Bamboo: a first look

     Family fiesta Châteauneuf #2 2017Family fiesta Châteauneuf #2 2017

This June during my French trip I visited my aunt and uncle in Chateuneuf-sur- Cher. They are exceptional gardener, their potager (veggie garden) is legendary.  When they are not tending their own plot they also dig at a nearby community garden. This garden is flanked by a river ( Le Cher) and a bamboo grove. The size of the canes are epic and I was completely mesmerized. In the photo above my uncle Pierre-Yves who is thin and tall  walk amongst the towering canes. 

Family fiesta Châteauneuf #2 2017 Family fiesta Châteauneuf #2 2017

The gardeners harvest the canes and make dozens of trellises with them. Any plant support is made of bamboo. I used to spend part of my summer there growing up, and I noticed some bamboo here and there but never could I imagine such a large mature grove. This part of France (Berry) is cold in the winter, hot in the summer (continental climate) and can in places be pretty damp. The close proximity of the river explains a lot.

In Utah we are, like California, in drought condition. Maybe it is natural for our high altitude desert but my husband who grew up here tells me it’s much drier than it used to be. I do dearly love bamboo though, always have and enticed by some 30-50% off sale  I purchased two completely different species. One Fargesia Rufa and one Phyllostachys Nigra. The first is clumping and the second running and I will keep them in the shade, away from our drying sun by the new wood shelter. The thing though is that I hope to grow them in containers. Could be a problem with our cold weather… for now they have to make it through the winter in the nursery pots, inside other pots with mulch in between.
Bamboo overwintering experiment

I have placed them in the warmest possible spot, by the brick and full sun. Now I need to keep them watered. Progress report in the spring !

   Bamboo overwintering experimentBamboo overwintering experiment

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