I met another bamboo friend last weekend, and took a tour of his bamboo and palm collection on Anderson Island. Here are a few pics and some comments from my trip out. Click on the pics to view a larger image.
Sasaella masamuneana 'Albostriata'
George happened across one of my bamboo articles and emailed me to drop by and take a look at his bamboo collection. He has somewhere in the neigborhood of 30 different bamboos, including many dwarf bamboos being grown as low shrubs and ground covers. I haven't been to any private garden yet that utilized as many ground cover bamboos on such a scale.
Phyllotachys 'Robert Young'
George's collection inlcuded many bamboos which are common fare for around here, still there were some memorable plantings. Most impressive was a fairly large grove of Phyllostachys 'Robert Young'. In the cooler microclimates of Western Washington, this bamboo is very slow to spread and size up, so I was surprised to see some very large canes in a nice grove of this bamboo.
Black Bamboo hedge
George also has a planting of Black Bamboo, Phyllostachys nigra
planted as a screen. Although I am not a fan of using barrier, George has used it to contain this bamboo in a 3'-4' wide strip (completed surrounded) for over a decade. I was very impressed with the quality of the privacy hedge in such a narrow space. After a decade, the bamboo is really straining the barrier, and I suspect that it will soon need maintenence, still, pretty impressive to have done as well as it has for as long.
George has one of the most impressive vole infestations I have ever seen or heard of. The vole damage to the ground covers was truly astounding. If I hadn't seen the tunneling and the tell tale signs, I would have thought that a larger vertebrate pests, such as deer
, horses or cattle were the culprits. At right, the shaded area is where voles have gnawed the stems back to the ground
I don't know much about palms, but George is growing a bunch of them, many of which are marginal for Western Washington, and doing a great job of it. Being right on the water has a moderating effect on the winter low temperatures, but the less hardy palms still suffer over winter, sometimes losing the centers, but come back over the growing season. I was most impressed with Trachycarpus wagnerianus, which is every bit as hardy, but has shorter, stiffer leaves that don't fold over in snow like T. fortunei. George also had several Mediterranean Fan Palms, Pindo Palms and many others.
Chamaerops humilis -Mediterranean Fan Palm
Butia capitata - Jelly Palm