Bamboos grow well in most parts of the world, and can be appropriate to gardens almost anywhere provided you select an appropriate variety to suite the climate and situation it is used in; then treat it according to that situation. Bamboo poles have also been used as construction material in gardens (and elswhere) for centuries.
Stands of bamboos can provide an Asian feel of theme to the garden, whether small or large varieties are used.
Clumping types produce tight stands of bamboos, relatively easy to maintain and good to use for most landscape jobs.
Running types have been known to escape into other properties and can be very difficult if not almost impossible to contain.
For most landscape jobs, clumping forms are the preferred bamboos to use.
Landscape use of Bamboos:
Classic Chinese design places running bamboos at a distance to provide a vivid background due to its fine texture. Clumping bamboos were placed predominately in the foreground, with a few placed between fore and background to harmonise the arrangement.
Clumped bamboos are best scattered sparsely over a landscape, not evenly positioned.
The number of culms left to grow and develop in the clump may affect the density of the clumps appearance. If too thick, it may cut out attractive views. If too thin, it may allow too much breeze through. A balance needs to be established, which will be different for each landscape location.
Thinning may also lighten the landscape by allowing light to permeate to the ground.
Running bamboos can be used to make hedges whereas clumping groups are best used as a standard tree specimen.
Paths which pass through a bamboo grove were called 'Bamboo Paths' according to ancient Chinese landscape architects. They are perfect cool zones to escape hot summers.
A classic location near pond or river banks, or near rocks tend to emphasis the structure of the bamboo and the surrounding features.
In domestic gardens serious consideration should be given to pest potential of the bamboo. If running types are desired, ensure planting location is far enough away from services and structures and that there is some kind of solid structure in the ground to control stolons. Bamboo has been known to come up through slabs of concrete. Placing running bamboos in pots raised above the ground can aid control.
up to 4m
shiny green to matt green-brown
narrow and short
Bambusa heterostachya 'Variegata'
Variegated Malay Dwarf
Bambusa 'Alphonse Karr'
Yellow Stem Hedge
Green with yellow stripes
Bambusa 'Golden Goddess'
Golden colour when mature
Dark green broad
Bambusa textilis var gracilis
Bambusa vulgaris 'Vittata'
Yellow with green stripes
Large dark green
Stripes of yellow, pink, pale green and cream
Green to 30cm long
Timor giant Black
Mature to dark purple
Big shiny matt dark green
Otatea acuminata var azetecorum
Long narrow attractive
Mature to yellow
Mature to shiny black and arched
white and green striped
Dark green to light green
Dark wide green
Erect yellow with green stripes
Abundance of green
Erect, green to dark brown
Erect, almost reddish in full sun