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What to do in the garden in October...

04 October 2018 - Posted by Rachel Bannon

what to do in the garden in October



What to do in the garden this October...

Winter is looming and now's the perfect opportunity to prepare. And that's not the only reason to venture outside, there's still lots of ways to enjoy flowers and planting before the cold snap really sets in. 


Clear leaves and use for mulch
Mulch will keep the soil moist, reduce weed growth and keep the soil cool in the heat next year. Don't worry about storing this for next year, start using the leaves straight away and save yourself a lot of trouble by raking straight on to the borders. We've done this for years and by spring they've pretty much rotted in to the soil. And they help to insulate more tender perennials.

what to do in the garden in October



Prune Roses
Prune climbing and rambling roses once they've finished flowering and tie in the stems before autumn winds cause any damage. Clear up fallen rose leaves to prevent diseases such as black spot - don't compost the leaves.

prune roses in autumn



Plant trees, shrubs, perennials and climbers
Plant trees, shrubs or perennials now and their roots can establish themselves in the still-warm soil before winter sets in, and they'll have a head start on those planted in spring. Visit our blog on Autumn Planting for more details HERE.

Plant clematis in autumn



Look after your lawn
Its your last chance to mow the lawn and tidy up any bare areas with new turf.

look after you lawn in the autumn



Harvest pumpkins!
Not that you could forget this, pumpkins are a real autumn treat and a beautiful way to bring the outdoors in as the days turn cooler. They'll brighten up your home and provide wonderful flavours for soups, pies and autumn salads. If ou're not growing them at home, we have beautiful locally grown pumpkins, all completely unique, available from the 6th October - you can even join us on 25th and 26th of October and Jazz up Your Jungle Pumpkin. Find out more HERE

Jazz up your Jungle Pumpkin Decorating Family


Plan to overwinter your tender plants
You'll need to consider which of the plants will need to be bought undercover for the winter, and which may need wrapping or digging up. It's not necessary to make a start until the first frost looms but a good idea to gather the materials you'll need and plan the space required. If you need help in preparing the garden for winter, why not join our workshop on the 28th October at Urban Jungle Norfolk. Find out more HERE.

what to do in the garden in October



Citrus Plants
Switch to a winter citrus feed. Citrus are hungry plants and benefit from feeding throughout the winter.

what to do in the garden in October

If you have any questions or need any advice get in touch with the team HERE.

 
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The Living Wall or Vertical Garden - making a comeback for 2018....

18 September 2018 - Posted by Jamie Spooner

The Vertical Garden - making a comeback for 2018...

Living Wall Vertical Garden 2018

Our living wall is so lush at the moment. Choc full of shade loving perennials, beautiful begonias plugging all the gaps. There are some tender plants that won’t make it through the winter, however next year we’ll look to add some year-round interest.

This one was built a few years ago by Uhi and the team using reclaimed wood for the uprights and horizontal batons. Pockets were created using Mypex and then filled with compost.

Very low maintenance and a fabulous way to add a colourful screen or cover an unsightly wall.

If you’re keen to create something similar, the team are very happy to discuss plants that might be suitable for your space and you can also follow the guide below...


How to build your own Living Wall or Vertical Garden

Our in-house Living Wall guru Jamie Spooner created this blog in 2011, however the principles are very much the same. He's travelling on the other side of the world at the moment, so we've resurrected this in-depth guide to help you build yours. 

1) Choose a location

Once the wall is planted and watered it will be very heavy so a suitable structure is needed to support the wall. If the base of the wall is resting on the ground and this is not a solid surface, place slabs under each of the uprights to spread the weight and prevent it from sinking into the ground. If the wall is not resting on the ground make shore the brackets used to hold the living wall to the supporting structure are strong to take the weight of the wall when saturated. If the supporting is a house or shed wall the structure should be mounted away from the supporting wall to leave a cavity and avoid causing damp problems.


2) Orientation

The place we chose for the wall at Urban Jungle by chance faces east. This in my opinion is the best direction for it to face as it gets direct light up until noon in the coolest half of the day. If the wall was south or west facing more particular attention would have to be paid to watering and plants would have to be selected to tolerate direct light. Regarding watering, it is important to be diligent as anyone who has let a hanging basket dry out knows it takes a while to re-wet, and you cant dunk the wall in a bucket. North facing walls would require less attention but the constant shade will limit the choice of plants.


3) Construction

The wall at Urban Jungle was 12ft high, 7ft wide and build against a large pergola for support. I used three uprights made from 12ft lengths of 2×4 tantalised timber. The two uprights on the edge of the wall were attached to the uprights of the pergola with brackets and the middle upright stabilised by a post in the ground and two cross members. Each of the uprights was rested on a paving slabs to help spread the weight. The horizontal spars that support the planting hammocks were made from tile baton. Each spar was screwed in place with a little wood glue for extra support. The spars were placed 10cm apart. This made the pockets closemouthed together so that when planted not too much gaps are left but there is enough room to squeeze the root balls in.
How to build the timber structure that supports the wall.

