Before and After - Graceful

Ken, a customer from Tampa, emailed to say how pleased he is with the screen provided by the 9 Graceful bamboos he installed in August 2009.  Eager to create a tall, dense screen to hide a noisy A/C unit and provide privacy from neighbors, Ken decided to purchase 7-gal size Gracefuls instead of 3-gal size plants.  Bamboos in larger containers have bigger root systems, which can support more culms as well as larger diameter and taller canes. 

Sherry and Ralph,
It has been almost a year since we installed the Graceful bamboo I purchased from you. I have enclosed pictures showing the transformation in just 1 year! We are very pleased with the outcome.

August 2009

Three 7-gal Gracefuls were planted about 4' apart in front of a noisy A/C unit
The remaining six Gracefuls, also planted about 4' apart, bordered the fence.  Note the narrow planting bed in both pictures.
 One Year Later  
July 31, 2010

Where is that annoying A/C unit???
And the fence...What fence?  It must be behind there somewhere...
One more view of the entire fence line, including the now-hidden A/C unit


Bamboo in large containers

Bamboo is an instant gratification plant and there's nothing that says "tropical paradise" quicker than installing a large container of clumping bamboo in your landscape.  Below are several of our most popular clumping bamboos in 15-, 30- and 50-gallon containers.

Our son Timmy is almost 6' tall.  These 15- and 30-gal Graceful Bamboos are between 15' and 18' tall

 Emerald Timber
Emerald Timber - well established roots, quite tall culms
Two closeup views of a 30-gal Emerald
One more shot of Timmy next to 30-gal Emeralds

Oldhamii (Giant Timber)

Very full, tall Oldhamii - also called Giant Timber - in 30- and 50-gal containers
15-gal Oldhamii


15-, 30- and 50-gal Seabreeze.  All - Very full.  Very tall.  Very dense. 
15-gal Seabreeze
A very full 30-gal Seabreeze - one of many large container bamboos ready to be create an instant tropical paradise in someone's backyard


A lakeside wedding with bamboo arbor

This morning I received an email from customers who purchased some of our bamboo poles to build a wedding arbor.

Sherry,  We just wanted to say thank you so much for the gorgeous bamboo we purchased from you for our wedding arbor. It turned out beautiful and was perfect for our ceremony. As promised I've attached some photos for you. Thanks again!  
-Jean & Victor Gonzalez

What a perfect structure for a lakeside service...
Wedding arbors or "chuppahs" remain one of the most popular uses for bamboo poles.  Jean and Victor chose a more elaborate design with diagonal cross pieces but even more simply designed arbors add beauty and a natural feel to a beach or lakeside wedding.

Happiness abounds...

And one more view of the wedding arbor against the backdrop of the still water.


Blue Timber Bamboo - A most beautiful clumper

Bambusa Chungii
Can grow 30-35 feet with 2" diameter canes. Very Hardy
A powdery coating on both new and mature canes gives Bambusa chungii the alternative name of White Bamboo
Although we call this Blue Timber Bamboo, it is also known as White Bamboo. The name comes from the whitish-blue powder that covers the new canes as they develop. With an upright growth pattern and thin-walled culms, this stunning bamboo contrasts beautifully with the dark green canes of Seabreeze, Oldhamii or the attention-getting bright yellow canes of Sunburst, Asian Lemon or Hawaiian Gold. 

The white powder covering the culms comes off when touched
Use it as a centerpiece plant or create an attractive hedge that will mature quickly into an eye-catching focal point. 

This 4-year-old stand of Blue Timber started out with just one single cane when it was first planted in 2006.  Over the years new shoots appeared on the perimeter but, unlike many other clumping bamboos, Blue Timber shoots come up a bit away from older canes giving the clump a more open, grove-like appearance.
Blue Timber canes are gorgeous! Whenever visitors to our nursery walk through the "tunnel" of Blue Timber bamboo, they are always awed by the plants' exquisite appearance.

