Well, dear readers, you may as well know the truth. This post was *strictly* supposed to be about my continued adventure with bamboo, but something got in the way. Yes, the rose fairies, and there you have it. I’ve said it straight out. What’s a girl to do? I tried to tell them this space was reserved for BAMBOO, but, no, they wouldn’t have it. And so after being plied by overwhelmingly intoxicating fragrances and colors that frankly made me swoon, and several attempts to explain the meaning of the words Out of Context, words that went softly sweeping into an offshore breeze, the letters falling like petals into the neighbors’ gardens, well, I finally succumbed to their overwhelming silent argument and here we are, a just truce. So you will notice our sublime agree-ment. They get top billing. (You can see why.) And then one paragraph (and perhaps a photo) for me, then a rose. And that’s how it is. The juxtaposition of the reds and greens of my current reality. Amen. Now on with my story, Bamboo/Part Two. What? Oh, all right. You’re right. It was a paragraph and it is your turn. (Isn’t this ridiculous?)
So the bamboo plot thickens! As now I have two bamboo plants, but not one I can use as a screen to replace the annoying ivy that covers the fence between my property and the one next door, thereby creating a privacy screen in support of my sunbathing propensities and my private yoga deck which is still in the planning stages. Thus my attention returns to the very neighbors in favor of replacing the ivy with bamboo, who are hoping against hope that the dreaded ivy will disappear (probably after decades of trimming it as it has crept through their fence, poor things), after realizing that they HAVE bamboo on their property! I must explore! I slip next door to speak with my neighbor, Dave, and there he is, working on a new fence, bless his heart.
(Oh, my, those roses creeping into everything! I would think that would count, wouldn’t you?)
“Dave,” I say, “I notice you have bamboo in your yard.”
“In the yard?” he says. “That’s not the yard,” his North Carolina roots informing his declaration. “That’s the creek! It’s just there to help prevent erosion along the creek.” (There is a good-sized creek running on the far side of their property.) Okey dokey. Let’s explore the bamboo along the creek. “It hasn’t gone anywhere in 35 years!” Dave declares. Ah. Then that would make it a clumping bamboo! Hallelujah. I suggest to my friend that the best way to learn about a plant is to work with it. This makes sense to him and I can see he is amenable. I come back with pruning sheers and gloves and work on the bamboo for about two hours, simply using my intuition to guide me. Dave kindly offers a tarp to catch everything I’m cutting down, and another larger pruning tool. I work carefully, as at the base of the bamboo is a very old entangled blackberry bush, wouldn’t you know it? And I have to walk out on an old bridge that spans the creek to reach some of the old dead branches of each.
Eventually I surrender, putting down all tools, and taking off my gloves and begin digging in with my fingernails to peel back the dried outer shell of the stalks (called culms)–to reveal the most beautiful pale green bodies underneath! Yay! Strikin’ it rich on the bamboo front! It reaches at some points about eight feet into the sky, culminating in a lovely variegated plume. Near as I can tell this bamboo that is relegated to “not part of the garden” but simply “erosion control” is actually quite valuable and I fully intend to learn what I can by helping to restore it, and then eventually transplanting some to our common fenceline. It is, in fact, a Godsend, and I’m grateful.
“I see you have a camera with you,” says Dave. “Did you see that rose down at the end of the driveway? You might want to take a look.” (See? They are everywhere, whispering in the ears of elderly men and tiny children, dogs and deer and all manner of beings, capturing our hearts and sights and reminding us of the full beauty of a spring finally come ’round.) “No, Dave, I will have to look into that.”
Love and many blessings,
Posted on April 29th, 2008 by Kathryn
Filed under: Plants