4) Pockets

Because the wall had three uprights there had to be two series of pockets as they cant cross the uprights. The pockets were made from heavy duty landscape fabric which needs to be about two and a half times longer than the height of the wall and about 20cm wider than the width between the uprights. Start by folding about 10cm in each side so the fold is facing the front and attach to the back of the top spar with staples or by screwing a second spar over it. Push the fabric in between the top and second down spar so it forms a pocket about 15-20cm deep. Place a few staples in the second down spar so the fabric doesn’t slip. This will not need to be as secure as on the top spar as the weight of the compost will hold each pocket in place. Repeat the process down to the bottom of the wall and securely attach the end of the fabric to the bottom spar.

How to attach the landscape fabric to create the pockets.

5) Filling

We decided not to add any ingredients to the compost like pumice or perlite to reduce the weight as we were happy that the structure would support the weight. We mixed plenty of slow release fertiliser granules into the mix as there will be a large amount of plants in a relatively small volume of compost. We also added a quantity of swell gel to aid water retention. Fill the wall from the bottom pocket up so that each filled pocket rests on the one previous. Fold up the excess landscape fabric that was folded in on either side to prevent the compost from spilling out the end of the pockets. Each pocket should only be filled three quarters as the root balls from the plants will take up a proportion of the space and the soil level in the pocket  must be just below the spar so water can soak in and not poor off the wall.

The newly planted wall before the leaves have turned up to the light.

6) Planting

We set the plants out on the floor in front of the wall to create a design before we started to plant. Spacing will depend on the plants you use and the size of the plant used. Start planting from the top down. If you plant from the bottom up the lower plants will be covered with compost. Lay a sheet down bellow the wall as a lot of compost will be spilt. Make shore the plants are well watered before planting as many of the root balls will have to be teased apart and squeezed into pockets. Despite our planning we changed the design considerably while planting as it looked so different when vertical. Liz more so than other gardeners is a very impatient gardener so we planted a little closer than was probably necessary and plugged the gaps with Tradescantia cuttings, Spider plants and Begonia sutherlandii. These quickly grew and filled the gaps. We debated weather to use only evergreens but decided this would be too limiting on the design possibilities and would make the wall predominantly green. The down side to using deciduous or herbaceous plants was that the wall will look a little sparse over winter. We put a few dwarf Daffodils in the wall to see how they would fair. These wouldn’t hide the landscape fabric, but would add a splash of colour before the new shoots emerge.


7) Watering

The wall will have to be completely manually watered. Rain will have little if any benefit to the wall other than slowing the rate at which the wall dries out, plus the leaves will arrange themselves like roof tiles shedding all the rain water. We didn’t get around to installing a trickle irrigation system and hand water the wall daily, sometimes twice if it is really hot and or windy. From autumn to early spring watering will be much less but still important. To install a trickle system there would need to be one trickle pipe along each pocket with dripper every 30cm or so. The dripper pipe would need to be the sort that delivers a specific flow of water rather than a simple leaky pipe as the bottom of the wall would receive more water than the top. The watering regime would have to be little and often to prevent the nutrients from being leached from the compost.


8) Feeding

The slow release fertiliser we put in the wall was more than enough to see the plants through the first season with no signs of stress. The second and subsequent years are where attention is needed. Each perennial plant should have a hanging basket pellet pushed into the compost near the root ball. Any annual or replanted patches should have the old compost removed and replaced with fresh compost and slow release fertiliser. The old compost will be matted with the roots of perennial plants which should be carefully cut without cutting the landscape fabric. If a trickle system is installed a liquid drip feeder could be attached or if hand watered use an occasional folia feed.

If you would like any more information on creating this or an indoor garden we would be happy to help recommend plants, you can contact us HERE. 


 
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Autumn planting - keep the 2018 summer alive throughout the winter!

31 August 2018 - Posted by Uhi Millington, in Norfolk, Trade, NewsLetter, Nursery, Suffolk

Autumn planting, and keeping the 2018 summer alive!

What are the benefits to planting in the Autumn?

1. The ground has heated up over the summer months and the soil retains that warmth, promoting root growth
2. The need for constant watering is reduced as the sun is not so intense, and daytime temperatures have reduced. We can also expect more rain and higher soil moisture levels.
3. Plants are not in active growth, they are not putting energy into making lots of foliage and flowers and can concentrate on putting down a network of roots.
4. Its a great time to plug those gaps you can see in the garden or ditch those plants that are not good value.
5. You'll be able to sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour next spring and summer!

