Yesterday was R’s birthday. I asked him what he would like to do, fully expecting a visit to the Portland Art Museum and/or galleries around town. But no, he wanted to take a trip out to Bamboo Garden in North Plains. One of these days, we must take this little drive on a beautiful day…which yesterday surely was not.
But no matter what the weather, coming to this 20 acre bamboo haven just outside Portland, Oregon is a treat.
Here’s a little closer look at that bamboo forest behind the fence that greets you as you drive in.
Of course the fence is fashioned from bamboo canes.
…just the first of many imaginative uses in evidence. This woven piece hanging in the trees is probably close to 25′ long.
Pass through this doorway and you will find more…
like this woven sphere hanging in a greenhouse filled with an assortment of potted bamboo
On the warehouse side hangs this pod sculpture woven from bamboo
Just in case you can’t wait for your own bamboo forest to produce the materials you need, that warehouse is chock-a-block piled high with poles of every length and diameter.
Plus a propagation area with tables full of tiny starts just getting underway.
Once we had met our guide and described to her our needs.
we were invited to hop aboard one of the electric carts, and away we went…
along mixed borders and through forests
all the way to the bottom of the property, where extensive greenhouses overlook a large pond.
The signage is clear and informative, but hardly necessary because our guide kept up a running commentary, with stops along the way so we could take a closer look at anything that tickled our fancy. We were after timber bamboo, and we wanted something that would spread quickly (we’re no spring chickens, after all). Since we have managed to kill our last two trials, we opted to take home only one tub of the recommended Phyllostachys vivax. We left armed with two care sheets and a lot of verbal support for our efforts. If all goes well, we will definitely be back to give P. atrovaginata a try. Nicknamed “incense bamboo” the canes smell just like lemongrass when chafed.
Sasa veitchii is another that will haunt my dreams until I can get back there and claim a pot of it to introduce as ground cover. Couldn’t have had a better birthday if it had been my own.