As every person who has ever planted something will attest – there’s no reward greater (well perhaps falling in love and child berth) than witnessing that tiny seedling/cutting/shoot make its way to maturity.
Previously I may or may not have confessed that both Ally & I could be considered Horticultural Hopeless Harrys. In my case, brought about in the main, by a distinct lack of energy when it comes to getting down and dirty. Without bringing Freud’s Theory of Psychoanalysis into play, that attitude potentially stemmed from being held back from more preferred activities like playing with my mates, by orders to pull weeds (lots of them) from the token garden our family pretended to grow, many moons ago. Sad really, because I have always admired a well-kept garden.
Today however, we see the outdoor spaces around our home as potential gold mines that can deliver all manner of reward for inversely proportionate effort. This amazing transformation has come about only in the last couple of years and intensified, since discovering Bamboo. The discovery of this plant’s seemingly endless attributes and uses is one thing but the journey it has taken us on is just as amazing as the plant itself.
Had you told us just eighteen months ago, that we’d be starting to design a permaculture principled land holding in Tassie’s South, we would have referred you to one of Freud’s successors. Events over the past couple of months however, have brought that unlikely scenario, into sharp focus. Thanks (I think) largely to our now rectified ignorance that the many benefits Bamboo brings to the planet are in perfect harmony with the Principles of Permaculture
Like hand in glove, most of the 12 Principles have Bamboo written all over them and I discovered this when, out of curiosity, I attended an “Introduction to Permaculture” workshop conducted at one of my favourite local places Glen Derwent
It was at this event that I learned to my surprise (though not sure why the surprise), that permaculture was actually born in Tasmania! Processing that information explained quite a lot about the ‘green branding’ that most non islanders perceive. Frankly I think Tassie can hold its head pretty high with those ideals and what’s wrong with wanting to save the planet?? You get the feeling that the world is JUST beginning to understand that maybe the ‘tree huggers’ have got something after all!!
A series of events then took place that saw a landscaper who had approached us at Tassie’s biggest agricultural event Agfest because of his (and his wife’s) strong interest in and extensive use of Bamboo, attend our property and sew the Permaculture seed for turning our home and Bamboo nursery/plantation, into a far more productive and ecologically friendly place.
This is only the beginning then, of a new fork in the Bamboo road and we feel a bit like Dorothy & Toto treading the yellow path of excitement and adventure. I do hope the witches and flying monkeys (wallabies and rabbits perhaps) are ready for a battle as we swale and plant our way to a brand new future.
Several ideas now present and we are keener than ever to get Tassie pumping with Bamboo fever. I have often pondered how best for me to lessen the impact I have personally had on the planet – I think I’m beginning to understand.
Our Gracilis lined driveway is coming along nicely, now seven months after planting. Every plant has produced multiple culms, most of which have now reached 90% of their final height. Not the final height of the plant, but the final height for this year’s culms. There’ll be another height next season and then the plants full height should be achieved in 2020.
Now this years have reached that 90% level, their branches will start to unsheathe from their nodal points and the foliage will begin to give the plants their shape and produce an effective screen of our fence. Once that process is done, the new culms will then resume the journey skyward, closing that final 10% to full height. It’s been quite fascinating watching this take place so quickly and the prolific amount of new shoots/culms (double figures in some cases) has surprised us in the most pleasant of manner.
Growth will now cease for the year of course, with winter now well and truly upon us and Jack Frost not too far away. Customers have asked whether it’s ok to plant the pots out now and there are two schools of thought: 1) Nothing is to be gained as nothing will grow in the cold ground & 2) having them exposed to the wilds of a Tassie winter will harden them and at least the roots will establish ready for a growth spurt in late Spring. I can see the case for either but until I see how a new planting (we have done so) gets through the cold months, I’ll be recommending option #1.
Finally for today – a BIG thank you to all who have responded to our website so positively, especially those who have made contact and asked some great questions. Please continue to do so, we look forward to hearing your adventures with Bamboo good and bad. Speaking of which, if you are unsure if your Bamboo is a runner or a clumper, give us a call or email us. There’s a simple way to tell and we can also tell you how best to contain, get rid of them – organically of course.
Till next time – take care and ponder the thoughts of Matsuo Basho when he said: