Urban Jungle Blogs, News and Press Releases


The chillies are almost ready for the festival weekend...

15 August 2019 - Posted by Rachel Bannon, in NewsLetter, Suffolk, Cafe Jungle, Propagation, Nursery

The chillies are almost ready for the festival weekend... 

Here are a few of our homegrown varieties, potted and ready to sell at the 2019 Suffolk Cactus and Chilli festival next Sunday 25th August!

Cayenne chilli plant for sale
Cayenne Chilli Plants

Cherry Bomb Chilli Plant for sale
Hot Pepper 'Cherry Bomb'

Jalapeno chilli plants for sale
Jalapeno Chilli Plant

Join us next Sunday at our annual Cactus and Chilli Festival and browse the amazing selection of hardy and interior cacti, succulents, agaves, yuccas, and other desert lovers, with some rare and unusual species too. We'll have 100s of brightly coloured chillies, of all shapes, sizes and heat, including some extra mild, med, hot and super hot ones to those mentioned above! We'll also have chilli inspired dishes with RocketShip Sauces, cocktails, workshops, events and a big Bank Holiday Sunday party!

FRI 23RD AUGUST - A MEXICAN FEAST
Mojito, 6 courses, 6.30pm, £38
SAT 24TH AUGUST - INDOOR CACTUS GARDEN WORKSHOP
Create a Cactus Garden, coffee & cake, 11am, £55

SAT 24TH AUGUST - SUCCULENT CENTREPIECE WORKSHOP
Create a three-tier, hardy, succulent show-stopper, coffee & cake, 2pm, £59
SUN 25TH AUGUST - BANK HOLIDAY PARTY
9-11.30 BBQ brunch
10am Cactus Masterclass, 45 minutes, £5 TICKETS
10-4pm Crafty stalls and things to browse
12.30pm - 4pm Mexican BBQ feast
12.30pm Outside cocktail bar
1pm Barney Holmes Acoustic Set
3pm 'The Old Stuff' Latino Party

Celebrate the final Bank Holiday weekend of the summer with fun for the whole family.

suffolk cactus and chilli festival


Suffolk Cactus and Chilli Festival

ROCKET SHIP SAUCES


cactus and chilli festival

cactus and chilli festival




 
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PRESS RELEASE - New look leaves for the Jungle

11 August 2019 - Posted by Rachel Bannon, in Suffolk, Propagation, Nursery, Cafe Jungle, Trade, Norfolk, NewsLetter

UJ Rebrand 2019 Press Release - New look leaves for the Jungle

With the 20th anniversary fast approaching for Urban Jungle, we thought it was high-time we had a fresh new look. 

Urban Jungle continues to offer outstanding plants within an inspirational garden setting. But the business has evolved, and now we’re extremely proud to also offer beautiful houseplants, an incredible Cafe and event space, with workshops and gifts too, in Norfolk and Suffolk. 

Our new-look is designed to showcase our vibrant surroundings, the importance of big, bold leaves and the centre of our being, the sun, without which People, Plants and Food would simply not survive. 



The brief…

Urban Jungle is growing, fast. With exceptional plants still at the core, the additional products and services the business now offers requires a fresh look that represents the pace at which Urban Jungle is moving. Something lively, exhilarating and adventurous, something that brings the Urban Jungle journey to life.  

The solution…

“Working with such a well-known local company comes with different challenges to what you might expect. Whilst a complete change was needed, we wanted to stay in touch with the previous designs to ensure continuity of the brand.

With so many companies opting for what now seems like a stock leaf effect, we wanted to push the boundaries further to place Urban Jungle above all others. The new design grows from a number of bespoke illustrations which come together to provide a jungle canopy in nearly a camo effect, but each leaf can also be used in isolation throughout future communication and design.

It was a refreshing change to have a design brief which centred around maximalist rather than the usual minimalist brief!” Stuart Flatt, Addicted Content. 

