Bamboo For Never
There is sadly a plant that has the potential to send a chill down my back. While it does bring a somewhat exotic look to the garden, being an “Out Of Towner”, that has the ability to charm gardeners. This particular plant once invited into the garden has the ability to expand at alien speed that is frightening. So when redesigning a garden the one plant I would prefer not to cross is the Bamboo.
It has the potential to swallow up the whole of a large shrubbery and even travel large distances of up to 5 metres under tarmac, pathways, driveways and concrete to terrorise other parts of the garden, especially if the wrong variety, is selected. When it comes to removing Bamboo plants I have found that they are very disagreeable and resorting to industrial machinery is the only satisfactory root. They tend to be the bullies of the garden and are form a gang of 10,000 species ranging from dwarf species to large tropical ones. Thankfully there are ONLY a few hundred varieties growing in this part of the world.
Like all plants that Mother Nature has bequeathed us Bamboos do have a good side. They help, to reverse global warming as they produce the MOST OXYGEN of any plants. Consume more carbon dioxide than any other plant plus are very effective at removing metals and other toxic substances from soils and water and provide safe housing to Over 1 billion people in the world who live in bamboo houses. All good, but all this that taken into account, I feel they are still best planted in there natural habitat.
If you going to plant Bamboos then chose the” Clumping Bamboos" as they spread a lot slower as opposed to the running types , which can travel several metres outward, producing canes along the way each season
"Running Bamboos" spread at fast pace by pushing through the soil with mature plants spreading width and height. In some extreme cases runners can spread over 5 meters in a season when mature. I have witnessed this startling fact on quite a regular basis.
It takes a bamboo plant about three years to get established. Once established with suitable summer humid conditions I have noted growth of a metre in height in less than a week during the summer humid months.
While bamboos do not flower very often when they do beware as they can die after flowering.
The case for leaving Bamboos out of Irish gardens is a strong one and on that note I rest my case.