What goes with bamboo? (apart from a flamethrower)

(10 Posts)
SkodaLabia Sun 10-Apr-16 18:04:32

I need some speedy screening and bamboo (the non bastard type) seems like the cheapest option. The planting schemes I like are prairie, cottage garden and coastal. I also like that jungly type look with banana trees but the garden is the wrong shape and we live by the sea so I'm not sure apart from ferns and palms that would work.

Would it look weird to have a mixture of grasses, bamboo, foxgloves, agapanthus, verbena, hollyhocks and lavender all knocking about together?

Ferguson Mon 11-Apr-16 20:29:26

We have grasses and BLACK BAMBOO close to each other.

If you like the look of your mixture, that's all that matters I think. In due course, if you feel something isn't 'right' you can always change it.

shovetheholly Tue 12-Apr-16 09:52:30

I can't see why the plants you mention wouldn't work very well together. Half the common plants in British gardens come from different ecosystems in far-flung corners of the globe, so there is little 'consistency' in biological terms! My only reservation would be that foxgloves tend to like shade, and the other plants sunshine.

I do think it makes sense to choose your overall 'style' though! (This is less a choice of plant type in many cases than a choice of the way in which they are planted). It sounds as though a cottage garden might work!

SkodaLabia Tue 12-Apr-16 11:11:41

Thanks! Yes, a good point about deciding on a style. I think I probably like prairie planting best, but what puts me off fully committing to that is how expensive grasses are compared to other types of plant! Perhaps I could use a few judiciously placed ones to get my fix and then fill up with cheaper stuff like the Verbenas.

Ferguson, are your black bamboo in some sort of root barrier? I read an article by Diarmaid Gavin that said that all bamboo will eventually spread in search of nutrients, which scared me a bit!

shovetheholly Tue 12-Apr-16 11:17:16

Grasses don't have to be expensive - check out Secret Gardening Club, which often has 3 for £7 or so. Also, some are very easy to grow from seed. I've just done a whole load of stipa tenuissima and I have about 20 plants for a 99p pack of seeds.

As I just said on another thread, sometimes you only need one of the larger grasses to make an impact in a smaller space. They WILL grow!

As will bamboo. The thing about clump-forming kinds is that they gradually spread outwards. Like other plants, this can be halted by dividing them. However, that is quite a job - you will need a spade, a saw, and a lot of heft, because the roots can be tough as old boots.

You could always consider rather easier-to-prune evergreen shrubs instead for screening!

SkodaLabia Tue 12-Apr-16 11:35:25

Thanks. The advantage of bamboo is their immediate height, Homebase are selling ones at the moment for about £30 that are already over 2m tall. I wouldn't have thought I could get a tree of that size for that price. Will check though.

Never thought about growing from seeds! Idiot. Will look. I don't want the faff of indoor sowing and then transferring, but I'll check what the options are for just chucking them in the ground.

Spreading outwards is fine for where I'd be planting the bamboo. Whizzing off and appearing in the middle of the lawn wouldn't be. grin

Just looked at the Secret Gardening Club, it's fab! Thanks!

echt Tue 12-Apr-16 11:40:32

I live in Melbourne and have screening bamboo. My suggestions might not work because of temperature/frost in the UK, but the style can be imitated by other plants.

Ground cover: tradescantia zebrina.
Climber: plumbago (amazingly)

shovetheholly Tue 12-Apr-16 11:49:40

LOTS of grasses in the (inexplicably early) offers from Secret Gardening Club this week, coincidentally including Calamagrostis Karl Foerster, which I've been recommending a lot lately - love it!

SkodaLabia Tue 12-Apr-16 12:03:48

Thanks for those suggestions, echt, they both look lovely, although I might struggle with the Plumbago as the garden is quite exposed.

Yes, holly, I'm very excited about the special offers! The garden isn't quite ready to plant yet, I wonder how long I could keep the plants in their little transport pots.

shovetheholly Tue 12-Apr-16 12:12:14

I still have a couple of things in pots from there that I bought in Februaryblush. I WILL get them out as soon as it stops raining! Just check that nothing needs potting on - I got some Anthriscus Ravenswing from there that was utterly potbound (good sign - it was a vigorous plant) and needed to go into a larger pot for a while while I faffed over where to put it.

Most stuff comes with a pot, but a couple of orders have come in transport modules and needed to be potted on straight away at home. (Takes 2 minutes).

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