Urban Jungle Logo
Urban Jungle Logo rebrand

“The vision for Urban Jungle has always been bold, and with progressive change in recent years the future promises to bring even more adventure for our customers, and the whole Jungle team. We hope that our new look will bring a fresh, exciting energy to the Jungle, reflecting our true passion for people, plants and food. And, there are still plenty of dynamic new projects that we’re working hard on behind the scenes, such as a brand new website and team uniforms. Stay tuned!” Rachel Bannon, Marketing and Events Manager. 

We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below... 

Still to come… 

Our new website project is well underway and will include some incredible new features including a new-look ‘plant finder’, making it even easier for you to pick a perfect plant for that special space. You’ll find the navigation of the shop much more user-friendly, and you’ll be able to glean inspiration from our on-site suggestions and browsing options. 

Urban Jungle Logo rebrand website concepts

The Jungle team will also benefit from a makeover with easy-to-spot uniforms, making it even easier to get straight to the expert when you’re in the Jungle. 

Did you know, from 2019, can also hire the Jungle for your own special occasion. What event space could make a more memorable occasion than the Jungle, surrounded by leaves and dramatic lighting with incredible food and drinks options for you and your guests. 

Urban Jungle Logo rebrand camo


 
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Creating a woodland garden

04 June 2019 - Posted by Lily Butcher

Creating a woodland garden

Summer has finally arrived and we couldn’t be more excited to get out in our gardens during the warm weather. We have a wide selection of plants at Urban Jungle that are just perfect for creating an enchanting woodland retreat for your outdoor space. Whether it’s dry-shade or damp-shade, we’ve got you covered.

woodland garden

Once planted you'll be amazed at how many appreciative species of wildlife will move in, and you can encourage them with plenty of bird feeders, and a wildlife friendly water feature. It’s also a great way to get kids involved in the magic of gardening, and thinking about the environment.

Top Tips for adding that woodland touch...

  • Wooden benches in hidden shady areas will be a perfect place to sit and soak up nature, with the birds singing, the hum of insects, the rustle of leaves, earthy smells and the lush forest fronds, and most importantly to admire all of your handiwork!
  • Natural wood accents- whether it’s wooden borders, a log wall or a fire pit surrounded by log seating. 
  • Add bursts of colour like periwinkle blues and vibrant yellows to break up the sea of green.
  • Create a living wall, just like the one we have at UJ Norfolk, they’re perfect for small gardens and areas where space is limited, and for covering unsightly walls and buildings with a layer of nature. 
  • Most importantly - Let it grow wild - don't be too tidy!

living wall urban jungle

The living wall at Urban Jungle Norfolk. 

Plants for Damp, Shady Areas

Zantedeschia ‘White giant’

Zantedeschia ‘White giant’

Giant by name and giant by nature this impressive beauty will definitely make the perfect centrepiece for a bed. Zantedeschia is semi evergreen and will flower during summer producing funnel shaped white flowers, emerging on long stems out of speckled foliage. They like a sunny aspect and are fine with poor draining soil like clay as they prefer to be on the moist side. White giants can grow up to an impressive 7 feet tall.


Ligularia ‘Leopard plant’ 

Ligularia ‘leopard plant’
Lingularia dentata

This herbaceous perennial is the perfect choice to add a pop of colour to your beds with bright flowers that make the perfect contrast to its black stems. Ligularias like a sunny aspect but also are happy in the moist, shady undergrowth. They will show their vibrant flowers in the summer months, then cut them back in the winter and mulch around the base to keep in that much-needed moisture. 


Rheums 

Rheum

Rheums (Chinese Rhubarb) make for a spectacular feature in shady beds with their large spiky-lobed leaves, and brilliant pink flowers during the growing season. Once mature, it will take up quite a bit of room and make a big impact. These hardy perennials require full sun or partial shade and like a fertile soil moist soil. So choose an area with plenty of room to let them flourish.


