This post, “Bamboo” was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana 

When we moved here 31 years ago, bamboo had been planted as a screen by our next door neighbor.  It has slowly grown over the years and is now a lovely division between us and our neighbors.  The original owner used to trim it like a hedge.  He kept it about 12 feet high and about 3 feet wide and 20 feet long.  It grew under pine trees.

About 12 years ago, he became too frail to live in the house any more. He moved to a nursing home, and eventually the house was sold.  No one wanted to trim the bamboo like a hedge any more, and so it grew into a lovely 20 foot tall vase-shaped planting.  Over the years as we have lost pine trees, more sun than before has helped it grow.  The ground was hard clay, but I started putting leaves and pine straw on my side and watering more often.  I was rewarded with an abundance of growth, but nothing that was overpowering.


When bamboo started to become popular a few years ago, I was happy that I already had some.  It is fairly hardy here.  We did have a bad freeze here many years ago when it got down to about 5 degrees.  The bamboo did lose leaves, but soon rebounded back.  Because there was nothing but bare ground by the bamboo, about 7 years ago, I planted holly ferns in front of the stand and mulched with pine straw. Having all the green there makes it a very restful spot.  I also placed a bird bath and small bistro set there.

The birds are also attracted to the bamboo.  Every year we have some towhees nesting there.  Also in the summer, there are birds that roost among the canes.  I never have seen them, but if I go out at dusk, I can hear them. Today, when I was out in the garden, I saw cardinals and chickadees in the top of the bamboo, flitting around and making the canes rustle.

One of the nicest things about having a large stand of bamboo is the sound it brings to the garden.  When I go into the side garden to read or just sit and look around, it is not long before the rustling of the leaves of the bamboo attract attention.  If there is a breeze, it is even better.  They say a garden needs to appeal to all the senses, and my large stand of bamboo helps do that – adding sound and visual appeal.