Jun 5, 2005, 9:59 AM
Post #8 of 12
Senor Dutch is correct. With careful planning and control, bamboo can create a very interesting landscape feature. I have had success with six 'clumps' of an aggressive growing variety at my casa here in the states for the past 12 years. Mine has NOT gone crazy and engulfed the neighborhood. It lives right where I want it quite nicely. It has not been a problem at all, but you do have to take some careful steps prior to planting to maintain it. I consulted a master gardener at the Portland Japanese Gardens (a must see if you ever get to Portland), and purchased strips of galvanized sheet metal, 120" long by 10" tall. (good luck finding a sheet metal shop in Chapala) fastened the strips together (4" overlap) with a pop-rivot device, and sealed with silicone sealant and formed a kidney bean shaped area about 10 feet by 4 feet. According to the gardener, the rhizome/root does not like metal, (either did my hands), wear gloves when you install this stuff. Bury the metal "cookie cutter" shape, so the top edge is just an inch or so below the top soil. This may sound like a lot of work, but I am a project person so I really enjoyed the process. I thought it was straight forward and simple. Inside this "kidney bean" perimeter, I planted about three 1 gallon pots, today you can barely see thru it.......yes! you will have a jungle by the third season. It will create a very interesting effect.
"BIG CAUTION FLAG"........FOR YOU SPOCK!!!
This stuff loves water and it would love to suck the life out of your pool, and in the process destroy your mechanical system (pipes). It can really cause problems around water pipes and potentially the concrete, gunnite walls of the pool. I would recommend you use caution about how the barrier will be placed between pool and plantings. The rhizomes (roots) creep from the top as Dutch indicated. If you use concrete, I would add some re-bar mesh, to reinforce the curb or wall that is buried at least 12 inches, the mexican blend of concrete (not as strong as what is used NOB) IMHO.
It also drops quite a bit of leaves (seasonally) here in the Pacific Northwest. I would place it at least 15 feet from the pools edge. Maybe with the Chapala climate, the leaf drop I experience here in the Portland area would be minimized. This plant is plenty hardy and when we get our winter freezing rains, the tall stems (15 - 18 feet tall now) bend over and sometimes touch the ground with an inch of ice plastered on everything. Then a thaw and back up they go.
It is a cool plant. If you have ever traveled to Asia you see bamboo used as scaffolding on high rise structures 40 stories high (most amazing) and foot bridges that span 100 foot canyons.
Good luck Spock!
"NOT ALL WHO WANDER ARE LOST...."