Do you ever feel completely overwhelmed by a relentless to-do list that never seems to get shorter? I know I do. I have found that feeling like I can never really get on top of all I have to do can lead to a downward spiral of stress, anxiety and frustration. Feeling such pressure can often put me in a bad mood, making it difficult to enjoy and appreciate all the things I’m doing while I am doing them because I feel so rushed. Can you relate?
I have found something that helps: Taking a moment to think my “safe” thought.
Yeah, I know my posts about the backyard bamboo project are probably getting old. BUT, I’m getting excited. Check out this picture:
Notice how tall this shoot has become? It has grown about 15 feet in one week! And it will cover up our neighbor’s bedroom window nicely, I must say. Now it’s time to start branching out. (Yay! Go Mr. Bamboo, you can do it!!)
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!
Last fall our friends Dave and Jeanne Powell graciously let us dig up some of their forest bamboo for transplant into our backyard. Digging up bamboo is no small job, and after I couldn’t even manage to dig up one plant without putting my hand at risk, I hired my nephew, Justin for the heavy digging and lifting.
Once spring hit, I have been inspecting the transplants almost daily, and YEA!!, the plants have finally started to put out shoots. Once firmly established, this bamboo will grow to heights of 25 feet. You may wonder why we would want to put such big bamboo in our yard. Well.. we want to mitigate the feeling that we are under constant surveillance from our neighbors.
Yep, we would like to cover up those windows.
See all those shoots to the right?
Check out the tall shoot behind the transplant.