We recommend planting the following...


Acer palmatum osakazuki

Autumn is the best time to plant trees. They are able to establish a root system during autumn and winter which anchors them to the ground and gives them greater stability for when they begin rapid top growth during spring and summer.

Acers are one of our top picks, and with so many to choose from its hard to narrow it down. We love Acer palmatum 'Osakazuki' - it's so modest during spring and summer, you would never guess that it ends the year in a huge explosion of vivid bonfire-red leaves.

We also love Acer palmatum 'Red Emperor' for its reddish-purple foliage and its ability to cope in a sunny spot. 

Acer palmatum red emperor
Acer palmatum 'Red Emperor'

And finally we love Acer palmatum dissectum 'Flavescens' for its delicate light green feathery foliage which turn to reds, yellows and oranges from late summer into Autumn.


Shrubs are invaluable. They're good all-rounders giving shelter for the wildlife in your garden, and colour and structure throughout the year. 

Crinodendron hookerianium
Crinodendron hookerianum


One of our favourites is Crinodendron hookerianum or the 'Chilean Lantern Tree'. It's suited to well-drained, acidic soils in sun or partial shade. It's evergreen, and in spring, and again in late-summer it produces exotic crimson lanterns which hang on long stems from the branches. 

Mahonia winter sun
Mahonia x media 'Winter Sun'

If you're looking for winter interest, Mahonia x media 'Winter Sun' doesn't disappoint. It's an architectural shrub with spiny-leathery foliage, producing huge racemes of fragrant sulphur-yellow flowers to brighten up the darkest winter days.


Bamboos are great to plant during autumn. Planting in the cooler, wetter months means less watering whilst they establish themselves.  By the time spring comes, plants should have a strong root system to support the rapid-growing new culms. Bamboos are evergreen, hardy,  low maintenance, and have all year interest. They provide movement, sound and texture in the garden – and they provide excellent screening. 

Fargesia nitidia Black Pearl
Fargesia nitidia 'Black Pearl'

Some of our most popular bamboos are Fargesia nitidia 'Black Pearl', or Black Fountain bamboo.  These are clump forming, non invasive and upright with graceful arching tips. Dense, slender canes vary in colour from green and dark purple to black, with delicate fresh green leaves covering the plants in profusion. A great choice for a shady spot in your garden and near ponds.

Zig Zag Bamboo
Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. 'Spectabilis' (Zig Zag bamboo)

Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. 'Spectabilis' (Zig Zag bamboo), or as we like to call it 'wobbly legs', is vigorous but not rampant, tall and extremely wind tolerant. It's wonderfully ornamental, especially when the lower canes are stripped to expose bright yellow canes with vertical green grooves.


Pennisetum Black Beauty
Pennisetum 'Black Beauty'

For texture Pennisetum 'Black Beauty' is a beautiful grass. Darkly centred flower-heads with a haze of fluffy 'cats whiskers' extend from a mass of glossy green foliage. Water droplets form on the flower-heads like jewels. 

miscanthus sinensis malepartus
Miscanthus sinensis 'Malepartus'

Guaranteed to stop you in your tracks is Miscanthus sinensis 'Malepartus'. Emerging now are their silky, wine coloured flower-heads that burst into a creamy white. The arching foliage turns a lovely bronze in the autumn and winter. Leave the stems intact during the winter to provide shelter for wildlife during winter.


euphorbia blackbird
Euphorbia blackbird

Euphorbia x martini ascot rainbow
Euphorbia x martini 'Ascot Rainbow'

Punchy reliable Euphorbias never fail to impress. Easy to care for, they provide colour and structure throughout the autumn and winter. Choose from the striking deep-purple and zingy lime of Euphorbia 'Blackbird' = Nothowlee, and the warming tones of Euphorbia x martini 'Ascot Rainbow'

Euphorbia characias Tazmanian Tiger
Euphorbia characias 'Tasmanian Tiger'
For a dazzling display, the silvery foliage of Euphorbia characias 'Tasmanian Tiger' will add a shining light in a sunny border.

Euphorbia grifithii fireglow
Euphorbia grifithii 'Fireglow' 

Euphorbia grifithii 'Fireglow' is perfect for banks and slopes, and coastal, cottage & informal gardens throughout the year. 


As the nights draw in with wetter weather arriving, now is the perfect time to give those shady areas of the garden a boost with ferns. We have an array to choose from. 

Dryopteris erythrosora
Dryopteris erythrosora

Dryopteris erythrosora is one of our absolute favourites. Beautiful coppery foliage in the autumn matures to a glossy green. They also flourish in dry shade once established. 

