Nursery News From 2023.

Welcoming Our Exceptional New Team Members at Urban Jungle

In our continued commitment to enriching the Urban Jungle experience, we were pleased to introduce a fresh wave of team members in 2023. At Urban Jungle, we recognize that the cornerstone of an unforgettable visit is exceptional service. This year, we’ve expanded our team, bringing on board dedicated plant enthusiasts who share our core values of passion for plants, and create a great customer experience.

We encourage all our new colleagues, no matter what their role, to embark on an intensive journey into the world of botany (they even get weekly homework!), studying not just general horticultural practices, but also delving into the rare and sometimes downright obscure species we offer. This specialised insight is rare in retail horticulture and enables our team to offer you expertise that is as unique as our plant collection.

Meet Ollie, Kyle, and Kelsey, based at our Beccles branch.

Kyle has set about revolutionising many aspects of the nursery sites and taking our delivery service to a new level. His dedication to ‘boys toys’ has seen us acquire new kit, improve our irrigation systems, lighting, presentation of buildings, and many other aspects of the nurseries too numerous to mention.

Ollie is a blur, we can’t remember the last time we saw him clearly, because he moves fast! Dashing around the nursery, his energy and organisational skills have transformed our Beccles site, but he’s also to be found adding his artistic touches in the cafe, making beautiful afternoon teas, photographing our plants for our website, and making great displays in a meticulously neat way.

Kelsey spins the cappuccinos in our Beccles cafe, but like all our team she participates in our plant training and has become particularly interested in houseplants and is now able to advise customers and help them with their selections. 

Introducing Cheznie, Lauren, and Rosie, based at Costessey.

We’re immensely proud of the team we’ve assembled at our Norwich branch. It’s a rarity to find such a cohesive group of individuals who not only excel in their roles but also seamlessly communicate and collaborate. They ensure their responsibilities are meticulously managed, even during their well-deserved days off. Each member brings a unique flair and dedication to their work, whether it’s nurturing our stock, maintaining the aesthetic beauty and organisation of our nursery displays, capturing engaging photographs and videos for our social media, or providing exceptional service to our customers. The synergy and commitment displayed by these outstanding team members are truly the backbone of our Norwich branch’s success. And they’re a great group of gals!

And last but definitely not least, Roy.

He washed up one day in spring looking somewhat bedraggled and down on his luck, but seemed determined to adopt us! Although we had no choice in the matter, we didn’t mind and after a quick restorative visit to the vets he’s now looking chipper and has taken it upon himself to keep Skinny Pete in check, giving him the odd swipe so that he knows who’s in charge!

Boys Toys – meet the mighty Winch!

We love our big Olive Trees, and so do our customers, but it’s not fair to simply drop them at your gate and leave planting them to you. (they’re really heavy!).  We’ve always endeavoured to plant them for our customers, whether in the ground or in pots, but it’s been a bit ‘hairy’, to use the technical term. Now we can safely lift them and lower them into the desired planting position using this fantastic bit of kit. Together with our magic 1-tonne trolley and scissor lift we can move these wonderful plants around the nursery, and ensure they are perfectly presented for you in your garden.

Introducing our Oriental-style Tea Hut.

Adding a new dimension to our Costessey branch, this loosely Japanese themed building presents a new vantage point for our customers to enjoy our display plantings whilst indulging in tea or coffee and cakes. It’s also a lovely, shady stop off point during long plant buying tours!

New Plant Ranges and Species.

As well as our retail garden centre and cafe business we are working hard behind the scenes to offer our customers new and exciting plants. To this end we are propagating many rare plants from seeds and cuttings gathered from our display gardens and also from collectors. Over the last couple of years we have been acquiring stock from specialist nursery men and women who are leaving the industry. In the process of ‘hoovering up’ some exceptional species we might have stopped them from going out of circulation in UK horticulture. As a result of this magpie-like fascination for plants that are not just rarities, but also exceptional performers, we have many species that we are the sole stockists of in the UK (as per the RHS Plant Finder), and many that we stock alongside just a handful other nurseries.

The Callistemon Collection.

Outside of Australia many of these varieties are extremely rare and we are happy to announce that we’ve some very promising results in propagating them, meaning that young plants will be available to buy in 2024. Check our website for availability.

 1. Callistemon subulatus ‘Packers Selection’, 2. Callistemon citrinus ‘Splendens’, 3. Callistemon paludosus purple-flowered, 4. Callistemon ‘Mauve Mist’, 5. Callistemon ‘Happy Valley’ – available summer 2024 , 6. Callistemon ‘Taree Pink’ – available summer 2024, 7. Callistemon ‘Pink Champgne’ – available summer 2024, 8. Callistemon pallidus ‘Father Christmas’, 9. Callistemon citrinus ‘Angela’- available summer 2024, 10. Callistemon ‘Perth Pink’, 11. Callistemon ‘Havering Gold’, 12. Callistemon pityoides, 13. Callistemon pallidus, 14. Callistemon pinifolius salmon pink available autumn 2024, 15. Callistemon pinifolius ‘Viridis’ – available Autumn 2024, 16. Callistemon ‘Injune’

The Borinda Collection.

These special bamboos from the Himalayas are clump forming, making their non-invasive growth invaluable for gardeners. They also have unique blue/grey/jade green culms (canes), making them outstandingly beautiful. We bought the collection from one of the former top collectors in the UK and are planning to begin propagation of them this year. Added to this, like intrepid explorers venturing into the wilds of Cornwall, we have hacked off large pieces of some species from a spectacular collection to make Rhizome transplants (with permission of course). Check our website for availability.

Conifers.

With a bad reputation from the 1970’s, when many dwarf conifers flooded the market, our stock focuses on oriental looking pines and firs that will naturally form ‘lifesize’ bonsai specimens, ideal for growing in pots as well as in the ground. Many of these varieties are hard to find in the UK and we spent a whole year hunting down a specialist grower in Holland to supply us. Some examples of our rarest species are:

Abies procera ‘Rat Tail’

Abies pinsapo ‘Fastigiata’

Pinus thunbergii ‘Thunderhead’

Picea orientalis ‘Aureospicata’

Pinus strobus ‘Radiata’

Individual species.

As well as the collections, we have many species in production that we’ve produced from our display gardens. These are just an example:

Colletia paradoxa

Tetrapanax papyrifer

Ilex perado subsp. Platyphylla

Zanthoxylum piperitum ‘Kuro-Fune’

Leucadendron ‘Mrs Stanley’

Leucadendron ‘Safari Sunset’

Leucadendron salignum ‘Fireglow’

Banksia marginata

Genista aetnensis

Canna ‘Taney’

Canna ‘Intrigue’

Hakea lissosperma

You can use the Plantsman’s Style section on our website to view the 120 different plants stocked by fewer than 20 other suppliers.
We will have many rare additions to make to our Plantsman’s Style section in 2024.

January 2024 Newsletter – exclusive content for our newsletter subscribers.

1 Comment
  1. We enjoy visiting your Costessey site not only for your scrummy cakes and drinks but to explore and detect plants we might add to our tropical-themed garden. On every visit we’ve found your staff to be very knowledgeable not only about the plants themselves but how best to position and maintain them. The Trachycarpus Fortunei x2, giant Olive tree, Blue Pine Tree and large Tree-Fern we’ve bought over the last year have all settled in very well indeed, and we’re very grateful your delivery men planted/positioned them for us too. We’ll try (disabilities permitting) to get to you over the Christmas holidays to take advantage of your sales discounts (we think we might have just enough room for another tall Tree-Fern).

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