06:19AM | 08/24/03
Member Since: 07/23/03
4 lifetime posts
What's the word on using bamboo as a way of creating a garden "wall"?


02:10AM | 08/25/03
Member Since: 01/14/03
264 lifetime posts
Yes, bamboo can be used as a 'garden wall'. But, like the first response indicated, if you're planting it, you need to know a bit more about it. Study up on the stuff a little to make sure you know what you're getting into, or not.

If you're just taking cut bamboo to weave or build a fence with, that's one thing. But if you're intention is to plant it, that's quite another. There are two basic bamboos...running (phyllostachys) and clumping (fargesia).

Running bamboo is the one that we always hear the horror stories about where the stuff just takes over vast areas. And it can, for it spreads by rhyzomes underground and can travel quite a distance seemingly overnight. (Wonder why Hitchcock never picked up on that one for a movie...) Some of the bad stories come from Japanese Knotweed, which might look a little like bamboo, and spreads like wildfire, but really isn't a true bamboo. Like running bamboo, it is nearly impossible to get rid of. There are some truly stunning running bamboos. They can be quite magnificent in the right place, if they're contained. And containment means installing a hard plastic barrier at least 30-36" deep completely surrounding the area where the bamboo will be allowed to grow. That's a lot of work.

Clumping bamboo grows like it clumps. It stays in one place and does not spread. Planting a number of these together, in a staggered row might achieve what you want, but might run into some money, too. There are many wonderful varieties.

If you a nursery that specializes in or sells bamboo nearby, check them out and ask your questions. You can also check out some of the website dealing with bamboo to get more info. The New England Bamboo Company has a good website with a catalog with pictures.

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