Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bamboo in the garden.

Bambusa vulgaris 'Vitatta'
 Giant Golden Bamboo
Gardeners in the wet tropics and sub tropics of this country who have have been growing the huge clump forming Bamboos in their gardens for years are often the envy of city folk who may like to experience the joy of having that giant grass bamboo in their backyard. Many people shudder at the thought of using bamboo however especially if they have had to deal with that noxious weed of 'running' bamboo and have seen how destructive it can be. 'Clumping' bamboos are helping restore the image problem bamboos were having and there are now lots of specialist growers where you can get great advice on the types suitable for smaller gardens. Many species survive sub zero temperatures, make great hedges and are adaptable to most situations . They are prone to salt burn in sea wind particularly during late Winter. Their main growing time is from mid December when the main flush of new canes appear. These take several months to open out from a pole appearance to a stem of new leaves.The one pictured above grows to 25metres and is not suitable for a small garden. The giant stems arch over and move with the wind so cannot be recommended where power lines occur. It has beautiful green striped gold canes and a feathery appearance at the top when mature. It is useful for erosion control and embankment stabilization. It is a sustainable plant and harvested poles have many uses . As a child, the best fun a boy could have was to make a raft out of bamboo poles and ride it down a flooded creek.


  1. Bamboos are beautiful in their own right, and is said to be one of the most useful plant. Raft, and huts are one of the many uses of bamboo. Bamboo young shoots can end up nicely for a lovely dinner. Lemang, our local delicacy from glutinous rice is best cooked in bamboo. Cheers ~ bangchik, Malaysia.

  2. Ian, at our house at Sea Island, GA, we have used bamboo as a broader around the back of the property to give privacy, as well as a tropical feel. And there, at times, the temperature gets down about 7 degree Celsius.

    I hope you (Tom Sawyer) are having a great day rafting around New South Wales...