeem in the Nursery or Cafe and in Suffolk or in Norfolk.
Pop down and pick up from the Nursery or Cafe, call us or purchase online HERE.

gift vouchers


Terrarium Workshop Gift Vouchers


Gifts

It's not an easy task to find that perfect gift for that perfect someone. You want to feel totally confident that you've nailed it, that your gift will bring maximum joy and very happy memories to all who receive them.

Well, look no further. Houseplants, workshops, candles, soft furnishings, ornaments, stationary and cards are available at Urban Jungle Suffolk.

Christmas gift ideas 



Celebrate

Book a table for brunch, lunch, dinner or afternoon tea with your favourite people. Take advantage of FREE ROOM HIRE for private parties and exclusive dinners. Get creative on a private or group workshop creating wreaths, terrariums and flower crowns.

Christmas parties


Christmas Trees

Once again we’ll be stocking beautiful, locally-grown Christmas trees in a range of heights. More details on this coming soon… 

Christmas trees for sale


Decorations

Urban Jungle Suffolk has some beautiful Bohemian-style decorations for you. Choose from colourful baubles, advent calendars and decorations to hang around your home.

Christmas decorations for sale


Supper and Carols by Candlelight

Join us in the Jungle for dinner, Christmas songs, carols and a few of your year-round favourites too. Get cosy amongst the leaves, with lights, candles and the fires roaring, whilst the Hand in Hand ladies a cappella quartet and friends meander the sofas and seating areas. 

Urban Jungle Norfolk - Friday 14th December, call 01603 857196 or email costessey@urbanjunglecafe.uk.com
Urban Jungle Suffolk - Friday 21st December, BOOK HERE

Supper and Carols by Candlelight


We're open!

This year we'll be open everyday over the Christmas period (apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day) in both the Norfolk and Suffolk Nurseries and Cafes. If you end up with cabin fever, pop down with family and friends and relax in the Cafes, with houseplants for sale and mini-workshops for children too (keep an eye out for details on our website).

Christmas opening times

Contact us to book your table in the Cafes at Urban Jungle Suffolk.

 
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Prepare your Garden for Winter

01 November 2018 - Posted by Rachel Bannon

Prepare your Garden for Winter

Cannas

After the first frosts have blackened the leaves, lift the cannas, shaking off any loose soil and place in the smallest pot the rhizome will comfortably fit into. Fill gaps with compost. Don’t place in too large a pot. Lots of compost around the rhizome/roots may lead to rot.

Prepare canna for winter

Move the pot to a frost-free environment such as shed, garage, greenhouse, spare room. If there is a possibility that the building may not be frost free in exceptionally severe weather, wrap the whole pot in several layers of horticultural fleece, hessian etc. Do the same with pot grown specimens.

Prepare canna for winter

Now the trick is with the watering. They shouldn’t spend the winter in dust but must not be soaked. Keep barely moist. If you’re lucky enough to own a heated conservatory, take inside before the foliage is ruined by the frost and enjoy your evergreen plant through the winter months.


Ensete

Before the first frosts dig up (usually around the time the clocks go back is good). Reduce the roots and shake off excess soil. Remove most or all of the leaves, especially if space is an issue. 

Stand the Ensete upright and place in a pot that snugly fits the root ball. Back-fill with compost and keep barely moist. Keep temperature at a minimum of 5 degrees centigrade. Don’t have a greenhouse? Spare bedroom, utility room will do. Sadly shed or garage usually results in failure.


Musa Basjoo

Don’t be in too much of a hurry to protect your Musa. The aim is to keep it under-wraps outdoors for as little time as possible to prevent rot. Protect after the leaves have turned brown and limp in the first frost. 

After many years of experimenting with different materials and techniques we’ve found the best way is to use chicken wire, horticultural fleece and straw.

Make a tube with the wire by folding it and stake with canes. Place this over the stem and stuff with straw.

Protect your musa basjoo for winter


Protect your musa basjoo for winter

Wrap with horticultural fleece to help keep the straw dry.

Protect your musa basjoo for winter

Place a plastic bag over the top to prevent rain getting into the stem.

Protect your musa basjoo for winter

We unwrap at the beginning of March but we first make sure we're not expecting any more severe frosts. Most frosts after this time will not be severe enough to damage the stem.


Brugmansia

In late autumn the branches on brugmansia can be cut back and they can be lifted and potted ready for winter storage. They need to be kept somewhere frost free.

Protect brugmansia winter

Protect brugmansia winter


Tree Ferns

The tree fern is an evergreen plant, although in many areas of Europe it is likely that in winter, frost will 'burn off' the existing fronds and potentially damage the following season's growth. Hence, unless your ferns are in a frost-free environment, protection from frost is advised.

The best solution is to use horticultural fleece, straw or even fallen leaves to put into the crown.

Protect tree fern this winter

If you live in a very cold area or it is a very cold winter you may also wish to wrap the top 30cm of your tree fern as well to prevent the growing point from freezing.

Protect tree fern this winter

Do not cut off the fronds as unless it is a harsh winter the fronds will stay green. We would also recommend not cutting the fronds off even if they die and turn brown as these help to keep the crown of the fern pulled open. We have found that ferns which constantly have their fronds cut off every year tend to get smaller crowns which taper in and produce smaller fronds.

It is also important that the tree fern does not dry out especially if the fern is in a pot. If you do need to water in winter make sure it is when the temperature is not likely to go below 1°C.

If you have young or very small tree ferns they should be kept in a frost free environment just to be safe. 

When the last frost is gone and before the fronds start to unfurl remove your winter protection to avoid hindering the growth of new fronds.



Of course, everyone will find their own way and this is really just a guide and not definitive. There are many ways to protect your beloved exotics. This is a good starting point but there is nothing wrong with using your own improvisation. You can find full care instructions for all of these exotics at our FAQs HERE.

 
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