A few years back I got the great idea of putting in some bamboo in the north bed of our backyard. You will understand why by the following picture. As lovely as our backyard is, we can never escape the feeling that we live in a fishbowl. Not that we imagine that our neighbors spend their days spying on us from their bedroom window, but just the same, we would prefer to have some more privacy. Previous owners put in a maple with the hopes that it would eventually provide some cover, but the tree got diseased and had to be cut back. (And who plants a maple tree in a raised bed anyway?)
Given my usual glacial pace for home projects, I finally got around to transplanting some forest bamboo a year and a half ago. Some friends of ours were having their backyard overtaken by the stuff, so my nephew and I arrived, pickaxes and shovels in hand. Since these were going in a raised bed above our lawn, held in my old railroad ties, I didn’t see the need for putting in a metal barrier to contain the rhizomes from spreading. Hopefully I wasn’t an idiot.
What I did do that was rather idiotic, was I didn’t make sure to keep some foliage on most of my transplants. These plants grow to 30+ feet, so I chopped them down to about four feet so that I could move them. On four of the plants I left no green on them (or maybe I could blame this on my nephew). It didn’t occur to me that the plant will need to perform some photosynthesis to stay alive. Here is a photo of a plant that didn’t survive.
Despite such brutality, one of the fully stripped transplants sent up a small chute the next year, and the other plants that still had foliage sent up a number of small chutes around the base of the main “stalk” (or whatever it’s called). I blogged about this first about a year ago https://thiskellycarpenter.wordpress.com/2011/07/12/big-bamboo/
But it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that some brand new chutes came up. I had all but given up hope that this would happen. But look at them! This first one has grown two feet in about three days. The second one is a little scrawnier and slower growing. And don’t you just love those clematis!