Freedom

With no sign of the colder side of February expected at least for another week (hopefully forever?), I decided to do something about my almost-uncluttered driveway.


Although I like having a nearly-clear space back here, it's just not to be: I'm going to start filling it with plants already!


***


Here's the view from inside the garage looking out:


The bamboos dominate this space, forcing me to push my way through in order to open the door. At least I left a small pathway this year so climbing isn't necessary.


All of these bamboos are cold-hardy to some extent, and a few of them are very cold-hardy. With the marginal ones I had no choice but to protect them when the temperatures dropped into the lower 20's F by bringing them inside, but the hardiest could have survived outdoors, mulched over like their brothers and sisters.

I like to overwinter things using different strategies though, not only to experiment to find what works best but also as an insurance policy in case the mulch didn't work as well as I hoped.

With them back outside again, I can see that some look unfazed (Phyllostachys parvifolia):


Others are showing a little stress, although this could be normal leaf shedding (Phyllostachys atrovaginata):


This one has a bit of burn on the leaf tips (Chimonobambusa tumidissinoda):


The least-hardy of the bunch, Pseudosasa amabilis is only hardy to 15ºF (-9ºC) but didn't mind its time in the garage at all:


And then there's this:


Fargesia denudata, quite cold-hardy but not doing well for me. Too few leaves, and yellowing a bit. It wasn't winter indoors that did this; it looked like this before going into the garage. This will be one of the first things I put into the ground this spring.


So my garage gained a bit of space, my driveway started filling up already, but more importantly these bamboos get some freedom and can enjoy the air, sunlight, and maybe some rain!

(I may have to drag them back inside on Monday -- it won't be too cold but it will be very windy, and I don't want these plants stressed too much.)

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Steve Lau  – (February 6, 2013 at 9:23 AM)  

It appears that your big one which I'm guessing is parvifolia, but could also be atrovaginata kept making new shoots while it was in the garage eh. I'm interested in seeing how much of an upsize something like that is capable of. I think that planting it into the ground before it shoots may help out as far as preventing it from going completely root bound once the new shoots fully root out.

If it is either of these species, I think it has a small edge in hardiness, and definitely in size over the aureosulcatas.

Gerhard Bock (Bamboo, Succulents and More)  – (February 6, 2013 at 11:03 AM)  

Bamboos aside, the one plant that immediately caught my eye was that giant elephant ear! It looks like it's doing really well. Is it in a large pot?

Alan  – (February 6, 2013 at 12:21 PM)  

Steve: the species names are indicated before each photo -- yes, parvi was the first photo. No shoots in the garage though, as it's too cold in there with very little light.

Gerhard: Yes, it's Alocasia macrorrhizos, and in a big pot. Just sitting there without water and little light. It just goes into suspended animation in there each year: no new growth, but no leaves die either. There's another one next to it that I dug up, cut the leaves off, and is just sitting there bare root -- it seems to be fine too.

Barbie  – (February 6, 2013 at 1:29 PM)  

There is nothing nicer than filling your driveway with bamboo!! :-)

Steve Lau  – (February 6, 2013 at 2:38 PM)  

I am trying all of my elephant ears and other marginal bulb/corm plants in the ground, including the alacosias just because I want to see if they can handle the winters with some protection.

I remembered back in 2008 when Brad was the only one with parvifolia on the forum, but it looks like it is one of the more common species now for temperate growers.

Steve Lau  – (February 6, 2013 at 2:40 PM)  

Parvifolia is supposed to have pretty good upsize potential when it is still fairly small so it will be exciting to see other people's results in 1-3 months.

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