In July, I attended Ned Jaquith’s memorial, held at his Bamboo Garden Nursery in North Plains, OR. During visits to his nursery, Ned would usually treat me to a tour of the garden, so it was a very sad realization that Ned would never again be there to greet me. Still, it was a wonderful comfort to visit and share food with friends, and to share entertainment and stories with so many people, all of us brought together by Ned Jaquith. The bamboo grove was a beautiful backdrop for the drumming performance, and the perfect place to share our memories of Ned following the performance. I am grateful to Ned for all of the experiences and memories he gave me during the years I knew him. Here are a few clips of the drumming performance, another gift from Ned that, with permission from the performers, I gladly share.
Unlike bamboos with leptomorph rhizomes, the spread of bamboos with pachymorph rhizomes (clumpers) is controlled the removal of aerial stems. In this video, I demonstrate containment pruning, on a hedge of Fargesia ‘Rufa’. The primary tool I use in the demonstration, is a gas-powered, Husqvarna hedge trimmer. Unfortunately, the battery in my microphone died early on in the demonstration, so I lost most of the commentary and explanation. Also, I am not wearing safety glasses in this video, but you should ALWAYS wear eye protection when working with bamboo, or using power tools of any kind.
Although our customers loved the screening, the beauty and the utility of this bamboo in their children’s play area, due to lifestyle changes, they needed the area to be very low maintenance. After discussing the options, we decided a complete bamboo removal was the best solution. Our customers fell behind on the maintenance, so the bamboo grew under the rock border into the “sandbox”, and under and around the play house. In an attempt to keep the bamboo at bay, the canes were cut down leaving stumps and spikes, severely compromising the safety and usefulness of the entire play area. Unlike digging bamboo field divisions, this removal was of the “demolition” variety, where the main considerations are cost effectiveness and efficiency.
Here are a few pics and notes from the Bamboo Craft Workshop held here at Outdoors By Design nursery back in (I hate to write this) September! In the making of a simple bamboo flower vase, Charissa taught students how to “prepare bamboo as an art material” including techniques for splitting, cutting, notching, and heat bending bamboo, techniques to bind it together, and decorate with rattan using Japanese caning knots. It was agreed upon by participants and teacher alike, that the workshop was a wonderful success!
Students at Work!
I wasn’t in the class, but I dropped in from time to time, taking pictures of the activities from start to finish. Students started by sorting through a stack of bamboo to find branches used in making their vases. After class, Charissa presented me with a finish vase as a gift.
These are samples of rattan knot work that can be used to bind and decorate bamboo.
Samples of Charissa’s Art
Charissa brought a few samples of her work. Visit her website to view photos of her sculptures and jewelry by clicking here.
I get a lot of questions from people about screening with bamboo in a very narrow bed, and which bamboo will be best for the task.
Usually someone wants a 15′-30′ tall screen from the neighbors, and they want to know if they can grow a bamboo hedge in a 2′-3′ strip of dirt between a concrete walk/drive/patio and a wall/fence. It can be done, but I discourage people from trying it because it takes more work to maintain a very narrow planting space, and because I think most people will be disappointed in the performance of their bamboo hedge (read more about where to plant bamboo).
Recently, I have seen two gardens where bamboo screens are being maintained in a narrow planting spaces. Pictured below, is a long hedge of Fargesia robusta being maintained in 3′ wide bed. This a twelve year old planting, so it’s not going to get any taller without a drastic change in the growing environment.
A twelve year old hedge of robusta
To maintain the spread of the plant, culms are cut off at the ground. To maintain the canopy width, the hedge is sheared vertically to remove arching culms.
Pictured below are three Fargesia robusta being used to screen a view of the neighbor house. These plants were 3′-4′ tall in #5 containers when they were planted about four years ago. With intensive pruning, they are being maintained in a bed that is only 2′ wide. Unlike the hedge pictured above, these plants have not been sheared, giving them a more natural look. Also, these plants have grown much faster and will eventually reach a greater maximum height than the above hedge, because of intensive management, i.e. soil amendments, lots of water and fertilizer.
Our client wanted a circular pond that would incorporate the Native American symbolism of the circle and the four directions. The original pond (installed by a well-intentioned, “do-it-yourself-er”) was literally falling apart due to the use of the wrong liner, poor construction, and raccoon damage. Sand and river rock were used to hide the plastic […]
Here’s a short report and a few pics of how our clumping bamboos performed during last week’s record cold snap. It’s raining and temperatures are back in 40′s this week but last week, the night temperatures in much of southwestern WA dropped below 10 degrees F., with daytime highs in the teens and twenties. Here […]
In this video demonstration, I thin out a young planting of Fargesia scabrida. This particular plant started from a full, #2 container, and has been in the ground for three growing seasons. One thing I don’t mention in the video is that I like to prune my clumping bamboos in fall, well after the current […]
Last weekend, the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the American Bamboo Society hosted the 2009 American Bamboo Society Conference at the Murano hotel in Tacoma, WA. If you’ve never attended a conference, here are some pics and notes that will give you an idea of what goes on. You can click on the pics to view […]