Two Blue Timber bamboos form a tunnel.  The bamboos were both planted 10' apart in 2006, each from one single cane.  Today they form a beautiful shady tropical oasis.
A close up look at the tip of a new Blue shoot

A long view shows of the shape of a four-year-old clump of Blue Timber. 
Also available is a shorter clone perfect for smaller gardens called BABY BLUE (Bambusa chungii barbellata) which grows 20 to 25 feet tall with slightly narrower canes and the same striking colors. 

Emerald - A bamboo gem

Bambusa textilis mutabilis/Kanapaha
Can grow 30-40 feet with 2" diameter canes. Very Hardy

Emerald - also called Royal Bamboo or Wong Chuk - is a stately and elegant cold-hardy bamboo

I often refer to Emerald as the "big brother" to Graceful bamboo because they are both members of the Textilis family of bamboos.  

The new shoots come up fairly close to existing canes, which produces a nice tight clump that will not only look attractive but help to provide a dense privacy screen.
Emerald is one of the cleanest, neatest looking specimens we carry.  The tall, straight canes on this timber bamboo have very few side shoots so they rarely need pruning.  The space between culm sections is unusually long, which give the bamboo an especially striking appearance. 
The new canes have a slight bluish tint

Another striking feature is the slight blue tint that appears on new shoots and remains throughout the first year of growth.  After that, the blue changes to an emerald green color, which means at all times the clump has multiple shades of color.

The four clumps of Emerald that I'm standing next to are just 1 year old.  Each one started with a single cane planted 4' apart.  In only one growing season they have formed a tall, full hedge. 
Many people who look at Emerald in our demonstration area say, "This is what bamboo is supposed to look like." 

Planted in 2002, this mature specimen of Bambusa textilis Emerald also started out with just one single cane.  Look at it now!


GOLDEN GODDESS BAMBOO Bambusa multiplex golden goddess

This delicate-leafed hedge bamboo is a great choice for a smaller lot.  It also works well as a container plant for patios or poolside planting.  Golden Goddess can tolerate winter temperatures that dip for short periods of time into the high teens, making it a good choice for people living in Zone 8 - 10.

If planted 4' to 6' apart in rich soil that's watered and fertilized regularly, this semi-dwarf (6' to 12' tall) bamboo with 1/4" to 1/2" canes will form a solid wall of green by the end of its first growing season.

Our daughter Jenny stands in front of a 4-year-old clump of Golden Goddess that shows off the bamboo's distinctively round, fluffy shape.  

Even though Golden Goddess tends to grow in what I call a "snowball" shape, it is easily pruned to take the form of whatever shape works best in the landscape.  The line of Golden Goddess below demonstrates how nicely Golden Goddess can be pruned to create a short squared off hedge.

We offer Golden Goddess in 3-gal, 7-gal and 15-gal size containers.  Even in 3-gal containers, Bambusa multiplex golden goddess is already quite tall and has multiple canes as Ralph demonstrates in the photo below:

A closeup shot shows the size of this bamboo's canes.  Golden Goddess culms are small but plentiful.  They rarely get larger than 1/2" diameter.


Bambusa multiplex Silverstripe - Green Hedge Clumping Bamboo

If you are looking for a bamboo that will provide a dense screen, buffer wind, block sound and tolerate winter temperatures that dip into the high teens, Bambusa multiplex Silverstripe is the bamboo for you.  This extremely functional bamboo is also one of the least expensive bamboos we stock, which makes it ideal for long fence lines or perimeter plantings.  

The clump of multiplex that our daughter Jenny is kneeling next to was planted in 2002 from a 3-gal size plant with only one single cane.  Over the years as the root system developed, new shoots appeared around that first cane to form what soon became a leafy, thick cold-hardy clump of sound-, sight- and wind-buffering bamboo.  Looking at how it looks now, it's hard to believe that large clump started with just one single cane.  But it did!

Multiplex has been a landscape fixture for decades in many southeastern states.  It is often found surrounding the perimeter of old homesteads, especially here in Florida.  When we first moved to our property, we planted extensive stands of Green Hedge.  Those that were planted in rich, peaty soil grew huge while the ones we planted at the same time in sandy, nutrient-poor soil grew about a third as tall as their rich-soil counterparts.  The smaller plants are still healthy, they just grew slower due to the less rich soil. 

