Monday, July 01, 2013

Empty and Temporary

Well almost anyway, considering what was there before....

y last Saturday (the first few were taken last week as Gaz had previously blogged about), as well as a few not so hardy palms and other bits and bobs and I'm currently relishing the openness of the top patio as a result of it.

First one in...
Going (you can squeeze them all in)....

Gone (and all in)! Ready to be taken to their lovely new home!
Only a few potted bamboos remain, the one or two that were reserved by Gaz's parents as well as a couple of the smaller ones that were reserved by another friend. Three pots were saved from the cull as they will serve as screening from the neighbours. Two small pots of bamboos however will have to be taken to the nearby recycling centre for destruction as they are far too invasive to be planted out and no one that has approached has expressed interest in having them (due to their invasiveness). Plus I also don't immediately know anyone who has masses of land that are happy to let go of these two bamboos. We really need to let go of as much as we could as space is needed, as soon as possible....

Ahh space!
Did you know that at one point I had over a hundred bamboos in my collection? I love bamboos, obviously but in such a relatively small garden I could only accommodate a fraction of them to go in the ground. The rest had to be kept in pots. I enjoyed having them, I really did even when my interest in them started to dwindle as part of my 'personal evolution' when it came to this exotic gardening lark. They were in the garden and I took delight in taking care of them as much as I could even when I stopped purchasing any new ones at least for the last couple of years. Gradually my collection dwindled as I lost some of the 'not so hardy' in previous harsh winters as well letting go of the ones that are not garden worth at all. But still most of them remained.

Until a much needed and welcome change beckoned and nearly all of the potted bamboos had to go. 

The list of bamboos that I had to let go:

Chimonobambusa tumidissinoda

Fargesia murielae (seed grown)
Fargesia robusta
Fargesia robusta ‘Pingwu’
Fargesia robusta ‘Wolong’
Fargesia rufa
Fargesia scabrida

Pleioblastus simonii

Phyllostachys arcana f. luteosulcata
Phyllostachys aurea
Phyllostachys aurea ‘Flavescens Inversa’
Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. aureocaulis
Phyllostachys humilis
Phyllostachys iridescens
Phyllostachys nigra
Phyllostachys praecox f. viridisulcata
Phyllostachys vivax

Pseudosasa japonica ‘Tsutsumiana’

Sasa kurilensis
Sasa kurilensis ‘Shimofuri’
Sasa palmata f. nebulosa

Semiarundinaria fastuosa
Semiarundinaria kagamiana
Semiarundinaria makinoi

Shibataea kumasasa

X Hibanobambusa tranquillans ‘Shiroshima’

Speaking of bamboos, I was informed many weeks ago about the sad closure of Hardy Bamboo nursery which is owned by Paul Whittaker, author of the book Hardy Bamboo. As soon as I was told I checked out his website which confirmed that they have indeed called it a day and ceased trading. I personally don't what had happened but I do know that his book became very popular and became a definitive guide to growing bamboos in temperate to colder climates, as well as making bamboos very 'fashionable' in the nineties and noughties. Through him bamboos became more popular and well known more than ever before, to be used in exotic gardening schemes and landscaping. It is sad that his nursery has now closed and it will be interesting to see if another bamboo nursery will rise up to the gap it has left, and if the popularity of bamboos will remain high (which I suspect it will).

Speaking of gaps, what's happening here??
We need some hardcore to form the base of the currently being built quarantine pond so we've chipped away some of the already loose bricks on the top patio to be recycled here...
Anyway, back to the bamboos on our patio, much to my delight several good friends came forward and were happy enough to give them new homes. So we may be letting go of much cherished plants but we're happy enough that at least they were going to good homes who will be more than able enough to give them better condition than we ever did confined in pots.

So there you go, nearly all of the potted bamboos are gone now and suddenly the area feels so spacious...

I like it, liking the openness and spaciousness. But also not liking the fact that it has exposed unflattering parts like the ugly fence panels and the chicken wire above it, as well as the horrible concrete paving, ugh!

That red fence, ugh! And the concrete paving, ugh!!
But overall, I'm loving the potential of the space and it's something we are both excited about.

There's a sense of ordered randomness going on in this patio at the moment, with whatever's left (and mostly to be kept) grouped together to form a temporary display of some sort. A one week only affair as some rearranging will have to be done again soon.

Change is good and we're excited!

Mark :-)


  1. Wow, I didn't know you had quite so many potted bamboos. I love how quickly you were able to rehome them.

    New-found space is like getting an unexpected present. But knowing you guys, this area won't look like this for long.

    Speaking of potting plants: You have so many, do you hand-water them or do you rely on rainfall alone?

    1. Hi Gerhard, it was good fun for awhile having so many bamboos but it was also equally nice to have some of them rehomed now, they will do better in their new places :)

      We're enjoying the newly freed space. Half of the work will start this year while the other half will be next year so on the whole the area will look the same for quite some time.

      There was a drip irrigation installed before the pots were rehomed but sometimes it's not enough and we have to supplement them with hand watering too.

  2. "ordered randomness"...that describes some of my favorite gardens!

  3. You know I have done the same. Seems as I get older, I want a little more openness around me. That car was sure stuffed with plants to go to people.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

    1. It made us smile when the van got so full that they had to leave the sack barrow that helped shift it all behind :)

  4. Getting rid of so many bamboos from your collection must have been difficult but the extra space is quite nice. You are so industrious!

    1. Thanks Peter :) We will miss them but it's also nice to know they went to good homes.

  5. Had to wait till the Murray tennis match was over before commenting :) :) tense afternoon!

    Wow you got rid of so many and I didn't even recognise the photo at first as being 'your plot' so much space and light and so much potential Mark. Change is good when it comes to gardening and you'll also have happy friends as those bamboo can cost lots of money. A real pity about that nursery. I've got that book in my office bookshelf.

    1. Tense indeed, hopefully he will not make it as tense next time!

      It's sad that the nursery had to close down, and the nursery owner's book is such a good one too. On a lighter note we are looking forward to the new look of the area too :)


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