Schefflera rhododendrifolia 'umbrella plant'

Schefflera rhododendrifolia ‘umbrella plant’

What more could you ask for when creating shade than adding in an umbrella plant, and a himalayan native may not sound like a typical woodland garden feature but it’s actually perfect! They love company so will be happy amongst lots of shrubs and smaller trees which will help keep in humidity. Schefflera rhododendrifolia can thrive in a full sun or partial shade position with moist well drained soil. They will require a sheltered position to protect them from frosty winds in the winter.  In late summer through to autumn umbrella plants will produce white flowers and black fruit and can reach a maximum height of 10 metres! 


Plants for Dry, Shady Areas

Epimedium grandiflorum 'Lilafee' (barrenwort)

Epimedium grandiflorum 'Lilafee'

Perfect for ground covering and filling in empty patches with glossy, green leaves which change to a shade of red come spring with distinctive and unusually-shaped purple flowers. Although these evergreen perennials like moisture they will do well in most types of soil, including ones on the sandier side. 


Dryopteris affinis ‘Pinderi’ 

Dryopteris affinis 'Pinderi'

Another fern which makes a classic accompaniment to any shady bed is a Dryopteris affinis fern, also known as the golden barrel fern, native to Britain. They have eye-catching shiny green fronds with a thicker density than most making them quite robust. Best to start growing in damper shade but once established will happily grow in dry, shady positions. They like fertile and well-draining soil with plenty of mulch to get all the nutrients they desire from the soil.


Hostas 

hosta

These distinctive perennials are a great way to add leafy colour to beds and once growing will spread nicely to help ward off those pesky weeds. Hostas come in many different shades from icy blue to variegated green/ yellow types and have differing leaf shapes too. Although dry shade isn’t the ideal spot for them they will happily grow there just make sure they have well-draining soil and some sun. We have many different types of Hostas in stock at both Nurseries, so many in fact we couldn’t pick just one as they are all so incredible! 


If you have any questions at all or require any more information or assistance in creating your woodland garden, please dont hesitate to get in touch with the Urban Jungle team HERE.

 
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Ikigai - The Japanese, foolproof formula for happiness..

15 May 2019 - Posted by Lily Butcher

Finding your bliss with Ikigai - The Japanese, foolproof formula for happiness.
During the month of May here at Urban Jungle, we’re celebrating all thing Japanese in our Nurseries and Cafes. There’re so many elements of this incredible culture that we admire, with one of the most intriguing customs being ‘Ikigai’, simply translated as ‘finding your purpose in life’.

What is Ikigai?
Pronounced ‘ik-ee-guy’ and originating on the Japanese island of Okinawa, Ikigai is an ancient practice that promises to help you find happiness and in-turn, live longer.

Per-capita, more people live to be 100 years or older on Okinawa, than anywhere else in the world. This may be a coincidence, but to us, there’s definitely a connection between Ikigai and a happier, longer life. 
 
The premise of the practice is to find the perfect balance between your passions, your needs,
your talents and financial stability, to be truly blissful.


Japanese ikigai

Japanese Ikigai
The word derives from ‘iki’ meaning life and ‘kai’ meaning purpose, or the realisation of hopes and expectations. In a nutshell, Ikigai is all about finding your reason to wake up in the morning.
Can you imagine a whole island full of people who have lived over a century and don’t even have a word for retirement, let alone believe in it? Well it’s true! Instead they depend on their ‘Ikigai’ to keep them working as long as they're physically able.

okinawa ikigai
The island of Okinawa. Home to breathtaking beaches, limestone caves and mangrove forests. 
You can see why a peaceful life is attainable here.

