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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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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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Save Water in the Garden This Summer

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


We've teamed up with Anglian Water, and Nursery Manager Uhi has filmed 5 short tips on saving water in the garden, and to ensure you need to water your plants a little as possible.

Watch the video...



View in YouTube HERE

Read the tips here...


save water
1. Trays of water in the greenhouse will raise humidity and slow down the rate of water loss. 

save water
2. Group pots together to keep the humidity within the plants, meaning you will need to water much less. 


save water
3. Moving your plants into the shade will reduce the stress they are getting from the heat of the day, and will mean you will need to water them less, and they should flower for a bit longer. 


save water
4. We live in one of the driest regions in the country, if you want your garden to look good all year round try drought resistant planting. 


save water
5. If your garden gets really desperate you can cut you plants back to reduce their need for water considerably, or at all.  


WIN a £50 voucher to spend on drought resistant plants! Simply share and tag Urban Jungle and @AnglianWater in your photo of the gardening tips in action, or let us know your own ideas for saving water. The winner will be announced after this Thursday 9th August.

If you need any more tips or advice on saving water in the garden during the heatwave, you can get in touch with Nursery Manager Uhi and the team HERE. 




 
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Eucalyptus; treat 'em mean...

30 July 2018 - Posted by Liz Browne, in Norfolk, Trade, Propagation, Nursery, Suffolk

Eucalyptus

Fast growing, evergreen, interesting/often beautiful bark, scented foliage…..these amazing trees create an all year round, sub-tropical feel in our gardens. What's not to love about them? Well recently we've noticed that Eucalyptus have been getting a bad press. Many gardeners are often afraid to plant trees, especially of a genus which includes many extremely fast-growing large species. But it's the fast-growing nature of Eucalyptus that makes them so valuable, especially for impatient gardeners who don't want to wait decades for a mature tree to grace their garden. Not all reach monster proportions in a decade though, and there are some lovely, smaller-growing species available. 

It's all about choosing the right species, planting in a suitable location, and planting when very small. This is because tall potted specimens have too high a top-growth to root-ball ratio and never seem to establish very well. They flop around in the wind and need to be staked for far too long. We once heard a saying about Eucalyptus - 'The bigger they are when you plant them, the bigger they are when they blow over'. And there is truth in this. Eucalyptus are Australian natives and they have evolved to grow in poor, nutrient deficient soil. The roots of the seedlings quickly dive deep to find water and nutrients, and in the process give the tree firm anchorage. But if planted in rich moist soil they don't need to bother putting the effort into making deep roots - why would they when they can simply produce shallow roots to find all their needs? And this is key - if your soil is poor and dry, a Eucalyptus could well be a beautiful and safe addition to your garden, without the risk of strong winds toppling it. If your soil is very fertile you might want a re-think.

When we moved into our sister site at Beccles last year we had several large specimens which had been planted as a windbreak. Growing next to a ditch they were getting ample water and we were concerned that they may have been lazy with their rooting system. This coupled with the fact that they were precariously leaning towards our polytunnels made the chop inevitable. Shame because they were looking good and adding much needed height and shade to the nursery. We topped them at approx 1.5 metres and they all survived and are re-shooting. They will now make bushy specimens and we'll restrict their height to about 4m in future.

The hardier specimens are usually problem free, although like all evergreens, the foliage can be damaged by icy easterly winds in winter. The 'Beast from the East' caused some leaf damage this year, but fortunately this was cosmetic only. By mid-summer, these leaves had been shed and replaced by lush new growth. 

The scent of Eucalyptus leaves is produced by a chemical in its leaves called Cineole. This chemical is the Eucalyptus' weapon against predators, and only a few creatures have adapted to be able to eat it, including Koalas, and a few insects. It's this chemical that bestows antiseptic properties to Eucalyptus oil, which is why it's been used for centuries for cleansing and medicine. And last but not least, did you know that the wood of Eucalyptus makes for the very finest didgeridoos? Toodle-oo.


Some of our favourites include...

Eucalyptus gregsoniana

This gorgeous little tree is an excellent choice for a smaller garden. Growing to 6m or so it has a pretty, airy canopy and silver grey bark. We had a specimen at our Costessey nursery which survived the 'Beast from the East' this year and temperatures of -8 degrees. 

There is a super specimen outside the Princess of Wales conservatory at Kew Gardens that survived the dreadful winter of 2010, where temperatures plummeted to -14 degrees for a prolonged period. Unfortunately the little tree at our Costessey branch had to go as it was in the way of our new kitchen building, but we'll be planting more of our favourite Eucalyptus at our Beccles site very soon.




Eucalyptus coccifera 

Moderately fast growing and can reach a height of approx. 18m. During the first few years you can expect it to grow between 1 and 1.5m a year, slowing down when it reaches 10-12m. The adult foliage is willow-like and the bark is very striking, shredding to reveal shades of pink, silver, grey, brown and white. Very hardy and wind tolerant.



Eucalyptus nicholii 

A wide spreading tree with a dense, weeping crown of slender blue-green leaves. Rough, fissured, cinnamon coloured bark. This is a fast-growing species, achieving 2.5m growth in its first year, eventually forming a tree some 12m high. This specimen loves the heat and is well versed in drought tolerance, so it'll be thriving in this hot, dry summer.



Eucalyptus dalrympleana

Smooth pink/brown bark, peeling to reveal a patchwork of creamy white beneath. Mature trees have pure white bark. Although round and glaucous in their juvenile form, the adult leaves are green, often copper tinted, and sickle-shaped. Very hardy, mature specimens survived the very worst winters in the UK, and although suffered leaf damage, they quickly recovered. Beautiful mature specimens can be seen at Kew Gardens.



This specimen has fascinating foliage. The leaves are round and completely circle the stem. As they die they dry, becoming bright red and separate from the stem, but remain encircling it. As the wind blows them they spin, giving this tree the name of 'Spinning gum'. This tree is suitable for coppicing to form a shrub or hedge. The added advantage of coppicing is that it  encourages it to continue to produce juvenile foliage - much sought after incidentally, for flower arranging. Left to its own devices it can reach 6m but can be maintained at 3m or so if desired.


Select any of the sub-headers to find out more about each Eucalyptus tree including the prices, care guidelines and how you can order this online for home delivery. Contact us here if you have any further questions at all. Talk to us about trade sales too!


 
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