Sunday, 1 September 2013
Panda Food for Thought.
I have not forgotten Tian Tian and her plight. As you can see, she is welcome in my garden at any time.
I have seven different types of bamboo growing here, spread around the garden. But, I should add hastily, they are not spreading varieties, but clumpers. They will eventually increase in girth, but only slowly, unlike some types which you need to plant and stand back as they race away.
Bamboos are very special plants, as bizarre in their habits as the Giant Pandas who feast on them.
Like the pandas, they have strange, sometimes self-destructive habits. Some may only flower once every few decades, even once a century, and after flowering they may die. In this way whole forests can be wiped away, and the pandas who need them must travel to a new habitat.
The bamboo in the photograph was grown from seed after a plant I bought flowered and died in its first year with me.Luckily it is easily grown from seed.The specimen above is about fifteen years old and eight feet tall, so a forest can be reborn at a speed which makes it almost possible to watch.
Many of my bamboos came from Jungle Giants, a very interesting nursery which supplies a wealth of information as well as a wide range of plants.
I think my garden is now mature, like me, and I can simply appreciate what I have seen grow there. With the bamboos there is a lot more to appreciate than just sight. There is wonderful flickering movement and soft noise, like rain falling. They give stature and form to the garden all the year round, and now I also have a constant supply of canes of any size to act as support for other plants. Indeed, I may put up a sign at the gate to say 'Pick Your Own Bamboo Canes'.
I am not using them to their full potential, but in time I may be inclined to build a fence, or a little tea-house for Grand-daughter, or another oriental-type bridge. The possibilities are there.
In this country bamboo is not as appreciated as it is in the Far East, where bamboo groves are an aid to contemplation, symbols of strength and uprightness.
'Strength and uprightness', I think as I potter in my own bamboo grove
Exactly what I need as the arthritis kicks in.