How to find your Ikigai
Here at Urban Jungle, our Ikigai is obvious. Plants, plants and more wonderful plants! We use these to inspire others to create their own jungle at home, which we know is proven to help improve mental health and well-being, feeling relaxed and reducing anxiety and stress. Plants really do make people happy.

lily ikigai
Lily, finding her Ikigai amongst the plants at Urban Jungle

For you, Ikigai could be taking time to work on a passion outside of work and your everyday tasks. This could be meditation, art, volunteering or growing your own food. The ultimate Ikigai? Try and find yourself a job that ticks all of the boxes below!

ikigai formula
The formula for a long and happy life

Remember that your Ikigai doesn’t have to be a talent that you spend years perfecting. As long as whatever it is makes you happy, makes the world a better place, and relieves other potentially stressful areas of your life,  whether it's contributing financially, or improving your home life, then it can be your Ikigai.

Here at Urban Jungle, we believe growing plants perfectly ticks all the boxes (or circles) for Ikigai. 

Most adults in the UK love gardening - it is the nations favourite hobby. There is a trend with younger people for growing houseplants, and this will undoubtedly develop into a deep connection with plants and nature as they mature. The world need plants! 

Concrete jungles are harmful to our spirit. By growing plants in our gardens we are providing food and habitat for wildlife, and providing beauty, and air quality for our neighbours and communities. 

You don't have to be good at growing plants to get started. We can guarantee you that you'll have plenty of losses in the early days, but this is how we learn. Over time you'll improve your observation of a plant's needs, and your knowledge of how to respond, just like caring for a child. Your love of plants and gardens will continue to grow throughout your life - we've never even heard of anyone who's 'gone off' gardening - it just doesn't happen.

And finally, will it make you money? Well there aren't many professional gardeners who become millionaires, but you could make a living from your passion. Developing your own beautiful garden, and filling your house with beautiful houseplants, will undoubtedly increase the value of your property, and make it more saleable.

Behold, the bliss!
As modern life gets more and more hectic, finding time for your passions seems like hard work, but it’s vital in living a long and happy life.

In summary, you're simply looking to make time for, and give proper attention to the things in life that make you happy and improve your general well-being. Simple!

The best thing about all of this is you don’t need any preparation to find your Ikigai, you can start right now! Good luck.

What's your Ikigai? Comment below...


 
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Operation: The Med comes to Suffolk

09 May 2019 - Posted by Liz Browne, in Suffolk, Propagation, Nursery, Cafe Jungle, Trade, Norfolk, NewsLetter


Operation: The Med comes to Urban Jungle Suffolk


After 2 years here at our Beccles site in Suffolk it really is quite evident how different the Suffolk climate is. The light is more intense, the sky is bluer, the winter is milder, and it's definitely windier! We wanted to create a different feel to the Suffolk site, and the difference in micro-climate, subtle but important, gives us that opportunity. For those of you with zone envy, we're zone 7b in Beccles, whereas it's zone 7a at our Costessey branch. We're hoping that our Mediterranean-style gardens will provide a beautiful backdrop for our Cafe customers, and inspire our gardening customers to effectively use some of these plants in their own gardens.


The Brief...

To create a Mediterranean style garden to inspire our customers, showcase our range of plants and improve the experience for our outdoor diners. We believe our customers should be able to see and enjoy plants growing together in communities at our Nurseries - we don't just set out plants as rows of Nursery stock in pots. We want our cafe customers to feel embraced by a profusion of plants outside, just as they do inside the cafe. 


The Problems...

Here at the Beccles Nursery we have thick heavy clay. The drainage is terrible, and after rain, water often sits on the surface, especially in winter. In summer it becomes like concrete. There are few windows of opportunity in the year to actually get plants in the ground. Mediterranean plants tend to require really good drainage, especially in winter, and most would fail miserably here in a cold wet winter. 


Gardeners are used to shopping in nurseries and garden centres with rows and rows of neatly positioned plants that often provide little to no real inspiration or guidance on planting schemes.


The gardening public have very few opportunities to see Mediterranean-style planting in the UK, with plants that are carefully selected to withstand the UK winters.



The Solution...

