Saturday, June 17, 2006


Yes, we've been warned about bamboo. "It's invasive." "It's like a weed." "You won't be able to control it." To be honest, we really don't care.

Our house backs up to a highway. That highway has a railroad running between the North and South-bound lanes. There is a wooden fence, but you can see it's falling apart. (We'll replace that eventually.) So, we needed something that would grow fast and create a bit of a soundbreak... and we couldn't think of anything better than bamboo.

At least we've got the good stuff... one varigated form, black bamboo (pictured) and a couple of clumps of the giant bamboo. The goal is to have it fill in along the back fence and create a little bamboo forest back there. We're also stuck with a triange-shaped easement between part of our back yard and the city's fence. We've put the bamboo back there in hopes that it will fill in and make the easement less of an eyesore.

The husband LOVES bamboo. He's looking forward to the sound of the wind rustling through the leaves. Sure beats the cars and trains.


Anonymous M Sinclair Stevens (Austin) said...

I'm envious of the black bamboo. I've been planning to get some for the planter in front of my house. (The owners before me planted Indian hawthorn there which was too big and bushy for that spot.) I've removed all that and dug out the planter. I'm looking for a source for black bamboo. Where did you get yours?

June 17, 2006 2:41 PM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

Good luck with your bamboo forest, and its function as a soundbreak! The garden writer Allen Lacy wrote about keeping his bamboo under control by cutting stray shoots when young, then microwaving and eating them.

We haven't grown any, but I was soooo tempted by pots of tall Black Bamboo at the Sunshine Garden sale. My prudent husband had driven his smaller car instead of mine, ensuring that we could only buy short plants.

What's the vine growing to the right of the bamboo? Maybe morning glory or Moonvine??


June 18, 2006 1:01 PM  
Blogger r sorrell said...

I'm not sure what the vine behind the bamboo is... I DID plant some red morning glories a few months ago, though. There is also another vine that we didn't plant that grows all ver the back yard which doesn't bloom. I'm not familiar with moonvine.

We got all of our bamboo though the Texas Bamboo Society. My husband dug to a member's ranch in between Bartlett and Rogers to dig up clumps. It's supposed be available, though, at Shoal Creek Nursery (on Hancock) right now.

June 18, 2006 7:09 PM  
Anonymous Pam/Digging said...

I'm intrigued by the idea of growing bamboo in a container. I like it but am too afraid to let it loose. I wonder how thirsty it would be in a container? I may have to try it out.

Roxanne's vine looks like English ivy to me, but it's hard to tell from the picture.

I didn't even know that morning glory had a red variety. Interesting. Moonflower vine is a beautiful annual vine that is the opposite of morning glory--it opens at dusk. Its flowers are huge, creamy white, and wonderfully fragrant. It's also very easy to grow from seed.

June 18, 2006 7:57 PM  
Blogger r sorrell said...

The vine probably is just English Ivy- it doesn't bloom. It tends to take over eveything, which can be a pain.

The man with the bamboo society told us that you just stop watering bamboo when you want it to stop spreading. I don't think I buy that... but I'll keep it in mind. You can also stick to the clumping varieties, which are supposed to be easier to control. (We went with the more invasive runners because of the highway and all.)

June 19, 2006 8:21 AM  

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