Some twenty years ago I saw some pots of moso bamboo at a nursery that was about to go out of business. The plants were Australian seedlings from the world-wide flowering of the eighties, gathered and sprouted by the nurseryman himself. His advice to me was to plant the pots on a south slope of my property, using local wattles as a shelter. The advice was taken, in a rough fashion. Of the eight or so pots, three survived animals, exposure, drought, crowding, tenants, fire and general neglect by the writer. Things got better, thanks mainly to the chance preservation of some shoots growing within lantana thickets.
Last year, the first (seemingly) adult culms appeared in the grove, which now occupies some three or four acres of hilly ex-dairy country between the sea and Great Divide in the Macleay Valley of NSW.
Some weeks from now, all being well, large shoots will appear in the soil. If protected from wallabies, possums, bandicoots, brush-turkeys, horses, cattle and careless human feet, the shoots will grow at the rate of a foot or more a day, achieving heights of up to eighty feet in less than a couple of months. (After which they will never grow another inch. Not ever.)
I know nothing about horticulture, blogging, or photography, but I thought it might be fun to follow the progress of the grove over spring and perhaps into the next year.
So, I’m thinking of buying a camera (Fuji Finepix okay?) and keeping a little photo-journal of what, for me and a surprising number of others, is a very pacey and exciting event…albeit of the vegetative kind.
I really can’t say much about the tech side of growing moso. It’s got a half-Greek, half-Latin official name (phyllostachys pubescens), it loves growing here, and it’s the commercial type of bamboo that’s used for just about everything – except feeding pandas (sorry panda-owners).
Moso is said to be tricky to propagate, but thanks to the fact that mine are seedlings I’ll never have to try.
So, please check in to my site in the coming months if the spectacle of a moso spring-shooting interests you.
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