To solve these problems at our Suffolk branch, we've created 5 large raised beds with Derbyshire stone, planted with architectural and colourful Mediterranean-style plants, with adjacent Cafe seating. The beds stretch 70m - the whole length of the nursery, and each bed can be viewed from all 4 sides.


But whilst the climate in Beccles and the surrounding area is conducive to growing many Mediterranean plants, the soil here unfortunately isn't - it's heavy clay that's cold and wet all winter and quickly turns to concrete in summer! So to address the soil problem we started with the boring sensible stuff by digging a drainage ditch the whole length of the nursery that will carry away excess water. Next we built the raised rockery beds, filled with well-draining soil mixed with plenty of grit.


We hope that the composition of plants within the borders provides enjoyment and inspiration to our customers. We've planted a range of species including many readily available, best-performing plants for a Suffolk garden, but also choice rarities that we hope to propagate and produce ourselves over the coming years. With Suffolk being one of the driest and sunniest counties in the UK, and the proximity to the coast of our Beccles Nursery,  it's not difficult to achieve a Mediterranean style garden - something that feels a little more exciting and exotic than a typical English garden.  


quarry stone 

The Derbyshire Quarry where we sourced the stone


quarry stone 

Once quarrying has finished the walls are left to nature and become home to a bounty of wildlife 




The Med comes to Suffolk 

Before the borders...





Beccles Landscaping  

Full landscaping plan - see the '5 display beds' just in front of the Cafe






The Med comes to Suffolk

Front Elevation and planting plan of the 5 Mediterranean Beds



Work Begins... 


        Beccles Landscaping 

Owner Liz on-site 'helping' our landscapers


The Med comes to Suffolk 

The stone begins to arrive - 50 tonnes in all


The Med comes to Suffolk 

Hard at it, placing the first stones. Brute strength and ingenuity required.


Borders 

Taking shape...


The Med comes to Suffolk 

Planting getting underway. Trying to stick to the planting plans as much as possible but allowing ourselves a little bit of artistic license.


The Med comes to Suffolk 

Nick and Dick finishing planting one of the gnarly olives.


A bit more background to the concept...


Visitors to our Costessey Nursery will probably have noticed that we've had an aversion to straight lines in the past. The Nursery has evolved over 2 decades, growing organically, with winding pathways, overhanging trees and shady areas, lots of planted areas of course, and an altogether jungly feel. In Beccles, we're ready to try something a little out of our comfort zone!


Costessey Nursery 

'The Labyrinth' at Urban Jungle Norfolk. With winding paths, cool shady areas it feels completely different to the med-style planting at Beccles.




June's Progress! The Med is taking shape...


We're at last planting out our treasures. This beauty in the foreground (below) is Grevillea 'Bronze Rambler'. Now, we're just left to be patient and watch the drama unfold. 


 

Grevillea 'Bronze Rambler' lapping up the sunshine and enjoying it's new home

Beds 3 and 4. Cupressus (pencil trees) frame the pathway, and baskets of Euphorbia myrsinites

waiting to be planted.

The Med comes to Suffolk

This lovely multi-trunked Chamaerops needed to be moved from another part of the nursery but it's settling well into the new bed. We removed lots of the lower leaves to give it a better chance of re-establishing.The Med comes to Suffolk

The Med comes to Suffolk

One of our new treasures - Leucadendron 'Safari Sunset'. One of the hardiest members of the Proteaceae family and infuriatingly difficult to get hold of.



At last we have a permanent home for all the treasures we've been collecting over the years, and will be propagating and producing over the coming years. Plants like Genista aetnensis (Mount Etna broom), 


The beds will take time to establish, but after only a couple of weeks we can see the growth on some of the plants. We're already getting a feel for the amazing impact in years to come. Why not visit the Nursery and see the progress, or join our Mediterranean dining experience on the 26th July - tickets and more information are available HERE. 


Tune into our social media for regular features on some of the plants we've used in our new borders. Next month we'll let you know about another of our current projects - The Jungle Garden.



 
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