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

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

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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Pumpkins

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

Pumpkins

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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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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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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Press Release – Urban Jungle Suffolk's first anniversary.

05 July 2018 - Posted by Rachel Bannon, in Cafe Jungle, Trade, Propagation, Nursery, NewsLetter, Suffolk

This summer, Urban Jungle at London Road, Beccles, will be hosting their first anniversary party, and there's plenty to celebrate. The independent Nursery and Cafe has overcome major setbacks and enjoyed great success all in the first 12 months. August 5th will mark the first of many, very special years at the site for the team and their customers.

“We've fallen in love with Suffolk - the charm of Beccles town, the cute villages, the beautiful coastline, the bountiful produce...we could go on. And we've still so much more to explore.”
Co-owner Liz Browne


After taking over the site last June, the team had just 6 weeks until opening, and since the launch, the changes and growth in the Nursery and Cafe have been non-stop. In late summer 2017, the plant propagation and Edible Jungle were set up in the adjoining field, supplying the Cafes at both Norfolk and Suffolk with fresh salad and vegetables throughout the winter. During this time, the Cafe saw a demand for something a little different from lunch menus in Suffolk, and continued to develop their ethos using the home-grown produce.

The Cafe at Urban Jungle's mission.
'To deliver a casual dining experience in a unique setting, serving beautiful, globally inspired dishes, connecting people, plants and food.'


Following the success of the new look menu, utilising home-grown produce, and the opening of the Cafe on Saturday nights, Urban Jungle was proud to be awarded 'Best Newcomer' at the Suffolk Food and Drink Awards in April.

Suffolk Best Newcommer

“We've come so far in the last year - the 2 acre field adjoining the Nursery is producing 80% of the plants for both nurseries. And not only ornamentals - the Kitchen Garden produces organically grown salads and vegetables in abundance for both Cafes. We're already pickling and preserving in earnest to see us through the winter.” Liz Browne


Liz and Niamh

Propagation Manager Niamh and Co-owner Liz

It hasn't been plain sailing. The 'Beast from the East' and the never-ending winter caused devastation in both the Costessey and Beccles Nurseries, resulting in their closure for the best part of a week in March. The weather meant that the gardening season was never really able to begin as it should. March and April are usually the busiest months for nurseries, but the terrible weather saw all but the most hardened gardeners staying warm indoors. The first half of the year has certainly been a worrying time for small independent nurseries such as Urban Jungle.

“The weather and the roadworks outside the Nursery have tested us to the limit but we thrive on challenges - they make us even more determined, and our customers' reactions to our Suffolk Nursery and Cafe have exceeded our expectations in their first year!” Liz Browne

Jungle Team

The propagation team

Although the major roadworks are continuing on London Road, the weather has improved for June and July, and co-owners Liz and Mal Browne are determined to push forward. There are big plans for the Nursery, many of which they hope to launch at the Summer Party, including the building of what will become a secluded 'Jungle Garden', perfect for private parties.

“Where has the year gone?! Can it really be just over a year ago that we picked up a jingly bunch of unfathomable keys, looked around the site, scratched our heads and thought 'right, where do we start?' It was a daunting prospect and we had just a couple of months to put our unique stamp on the premises. We were still frantically building, cleaning, placing stock, and gathering our brilliant new team right up to the minutes before opening the gates for the first time.

There have been quite literally blood, sweat and tears. We've suffered setbacks - mainly caused by the crazy weather, and major roadworks right outside our gate, but lots of love and laughter along the way too. It's been a triumph over adversity.” Liz Browne

The Summer Party will be held on Sunday 5th August. Between 12 and 7 we'll be serving up summer cocktails amongst the plants and cooking delicious food on fire, all to the sound of DJ Chilli's lush, Latin beats. From 10am, there'll be VIP Party Bags for the first 50 customers, craft stalls, Festival Glitter, new areas of the Nursery open and of course plants, plants and yet more beautiful plants.

Urban Jungle Summer Party

Register interest on the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/167665274087506


 
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