IF there’s one plant that can give your garden that alluring oriental look, it’s the bamboo plant. There are many varieties and I love them all, from the dainty Japanese bamboo to the timber bamboo that can reach forest-like proportions.
Not only do the plants look aesthetically-pleasing, they also give a gentle, soothing sound when the wind blows. A lush clump of bamboo with its wide expanse of droopy canopy provides shade too.
Just imagine having a cool drink or a hot cup of coffee or tea in your patio against a backdrop of a beautiful bamboo garden. It will give you the serenity of being in harmony with nature.
Whenever I come across bamboo arches gently framing a walkway into a house, a resort or a park, I feel a tranquil welcome that’s instantly soothing.
TENDER LOVING CARE
Bamboo is one of the best choices for a house plant as it needs minimal care and little light. But you need to water it frequently especially when the weather is hot. Without sufficient water, the leaves will become dry and wilted.
Being a hardy plant, the bamboo can regrow quite fast. Its root growth can also be quite extensive so if you plant the bamboo on the ground, be prepared for it to grow abundantly. Though bamboo plants need little maintenance, they do need love and care. Caring depends on the type of bamboo you plant, the soil in which it is grown and the climate. Providing sufficient water for bamboo — usually twice a week — is your first step to caring for it. Though it needs minimal water for growth, you do want it to look healthy, fresh and rich with the glossiest green colour ever.
Fertilisation, weeding and mulching are also a vital part of bamboo care. Keep the roots moist and cool using mulch of rotted organic matter.
This provides nutrients for the bamboo. Fallen leaves and sheathes also provide all the mulch and nutrients required. Prune low branches and remove old and weak ones.
For a small garden, plant them in pots or other containers, or within concrete barriers. Clump several bamboos and let them grow together. While they may require little horizontal space, they can grow very tall. When grown inside a container, bamboo’s root growth can be a major challenge. Use heavy compost to stabilise them but also ensure good drainage.
A TOUCH OF BAMBOO
To create an exotic-looking landscape in miniature, surround the clumps of bamboo with a swathe of pebbles and rustic timber panels.
Use bamboo to give a hard-looking pergola or fencing a softer look and a more naturalistic setting. Nothing like having a touch of bamboo for an eco-friendly and contemporary look.
Interior designers and landscape artists often prefer to use bamboo as it is suitable for large or small gardens, balconies, containers, raised beds and hedges. Bamboo plants are lovely as arches to shade walkways or used as screens to create an enclosed, intimate spot or even a secret area in a bamboo maze.