Below are four pictures of multiplex that show how quickly a 3-gal size plant with just one cane can grow into a large verdant clump.

The one-month-old multiplex above started out with just one cane - the smaller one to the left. The cane on the right appeared shortly after it was planted.  Below are two more pictures of the same plant after it has been in the ground for one year:

Notice that some of the new shoots are yellow with green stripes.  As the culms mature, they lose the yellow color and turn green.  However, sometimes a bit of striping remains lower down on the culm.  The young leaves are often striped as well, as can be seen in the forefront of the picture below.  That's what gives this particular strain of Bambusa multiplex the name "Silverstripe."

The same one-year-old bamboo seen from afar, below:

Below are two pictures of mature fence line plantings of Bambusa multiplex Silverstripe bamboos.  Both plantings started with lines of 3-gal size plants spaced 10' apart.  The bottom photo was taken when the stand was about 5 years old.  The top photo with our son Toby standing next to the bamboo, was taken when the bamboo and Toby were both about 9 years old.  They say kids grow up fast but bamboo grows up faster!



Bamboo for interior design

A customer who ordered assorted sizes of our Domestically Grown Designer Bamboo poles to use as a focal point of their home's interior just emailed pictures of the finished project:

Hi Sherry, As promised, attached are the photos of the installation. Bamboo poles look fantastic! Thanks again for prompt shipment and high quality product.

Now we are thinking to plant some tall thin green plant in front of the bamboo poles. Is there some bamboo species that would fit the space and could live under artificial light?

I replied by saying that Dwarf Buddha Belly, Golden Goddess and Ladyfinger are three clumping bamboos that do especially well as indoor plants.  Also, any of our running bamboos would work well as container plants.  We especially like the way Green Hedge Running Bamboo, Yellow Groove and Black Running Bamboo work as container plants.  If 3-gal plants are purchased and repotted into 15-gal size containers, they will grow nicely, filling the containers in 2-3 years.  At that point they will need to be divided and reset into the same and additional pots. 


Should I support bamboo canes that lean?

 New shoots of Yin Yang clumping bamboo

A customer writes:
My wife and I visited your farm and bought a stand of yin-yang bamboo back in mid-May. We planted it according to your directions and it seems to be doing well. We've just had 2 strong shoots pop up and they are growing phenomenally. In the last few days, though, one of the mature canes is falling over. As I said, it looks very healthy, maybe too full and healthy! Anyway, I tied the canes together-there are maybe 3 or 4 total mature ones-to keep the one from falling over, but I wonder if by doing that I am jeopardizing the others that have remained upright. The one leaning over is kind of heavy. Any advice?

My response:
I'm glad to hear about all the new shoots!  Concerning the leaning mature cane.  You have 3 options:  

1) you can tie that cane to a stake to help keep it upright 
2) you can do as you've done and loosely tie the top heavy cane to other mature canes to keep it from bending over or 
3) you can trim the top part of the leaning cane off, which will prevent it from being so top heavy.

If you continue with option 2, you are not hurting the bamboo as long as you don't have the canes tied together too tightly.  Within a couple months when the new shoots now emerging grow tall, they (and other yet to emerge new shoots) will support the leaning cane.

If you opt for #3, you don't have to worry that topping the tall shoot will do any damage.  That cane will not grow more once it is topped but all the new shoots will grow taller. 

YinYang has a "weepy" profile, which means that leaning over canes are part of the plant's natural look.  With any bamboo you can modify the look of that clump by selective pruning.  


Before and After - Angel Mist and Blue Timber

I just received some great Before and After shots from Kristin and Ryan of St. Pete.  Although St. Pete is not that far away, being closer to the coast provided needed warmth for cold-sensitive plants like Angel Mist. 

 May 2009 - Two Angel Mist clumping bamboos planted in the foreground, one Blue Timber clumping bamboo planted in front of the door.

May 2010 - the house is hidden behind lush foliage!  

The red cylinders by the two Angel Mist bamboos are water devices Ryan developed.  He fills the tubes with collected rain water which leaches into the soil via very small holes punctured in the base of the cylinders.  Bamboos do better when receiving a constant slow drip instead of an occasional flooding.