UK: The rise and rise of the modern garden centre

People come from far and wide to Urban Jungle in Costessey, Norwich, and its sister nursery, in Beccles, to take photos of themselves with exotic plants and different kinds of cacti – and the result has been a huge business expansion.

What started in 2001 with one couple has grown to 40 staff including a marketing manager, two outlets, and a major events schedule which will see 76 different workshops and seminars held this year alone. These include 'how to create your own Bonsai garden' to 'no fear gardening' 'unwrapping your garden for summer' and 'plants for wellbeing', many of which are already sold out.

Rachel Bannon, events and marketing manager, said it all started with the name. “Owners Liz and Malcolm Browne came up with the name 'Urban Jungle' almost 20 years ago and the hashtag has just proved so popular because it really describes people's plant space in the city.

“Social media has been a huge part of our growth, we've seen our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter followers go from 8,000 to 28,000 since the summer of 2017. People just want to come and take pictures with our plants and then if we're lucky enough, they might buy some.”

Read more at the Eastern Daily Press (Caroline Culot)

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