Badly behaving bamboo …

Even the best behaved bamboo can get a bit out of control if you turn your back on it.

Unfortunately I forgot to take a “before” photo, so when I say that this is a Slender Weaver’s Bamboo after I cut down 56 monstrous canes ( yes, I counted) you’ll get an idea of just how enthusiastically it was growing.

More than 3 stories high!
More than 3 stories high!

Most of them were pruned with my trusty Fiskars loppers (the Finns certainly know how to make strong, quality cutting tools) but some of the internal canes were so compacted that I had to attack them with an electric grinder! This left the base looking somewhat unattractive.

The ugly result of pruning
The ugly result of pruning

I’ve mentioned before that I have become rather fond of bromeliads, and here’s another reason why …

All I had to do was chop some bromeliads out of an overgrown clump and rescue a rather dejected looking Buddha from under a tree, and voila, no more ugly stumps.

Bamboo creations …

This week ended for me with splinters, sore fingers, a new found respect for bamboo artisans and a “not-so-private” privacy screen for my outside shower.

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Bello Bamboo’s property on the upper reaches of the Kalang River

I should explain … this week Bellingen hosted Camp Creative.  An annual event, now in its 27th year, which attracts over a thousand participants to the town. Courses on offer include – visual arts, writing, crafts, digital imaging, indigenous language and culture, music, singing and dance. Adults and children are catered for, and if you’ve always wanted to learn Indian Bellydance Fusion, African Drumming, The Joy of the Mighty Uke (elele) or how to Build a Canoe … then Camp Creative is for you.

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Don’t plant this one in your garden!

My chosen course, Bamboo Craft for an Eco-Future was over-subscribed, with one participant driving 1,528 kilometres from Phillip Island just to attend.  The course was run for the first time this year by the lovely people from the Bello Bamboo Company.  We harvested our bamboo from Kirsten and Rob’s property and then launched enthusiastically into building our chosen project.  I think it’s fair to say that we were all under skilled and overly ambitious, but everyone had a great time and went home with at least one creation.

Mine was a privacy screen for the outside shower – but to avoid shocking my neighbours, I think I’ll be growing a small creeper over it!