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Urban Jungle Blogs, News and Press Releases > Suffolk

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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Drought Resistant Plants

30 July 2018 - Posted by Uhi Millington, in Norfolk, Trade, Propagation, Nursery, Suffolk


Great plants for hot weather and drought conditions

The weather has certainly brought us some challenges this year. Back in March when spring should have been on the way we were knee-deep in snow, desperate for the sun to come out and warm things up a bit. 

What can we say – we got what we wished for and so much more. It's been beginning to look like the Savannah out there, and although we have may have had a few showers now, we've learnt our lesson! So, don't despair - your gardens can still look great despite the heat. 

There are plenty of plants out there that can tolerate drought, offer late-season colour, and food and shelter for wildlife. We have a huge selection of drought tolerant and arid plants at the nurseries - too many to list them all, so here are five of our favourites which are looking great at the Nurseries now.



Festuca Glauca 'Elijah Blue'

Festuca Glauca 'Elijah Blue' is a good all rounder. It's small and neat, its needle like blue foliage makes it extremely drought tolerant, and best of all it's evergreen so you can enjoy it all year round. It is a great contrast to a succulent garden.





Perovskia 'Blue Spire' is a great companion to grasses. It smells of  Lavender and Sage, it has silver stems and  foliage to reflect the heat, and big panicles of violet blue flowers which last well into autumn and are a great late food source for pollinating insects.



Eucalyptus gregsoniana

Eucalyptus gregsoniana is a small specimen and grows to only 6m. It's very hardy – there is a beautiful specimen at Kew Gardens. Eucalyptus grow on poor, dry soils in Australia, and with this in mind it is best to plant young specimens and make them race to find water and nutrients. This way they'll make good deep roots. Don't lavish them with water or a rich soil as they'll produce shallow roots and are liable to blow over. You can read more about this and other Eucalyptus grown on site in Co-owner Liz's new blog here. 



Euphorbia characias 'Silver Swan'

Euphorbia characias 'Silver Swan' with dazzling variegated silver foliage, this shrubby perennial is a real winner on dry soil and is still looking cool despite the heat. 



Sempervivens

Sempervivums
Sempervivum means 'always alive' these winter hardy succulents are exotic and drought tolerant, they thrive in well drained poor soils, cracks and crevices, they multiply to form mats, and best of all they are really easy to look after.

If you're looking for more advice on the best plants for your indoor or outdoor space why not take a look at our Plant Finder, Shop Online or Contact Us today. 

 
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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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