Athyrium niponicum Burgundy Lace
Athyrium niponicum Burgundy Lace

For a splash of colour, Athyrium niponicum var pictum 'Burgundy Lace' is an enchanting, hardy fern with dramatic silvery-purple foliage, intensifying in a shadier position.


Phormiums add fantastic colour and drama to a pot or border in your garden, making it the perfect plant to help extend the summer. 

Phormium mauri sunrise
Phormium 'Maori Sunrise'

Phormium 'Maori Sunrise' is particularly striking, bronze-green leaves with hints of pink, apricot and yellow will bring a taste of the exotic to your garden. 

Phormium black velvet
Phormium 'Black Velvet'

Phormium 'Black Velvet' has wonderfully dark, bold foliage guaranteed to add drama and contrast throughout the autumn and winter, even when covered in snow!

Lots of these are available in the online shop, or if you would like to check stock and find out more, please contact us in the Nursery HERE. 

 
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Padron Pepper Salad from the Edible Jungle

22 August 2018 - Posted by Niamh Mullally

The Edible Jungle at Urban Jungle in Beccles in Suffolk is currently deep in freshly harvested summer produce. Chemical-free tomatoes and peppers are being harvested daily. The Cafe team has combined both of these gluts to create a fresh, spicy seasonal dish, Padrón Pepper Salad.

Padron and Heritage Tomato Salad

Each freshly prepared and cooked-to-order salad is unique. A Padrón plant can hold multiple mature fruits that have different heat levels, from mild to medium heat. The addition of ripe juicy tomatoes and salty feta cheese complements the spicy flavours.

Ingredients

(Serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a main)

24 heritage cherry tomatoes, at room temperature

3/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt, divided

32 small Padrón peppers

10 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1/2 cup feta, crumbled

1 teaspoon of tiny leaves from basil plant


Padron Peppers


Homegrown Heritage Tomatoes


Create....

1. Slice tomatoes in half, toss with sea salt and put to one side.

2. Heat a grill pan to medium-high and toss the peppers with oil. Fry until slightly soft and charred on both sides.

3. Divide peppers onto your plates, stacking to give some height to each dish. Sprinkle the tomatoes around the edge and top with crumbled feta. To finish, drizzle olive oil over each plate, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, and top with a few basil flowers.

Mop up every last morsel with a warm, home-made yoghurt and herb flatbread.

This incredible dish is available in the Cafe at Urban Jungle Suffolk every day from Midday. Call to book a table on 01502 559103 or contact us at www.urbanjungle.uk.com.




 
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Save the Bees!

06 August 2018 - Posted by Rachel Bannon, in Norfolk, Trade, Propagation, Nursery, NewsLetter, Suffolk


We're totally in love with bees at the moment. They're so happy amongst lots of the flowering plants in the Nurseries and it got us thinking, where would we be without our furry little friends? Well, not only does the frantic pollen foraging add some light-entertainment, and the soft buzzing sooth you as you relax in the sun; there's far more serious consequences to losing our beloved bees. 

They pollinate 70 of the (around) 100 crop species that feeds 90% of the world, and that's just the start. 

"We may lose all the plants that bees pollinate, all of the animals that eat those plants and so on up the food chain. Which means a world without bees could struggle to sustain the global human population of 7 billion. Our supermarkets would have half the amount of fruit and vegetables." BBC

Greenpeace reports that we have lost 45% of commercial honeybees in the UK since 2010. So, what can we do? On a large scale, there's an urgent need to stop chemical-intensive industrial agriculture, and to shift towards more ecological farming. However, every one of us can make a real difference right now, in our back gardens. 

Here's 5 top tips to encourage bees in your garden and outdoor spaces...

1. Easy. Plant some Bee-friendly plants to provide food, shelter and nesting places.  Here are some of our (and the bees!) favourites in the Jungle...

Helenium 'Königstiger'

BUY NOW Helenium 'Königstiger'


Penstemon heterophyllus 'Catherine de la Mare'

BUY NOW Penstemon heterophyllus 'Catherine de la Mare'


Salvia 'Royal Bumble'

Salvia 'Royal Bumble'


Persicaria amplexicaulis Orange Field 'Orangofield'


Hedychium 'Tara' ginger lily 'Tara'
Hedychium 'Tara'
Ginger lily 'Tara'


Digitalis x valinii harkstead flame

2. Let the grass grow and provide shelter and food.

3. Put away the pesticides; dealing with bugs can be as simple as stripping them off with a gloved hand. 

4. Build a bee hotel! You can find out how from Friends of the Earth HERE

Bee Hotel

5. Don't have a garden? Try a window box of herbs or hanging basket...

Hanging Baskets 

If you would like to find out more about looking after our very important bee buddies, just talk to the team about the plants we can provide, you can contact us HERE.








 
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