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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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Who needs flowers? Five of the fanciest indoor leaves at the Jungle...

07 June 2018 - Posted by Rachel Bannon, in Cafe Jungle, Nursery, NewsLetter, Suffolk, Norfolk


We're all about the leaves right now, and there's no need for flowers when they look this good.

Although it would be nice to think these leaves evolved to simply become more and more beautiful, they didn't. Its all about survival. Variegated leaves, and leaves with colour are actually camouflaging themselves. Although surprising, for their particular habitat this far outweighs the disadvantage of reduced photosynthesis. Against the sun-dappled floor of a forest or woodland, animals without colour vision, including insects and herbivores are not able to spot patterned or mottled leaves. The outline of leaves will be disrupted, making them much more difficult to find.

Thank goodness for nature, hey? Here's some of our favourites....


Aeschynanthus marmoratus

(Zebra Basket Vine)

Aeschynanthus marmoratus  Zebra Basket Vine

The Aeschynanthus marmoratus is an epiphyte, which means it uses other plants and trees to grow and spread, extracting moisture and nutrients from the air and rain. The leathery, pointed oval leaves grow in opposite pairs on the stems. The upper leaf surfaces are light green and speckled with swirls of lights green and the undersides are much lighter with deep burgundy spots. In the wild, in Thailand and Malaysia, some of the branch tips bear a cluster of tubular flowers that are pollinated by hummingbirds.

  • A perfect hanging houseplant

  • Likes bright, indirect light

  • Can tolerate some direct sunlight

  • Likes high humidity

  • Water regularly but do not allow the plant to sit in water


Alocasia amazonica (Alocasia polly)

(Elephant's Ear)

Alocasia polly elephants ear

Alocasia polly and Alocasia amazonica are both largely the same, except the ‘Polly’ variety stays a bit smaller. The leaves are completely unique and look particularly striking against a white, minimalist backdrop adding a magnificent jungle touch to a space, all on its own.

Although the name suggests otherwise, neither of these Alocasia varieties naturally originate from the Amazon rainforest. They were artificially created, though their ‘ancestors’ are naturally found in rainforests in Asia, which gives us a helpful guide to caring for this plant at home.

  • Bright but indirect sunlight

  • Well draining soil

  • Keep warm minimum of 16C / 60F (above 70 in summer will promote faster growth)

  • These plants don’t mind a slightly cramped environment - it’s usually not necessary to re-pot every year

  • Use a potting soil and add some perlite to ensure proper drainage


Maranta leuconeura erythrophylla

(Maranta fascinator, Prayer plant, herringbone plant, Tricolor)

Maranta leuconeura erythrophylla Maranta fascinator, Prayer plant, herringbone plant, Tricolor

One of the most intricately patterned leaves in nature, giving this houseplant its well earned place on the nations favourites. The Prayer Plant earned its name because of the way its leaves fold together at night, like hands closed in prayer, revealing beautiful deep-purple under-sides. The leaves unfold again in the morning light, sometimes making a rustling sound.

Prayer plants rarely bloom indoors, but sometimes grow tiny, white tubular flowers on long stems. We're not here to talk about flowers though, it's the magnificent leaves that are the real attraction.

  • Direct sun can dun the colour of the leaves and be fatal

  • Keep warm – minimum 16 degrees C

  • The love humidity, brown tips are a sign of not enough

  • Don't re-pot too often

  • Your plant will benefit from occasional pruning in autumn, which helps to give it a nice shape and promote new growth.


Diffenbachia

(Dumb Cane, Leopard Lily)

Diffenbachia  Dumb Cane, Leopard Lily

Dieffenbachias have the most beautiful mix of green, white, and yellow foliage. It's also quite versatile and will take some neglect and poor treatment. Though, not as hardy as the mother-in-law's tongue, but certainly not as difficult as the Alocasia or Calathea. The last big plus point is that it's also fantastic at regenerating.

The truth is though, that Dumb Canes are actually poisonous. If ingested it can cause a burning sensation in the mouth, swelling the tongue, and paralysing the vocal cords, silencing the victim – hence the name. So, avoid coming into contact with the sap and if you do, wash it off before you accidentally rub your eye, or somewhere equally unfortunate!

If you can see past this weakness, you're in for a real treat.

  • Overwatering is a common problem with many houseplants and the dieffenbachia houseplant is no exception.

  • Most varieties do best in a filtered light situation, where bright to moderate light shines through a sheer curtain or other filtering window cover.

  • Rotate the dieffenbachia houseplant regularly to provide adequate light to all sides of the plant

  • Most cultivars do fine with a low light environment; however, growth is slower, but the plant will remain healthy and attractive.

  • Browning bottom leaves on the Dieffenbachia is normal for the plant; Snip them off to keep the plant tidy.

Sansevieria trifasciata

(mother-in-law's tongue)

Sansevieria trifasciata  mother-in-law's tongue

Sanseviera are stemless, erect, rhizomatous, succulent perennials with evergreen, ovate or strap-shaped, leathery leaves often attractively marbled. While you’re enjoying this fantastic decorative plant, it’s working very hard. Mother-in-law’s tongue does everything it can to sort out the humidity in your home, so that your skin, eyes and airways can also enjoy the plant. It converts poisonous substances into oxygen. And it’s also incredibly strong and easy to care for.

It's simply perfect as a starter plant for beginners too, as it doesn't require much maintenance and grows quite quickly.

  • Grow under glass in bright, filtered light, avoiding full summer sun.

  • If you’d like the plant to be a bit darker, place it further from the window; Or, lighter in colour? Place it closer.

  • Do not water too frequently

  • The best way to look after this plant is to ignore it most of the time. It thrives on neglect.


Visit the Cafes at both Urban Jungle Norfolk and Suffolk to see our full range of houseplants. Our team of experts will happily guide you in choosing the most appropriate for you home, what ever the surroundings. Contact us to find out more.


 
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Tepache

06 June 2018 - Posted by Joe Enhari, in Suffolk, Cafe Jungle, NewsLetter

Tepache

Here at Urban Jungle, we are committed to delivering a great product, be it a plant, lunch, a beverage or two or a combination of all three. We're also incredibly conscious of waste, pioneering a ‘War on Plastic Pots’ in the Nursery and committing to good practice in any way we can. Tepache is a way for the Café to deliver on both fronts, providing a delicious and gut-healthy beverage, whilst using every piece of the raw product.

Pineapple Tepache

Tepache is a wonderful example of the age-old process of fermentation. Pre-Colombian indigenous Mexicans would have been enjoying this, albeit in a higher concentration of alcohol, hundreds of years ago. It’s comforting to think that we can uphold these ancient traditions in a practical and delicious way. I am currently plucking up the courage to ask our owner Liz if I can harvest some sap from the huge agaves we have, and see about some Pulque, but that’s a different story.

Tepache (Tay-paw-chay) starts life as a pineapple. The inner fruity goodness has been set aside for Chef Chloe and is destined for a special project; more on that another time. The rest I have chopped up a bit and put in a clip-top jar. The top will be used in an attempt to grow more…

Pineapple Tepache

I think it’s always nice to pop in little extras to our pickles and ferments. Things that marry together in ‘conventional cooking’, will often blend and combine in incredibly interesting ways when slowly fermenting together. In this case, ginger and cinnamon will add depth and a gentle spice to the finished brew.

Ginger and Cinamon

Now, all that's left is to make up a sweetened water to cover the pineapple, ginger and cinnamon. If you can use a raw cane sugar then do. In Mexico you would of course use piloncillo sugar cones; for a pinch used here, granulated will do just fine. Use a 1 cup measurement per 2 litres of water. Use a little hot water first to dissolve the sugars. Top up your jar and seal. ¡ahí está!

If you can bear to take your eyes off the beauty that will be your jar of almost Tepache, leave it for 4-7 days. The longer you leave it, the more of the sugar will be fermented and the fizzier, but tarter, it will be. Then bottle and enjoy over ice with sparkling water, or even with a nice cerveza. I’ve never had any long enough to test a use by date.

Tepache

Visit the Suffolk Cafe to find out more about our ferments and pickles, we're always experimenting and have some wonderful things on the shelf for you to try!


 
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