#CreateYourUrbanJungle Indoors
06 December 2018 - 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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