Bamboo in the Garden
1st March 2015
Bamboo in the garden is becoming increasingly popular due to it's attractive stems and leaves, ability to provide a fast growing privacy solution without blocking out light totally and unlike bushes is less dense at the base, creating more space in the garden.
They grow in clumps and there is a quite a number of different varieties alll with slight variations in height and appearance and some are more suited to shade or sunlight than others. Bamboo like plenty of water and do not thrive in dry soil.
Thompson & Morgan the popular UK mail order plant company currently sell four types of Bamboo, including a dwarf variety, Pleioblastus argenteostriatus f. pumilus that only grows to about 1 metre high, ideal for smaller gardens, and for providing greenery rather than a privacy solution.
At the other end of the scale is their Golden Bamboo, which can grow six times the height and reach 6 metres (20ft) tall, towering over the garden. It can be planted alongside fences or in large containers to create breaks in the garden space or on a patio or decking to add some greenery. This bamboo is evergreen with striking yellow stems.
Golden bamboo are part of the Phyllostachys genus of bamboos, which like sunny or part sunny conditions. They have coloured canes and are ideal as hedging option due to their height. Another popular Phyllostachys Bamboo is Oriental Black Bamboo, Phyllostachys nigra, which has ebony like stems.
A plastic root barrier, like the one in the top photo is recommended for this type of Bamboo to stop them spreading to parts of the garden you do not want them.
Another genus of Bamboo plants is Fargesia Bamboo plants, these form clumps, but do not require a root barrier. Another big difference is that these Bamboo varieties prefer shade and are ideal for adding greenery to gardens with partial or full shade conditions. In the wild they are native to Asia, and grow in high altitude woodlands.
Due to their place of origin, of course Panda's are well known to feast on Bamboo shoots, this plant is perfect for Japanese or oriental style gardens, as the plant is often used in such gardens in Asia. They are also suited to modern contemporary garden designs.