bamboo buzz

brni and i have had two sessions reclaiming a small section of our yard from the berwyn bamboo. some years ago, before we moved here, an artist two yards over decided to put in a small stand of bamboo in his back yard. bamboo is lovely stuff. i love the way the interesting foliage rustles in the breeze. it’s cool that a grass can grow so tall and produce hollow poles good for lots of things. i use them to stake my tomatoes. my son used a bunch of them to create a table top. and it feeds pandas! bamboo is great stuff.
but…
this bamboo is the runner type which means it is determined to continue marching until it has taken over the yards and woods that runs along the creek through town. when we moved here 5 years ago, it was a cute little stand in one corner of our back yard. it is now threatening to take over nearly a quarter of the yard and is actively laying runners down and is halfway to my neighbors yard on the other side. i doubt he’ll be happy to have beautiful bamboo poles poking up through his above-ground pool.
so…
brni has managed to chop down a 3 or 4 square foot section of bamboo. we aren’t deluding ourselves that we will ever rid the yard and save berwyn from eventual domination, but we’re simply hoping to impose a bit of order and reclaim our small section of yard with the hopes of planting a rose bush and maybe some lovely poppies…
anyway…
the reason i started writing this is to tell you what happened while i was cleaning up bamboo remains. i was in the newly cleared space, stripping the bigger bamboo poles and loading the rest into the wheel barrow when i felt a vibration under my foot. it was like electricity…not a static electrical shock, but a sustainted current virbrating under my left foot. i jumped away thinking i’d stepped on a huge hornet, but there was nothing there but the hollow nub of what remained of one of the bamboo culms. it was still connected to the rhizome underground, so it was still linked to the rest of the bamboo population. the current was going through that.

i found i needed to apologize to the bamboo for culling it, but explained that it wasn’t playing nice and was taking over much more space than was fair to the other plants and the critters. yes, i know it makes a nice place for the birds and rabbits, snakes and mice to hide in, but it’s leaving no food or space for deer, trees and humans.

i don’t know if i convinced it or not, but i was not zapped again.

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One response to “bamboo buzz

  • brni

    actually, this time around i did 6 sq feet. last time was abt 10 sq feet, but less densely populated.
    you need to pick a place for the fig tree. let me know and i’ll get a hole dug this weekend.

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