Adding Zen to the farm

Two weeks ago the pond builder mentioned it might be nice to plant some bamboo in an area that we were clearing. Et voilà – we have the start of our new bamboo area.

We purchased ten bamboo plants from a nursery in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Thank you koi friend Felicia Santos for the recommendation!) It was a lot of fun to wander around the bamboo nursery and we got a lot of expert advice. I came with a wish list and the only variety we were unable to purchase was Phyllostachys aurea Koi. It may be a little temperamental to grow in our zone so I’m not sure if we will try it. I’ll probably have to wait until spring to purchase a specimen.

We came home, finished some prepping of the land and then placed the bamboo plants where we thought we might like them. We purchased 5 Moso bamboo plants, three large and two small. The large bamboo is about 14 feet tall. In North Carolina, Phyllostachys edulis Moso, generally averages around 40′ tall. It’s max height is 75′.

Moso bamboo is what you find in the Arashiyama grove in Kyoto. The young bamboo is velvety to touch.

We have Pleioblastus simonii Medake which will grow 10-20′. In North Carolina it averages around 15′. It’s name means “Woman Bamboo”

Another smaller bamboo, averaging about 10′ tall in North Carolina is Bambusa multiplex Golden Goddess. This is our only clumping bamboo and we wanted it for its light, airy look.

The last bamboo is a temperamental Hibanobambusa tranquillans Shiroshima. It looks a little tropical, beautiful variegated leaves but needs to be sheltered from winter winds.We think we have a good spot for it and hope it will thrive.

Meanwhile my koi could care less about the bamboo and are generally busy eating. Their appetites are back and they are spending more time swimming around the pool rather than hiding under the skimmer. One nice thing about the koi pond is the overflow water and waste water can be recycled for garden projects. In the back area, I recently moved some plants out of the garden and a few evergreens to be watered by the pond. A little difficult to see with all the weeds that enjoy the water as well but I think I can expand on this garden area. The pond builder is using the water from backwashing the bead filter for the new bamboo plants.

The pond builder is feeling all the work in his shoulder lately. Hopefully we don’t have something too serious but he really should take a break. Not this year but once the bamboo get going, we’re going to build a little bamboo viewing covered platform. A little spot for some tea, read a book or contemplate life among the cedars and bamboo.