Urban Jungle Blogs, News and Press Releases

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


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 


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


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


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.


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.


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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09 October 2018 - Posted by Rachel Bannon, in Trade, Norfolk, NewsLetter, Suffolk, Propagation, Nursery, Cafe Jungle


This year we've got lots of wonderful pumpkins for sale in the Jungle. We've carefully chosen to support local farm Algy's as our main pumpkin supplier, as being just down the road in Dereham the delivery miles are dramatically reduced. Algy's also use organic manure and each pumpkin is hand sown meaning that each and every one is completely unique.

We have small, medium, large, 'monsters' and white and warty ones too. Prices start from 1.50.

Pumpkins at Urban Jungle

Children's Pumpkin Event

Join us on the 25th and 26th October and Jazz up your Jungle Pumpkin. For £5, we'll provide the pumpkins, paints and accessories, and Claree Fairy will be on hand to help design and decorate beautiful pumpkin centrepieces for your home and garden.

Just drop in or book your space HERE.

Jazz up your Jungle Pumpkin Decorating Family

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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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