Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Taming of the Bamboo

I hope this Bamboo Barrier stuff works because it is now one of the most apparent sights in the garden --- endless running feet of unsightly black plastic edge. This 18" wide sheet of some kind of high-techno plastic sinks into the ground (perhaps my guys didn't sink mine deep enough)and is supposed to contain the rampant riotously running roots of bamboo. About four years ago I planted my 3 favorite kinds from little clumps that came from LongHouse (not only the most beautiful sculpture garden on Long Island, but also a fantastic source for bamboo: choose among dozens of kinds for a very modest donation of $25) and naively thought they would never get out of hand --- or that it would take so many years that I didn't need to heed warnings and plant with any precaution.

Well, I was wrong....the black bamboo has spread in every direction and instead of accentuating its shady border, it was obliterating it. The divine dwarf striped bamboo ( a kind of Pleioblastus ) has spread through the picket fence just like I wanted it to, but it is also on its way to smothering Hellebores and that good golden Honeysuckle, Lonicera nitida on the garden side while my very favorite, the Sasa veitchii , knows no bounds. Starting out as one meager clump, it now engulfs an Andromeda, a big yew and is about to overtake a very dramatic standardized blue spruce. I am praying that this Bamboo Barrier
will keep my bamboo where I want it in the garden and not where it wants to be.
I will report regularly on the results of this project...

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